CHRISTMAS COOKIES IN THE EMPTY NEST

IMG_0399Last year we went Christmas cookie crazy.  We can’t even remember all the cookies we made.  Every week and every weekend, we made another batch.  So many cookies that some ended up in the trash after Christmas.  Not this year.  We’re limiting ourselves to three different cookies-the three we remember.  If we remember them, they must have been the best of what we baked.  It would be fun to make cut out cookies with the kids again, but we are wise enough to know that they’d only make one or two before they made their way to the living room couch.  We would be left to frost and decorate four dozen snowmen, Santas and Christmas bells.  Come to think of it, it was the same way when they were little.  So we, too, will sit on the couch, with a glass of wine, a plate full of holiday goodies and our children all around.  That will be time much better spent.

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GLITTERING LEMON SANDWICH COOKIES

RECIPE BY SHELLEY WISEMAN-Gourmet 2008

MAKESABOUT 50 SANDWICH COOKIES
  • ACTIVE TIME: 1 1/2 HR
    TOTAL TIME: 2 1/2 HR

INGREDIENTS:

FOR COOKIES:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • White or colored sanding sugars

FOR FILLING:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Beat together butter and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.
  • Put sanding sugars in different bowls. Roll a scant teaspoon of dough into a ball and drop into sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.
  • Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a rack to cool completely.
  • Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

MAKE FILLING AND SANDWICH COOKIES:

  • Beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to sealable bag and snip off a corner.
  • Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.

COOKS’ NOTES:

  • Cookies keep in a metal cookie tin at room temperature 4 days.

RECIPE BY SHELLEY WISEMAN-Gourmet 2008

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IMG_0425TRIPLE ORANGE DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES from Food52 – recipe by drbabs

Makes about 24 cookies

  • 4ounces unsalted butter
  • 4ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2teaspoon powdered espresso
  • 1/4cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1pinch (~1/8 teaspoon) Chinese 5 spice powder, optional
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2cup brown sugar
  • 2large eggs
  • 1/2teaspoon orange extract
  • zest of one large orange
  • 2tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. Whisk together flour, espresso powder, cocoa, Chinese 5 spice powder (if using) and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heavy pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove pan from heat and whisk in granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until incorporated, then add orange extract, zest and juice till incorporated. Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
  3. Heat oven to 350. When the oven is heated, scoop tablespoon sized balls of dough about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (The cookies spread a little bit.) Bake for 15-17 minutes, reversing cookie sheet halfway through, till the tops are dry and beginning to crack slightly.
  4. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
IMG_0373IMG_0416HAMANTASHEN from allrecipes.com

  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softenened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12 ounce) can poppyseed filling or jam of your choice

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. I like to do mine overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. (Any more and it will ooze out) Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for 13 minutes until golden brown, cool on cookie rack for 5 minutes

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7 Responses to CHRISTMAS COOKIES IN THE EMPTY NEST

  1. TBM says:

    They all sound wonderful! happy holidays and if you have any leftovers, send them my way 🙂

  2. we’ll enjoy our cookie while sharing your travels. happy holidays to you as well.

  3. I wrote and told these guys about you. You should post your recipes here http://betterafter50.com/foodie-corner/. From your fans in NY.

  4. Pingback: …and then there were 5 golden rings…but wait– we’re making cookies! | Pudbudder – It's all about fun!

  5. likeitiz says:

    Hello, Denise and Sandy. Belated happy 2013 greetings to you both. Now that the holidays are behind us, and we have straightened out the house to its normalcy, how are you both doing? I am “cooked out,” having made thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas brunch and New Year’s Day lunch. And after the last house guests have left, the laundry, the rearranging of stuff, the putting away of decorations is complete. Sigh! It was fun.

    Et vous, mon amis?

    • we are fine mary ann. thank you for your holiday wishes. we wish the same for you. my daughter was home for a month and that was the best gift of all. she lives in melbourne but spends three or four months in california working harvest – she’s an organic winemaker. it was a lazy, happy, hold her little hand in mine, month. perfect-and the wines she brought were pretty perfect too! it was nice to have all the kids home. denise is ahead of me in the taking down the tree and putting up the decorations but soon we’ll both be there! i hope 2013 is kind to all of us.

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