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Category Archives: Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

We are back! Sorry for being a little late, but we were in Mexico City for a short visit last week. We stayed in the Condesa area which had been damaged by the earthquake. The B and B was not damaged, but two buildings nearby collapsed and others sustained major damage. Restaurant and museums were closed until this past Sunday, including the world famous Ballet Folklorico at the magnificent Bellas Artes theater. Yellow tape prevailed on many streets with red tape where buildings were unable to be lived in. Everywhere though, the neighbors were pitching in to help each other. It was wonderful to see so many young people pitching in!!! So now I am back in Progreso. My husband is in Canada and I am free to bake (normally he does it all). So here goes one of my favourites. LOL…I believe this was one of his grandmother’s favourite plates…

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World’s Greatest Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I only use JIFF crunchy)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar (i would recommend cutting back)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
  • With a spoon, mix butter, peanut butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls and bake for 8-10 minutes. (8 was adequate in our oven)
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes; allow to cool in the refrigerator for another 20-30 minutes.
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Its Christmas Cookie Time!

Yeppers, my elf has been baking away for several days, so I am going to share THREE of the recipes we actually liked, which he found on Pinterest.

If you are fond of banana bread, you will like these…

Banana Bread Cookies

Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 13 minutes Total Time: 48 minutes Yield: 24

Ingredients

Wet Mix:

  • 3/4 Cup softened butter
  • 1 packed cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed

Dry Mix:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 1/3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cranberries etc. (you choose what you prefer)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the wet ingredients and combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and combine
  3. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and combine. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F, Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease / spray with non stick oil
  5. Use a tablespoon and drop the mixture on the baking sheet in spoonfuls.
  6. Bake for about 13 – 15 minutes. Allow to cool on cooling rack.

NOTE: These are quite a soft cookie, and a little crisp on the outside. If you want a crispier cookie, leave in the oven for a couple of minutes longer. However, they will harden slightly as they cool, so if you are not sure, remove one after the stated time and see if it is to your liking.

And from Martha Stewart…ta dah…my favourite ones …

Cranberry Orange Almond Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: about 3-dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or line with a silpat baking liner.

Place butter, powdered sugar, almond extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer.

Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour and orange zest. Mix until a dough forms.

Stir in almonds and cranberries with a spatula.

Pat dough into a ball, and then form into a log shape, about 2-inches in diameter.

Wrap the log in plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least an hour.

Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place on cookie sheet, at least 1-inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden. Check them after 10 minutes as ovens can vary!

Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.

Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart. Dough can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen solid, let the dough thaw slightly before slicing.

Last but not least…these yummy raspberry lemon ones…

Raspberry Lemon Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies  15 min    Prep Time -15 min   Cook Time  – 30 min

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup frozen raspberries, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour and mix until combined. Add in the raspberries and mix briefly to incorporate them.
  3. Drop the dough by tablespoonful (a cookie scoop works best here, the dough is extremely sticky, but two spoons works too, the cookies will just be less uniform) onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are just starting to brown on the edges and are no longer shiny at all. Put the second half of the cookie dough in the fridge while the first sheet is baking, it will get even softer as the raspberries thaw.
  4. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

This cookie dough is extremely sticky, and is best if the raspberries stay frozen, so leave them in the freezer until you’re ready to add them to the dough. If you find it is getting too sticky to scoop, chill it for 30 minutes and then bake. Don’t try to form it into balls by hand though, it works best as a drop cookie, scooping it onto the baking sheet by the tablespoonful and baking immediately. When baking, they are done when they are no longer shiny at all on top. If they are still shiny, they will be underbaked around the raspberries.

Source: Adapted from Lauren’s Latest via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe .

French Florentine Cookies

These crunchy chocolate coated cookies are popular in France at Christmas. They were also great when our friend Kathy made them while we were visiting in December.

1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
3/4 cup candied orange peel* (see note below)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 T butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate chips of your choice

Combine almonds, peel and flour. Set aside.
In heavy saucepan combine butter, cream and sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in floured fruit.
Grease and flour 2 baking sheets. Drop batter by spoonfuls (1 T) at least 3 inches apart,
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool slightly and then remove to cooling rack.

Spread or brush with melted chocolate on the underside of each cookie.
Makes about 24 cookies.

* Since peel isn’t always available, you might want to check the Internet for an easy homemade recipe.

Oat Bars with Banana and Applesauce

Oat Bars with Banana and Applesauce

 3 mashed bananas

1/3 cup applesauce (or mash a slightly cooked peeled apple in the with the bananas)

3 Tablespoons almond butter

2 cups oats

¼ cup almond milk

½ cup dried cranberries (experiment with other dried fruits, i.e. figs, blueberries, etc.)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

What the heck, add a few sliced almonds to the top before baking?

Go for it…add some coconut, too!

Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Let cool and slice.

Would also make a great dessert if you slightly heated the bars and then served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Brandied Fruit and Nut Cookies

This recipe is from my blogging friend, Karen. Since today’s earlier recipe might not be ready in time for the holidays, I am sending you one of HER cookie recipes which I just baked. I didn’t bother with the glaze…your choice… Check out her other recipes as well as beautiful photos of her home in New England at Christmas – http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com

Brandied Fruit and Nut Cookies BYJ

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  •  1/3 c. brandy (I used Calvados apple brandy)
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/2 c. orange flavored Craisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 c. dried apricots, chopped in small pieces
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. chopped pecans

Mix the fruit and brandy in a bowl and let marinate for 10 minutes. Cream together the brown sugar, butter, eggs and spices. Drain the brandy from the fruit into the sugar mixture and stir. Mix in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the reserved fruit and nuts.

Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. They do spread out so if you want them smaller, follow the directions and keep small). Bake about 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown. Place cookies on cooling rack. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

If you wish to glaze the cookies mix 2 c. of powdered sugar, 2 to 3 Tbsp. brandy and 1 tsp. vanilla together and dip the tops of the cookies into glaze and let dry.

Larry’s Ginger Cookies!

Okay, the agony is over…here is the recipe, but I warn you that Larry likes to modify his recipes every single time he makes these!!!

Larry’s Ginger-Orange-Molasses Cookies

Ingredients :

4 cups of all purpose flour , whole wheat is OK  ( I think it is better!)

2 1/2 tablespoons  ground ginger, more or less “a tu gusto”!

1 1/2 to 2 tsp of coarse ground black pepper  This amount gives a good kick without over powering!

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup softened butter, (I use unsalted)  if  you use salted you may want to adjust the amount of salt above

1 cup of  brown sugar

1 cup  dark molasses

1 teaspoon  baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water

Zest of 3 or 4 medium  oranges

About 1/2 to 3/4 cup cranberries, finely chopped

Powdered clove (add to enhance taste but not so much as you can taste it…start with about 1/4 tsp and experiment)

Preparation :

Step One

In one bowl add the dry ingredients, including cranberries and orange zest. Whisk together thoroughly.

Step Two

In a separate bowl large enough to blend together all of the ingredients, put the butter and brown sugar.
Using a mixer on slow speed, blend the butter and brown sugar until creamy.
Blend in the  molasses.
Finally, blend in  the dissolved  baking soda mixture.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients.
Fold in completely!  Use the mixer to finish blending thoroughly. The mixture is easier to work with if it is slightly chilled.  If too hard, let it soften slightly.

Baking :
I use a small, releasing type, ice cream scoop. It helps to make the cookies more uniform in size. I spray the inside of it with a small amount of PAM to make the batter release better.
If the mixture begins to stick, spray a little more PAM into the scoop.
I use silicone baking sheets for ease of  removing the cookies and cleaning.
Bake about 10 to 11 minutes @ 350 F.  Longer for a firmer textured cookie, shorter for a softer cookie.  I put the silicone on a good quality light coloured baking sheet….it seems to prevent the bottom of the cookies from over-browning.

Yield:  7 dozen or more using the mini ice cream scoop.

Enjoy! And, of course, adjust the ginger, clove, black pepper and orange zest and cranberries to suit your own taste buds.  Or be creative and vary the recipe!   Let me know if you come up with some yummy variations!

larry225mc@gmail.com