This is an amazing cookie!
It tastes of autumn: apples, cider donuts, fresh apple cider and cinnamon.
It reminds me of hayrides, bonfires, dry leaves crackling under foot, and evenings cool enough for a sweatshirt.
This little delight captures the tastes and scents of fall in each bite.
Continue on for an easy to put together recipe and my commentary.
When I think of cardamom, my waters for a Christmas time favorite cardamom bread. But Gregory, hungry for cookies and eager to bake, discovered this recipe in the always faithful Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. He’s a fan of the savory cardamom spice and decided to give these a try.
It’s also worth noting that this is a cookie with nuts for kids who don’t like nuts in their cookies.
Written on the back of an old envelope, this is one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time, especially for making cut out cookies to decorate with colorful sprinkling sugar, like these Valentine's cookies.
Family: Can you identify this envelope? Hint below…
(HINT: In the original photo the envelope has the return home address of my cousin whose fiance’s home was in Virginia. (you should know already) They’ve been married over 20 years (you should definitely know now). Last hint: the zip code was 22031.)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and this valentine’s treat is sure to please your valentine as you ask, “Be Mine.”
These are Mace Cookies, buttery dough cut out cookies with a subtle savory flavor behind the sweetness of a butter based sugar cookie. This old family recipe has a story all it’s own.
Sending a Long Distance Valentine in the Mail? If you are sending a long distance care package to your sweetie, these cookies pack and ship very well.
On Friday of this week we are having a small party – desserts and coffee (though actually we’ve more red wine drinkers than coffee drinkers). I finalized the menu and shopped on Monday and then began the baking. Yesterday was peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies and simple sugar cookies (Alton Brown) that will be filled with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar (a multi step cookie creation based on what I have in mind). Today… mini pecan tarts and peanut butter fudge (also Alton Brown).
Today I made dozens upon dozens of molasses cookies from the family recipe that has come down through the generations. I remember these being made at my Grandma Garland’s house and I’ve come to learn that they were my grandpa’s number one choice of cookie. He especially liked them when they were seasoned with a heavy hand on the cloves.
As it turns out not only was this my grandpa’s favorite, but it is now the hands down favorite in my own house. Gregory will request these if he knows that I’m about to bake and Ken chooses them over even Congo Squares. Even Madeleine eats and enjoys them.
Here’s a light and flaky cookie that shapes easily and tastes of butter and Sambuca (a star anise flavored, Italian liqueur). The original recipe was for konjakskranser, which essentially translates from Norwegian as ‘cognac wreath,’ as found in the 1975 edition of Better Homes and Gardens HOMEMADE Cookies COOK BOOK (a cookbook passed down to my son from my mother.)
My grandmother was an amazing baker and commonly had cookies for us to enjoy. These thumb print cookies were among the variety that she regularly made. I can remember her opening wax paper lined greeting card boxes (she sent many, many greeting cards throughout the year) to reveal these little gems. I must admit however, that I didn’t eat them until I was a “grown-up”; it was the jelly that didn’t appeal to me. However… as an adult their buttery cookie and sweet center are a delight.
One of KAG's favorite cookies is the Mexican Wedding Cake. The recipe that I have is written in pencil, long hand scribble on the back of the a piece of paper from Leonard detailing the Advent devotional (the first). The recipe contains no temperature, no baking time, and no directions. Yet, I've never had them fail.
The actual recipe (at least how I make it) goes something like this:
Mexican Wedding Cake
1 C shortening
1/2 C powdered sugar, plus p.sugar for rolling hot cookies in
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 C chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
1. Cream shortening and sugar together in mixer until light and fluffy (1.5 - 2 minutes)
2. Add four, salt and vanilla. Gently blend to mix.
3. Chop nuts, I use the food processor and grind them to a very fine chop; if a bit of 'walnut flour/dust' results that's perfectly fine and adds to the flavor
5. Shape dough into 1/2 inch - 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and roll in powdered sugar.
The dough was easy to work with, firmed easily in the refrigerator, and rolled out smoothly. The only draw back was the red food coloring...red food coloring stains! I used a high quality gel coloring (also used for cake decorating) and by the time I had put the food coloring in the ziploc bag to knead the color into the dough (as the recipe suggests) I had it on my hands. One tiny drop of red food coloring stains hands and sink with little difficulty. Red food coloring stains! The red dye ended up on the plastic baking sheet where I rolled out the dough (on parchment even), on a kitchen towel, on my hands, on the countertop, in the sink and just about anywhere else that even the tiniest drop of food color landed. Did I mention...
The cookies were delicious. The first day or two they were soft and then by day three were a crispy coffee cookie. Mmmmm.
They received rave reviews from the entire family, and presented impressively enough that I even took a few over to a new neighbor.
I'm certain that I'll make these again, though I'll likely find a new method for mixing in the red food coloring!
CHERRY ALMOND PINWHEELS
1 recipe Basic Pattern Dough**
Red paste food coloring (I used gel)
1/4 C ground almonds
several maraschino cherries
1. Divide Basic Pattern Dough in half. Tint one dough poriton with food coloring. Knead almonds into other poriton. Cover and chill dough poritons for 1 hour or until firm. Divide each portion in half.
2. On lightly floured tea towel (I used my pastry mat), roll a red dough portion into a 12x8 rectangle. On waxed paper (parchment), roll an almond dough portion into a 12x8 rectangle. Invert almond rectangle over red rectangle; peel off paper. Roll up, starting from a long end. Pinch to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining portions. Chill 1 or 2 hours or until firm (I skipped this last chill step due to time and since my dough was still fairly firm)
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Remove one roll form the refrigerator. Unwrap: reshape, if necessary. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (I used thread). Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Place cherry piece in center of each slice. Bake in preheated over 8 to 10 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
**BASIC PATTERN DOUGH
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
Beat butter 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat in egg, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Makes about 2 1/2 cups dough.
This afternoon while dashing into the grocery for a few things I spotted the new BHG Christmas Cookie magazine. It's been ages since I've picked up one of these CC issues -- after the kids were tucked in and sleeping soundly I sat back and enjoyed each page. KAG has been talking about cookies and now I can't wait to get started.
Cookie wish list: Cherry-Almond Pinwheel (these could have been dreamed up late one night by KAG); Chocolate-Coffee Ribbons; Orange and Raspberry Chip Shortbread; Triple-Layer Lemon Triangles; and a whole host of fudge.
Where to begin???