Almond Cherry Cups

18 Dec

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1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup marzipan
3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
Amarena Fabbri Wild Cherries in syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with liners. Mix all ingredients together, roll into 1 inch balls. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Cookies will raise like popovers and sink into cup shape. While warm place one cherry into each cup. Spoon a little syrup over each cherry.

Snowballs

17 Dec

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1 lb butter
8 TBSP white sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 lb ground pecans
4 cups flour
* confectioners sugar (for dusting afterwards)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large nixing bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add the pecans and mix until well incorporated. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour. Roll into 1 inch balls and place in the baking sheet about one inch apart. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Watch them carefully; you want them to be a light golden color. Roll in confectioners sugar when they are hot and again when they have cooled.

Triple Ginger Cookies

16 Dec

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This is my second year for making these cookies for my holiday basket. A recipe from the website epicurious that I follow exactly. My family really likes it and it adds a treat for all of my spice lovers.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Triple-Ginger-Cookies-356326

Browned Butter Thumbprint Cookies

15 Dec

I make these thumbprint cookies every year adding whatever homemade preserves I have left in the house. The shortbread is browned butter shortbread that lends the cookie a sandy delicious texture. Because I live in the states, I buy European butter which has a higher percentage of butterfat than US brands, which creates a beautiful flavor and texture in shortbread. Enjoy! 20131215-171340.jpg

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt, slightly rounded
1/3 cup fruit preserves (your choice)

Melt butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden with a nutlike fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a rich caramel brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (Butter will initially foam, then dissipate. A thicker foam will appear and cover the surface just before butter begins to brown; stir more frequently toward end of cooking.) Place pan in refrigerator until butter solidifies. Beat in sugar and vanilla.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and stir into butter mixture until a dough forms. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
Press a piece of dough into bowl of cookie scoop, then slide out and place, flat side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. (Dough will feel crumbly, but will become cohesive when pressed.) Make a thumbprint in center. Continue forming cookies and arranging on sheet. Bake cookies until just pale golden, 8 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on sheet on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Spoon a teaspoon amount of preserves in the thumbprint.Continue with remaining cookies and preserves, then let stand until set, about 45 minutes. Transfer cookies to an airtight container.

Carmelita Cookies

15 Dec

These were my favorite new cookies in the basket. These were inspired by a visit to Porto’s in L.A. where I tried their “kiss” cookies. A delicious shortbread wrapped around dulce de leche. While not exactly the same, I put a holiday spin by wrapping snickerdoodles around dulce de leche. Enjoy! 20131214-104540.jpg

1 cup soft butter

1 ½ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cups plain flour

1tsp soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup dulce de leche

2 tbsp sugar

2tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, eggs. Sift flour, soda, and salt. Stir in. Roll into quarter size balls. Cut balls in half. Form cupped shaped and pipe in a dollop of dulce de leche. Place top dough on top and press edges together. Roll lightly to form ball shape again. Mix sugar and cinnamon and roll balls in mixture. Place two inches apart. Bake 10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.

S’mores Cookies

14 Dec

These s’mores cookies are a new cookie for this year’s basket. A chocolate chip oatmeal cookie base with the addition of graham and marshmallows. Gooey and delicious!

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1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups marshmallows
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, graham crackers, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips and marshmallows. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Blueberry Crinkles

12 Dec

This is a new cookie that I added to this year’s basket. A bright punch of citrus and blueberry is a nice change for the palette.

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1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1 cup dried blueberries
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

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