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Christmas Cookies


Elizabeth_11
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I went to an Egullet cookie exchange last week, and lemon curd was kind enough to put all the recipes into a book! Here are some of my favourites:

Pecan sandies

1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups AP flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter on medium speed, add sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Add flour and pecans, beat together. Shape into balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes until bottoms brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Toffee Butter Cookies

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons of butter unsalted butter soft by still cool (in the US this would equal two sticks of butter – NOT the bricks of butter up here)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Heath Toffee Bits (without chocolate)

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2/3 cups pecans, toasted and chopped fine

1) Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. With electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter on medium until fluffy (~ 3 minutes) Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined about 30 seconds further. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two parts and mix until incorporated. Stir in toffee bits. Divide dough in half and roll each into a log about 9 inches long and 1 ½ inches in diameter. Then flatten log until about 2 ½ inches wide. Wrap and refrigerate until firm about 1 ½ hours.

2) Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Like 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3) Using a chef’s knife, cut dough into ¼ inch slices, transfer to baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until just browned around edges, 10-12 minutes, rotating the direction and position of the baking sheets halfway through. Cool completely on baking sheets and use remaining dough to make second batch.

4) Transfer cookies to wire rack set over baking sheets. Melt chocolate and mix with oil until smooth. Drizzle chocolate cookies and sprinkle with pecans. Don’t touch until chocolate sets – about 1 hour.

Lime Meltaways

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup icing sugar

grated zest of 2 limes

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup AP flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients but using only 1/3 cup icing sugar, divide dough in half. Place on 8x12 inch parchment. Roll log into 1 1/4 inch diameter, put in fridge for an hour. Preheat oven to 350, cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Bake until barely golden, about 13 minutes. Cool 8-10 minutes, then toss in remaining 2/3 cup icing sugar.

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Which of these recipes are crispy or crunchy cookies? I don't like soft or chewy cookies. I'd love to try some of these recipes (easy ones, please). They sound so good!!!!

Another question: if a recipe calls for rolling out the dough and cutting with cookie cutter, can I adapt the recipe into a drop cookie? Any suggestions how? Meaning how much dough, how to adapt cooking time, temp, etc.????

I have never rolled out a dough in my life (can you tell I'm not an experienced baker? :blush: )

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The chocolate toffee butter cookies and the pecan sandies are more "crispy" than soft and chewy, although they could be softer if you underbake them.

You can adapt a roll and cut cookie into a drop cookie easily--just make sure the dough balls are roughly the same size, space them out, and watch the oven to see when they're done (golden brown around the edges). I can't give you a specific time b/c each recipe is different and I don't know how big your cookies are going to be. If you like them crispy, I would suggest making smaller cookies, and flatten them out a bit so they have a chance to crisp up.

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DonnaMarieNJ - When you try to convert rolled cookies into drop cookies, be sure to test one in the oven first to get an idea of how it will turn out. The dough for many rolled recipes is very dense (so you can roll it out easily) so it sometimes doesn't spread like a regular dropped cookie would.

If you find the recipe you are using doesn't spread, try flattening the dropped dough with the palm of your hand, or using a cookie stamp to flatten it with an attractive pattern.

Good luck!

Best,

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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Thank you all!!

I was thinking maybe I could roll the dough if I can into a log and slice. That might be better.

I've never handled a rolling pin before. :blink:

However, it IS the crispy/crunchy cookie that I prefer over the soft and it may be that the only way to get that texture is to roll.....

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This is my first year of making more than 1-2 cookies for the holidays. It's been fun. It's also given me a new appreciation for all the effort all the cookie bakers have made over the years. Here is my list so far:

Richard Sax's Oatmeal Ginger Shortbread (super easy very tasty and addicitive)

Richard Sax's Pecan Puffs (aka Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes,etc.--a really light as air version of the famous cookie. There are no eggs or vanilla, just flour, sugar, butter, pecans, and pwdr sugar. Really good). I am not familiar with Sables, but the recipes look similar--what is the difference?

Maida Heatter's Pecan Passion (brownie bottom with caramel pecan on top. I made these for my "keep out of the kitchen for I am the best of all baker's" aunt, and she called asking for the recipe)

Gourmet Magazine's brown butter cookies -- nice, but not equal to the incredible buildup in the magazine. Did I do something wrong?

Best of Gourmet Capuccinno Brownies.

I am avoiding rolled cookies, for the hassle factor. But the downside is that bars and rolls have a kind of homey look. Normally I prefer the homemade look, but I find myself wanting something beautiful to add to this collection. Any suggestions are more than welcome. I've really enjoyed the thread.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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I'm sure there are ways of dressing up your cookies and bars...hmm for the Pecan Passion, perhaps you could cut the brownies into triangles, glaze them with a chocolate mirror glaze, and then put the caramel pecans on top? (I'm not familiar with the recipe, so I don't know if it will work.)

I think cigarette cookies piped with a filling look elegant. You can dip one end into melted chocolate, and roll them in chopped pistachio.

You could also do mini tarts...Claudia Fleming has a recipe for chocolate caramel tarts on Martha Stewart's website. I remember seeing her make them on Martha's show and they were quite elegant. Claudia said she served them at her wedding.

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Richard Sax's Pecan Puffs (aka Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes,etc.--a really light as air version of the famous cookie.  There are no eggs or vanilla, just flour, sugar, butter, pecans, and pwdr sugar.  Really good).  I am not familiar with Sables, but the recipes look similar--what is the difference?

Oops, missed this the first time around.

As far as I know, pecan sables are just another name for Mexican wedding cookies (but any type of nuts can be used for these, correct?) I love pecans, but I imagine my favourite nut--cashew--would be really good as well! :smile:

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Some friends and I are getting together this Sunday for a Christmas Cookie Collective. Now, since I bake a great deal throughout the year, I was aiming to bake some non-traditional cookies with unusual flavors.

Here are the cookies I intend to contribute:

Green tea shortbread with green tea glaze

Vanilla thumbprint cookies with different fillings (lime curd, lemon curd, jams)

Korova cookies (always delicious, especially with Maldon salt!)

Chocolate-dipped pistachio and cardamom cookies

Any other suggestions?

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Some friends and I are getting together this Sunday for a Christmas Cookie Collective. Now, since I bake a great deal throughout the year, I was aiming to bake some non-traditional cookies with unusual flavors.

Here are the cookies I intend to contribute:

Green tea shortbread with green tea glaze

Vanilla thumbprint cookies with different fillings (lime curd, lemon curd, jams)

Korova cookies (always delicious, especially with Maldon salt!)

Chocolate-dipped pistachio and cardamom cookies

Any other suggestions?

The green tea ones sound intriguing! I've been eyeing the earl grey truffles on Epicurious.

I'm making:

lemon drop wafer cookies (requested by my grandma)

spiced sugar cookies (requested by my brother)

raspberry jam thumbprints (requested by my aunt)

mixed nut spiced toffee

rugelach with pecans instead of walnuts

my great grandma's butter cookies

I'm thinking I need a chocolate nut-less cookie to round things out. Any ideas?

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Based on recommendations here, I was planning to bake the Korova cookies and mail them along with other cookies.

According to Leite's site, however, they keep in an airtight container only three days! :shock:

Can anyone tell me what I want to hear? You've had them out and around for a week and no one got sick? Nothing green grew on the surface?

Or should I abandon plans?

I wanted to make at least one non-traditional very chocolate cookie....

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I have a freezing question. I'd like to get started on some cookies for Christmas Eve, like brown sugar shortbread & spritz. Would it be better to freeze the cookie dough or the baked cookies?

I've never tried this before because our freezer was marginal but this year we have a new refrigerator with a splendid freezer.

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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