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Christmas Cookies


Elizabeth_11
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Wow, those look great! Where did you buy the lacquer boxes? And are those just muffin cups that are holding the cookies?

Thanks! The "lacquer" boxes are actually plastic. I bought it for $25CND at Utsuwa no Yakata (http://www.utsuwa.com). The box is actually 3 tiers but I don't want to make the gift too large so I only used two. I used paper muffin liners to hold the cookies.

Just lovely!! Say, could you please give me your BLOG'S recipe for SOUFFLE CHEESECAKE in US measurements?? I am afraid I might MISCONVERT some of the metric measurements. Thanks!!

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Just lovely!! Say, could you please give me your BLOG'S recipe for SOUFFLE CHEESECAKE in US measurements?? I am afraid I might MISCONVERT some of the metric measurements. Thanks!!

Hmm, I don't work with imperial measurements so my guess is as good as yours. Have you tried any of the online unit converters?

Yes, gotta love the cookies chapters in the Herme books. One of the easier recipes to attempt.

Candy Wong

"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

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Just lovely!! Say, could you please give me your BLOG'S recipe for SOUFFLE CHEESECAKE in US measurements?? I am afraid I might MISCONVERT some of the metric measurements. Thanks!!

Hmm, I don't work with imperial measurements so my guess is as good as yours. Have you tried any of the online unit converters?

Yes, gotta love the cookies chapters in the Herme books. One of the easier recipes to attempt.

Done. Thanks.

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I need to pick your brains.... please?

As some of you know, I am NOT great in the kitchen.

I have typed below, a very basic cookie recipe someone gave me.  It is my only cookie recipe (besides what I've seen on this thread).  Can someone please gussy-up this recipe for me?  If you can make it better, PLEASE tell me what to do, and how your changes will affect my recipe.

My recipe:

1 stick butter

1/4 cup sugar

(cream together)

1 yolk

(cream again)

1 cup flour

(mix together)

chill one hour.  form into balls, put on lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes at 365 (365?? eeek!).

This basic recipe makes very few cookies and I must quadruple the recipe to get about 35 cookies.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

May you all have happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Thanks, again, for everyone's help and your patience with me in the past (and future :smile: )

donnamarie..to simply perk them up you may want to just add some flavor

ideas;

lemon, lime or orange zest and a tbls of juice

use flavored sugar ..i make vanilla sugar, lavender sugar, rose sugar and kaffir lime suger

basically by putting a vanilla been or some drief rose petals, or lavender buds or kaffir lime leaves in sugar sealing teh container and letting it sit for a while..have had my kafir lime sugar sitting for about a month and it is amazingly fragrant plan to make a kaffir lime cookie with white choclate drizzle

you could add almond extract

also you could dip them after baking in chocolate or caramel and then something crunchy like nuts or crushed candy canes

"sometimes I comb my hair with a fork" Eloise

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I was so far ahead -- I had 10 fruitcakes baked and wrapped and resting in the closet before Thanksgiving. I made red velvet cupcakes for a potluck at work. I'm having a small get-together on Saturday night and I need an idea -- I'm thinking chocolate ginger cookies. There will be cheese and nuts and lamb sausage and sopressata and olives and an apricot paste cake thingy, crackers, little smoked salmon sandwiches, that kind of thing.

I'm thinking of doing gingerbread in a Santa spekulaas mold I have.

Any ideas?

Butter? Heh. I've been buying high fat organic butter which is running me ten bucks and pound and using it at a rate that is scaring me.

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

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I'll certainly share!

Cuccidati

FILLING

8 oz. black figs

3.75 oz. raisins

scant 2/3 C. honey

1/4 C. brandy

1.5 tsp orange zest

1 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp ground cloves, nutmeg

1 TB cinnamon

4 oz. almonds, roasted

3 oz. walnuts, roasted

Coarsely chop nuts, remove from food processor.  Combine the rest; when homogenous, add nuts.  Let chill at least 8 hours.

DOUGH

4 oz. AP flour

1 C. + 2 TB sugar

1 TB baking pwdr.

1 tsp salt

8 oz. butter, cut into small cubes

2 large eggs

1/2 C. whole milk

1.5 tsp vanilla

1.5 tsp lemon/orange zest

Pulse to mix dry ingredients in f.p., then cut in butter until fine crumbles.  Dump into bowl and stir in wet ingredients.  Form dough into 2 rectangles; chill at least 8 hours.

Roll one rectangle 13" x 10" and cut into 4 strips parallel to the 10" sides.  Fill the center of each resulting 10" x 3/25" rectangle with a "worm" of filling, then flatten this somewhat.  Wrap dough around filling a la Fig Newtons, flip so that seam side is down, cut into 1/2" slices.

Cook 15-20 minutes in a 375 degree oven until golden brown; remove from sheets after 3 minutes to rack.  Overcooked yields a less buttery flavor.

Glaze with 1 cup 10x, 1.5 tsp vanilla, 1.5-2 TB brandy.  In Italy these are often finished with colored sprinkles.

Thanks for the recipe. I just made the filling and dough. The filling is great, but the dough appears to be more like batter, not something that I will be able to roll out. Is it supposed to be very thin before refrigerating? I weighed out 4 oz. of flour and it was not much more than a cup, should there be more flour or less liquid? A cup of flour to a cup of butter and 1/2 cup milk does not seem right for a dough to be rolled out.

Thanks,

Adam

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Adam, this is my mistake, which I corrected on Recipe Gullet, but can't find a way to correct here. It should be 4 CUPS of flour, not 4 oz. Sorry about the error.

1 cup flour = about 5 oz

thus the recipe should call for 4 cups, or 20 oz

thus your dough is at a 16 oz deficit, or a heaping 3 Cup deficit. Blend this in, let it rest, and the dough should be fine.

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These look absolutely fabulous. I love the variety in your selection, and your beautiful presentation.

And thanks for the link to the pistachio-cranberry shortbread. :wub: Those look like a real winner, and will be one of the recipes I do in my annual cookie-baking assembly line next week.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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This is the most baking I've ever done in my life! Chefpeon and I just spent two days baking together in my none-too-large kitchen, and produced 11 different treats for 36 gift boxes. Thus begins and ends my career as a production baker!

We had tons of fun for a week or so in advance what with choosing and ordering special boxes, Chefpeon's creating groovy labels for the boxes, and both of us going back and forth on selecting the recipes. Here's what we made, with apologies for the focus on some of the pictures. Each cookie got one shot and best wishes, since we were too busy baking to really do photography.

First up, the fabulous cuccidati. Thanks to PMs from Michael, we were able to recover from the 4 oz/4 cup problem. This is a really fun cookie to make! Before you put it together it looks like this

gallery_16307_2558_82084.jpg

and after cutting, baking, and decorating it looks like this

gallery_16307_2558_2342.jpg

Adorable, eh? And with the extra filliing and dough you are bound to have if you triple this recipe (oh, he meant 12 CUPS of flour!) you can make half a dozen of these little cuties

gallery_16307_2558_10902.jpg

We also made Meyer lemon and ricotta cookies

gallery_16307_2558_88560.jpg

Speculaas

gallery_16307_2558_80446.jpg

Chefpeon's famously addictive macaroons

gallery_16307_2558_56319.jpg

Some almost impossible to photograph chocolate peppermint crisps (the toasted espresso almond biscotti were truly impossible)

gallery_16307_2558_6750.jpg

Coffee-Walnut Toffee from Orangette's blog, which is total crack

gallery_16307_2558_1720.jpg

Some crispy oatmeal chocolate sandwiches

gallery_16307_2558_5706.jpg

Orange macarons

gallery_16307_2558_11489.jpg

Hazelnut apricot sandwiches

gallery_16307_2558_25162.jpg

and Swedish Thins sandwiched with buttercream.

gallery_16307_2558_7421.jpg

We spread it out all in the dining room

gallery_16307_2558_84231.jpg

portioned it out into beautiful boxes with hinged lids and clear windows

gallery_16307_2558_8095.jpg

labeled the boxes with our beautifully funky labels designed by Chefpeon, piled them up, and collapsed at their feet.

gallery_16307_2558_4624.jpg

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Adam, this is my mistake, which I corrected on Recipe Gullet, but can't find a way to correct here.  It should be 4 CUPS of flour, not 4 oz.  Sorry about the error. 

1 cup flour = about 5 oz

thus the recipe should call for 4 cups, or 20 oz

thus your dough is at a 16 oz deficit, or a heaping 3 Cup deficit.  Blend this in, let it rest, and the dough should be fine.

I actually just assumed that it should be 4 cups and added another 3 plus a little extra to the dough when I saw that it was thin. I should have just looked at recipe gullet, but the dough is fine and is resting in the fridge. Thanks again for posting, I can't wait to bake some off.

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Abra, the cookies and the boxes are gorgeous! I want to try baking all of them now! The speculaas cookies are too cute :smile: Can you share the oatmeal cookie recipe? I've never tried a crispy one before!

I'm sure they taste great too? Did you "sample" any?

Edited by Chihiran (log)
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Abra,

That is a spectacularly intimidating bunch of cookies. They are beautiful! What does one have to do to get on your gift list?

Did you use Chufi's recipe on the Dutch cooking thread for the Speculaas?

I am in awe of you.

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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ABRA! ABRACADABRA!

So, from Texas, which direction should I strike out upon to meet you for a box of Heaven in a Bainbridge Box?! You need disciples! A book for all mankind! A nap!

............................And I need a box of those cooooooooookies! :biggrin::raz::cool::laugh::wub: (enthusiasm brought to you by the Sesame St. show playing in the background)

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Did you use Chufi's recipe on the Dutch cooking thread for the Speculaas?

I second the request for details about the speculaas - I'm looking for a new recipe this year since I'm not overly enamoured of my mum's recipe (shhhh).

Amazing baking job - I'm making something very similar to your hazelnut-apricot cookies (hazelnut shortbread, apricot filling, dipped in chocolate) myself.

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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Abra & Chefpeon: Wow! They're all too beautiful. I never thought I liked colored cookie dough, but the Swedish thin-sandwiches are one of my favorites in a group that is meticulously planned for the sake of variety and exquisitely packaged. Lucky friends and family!

Were I experienced in baking macaroons, I'd be tempted to sandwich a pomegranate top to a pistachio bottom, inspired by your photographs.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I can just imagine the heavenly aromas coming from your home. Everything looks so wonderful, but the toffee piqued my interest. I just tracked down Orangette's recipe and will be making the Coffee Walnut Toffee next week. Thanks for the heads up on that one!

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I second the interest in the Apricot hazelnut cookies, those are my mom's two favorite flavors...

Thanks for sharing the photo spread! Now I need to get back to making toffee for the hordes :biggrin:

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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ABRA! I'M STILL PALAVERING OVER ABRAKADOODLES OF COOKIES!!!

...but I plum forgot to send big ups to Chefpeon for those rockin' labels and boxes. Where o Where did you find those? So pretty, and not retro in a beat-you-over-the-head kind of way.

BIG UPS, CHEFPEON!!@! WAY, WAY BIG UPS!

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Sorry, everyone! As you might know, we've been having major power outages here, with the result that I still don't have email since our ISP is powerless (can you still remember how to use dialup?) and I can't get the recipes that Chefpeon has until we both have email again.

And let me start by saying that Chefpeon, for those that don't know her, is an actual pastry chef, and there's no way I would or could have done all that on my own, so more than half the credit goes to her!

So, questions one at a time. Barolo, yes, and thank you for the link, those are the hazelnut squares!

The boxes were from Nashville Wraps and they really are cool. Well worth getting, for anyone who still needs boxes. Chefpeon designed the labels and printed them at home.

The Swedish Thins and the crispy oatmeals are her recipes, and will have to wait until life gets back to normal around here, which will hopefully be real soon.

Those were the first macarons for either of us, and were made from the Malgieri recipe, not the Herme one. They were not the most successful cookies of the whole bunch, but hey, macarons are notoriously finicky.

The speculaas were faked, in that we used the butter cookie recipe that comes with my Marcato cookie press because it presses out so beautifully, and added a lot of the speculaas spices that Chufi brought with her in September. They tasted very good, but were definitely not authentic.

I think that Orangette's toffee, and the cuccidati, were my favorites of all, but it's really hard to choose. And funnily enough, a cookie that you haven't seen, and was just a clean-up sort of cookie, was oddly appealing. We had Meyer lemon dough and frosting left over so Chefpeon sandwiched them together, just for something to do with them. Then we had leftover tempered chocolate, so I suggested half-dipping the sandwiches, as if for Black and Whites. That combination, the soft cookie and filling, the perfume of the Meyer lemons, and the snap of the tempered bittersweet, was a sleeper hit around here.

People are sure loving getting those boxes, I can say that for sure. And thanks for all the compliments - it's really nice to get back online and see that our cookies have been enjoying a little run of their own in our absence.

Edited by Abra (log)
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Abra, I wish you--and everyone else affected by the storms in that part of North America--well.

* * *

For those still searching for recipes, I'd like to recommend very odd-sounding rosemary pine nut cookies. Got some in the mail this weekend, though perhaps not this recipe since the flavors are very simple: rosemary, pine nuts and butter. No ginger. Strangely addictive, distinctive. Thin with beautiful texture. Broke a bit, but endured shipping very well.

I'm normally not a fan of rosemary in baked things. Can't stand the bread and merely tolerate without enthusiasm chopped rosemary as a finishing flavor in Italian braises, soups or worse, pastas. Potatoes, roasted chicken, pork or lamb with rosemary I love, though, and now these are on the list. Caution: after indulging, I found I couldn't really taste anything else.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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