Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Homemade Holiday: Cider Snap Cookies

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The weather here’s been more wet and dreary than crisp and wintery of late, so comfort food in the form of holiday baking has definitely been in order. I’ve had a cider-based cookie in mind ever since I made boiled cider for those doughnuts a while back. I was envisioning something a little more crisp than your typical apple cookie, so I decided to substitute the boiled cider for molasses in a spiced cookie, resulting in a lighter, more soft and mellow ginger snap type treat.

cider snap cookies

Recipe: Cider Snap Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup boiled cider*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional cinnamon sugar/maple sugar for rolling cookies

Instructions:

*About the boiled cider: If you don’t have boiled cider prepared (or purchased), boil down 1/2 cup apple cider over medium heat until reduced by half and slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature before using.

1.  Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt together in a large bowl.

2. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg, boiled cider and vanilla and mix until well combined.

3. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.

4. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes to make it easier to handle. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each quickly in cinnamon sugar or maple sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are firm and cookies appear set in the middle, 10-15 minutes. Cool on cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Note: I mixed equal parts maple sugar and turbinado sugar for the coating, but a cinnamon-sugar mixture will work as well if you don’t have maple sugar on hand.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Kids Cook Monday}

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I know, here we are on the cusp of holiday baking season — the arrival of Gourmet’s annual cookie issue was better than Christmas to many a food blogger — and here I am with plain old chocolate chip cookies. But before the hustle and bustle of the holidays, why not enjoy a simple pleasure. A recipe simple enough to make with the kids, an easy after-school treat for a rainy Monday, or, in my case, a quick way to assuage a mama’s guilt after a weekend away.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be a polarizing matter — do you like yours crispy or chewy? I add oatmeal, which makes them healthy (it does, right?) and lends the perfect crisp-chewy texture, in my opinion. Like many recipes, it is based off the back of the chocolate chip package. Aside from the addition of oatmeal, I also double the salt and add almond extract with the vanilla. (I can’t take credit for that either — it’s a tip gleaned from Giada.) I’ve been known to use a mix of raisins or cranberries, or even coconut, with the chocolate chips, but I’ll leave those choices up to you.

Recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Ghiradelli’s baking chip package

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces chocolate baking chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and almond extracts, continuing to mix on low speed until well combined. Add flour, baking powder and salt, then gradually add oats until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and drop dough by tablespoon onto pans. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until centers are dry and edges are lightly golden. Remove to cooling rack and try to hold back little hands at least until the cookies are no longer piping hot.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your scoops.

How Not to Bake Gingerbread Men

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Don’t be surprised if you reach for the molasses and your child starts talking about the Battle of Manassas
(especially if one of his best friends is a budding Civil War buff).

Don’t expect your child to heed your warnings about eating raw cookie dough after he catches you nibbling on it.
(But do buy your eggs from a trusted local farmer.)

Don’t expect to have your child spread flour on the cutting board without it also winding up on the wall, floor and his hair.

Don’t hope for traditional Christmas cookie shapes when you have Star Wars cookie cutters and a four-year-old boy in the house.

Don’t set out bowls of frosting and expect little fingers not to be promptly plunged in them.

Don’t arrange sprinkles in easy-to-access little cups and not expect two pinches to be consumed for every one sprinkled on cookies.

Don’t decorate cookies at 9 pm and expect your child to fall asleep before midnight,
or before he runs 10 laps through the living room and around the tree.

Gingerbread (Clone War) Cookies
Source: The Gourmet Cookie Book

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice*

Instructions: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. In the bowl of a mixer, or other large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add brown sugar, molasses, butter and allspice and beat on medium low speed until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low until flour is incorporated. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into smaller portions and roll out on a lightly floured cutting board to 1/3-inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting out desired shapes. Gently transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, watching closely to ensure they only slightly begin to brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before decorating.

To decorate, we just mixed up a simple powdered sugar glaze and tinted it various colors. For more elaborate designs, use royal icing.

Notes: The recipe calls for 6-inch gingerbread men and 12 minute cooking time. With more standard 3-inch cookies, you’ll need much less time. I did not have cloves or allspice, so I omitted the cloves and used nutmeg in place of allspice.

Hamantaschen with Jam

Monday, March 1st, 2010

As I mentioned Friday, I planned to make Jewish cookies known as hamantaschen over the weekend. Hamantaschen are triangle-shaped cookies traditionally filled with thick poppyseed or prune spread, or other fruit preserves. They are traditionally made during Purim — a Jewish holiday festival similar to Mardi Gras — but can be found year-round in Jewish bakeries if you’re fortunate enough to have one nearby. We are not, so the past couple years I’ve simply picked up hamantaschen from Whole Foods, which were fine but nothing to get excited about.

Fortunately, Ruth of Once Upon A Feast came to my rescue with not one but two hamantaschen recipes; I went with Marcy Goldman’s recipe. With all due respect to Marcy’s Bubbie, I swapped butter for the oil (I prefer not to bake with oil), and omitted the orange zest in deference to the husband’s zest-dislike. Next time I’ll try it with the zest for a little more flavor.

The dough was simple and resulted in a soft, sweet cookie. The husband doesn’t like the traditional fillings, so I took advantage of our extensive jam collection and we made an assortment of flavors: strawberry-rhubarb (courtesy of my sister-in-law), apricot, raspberry (both from local farms), and some Ficoco — a fantastic fig and chocolate spread, think a fruity twist on Nutella.

I’m pretty certain we’ll stick with homemade from now on, these were fun and delicious!

Since only one cookie unfolded into a pancake while baking, I consider myself fully qualified to offer the following expert suggestions:

  • Don’t go overboard with the filling, but don’t be too stingy either — the ones my son plopped a larger spoonful of jelly on turned out best. I think the weight of the jam helped keep the center from puffing up as much when they baked. And, they have the perfect jam-to-cookie ratio.
  • Don’t be afraid to fold the edges up over most of the jam — and pinch tightly. The ones folded up more tightly also held their shape better while baking.
  • I brushed the outside of the cookies with egg wash — in reading other posts, it seems this may help them stay together while baking.

Kids Cook Book Soup: Apples!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

I hope you haven’t had your fill of apple recipes just yet, because we have several more to share for the very first round-up of Kids Cook Book Soup. Thanks to all for sharing your apple inspiration, and please read to the end for the November theme announcement! With no further ado…

From Jen at The Gould House, “Eldress Bertha’s Applesauce”

kcbs-1-applesauce

Jen and her 2-year-old daughter, Ella, used apples from their farmers market to make this applesauce. Jen writes, “Ella enjoyed counting the apples, catching the apple peels as they fell into the bowl, and mashing the apples after they were done simmering on the stove.  She also ate her first whole apple while I was doing the chopping.  The applesauce was delicious and it made the house smell so “autumny”—definitely a keeper!”

From Melissa at Little Locavores, Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash — with Apples

kcbs1-3-applesquash

Melissa created this fall recipe with the thought of appealing to those who don’t like squash unless it’s doused in sugar. I don’t know if it won her farmer’s sons over, but this flavorful dish has extra kid-appeal when served in an acorn squash bowl. (Melissa and her son recently went apple-picking at Seedling Orchards in South Haven, Michigan.)

From Kelsey at The Naptime Chef, Spiced Apple Cookies

kcbs1-2-cookies

Kelsey and her toddler daughter made these scrumptious cookies, with New York McIntosh apples, to occupy a rainy afternoon — just one of many recipes in her “Apple Mania” arsenal.

And here at FoodieTots, Spiced Apple Hand Pies

kcbs1-4-handpies

We picked apples at Virginia’s Crooked Run Orchard, reviewed How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World, and baked kid-sized apple hand pies. Yum!

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And if these aren’t enough ideas to use up the apples in your crisper, here are a few more kid-friendly apple recipes: