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Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

French Macarons

French Macarons

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
Assorted fillings (see below)
Special Equipment:
Oven with convection setting
4 baking sheets
3 silicone baking mats
Fine-mesh sieve
Pastry bag with 1/4-inch round tip

Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.

Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.

Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.

Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).

Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Almond-Raspberry:
Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you’ll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate:
Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake:
Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavendar-Honey:
Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple:
Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.

Recipe found here: French Macrons

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Soft Raisin Cookies

Soft Raisin Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup water
2 cups raisins
1 cup shortening
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Combine water and raisins in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes; remove from the heat and let cool (do not drain).

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen.

Soft Raisin Cookies

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Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding mix
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Combine the flour, pudding mixes, ginger, baking powder and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Decorate as desired. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

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Italian Rainbow Cookies

Italian Rainbow Cookies

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3-1/2 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 to 8 drops red food coloring
6 to 8 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

GLAZE:
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar 2-3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add almond paste; mix well. Gradually add flour, butter, salt and extract.

Divide batter into thirds. Tint one portion red and one portion green; leave remaining portion plain. Spread one portion into each of three well-greased 11×7-in. baking dishes.

Bake 7-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges begins to brown. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Place red layer on waxed paper; spread with 2 tablespoons jam. Top with plain layer and remaining jam. Add green layer; press down gently.
For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread half over green layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set. Turn over; spread remaining glaze over red layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set.

With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut rectangle lengthwise into fourths. Cut each portion into 1/4-in. slices. Yield: 11 dozen.

Recipe found here: Italian Rainbow Cookies

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Santa Claus Cookies

Santa Claus Cookies

Ingredients
12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 package (1 pound) Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
Red colored sugar
32 vanilla or white chips
64 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
32 red-hot candies

Directions
In a microwave, melt white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wire racks. For Santa’s hat, sprinkle red sugar on top part of chocolate. Press one vanilla chip off-center on hat for pompom; let stand until set.

Dip other end of each cookie into melted chocolate for beard, leaving center of cookie uncovered. Place on wire racks. With a dab of melted chocolate, attach semisweet chips for eyes and a red-hot for nose. Place on waxed paper until set. Yield: 32 cookies.

Recipe found here: Santa Claus Cookies

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Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian Christmas Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

FROSTING:
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Colored sprinkles

Directions
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ricotta and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a large bowl, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies and immediately decorate with sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8-1/2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Italian Christmas Cookies

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Grandma Brubaker's Orange Cookies

Grandma Brubaker’s Orange Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
Juice and peel of 2 medium navel oranges

ICING:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Directions
In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg yolks and buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; add alternately with orange juice and peel to creamed mixture. Add egg whites and beat until smooth.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes.

For icing, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost cookies when cool. Yield: about 6 dozen.

Recipe found here: Grandma Brubaker’s Orange Cookies

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