December 4, 2017 — Soft and Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m in the throws of finishing a beast of a paper, so instead of telling you how I made something, I’m just going to post a few pictures and the recipe. It’s that sort of week around here.

The Best Soft & Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies (from thedomesticrebel.com)

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I like to use Madagascar Bourbon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar & white sugar with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and egg to combine. Lastly, beat in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and pinch of salt until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the cranberries and white chips by hand.
  2. Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST 1 HOUR. You can chill it overnight if you’d like, but one hour chill time is mandatory to prevent cookies from spreading and to create that light, soft and chewy texture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone liners or mist lightly with cooking spray. Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll into Tablespoon-sized balls. Place onto the cookie sheets about 1-2″ apart from one another.
  4. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure an even cook. Cookies may appear slightly undone, but do not over-bake them! They will continue to set up more as they cool. Allow cookies to set on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes or so before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you’d like to make them prettier, garnish cookies with additional white chips on top of still-warm cookies before serving.

December 2, 2017–Snickerdoodles

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Today is Aaron Rodgers’ birthday. Now, I’m not a big football fan, but many of my friends are, which is how I know today is Aaron Rodgers’ birthday. I lived in Wisconsin for 14 years, home of the Packers, and when I think of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, I think of my friend Nichole, who is from Wisconsin. And when I think if Nichole, I think of Snickerdoodles, her favorite cookie.

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This one’s for you, Nichole.

(Like how I went from December 2nd to Snickerdoodles? I’m smarter than your average bear.)

So Aaron, Pack, Wisconsin, and Colie, this cookie is for you.

I made this cookie years ago (at Nichole’s house, actually) and it was Trisha Yearwood’s recipe. Today, when I wanted a Christmas-fied up version of a snickerdoodle, Trisha’s recipe again popped up…in someone else’s blog. I guess Mrs. Garth Brooks isn’t just a country singer given her own Food Network show because of her name…she is actually pretty legit!

Now, the recipe calls for sifting together the dry ingredients. Because it’s only December 2nd, I did it. But had I waited until like December 16th to make this cookie, it would be just a regular measure-and-dump. I hope the recipient of these cookies enjoy the extra effort taken.

I mixed it all up and went hunting for my colored sugars. Thankfully, I always seem to have those in abundant supply. And because it’s Christmas, I stuck with the traditional red and green…no black or lavender today!

Now when I moved into my new place earlier this year, I ordered some new bowls from Amazon. They were white! They were cheap! They came in a pack of six! And…when I got them…they were super tiny. Not what I needed for morning cereal. Thankfully, my laziness in returning them meant they were still in my cabinet, and ready to fulfill their destiny.

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Seriously, the tiniest ceramic bowls you’ve ever seen.

Because I love you all and want to make a good impression right now, I put them on my cookie sheet in alternating order. So pretty, but truth be told, after I snapped this picture, it was every colored-cookie for themselves. I don’t have time to prettify my cookie sheets.

In and out of the 400 degree oven, and my house smelled like Christmas.

Trisha Yearwood’s Snickerdoodles

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

Ingredients

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the eggs and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and stir into the shortening mixture.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (*I used colored sugar) with the cinnamon.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 tablespoon per ball), and roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar. Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time until the edges of the cookies are set but the centers are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Transfer the cookies to wire racks for cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Store in an airtight container.

December 1, 2017–Italian Sand Cookies

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Whoa, is it that time of year again? My tree is up, Elf is on prime time, and I have a pile of final exams to grade. Yup, it must be December!

It was a little up-in-the-air whether or not I’d do this, and in the spirit of openness, the way I was feeling in December, I didn’t know if I could ever get in the Christmas Spirit again. But I’ve prevailed against the doldrums, and here I am.

I’m starting the season off with one of my favorites–Italian Sand Cookies. I got this recipe a few years ago off the internet and they are always a crowd-pleaser.

Tonight, as I was starting to bake, I couldn’t find cornstarch. So, despite my best efforts, I was not prepared, and back to the store I went. Sigh.

Mixed it all together and piped it on a cookie sheet (I also didn’t have parchment paper, which I discovered after I got home from the store for the second time today. I was not about to return for a third.)

Now, when I lived in Wisconsin and made these, the piping came through a lot better.

See?

Now, I don’t know why it is that these have spread out so much the past few years, but my inclination is that it has something to do with humidity and general Louisiana-ness. (50th in everything, except humidity.) If you happen to know the real reason, please let me know.

To celebrate my first day (night?) of holiday baking, I picked up a little something at Albertsons when I went for corn starch.

No, not the cat. That’s Zelda, and she’s a new addition. I’m talking about the glass of Prosecco, also a new addition of sorts.

When they were cooled, I melted some milk chocolate with a little coconut oil and dipped them, and then added the mandatory sprinkles.

My best friend once caught a glimpse of all the sprinkles on my shelf via FaceTime and made me count them for her. There were 20 different kinds. This was a few years ago, and the collection has indeed grown. I don’t have a problem; I can stop any time I want!

Welcome to December friends. Now would anyone like to write a 20 page paper for me this weekend?

SAND COOKIES

(from www.cheftessbakeresse.com)

1 1/2 cups flour (we used AP)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar *
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs
*(we also liked 3/4 c. conf sugar & 1/4 c. granulated which made them a slight bit sweeter)

Creaming method. Put through bag with large star tip. Bake @ 375 F for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Decorate with choc chips, sprinkles or leave plain and dip half in melted choc., etc.

Soft Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

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When I think of the flavors I love, the top two are lemon and caramel. (What, you don’t sit around and think what two flavors you would want if you could only have two flavors for the rest of your life? Yeah…me either…) And since I live in the south now, sometimes I am blessed with a bag of lemons straight from someone’s tree. img_0028

(You can grow LEMONS and other citrus fruit down here! It still blows my Northern Girl mind!)

Mini- Me’s friend’s grandma gave us a bag of lemons and satsumas before Thanksgiving, and I thought there had to be a recipe out there for a deliciously lemon cookie.

I found one on Pinterest and went to work. Though as tasted the dough, I realized that it was not lemony enough for my liking. And then this Northern Girl realized that the lemons that grow down here are Meyer Lemons, and not as sour as your everyday lemons. Oh well.

To try and rectify my sourpuss sensibilities, when it came time to make the lemon icing, I improvised a little. Instead of just powdered sugar and water, as the recipe calls for, I tried to make a sour lemon icing with the juice from the Meyer Lemons and sugar, boiled and reduced in a pot, and then added to powdered sugar.

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The result? Lemony icing, but still not sour enough. Oh well. They still taste good to the non-lemon flavor purists out there, and that’s a success in my book.

 

Soft Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

(from Swankyrecipes.com)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Icing (as they wrote it, not my 24daysofcookies.com variation)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup powdered sugar

Combine butter and cream cheese in a bowl fit with a paddle attachment of a mixer. Cream together for about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and continue to mix. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add half the flour, all the baking soda, salt, cornstarch and lemon zest. Add lemon juice and the remaining flour. Mix to combine until the dough starts to form like a ball. Add a little more flour until slight ball starts to form. Cover and refrigerate dough at least 2-3 hours or up to a few days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet and spray with cooking spray or parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie dough. Roll cookie dough between hands to get a nice round ball and place on prepared cookie sheet.Bake for 8-10 minutes, removed from oven and while still hot, slightly press down if desired. Allow cookies to cool down completely before transferring. Cookies will slightly harden overnight a little more so don’t bake them much longer.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and water together in a small bowl. Whisk fast until ingredients are combined with no lumps. Dip cookies upside down into icing or drizzle icing over the top and allow to harden.

December 15: Orange Drop Cookies

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This cookie comes with a story. I mean, they all come with a story, but this one comes with a recent story.

We had an apple tree at our old house in Wisconsin. We got it (and another one that didn’t make it) many years ago when our city cut down our large tree for power line reasons, and we got three new trees out of the deal. (Other one was a beautiful Blaze Maple.) Hoover, our middle son, loves apples, which is why we chose an apple tree.

Fast forward to now, and we live 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, where we have no apple trees (I don’t know if they grow here or not, but we don’t have access to one anymore).

Hoover has always been obsessed with seeds and planting and all sorts of stuff. He used to save his orange seeds in Wisconsin to try and plant orange trees. Guess what; it didn’t work.

But, do you know what does grow in Southwest Louisiana?

The other day, our grandfatherly neighbor came to the door with a grocery bag full of oranges from his tree. Hoover’s enthusiasm seemed to charm him, and he then offered Hoover the chance to pick oranges whenever he liked. Hoover and I went to his side yard and encountered a 20 foot Satsuma Orange (or tangerine, possibly…jury is still deliberating what a Satsuma really is–other than a scent at The Body Shop) tree.

Walter (not the neighbor’s name, but it’s something like that) is lousy with oranges, and looks to be quite sick of them, much like my dad was when he had two giant apple trees. He emphasized that any time he wanted to pick oranges, Hoover (and his brother and sister) could and should, otherwise they’d just go to waste.

Didn’t have to tell this kid twice.

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He asked me if I could make orange cookies with the oranges. Many years ago, I made Orange Drop cookies, so I knew I could. And how can you resist fresh oranges?

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This is some of Hoover and Mini-Me (my daughter)’s second stash, after they juice a half-gallon of juice by hand. (And then drank it.)

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Luckily, I had a helper in juicing.

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Had to strain it so I’d just get the juice.

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Chopping a half cup of walnut, graciously given to me by my poetry professor Amy!

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Into the oven it went. Now, I’ll say this. These cookies come out looking light and airy if you do it right. I did it right. 🙂

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Seriously, don’t they look like meringue tarts?

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The frosting involved a pound of powdered sugar, and more orange juice and zest. This is probably the tastiest frosting I make, and the fresh ingredients only enhance it!

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As my kids noted, they aren’t all that orange. When I’ve made these with regular store-bought juice, they aren’t all that orange, either. But, they sure do taste (and smell…holy smokes, the smells in my kitchen…) great!

Orange Drop Cookies

(I’m sorry, I can’t remember where I got it from! If you do, let me know and I’ll credit it accordingly!)

1/2 c shortening                                   2 1/2 c flour

1 c sugar                                             1/2 t salt

2 eggs                                                 1 T grated orange peel

1/2 c orange juice                                 1/2 c walnuts

1 1/2 t baking powder

Cream together shortening and sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add orange juice and mix. Blend in dry ingredients. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Orange Frosting:

6 T Butter                                              2 t grated orange peel

1 lb. bag of powdered sugar                    2 T orange juice

1 1/2 t vanilla

Cream together butter and orange peel; gradually add about half of the sugar, blending well. Beat in orange juice and vanilla. Add enough sugar to make spreading consistency.

December 13: Chocolate Chip Cookies

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(I took a week mental health break, but I’m back at documenting what was made. And they were made!)

It’s the old standard. The cookie everyone lists as their favorite. The kind that will evoke happy memories of home and love and deliciousness.

I try not to do a Chocolate Chip cookie for the blog, as I know there are so many others out there that beg for airtime. But, as I was home in Wisconsin for a weekend, two friends invited me to their home for Friend Christmas. They insisted I needn’t bring anything. I was okay with that, but thought I should bake a batch of cookies. Another friend, hearing all of this, went on a 10 minute spiel about what the perfect Chocolate Chip cookie was like. I was amused. After that, how I could I not make Chocolate Chip cookies?

I found this recipe a few years ago on Pinterest, looking to make a different kind of cookie. Well, the base for it (it was one of those “s’mores inside a chocolate chip cookie” cookie), is this recipe. The s’mores cookie turned out fine, but the real star was the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe.

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One of the key differences for this recipe is that it calls for 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted, and then cooled off. It’s a weird request, and had the recipe not held up, I’d totally would have made fun of it. It holds ups, therefore, I hold my tongue.

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In went the rest of the ingredients into Nichole’s highly superior KitchenAid.

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And I balled up the dough and baked them.

Now, the recipe does have some pretentious instructions as to how to bake these. Follow it, don’t follow it, it’s up to you. I’ve done the whole “break it apart, put the jagged edges up, turn every 5 minutes” thing, and I didn’t see much of a difference.

I don’t have too many pictures for this recipe, as I was making it while waiting for my ride to the party. My ride was also the friend that gave me the cookie specifications he expected, so he was the first one to sample. He said, “Mmm. Hhghgg. Orrr!” Which was loosely translated to “You got it right.”

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Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from http://www.smells-like-home.com)

 

  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 5/8 oz) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed (7oz)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (5oz)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions.Preheat oven 325°.Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined.Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball.Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes).Do not overbake.

 

 

December 12: Snickerdoodles

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I think the cat’s out of the bag now. I’m resuming my status as a Cheesehead for one weekend only.

My friend Nichole was nice enough to put me up for my time here. I’ve known Nichole for 8 years now, and amongst the many things I know about her, I know that her favorite cookie is Snickerdoodles. While she was at work this morning, I decided to whip up a batch to thank her for letting me stay with her.

Have you ever tried to cook at someone else’s house? What about bake? Thankfully, she had all of the ingredients on hand for Snickerdoodles (which I pretty much knew she would, since she and I are cut from the same cloth), but trying to find all that I needed was another story. Thankfully, I did find it all, minus the potholders, but I used her nice hot pink hand towel for that. (Surprise, Nichole!)

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Again, you guys have seen many pictures of the inside of my mixing bowl, so I don’t need to take you through what it looks like when you cream butter, shortening, sugar, and eggs together.

But Nichole’s mixer is far superior to mine, so I thought we should all admire it for a minute.

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(A few years ago, she brought her old mixer to where we both worked so our friend could try to fix it. He ended up electrocuting himself. So now she has this one.)

When it came time to add the 2 3/4 c of flour, I went rogue. You see, another thing I know about Nichole is that she likes to incorporate whole wheat flour whenever she can. This is her flour bin:

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And I could tell it was a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat. Some sleuthing in her pantry uncovered this, and it’s what I used. She’ll thank me later.

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Also, when I bake someone surprise thank you cookies, I like to make a mess of their wonderfully clean kitchen. It’s an important part of the process.

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When it came time to bake the cookies, I looked for a cookie sheet, only to discover that Nichole has the largest cookie sheet known to man. If you need a gross of cookies baked at once, see Nichole. She can lend you this pan.

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I rolled the dough in cinnamon and sugar and baked them at 400 for 10 minutes. When they came out, I put them on paper towels because I didn’t know where her wire rack was. Unlike all the rest of my cookies, this batch is just for one person.

Well, most of it.

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I hope the rest of these make it until she gets home.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Snickerdoodles

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

Ingredients

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the eggs and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and stir into the shortening mixture.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 tablespoon per ball), and roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar. Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time until the edges of the cookies are set but the centers are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Transfer the cookies to wire racks for cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Store in an airtight container.

 

 

December 11: Christmas Cranberry Roll-Up Cookies

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These are great cookies to make if you have some other stuff to get done around the house. Or, conversely, if you need something quick, you might want to plan on a different cookie.

I love these cookies. The red of the cranberry is so pretty in the pinwheel, and the dough is the right consistency of flaky and chewy.

Plus, and this is my favorite part, people look at them and assume they are a lot harder to make than they actually are. (I just keep thinking of that Rice Krispies commercial from when I was a kid with the mom in the kitchen, working “hard” at making the Rice Krispies Treats, and at then end, she throws a little flour on her face for effect.)

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I had a bag of Wisconsin’s finest bouncy cranberries in my fridge, just waiting for their ultimate death. I put two cups of berries in a saucepan, along with sugar and orange zest.

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(I bought this microplane last year for nutmeg. Haven’t used it with nutmeg once, but this thing has seen more citrus fruit than Carmen Miranda.)

A little water and time, and I was in business. Cranberries popping sound a lot like baby farts, in case you want to know.

I mixed up my dough in Ol’ Trusty, using the Cardamom I bought two years ago. Am I supposed to replace it? Does Cardamom go bad? It still smells like chai and cost me a kidney, so I’m going to keep using it until the bottle is empty.

Into the fridge the dough went for an hour or so.

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When it was ready, I pulled it out and tried my best to roll rectangles. Eh. Okay, I really didn’t try that hard.

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Then I spread the cranberry goodness on top, along with some crushed almonds. Roll like a jelly roll, wrap with saran wrap. Repeat with second wad of dough.

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I put them on a cookie sheet and set it in my Wisconsin Free Refrigerator–my front porch.

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Two hours later, I brought the tray back inside and sliced up the rolls in 1/4″ pieces. When it starts to get misshapen, just turn your log over. Or, do what I do and keep the ugly ones so you can eat those later.

Into the oven it goes for 11-12 minutes, and cools on a rack.

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Then, you eat the ugly ones.

Christmas Cranberry Roll-Up Cookies
(from Gooseberry Patch’s Old-Fashioned Country Cookies)

2 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. orange peel
1/4 c. finely chopped almonds
2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cardamom
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, 1/4 c. sugar and zest. Add enough water to partially cover. Cook about 15 minutes, or until berries pop and most of the water has evaporated. Cool mixture.

2. Combine flour and spices. Cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add flour mixture.

3. Divide dough in half and chill.

4. Roll dough into 12″x7″ rectangle on parchment paper. Spread cranberries and almonds on each rectangle and then roll each like a jelly roll. Wrap in parchment paper and chill for at least 2 hours (at this point it can be frozen.)

5. Slice roll into 1/4″ slices and bake 1″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Cookies today: 46 (These also made 46 last year too. Weird.)

Cookies this year: 513

December 8: Brandy Snaps

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Anytime you can incorporate booze in a recipe, I’m on board. I’m not even sure how I found this recipe, other than I was on The Pioneer Woman’s website trying to win a contest (didn’t win) and I guess I saw the picture that goes along for this recipe on there.

I love The Pioneer Woman. I don’t want to be all hipster about this, but I was reading her before she ever had a cookbook out and before she was ever on TV.

She did such a beautiful job documenting how to make these, that my pictures will pale in comparison. I want to be her so bad, but I’m just not. At least, that’s what the courts tell me.

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So I started my slummed-down version of Princess Ree’s Brandy Snaps. I got out my skillet and threw in a stick of butter. Yes. Off to a good start. Then I measured out 1/2 cup of molasses, which took longer than the labor with my first child. I poured the molasses on the butter, which was quite satisfying, and then added the sugar. Before I turned on the stove, I read ahead a little and saw I needed to get my other ingredients ready, since I really, really didn’t want to deal with burnt butter, sugar, and molasses in my nice All Clad skillet.

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I was quite serious about this. When the recipe said to let it boil for a minute, I wasn’t about to take any chances.

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When it was time, I threw in my remaining ingredients and stirred it all up. The final ingredient is brandy, and because we live in Wisconsin, we happen to have a small bottle on hand.

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Wine bottle shown for scale.

Wine bottle shown for scale.

I was unsure if parchment paper would work for this, but I gave it shot anyway. Measured out about a tablespoon per cookie, leaving a lot of space around each one, as the spread out.

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Oh, and I made a mess too.

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Ten minutes later, I pulled the tray out of the oven and thanked Ree for having a picture of what they were supposed to look like. If I hadn’t known, I would have thought something went horribly wrong.

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Now, when I pulled them out of the oven, they reminded me of something else I’ve made in the past: some Chewy Ginger Cardamom cookies that didn’t turn out so well. See?

Not-so Chewy Ginger Cardamom cookies from 2012. If I only I knew then what I know now...

Not-so Chewy Ginger Cardamom cookies from 2012. If I only I knew then what I know now…

But had I known what I could have done with those a couple years ago, maybe I could have made some sort of Ginger Cardamom cannoli. Hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, I waited a few minutes until the cookies didn’t stretch when lifted, and I wrapped the warm cookies around my stainless steel whisk.

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Turned out really well. I mean, it looked like I was the oil assistant on Kim Kardashian’s latest photo shoot, but that’s the price I paid for deliciousness.

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Now, I will say that not all the cookies turned out so well. I had to set another tray-full on the counter away from the stove, and those cooled much quicker…too quick to wrap. Just so you know.

When I was done with all the cookies, I got going on the whipped cream. I put my mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes, just to make sure it was really cold.

Now, before I start this part of the recipe I want you all to benefit from the wisdom that comes from my mistakes. The VERY last line of Ree’s recipe says something like “Serve immediately.” I didn’t see that until I had already filled the cookies. If you are not planning on serving these immediately, wait to fill the cookies until you are. Disgruntled Husband and I got a little intoxicated on the couch because we didn’t want the cookies to go to waste. This morning, I pulled the container out of the fridge, and the cookies were no longer crispy. In this case, you want them to be crispy, so plan accordingly.

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I made the booze-infused whipped cream and filled my pastry bag with it.

With a star tip, I filled half of the cookie, then turned it around and filled the other half.

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And just so you know, they are divine. ::hiccup::

Brandy Snaps

(from www.thepioneerwoman.com)

Ingredients

  •  COOKIE
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Brandy
  • 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  •  Filling
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Brandy (more To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

To make the cookies/shells, melt butter in a skillet with molasses, sugar, and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Allow to bubble and cook for one minute, then turn off heat.

Dump in flour, ginger, and salt. Stir together quickly until just combined, then stir in brandy.

Use a tablespoon to spoon mixture onto cookie sheet; do only eight cookies per sheet, as they will spread out in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until bubbling in the oven. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Lift up circles one at a time and drape them over a cannoli mold (or a large metal handle of a whisk or potato masher!) The cookies will naturally drape over the mold; help it along by pressing the seal.

Slide cookies off the mold and set them on a cool plate. Repeat with remaining cookies. Be prepared to slightly reshape cookies as they cool. Fill with cream filling when completely cool.

FILLING

Combine cream, sugar, and brandy (make sure cream is very cold.) Place into a cold mixing bowl (chill ahead of time) and mix on high until cream is very stiff. Place cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Carefully fill cooled brandy snaps. Serve within a couple of hours.

Cookies today: 17

Cookies this year: 335