♫♪♫♪ “Now Christmas cookies are a special treat,
The more she bakes the more I eat!” ♫♪♫♪
Happy Holidays from all of us at Advanced Appliance! We hope everyone stays safe and enjoys their Holiday Season. Now, on to some serious business.
Everyone celebrates the Holidays with their own traditions, though one custom that has grown over the ages would be the “Christmas Cookie.”
The cookie, originally biscuits, began back in the medieval ages of Europe. New spices, such as cinnamon and ginger, were a growing import from the West, as well as dried fruits and tree nuts; therefore, the flavors of biscuits were enhancing and changing. By the 16th century, these “Christmas Biscuits” were popular across all of Europe, with each region customizing them to their individual cultures.
The dawn of the 17th century brought cookies to the United States with the Dutch, and with the thanks of the imports from Germany in the late 1800 and early 1900s, cookie cutters were growing trend. From here birthed the tradition of “Holiday Cookie Swaps,” giving baked goods as gifts, as well as children leaving out cookies for Santa and his reindeer.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am thankful for the rising popularity of the cookie trend! Now, sugar cookies are great, chocolate chip cookies are awesome, and peanut butter cookies rock my socks, but how about we look into making some posh cookies to celebrate the holiday season? Great as gifts and even tastier snacks, these cookies are sure to impress all of your party guests or your giftees!
Let’s start with a simple Sugar Cookie recipe and from there we’ll look at some fancy adaptations!
Classic Sugar Cookies:
2 sticks butter
½ c granulated sugar
¾ c confectioner’ sugar
2 large eggs (separated)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 ¼ c all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in the yolks from both eggs, the vanilla, and orange zest. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir into butter mixture and mix until combined. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Using a tablespoon, form dough into balls then flatten. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Take the 2 sticks of butter from the Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe and melt them over medium heat until brown. Cool the butter. Make Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe with the following modifications:
Pre-heat Oven to 325 degrees
2 sticks brown butter instead of regular butter **
1 egg yolk instead of 2
NO confectioners’ sugar
¾ c granulated sugar
Scoop into tiny balls and lightly press onto baking sheet so they resemble half domes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. After cookies have cooled, fill with desired filling. Popular choices are strawberry or raspberry jam, though a cream cheese frosting could take place, or a whipped chocolate frosting. Dust the cookie sandwiches with confectioners’ sugar.
**Browned butter will give the cookies a deeper and richer flavor, almost nutty in description, as well as a flavorful aroma
Make the Class Sugar Cookie Recipe with the following modifications:
NO baking powder
Chill for 2 hours
Roll dough out into ¼ inch thickness and cut into 2-inch rounds. Chill the rounds for an additional 30 minutes. Bake the rounds for 8 to 10 minutes. After cookies have cooled, fill with desired filling. Popular choices are strawberry or raspberry jam, though a cream cheese frosting could take place, or a whipped chocolate frosting.
I think we can all agree Sugar Cookies are awesome. Though in my personal preference, I love chocolate. Yup! So versatile! It can be rich and creamy, dark and bitter, or light and milky. Let’s go over a Classic Chocolate Cookie Recipe and see how we can enhance it!
Classic Chocolate Cookies:
1 ¼ c granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
½ c Dutch-process cocoa powder (thanks for the chocolate AND the cookies, Dutch folks!)
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking power
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the granulated sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk the flour and cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together. Stir into the butter mixture and mix until combined. Chill for 30 minutes, then using a tablespoon or scoop, roll the dough into balls. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Over The Moons:
Make the Classic Chocolate Cookies listed above though instead of forming dough balls, roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Use a Moon shaped cookie cutter and cut out an even number of moons. Bake 8 to 12 minutes. While cookies bake, make filling.
1 c creamy peanut butter
6 Tablespoons butter
¾ c confectioners’ sugar
Beat sugar, peanut butter, and butter until smooth.
Once cookies cool, pair them up and fill the sandwiches.
Easy Whoopie Pies:
Make Classic Chocolate Cookie Dough with the following modifications:
3 eggs instead of 1 egg
¾ teaspoon baking powder instead of ¼ teaspoon
6 Ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler or in the microwave (heat for 20 seconds and stir in intervals until smoothly melted). Stir the melted chocolate in when the eggs are added. Roll the dough into balls and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool slightly, enough to touch. Remove half the cookies and flip the other half over. Put a marshmallow on top of each cookie and return to the oven. Bake for 2 minutes. Top with remaining cookies and allow sandwiches to cool.
I hope these cookies will be fun to make and add some flare to your holiday season!!