cookie recipe

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies

Some cookies are really about the memories for me. I remember making pressed cookies when I was a kid. I loved using the machine to press out dough in all sorts of magical shapes. My mother was so kind- she let me make whatever I wanted. We had one Christmas with a whole plateful of camels. The machine we had required turning a handle- watching carefully, and turning the handle backwards to stop the flow of the dough. There are much easier versions of cookie presses today. Mine has a ratchet which pushes out the right amount of dough with one click. I decided to make some little green trees and red flowers this year. These cookies are light and very crisp. Great for having with coffee. They are also fast to make, once you get used to the cookie press. The fun thing about using a cookie press is that you can crank out a high volume of pretty cookies in no time flat. They taste good, too. I used vanilla extract in the little trees. In the flowers, I added some sweet cherry flavor, which paired well with the vanilla.

 

Spritz Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla*
½ t. salt
2½ c. flour
In mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in vanilla and salt. Tint dough, is desired. Add flour and stir until smooth. Using a cookie press with desired shape press cookies on to ungreased baking sheet. Leave about 1-inch between cookies. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes- cookies should be a light golden color around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

 * You can play around with other flavors. I often add mintextract or a fruit flavor to these cookies.

Chocolate Butter Cookie

Chocolate Butter Cookies

Chocolate Butter Cookies

These delicate little cookies are crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. They have a nice chocolate flavor and are not overly sweet. As an added bonus, they are also easy to make.  This recipe was an experiment. I was so happy with how the cookies turned out, I wanted to share the recipe with you. I rolled the cookies in demerara sugar when they were raw and then baked them. Demerara is a less refined sugar and looks like coarse brown sugar. It gave the cookies a nice sparkly appearance. You can roll the dough in granulated sugar, if you like. You could also bake them plain and decorate with a drizzle of chocolate when cooled.

 

 

Chocolate Butter Cookies

1 c. sugar
1½ c. butter, room temp.
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
¾ c. cocoa

Combine all ingredients, except flour and cocoa, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cocoa and blend well. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool. Makes about 5 dozen.

Decorate with drizzles of melted chocolate or frosting, powdered sugar, sprinkles (apply before baking) or whatever you have on hand. You can also bake the cookies in rounds with an indent in the middle and add a cherry later. I rolled the raw cookies in demerara sugar. It’s a less refined sugar at looks little coarse brown sugar. Gave the cookies a pretty sparkle.

Lemons in the Snow

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

The funny name for these cookies is really easy to explain. The cookies are flavored with both lemon juice and lemon zest in the dough. When nearly cooled, they are rolled in powdered sugar. They end up looking like little snowballs. Yummy, lemon flavored snowballs. The dough also contains finely ground almonds, for extra texture. They are a delicate, cake like cookie, with a slightly crisp outside. You could also add a little grated lemon peel to the powdered sugar, before rolling the cookies in it, for a more intense lemon flavor.

 

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel -or more if you like
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
confectioners’ sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and egg until well blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (cookies will not brown on top). Remove immediately to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Makes 36.

 

Mint Butter Cookies

Mint Butter Cookies

Mint Butter Cookies

These cookies can be made with fresh or dried mint. You could use frozen mint as well. They have a delicate, almost cake-like texture. The mint adds a subtle flavor. I used a little vanilla extract- lemon works nicely, too.

I did a talk on herbs yesterday for the Richmond Heights Garden Club. As part of the program, I wanted to bake something for them with herbs. When I scheduled this program month ago, I never anticipated have fresh mint in the garden in mid-November. The big stand of mint inspired me to make these cookies. The ladies loved them, and I promised to share the recipe.

 

 

Mint Butter Cookies

1 c. butter

½ c. sugar

½ c. brown sugar

1 egg

1-t. vanilla extract- you could also use lemon

2 ¼ c. flour

¼ c. dried mint leaves or ¾ c. loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped fine

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cream of tartar

¼ t. salt

 

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and extract. Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed. Chill dough 30 minutes. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet 2- inches apart. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.

 

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

These cookies have a great lemon flavor and delicate texture. They are also easy to make. These are a slice and bake cookie. That means you make the dough, form into a roll, and chill. Now you can just slice and bake when you have the time. I sometimes make a batch and freeze them- so I can make fresh cookies whenever I like.

Lemon Meltaways

Dough:
1 ¼ c. flour
¾ c. butter, softened
½ c. cornstarch
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. grated lemon peel
Frosting:
¾ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. grated lemon peel

In large bowl combine all dough ingredients and mix well. Divide dough in half and roll each half into an 8- inch roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, 1-2 hours. Slice chilled dough into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes, or until cookies are set, but not brown. Cool completely on a rack. Combine frosting ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cookies. Makes 4 dozen.

 

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

I remember making pressed cookies when I was a kid. I loved using the machine to press out dough in all sorts of magical shapes. My mother was so kind- she let me make whatever I wanted. We had one Christmas with a whole plateful of camels. The machine we had required turning a handle- watching carefully, and turning the handle backwards to stop the flow of the dough. There are much easier versions of cookie presses today. Mine has a ratchet which pushes out the right amount of dough with one click. I decided to make some little green trees and red flowers this year. These cookies are light and very crisp. Great for having with coffee. They are also fast to make, once you get used to the cookie press. The fun thing about using a cookie press is that you can crank out a high volume of pretty cookies in no time flat. They taste good, too.

 

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
½ t. salt
2½ c. flour
In mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in vanilla and salt. Tint dough, is desired. Add flour and stir until smooth. Using a cookie press with desired shape press cookies on to ungreased baking sheet. Leave about 1-inch between cookies. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes- cookies should be a light golden color around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Russian Teacakes

Russian Teacakes

Russian Teacakes

I had a conversation with a childhood friend recently about these cookies. She remembered that my Mom used to make them and she wondered if I still did. I still do make them. Wouldn’t seem like Christmas without them. Russian Teacakes, also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes are a delicate nut filled shortbread cookie coated in powdered sugar. The magic is created when the cookies, hot from the oven, are rolled in powdered sugar. Once cooled they are dusted with more powdered sugar. Whether you call them Russian Teacakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, or as another friend always refers to them, butter balls, these cookies are a must for your holiday cookie baking.

 

 

Russian Teacakes

1 c. butter
½ c. powdered sugar, plus extra for coating
1 t. vanilla
2 ¼ c. flour
¼ t. salt
¾ c. finely chopped nuts, nearly ground

Mix butter, ½ cup sugar and vanilla well. Stir flour and salt together and then add to butter mixture. Mix well and stir in nuts. Wrap dough and chill. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be lightly browned on the bottom. While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar. Dust again with sugar once cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.

Easy Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Trees

Sugar Cookie Trees

These are a classic and always part of my holiday cookie baking. I change the shapes for the different holidays. I will confess to having an enormous assortment of cookie cutters.  This time of year I am making trees, stars, snowmen and more. I use royal icing to frost them and an assortment of sprinkles and other candies. Royal icing is made with egg whites, powdered egg whites, actually. The advantage over say, a butter cream, is that this frosting hardens, making the cookies easy to pack and stack. You don’t need much- just a thin layer and tinting the frosting different colors is a big part of the fun. Depending on how much time you have, you can get really creative with decorating these cookies.

 

Easy Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. milk
Extra sugar for sprinkling, if desired
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Beat in milk. Heat oven to 375-degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/3- inch thickness. Cut out with lightly floured cutters and sprinkle with sugar or colored sugar if you like and if you are not going to frost them. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.
Decorating your cookies:
You can use tube of pre-made frosting or you can tint canned frosting, however the best way is to use royal icing. Because royal icing contains egg whites it gets hard. Cookies have a smooth appearance and can be stacked. When making royal icing ALWAYS USE PASTUERIZED EGG WHITES OR POWDERED EGGS WHITES TO PREVENT SAMONELLA.
You can also use colored sugar and sprinkles and mini chocolate chips for eyes.

Royal Icing
1 lb. powdered sugar
½ t. cream of tartar
5¼ t. egg white powder
6 T. water
½ t. vanilla, optional
Assorted food colorings
In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add water and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Divide into small bowls and tint each batch as needed. Keep bowl covered with a damp towel while waiting to use so frosting will not dry out.

Chocolate Butter Cookies

Chocolate Butter Cookies

Chocolate Butter Cookies

These delicate little cookies are crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. They have a nice chocolate flavor and are not overly sweet. As an added bonus they are also easy to make.  I tweaked another recipe and ended up with a cookie I like even better. Since I was happy with how they turned out I wanted to share the recipe with you. I rolled the cookies in demerara sugar when they were raw and then baked them. Demerara is a less refined sugar and looks like coarse brown sugar. It gave the cookies a nice sparkly appearance. You could also bake them plain and decorate with a drizzle of chocolate when cooled.

 

Chocolate Butter Cookies

1 c. sugar
1½ c. butter, room temp.
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
¾ c. cocoa

Combine all ingredients, except flour and cocoa, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cocoa and blend well. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool. Makes about 5 dozen.

Decorate with drizzles of melted chocolate or frosting, powdered sugar, sprinkles (apply before baking) or whatever you have on hand. You can also bake the cookies in rounds with an indent in the middle and add a cherry later. I rolled the raw cookies in demerara sugar. It’s a less refined sugar at looks little coarse brown sugar. Gave the cookies a pretty sparkle.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

It is the time of year when a lot of people are baking cookies. I thought I would share one of my favorite cookie recipes with you. These little cookies are delicate and full of flavor. I will admit to being a big fan of shortbread cookies. These are enhanced with mini chocolate chips and just melt in your mouth.  I’ll be posting cookie recipes for the next couple of weeks so keep looking for more.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

1 c. butter (no substitutions), softened
½ c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
¼ c. cornstarch
½ c. mini chocolate chips
2-3 T. granulated sugar
With electric mixer beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour and cornstarch and then stir in chips. Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pour granulated sugar on a small plate and dip bottom of drinking glass into the sugar and use this to gently flatten down the cookies. Press small indent in each cookie with a teaspoon. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies start to brown on the bottom. Cool on sheets 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Makes about 3 ½ dozen.

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