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Christmas Cookies


Elizabeth_11
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Either way will work...if you bake the cookies and then freeze them, you can take them out of the freezer as you need them. (You can refresh them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.)

I prefer to mix and shape the dough and freeze it uncovered on baking sheets. When the cookies are hard, I transfer them to zipper freezer bags. I find that unbaked, shaped dough keeps a little longer in the freezer than baked cookies. The frozen dough will definitely keep 2 months packaged airtight in a good freezer. I have been unhappy with baked cookies that have been frozen that long.

Good luck with your baking!

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I found this interesting blog that has an international cookie swap. cookie swap recipes 

Some really interesting cookies to be found on here if anyone wants to find something new or different to make this year

Thanks for the link! I love the "Little Imps" What a clever way to shape the cookies.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Wonderful link. I love to see other people's cookies. I guess I'm a cookie stalker.

We did a "cookie walk" at my son's school for a few years. All of the moms (well, many of them) baked a couple hundred each of dozens and dozens of different types of cookies. We laid them out on a series of tables in the cafeteria, and people from the community came in and walked through the line putting the ones they wanted into the box they were given when they walked in the door. At the end of the line we weighed their boxes and they paid. It was a lot of fun. And very popular.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I'm not really into baking cookies; I'm more of a cake person.

But for some reason, I wanted to bake Christmas cookies...so I did! More than I have ever baked in my entire life.

I made:

Lemon Spritz

Chocolate spritz

Cherry Coconut Chews

Chocolate Florentine

Rainbow cookies

Gingerbread Men

Pecan Tassies

Rum Balls

Raspberry Linzer

And I'll probably make Peanut Butter Blossoms this weekend. The cookies are in ziploc bags in my freezer. With some of them like the gingerbread, they require decorating with royal icing. With the rainbow cookies and florentines, I need to melt chocolate and ice them once defrosted.

I'm planning to put them on trays and bring some to my job, some to my aunt's house for Christmas Eve and some to my parents on Christmas day. I'll also give a tray to my mother in law.

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We did a "cookie walk" at my son's school for a few years. All of the moms (well, many of them) baked a couple hundred each of dozens and dozens of different types of cookies. We laid them out on a series of tables in the cafeteria, and people from the community came in and walked through the line putting the ones they wanted into the box they were given when they walked in the door. At the end of the line we weighed their boxes and they paid. It was a lot of fun. And very popular.

Etalaian, its must have been a lot of fun.My son's play school is arranging a party for all the mama's on similar lines...where all mama's are supposed to bring in cookies or cakes of their choice.And mama's are supposed to bake the cookies or cake along with their ward...actually a school assignment on 'baking with mama for christmas"..

I am looking forward to baking with my toddler...who sure is going to mess up ..but that's the whole point..having fun together this christmas season ..:)

Am actually looking out for an excellent chocolate cookie recipe.The links in this thread have been very helpful..but there are so many recipes to choose from.. :rolleyes: .....

Sailaja aka 'sailu'

Sailu's Food

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I have a gingerbread question. I have a new 3-D reindeer cookie cutter that I'm looking forward to using. I was going to try it with butter cut-out cookies but gingerbread might be a better idea. Does anyone have a good recipe for gingerbread cookies? I've always made Moravian Spice Cookies in the past but, although adults like them, they are just a little too intense for the little ones.

Ling, Re: your dinner. Been there, done that. I'm making some shortbread stars tonight. I hope enough will survive to freeze for Christmas.

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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This is the recipe I used last year for gingerbread. It's good...I usually up the amount of spices in any spice cookie recipe after I taste the dough, so I might have upped the amount of spices here too. But it's a good basic recipe, from what I remember. :smile:

Martha Stewart's gingerbread cookies

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Made these last weekend for a cookie exchange and people went crazy over them. Chewy, rich, and festive due to the dried cranberries.

Coconut-Cranberry Chews

makes 7-8 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1½ cups (¾ lb.) butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 large egg

3¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups dried cranberries

1½ cups sweetened flaked dried coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, beat 1½ cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg until well blended.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together. Mix in cranberries and coconut.

Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets.

Bake at 350° F until edges just begin to brown, 11 to 15 minutes. If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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^The Chocolate Sparkle cookies are wonderful, and the recipe is in Recipe Gullet.

The Korova cookies mentioned upthread are one of my favourite chocolate cookies, too! The recipe can be found here:

Korova cookies

These cookies seem to be so crumbly when making it. It makes it hard to roll into a log. I had to squeeze it tightly into a log and wrap it up to freeze. Is what Iam doing correct?

Thank you.

-Nhumi

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These cookies seem to be so crumbly when making it.  It makes it hard to roll into a log.  I had to squeeze it tightly into a log and wrap it up to freeze.  Is what Iam doing correct?

Thank you.

I second what M. Lucia said. The pieces will fuse back together when you're slicing with a bit of pinching and shaping. :smile: (The dough is good, huh? One of my favourites!) :wink:

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Made these last weekend for a cookie exchange and people went crazy over them. Chewy, rich, and festive due to the dried cranberries.

Coconut-Cranberry Chews

These were one of Sunset magazine's top cookie recipes a few years ago, and I have the ingredients sitting on my counter right now. They're delicious. I've been trying to come up with a new name as that doesn't do them justice.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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These cookies seem to be so crumbly when making it.  It makes it hard to roll into a log.  I had to squeeze it tightly into a log and wrap it up to freeze.  Is what Iam doing correct?

Thank you.

I second what M. Lucia said. The pieces will fuse back together when you're slicing with a bit of pinching and shaping. :smile: (The dough is good, huh? One of my favourites!) :wink:

I like the taste of the dough, but is there anyway to make it look more refined. There is no eggs to help bind it so it makes it hard to make each cookie look the same.

-Nhumi

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I haven't seen any Norwegian Christmas cookies yet so I will chime in with a couple of family favorites. My mom and grandma have made these every year and now I'm included on the tradition as my cousins haven't taken up much baking.

There are a few cookies left at home I think so I'll try to get photos up later tonight.

Berlinerkranser These look like sugary little wreaths and have a lovely dense texture.

Sandbakkelse Almost like mini-pie shells, these cookies lend themselves to being filled with anything sweet and scoopable, or just eaten alone.

I've been lucky enough to inherit a tattered copy of the "Cook Book of Tested Recipes" from my great-grandfather's church - The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church (Mindekirken). Even today they do services at least once a month in Norwegian!

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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Pat W., I have a recipe for a gingerbread cookie that stays soft if you still need a recipe, or want a recipe for a soft one. Most recipes get really hard, which I don't like. Let me know Iif you want it.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I don't think I posted the recipe for these earlier, but I did mention at some point our own family favorite, Norwegian Fattigman Bakkelsers. They're labor-intensive, and totally worth it. They're one of my favorite things in the world, a real delicacy and because they're labor-intensive, a holiday, or Christmas cookie, for the most part. Here's my mother's/grandmother's etc. recipe:

Fattigmands Bakkelser

6 egg yolks

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C sugar

1 tblspoon melted butter

3 egg whites

3 C flour (I use pastry flour)

6 tblspns whipped cream

1 - 1 1/2 tsp cardamom (to taste and depending on freshness of the spice)

1/8 - 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp to a tblspn cognac or light rum or some similar liquor (or, to taste)

*2 blks lard for deep frying (about 2 lbs)

powdered sugar for dusting

Beat egg yolks and sugar; whisk in cream and stir in spices and liquor; beat egg whites to stiff peaks and carefully stir or fold into batter; mix in the flour, taste to see whether you prefer adding more of something, and chill. The batter will be heavy and very sticky. Chill a minimum of 5-6 hours. I chill the dough at least 12 hours, usually longer.

Heat lard in stock pot to 350 degrees. If you double the batch, it's useful to heat two pots and fry two batches at once.

Roll out the dough in three or four batches, leaving remaining dough in refrigerator between batches. To start, dust counter with flour and scoop out each batch of dough with a large spoon. Keep a small pile of flour nearby to use as you roll. Dust top of dough with flour. Flour your hands. Pat dough into ball and then flatten. Flour lightly again, make sure the counter top below is still floured (you generally need LOTS of flour for these, depending on your kitchen and your hands, but that's okay, don't be afraid to flour as you go along) and roll the dough out, turning and lifting the dough and making sure it's not sticking to the countertop. The dough should be rolled out as thinly as you can manage it -- very, very thin. After final roll, lift the dough quickly and again make sure the dough isn't sticking to the counter.

Using either a sharp knife or a pizza dough cutter, cut the dough into roughly 2 inch strips laterally. Then cut the dough horizontally so that you end up with rectangles of dough, about 2 X 1 and 1/2 inches. Make one small cut in the center of each rectangle. Make a bow out of each rectangle by pushing one end through the hole and out to the other side. Don't worry if they fall apart a bit or look unshapely or ungainly. Once you're done deep frying and shaking them in powdered sugar, they'll all look gorgeous.

Test the heat of your lard by dropping a tiny piece of dough into the pot. It should drop to the bottom and nearly immediately bubble and rise back to the top and begin to brown very quickly. Fry roughly 5 at a time. You may need to turn the heat up a bit because the dough will begin to cool the lard. When the edges begin to brown, flip them over and brown equally on the other side. Brown to a nice golden brown, not too dark or they'll be burned, but not too light or they'll be doughy. Remove with slotted spoon (or one of those Chinese fry strainer thingies that I can never remember the name of -- these work beautifully) and drain on a paper bag.

When you've finished frying three or so batches, dump about a quarter of a bag of powdered sugar into a paper bag, drop 4 or 5 cookies into the bag and shake the bag two or three times. Remove to large plate covered with a paper towel. Finish the remaining batches in the same way.

*Note on lard: many folks substitute other cooking or vegetable oils for frying these. You *may* do so, but the flavor will not be nearly as good as it will be by using lard, and the flavor of these cookies rely not only on the combination of spices and so forth, but the lard as well.

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Yay! We had a few cookies left for photographing! I really need to try using my husband's digital SLR camera for stuff like this but you'll get the idea anyway.

cookies.jpg

O, and the tart style ones are the Sandbakkelse and the sugary ones are Berlinerkranser....if it's not obvious. :)

Edited by pansophia (log)
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"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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