2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
2/3 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)
In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, butter, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt over medium, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 7 minutes.
Remove pan from heat; stir in orange zest, pecans, and flour. Transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Drop dough by teaspoons, about 2 inches apart, onto sheets (6 per sheet); roll into balls.
Bake until cookies are golden brown (they will harden as they cool), 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.
This dough needs to chill for a couple of hours before baking, but you can also leave it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and bake when you like.
Second Set: Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
white chocolate for drizzling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place oven racks in the lower and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating to fully incorporate
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg, then stir them into the butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Add the oats and cranberries, if using, and stir to distribute.
Form the dough into sixteen to twenty 2-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets. The cookies will spread so leave at least a few inches in between the dough balls. Bake the cookies until the edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time from front to back and top to bottom. Transfer the cookies (still on the parchment paper) to a cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.
Third Set: Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Fourth Set: Crisp Anise Cookies
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground anise seeds
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and anise in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs with a mixer on medium speed. Slowly add sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until thick and glossy, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, whisking until just combined.
Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe 1-inch tapered mounds on baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake until firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Topping: Royal Icing
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
ANNND, so last night I arrived at my mom's house, walked the dog, had some dinner, and froze my toes off because it went to 20* below (and ok, those of you who live in cold places can laugh at me, but i have thin blood!! and am not ashamed to admit it!)
Today we ran every errand under the sun so that way we can spend the next three days crafting, cooking, cookie-ing, and having an LOTR marathon and the whole process tired us both out. Not so much that we couldn't hop in the car after dinner to drive around town looking at people's christmas lights (pics forthcoming), though. It should be a fun time for all!
also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl