Life and Religion
|Christmas cookie recipes|
|Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms and Crisp Vanilla Butter cookies,|
|Published Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:15 am|
Crisp Vanilla Butter Cookies
Yields 2 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened; 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar; 1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup chocolate pieces of choice
Cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla powder in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt on low speed until just blended.
Place the dough on parchment paper and shape into a 12-inch long log. Chill for 3 to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack. Place the cooled cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 15 seconds. Repeat at 5-second intervals, stirring and checking the consistency. The chocolate is ready when it freely drips from the spoon in a fine line.
Spoon the chocolate into a large plastic food storage bag. Twist the bag until the chocolate is in one corner and then trim the tip of the bag. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.
Variation: Add 1/2 teaspoon of any Nielsen-Massey Pure Flavor Extract, such as Chocolate, Almond, Lemon, Orange or Coffee, to the cookie dough to create a signature cookie.
(Source: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas)
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 4 dozen cookies
48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates; 1/2 cup shortening; 3/4 cup Reese's Creamy Peanut Butter; 1/3 cup granulated sugar; 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar; 1 egg; 2 tablespoons milk; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1/2 teaspoon salt; Granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
(Source: Hershey’s Cookie Headquarters)
Traditional Rolled Christmas Sugar Cookies
Yields 4 dozen cookies
2 1/4 cups bleached all-purposed flour; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 3/4 cup sugar; 12 tablespoons unsalted butter; 1 large egg; 1 tablespoon (finely grated) lemon zest; 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Soften the butter. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat until blended.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. On low speed, gradually add them to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add water, a few drops at a time, only until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.
Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap, not your fingers, to press the dough together to form a thick flat disc. Wrap it well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably no longer than 3.
Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, covered with plastic wrap to prevent cracking, to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut shapes using your favorite cookie cutters or freehand with a knife.
With a small spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.
Use a small spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool before decorating with Royal Icing, sprinkles and glittering holiday edibles.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
3 large egg whites; 4 cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl, place the egg whites and powdered sugar and beat, preferably with the whisk beater, at low speed, until the sugar is moistened.
Beat at high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted (5 to 7 minutes). The tips of the peaks should curve slightly. If necessary, more powdered sugar may be added.
Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Source: Rose Levy Beranbaum)
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