Merry Christmas dear readers. I hope your holidays are happy, your bellies are stuffed, and your wishes fulfilled.
I'm sending this fleeting message from my bed, where I've been propped up for the past few days, fighting off a horrid virus that's invaded my head and caused my ears and throat to feel like they're on fire.
In lieu of anything coherent (give me a break, I'm incapacitated), and because I've been a bit cookie-obsessed these past few weeks, I bring you the best cookies I've found online this year.
Gingerbread Man Cookies
I've tried several different gingerbread recipes, and this is the best one I've come across. The cookies aren't too chewy or tough, and have a nice, light, spiced flavour too them.
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.
Chocolate mint squares
These are a bit more fiddly to make, but taste really good - especially the mint buttercream icing, which I couldn't stop scooping straight from the bowl.
(From Joy of Baking)
Crescents (Mexican wedding cakes)
These are really easy to make, and taste delicious. They have a crumbly texture that's unique to other cookies.
(From the Food Network)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
- 1 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed gradually add the flour. Mix in the pecans with a spatula. With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks.
I came across this recipe on Epicurious, and was intrigued by the combination of toffee and toasted almonds. The end result was good.
Sugar cookies with icing
Christmas isn't complete without good old fashioned sugar cookies, and it's always fun (or disastrous, depending on which way you look at it) to get the kids to help decorate them. I've been using this rolled sugar cookie recipe and icing recipe from allrecipes for the past few years, and they always turn out well.
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Sugar Cookie Icing
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- assorted food coloring
- In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
- Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.
Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
From Martha Stewart.