Monthly Archives: December 2011

Spritz Cookies

My husband is a happy man!!  I finally made the Spritz cookies he has been begging for and he doesn’t have to fight my Dad for them.  I am happy too because my oldest daughter is home from college and helped make the Spritz and did all the decorating!!!  Life is good!!!!!! 

These cookies have been on the cookie tray as long as I can remember, they are so yummy and with the new cookie press so easy!!! Really the new cookie press makes all the difference….it’s not torture making these, it is actually kind of fun.  Buttery and delicious, just make sure not to overbake and make lots because they will disappear.  Oh, I made them green this year (totally confused my husband) in order to differentiate between batches. Next week I plan on making another type of Spritz so I wanted to be able to tell them apart.

Cookie tray is finally looking like a cookie tray.
Spritz Cookies
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook


Printer Friendly Recipe

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add in egg, and vanilla.
Mix in flour and salt.

Place dough in a cookie press and follow directions to create desired shapes.

Bake 6-9 minutes until set. Do not ovebake.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and place on wire drying racks.

Makes 3-4dozen cookies

Chocolate Mint Brownies

I know, I know, I know another bar type cookie.  I’m stuck in a rut, but I promise it will change, tomorrow.  My oldest daughter arrives home from college tonight so tomorrow she will be here to shape, roll, decorate or whatever else the cookies call for.  So hold on for another day of bar cookies, I think you will like them.  This time it’s a brownie and its mintJ 
A chocolatey, minty, gooey brownie that will be a good addition to a holiday cookie plate.  They use mint chips, I have experimented with a variety of brands and most work, the ones that have chocolate with the mint chips provide the most chocolate brownie.  The brownies are so easy to mix up you don’t even need a mixer.

Cookie tray is filling up!!!
Chocolate Mint Brownies

Printer Friendly Recipe

⅔ cup butter
1 (10 oz) bag of mint chips
1 ½ cup sugar
⅓ cup cocoa
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 13×9 pan.

In a microwave safe bowl melt 1 cup of mint chips and the butter in microwave (approximately) 1 – 1 ½ minutes until chips are melted when stirred.
Stir in sugar and cocoa,
Add in eggs mixing well.
Add vanilla extract..
Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Mix in remaining mint chips.

Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 28-30 minutes.

Makes 24 bars

Rocky Road Bar Cookies

When I was growing up my Mom made this cookie that was a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough, covered with marshmallows and smothered with a chocolate frosting mix.  The chocolate frosting was a box mix that made an icing similar to the one found on a Texas Sheet Cake (you know the one, really chocolate and licking the bowl is required) but she always used this mix.  By the time I was in high school the cookies were off the cookie tray because the frosting mix couldn’t be found.  I have been craving these cookies every Christmas since.  So this year I made them. 

I used the Toll House cookie recipe to make the base.  While the base was cooking I mixed up a batch of chocolate frosting.  When the cookies came out of the oven I covered them with a bag of mini marshmallows and poured on the chocolate frosting. 

The result was a cookie just like I remembered: chocolate chips, marshmallows and luscious chocolate frosting, delicious!!!!

Cookie tray is finally starting to fill up!!!

Rocky Road Bar Cookies
1 recipe of your favorite chocolate chip cookies baked in jelly roll (you can cheat and use premade chocolate chip cookie dough)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 batch of Chocolate Frosting
Make your favorite chocolate chip cookies in a jelly roll pan.
When the cookies are baking mix a batch of chocolate frosting.
When the cookies come out of the oven cover with mini marshmallows.
Pour the chocolate frosting over the marshmallows.
Let frosting harden.
Makes 36 bars
Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan stir together butter, cocoa, and milk over medium heat until butter is melted.
Stir an additional 2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
Remove from heat.
Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.


Nana’s Chocolate Cookies

These are the cookies that I hide!  Really, these cookies are sooooooooo good that I hide them from my family!!  I have made them when no one else is home and cleaned up all the evidence, freezing all the cookies so I can I eat them all.  I am not proud of it but they are so chocolatey that I can’t help myself. 
I LOVE these cookies out of the freezer (it might be because when I was a kid I used to sneak into the freezer and help myself to these cookies, sorry Mom), the chocolate is kind of gooey and oh so good   My sister and I were talking about making these, she lives in Washington state so it’s ok if she knows about my secret stash, and she does the same thing!  Hide them….it must be a family tradition J But she likes her cookies warm and will warm them to be soft and gooey. 
My great-grandmother made these and hers were perfect.  My Gram’s, not so much because the secret to these cookies is they are best when they are barely baked and my Gram always worried about us getting sick from uncooked eggs.  If you like soft, chocolate cookies give these a try.

Everyday the cookie tray looks better.

Nana’s Chocolate Cookies

½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, well beaten
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
½ tsp salt
¾ cup flour

Preheat oven to 325.

Cream shortening and sugar.
Add vanilla extract and eggs.
Add melted chocolate.
Mix in salt and flour.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake 7-10 minutes.

Makes 3-4 dozen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dipped Spritz

Since I have the wonderful new cookie press I can make lots of Spritz.  So I decided to make a new type, Peanut Butter Spritz and since peanut butter and chocolate go so well together I wanted to find a way to make them work together in this recipe. 
Chocolate chips won’t go through the cookie press so I decided to coat the bottom of them with melted chocolate (my daughter was home to help).  The cookies taste great even before coating them so I left some without chocolate coating for variety.  It seemed to work best to work in small batches when coating them, melting only a little chocolate at a time.  It was messy work but the taste was worth it.

Look the cookie tray is filling up nicely.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Coated Spritz
Printer Friendly Recipe1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
½ – 1 cup chocolate chips, for dipping

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix butter, sugar, and peanut butter until fluffy.
Add in egg, and vanilla.
Mix in flour, and salt.

Place dough in a cookie press and follow directions to create desired shapes.

Bake 6-9 minutes until set. Do not ovebake.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and place on wire drying racks.

When cool melt remaining chocolate chips in small batches.
Coat bottom of cookies with melted chocolate.
Place on parchment covered baking sheets with chocolate side up.
Place in freezer until chocolate is set.

Makes 8-9 dozen cookies

Lemon Cookies

These are the cookies that do not want to be on the cookie tray.  They were supposed to be made yesterday but drama and angst got in the way.  Then they were going to be made this morning and all went well.  The dough came together, my daughter helped scoop, they came out of the oven perfect.  All was good.  The sample bite yielded the perfect lemon flavor. 
Cookies were cooling on the racks on the kitchen table when tragedy struck!!!! My daughter’s silly little dog decided they smelled good & climbed onto the kitchen table and helped herself!!!!!!!!  Batch of cookies covered in doggy drool!!!!!
The Naughty Dog

Luckily I had already put a few on a plate for pictures.  The cookies are Chewy Lemon cookies.  The recipe can be found on the blog How Sweet It Is.  I love these cookies which is surprising since there is no chocolate in sight.  They are a light, refreshing change to chocolate (I can’t believe I said that but occasionally something other than chocolate is yummy).

Look the cookie tray is filling up nicely.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

 

These are the cookies that I whip up whenever cookies are required and I am pressed for time.  These are the cookies my daughter requests when she has to take cookies somewhere.  These are the cookies that her friends beg for.  These are the cookies that disappear at supersonic speed.  Last time her boyfriend ate them he texted me how wonderful they were.  Do you get the idea?  These are REALLY good!!!!

 

Did I add that they are REALLY easy to make too?  Only the most basic ingredients: butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, and of course chocolate chips.  The cookies themselves are buttery and chocolatey, and really you want more than 1 once you start eating them.  Enjoy!!!!!

 

Cookie tray is starting to look better.

 

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

 

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 13×9 pan

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add vanilla extract.
Mix in flour.
Add chocolate chips.

Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 18-20 minutes

Makes 24 bars

Cinnamon ‘Snickerdoodle’ Bar Cookies

My husband has been feeling a little left out, I have been making favorite cookies of everyone else and not his.  So today I made cookies for him.  One reason I did not make them sooner is he will eat them all before Christmas even if I stick them in the freezer so I was waiting until closer to Christmas so I wouldn’t have to make them twice.  The other problem is he likes Snickerdoodles, cookies I had never even heard of until I married him (there is no chocolate in them so they did not show up on my radar) and Snickerdoodles are ROLLED cookies!!  As I’ve mentioned before I detest making rolled cookies, that’s what my daughters are for but it’s Wednesday and they are busy with school.  So I decided to change things up a bit, still make him Snickerdoodles (or at least a cookie that tastes like a Snickerdoodle) but make it as a bar cookie. 

I am all about the bar cookie, great cookie taste without the tedious rolling or scooping.  Seriously if you are having a cookie emergency, you know what I’m talking about, you MUST HAVE COOKIES but you are pressed for time a bar cookie is the way to go.  Mix, through them in a pan and usually in 30 minutes or less you are finished and have an amazing batch of cookies.

I admit I tried the cookies and they are good (even if there is no chocolate).  Buttery, cinnamonny, and light.  My husband in ‘testing’ them has eaten half the pan (probably will have to make them again before Christmas) and likes them with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar best (tastes more like Snickerdoodles) but also likes them without the topping.  It is up to you whether to add the extra cinnamon and sugar.

Another cookie for the cookie tray.

Cinnamon ‘Snickerdoodle’ Bar Cookies

Printer Friendly Recipe
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
sugar and cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a 13×9 pan.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Mix in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl combine cinnamon, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Mix until combined.

Spread in greased pan.
If desired sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Makes about 24 bars

Pinwheel Cookies

Today’s cookie, Pinwheels, is my Mom’s favorite and to be honest it is one of the cookies that no one in the family wants to take responsibility for.  The reason is they are a pain to make!! They are one of those annoying rolled cookies that NEVER work out the way you want them too.  Just roll them up and throw them in the fridge until you are ready to slice some off, yeah right.  Well I was determined to make them this year!! I started early so I would have plenty of time; the mixing went well and put them in the fridge, so far so good. 
The tricky part is rolling the dough, my Gram always rolled between 2 sheets of waxed paper and her cookies were always perfect so I got out my waxed paper and rolled out the vanilla layer.  Mine was not a perfect rectangle & it started to stick to the wax paper but I pressed on. 
Rolled out the chocolate layer, which was colder and easier to work with. 
It was the combining of the 2 layers that got difficult, the vanilla layer was sticking to the wax paper but I patched it up, held my breath and quickly rolled the 2 together, wrapped it back in wax paper and put it back in fridge. 
The trick seems to be to keep the dough cold and work quickly.
 The rest is easy, slice and bake then enjoy. 
I successfully made the cookies, not as uniform and pretty as my Gram but they taste good.

Look, another cookie on the tray.

Pinwheel Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

Cream butter until fluffy.
Gradually add in sugar.
Mix in egg and vanilla.
Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Add melted chocolate to 1 part, mix well.

Chill each portion of dough until stiff and easy to handle.
Roll each portion of the dough into an oblong about ⅛ “ thick.
Place one piece of dough on top of the other.
Roll the long edge jelly roll fashion.
Wrap in wax paper and chill.

When ready to bake slice the rolls into cookies.
Arrange the slices on cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Chocolate Spritz

I got the BEST birthday present, a new cookie press!!!!!! Every Christmas Spritz are on the cookie list, they are my Dad’s favorites, my oldest daughter adores them and so does my husband. There is only one problem, I CAN NOT STAND to make Spritz!! I had an old electric cookie press that drove me nuts!! Try as I might it never worked right, I ended up having to remake and remake and remake cookie after cookie after cookie. It always took FOREVER to make one batch and by the time I was part way through the batch I was frustrated and never wanted to see another Spritz. But after the cookies were made the fun really began Spritz wars. My dad would try to hide the cookies from everyone else and a mostly good natured battle for the cookies ensued. The worst part was after all that work I never even got a chance to enjoy the cookies because I was not getting involved in the war. But all that is over because with the new cookie press Spritz are easy and almost enjoyable to make!! Dare I say it I might even make them at times other than Christmas and I know I am going to make LOTS of different types of Spritz.

Spritz are good but Chocolate Spritz should be even better (because chocolate makes everything better). The problem was I never found a Spritz recipe that was chocolatey enough. So today I tweaked my traditional Spritz recipe by adding cocoa and melted chocolate chips. The result was delicious!!! Chocolatey and so wonderful I might have to start my own Spritz Wars .

The cookie tray is slowly filling up.

Double Chocolate Spritz
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook

Printer Friendly Recipe

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅔ cup cocoa
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add in melted chocolate chips, egg, and vanilla.
Mix in cocoa, flour, and salt.

Place dough in a cookie press and follow directions to create desired shapes.

Bake 6-9 minutes until set. Do not ovebake.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and place on wire drying racks.

Makes 8-9 dozen cookies