Sunday, January 01, 2012

Let me just wrap up Christmas

I did a lot of baking and candy making this year. I really hate dragging Christmas out past the new year but I need to document the new recipes I tried since I plan on making them again.

Polish Honey Cookies
from the internet (filed into the Ugly Binder)

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 ½ cups flour
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon pepper

Cream eggs with sugar until white. Combine with flour, honey and baking soda, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water. Sprinkle in ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, and pepper, and work ingredients by hand into a dough. (I mixed the spices with the flour first.) Knead on floured board, sprinkle with a little flour and roll out to ¼-inch thickness. My dough was super sticky. I added a lot of flour. I might try chilling the dough next time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with biscuit cutter cut dough into circles (or other shapes) and bake on greased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The cookies can be glazed with white or chocolate icing. I made a white icing with powdered sugar, water and white food coloring. Store in air-tight tin, preferably for at least a week.


My dad had mentioned honey cookies that his mother made. I did a little research and determined that I could probably not reproduce them - she could have used any variety of spices, some recipes leave out the ginger, some use nutmeg, etc. Still, I was interested in making a version. They were a pain - the dough was sticky, they were more suited to simple shapes (circles, squares, diamonds) than reindeer (yep, those are reindeer). I should have piped on the icing. But boy these were good. They were a light gingerbread cookie. Even my almost 8-year old liked these. They had an interesting texture. The recipe suggested letting them age but I thought they were better when they were fresher.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

from the internet (filed into the Ugly Binder)

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup baking cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
48 maraschino cherries, blotted dry

1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 o 3 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice

In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture (batter will be very firm).

Shape into 48 balls, about 1 inch round, and place on ungreased baking sheets. Push one cherry halfway into each ball.

For frosting, melt chocolate chips in milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; add cherry juice and stir until smooth. Spoon one teaspoon frosting over each cherry (the frosting will spread over cookie during baking LIE!).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Yield: 4 dozen

These were a bit of trouble. The first batch the cherries went wonky and the frosting never covered them. Only two or three cookies from the first batch were presentable. I started using a wooden spoon handle to make the hole for the cherry so it was in deep. The frosting thickened while I was putting these together but that allowed me to form in around the cherry firmly. I got good coverage but the icing wasn't smooth. I didn't think of it but I could have added more cherry juice to thin it out. Also, don't be too generous with the frosting since it is just enough for 48 cookies.

I wasn't sure if they were worth the trouble at first but in the end these were one of my favorite cookies this year.

BAKER'S ONE BOWL Raspberry-Coconut Bars

from the internet

1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter or margarine, cut up
3 Tbsp. cold water
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. (7 oz.) BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut
1/3 cup red raspberry preserves

Heat oven to 425°F. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually stir in water with fork until well blended; press onto bottom of 8-inch square pan.

Bake 20 min. or until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Beat eggs in same bowl with mixer on high speed until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and lemon colored. Stir in coconut. Spread preserves over crust to within 1/4 inch of edges; cover with coconut mixture. Bake 25 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting to serve.

These were definitely good and pretty simple to make too. They just didn't wow me. It very well may have been that they didn't get a fair shake and got lost in the crowd. They may or may not be made again. I really can't say.

Besides these new cookies, I made Welsh cookies, Snickerdoodles, Milk Chocolate Florentines, sugar cookies, spritz, South Seas Cookies, chocolate chip brownies, and gingerbread men. I also made caramel and chocolate covered Lorna Doones and pretzel squares, chocolate covered caramels, peppermint patties, Five-Minute Fudge (with mini marshmallows), and crispy truffles.

I thought everything came out pretty well but my personal stand outs this year were the chocolate covered cherry cookies, the Polish Honey cookies, and the five-minute fudge. As always, I was amazed by how good Snickerdoodles taste a week later.


Wanda said...

Wow - You do an amazing variety of special cookies. I only made sugar cookies (cut out and decorated) and date-coconut-pecan balls this year. The date-coconut balls were in remembrance of my grandmother, who made them frequently. Actually, I gave the rest of them (both kinds) to my grandsons today to take home with them. I am dieting and they get to looking particularly delicious late at night, so I didn't want them staying around any longer. The photo on my blog was of the whole table on Christmas Eve, so you can't see them too well, or up close. I was running late that afternoon, so left the sugar cookie decorating to my husband and our youngest grandson this year. I didn't cut out any reindeer either, because I didn't have time to deal with 'sticky antlers', plus I forgot to buy red hots for the noses.

MANDI said...

They all look fabulous! I lost my way in a dark cloud of crud in the month(s) leading up to Christmas and didn't do any baking at all this Christmas - there's always next time :)
And have to say, I'm amazed you have any snickerdoodles left a week later!

Lynda S said...

You do a LOT of cookies! I got one batch of chocolate crinkles made. lol

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a beautiful array of goodies. I wasn't up to the usual, since I was awaiting knee surgery, but did get a little done. I made chocolate haystacks, cranberry-almond bark and a pecan pie. (I could do these sitting down.) Only needed a little legwork from others. My 11 year old GD made two punpkin pies. Three GDs made cutout sugar cookies (Pillsbury frig dough) and decorated them. So...shortcuts, but at least something.

Happy New Year!