Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spritz Cookies

Time for a Holiday Classic - Spritz Cookies. Spritz cookies are your classic cookie press cookie. I love a good Spritz Cookie, the soft, buttery vanilla crunch. I love them! Plain or decked out to the nines, Spritz Cookies are simple delicious and fun to make. From picking out which shapes and colors to whether to deck them out with colored sugar, sprinkles, nonpareils or leaving them as is, these cookies are just fun! On with the cookies!

The Deets
1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Pure Almond Extract
2 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
Food Coloring
Sprinkles for Decorating
The How To
Whip Butter, Sugar, Egg, Vanilla and Almond Extract
Add Flour and Salt and Mix until Smooth
Divide Dough into as many colors you wish
Add Food Coloring until you get your desired color
Roll the dough into a roll that will fit into the cookie press
Pick your shape disc & press away (follow the instructions on your cookie press - mine is a Kuhn Rikon and it takes about 1 &1/2 trigger pulls for the perfect cookie)
Once cookies are pressed decorate away!
Bake at 375 for 7-8 Minutes.

Enjoy your perfect crispy spritz cookies & have a very Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

100th Post! I'm Never Making These Cookies Again Cookies a.k.a. Cream Wafer Cookies a.k.a. Dream Wafer Cookies

Before I share one of my favorite cookie recipes I want to recognize that this is the 100th Post! It only took 5 years but here we are at 100 posts! I can't think of a better recipe for the 100th Post! It's one of my favorite recipes, its a bit challenging but worth every frustration.
My love of cooking and baking started before I can even remember. One of the things I loved was making cookies with my dad and even better the grand bake-off for Christmas with my mom. It seemed that "we" would spend a whole weekend baking all sorts of great treats. Once I was older I started trying recipes on my own.
My first nemesis in the kitchen were the Cream Wafer Cookies from the old Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook - I renamed them {in ink, in my mother's cookbook} "I'm never making these cookies again cookies". I have fought with this recipe since I was 12 years old. Finally, Finally after all these years (well, not THAT many years) I made a perfect batch! Not a single broken cookie in sight. So here it is, my improved and perfect version of the cream wafer cookie.
The Deets on the Cookie
1 Cup Soft Butter (Not Melted just soft to the touch)
1/3 Cup Whipping Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 Cup Sifted Flour
Sugar for Dipping
The Cookie How To
Whip Butter, Whipping Cream, and Vanilla
Slowly add Flour
The dough will be quite sticky, but that's how it's supposed to be
Sprinkle Flour and Sugar on rolling space (I like to use the counter - liberally use flour & sugar - dough is sticky)
Roll Dough to approximately 1/6 inch thin
Cut into little circles (I've tried other shapes, but it's harder to match the pieces perfectly)
Carefully move cookies - the dough is soft so use extra caution when moving
Dip both cookies in Sugar - evenly coat both sides
*Put on Silpat or parchment paper - I did one batch straight on my gold touch & it worked like a charm - but I still recommend you use a Silpat*
Use a Fork to poke holes in cookies
Bake at 365 degrees for 8 minutes
Let cookies cool prior to filling

The Deets on the Cream Filling
1/2 Cup Soft Butter (1 Stick)
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Whipping Cream
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Pure Vanilla Extract
Food Coloring to desired color

The Filling How To
Whip all ingredients to a Fluffy Cream
Once cookies are cooled, add a nice heap about 1 - 1/2 TBS of Filling
Top with a second cookie
Enjoy your perfect cream wafer cookies

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mint Meltaway Cookies - 2 Ways

Merry Christmas Season! Let the Holiday Baking Begin! Today's Christmas Cookie Delight is a new recipe I tried based on a recipe I saw on pintrest {did I mention I love pintrest?}. The original recipe is found here. As you know, or should know by now, I have a hard time leaving things alone... this recipe was no different. Here's my take on Mint Meltaway Cookies
The Deets
1 Cup Butter (2 sticks)
1 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 tsp Pure Mint Extract or Oil
3 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 Cups Flour
Food Coloring
Hershey's Kisses (Plain or Mint Truffle)
Powdered Sugar

The How To
Preheat Oven to 375
Cream Butter, Sugar, Mint and Vanilla
Add Flour and Food Coloring
Mix Until Smooth

Option 1
Roll Dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet
Dust with Powdered Sugar once they come out of the oven

Option 2
Roll Dough into small balls and push a Kiss into the Center
Either way Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes
My favorites are the ones with the Mint Truffle Kisses!
Enjoy your minty deliciousness!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Forgotten Favorites: Baked Potatoes

Sometimes I spend so much time trying to come up with creative meals that I forget about some classic (& quick) meals. Recently I rediscovered Baked Potatoes, how did I forget about these delicious spuds?
Another great thing about baked potatoes is they are quick!

The Deets
2 Baked Potatoes
4 Strips cooked Bacon Crumbled
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream

The How To
Pierce Potatoes and rub with Butter
Microwave for 6-7 minutes (most microwaves have a potato button that works perfectly)
Potatoes will be hot hot hot - cut with care
Top with your favorite toppings
Whether you like a little or a lot of toppings is up to you
Add a nice Salad and Dinner is served!

Plate, Pray & Enjoy!