December 18: Meringue Cookies

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I had a little help making these.

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Larry Potter–now a fully grown 13 year-old man-boy–wanted to make some cookies unassisted. The four egg whites needed to make this recipe turned into about 8, due to some mistakes in de-yolking. But he finally did it.When the egg whites were whipped, he added the rest of the ingredients and left. It’s okay. I told him to. The next step involved a pastry bag, and I make a big enough mess as it is.

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Now, here’s the awful truth: it’s nearly impossible to make meringue cookies in 100% humidity. They need to be whipped and dried, and the barometric pressure just doesn’t care. Even still, we (or at this point, I) forged on. About 15 minutes later (WAY longer than it should have taken), my mixture was stiff enough to pipe on to cookie sheets.

The recipe says to leave them out at room temperature. That was not going to happen.

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Even for Louisiana, it’s a weird and too warm Christmas. I put the trays in the oven at 200 and checked on them frequently. After about 20 minutes, I had some cookies.

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Snowflake Meringue Cookies
(from The Spirit of Christmas Cookbook, Volume 4)

Ingredients:

4 egg whites
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. almond extract
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cream of tartar
decorating sugar

Directions:

1. Cover baking sheets with waxed paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add powdered sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, and cream of tartar; beat until very stiff.
3. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Make snowflake design. Add decorating sugars.
4. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

December 17: Gingerbread Wookie Cookies

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There’s a fad on FB (and probably other forms of social media and internet-ing) where someone takes a recipe and does a fast-action shoot of it. They’re interesting. I’ve never made a recipe from a video like that. But that all changed.

This fast little video amused me so much, I had to try it.

Because the video already exists (and in viral form), I decided not to take pictures of the actual making of the dough. That, and I forgot. But here’s when I took it out of the fridge to start cutting out my wookies.

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I did what I was supposed to…stretch out the gingerbread men. I found that starting with the legs one at a time was easier, but as the dough warmed, I could stretch them head first. (This kinda sounds like a mafia how-to.)

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I pricked them with a butter knife and baked them for 10 minutes at 350. Every time I pulled a batch out of the oven, I just laughed. I was baking Wookies!

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When it came time to decorate them, I lined them up like playing cards and went to town. Melted chocolate chips makes for a good medium.

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Insert Chewbacca roar.

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And, in case you are wondering, they are delightfully Chewie. 😉

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Gingerbread Wookie Cookies

(from http://www.buzzfeed.com)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Once dough begins to form a ball in the center, dust generously with flour. Separate into three sections to make rolling easier. Cover dough with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Dust a smooth surface with flour, and roll out a section of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter, or a knife to slice out your Wookiees.

Wookiees are tall, so you may want to stretch out the head and feet! Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and score the cookie’s surface to look like fur.

Bake at 350˚F/180˚C for 10-12 min. Your Wookiees will puff up quickly! Next, with melted chocolate in a piping bag, add the bandolier, eyes and nose.