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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Kolacky plated

In my soon-to-be-released holiday romance, The Christmas Calamity, the heroine of the story is of Polish descent.

The Christmas Calamity Cover

Alex the Amazing is a prestidigitator who knows her way around the kitchen, when she needs to cook.

She bakes a batch of cookies from a recipe her grandmother shared with her. The hero of the tale, Arlan, falls for her cookies almost as much as he does her.

Since the cookies were important in the story, I decided I better bake a batch of Kolacky.

Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, Kolacky are especially popular for Christmas.

Oh, my gracious! These are so, so good. I had to practically beat Captain Cavedweller off with a stick so I could have a few.

Give them a whirl. They weren’t hard to make and are incredibly yummy! Here’s a modern version of a delicious recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

 

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Kolacky

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (3oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup strawberry jam (any flavor works)

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat until fluffy.  Add flour then mix well. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Traditionally, the pastry is cut into squares, but you can use a round biscuit cutter or glass if that’s what you have on hand.

Place pastries two-inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Spoon 1/4 tsp. jam onto each cookie. Fold opposite sides together. If you have trouble getting the sides to stick, dampen the edge with a drop of milk or water.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks and sprinkle liberally with confectioner’s sugar. It is nearly impossible to eat just one!

Yield about 2 dozen.

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Pumpkin cookies 013

I don’t know how I missed this… but I recently came across a recipe for the most moist, delicious, pumpkin cookies. The best part?

Two ingredients.

That’s right – just two ingredients!

If you can open a box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin, you can make these!

I added a drizzle of cream cheese frosting and some toffee bits sprinkles and that was a delectable decision.

Tantalize your taste buds and make these easy cookies today!

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

Mix a can of pumpkin with a spice cake mix.

Mix a can of pumpkin with a spice cake mix.

Blend until thoroughly mixed.

Blend until thoroughly mixed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil when you run out of parchment.)

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil when you run out of parchment.)

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes, until cookies are just set. You don't want to overcook them.

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes, until cookies are just set. You don’t want to overcook them.

Some of the cookies, I topped with a pumpkin marshmallow just before they were done. Yum!

Some of the cookies, I topped with a pumpkin marshmallow just before they were done. Yum!

Remove from oven and let cool, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting (nuke frosting in microwave for 10-12 seconds to reach a pourable stage.)

Remove from oven and let cool, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting (nuke frosting in microwave for 10-12 seconds to reach a pourable stage.)

Top with toffee bits, sprinkles, cinnamon, candied nuts or whatever tickles your fancy.

Top with toffee bits, sprinkles, cinnamon, candied nuts or whatever tickles your fancy.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 box of spice cake mix

1 small can of pumpkin pie filling

1 cup cream cheese frosting

toppings (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cake mix and pumpkin until thoroughly blended.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheet.

Bake about ten minutes, until the cookies are just set but not yet starting to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Warm cream cheese frosting in the microwave for about 12 seconds, until thin enough to pour.

Drizzle over cookies.

Top with toffee bits, cinnamon, sprinkles or candied nuts.

Enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

She Who Loves Pumpkin Treats

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strawberry drop cookies plated

The other day I needed to whip up a batch of cookies and wanted something a little different.

Cake mix cookies are so easy to make and are always so moist, I opted to go with them then added a little strawberry jam for a twist.

It was a very tasty twist, at that.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Mix cake mix, eggs, butter and vanilla extract together until a ball of dough forms.

Mix cake mix, eggs, butter and vanilla extract together until a ball of dough forms.

Drop dough on a cookie sheet, spacing them far enough apart they don't run into each other as they bake. (I lined my pan with parchment because I'm lazy and didn't want to scrape baked on jam off the pan.)

Drop dough on a cookie sheet, spacing them far enough apart they don’t run into each other as they bake. (I lined my pan with parchment because I’m lazy and didn’t want to scrape baked on jam off the pan.)

Create an indent in each drop with your thumb and fill with jam.

Create an indent in each drop with your thumb and fill with jam.

Top with another drop of dough and bake until dough is just set.

Top with another drop of dough and bake until dough is just set.

Immediately dust with sugar then remove from pan and let cool.

Immediately dust with sugar then remove from pan and let cool.

This is what happens when you crowd them in the pan. Give them room to be free!

This is what happens when you crowd them in the pan. Give them room to be free!

Strawberry Drops

1 box vanilla cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cake mix, eggs, butter and extract until it forms a nice ball of dough.

Drop dough by spoonfuls on a baking sheet. Use your thumb to make a little indentation in the middle of each drop, then spoon in a bit of jam (about 1/2 tsp.) Top with another drop of dough.

Bake for about eight minutes, until dough is set but not brown.

Remove from oven and immediately dust with powdered sugar. Place cookies on rack to cool then indulge and enjoy!

She Who Will Make These Again

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Cherry Bars plated

If your sweetheart is a cherry fan (or dessert lover in general) these bars are easy to make and taste so good, especially warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make your sweetie smile and make up a batch for Valentine’s Day.

Cast of cherry bar characters

Cast of cherry bar characters

Cream butter and sugar then add eggs, extracts and mix. Blend in dry ingredients.

Cream butter and sugar then add eggs, extracts and mix. Blend in dry ingredients.

Grease pan and spoon half the dough into the bottom.

Grease pan and spoon half the dough into the bottom.

Spoon in cherries.

Spoon in cherries.

Spread them out to every corner.

Spread them out to every corner.

Top with remaining dough by dropping on top. Don't try to spread. You want blobs and globs.

Top with remaining dough by dropping on top. Don’t try to spread. You want blobs and globs.

While the bars are baking, mix your glaze. Add milk, almond and vanilla extract to powdered sugar.

While the bars are baking, mix your glaze. Add milk, almond and vanilla extract to powdered sugar.

cherry bars glaze

Then when the bars and done and still hot, pour glaze over the top.

Then when the bars and done and still hot, pour glaze over the top.

And try not to eat the whole pan before you can share with the one who makes your heart pitter-patter.

And try not to eat the whole pan before you can share with the one who makes your heart pitter-patter.

Cherry Bars

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. slat

1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling

Glaze

1 cup powered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan. (You can double the recipe and bake in a large 15 x 10 baking pan).

Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and mix. Add extracts and blend then stir in dry ingredients.

Spoon half the dough into the baking pan, pressing down lightly. It will be sticky.

Pour pie filling over the dough and spread out.

Drop remaining dough by the spoonful on top of filling.

Bake for 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Drizzle with the glaze and serve warm. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it even better.

To make the glaze – combine sugar with extracts and milk. It should be very thin and pourable and smell deliciously of almond.

She Who Made Her Sweetheart Happy with These Bars

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If you only make one type of cookie for the holidays, make sure it is sugar cookies. These are so, so yummy!

Most everyone has a favorite cookie recipe and this is one of mine. I make this for Christmas every year and have been seen I was about 17.

I loved to bake when I was a kid and received my first Easy Bake oven when I was 5. That was a great Christmas. I remember whipping up something to give to my grandma who had come to stay with us for the holiday.

Experimenting with recipes was something I did, and still do, enjoy. It was this love of experimenting that led me on a quest for  the best sugar cookie when I was in my early teens. It had to be soft and moist, light and flavorful. After many, many trials and errors, I came up with this recipe that never fails to deliver soft, delicious cookies.

In fact, when I made them last night, Captain Cavedweller wandered in as I was pulling the last tray from the oven. Before I knew what had happened, he inhaled eight of  them, some before they were even frosted. For someone who rarely eats sweets, he was really going to town on them. I had to stand guard over the rest just to get them frosted!

Give them a try and let me know what you think. And hopefully you can get most of them frosted and decorated before they disappear!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies

Cream butter and sugars.

Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice.

Mix together dry ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture.

Chill dough, once mixed, for about an hour.

When you are ready to roll out the dough, make sure your surface is adequately floured. The dough can be a bit sticky.

Cut out your favorite shapes. Mine would be snowflakes!

Pop into the oven and bake until just set – about 6-8 minutes.

Let cookies rest in the pan when you remove from the oven for just a minute before moving to a wire rack to completely cool.

Frost and…

Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of lemon juice

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups flour

Frosting

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix dry ingredients together and gradually add into creamed mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Generously flour a flat surface and your rolling pin. Scoop out half the dough and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. You want to work fairly quickly at this point because the warmer the dough gets the stickier it becomes and you don’t want to add more flour. Cut into shapes and bake about 6-8 minutes or until cookies are just set. You do not want them to get brown at all. Cool in pan for one minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate then watch them disappear.

You can use a royal icing if you are of a mind to stir up a batch or, if you are a lazy slug like me, I whip out a can of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and frost away. I also like to use decorator gels, especially the sparkly variety, along with sprinkles!

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Carmelitas plated

Captain Cavedweller made some random mention of oatmeal cookies the other day so I made these (which was not what he had in mind, but exeptionally yummy, nonetheless).

These came together quickly, were easy to make, and I had everything I needed on hand to make them (bonus points!).

Ingredients for Oatmeal Carmelitas

Ingredients for Oatmeal Carmelitas

Start with oatmeal and flour, blending the two together.

Start with oatmeal and flour, blending the two together.

Add in butter and baking soda until well combined.

Add in butter and baking soda until well combined.

 

Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees

Sprinkle on chocolate chips.

Sprinkle on chocolate chips.

Cover chips with caramel topping and sprinkle on some sea salt. Crumble remaining crust over the top and bake at 350 degrees for bake for 15 minutes.

Cover chips with caramel topping and sprinkle on some sea salt. Crumble remaining crust over the top and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool before cutting.

Remove from oven and cool before cutting.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups butter, melted

2 tsp, baking soda

1 cup caramel ice cream topping

1 bag (11 ounce) chocolate chips

1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, butter, and baking soda until well combined and crumbly.

Press half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top crust with chips, caramel sauce and salt.

Crumble on the rest of the crust over the mixture (as evenly as possible) and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and cool before cutting and indulging!

She Who Loves Caramel and Chocolate Goodies

 

 

 

 

 

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This weekend, I finally got around to baking sugar cookies.

I was pretty sure one of us was going to founder on them and it wasn’t me.

Despite the fact Captain Cavedweller isn’t a big sweet eater, there are a few treats that he can’t pass up.

Sugar Cookies are definitely on the short list.

https://entertainingmadesimple.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ta-da.gif

Here is the recipe. These take a little time and effort but it is well worth it!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of lemon juice

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups flour

Frosting

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix dry ingredients together and gradually add into creamed mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Generously flour a flat surface and your rolling pin. Scoop out half the dough and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. You want to work fairly quickly at this point because the warmer the dough gets the stickier it becomes and you don’t want to add more flour. Cut into shapes and bake about 6-8 minutes or until cookies are just set. You do not want them to get brown at all. Cool in pan for one minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate then watch them disappear.

You can use a royal icing if you are of a mind to stir up a batch or, if you are a lazy slug like me, I whip out a can of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and frost away. I also like to use decorator gels, especially the sparkly variety, along with sprinkles!

Here are a few links to some of our other favorites!

Gingerbread Bars

Nut Goodie Bars

Pumpkin Roll

Seven-Layer Bars

25 days 2011

 

 

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