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I'm about to start the big Christmas bake for cookies to send to my relatives.
These are Sandies (also called Mexican Wedding Cakes), but they are listed in my ancient hand-written cookbook as "David Cookies" because they were the favorites of my friend David. We once went to a high school dance together, I should post a picture for the next throwback Thursday.

Sandies (I tried to put this under a cut, but the new interface is confusing!)
1 c butter
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
1 c pecans (chopped)
Mix all (use hands or a wee bit more water as necessary). Chill dough 3-4 hours. Form into balls. Bake 325F on cookie sheet about 20 mins. Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar.
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I managed to finish the Big Christmas Bake early this year, so my house is almost back to normal. Of this year's cookies, my favorite was the Brown Butter Salty Sugar cookies. And a well-deserved shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] kiria_dk for her peanut-butter and jelly cookies. They are really good, and I’m sure my mother-in-law is going to love them.
I am completely behind on everything else Christmas-related, but I am really looking forward to the holiday closure at work. Hopefully the weather will be not-freezing enough to get some cleaning done out in the garden.
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Orange Chocolate chip cookies, based on “Vanilla & Chocolate Rocks” from the King Arthur Flour website.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 tesp vanilla extract

1 tesp orange extract

2 Tbl candied orange peel

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tesp baking powder

1/2 tesp salt

2-4 bars of Lindt's Excellence Intense Orange chocolate bars

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment. Prepare cooling racks.

Chop the candy bars into small (chip-sized) pieces with a heavy knife.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add sugar and microwave for another 30 seconds or until the mixture is hot and syrupy. Cool slightly and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the egg, extracts and candied orange peel (chopped if necessary) and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix gently. Add the chopped chocolate and mix just to combine.

Roll 1 Tbl of dough at a time into a roundish-shapes and place 2 inches apart on prepared cooky sheets. Bake in middle rack of oven about 9 minutes. If your oven has hotspots, rotate at the 4 minute mark. If using two baking sheets in one oven, trade places from top to bottom at the 4 minute mark.

When done, cool cookies on pans then remove gently from baking sheets, or place entire sheet of parchment on cooling racks.

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I must admit, christmas is not my favorite time of year. I don't like the cold or the dark, and like everyone else I know, I don't like the shopping, the enforced workplace parties, or the five pop-song carols that seem to be on constant repeat. What I do like is the annual baking of the christmas cookies, which in a fit of pre-planing I've completed already. I've even mailed them all out, which is good because it's the only way I can stop eating them. This year's winner was the Super Chocolate Cherry Mounds (from Good Housekeeping, December 2004).  You'll need to scroll down a bit to see the posting from Mama Zappa.
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I was skimming through The Straight Dope and found this recipe for Caramel Turtle Cookies. I think I need to make them this weekend. Maybe I'll use a ganche instead of the frosting they recommend.

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I'm starting to think about cookies. Every year I made a bunch of cookies and send them to my family as part of the Christmas booty. Anybody have any new and interesting recipes they 'd like to share?
I prefer to make drop cookies, or sliced "icebox" cookies, as rolling out dough gets more painful every year.

I might try this almond macaroon recipe.  
Makes about 24
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces blanched almonds, toasted and ground to a fine powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil. Beat together the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy and form very stiff peaks. Gently fold in the ground almonds and flour. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on the tips. Slide foil from baking sheets onto wire racks. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently peel foil away from backs of macaroons. Return macaroons to racks to cool.

Or this Low Carb Almond Sugar Cookies from the same site
1-1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup Splenda
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
additional Splenda, for decorating
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Stir together flour and Splenda. Blend in butter, egg and vanilla until well mixed. Form into 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet and flatten each with a fork. Sprinkle with additional Splenda. Bake for 8 minutes or until set but not brown. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet then remove to wire racks to cool.


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[livejournal.com profile] kiria_dk was recently telling me about her Brownies of Win, I promptly and pompously told her that anything made with raisins just had to be better with dried cherries. I finally had an excuse to try her recipe last night and OMG they were good.

Fudge Cherry Brownies, based on recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home (p. 317).
1/2 cup (one stick) salted butter, extra butter for pan
3 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghirardelli's 60%)
1 cup (7.5 oz) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs (I used the last two duck eggs from Rosie and Jed)
1/2 cup King Arthur's unbleached white flour
1/2 cup Dried Pitted Tart Montmorency Cherries 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Butter an 8x8 square baking pan
In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally. When the butter and chocolate have melted, add all remaining ingredients (except cherries)  and beat with an electric mixer until the batter is thoroughly blended and smooth. Add cherries and stir briefly.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the brownies are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and are fudgy in the center. For more cakelike brownies, bake an additional 5 minutes.
GM thought the brownies didn't look done at 20 mins, so we went for the extra five.
Served 4.

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I'm finally done with the baking phase of the Christmas cookie insanity. Tonight I will finishing packing them up, and tomorrow I go to the post office to ship.

My incipient OCD got the better of me, and towards the end I started optimizing cookie production to make sure I had no ingredients left that I wouldn't use in the next month or two. It mostly worked; I have no leftover molasses, peanut butter or oatmeal. To use up the last 1/4 cup of molasses I made a (slightly modified) recipe of crispy ginger snaps from my old red-checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Opening the oven door was the smell of Christmas. Wow! I'm going to send some to my brother.

recipe under the cut )Read more... )
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Last summer, GM and I visited his mom. She gave me several of her and her mom's old cookbooks. In one of them, we found a postcard from mom to grandma, written when mom must have been about ten. She was at camp, and was asking for Chocolate Rocks when she got home. In the 1929 edition of The Wingold Cook Book, we found not one, but TWO recipes for Chocolate Rocks. I thought I'd send some to her for Christmas, so I used the recipe from the more stained page. :)

Chocolate Rocks
Page 69 of The Wingold Cook Book, 3rd ed. (complied by Elfrieda Von Rohr Sauer)
1/2 c melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 squares chocolate, melted
1 1/2 c. Wingold flour
1 tesp baking powder
1 cup nuts, chopped

Mix in order given, drop by spoonfuls onto a greased tin and bake in a medium oven, says the book. Aaaarg!

Chop 2 oz chocolate* into small pieces and melt with 1 stick butter in microwave. Blend in electric mixer, with 8 oz. brown sugar, milk and egg. Mix baking powder into the 6 3/4 oz flour and blend. Chop and stir in nuts**. Put in fridge for 10-20 minutes to cool. Preheat oven to 350. Cover cookie pans in parchment paper.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake in middle rack of oven about 12 minutes. If your oven has hotspots, rotate at the 6 minute mark. If using two baking sheets in one oven, trade places from top to bottom at the 6 minute mark.
When done, cool on sheets for 2 minutes, and then remove the cake-like cookies gently from baking sheets, or place entire sheet of parchment on cooling racks.
Made about 36 cookies.

*Trying to get cookies like my Mama-in-law might remember, I used semi-sweet baking chocolate (54%). In the future, I might try some good 65% chocolate.
**GM suggested walnuts would have been what his grandmother used, but I don't like them, and had a cup of pecans, so I used those.



Edited to add: I also made a modern Chocolate rocks recipe. GM liked them, and said they resemble the ones his grandmother made in texture.
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Last year I failed to make a list of the cookies I wanted to make for the family cookie boxes before I started. In an attempt to not do that this year, here's my lists.

People I need to send cookies to: 1) Mom&Dad, 2) MomInLaw (need new address?), 3) DadInLaw&BiL_Rik,  4) BiL_Peter, 5) BiL_Andrew , 6) BroChas, 7) Grandma, 8) GMGodparents.

This year's list includes: (drops) Toll House Chocolate Chip, Grandma Roger's oatmeal with blueberries, Grandma Roger's Oatmeal with candied orange peel, Spice Drops (vegan), Soft Molasses, Peanut butter crisps, ginger snaps, M&M cookies
(rolls) Refrigerator cookies with hazelnuts and poppy seeds, Orange and cardamom, Almond thins, Swedish ginger thins.
I'd like to make some rolled and cut cookies, but I don't think I'm going to have time.

Krumkake

Apr. 16th, 2009 09:32 am
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GM's paternal grandmother used to send his family cookies every Christmas. GM says he and his brothers got most of the cookies, but his dad kept (some) of the krumkake for himself as they were his favorite. GM got the recipe for me from his Aunt Siggy, and last Tuesday was the first time it worked perfectly. The moon must have been in the right phase, or maybe the humidity was finally not wrong. Or, far more likely, this was the first time I was making krumkake undistracted by the frenzy of the big Christmas bake.

Aunt Siggy's Krumkake recipe
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (unsalted), cooled to room temp
2 eggs
1 c whole milk
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch salt
1 tesp vanilla
(I added a tesp of powdered ginger. Cardamom is also good.)

Beat eggs lightly. Add sugar to eggs and beat until light. Add cooled butter. Mix in vanilla and salt. Mix in 1/2 cup of flour and tesp of ginger, a 1/2 cup of milk, a 1/2 cup of flour, a 1/2 cup of milk, and the last 1/2 cup of flour.
Put mixture in fridge for at least an hour.

I have an electric krumkake iron, which is much easier and less burny than the stove-top version.
Heat iron, put 1 Tbl of batter on each round. Close iron and wait 1 minute and 15 seconds. Open iron, roll krumkake on a wooden spoon handle if desired. Place on cooling racks. Repeat, preferably while watching television.

I'm going to make some M&M cookies tonight, and send them all off to my father-in-law tomorrow.
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I make these every year for one of my brother in law's coworkers who's allergic to either eggs or butter, I can never remember which.
 

This recipe is based on the Sugar and Spice Drops in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. )
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Refrigerator cookies are the kind that you roll the dough into a log (or snake), wrap in waxed paper and out in the ‘fridge to chill. When cold, you slice the log into thin cookies and bake. I find as I get older and my hands are less cooperative about rolling out dough I’m making more and more of this kind of cookies.

 

Danish Sugar Cookies, the favorite of my practically perfect apprentice )

 

Poppyseed and Hazelnut cookies, my mother in law’s favorite )

 

Orange Cardamom Cookies, my new favorite )

 

Grandma Roger’s refrigerator cookies )
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These are the favorite of my sister-in-law. )
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I have a write-in recipe book. It's got one of Boynton's hippos on the cover. As one might expect for a book I've had since I was somewhere in the late single-digits, it's mostly cookie recipes. It is old and faded and stained, making it hard to read. I've put off typing them up, but I think now's the time. Here's the first in a possible series of modern recipes.

When I was about 17, I lost a bet with my boyfriend, Jimmy. I don't recall what the debt was, but as a result of it I owed him a batch of his favorite cookies. I got this recipe for oatmeal cookies from his step-mom's mother, Grandma Rogers. I've made some additions and changes, but I still think of this one as hers.

Grandma Roger’s crisp oatmeal cookies )
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This morning's bag of snails was 22, most of them no bigger than a pencil eraser. And I cleaned the cat box, so I've got a sense of accomplishment already.

I've got a few more batches of cookies to go before I have enough to send the Christmas boxes out. I'm adding a box this year for GM's godparents, so we're at Mom&Dad, MomInLaw, DadInLaw&BiL_Rik, BiL_Peter, BiL_Andrew , BroChas, Grandma, Nana, GMGodparents, so nine boxes. I feel like I'm forgetting someone, but I can't think of who. Hopefully it will come to me.

This year's list includes: Toll House Chocolate Chip, Grandma Roger's oatmeal with blueberries, Grandma Roger's Oatmeal with candied orange peel, Peanut butter crisscrosses, Refrigerator cookies with hazelnuts and poppy seeds, Jam shortbread cookies, Spice Drops (vegan), Soft Molasses, Orange and cardamom (thanks etaine_pommier!), Peanut butter crisps, Tiny chocolate chip with sea salt (thanks sarahbellem!)

I still hope to make Oatmeal with candied ginger, ginger snaps, sugar cookies (or maybe snickerdoodles), and maybe Rik's favorite almonds thins or my Mom's favorite Swedish ginger thins.

I really should have made a list first

GM's company party is tonight. At least it's not a dress-up party like his last company. We're being taken to Strike's in Cupertino for food, bowling and arcade games. I hope it will be fun enough to make up for a missing a night of baking.

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