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Christmas Cookies Redux


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63 replies to this topic

#31 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:34 PM

I've realized I've got to get going on my citrus peels, because many of the Christmas goodies depend on them.  Ack!



#32 ElsieD

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:29 AM

I would like to make some alfajores for Christmas. Never having made them before, I'm wondering how well they keep. Does the filling make the cookies crumbly after a day or two? Are they better filled just before eating? Should they be kept refrigerated? Thanks!

#33 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 06:54 AM

I would like to make some alfajores for Christmas. Never having made them before, I'm wondering how well they keep. Does the filling make the cookies crumbly after a day or two? Are they better filled just before eating? Should they be kept refrigerated? Thanks!


I've never made them, but Martha Stewart says "store in an airtight container for up to 2 days".

#34 emmalish

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 11:57 AM

I would like to make some alfajores for Christmas. Never having made them before, I'm wondering how well they keep. Does the filling make the cookies crumbly after a day or two? Are they better filled just before eating? Should they be kept refrigerated? Thanks!

 

There was just a thread here about storing alfajores recently. Granted, the answer came from a manufacturer, but it has info regarding refrigeration:

 

Best way for long storage (up to 6 months) is the freezer. Just make sure to leave them on the shelf for enough hours for them to unfreeze completely. Refrigerator is not recommended at all.

They will also last on the shelf, you can safely consume them up to 10~15 days (not more than that, please) after expiry date.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#35 Jaymes

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 08:31 PM

The latest 'Fruitcake' thread reminded me that it's time to start thinking about all of my holiday baking, including the fruitcake cookies that are always such a hit in our family.

And of course, need to get those rum balls sealed into their canister to begin ripening and mellowing.

Those two cookies are not optional in our house, but haven't finalized the list yet.

My father, 93, is the most popular fellow at the senior citizens' home where he lives (he calls it "Mortuary Manor") in part because I often send him treats to share with his table in the dining room (it's him and five women - his harem), so I want to be sure that this year's cookie selection doesn't disappoint.

Also, several of his tablemates and friends are fighting "the sugar," so I try to cut back on that in all my baking. I really love those Trader Joe's Kona Shortbread Cookies and think he would, too, but they're very sweet. Went online and found a copycat recipe that I think I could make, using a lot less sugar.

By any chance, have any of y'all ever tried to make anything like those cookies?

#36 heidih

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for starting the 2014 season Jaymes.  I did not bake last year but my 22 year old niece/god-daughter is here from Sydney and I promised her I would pass on the "baking secrets" so we will probably do baklava, amped up chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin spice bread, and Linzer Torte bars. Pulling the recipes out of my boxes and making sure I don't pack away the necessary pans.


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#37 andiesenji

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 10:24 PM

I had been doing some prelim planning for this year's holiday baking but had to put everything on hold after ordering the extra supplies I usually need.

The cardiologist has told me I need to have my aortic stenosis fixed right away and has forbidden any "unnecessary" physical activity, including prolonged standing, lifting and in particular, vigorous stirring. 

So all the nuts/seeds/grains and etc., have been packed in Cambro containers and stored in the freezer (along with the various flours), the dried fruits vacuum packed and also packed into the big Cambro tubs. 

I had planned on Pecan crescents, fruitcake cookies, mincemeat cookies, oatmeal/cranberry/pecan, walnut sandies, orange creamsicle cookies, shortbread and peanut/peanut butter meltaways.


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#38 CatPoet

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 10:50 PM

My Christmas list is short, Swedish ginger breads  ( thin biscuits/cookies and it takes two days to make)  Bond kakor  ( farmer's biscuits/ cookies)  and lussekakor ( saffron rolls).   We dont eat that much cookies/ biscuits at  Christmas.   It more about meat and candy over here.


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#39 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:39 AM

I had been doing some prelim planning for this year's holiday baking but had to put everything on hold after ordering the extra supplies I usually need.

The cardiologist has told me I need to have my aortic stenosis fixed right away and has forbidden any "unnecessary" physical activity, including prolonged standing, lifting and in particular, vigorous stirring. 

So all the nuts/seeds/grains and etc., have been packed in Cambro containers and stored in the freezer (along with the various flours), the dried fruits vacuum packed and also packed into the big Cambro tubs. 

I had planned on Pecan crescents, fruitcake cookies, mincemeat cookies, oatmeal/cranberry/pecan, walnut sandies, orange creamsicle cookies, shortbread and peanut/peanut butter meltaways.

 

So sorry to hear this.  Take care of yourself!

 

But also tell me about those orange  creamsicle cookies...:)


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#40 Toliver

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:27 AM

So sorry to hear this.  Take care of yourself!

 

But also tell me about those orange  creamsicle cookies...:)

Yes, Andie, I agree with Sylvia...I hope all goes well with you.

And those Orange Creamsicle cookies sound delicious!


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#41 Smithy

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:47 AM

I too am distressed to hear the news, Andie, and I hope the outcome is good. Creamsicle cookies and mincemeat cookies both sound unusual and interesting (hint, hint). Aside from that I admire the immense variety of what you'd normally do! I used to do meringue shells loaded with chocolate chips, spritz cookies of multiple flavors (an excuse to use the cookie press) and chocolate sandies. Alas, I seem to have reached a stage where my friends and I all want to make and admire the stuff but none can eat more than 2 or 3 cookies. I need to find more recipients to justify the operation.
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#42 andiesenji

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:48 AM

I found the Orange Creamsicle Cookies on line two or three years ago and they live up to the hype.

 

RECIPE HERE

 

I used less sugar - substituted the sugar/stevia compound for the white sugar and the sugar/Splenda brown sugar baking mix for the brown because of my diabetes  and for me they turned out perfectly. 

I used a # 30 disher (ice cream scoop) as the 1 1/4 ounce measure is perfect for a medium-size cookie.  I did flatten the little mounds slightly with the back of the disher after the first batch which did not spread quite enough for my preference - not sure why but I a recommend a test pan with a few cookies before banging the whole batch into the oven.

 

I hope this helps, in my opinion these have the "flavor" of the holidays - that orange aroma during baking is wonderful.

 

Here is the recipe that I use with my homemade mincemeat............  This is a very old family recipe that I have "modernized" to use actual measures because a "fist-sized lump of butter"  doesn't take into account that some fists are smaller or larger than others.  I know my fist is much larger than my grandmother's. 

I also cut the size way down because the original recipe made about 200 cookies, 4 eggs, 2 1/2 pints of flour, etc.

Mincemeat Cookies

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup mincemeat
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F(moderate).
Cream butter and sugar together.
Add well beaten egg,
then mincemeat.
Mix thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients together;
add to mincemeat mixture.
Mix well.
Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until done.

Yields 3 dozen.
 


Edited by andiesenji, 02 October 2014 - 09:56 AM.

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#43 Jaymes

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:58 PM

Let me add my wishes for a speedy recovery, Andie, and hopes that you will soon be back to stirring, grinding, mincing with your previous vigor and aplomb. You are St. EGullet, after all. And we need you!

I'd be happy to offer to bake and send some of those orange dreamsicle cookies if you promise me that you wouldn't expect me actually to do it.
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#44 CatPoet

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 03:22 AM

Andie: take care.  I know how hard it is to cook when the body refuses to help.   That is why  I at Christmas time I sit still, use my baking machine and a friend, to make the few cookies I make.


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#45 Smithy

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 07:15 AM

Oh, baby. I just looked at the creamsicle cookie recipe. I promise to make some for Christmas if not sooner. Thanks also for the mincemeat cookie recipe, Andie. I may also make that for Christmas, in honor of family past / passed. My mother used to make mincemeat pie for our grandfather, her father-in-law; what's left of that branch of the family still gets together for Christmas.
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#46 Darienne

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 07:35 AM

I'm not a great cookie maker because I either undercook them or burn them it seems.  My oven is not reliable either.  Which makes two of us.

 

Christmas cookies however always include Shortbreads handed down from a friend's Mother.  Best Shortbreads I ever tasted.  My friend used to make them every year after her Mother stopped making them, but now she won't do them and so the baking has passed on to me.  `She swears by making the entire process by hand...I don't think so, but don't tell her. :wink:


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#47 emmalish

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 12:22 PM

Oh Andie, I hope everything goes well and you're back to baking soon! 

 

I usually make the same things every year, but I'm focussing on trying new recipes so at this point I have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing. Jaymes, any chance you could share that fruitcake cookies recipe? 


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#48 Jaymes

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 12:27 PM

Oh Andie, I hope everything goes well and you're back to baking soon! 

 

I usually make the same things every year, but I'm focussing on trying new recipes so at this point I have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing. Jaymes, any chance you could share that fruitcake cookies recipe? 

 

Sure!  Posted it several years back on the first page of the original Christmas Cookies thread.

 

Scroll down (I think it's post #22):

 

http://forums.egulle...1?hl= fruitcake +cookies



#49 emmalish

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 01:15 PM

Sure!  Posted it several years back on the first page of the original Christmas Cookies thread.

 

Scroll down (I think it's post #22):

 

http://forums.egulle...1?hl= fruitcake +cookies

 

Thank you!


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#50 CatPoet

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 01:31 PM

I have already gotten my sla... I mean  helpers for Christmas cookie bake of and it isnt even November. WOHO.

It could be because I promised them they could borrow  some of my  300 cookie cutter... could be closer to  400 now, I havent counted them in 5 years.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you,  But blue mold will kill me.


#51 MelissaH

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 08:09 AM

Andie, if I lived closer, I'd be one of the first on your doorstep to help out with the vigorous stirring and other hard labor associated with cookie baking. But instead, I'll just wish you an easy and uneventful recovery, and a fast return to the kitchen.


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#52 Lindacakes

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:37 AM

Andie, very distressing news to hear.  All those activities are the joy of cooking.  I hope that you get it fixed and back in the swing soon.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#53 Lindacakes

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:39 AM

I want to try some new fruitcake cookies.  I have one I love, but I want to try the ones other people love.

 

Curious about the brand of mincemeat used, or do you make your own?  An English friends likes Sainsbury's which you can find (!) in Key Food in New York.  


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#54 Lindacakes

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:41 AM

I'm looking for the perfect gingerbread/ginger cookie to give as Christmas gifts.

 

I liked Tartine's gingerbread tiles, I might do that again.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#55 andiesenji

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 02:45 PM

I want to try some new fruitcake cookies.  I have one I love, but I want to try the ones other people love.

 

Curious about the brand of mincemeat used, or do you make your own?  An English friends likes Sainsbury's which you can find (!) in Key Food in New York.  

I make my own mincemeat.  Right now is a good time because it does need a few weeks to "mature" so the flavors meld. 



Granny Sweeney's mincemeat

This makes enough mincemeat for about 6 large pies or 8 - 8-inch pies.

2        sticks of unsalted butter -  

2        cups raisins
2        cups sultanas (golden raisins)
1        cup chopped dried plums (prunes)
1        cup Zante currants
1        cup chopped dried cherries
1        cup mixed peel - or citron - don't use the stuff with the red and green dyed cherries.
3        cups chopped dried applies
2        cups finely chopped nuts (Granny used hickory nuts but pecans, walnuts or ?? work - I have used pistachios)

1        Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2        teaspoons nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1/2        teaspoon ground cloves
1/2        teaspoon ground mace
1/4        teaspoon ground black pepper
2        teaspoons kosher salt

1        cup firmly packed brown sugar  OR 2/3 cup dark molasses or sorghum *** This is much less sugar than in most recipes.
1 1/2    pints apple cider
1/2        cup bourbon

Optional -  You can add 12 ounces of well-done lean beef, finely minced plus about a cup of finely minced beef suet which was in the original recipe - I sometimes make it this way because it is richer, in my opinion, but it works okay without it.

In a 6-8 quart pot or Dutch oven,
melt the butter and allow it to cook until it just begins to brown.

Stir in the dried fruits
then add the spices, stir well to mix thoroughly

add the sugar and apple cider

Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Add the bourbon  bring the heat up to medium and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Spoon some into a saucer - if there is excess liquid running out of the mincemeat, continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Check again.  The mincemeat should have a "jammy" texture and very little free liquid.  

Ladle into sterilized jars or into one big container.

This DOES NOT NEED REFRIGERATION UNLESS YOU ARE USING THE MEAT VERSION...
 


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#56 CatPoet

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 11:23 AM

Linda, I can post Swedish ones, they are thin and crisp and the dough need a day to mature before baking.


Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you,  But blue mold will kill me.


#57 Lindacakes

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:43 AM

Thank you for the mincemeat recipe, that is actually really quite easy . . . 

 

I would love the Swedish gingerbread recipe.  I need to get started making the comparative recipes if I expect to have a winner in time for Christmas baking.

 

The cherry crop was lousy this year.  It's been bad (at least the availability of fresh sour cherries) for several years running.  No candied cherries for me, it will have to be dried.

 

Has anyone tried the ones King Arthur is now selling?  They look decent.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#58 emmalish

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:15 PM

I'm looking for the perfect gingerbread/ginger cookie to give as Christmas gifts.

 

I liked Tartine's gingerbread tiles, I might do that again.

 

Lindacakes, I've posted my absolute favourite gingerbread recipe on my blog. Don't be thrown off by the halloween-themed cookie cutters! I got the recipe out of an old issue of Food & Wine and I've been making it for eons.

 

And this chocolate ginger cookie is amazing. I can't say enough good things about this cookie!

 

Both of these cookies get specifically requested by my friends & coworkers every year.

 

I still don't know what I'm going to be making this year, and I've just signed my blog up for the Great Cookie Swap – I'm so excited! And nervous! I'm also organizing a cookie swap at work, so I think I'm going to be pretty busy for awhile there.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#59 Lindacakes

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:05 PM

Ooooo!  Thank you!!!

 

:wub:


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#60 Lindacakes

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:09 PM

I am curious how you compare this recipe to Tartine's Gingerbread Tiles.  The first book, the recipe is googleable.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.