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Monday, December 16, 2013

Cookies Cookies and even MORE COOKIES

So it's that time of year where i make dozens of cookies, drive everyone around me insane with smelly goods and then proceed to distribute cookies to friends and family like some giant cookie-happy elf-thing. So far I have cheated. I'm not going to lie. I have used boxed cookie mixes for a few things, but this week, I will step it up a notch and put out some good home baked goodies. I wanted to share a couple of good recipes so you can follow my good example and make holiday cookie happiness for all of the people!

First, Cowboy Cookies. Nom.

(this recipe makes a TON of cookies... beware, I bet you could half it, I have just never tried because COOKIES!)

3 c. shortening
6 eggs, beaten
3 c. sugar
3 c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. vanilla extract
6 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
6 c. long-cooking oats, uncooked
2 12-oz. pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a very large bowl, blend together shortening, eggs, sugars and vanilla; set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Slowly stir flour mixture into shortening mixture. Add oats and chocolate chips; mix evenly. Form into walnut-size balls; place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. 

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Two warnings about these cookies: don't give them to young children before bedtime and don't leave them lying around (if you want any left for yourself).

2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup sugar  
1 cup light brown sugar 
2 eggs, room temperature  
2 1/2 cups flour 
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder  
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon Kosher salt  
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder  
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars really well until light and fluffy. Then, add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition to make sure they are well combined. In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. I use a whisk to make sure the dry ingredients are well mixed. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix everything until the ingredients are fully combined, but do not overbeat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a rounded teaspoon, drop dough on the sheet 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Another fun thing you can do with these is roll the balls of dough in powdered sugar for a fun crackled look. Or I used gold sanding sugar to give them a sophisticated edge.

There's a third I've been dying to try, but haven't yet. I am hesitant to put it up on here because it is untested, but.... I tend to trust most recipes I find in Gooseberry Patch, and it will give me initiative to try it so i can post an update. Plus cookie cutters are fun. :)

White Velvet Cutouts

2 c. butter, softened
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
4-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Optional: candy sprinkles

3-1/2 c. powdered sugar, divided
3 T. butter
1 T. shortening
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk
Optional: food coloring

Blend together butter and cream cheese; add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Chill for 2 hours; roll out on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes; place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely and frost; top with sprinkles, if desired. For Frosting, combine 1-1/2 cups sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and milk; beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar and food coloring, if desired; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes until creamy.

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