Christmas Cookies… 6 weeks late!

In the spirit of the season I forgot to make my blog entries for the Christmas cooking and baking, and this year was a big one!
So, it’s February 3rd, and here’s my Christmas blog entry. ūüôā

Cookies, Christmas 2012:

  • Rainbow Cookies (7 layer) – old family recipe
  • Pignoli Cookies – new family recipe
  • Gingerbread Cookies (with a twist)
  • PB&J Thumbprints
  • Sugar-Free Spice Cookies

Seven Layer cookies in progress:

 

 

sevenlayer sevenlayersfridge7layercuttingspignoli

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

The¬†gingerbread¬†cookie recipe was from another¬†blog, and is actually a modified version of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, but it didn’t work at all! The recipe said it was for chewy¬†gingerbread¬†men, which I wanted to make so that the Geremias could decorate them on the Eve, but the dough was so soft, that even after time in the freezer the dough couldn’t be cut into little men. I made drop cookies instead, rolling them into little balls and smashing them into circles with the bottom of a floured glass, and they tasted great and were chewy. We iced them on the Eve and they were delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Royal Icing¬†for decorating

Directions:

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is sandy and resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds. With food processor running, add molasses and milk; process until dough is evenly moistened and forms soft mass, about 10 seconds.
  • My variations to account for too-soft dough:¬†Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator at least two hours (or overnight) or place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm.
  • Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll into small teaspoon-sized balls, ¬†place on prepared baking sheets spacing cookies 1 inch apart,¬†¬†and flatten with the bottom of a floured glass. Bake until centers are just set and¬†dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes. Rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 2 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Decorate as desired… we used Betty Crocker cookie icing, which dries fast and is great for a group project.

gingrebreadmassacre gingerbreaduncooked gingrebreadbaked

Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumprints (minus the thumbs) – Martha Stewart’s recipe

Chris and Carolyn liked these after they shared a tin with the¬†gingerbread¬†cookies. Out of the oven they were too crunchy and crumbly, but after sharing a tin or zip bag with chewy cookies, they softened and everyone liked them better. I didn’t change anything in her recipe, so use the link above.

PBJ

Splenda Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
6 tbsp crisco vegetable shortening
6 tbsp butter
1 cup granulated splenda
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:
1. Mix shortening, butter, splenda, egg, molasses in large mixing bowl
2. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Mix thoroughly.
3. Chill dough in refriderator until firm (2 hours)
4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
5. Form dough into 30 balls, approx 1 level tablespoon each. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and pat down gently with fork making a criscross pattern.
6. Bake cookies in the center of the preheated 350 F oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will look chewy when they come out but will become crisp. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 30 cookies. 1 cookie = 2g sugar, 80 calories.

splendaspice

Sugar Free Gingerbread Cookies


The first of the Christmas parties was today and I wanted to make some cookies for my favorite Pop!

Splenda Gingerbread Men

6 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
4 tsp. Ground Ginger
4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup SPLENDA Granular
1 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Molasses
3 Tbsp. Water

Blend together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large mixing bowl.

Cream butter, SPLENDA Granular and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the molasses and water. Stir well. Add the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Refrigerate dough 1-2 hours before rolling out and cutting into shapes.

Preheat oven to 350¬į F. Roll cookie dough out slightly less than 1/4 inch. Cut into desired shapes. Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.

I cut the above recipe in half and it made about 20 large gingerbread men. I had never made gingerbread before, and it was hard to get the cut cookies off the marble board, but it was easier with a spatula covered in flour. The recipe calls for rolling them out to 1/4″ but I think the 1/8″ ones were better. I used store-bought icing, but in tiny doses it’s just fine and isn’t too much sugar.

The best part was letting Chris and the rest of our crazy bunch decorate them! I especially like the cyclops and the injured one with the bandaged head, foot and arm in a sling! ūüôā