Let’s Share Some Recipes

By Carla Bass – City Editor

It appears the weather forecast is going to be chilly and wet for the next few days, and what better time to spend an afternoon indoors, maybe with your children or grandkids making cookies. They love them and enjoy making memories this way. Some cookies would even sound good this afternoon with a cup of coffee. Here are some recipes with which you can start making memories.

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough into thirds and wrap each third in plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick between two pieces of waxed paper. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer shapes to ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, decorate with raisins or red hot candies. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crisp but not dark. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. If desired, decorate with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

1 pound powdered sugar
5 tablespoons meringue powder or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites
2 tablespoons water
food coloring (optional)

Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder or egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on low speed. Add water drop by drop. The amount depends on whether you used the powder or the egg whites, and on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. Add the water slowly and do not let the mixture get runny – you will probably not use all of it. Beat until the mixture holds a trail on the surface for five seconds when you raise the mixer from the bowl. If you like, you can tint the icing with a few drops of food coloring. Makes 6 cups.

*Note: I do not recommend using raw egg whites in this recipe because of the risk of Salmonella, especially if children, elderly, or pregnant women will be eating them.

Sugar Cookies

A simple sugar cookie recipe with a tender, flaky texture and a buttery taste. Yum!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix until just combined. Add flour and baking powder in intervals. Dough will seem as if doesn’t have enough moisture but continue to mix with mixer until combined (it will come together when chilled). Divide the dough into four equal parts, shape into four disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, about 1/4 inch thick for crispier cookies and 1/3 inch thick for softer cookies. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until edges just start to turn a golden color. For softer cookies, do not allow the cookies to take on color. Remove from oven, let cool for one minute and then transfer to wire rack. Allow cookie sheet to cool thoroughly before placing uncooked dough on it. Decorate cookies with Royal Icing or Buttercream Frosting and sprinkles. Makes about 24

Can be stored in freezer undecorated for 2 months. Dough also freezes well.

Note: Yield varies greatly depending on how thin you roll out the dough and how large your cookie cutters are, but an overall guideline is 24 cookies.

Buttercream Icing

Using shortening in this recipe instead of real butter makes the frosting much more stable and long-lasting for cookies that are going to sit out a while before consumption.

1 cup Butter-Flavored or Golden Crisco (solid vegetable shortening )
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 fluid ounces heavy cream
gel or paste food coloring (optional)

Cream shortening until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional cream a teaspoon at a time if necessary to achieve the right consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy. If desired, divide frosting into several small bowls and stir in food coloring to create various colors of buttercream frosting.
Variations:
For a pure white frosting, use white shortening and clear vanilla.
For a whiter colored frosting that uses real butter but still holds up well at room temperature, use 1/2 cup white shortening and 1/2 cup unsalted butter.

 

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies
Chewy, monster-sized oatmeal cookies stuffed with nuts and chocolate chips, enhanced with a hint of cinnamon.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl. In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
NOTE:

  • For 6 dozen (72) smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough for each. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Leave out Chocolate chips and coconut, replace with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.


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