Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baker's Delight: Cookies!

'Tis the season of cookies and candy and such, so I'm sharing several cookies recipes that use a variety of techniques!



LEMON BUTTER SPRITZ
(Taste of Home)

2 cups butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Colored sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Using a cookie press fitted with the disk of your choice (I really like my Pampered Chef one!), press dough 1 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Yield: about 12 dozen.



MEXICAN WEDDING CAKES
(This dough is a bit crumbly - press together to form cookies.)

1/4 lb. butter
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar for rolling

Cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and vanilla. Roll small balls of dough and place on cookie sheet to b ake. Bake about 10 min. just before turning brown. Roll immediately into powdered sugar.

Make 1 1/2 - 2 dozen.



BROWN SUGAR ALMOND COOKIES
(Cookies Year-Round)

1/2 c. unblanched almonds
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 10 minutes or until they are colored. Remove the almonds from the oven and turnoff the oven. Cool the almonds slightly, then process in a food processor until very finely chopped.

In the bowl, of an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter, shortening, and both sugars until creamy. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, egg, and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in the flour. Stir in the chopped almonds.

Shape the dough into two 6-7 inch-long rolls. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and unwrap them. With a sharp knife, cute each roll into 30 slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.