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Cookie Recipes

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We're having a cookie party with some neighbors this weekend. Do any Rockwellians have any killer cookie recipes they'd like to share?

Thanks

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We're having a cookie party with some neighbors this weekend. Do any Rockwellians have any killer cookie recipes they'd like to share?

Thanks

I made the Grasshopper squares recipe in Gourmet (you can find it on Epicurious) and it was easy and quite impressive looking. Very tasty too. Hopefully you're not going to the same cookie party I'm going to this Sunday.

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Lemon Jumbles

yield: four dozen 2 1/2" cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 cup sugar (scant)

1 large egg

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

for glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp unsalted butter, warm but not melted

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, room temp or slightly warm

1/2 tsp light corn syrup

1 or 2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together dry ingredients. Beat butter, sugar, egg, zest, and juice until light and well blended. Beat in flour mixture until well incorporated.

Shape dough into a ball, then cut into quarters. Shape each quarter into a flat disk. Cut each disk into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge into an even 5" long rope. Press rope ends firmly together to create ring. Place on greased baking sheets about 1 1/2" apart.

Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until slightly browned at the edges. Immediately transfer cookies to wire cooling rack. These cookies are a bit delicate at first, so use a thin spatula to avoid crumbling.

For glaze, mix together 2 or 3 tp lemon juice with all other ingredients, then thin with remaining lemon juice. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, and put on wire rack to let set. Optional step: add food coloring to remaining glaze and drizzle over the cookies.

The glaze is pretty sweet. Either make it very thin or dip the cookies while they're still warm to get a thinner coating. You could also just drizzle the glaze. Heck, skip it altogether - the cookies don't need it. My husband likes the glaze, so I'm stuck with it. :lol:

I've found it's best to make all the rings, then let them sit for a few minutes to firm up a bit. They'll retain their shape better when baked.

Edited by perrik

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World's. Best. Rugelach.

(And yes, I get the irony of a traditionally Jewish foodstuff being touted as perfect for Christmas.)

Here's the recipe for Lora Brody's Rugelach from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Makes delicious, tender little rolls -- fairly time-consuming, because you have to chill the dough, roll it out, spread it with jam, then sprinkle filling on top before cutting and rolling the dough into individual cookies (which then should go back in the fridge to set up before baking.) But it's totally worth it.

I've also made them with seedless raspberry jam instead of apricot, but there's something about the combination of apricot, golden raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon that is just perrrrrfect. :lol:

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I made the Grasshopper squares recipe in Gourmet (you can find it on Epicurious) and it was easy and quite impressive looking.  Very tasty too.  Hopefully you're not going to the same cookie party I'm going to this Sunday.

I looked at the recipe and it does look interesting. My brother's wife can't eat tree nuts, so I am looking something interesting for the "homemade' gift exchange which doesn't contain the forbidden stuff (no pecan pralines for HER). She objects, however, to putting alcohol in things that the kids might like. So my question is this: can I just add some green food coloring and extra peppermint extract to this and skip the creme de menthe? And, can these really hold up for three weeks? Doesn't this need to be kept in the refrigerator? Please tell me that this recipe is fool-proof.

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I looked at the recipe and it does look interesting. My brother's wife can't eat tree nuts, so I am looking something interesting for the "homemade' gift exchange which doesn't contain the forbidden stuff (no pecan pralines for HER). She objects, however, to putting alcohol in things that the kids might like. So my question is this: can I just add some green food coloring and extra peppermint extract to this and skip the creme de menthe? And, can these really hold up for three weeks? Doesn't this need to be kept in the refrigerator? Please tell me that this recipe is fool-proof.

Annoyingly, it does need to be kept refrigerated. You could most definitely skip the creme de menthe and do as you suggested without adversely affecting the flavor. I made the grasshopper squares this past weekend and cut them in half in order to more easily store in the fridge. I'm planning on waiting until this weekend's cookie exchange to cut them up into little squares. The problem with taking these to a cookie exchange is that I'm not sure what will happen to them when they sit out at room temperature for an extended period of time. I'm sort of hoping people will just eat them and no one will want to try to transport any home.

I thought the recipe was fairly easy and my mother-in-law said that the wow factor for taste and appearance overcomes the annoying chill factor for her.

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The problem with taking these to a cookie exchange is that I'm not sure what will happen to them when they sit out at room temperature for an extended period of time.  I'm sort of hoping people will just eat them and no one will want to try to transport any home.

Thanks for the info. I don't actually mind keeping stuff in the fridge. The chocolate truffles I usually make need to be kept cold. I would love a report on how these things do at room temp.

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It's too late for your cookie swap now, but perhaps for future cookie baking... I made these Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios over the weekend and they were both easy to make and delicious. My only edit was using orange zest instead of lemon - seemed like it would pair a little nicer with the cranberry/pistachio/aniseed flavors. We ended up dipping some in white chocolate, but I liked plain just as well.

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thanks for the various suggestions

We ended up making both the lemon jumbles and the grasshopper squares. Both were relatively easy to make and the lemon jumbles were excellent - we haven't tried the grasshopper squares yet because the whole layering and cooling process takes quite a bit of time

I would definitely do both again

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Thanks for the info.  I don't actually mind keeping stuff in the fridge.  The chocolate truffles I usually make need to be kept cold.  I would love a report on how these things do at room temp.

The grasshoppers ended up holding up quite well at room temp during the cookie exchange and were quite a hit. Go for it.

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The grasshoppers ended up holding up quite well at room temp during the cookie exchange and were quite a hit.  Go for it.

Muchas gracias. I certainly will.

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I happened to glance at the latest Gourmet Magazine at the drugstore yesterday. It's their annual cookie issue, and may have some recipes of interest to holiday cookie bakers out there. According to Ruth Reichl's remarks, they've been testing the recipes all year. I certainly trust her discriminating palate. I don't think she would allow anything but winning recipes to go out there on her watch.

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I happened to glance at the latest Gourmet Magazine at the drugstore yesterday. It's their annual cookie issue, and may have some recipes of interest to holiday cookie bakers out there. According to Ruth Reichl's remarks, they've been testing the recipes all year.  I certainly trust her discriminating palate. I don't think she would allow anything but winning recipes to go out there on her watch.

Thanks for the heads-up!

I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough, as my husband has promised I'd make cookies for his co-workers and they've already eaten untold thousands of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. They might not be bored with them, but I am.

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I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough,

I'm unclear about whether we can post recipes from cookbooks here, with attribution. I have a great sugar cookie recipe; if no one can clear up the issue, I'll pm you with it.

Edited by porcupine

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I'm in search of a really, really good basic sugar cookie dough,
For plain cookies or rolled out and cut into decorative shapes?

My favorite plain sugar cookie recipe is the same one Heather used for the cookies she brought to the DR.com last picnic. Here is a copy:

SUGAR COOKIES

Makes 2 dozen cookies

It's better to use Land O'Lakes, or similar supermarket butter; Plugra and the like make the cookies too greasy.

2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon table salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 large egg

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

large crystal sugar or granulated sugar, for rolling

Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium a bowl and set aside.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Chill dough thoroughly.

Place sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. Fill medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip hands in water and shake off excess (to keep dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that the sugar sticks to dough). Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball between moistened palms, roll ball in sugar, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, moistening hands after forming each ball and spacing balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared backing baking sheets (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Butter the bottom of a drinking glass; dip into remaining sugar and flatten dough balls with bottom of glass until dough is about ¾-inch thick.

Bake the cookies until they are golden brown around edges and just set and very lightly colored in center, 15 to 18 minutes, reversing position of cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 3 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Recipe adapted from: recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine, November 2002

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That's my recipe except for the tablespoon of brown sugar. Not sure how that got in there - maybe it's part of the online recipe and not the one in The Best Recipe?

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An interesting sugar cookie variation can be found in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (1963, with some darn good recipes!). The one I like calls for 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar creamed with one cup butter; stir in one egg, one teaspoon vanilla, and half a teaspoon almond extract; mix in a mixture of 2 1/2 cups flour, one teaspoon baking soda, and one teaspoon cream of tartar. Roll out the chilled dough and bake at 375 on lightly greased baking sheets; how long depends on how thin you roll them; they should be just starting to turn golden. These cookies have an unusually soft texture, even though they're crumbly - I know that sounds contradictory, but they are really good and just a little different.

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Our family tweak on a sugar cookie recipe is adding a bit of orange zest - makes them taste more interesting and less straight sugar to me.

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That's my recipe except for the tablespoon of brown sugar.  Not sure how that got in there - maybe it's part of the online recipe and not the one in The Best Recipe?

Yes, it is from the online recipe. And I always wonder about that tablespoon of brown sugar. Does it really do all that much for the cookies? Unless I already have the brown sugar out and handy, I rarely add it. :)

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Basic Butter Cookies. These are melt in your mouth, not too sweet bites of heaven. (Or so I understand...I'm vegan, but bake and give these every year.)

The recipe I've been using for the past 10 yrs. or so came from Gourmet Mag., 1995. You can find it on Epicurious...

Another almost embarassing, almost non-recipe is for Chocolate Crinkles--you use boxed devil's food cake mix.... These always receive raves, and look rather festive on a cookie plate. You can find the recipe on Epicurious too.

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Yes, it is from the online recipe.  And I always wonder about that tablespoon of brown sugar.  Does it really do all that much for the cookies?  Unless I already have the brown sugar out and handy, I rarely add it.  :)

And you expect us to believe that you have not done a side by side taste comparison.

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Actually, after rereading that recipe, it's got a few differences. I never use the brown sugar, I add 2 teaspoons of vanilla instead of 1 1/2, and 15-18 minutes is much too long. I bake for 12 minutes, reversing the the sheets after 6.

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