Lemon Glazed Cookies

Lemon Glazed Cookies

Lemon Glazed Cookies

So, Mama’s sportin’ a new tattoo these days that reads, “I never met a cookie I didn’t like!”. Anyone who knows me, know’s that that’s true. In some circles I’m known as the Countess of Cookies or the Duchess of Dough. Come on, everyone needs a cool nickname, right. So now that I’ve established that I may have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with our friend, the cookie, let me tell you how I put that obsession to good use.

This month, I had the privilege of participating in the fundraiser Cookies For Kid’s Cancer, a non-profit organization that raises funds for pediatric cancer research. They’re an awesome organization. Over 600 foodbloggers from around the world participated in the event which raised over $13,000 for the charity. That’s a lot of dough, for a lot of dough if you know what I mean. This was a worldwide cookie swap. I sent a dozen cookies each to three foodbloggers, and in return I received cookies from three fellow foodbloggers. Yes, Mama was in cookie heaven, and no, I didn’t share.

Lemon Glazed Cookies

Lemon Glazed Cookies

The cookie I chose to send to my designated recipients were these Lemon Glazed Cookies. I packaged them in white, vintage canisters, and I hope my fellow bloggers enjoyed them as much as I do. I also wanted to acknowledge the two bloggers who worked so hard to put this event together. They are Lindsay, from Love & Olive Oil, and Julie from The Little Kitchen. So let’s give these ladies a big round of applause. And so my dear readers, I wish you all a warm and wonderful holiday season, however you may celebrate it. And, if you’re so inclined I urge you to click on the Cookies For Kids Cancer website and send a little love their way.

Lemon Glazed Cookies

Lemon Glazed Cookies

Lemon Glazed Cookies

From Great Cookies by Carole Walter

  •  1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats. In a medium bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, cake flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and lemon zest together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream, mixing for about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks mixing for about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, and scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. You can even make the dough the day before, and chill overnight.
  4. When dough is chilled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife, cut the dough in half, cut that half in half and then those halves in half. Repeat with the other dough half, until you have 16 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll the dough piece into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten the dough ball with the heel of your hand until you have about a 3″ inch disk. Place 6 disks on a sheet, about 3″ apart. I baked the cookies for about 13 minutes, until the edges turned golden brown. I also rotated my pans 2/3 thru baking. When you remove the cookies from the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
  5. While cookies are cooling you can prepare your glaze. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon to spread the glaze over the cookies. Allow the cookies to sit out until the glaze has hardened.

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to achieve nice spreading consistency

Directions

Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix with a large fork or wire whisk until you achieve a good spreading consistency. It should drip in a steady stream from a spoon.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Recipe: Easy


Blondies

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Chocolate Shortbread Blondies with Coconut Topping

So, you’ve been invited to a Labor Day barbecue this weekend. That’s so nice. And the hostess asked if you would bring dessert, but you’re a little baffled right now because you can’t come up with something that’s sorta easy to make but tastes really good, huh? Well, Mama has a suggestion that you might like. It involves all the things I hold dear in life, which is chocolate, brown sugar, coconut and salted nuts. Yes I know, all rolled up into one!

I just can’t get enough of these Blondie Bars, each layer of these bars is delish on their own. You’ve got your chocolate shortbread crust, your creamy sweet Blondie layer, and then it’s all topped off by a chewy coconut macaroon topping. Now how good does this sound?

Your going to line your pan with foil so that when the Blondie’s have finished cooling in the pan, you can lift them out using the edges of the foil so that you can cut them into professional looking bars. To get extra clean cuts, I chilled mine for about 4 hours before cutting.

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Chocolate Shortbread Blondies with Coconut Topping

Blondies

From Better Homes & Gardens 

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 2/3 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted cashews, roughly chopped

Coconut Topping

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 lightly beaten egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

The Crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray, having the edges extend over the sides about 2 inches so that you’ll be able to lift the finished bars easily from the pan. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar and the cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Using your thumbs and forefinger, cut in 1 cup of the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Then mix in the mini chips. Press the mixture evenly into the foil-lined baking dish and bake for 8 minutes until set.

Coconut Topping: Whisk the 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 flour together in a medium bowl.  Add the 1 1/4 cups of flaked coconut and toss with your hands coating the coconut with the flour/sugar mixture. Stir in the egg whites and the vanilla until everything is incorporated. Then set aside.

Next, in a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar and 2/3 cup of butter, and over medium heat, stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Cool slightly.  Add the eggs one a a time stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour, the baking power and baking soda. Stir in the nuts. Pour the batter over the crust using a small offset spatula to make it smooth and even. Spoon the coconut topping into small mounds on top of the batter, carefully spreading it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 32-34 minutes until topping starts to lightly brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

When cool, using the edges of the foil, lift the Blondies out of the pan and cut into bars.

Makes 24 – 2″ square bars

Chocolate Shortbread Blondies

Chocolate Shortbread Blondies

Mama’s Tips:

I kept these bars in the fridge to chill and they took on the consistency of candy bars as opposed to a brownie bar. They were quite good.

You don’t necessarily have to cut these bars into 2″ squares, get creative. I cut some of them into 1″ x 3″ bars and others into 1″ squares for a bite-size party treat. To get a good, clean cut with your knife, make sure you chill these first. Use a ruler when measuring these out so all the bars are the same size.

Blondie Bars

Blondie Bars

Recipe: Easy


Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

For years I was the proud owner of a 1980′s flip phone.  My life was good, and it was simple.  I could make calls and receive calls, and I lived in the moment. I wasn’t distracted by my electronic device like the masses of people around me. Yeah, you know who you are.  Sadly, I haven’t had a conversation with either one of my son’s in years because I can’t get them to put down their phones for more than three minutes. I wondered to myself, what was happening on these phones that was so riveting.  Was I missing out on something? Was I suddenly becoming obsolete.

I started getting a lot of pressure from my friends regarding my lo-tech device. They were frustrated because I couldn’t text them, or send them photos.  And so, much to my dismay, I gave in and recently purchased an iPhone 5 as well as an iPad. These devices, which I had regarded as the downfall of civilization as we know it, have become my new obsession. So, here I am totally detached from the people around me because I’m so busy texting, tweeting and Instagraming because lord knows, the world is dying to see another photo of the burger I’m having for dinner. I want to go back to my old life where I had meaningful conversations with people, but I’m afraid that’s no longer possible.  I have an app that helps me convert ounces to grams, and one that tells me which transit to take when I’m in New York City, and honestly that’s a whole lot more interesting than talking to people. Am I right, or what.

However, today, I told myself  “Mama, step away from the phone”.  I pulled out the cookie sheets and decided to return to my old obsession…baking. I decided to share with you one of my all time favorites, the Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti, which I will undoubtedly enjoy as I tweet a photo of the finished product.

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Pine Nut Biscotti

From Great Cookies by Carole Walter

Biscotti

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons of water

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • About 1 tablespoon hot water (or a little bit more)

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, or if you have a double one, place them in the center rack position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and then set aside.
  3. Place the butter and the lemon zest together in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed. Then add the sugar in a few increments and beat for 1-2 minutes longer.
  4. Beat in the egg, then the yolks and vanilla and mix for another minute or two.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the dry ingredients in several additions and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Using a spatula, gently fold in 1/4 cup of the toasted  pine nuts.
  6. Spoon half of the dough onto one of the baking sheets, and with lightly floured hands form the dough into two, 2 x 14 inch logs, with one log on each sheet.
  7. Using a pastry brush, brush each log with the egg wash and sprinkle the pine nuts on top of each log, pressing them into the dough so that they stick to the dough.
  8. Bake each log for 18-20 minutes until they become browned. Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookie cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Lower the oven temp to 325 degrees F. Take each log off the cookies sheet one at a time, and place on a cutting board.  Using a good serrated knife begin to slice the log into 1/4 ” slices that you slice on an angle.  If you like a thicker cookie, make each slice 1/2 ” instead.
  10. Lay the cookies down on their flat side back on the sheet and place in the oven for another 9 minutes. Turn the biscotti over and then bake for another 9 minutes.
  11. While the cookies are baking, in a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, corn syrup and water to make a drizzling consistency glaze. If it’s too thick to drizzle, add a little water in small increments til you get the right consistency.
  12. Drizzle while the cookies are still warm. Let them cool to room temperature on a cooling rack so that the glaze hardens.

Yielded about 3 dozen biscotti

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti

Mama’s Tips

To toast the pine nuts: Place the nuts in a small, dry frying pan over a low heat, constantly stirring the nuts until they begin to turn light brown in color. Don’t leave them unattended as they will burn quickly. Toasting them will bring out their natural oils and that “nutty” flavor making your biscotti that much better.

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti with Fresh Lemon Glaze

Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti with Fresh Lemon Glaze

Recipe: Easy


Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

I love crunch and I love nuts, and come on friends, we’ve been over this again and again…you know how obsessed I am with chocolate. So here we have it, Chocolate Biscotti, it’s a virtual no-brainer!  And, as if this cookie is not already sheer perfection, yes, you guessed it, it’s dipped in a lovely chocolate glaze. Need I say more?

Well…of course I’ll say more, that’s what I do. I love to make biscotti simply because they’re so easy.  You shape the dough into logs, bake ‘em, slice them while they’re still warm, and then, bake ‘em again. These biscuits are really perfect to accompany a cup of coffee or a hot cup of tea, but seriously I eat six of these before the coffee’s even brewed. I’m so bad.

But I’m still not done touting the virtues of this humble confection. These little gems will store for at least a couple of weeks in an airtight container (yeah right, like these would last at my house for a couple of weeks!) And, if you’re like me and you love to send your friends and loved ones homemade treats, these will arrive at their intended destination fully intact. So what more could a girl ask for…well, maybe a flat stomach and longer legs, but that ‘aint gonna happen.

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

From “Great Cookies” by Carole Walter

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled to tepid
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 bag (12 ounce) semi sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces good quality semi sweet chocolate

Directions

  1. Place the racks in the oven in the upper and lower thirds. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and salt on medium speed until lightened in color, about two minutes. Gradually add the sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Pour the tepid butter down the side of the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds.
  3. Using a spatula, stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips, then fold in the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until ingredients are incorporated. Let the dough rest for ten minutes to thicken.
  4. Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the pans and form four logs (2 logs on each pan) measuring about 10 inches by 2 inches wide. Flour your hands lightly so you can easily work with the dough.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set on top. Let logs cool on pan for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2″ slices. Turn the slices cut side up, and return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies onto their other side and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until cookies are crisp. When done, remove from oven and let cookies cool.
  7. To make the glaze:  Place the water, corn syrup and sugar into a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to thicken, then dip the ends of the cookies in the glaze and place on parchment until the chocolate is set.
Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

Recipe: Easy


Jan Hagel Cookies – Dutch Shortbread

Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

I had a huge decision to make today. Take a 3 mile hike on the mountainous trails in the state park near my house or bake cookies. I really wanted to go on the hike. No, really I did. But, it was cold and somewhat blustery. Blustery you say, in Southern California! Since leaving the east coast 32 years ago I’ve become a big wuss, and when the mercury dips below 60 degrees I am forced to stay in the house. Well, not really forced, but it seems like the only sane thing to do. Really, what kind of a crazy person would venture out into such grave weather conditions. So, there you go, baking cookies won out.

So naturally, that takes us to Jan Hagel  Cookies (pronounced Yahn Hahgel) . I know, that’s a weird name, right. They’re Dutch cookies so I assume they were named for some Dutch guy who liked to bake. But I could be wrong. If you know where the name came from, please let me know. Anyway, when I was a kid growing up in the olden days, Keebler used to make a Jan Hagel cookie. It was one of my favorite cookies, and my mother always had a bag of them in the cookie drawer. But wouldn’t you know it, Keebler, unbeknownst to me, stopped producing the Jan Hagel cookie.

Well, as it turns out I don’t eat commercially packaged cookies anymore, anyway. It’s probably been twenty years since I had a Jan Hagel, so that’s what Mama baked.  They’re just perfect. It’s a cinnamon spiced shortbread topped with sugar and almonds that get all sweet and crunchy when you bake them.

Dutch Shortbread - Jan Hagel Cookies

Dutch Shortbread – Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

From Nick Malgieri

Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Vietnamese cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces

Topping

  • small bowl of water and pastry brush for brushing dough
  • 1 cup blanched, sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. With a pastry brush and melted butter, butter the bottom and sides of a 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan, then line the pan with parchment paper and butter that lightly too.
  2. Place your oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Put all your dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse repeatedly until the mixture is reduced to fine crumbs and looks like coarse cornmeal.
  4. Evenly distribute the dough mixture in the pan and use the palm of your hand to press it evenly and to make it adhere together. I used a drinking glass turned on its side to act as a rolling pin to flatten out the mixture in the pan. Paint the dough with water and evenly scatter the almond, sugar, cinnamon mixture over the dough, gently pressing it in to make it adhere to the dough.
  5. Bake the cookies for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden in color and the cookies are firm.
  6. When the cookies are done, take them out of the oven and cut them immediately before they harden. I used a ruler to measure where to score the cookies. I chose to cut them into 1 1/2″ x 3″ bars. I used a large metal spatula to cut into the cookies, but a serrated knife will work fine also.
  7. When the cookies are sliced, you can place them on a rack to cool.

Makes 30 – 1 1/2″ x 3″ cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies - Dutch Shortbread

Jan Hagel Cookies – Dutch Shortbread

Mama’s Tips:

Slice the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven as the dough will quickly harden making them too hard to cut.

Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

Recipe: Easy


Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites

Recently I was asked if I would bring a dessert to a wedding shower. Of course I would, that’s what I do. That’s what I live to do. I’m always so thrilled when I’m given the task of providing dessert, as it gives me a real purpose in life. So, when I was trying to decide what I should make, I knew immediately that it would have to be a mini dessert. At any gathering of women I’ve ever been too, my observation has been if the desserts are not mini, women won’t touch them. Ultimately I notice, they may eat 2 or 3 mini desserts which equals one normal sized treat.  Oh come on ladies, don’t hate me for saying this, you know it’s true.

Well anyway, I ended up making these Mini Almond Bites. Not surprisingly, they went over very well. They’re a little bit chewy like a macaron, and filled with lots of crunch from the abundance of almonds.

Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites

From Brownies & Bars

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 recipe Almond Glaze

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two 12-cup mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter over medium heat and cook until melted and smooth; cool slightly. Then, with a rubber spatula, stir in the egg, and almond and vanilla extracts.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and with the rubber spatula, stir just until combined. Stir in 1/3 cup of the almonds. Reserve the rest for topping the cookies.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling until half full. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
  5. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until tops are light brown. Cool in muffin tins on a wire rack for 5 minutes. When cooled you can drizzle the cookies with the Almond Glaze.

Almond Glaze

In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of milk until you reach a good drizzling consistency.

Makes 24 mini bites

Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites

Recipe: Easy

Mini Almond Bites

Mini Almond Bites


Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

What can I say, baking cookies never gets old for me. Yes, I’m at it again, yet another cookie recipe. People ask me all the time, “Sheryl, don’t you ever get tired of doing this?” No, no I don’t. While others are out in the world doing productive things with their lives, I prefer to remain at home in the privacy of my own kitchen measuring out flour and butter, rolling dough into cute little balls and watching them sprout into delectable little cookies.

I know, girl get a life. I do like to stand in front of the oven with the light on watching my dough balls morph into crispy, crunchy edible treats. It’s a harmless obsession really. These Chocolate Pecan Cookies are a particular favorite of mine as I like nothing more in life than chocolate and nuts, best combo ever since Kim and Kanye, am I right? As if these cookies are not already perfect enough, the chocolate drizzle on top is the icing on the cake, or the cookie…you know what I mean.

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Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

From Bon Appetit

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used half cup of each)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Stir the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl until you achieve a smooth consistency. Next, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Then add the nuts, stirring to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to a covered container and chill for at least four hours. You can make the dough a day ahead of time, and just keep it chilled in the refrigerator.
  2. On baking day, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment. Measure 2 tablespoons of dough, roll it between your palms to form a ball. Place the ball on your prepared baking sheets. Using your fingers, spread out the dough into a 3-inch diameter disk. If it makes it easier for you; pre-draw 3-inch circles on your parchment paper. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, I placed my ball of dough in the center of the cutter and smushed it out inside the cutter to form a 3-inch disk. I fit 6 cookies on each baking pan.
  3. Bake cookies about 10 minutes until flat and beginning to darken around the edges. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack.
  4. To make my chocolate drizzle, I took about 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped) and about a teaspoon of Crisco and placed it in a bowl. I gently microwaved it at 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval until I got a drizzly consistency of chocolate. I placed my cookies on a cooling rack and then put paper towels underneath the cooling rack before I drizzled the cookies with the chocolate. Let the cookies stand for about 30 minutes until the chocolate sets.

Makes 16 – 3″ cookies.

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Mama’s Tips: 

One of my most useful kitchen accouterments is a cookie cutter set like this.  For this particular recipe, I used the 3-inch cutter. I placed the cutter on the parchment covered cookie sheet, and then took my dough ball and pressed it into the cutter to achieve a uniform size for all my cookies. You always want your cookies to be the same size and thickness so that they will bake evenly for yummy results.

Recipe: Easy


Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

We here at Mama’s Gotta Bake just love our cookies. You notice how I said “we”, you know it’s really just me. I like to pretend there’s a group of us here so I can actually justify eating all these cookies.  Anyway, “we” spent the entire month of December  baking an obscene amount of goodies, but I decided that my last post of 2012 should be the Linzer Cookie.

For me, if there was ever cookie perfection, then the Linzer Cookie is it. They have a tender, nutty dough (check out those gorgeous flecks of nuts in the cookies below), a sweet preserve filling and they’re dusted ever-so-lightly with powdered sugar. Come on, you’re dying for one, admit it!

As we head into 2013, Mama’s Gotta Bake heads into year three, and I just wanted to thank all of you who have stopped by and read my posts. I appreciate your comments, and I can’t believe I get to connect with food lovers from all over the world. I wish everyone a peaceful and Happy New Year.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies
From Fine Cooking
  • 2-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) sliced almonds 
  • 2-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) coarsely chopped hazelnuts 
  • 9-1/2 oz. (2 cups plus 1 Tbs.) all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 
  • 7 oz. (14 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 T. cold water 
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite preserves (I chose four berry preserves)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting 

Directions

  1. The dough will need to be chilled for at least 3 hours, so keep that in mind when beginning this recipeIn a food processor, process the almonds and hazelnuts with 1/2 cup of the flour until fine textured but not powdered.
  2. Add the remaining flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Pulse to combine. Keep the butter in the refrigerator, it should not be room temperature. Take it out when you’re ready to use it. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the flour mixture; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Don’t overprocess. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together the egg and water; sprinkle over the flour mixture and toss gently to combine. The dough should hold together when pinched. (If it seems dry, sprinkle on a bit more water.) Gather the dough into two balls and knead briefly just to blend. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours. I made the dough a day before and refrigerated it overnight.
  3. To bake:  preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment. Roll one ball of the dough in between two layers of parchment paper, 3/16 inch thick. (Keep the rest in the refrigerator, and if the dough warms up to the point of being sticky while you’re working with it, return it to the refrigerator.) Cut out as many 2-1/2-inch rounds as possible, rerolling the scraps to make more rounds. Arrange on the cookie sheets about 3/4 inch apart. Cut 1-1/4-inch holes in the center of half the rounds. Reroll these center scraps to make more cookies. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.To assemble: With the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread a heaping 1/2 tsp. preserves on the underside of the whole cookie rounds. Top with the doughnut-shaped cookies, bottom sides against the preserves. Be sure you dust the “doughnut shaped” cookie with powdered sugar before you place it on top of the half with the preserves so that you do not cover the preserves with the sugar.

Makes 20 – 2 1/2″ cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Mama’s Tips:

When you take your dough out of the refrigerator in preparation for baking, let it warm up for 5-10 minutes. Then, roll your dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper. At this point if the dough is too warm and sticking to the parchment,  you won’t be able to cut clean edged shapes from it. Lay the dough in the parchment flat on a cookie sheet and return the dough to the refrigerator or freezer. When the dough is cold again you will easily be able to cut your shapes out.

Store the cookies in an airtight container in between layers of wax paper. They should last for 3-4 days. But they won’t last that long, trust me.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Recipe: Intermediate


Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies

I know I told myself that right after Thanksgiving I would go back on Weight Watchers. That I would start lifting those weights I have a sitting in the corner of my bedroom. That I would walk my dog Jimi everyday for an hour, and that I would get in my car and go to the gym and pretend to sweat. But who am I kidding. The first free day that I get when I can actually implement these new policies and what do I do instead. Bake cookies. I just couldn’t help it. The lure of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and molasses was just too strong for me to resist. It was calling to me. And I answered. HELLO COOKIES!

These Molasses Cookies are a real family favorite. I seriously can’t keep them in stock. I made them on Friday, and they were gone by Saturday. And no, I didn’t eat them all. I shared. They’re very easy to make actually, as you mix them up in just one pot. Yes a pot!  This sinfully chewy cookie just oozes rich molasses flavor and spices. I can assure you, these will become one of your family favorites also.

Okay, so I’m off to the gym now, see ya.

Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies

From Great Cookies by Carole Walter

  • 1 1/2 sticks, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for rolling cookies in
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a 3 quart, heavy saucepan over low heat.
  2. Strain together three times the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves and then set it aside.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, molasses, and egg into the butter, mixing until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, one-half at a time, and blend well.  Put the dough in a large plastic freezer bag, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls or you can use a ice cream scoop to form the balls. Place some sugar in a shallow bowl, and roll the dough balls in the sugar to coat them. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart from one another as they will spread. 
  6. Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes until the tops begin to crack. Remove from the oven and leave them on the cookie sheets for three minutes and then remove the cookies with a thin metal spatula to cool on a rack.

Makes 24 cookies

Molasses Cookies

Mamas Tips

These cookies freeze really well. You  can store them in an airtight container, just layer the cookies with wax paper in between and they should last up to 3 weeks.

All cookies need to be the same size so that they will bake evenly. To insure that all your cookies will be the same size, use an ice cream scoop.

If your shipping your homemade cookies for the holidays, these ship extremely well.

Molasses Cookies

Recipe: Easy


Olive Oil Cookies with Lemon & Thyme

Olive Oil Cookies

I do believe I’ve had a love-affair with cookies my whole life.  Friends who knew me growing up can attest to the fact that I ate cookies for breakfast most days. Well why not. Back in the day I could plow through bags of Oreo’s, Mallowmars and Chips Ahoy cookies, but I’ve come a long way, baby!

Once I began making cookies from scratch there was no turning back for me. I don’t think I’ve eaten a packaged cookie in years. I just lost my taste for them. I don’t want to eat anything with high fructose corn syrup, partially (why partially) hydrogenated soybean oil or artificial flavors in it.

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that a homemade cookie is health food. It’s still butter, sugar and flour, and full of calories. However, if one is going to indulge, and one is going to indulge in moderation, then you’ve got to eat the real thing. When I bake at home, I try to use the best ingredients I can find. Good quality vanilla, chocolate chips, and butter result in a very tasty end product. And you guys agree with me that it’s all about the flavor.

Anyway, I’ve been making these soft and chewy Olive Oil Cookies with Lemon & Thyme for several years now. Why, because they wallop you with flavor. I use the best quality oil oil I have, and farmer’s market fresh lemons and thyme. One bite  takes me back to the green, rolling hills of Tuscany covered in olive trees. Okay, a bit overly dramatic…but you get the picture.

Olive Oil Cookies with Lemon & Thyme

Olive Oil Cookies with Lemon & Thyme

Adapted from 805 Magazine, September 2009

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced thyme
  • sugar for rolling
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, add olive oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat on low speed until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add the thyme and mix on low just to incorporate.
  4. Using about a teaspoon amount (or more if you like a larger cookie), roll dough into balls and then roll the balls into a bowl of granulated sugar.
  5. Place the balls onto the cookie sheet, and flatten slightly with the bottom of a cup.
  6. Bake about 8-10 minutes, and then cool on a wire rack.
  7. When completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

Lemon Olive Oil Cookies

Makes 32-36 cookies

Recipe: Easy


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