Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookies!!! Part One

Wow - my third post today!!! Did I mention we've been super busy?!! I've been checking my email on my smartphone and also reading the blogs I follow on my phone, but otherwise, I've been in the kitchen! I turned my computer on yesterday, planning to write a post, but somehow I never made it back to the computer and dad ended up checking his email & shutting it down!

In addition to some super fun gift shopping excursions over the weekend (yes, sarcasm; neither SP nor I enjoy shopping much, especially this time of year and especially not in Robinson), we made 5 kinds of cookies! Cookie baking 2010 got off to a shaky start Saturday evening, but we rallied on Sunday and of the first 5 cookies, only one is not very tasty, dare I say a complete failure???

In no particular order, I present the first five Christmas Cookies of 2010:

Chocolate Dipped Crescents
You've probably seen these tasty cookies on the blog before. We made them last Christmas. These are always requested by my mom, and with good reason.Despite my usual annoyance at being the one who always has to shape all 4-5 dozen crescents and the time consuming nature of these (making the dough, shaping the cookies, baking, cooling, melting chocolate and then dipping the crescents in the melted chocolate, cooling in the refrigerator to set the chocolate, and finally sprinkling with powdered sugar) they are definitely worth the effort.
Citrus Shortbread
These are a NEW COOKIE this year! In the past, we've made an Orange-Chocolate Shortbread Cookie, but that recipe makes only 2 dozen cookies, so when I saw this Citrus Shortbread recipe in one of the Food Network Christmas Cookie emails, I thought they would be a good addition to the cookie tray.We love citrus. We love shortbread. These are easy bar cookies. What's not to like? We grated our clementines and then snacked on the bald clementines while we baked.I'm not sure SP really made a 'decorative pattern' with the fork tines, but we cut ours a bit smaller so I guess it doesn't much matter!Mmmm yum! Definitely shortbread-y. Nice citrus flavor, though next time I might add a bit more zest since I love citrus. Our only 'mishap:' when SP cut the dough into bars before baking, he accidentally scored the underlying parchment paper as well. So when we tried to lift out the cookies, the whole thing fell apart because the parchment was in tatters and couldn't support the cookie bars. We inverted it onto a wire cooling rack and peeled off the parchment tatters, but an awful lot of crumbs flew all over the kitchen since shortbread is crumbly. Oops. Next time, we would be more careful with our cutting before baking!
Sugar Cut Out Cookies
Another ever present cookie on the Christmas Cookie Tray. This is a very old recipe, from the 1970's, and uses equal parts shortening & butter. I still use my mom's star and bell cutters that my grandma gave her when she got married and yes, we still decorate the tree cookies with green sugar, a star on top, and colored non-pareils for ornaments.We use this recipe year round, like when I want to use my frog/elephant/teapot/bunny cookie cutters. And again, we've blogged about these before, here for last Christmas and here for July 2009.
Spice Spritz Cookies
SP's Christmas Cookie tradition is to make spritz cookies. His family has a vanilla spritz cookie recipe they use. It makes A LOT of cookies. But since we make the Sugar Cut Out Cookies, we decided to use the Spice Spritz recipe for this year's holiday spritz cookies so that we wouldn't have two of the same flavor cookies. Yes, again with the decorating! At first I thought SP was crazy and making things way too tedious and time consuming, but I gave in and now if I don't do the whole sugar/star/ornament thing, the Christamas tree cookies look wrong!This is the same recipe we used ths past Halloween to make spritz cookies with the pumpkin press.
Candy Cane Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies. Dad's favorite. He requests them every year. Grandma's recipe. It uses only shortening, no butter. It does not use any kind of mint flavoring. Another very old family recipe. I think I dislike making these more than I dislike making the Chocolate Dipped Crescent Cookies.

These did not turn out tasty. This year we thought we'd be oh so clever and tint the normally untinted dough green to make green & red candy canes because in years past, the tinted dough was always easier than the untinted dough to roll into ropes. I don't think the green tint was the problem. I think the ropes were rolled too thin, resulting in thinner than normal candy canes, which resulted in burnt candy canes:Oops. There was a lot of breakage when we took them off the cookie trays to cool. How about a close up of those awesomely burnt, super crispy, ready to break your teeth cookies:Some turned out OK, as in not totally black/burnt, but are still too crispy. I feel terrible. Dad loves these, they were the first cookies we made this year, and they are a huge FAIL. I refuse to eat them - too hard for me. When they are thicker, they are softer and tastier. We need to remember to roll the ropes thicker.

I guess there's always next year, although every year I swear I'll never make them again, but SP always laughs at me and reminds me that I will so make them again because they are my daddy's favorites.

Last year's Candy Cane Cookie baking here. So there you have it: the first 5 cookie of Christmas. More to come, as soon as I dig out from under the flour and dough and other cookie debris littering the kitchen!

1 comment:

  1. You guys bake your cookies at the perfect time, I remember from last year!

    I will say, that by the time I was done baking last week, I felt like the flour, sugar, eggs crept out of the kitchen!

    Happy Holidays!