January 9, 2010

Annual Holiday Baking Day - 2009

Each year A1 and I get together to make treats for the holidays. I gave plates to a couple neighbors, sent some to work with PE for the guys that work for him, and I gave some to my mother to give to her neighbors. I am not sure who all A1 gives to but she usually makes more trays than I do. I really enjoy this little tradition of ours as it allows me to try new recipes. This year I was able to make three new recipes. I made Orange Infused Snowball Cookies, Cranberry & Pumpkin Seed Shortbread, and Soft Gingerbread Cookies (all three are below). Alicia made Oreo Truffle Balls, Hard Candy (Lemon & Cherry Flavored), some sort of Chex Mix, and Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten free). I meant to get the recipes from her but never did so maybe next time. I do have the Oreo Truffle Balls recipe as I made them on Christmas Eve for our family dinner (I will share that recipe in a later post).

The Orange Infused Snowball Cookies were like an sugar coated orange flavored shortbread. They were a delightful change from the ususal cookie. The shorbread with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds was very festive looking and tasted pretty good but it was not a favorite. PE and I really loved the Soft Gingerbread Cookies they were reminiscent of gingersnaps we purchase from the bakery.

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Orange Infused Snowball Cookies
from Cooking During Stolen Moments
Print Recipe

1 cup butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 orange (2 Tbsp grated orange rind and 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed juice)
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar until completely combined. Add 1 Tbsp orange juice and beat for 30 seconds. Stir in flour, working in batches, until combined. By hand, stir in 1 Tbsp grated orange rind. Combine granulated sugar with remaining tablespoon grated orange rind and set aside. Using a teaspoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball. Roll balls of dough through the sugar and orange rind combination. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown.

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Shortbread with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds
from Food Finery
Print Recipe

2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Cream butter until very smooth (2 minutes), add sugar and beat until very creamy, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine well. Add cranberries and pumpkin seeds and combine. Halve the dough and form 2 logs (on sheets of plastic wrap). I like to make mine square but have made round as well as rectangle logs before. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325 and unwrap one log at a time. Slice each log into medium thin slices and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

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Soft Gingerbread Cookies
from Mandika Moments
Print Recipe

2 1/4 cups Flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp sugar (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves in a small mixing bowl. In a mixing bowl cream the butter sugar and egg. Add the molasses beat well. Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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