Thursday, 13 December 2012

2000 - Cookie Crazy

I think I finished this year's baking on Sunday, Nov. 26 (unless I make some coffee-flavored cookies for Neil before he gets here Thursday from England). The Moravian Spice Cookies urned out really nice. They were a lot different from anything I've ever baked. I came up with about 18 dozen very thin cookies. Their aroma alone was worth all the effort.

Rolling the dough was a bit tricky for me. It kept tearing at the edges. And, as I said previously, Mom insisted on keeping the "scraps" to put on her ice cream. I baked them for 10 minutes total, instead of 14 as Martha advised.

Then I went ahead and made Dunkable Brownies, which are always fantastic (unless you mix together the wrong recipe, like I did earlier in the week!). A double batch produced about seven dozen of these glorious mounds. They are super good and very easy to make. I started today at noon and finished at 7:30 at night. This could be my last U.S. baking session but, since I'm pregnant this year, Mom decided to make a contribution. She was only going to make some PeeBees and some Coconut Macaroons but she went cookie crazy too! We'll need to set out two cookie trays to showcase everything.

She started with Peanut Butter Criss-Cross Cookies, using Grandma Baker's recipe. (Though she'll say she actually started the baking season with Pumpkin Bread.) She made four dozen medium-sized goldies that are dee-lish. I'll be using this recipe from now on (instead of "Joy of Cooking's") because they have a superior texture.

Next, she made Lemon-Honey Drop Cookies - except she converted it to orange. She got the recipe from the December issue of "Cooking Light" magazine. Also, she used orange marmalade in the glaze instead of orange zest. Yield: six dozen, and proclaimed a tasty success.

On the same day, she made Raspberry Strippers from the same magazine. However, we agreed that even though they came from "Cooking Light," there was not much light about either recipe. "These were so easy," se said. "You just divide the dough and roll it out into logs then use the handle of a wooden spoon to make long dents along each log to fill with jam." You get about two dozen per batch, so she doubled the recipe. Also, she used strawberry-rhubarb preserves (you could use any kind you want). They're worth making again.

Then Mom came down with the flu and couldn't bake or do much else for about a week, poor thing. When she recovered, she made Pineapple Cookies (maybe from Aunt Judy's recipe box, she said). She had to add extra flour because she found the dough to be more like batter. She glazed them with an icing made with confectioner's sugar, pineapple juice, brown sugar and maraschino cherries. I didn't much like them but I'll save the recipe, just in case. She wound up with nearly four dozen.

She made quite a contribution and our first tray, which we set out tonight (Dec. 8), looks very tempting and delicious. It also included some Sugar Cookies that Lisa baked. She started making bells and trees but switched to simple rounds when the dough wouldn't cooperate. She used only white frosting but a variety of colored sprinkles. They were just as good as always.

Parchment paper was my greatest discovery this year. The silpat is OK, especially for the Moravians, but the paper made everything SO much easier.

Lisa wrote this year:

Magic Cookie Bars are a magically easy creation. Three 13 x 9-inch pans (one for you, one for me, one for the Meijer HBC Christmas Party).

Festive Fudge - So easy to prepare but my arm and shoulder still hurt from the stirring. Yield: two 8-inch pans=4 pounds. [This link is an Eagle Brand PDF recipe book; it includes the Magic Cookie Bars, above, and many other recipes worth perusing.]

German Chocolate Cake Cookies- Made using a dry cake mix. Easy but so messy in a chocolate-y way! Yield: four dozen.

Coconut Macaroons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 egg whites
3/4 c sugar
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 pkg (7 oz.) shredded, sweetened coconut

Line 2 cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper.

In medium bowl, mix egg whites, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add flour and stir until well blended. Fold in coconut.

Drop by teaspoonfuls about 1-inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 15-20 minutes until edges are light brown. Cook on cookie sheets. Peel foil/paper from cookies. Makes about 28 cookies.

Grandma Baker's Criss-Cross Cookies

1 c peanut butter
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

In mixer bowl, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add sugars gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. Stir in flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Chill dough, at least one hour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. 

Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

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