Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peppermint Biscotti

Peppermint Biscotti

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candies

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in peppermint candy. Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff).

Divide dough in half.
On an ungreased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 2-1/2-in. rectangle.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm.

Remove to wire racks to cool. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over biscotti; sprinkle with candy. Place on waxed paper until set.

Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

12 days of Christmas cookies Day 9: Italian Anise Cookies

These cookies remind me of Christmas at my Grandma's house, these were always on a cookie platter that one of her friends would bring over along with the home made chocolates and peanut butter cups.

Italian Anise Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons anise extract (or almond extract)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may need up to 3 cups)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2-3 tablespoons milk


2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon anise extract
food coloring
decorative candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract.

Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in your mixer, then add 1 T. milk. Add another third of the flour and another 1 T. milk. Finally, mix in enough of the remaining flour until your dough is like a brownie batter (it should be softer than a drop cookie dough).

Use a 1 T. cookie scooper to make simple round drop cookies - use wet fingers to pat any rough edges OR for an Easter-Egg look, roll 1 T. dough into an elongated ball.

Bake cookies 10-12 minutes (they won't be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like).

For icing: mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze.

HINT: When I make the icing, I make it thick but then I microwave it for 10 seconds so it is thin enough for dipping. Also, I like to divide the mixture in thirds, and then add ONE DROP of food coloring to each batch.

Hold cookie in your hand and turn upside down so you can dip the top half in the glaze; turn over and immediately top with sprinkles so they will stick.

Allow icing to harden overnight; then store in air-tight containers or freeze.

Monday, December 14, 2009

12 days of Christmas cookies Day 8: Thumbprint Cookies

I was a bit of a slacker over the weekend when it came down to blog posting, Christmas Shopping, Futon building (then taking apart because there was a broken piece, hauling it back to Ikea and building yet another, more complicated better one) took my WHOLE weekend up.

But have no fear (LOL) I’ve got more cookie recipes coming up for the last couple of days here.

Thumbprint cookies:

1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
jam or fruit preserves

Lightly toast then cool nuts; chop until very fine and set aside ~ If using a food processor for chopping, allow nuts to cool very thoroughly before chopping them in order to avoid turning them into a paste.

Cream butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until extra light-colored and fluffy; stir in vanilla.

Whisk together dry ingredients; add gradually to butter mixture, stirring just until (do not overmix) dough comes together; stir in chopped nuts.

Chill dough if it seems too soft.

Form dough into 1 1/4" balls and place onto parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheets; indent the top of each ball of dough with your fingertip or with the dampened end of a wooden spoon.
Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden-brown at the edges; remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar; fill each indentation with a bit of jam or fruit preserves ~ I like to use red raspberry preserves.

NOTES: Yield becomes 60 cookies when dough is formed into 1" dough balls. And any type of toasted and chopped nuts may be substituted for the almonds.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, day 7 Drop Sugar Cookies

When you want sugar cookies but you're not in the mood to roll & cut the dough, don't have the time or you want to just decorate some sugar cookies with the little ones, this is the recipe you're going to go for over and over again.

Drop Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup Crisco

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift dry ingredients, all except sugar, together.

Cream margarine, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla.

Beat in dry ingredients until smooth.

Blend in milk.

Drop by tablespoon about 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, day 6 Florentine Lace cookies

These are always a hit, they're delicate and fairly easy to make, they bake up quickly and if you work fast enough you can mold them into curls, cones or by placing over a small fingertip bowl you can make little cookie bowls. These cookies can be left plain or sandwiched together with chocolate.

Florentine Lace cookies

Dough 2/3 cup butter
2 cups quick oats, uncooked
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in medium saucepan.

Remove from heat.

Stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well.

Cover cookie sheets with foil.

Place small drops (about 1 teaspoon) of batter onto the foil. Leave about 3 inches between cookies. Using a spatula, flatten each drop and mold into a flat round shape using the sides of the spatula. Warning: these cookies will expand horizontally a lot! Make sure you leave plenty of room between cookies.

Bake for approximately 7 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Let each sheet of cookies cool completely, approximately 15 minutes.

Peel foil away from cookies.

For the filling, combine chocolate, cream and vanilla and melt over a double boiler until completely blended.

To assemble, spread a layer of chocolate on the flat, shiny side of each cookie. Pair the cookie with alternate cookie of equal size and press together. Allow assembled cookies to cool completely.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Congrats to @jerseygirl137 who is the winner of the Kraft Foods gift basket! I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12 days of cookies, Day 5: Mexican Chocolate Cherry Cookies

This recipe makes 5 dozen cookies, They're unbelievably good and you can freeze the dough with no problems at all.

Mexican Chocolate Cherry Cookies

2¾ hours | 2½ hours prep

SERVES 30 , 2 cookies

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar
60 candied cherries, halved

  1. Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth; cool.
  2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat 1 3/4 cups sugar and butter in large bowl until light.
  4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla and chocolate.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating just until combined.
  6. Chill dough until firm, about 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.
  9. Place powdered sugar in shallow pan.
  10. Form dough into 1-inch balls.
  11. Roll each ball in sugar to coat; shake off excess sugar.
  12. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.
  13. Press 1 cherry half into center of each cookie.
  14. Bake until cookies puff and crack but are still soft, about 10 minutes.
  15. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.
  16. (Cookies can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month.).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12 days of cookies, Day 4: Chocolate Suprise Cookies

I made these for the first time last year and watched my best friend's sister eat almost the whole plate over the course of the day, lol.. they're sooo good!

Chocolate Surprise Cookies

1/2 cup Butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
about 36 semisweet chocolate chunks or miniature kisses

Preheat oven to 350°f. In a large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combines, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer and stir in any remaining flour; knead dough together if necessary.

Shape 1 tsp of the dough into a ball & press a chocolate chunk into the ball and reshape dough into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough and chocolate. Place dough 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, day 3 Rainbow cookies

Rainbow cookies (or Venetians as they are sometimes called) are my #1 favorite cookie Ever.. and after the first time I made them I understood why they are $7.99 a pound at the bakery. They are a LOT of work.. but the results are always so amazing that it is so worth the effort :)

Rainbow cookies

7 ounces almond paste
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup margarine or butter, room temp
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour, Sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 drops green food coloring
15 drops red food coloring
2/3 cup apricot preserves (pressed into a coarse sieve to remove any large pieces of fruit)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening


1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 3 8"x8" metal baking pans. After greasing, line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, smoothing the paper down onto the pan. Grease the tops of the parchment paper and then flour the pans. Put aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, Beat together on medium-high speed the Almond Paste, Sugar, Almond Extract and butter until well blended. (there might be some small lumps of Almond Paste remaining and that's fine.).

4. Reduce speed to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time until blended.

5. Reduce speed to low and then add the flour and salt slowly to the mixture until combined.

6. Take two small bowls and add 1 rounded cup of batter into each bowl. (there should be another rounded cup of batter still in the original mixing bowl.).

7. Add 15 drops of red food color to one bowl and 15 drops of green food color to the other. Stir each bowl until evenly blended with color.

8. Spoon the untinted batter into one pan. With metal spatula spread batter evenly (layer will be about 1/4 inch thick). Repeat with red batter in second pan and green batter in remaining pan.

9. Bake until set and toothpick inserted in center of layers comes out clean. 10-12 minutes.

10. Cool in pans on wire rack about ½ hour. Cake should be cool to the touch.

11. Run tip of knife around side of pans to loosen layers.

12. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface that will be able to fit in refrigerator.

13. Take the green layer and flip over pan onto parchment paper. Gently pull off the parchment paper. Spread 1/3 cup of apricot preserves onto the green layer.

14. Take the untinted layer and remove from pan. Place it onto the green layer with the wax paper side up. Press down gently and then remove the parchment paper.

15. Spread remaining 1/3 cup of Apricot preserves onto the untinted layer.

16. take the remaining red layer and remove from pan and place upon the white layer again with the parchment side up. Press down gently and remove the parchment.

17. In a 1 quart saucepan, heat chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted.

18. Spread melted chocolate mixture on top of the red layer evenly. Do not put mixture on sides.

19. refrigerate until chocolate is firm, at least 1 hour. (at this point, if you want, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving).

To serve, with a large sharp knife, trim about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cut the stacked layers into 6 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. You will get 36 square cookies from this.

Place the cookies in a single layer in a waxed paper lined container. They can be refrigerated for up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. These cookies must be kept in the fridge.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, day 2 Ginger cookies

I made an army of gingerbread kids last night and these cookies are So good!

Gingerbread cookies

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger or 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, ginger, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses and egg until combined. Beat in the while wheat flour and as much of the all purpose flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in and remaining all purpose flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350°. On a well floured surface roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 inch thick. Using cookie cutters cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decorate.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, day 1 Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Since I baked so many cookies for Thanksgiving (I didn't cook for the first time in years, I had to bring something, lol) I wanted to share some of the awesome cookie recipes that I have here in my cookie arsenal, lol... sure to please, easy and, oh yea, absolutely Delicious! Many of these recipes are Egg Free, I hadn't planned that but it works well for people with allergies.

Cookie#1 Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Makes appx. 48 cookies

1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. baking powder
1/4 Tsp. baking soda
dash salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined; scrape sides of bowl. Beat in sour cream, egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough n half. Cover and chill dough for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375°f. On a well floured durface roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using desired cookie cutters cut out dough, place 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Decorate =o)