Holiday Cookie Baking Report:
As some of you know, this year I embarked on a journey to learn more about baking. Thanks so much again for all your help and all your recipes!
So I decided to end the with a bang and put together some awesome cookie plates! I used some new recipes as well as some tried and true! Heres a rundown of the results.
* Oreo Rumballs: Thanks so much again to poster AnneInMpls for sharing this great recipe! I made these actually using whiskey (Dickle) and they mellowed out JUST beautifully! I made twice, the first time with two batches because one package of Oreos is almost twice the called for 8.5oz. The first batch came out a bit soupy and we had to crush more chocolate cookies in it. The second batch we added nuts to, but I didnt like the flavor too much. So the second time I made it, I just crushed up the entire bag of Oreos and doubled on the light side each ingredient and added the Whiskey last, so I could control the texture. This recipe also introduced me to my new love, Superfine Sugar, which made for the perfect coating.
* Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti: One of my first baking adventures and it always comes out great! I secret is to go ahead and use semi-sweet chocolate chips. I tried to use fancy dark chocolate chunks, but the flavor was too harsh it needs the sweetness from the chips
* Travelers Chocolate Chip Cookies: A friend gave me this recipe for Chocolate chip Cookies with Walnuts, Corn Flakes, and Coconut. Being a coconut fiend, I just had to try it and it also introduced me to the half shortening/half butter cookie the texture was REALLY soft If youd like the recipe, please e-mail me.
* Old Style Ginger Bread Men: The same friend gave me this recipe as well. This was my first time making gingerbread (I made men last year from a Williams Sonoma) and they turned out well but a little crisp. Next year, Ill look for something with Molasses. Also, I a Martha Stewart Recipe for Royal Icing which is basically 1 beaten stiff egg white and 2 cups powdered sugar w/ a table spoon of Lemon Juice. This turned out MUCH more watery than I remember, so I had to beat in a bit more powdered sugar! After refrigerating it for a bit, finally I got a nice piping texture and decorated my gingerbread men! The icing was perfect as it hardened quicky and FIRMLY (No eyes or buttons fell of during travel!) and had a great sweet/citrusy taste. Gingerbread Recipe also available upon request
* Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies: This cookie came from a Recipe originally called Peanut Butter and Jelly Jewels. And I was full on intended to make it with the jelly. But on my first batch, the thumbprint I left in the Cookies wasnt deep enough to really create a good well for the jelly to go in. Plus, I was running out of time, I just kept them as is. And they turned out great! :) A very sandy but still slightly chewy peanut butter cookie! And they looked so pretty too! :)
* Vanilla Walnut Shortbread Cookies: This is another Recipe I modified. I work for a Spanish Media company, so I felt like I HAD to make Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies! However, this being my last recipe and my time running short, I decided not to coat them in the powdered sugar. Also, by this time, I had completely run out of Vanilla Extract (WOW!! :)) So I had to use a left over Vanilla Bean Pod the effect was beautiful! You could actually see the Vanilla Beans in the finished cookie.
* Cherry Struedel Bars: Another one of my favorite tried and true recipes! I love it so much I tried to modify it once into a lemon bar recipe, but lemon curd is not dense enough to hold up the strudel! :P Also, I omit the coconut and almond slices from the strudel as it really doesnt add anything! :) And this recipe LONG ago (in Chowhound terms) introduced me to another baking must have of mine Nonstick Foil! Love it! :)
And that sums up a three days straight of baking cookies (I started with the Rumballs on Monday! :)). It was a lot of work, a lot of planning, A LOT OF BUTTER!!! LOL!! but Im so glad everything turned out well!! And of course I also learned a lot (Like how much I like Silpats MUCH better than Parchment!)
As for me, Im hanging up the apron for the rest of the week and enjoying my holiday visiting BFs Family in Boston. And next year Ill start a new Cooking Journey Im not sure exactly what it will be, but when I start, Im sure you guys will hear all about it! :)