Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Part One

Gooey Butter Cookies


8-ounce cream cheese; softened
1/2-cup butter; softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 - 18.5 ounce package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Stir in the egg and vanilla.
Add the cake mix and stir until well blended.
Roll into 1" balls and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar.
Place 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet (use parchment paper).

Bake for 10-13 minutes.

Remove immediately from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Snowballs

1 1/4 cups butter; softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts
sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, gradually add granulated sugar and vanilla; beating well.

Combine flour, cocoa, salt, and nuts; gradually add to butter mixture; beating until well blended.

Portion dough by teaspoonfuls and roll into balls; place on ungreased baking sheets (I always use parchment paper).

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Roll warm cookies in sifted powdered sugar.
Almond Macaroons

One 8-ounce can of almond paste
1-cup of sugar
2 large egg whites at room temperature
36 red or green candied cherries OR whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor or the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the almond paste and sugar.  Process or beat until well blended.
Add the egg whites and process or blend until very smooth
Scoop up one tablespoon of the batter and lightly roll it into a ball.  Dampen your fingertips with cool water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Place on a prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining batter, placing the balls about 
1-inch apart on the baking sheets.  Push a candied cherry or almond into the top of each cookie.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheets.
With a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal**
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.
Peppermint Crescents

1-cup butter; softened
1 2/3-cup powdered sugar; divided
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of milk
Hard peppermint candies; crushed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 2/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, and salt; beating well.
Gradually add flour; beating until well blended.
Divide dough into 3 portions - divide each portion into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a 2-inch log, curving ends to form a crescent.  
Place crescents 2-inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool for 5-minutes.  Carefully roll warm cookies in sifted powdered sugar.
Cool completely on wire racks.

Stir together milk, remaining 1-cup powdered sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon extract until smooth.  Drizzle cookies with the icing and sprinkle with crushed candies; gently pressing.

Mrs. Field's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2-cups flour
1/2-teaspoons baking soda
1/4-teaspoon salt
1-cup dark brown sugar
1/2-cup white sugar
1-cup salted butter; softened
2 large eggs
2-teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-cups (12-ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed.  Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips; blending at low speed just until mixed.  
Do not over mix.

Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper); 2-inches apart. 

Bake for 22-24 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer cookies immediately to a cook surface with a spatula upon removing from the oven.
Crescent Cookies (from the kitchen of Jeanette Niles)

2-cups butter
1-cup confectioner's sugar
2-teaspoon vanilla
2-cups chopped nuts
4-cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and blend in sugar.  Add vanilla, flour, and nuts.

Take by spoonful and roll into a crescent shape and place on parchment paper.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar.

Never store these cookies in a tupperware type container, only store in tins.

Giant Colorful Candy Cookies

1-cup brown sugar
3/4-cup white sugar
1-cup butter; softened
2 eggs
3/4-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2-cups flour
3/4-teaspoon baking soda
2-cups M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat sugars, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed.
Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda.  
Stir in candies.

Drop by cup fulls (1/4 cup each) 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper).  
Flatten dough slightly with a fork.

Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are light brown. 

Cool for 3-4 minutes.
Peanut Blossoms  (from Nana's kitchen)

1 3/4-cup flour 1/2-cup sugar
1/2-cup brown sugar 1-teaspoon baking soda
1/2-teaspoon salt 1/2-cup butter
1/2-cup peanut butter 2-Tablespoons milk
1-teaspoon vanilla 1 egg
some extra white sugar in a bowl
48 hershey's chocolate kisses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In a large bowl combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, and egg.  Beat at lowest speed until stiff dough forms.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in white sugar.  Place balls 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (I always use parchment paper).  

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Immediately top each cookie with 1 candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around the edges.  Remove from cookie sheets.
Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4-cups Flour 1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt 1-cup butter
3/4-cup white sugar 3/4-cup brown sugar
2-eggs 12-ounces chocolate chips
1-teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time until completely blended.
Add flour mixture gradually; blend well.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
Monster Cookies (from the kitchen of Lorinda S.)

1/2 cup margarine
12-ounce jar of creamy peanut butter
1-cup brown sugar
1-cup white sugar
2-teaspoons baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 1/2-cups rolled oats (NOT instant)
1-cup M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and peanut butter.  Add sugar; blend well.  
Add eggs, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
Stir in rolled oats and M&M's.

Drop by teaspoonful on ungreased cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper)

These are an absolute favorite among all of my children, their friends, my nieces and nephews, as well as all of my cousin's children.  (adults like them too)
Peanut Butter Cookies (from Nana's Kitchen)

2 1/2 Cups Flour 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 1 Cup Butter
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients; set aside.

Cream butter and peanut butter together.  Add brown sugar and then eggs; mix well.
Add remaining ingredients; blend well.

Roll into balls and press gently with a fork.  (to avoid the fork from sticking to the dough, dip the fork into a glass of hot water each time)

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes