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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Holiday cookie recipes
Treats to make festivities more enjoyable
 
Published Monday, December 16, 2013
by Staff Reports

Whether you are baking cookies for Santa, to give as gifts for the holidays or to enjoy with your family and friends at your next gathering, consider the following recipes:

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

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Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups bleached all-purposed flour

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup sugar

12 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. (finely grated) lemon zest

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Royal icing or glaze (recipes follow)

Preparation:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350.

5. 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.

6. With a small spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. (Tip: For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.)

7. 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.

Eggnog Glaze:

Makes 1 1/4 cups (enough to glaze 48 cookies)

STIR together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. whipping cream, 1 Tbsp. bourbon, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg until smooth. STIR in up to 2 tsp. water, 1 tsp. at a time, until desired consistency.

Royal Icing:

Makes enough 1 1/4 cups (enough for 48 cookies)

In a large mixing bowl, BEAT 3 large egg whites and 4 cups powdered sugar, 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.

***

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Hershey's Peanut Butter Blossoms

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yields 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

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 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Granulated sugar

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. 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.

3. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

***
Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies

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Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies

Makes three dozen 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened 
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar 
1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract 
2 eggs 
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cream of tartar 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Chill for two hours.  
4. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

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