Christmas Gifts part 2


Wow the past two days have been a whirlwind. I have been working hard making 6 different batches of cookie doughs. Well I guess I should say my amazing wonderful mixer has been working hard. I am sure that if it could talk it would be yelling at me to stop making so much cookie dough!  I have put all of the cookie doughs in the freezer. I will be baking Tuesday-Thursday. There will be a third post with photos of the finished decorated (if they need to be decorated) cookies. This post will be the cookies recipes! It will be a tad long.

All of the recipes you can find in the Ultimate Cookie Cook Book by Better homes and gardens!

Fruitcake Pinwheels

* wow first and foremost I picked up the wrong ingredient for this. I bought fruit cake mix, NOT Mixed candied fruits. Then when I went to roll up my first one… it completely fell apart. When in doubt stick with your gut. So instead of rolling the cookie dough out to 12 by 8 inch rectangle… I rolled it out to half that amount and put less filling. It worked like a charm and rolled up perfectly!!! I can not wait to re try these cookies with dried fruit /candied fruits next time. So with out further ado….

1 cup butter softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups finely chopped mixed candied fruits and peels

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.  Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough for 3 hours or until it is easy to handle.

2. In a small bowl stir together candied fruits and pecans; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Sprinkle half of the fruit mixture over rectangle to within 1/2 inch of edges. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough. Pinch edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and fruit mixture. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or until firm.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Peppermint-twist biscotti

* Ah the smell of success … well okay more like the smell of peppermint.  The only problem I ran in to was twisting the ropes together without having them fall apart! This is the recipe that made me feel like I was on a roll ( no pun intended ) and doing well!

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup coarsely chopped pepper mint candy

Red paste food coloring

1 recipe peppermint icing

** Chopped peppermint candy canes optional

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with foil; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and peppermint extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the 1 cup chopped candy canes.

2. Divide dough in half. Tint one portion of the dough with red paste food coloring. Divide each half of dough into three portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 14 inch long rope. On prepared cookie sheet, place a rope around each other several times. Flatten twists until 2 inches wide; place about 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown and tops are cracked. Cool completely on a cookie sheet on a wire rack. Carefully peel foil away from twists.

4.Reduce oven temperature to 300. Transfer twists to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut twists diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn slices over. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until slices are dry. Transfer biscotti to a wire rack and let cool.

5. Drizzle cooled cookies with peppermint icing. If desired , sprinkle with additional chopped candy canes. Let stand until set.

Peppermint icing:

In a medium bowl stir together 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps (or use 1 tablespoon milk and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract) until smooth. Add enough additional peppermint schnapps or milk (about 2 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency.

Mountain Christmas Cookies

* These are so simple and colorful! I had no problems making this dough.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup miniature red, green, and white candy coated milk chocolate pieces ( I used mini M and Ms 🙂

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts * I used 1/2 cup of pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the chocolate pieces, and nuts.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Chocolate Pistachio Trees

* Wow I had forgotten how pistachio nuts tasted. Though I am tired of shelling said pistachio nuts and I feel confident in saying I will not be shelling nuts any time soon. I even have some battle scars from a few particularly difficult ones. The chocolate and lime green color of the pistachios is stunning.

1 cup butter

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, beaten

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 tablespoon shortening

1/2 cup ground pistachio nuts

1. In a medium saucepan combine butter and brown sugar; heat and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat stir in vanilla. Let butter mixture stand for 15 minutes. Stir in egg, flour and cocoa powder until combined. Stir in the 3/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a tree shape cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake about 9 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

3. In a small saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Dip on third of each cookie into chocolate mixture; roll dipped edges of cookie in ground pistachio nuts. Let stand until set.

Fresh Ginger Cut outs

* My only advice with these are to not try the molasses… yes I thought it would taste good and I was wrong! I thought to my self well it does look like syrup it probably tastes sweet right?  Also be careful when grating ginger and do not slice your knuckles it really does hurt ! I was down to the last bit of ginger and when I leaned my hand a certain way to grate the ginger I ended up slicing a my thumbs knuckle. Luckily for me it did not bleed till I was washing it with soap and water. I bandaged my self up and went right back to work. Other than that I am quite proud of this batch!

1/2 cup butter softened

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ( put whole cloves on a cutting board, put a piece of plastic wrap on top, take out the awesome metal hammer and have at it!)

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup grated fresh ginger (buy it when  you need it ie. the day before or the day of… or else it can go bad quite quickly if you buy it too far in advance)

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 recipe powdered sugar icing

decorative candies

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, molasses, and vanilla until combined. Beat in grated ginger and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/8 inch thick. Using 3 inch desired shape cookie cutters, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 5  to 6 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate cooled cookies as desired with powdered sugar icing and decorative candies.

Powdered sugar icing :

In a small bowl stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk. Stir in enough additional milk (1 to 2 teaspoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency if desired, tint a small amount of icing with red paste food coloring.

Whew we are down to the last one I do not know about y’all but I am supper tired!

Santa Cutouts

* This was another easy dough to make. Then again after making 6 different cookies doughs in 2 days I should be a pro at it 😉

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

dash salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1 recipe snow frosting

1 recipe royal icing

Assorted decorative toppers and candies, ie. clear and red edible glitter, plain and colored sanding sugar, miniature semisweet chocolate pieces, and candy coated chocolate pieces.

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough 3 hours or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/8 inch thick. Using desired-shape cookie cutters, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Paint with egg paint.

3. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate with snow frosting, royal icing , and /or decorative toppers and candies as desired. Let stand until set.

Royal icing

1 16 ounce package powdered sugar

3 tablespoons meringue powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7-10 minutes or until mixture is very stiff. Cover bowl with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Snow Frosting

In a small mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 1 1/3 cups sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 tablespoon milk. Gradually beat in an additional 1 cup powdered sugar and  enough milk (3 to 4 teaspoons) to make a frosting of piping consistency. Tint frosting as desired with paste food coloring.

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