Shiny Cookie Icing

Shiny Cookie Icing

Dana and I love making and decorating cookies!  Needless to say, Dana is way better at decorating the cookies than I am.  This does not prevent me from trying.  Our son has been begging us to make some fancy cookies.  So we have been testing different recipes.  We tried royal icing.  It was great tasting and easy to work with.  However, it dried dull and not shiny.  Our next step was to try making our own recipe.  We dabbled with different ratios and finally figured out exactly what we wanted.  We used corn syrup for the perfect shine.  We then added vanilla for flavor.  Finally after a few tries we nailed down the perfect amount of water to make it sturdy enough to outline, yet loose enough to flow and fill.  This recipe gives you shiny and glossy cookies.

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Best Christmas Cookies 2016

Best Christmas Cookies 2016

We are only a few days away from Christmas and that can only mean one thing.  Christmas Cookies!!!  I love all types of cookies but for some reason, all cookies taste better at Christmas!  This list includes everything from Cut out cookies to fudge crinkles.  Lots of sugar, lots of chocolate and a ton of Christmas Fun!  Check out our best Christmas Cookies for 2016!

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Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Dana and I picked up a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Very Merry Cookies Cookbook.  It has opened our minds to tons of different Christmas Cookies.  The cookie that Liam has been hounding us for, is a Gingerbread Man Cookie.  We decided to try out the recipe and it was delicious!  A must try.

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Apricot Thumbprints

Apricot Thumbprints

Apricot Thumbnail Cookies

The next cookie that Dana made for our Christmas Cookie tins was a nice Apricot Thumbprint cookie.  The Apricot jam accented the sugar cookie nicely.  Just like the other cookies, I could not keep these out of my mouth.

Apricot Thumbprints

In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Using and electric mixer, beat  on high speed until light and fluffy.

Combine the ingredients

In another bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt).

Incorporate the dry ingredients

Turn the mixer to low and gradually stir into the butter mixture.  Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat until well blended.

Wrap in plastic and chill

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

 

Set oven to 400°F.

 

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets, use parchment paper only).

Form into balls and flatten by using your finger to create a well

Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on the cookie sheet.

Fill with jam

Make a well in each ball with your thumb or teaspoon, and then fill the well with apricot jam.

Bake

Bake 8 Mins at 400 degrees.

Fully Cooked

Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 
Ingredients
Sugar Cookie Base
  • 1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Thumbprint Filling
  • ½ Cup Apricot Jam
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  4. Set oven to 400°F.
  5. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets use parchment paper only).
  6. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place ont he cookie sheet.
  7. Make a well in each ball with your thumb or teaspoon, and then fill the well with apricot jam.
  8. Bake 8 Mins at 400 degrees.
  9. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-buttery-cut-out-sugar-cookies-w-icing-that-hardens-261889?oc=linkback

These were some of the most popular cookies.  They had a nice sweetness and the jam added a nice texture.  These were delicious cookies.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

The third cookie that Dana made for our Christmas cookie tins was soft molasses cookies.  These are soft and chewy with just a hint of spice.  The perfect treat on a cold night.  We ate a ton of these.  Not sure how any were left to give away.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Cream together the shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer.  You could do this by hand, but I would warn against it.

Cream together the shortening and brown sugar

Add in the egg and molasses and thoroughly mix.

Add the egg and molasses

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Turn the mixer to low speed and then slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Stir till combined

Put the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill till firm (at least 2 hours).

Once the dough has been chilled for a couple of hours, it is time to make the cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Roll into balls

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and Roll it into tablespoon sized balls.

Roll in sugar

Roll the balls in granulated white sugar.

Space out on a cookie sheet

Place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake

Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.

Perfect Molasses Cookies

Leave on sheet one minute until set.  Then remove to a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Soft Molasses Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 42
 
Soft and chewy molasses cookies.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cream together the shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer. You could do this by hand, but I would warn against it.
  2. Add in the egg and molasses and thoroughly mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer to low speed and then slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Put the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill till firm (at least 2 hours).
  5. Once the dough has been chilled for a couple of hours, it is time to make the cookies.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and Roll it into tablespoon sized balls.
  8. Roll the balls in granulated white sugar.
  9. Place on lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes.
  11. Leave on sheet one minute until set. Then remove to a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-molasses-cookies-63981

These are some of the best molasses cookies that I have ever eaten.  Definitely a must for your cookie tins.

Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-molasses-cookies-63981

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

This was the second cookie that Dana made for our Christmas cookie tins.  I love snickerdoodles and could not even think of a way to improve on them.  However, Dana found a way.  She used browned butter instead of regular butter.  The brown butter gave the already amazing cookies, a great rich flavor.  These are my new favorite cookies.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Melt the butter

Melt the butter and then after a minute or two the butter will begin to foam.  After a couple more minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom and edges of the saucepan.  Keep on whisking until the butter starts to emit a nutty aroma. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter to a separate bowl to prevent burning. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Browned Butter

With an electric or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then turn the mixer to low-speed and gently beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla  until thoroughly combined.

Cream the mixture

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon.  Then Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer.  The easiest way is to turn the mixer on to low-speed and then add 1/2 cup of the dry mixture at a time.

Add the dry ingredients

Chill your dough for at least 2 hours to allow the fat to congeal before cooking.  If you cook it right away the melted butter will cause you to have extremely flat cookies.

Chill the dough

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Roll the dough into balls

In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Roll them in sugar

Portion the dough into 2 tsp balls and then roll in the sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, roughly 2 inches apart.  They will spread out as they cook.

Evenly space the dough on the cookie sheet

Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

Repeat with remaining dough.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A twist on the traditional Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookie
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and then after a minute or two the butter will begin to foam. After a couple more minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom and edges of the saucepan. Keep on whisking until the butter starts to emit a nutty aroma. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter to a separate bowl to prevent burning. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  2. With an electric or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then turn the mixer to low-speed and gently beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon. Then Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer. The easiest way is to turn the mixer on to low-speed and then add ½ cup of the dry mixture at a time.
  4. Chill your dough for at least 2 hours to allow the fat to congeal before cooking. If you cook it right away the melted butter will cause you to have extremely flat cookies.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  6. In a small bowl mix ¼ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  7. Portion the dough into 2 tsp balls and then roll in the sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, roughly 2 inches apart. They will spread out as they cook.
  8. Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven and cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough.
Notes
Recipe adapted from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/brown-butter-snickerdoodle-cookies/

 

Recipe adapted from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/brown-butter-snickerdoodle-cookies/

Fudge Crinkles

Fudge Crinkles

Fudge Crinkle Cookie

For the next couple of posts I am handing the reigns over to my wife Dana!  She was in a Christmas cookie kind of mood and we decided to have a Christmas Cookie Marathon.  Dana is a great baker and here is her first recipe.  Fudge Crinkles.  I have never had these before, but they are like little chocolate pillows of awesomeness!  Dana blew me out of the water with these.

Fudge Crinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, oil and eggs by hand until a dough forms.  This is a temperamental dough so you do not want to use a mixer.

Mix till just combined

Coat your hands in confectioners sugar and then shape the dough into 1 inch balls.  You may have to dust your hands a few times.  The dough is really wet, so keep lots of confectioners sugar on stand-by.

Roll into balls

After the dough balls are formed, roll them in even more confectioners’ sugar.  This gives them that sweet snowflake look that you see in the main picture.

Roll in confectioners' sugar

Then place the sugar coated cookie balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Roughly 2-3 inches apart.

Ready to bake

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes or until the center of the cookie just starts to set.

Perfectly Cooked

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and then move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Fudge Crinkles
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
The perfect Christmas cookie
Ingredients
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (15.25oz)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, oil and eggs by hand until a dough forms. This is a temperamental dough so you do not want to use a mixer.
  3. Coat your hands in confectioners sugar and then shape the dough into 1 inch balls. You may have to dust your hands a few times. The dough is really wet, so keep lots of confectioners sugar on stand-by.
  4. After the dough balls are formed, roll them in even more confectioners' sugar. This gives them that sweet snowflake look that you see in the main picture.
  5. Then place the sugar coated cookie balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roughly 2-3 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes or until the center of the cookie just starts to set.
  7. Perfectly Cooked
  8. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and then move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/fudge-crinkles-a-great-4-ingredient-cake-mix-cookie-32614

Quite possibly the easiest and tastiest cookies around.