Thursday, December 21, 2006

5 Things Meme Morphs into 5 Cookies

Shawn tagged me. So a second time it comes around. The 5 things meme game circles back to deliver another strike. Karl wonders what it would look like if someone did a social network map as the tag traveled across our blog networks. I think that's a great idea. Looks like at least one other person did too! Anyone want to take that on? It would have been easier if there was a tag that accompanied the game, eh?

Do I post another 5 things about myself? Tag another 5 people? This starts to feel a bit like a vanity game. Do I refuse?

No. Get creative, Nancy! I'm going to share the 5 cookie recipes I'm baking for the holidays. You would not know that about me, right? More useful than 5 more personal Nancy tidbits, right? So look below for the cookie goodies.

As for my next round of victim, er, friends, I have to be careful as many have already been tagged. Hm, lets go for Bev Trayner (bring on the learning!), Chris Carfi (bring on humane biz/customer relationships!), Joitske Hulsebosch (bring on humane development), Amy Lenzo (bring on the beauty) and Honoria Starbuck (bring on the art!)

OK, now the cookies. If you want an easy to print out word doc, leave a comment with your email address. We have decadent. We even have marginally healthy (whole grains, vegetables!)
  • Mocha Slices (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe)
  • My Sister's Walnut Cream Cheese Cookies
  • My son's favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • This years Gingerbread Cookie variant (again, with a choconancy twist)
  • And as always, our family fudge.

Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies
From Cesca
~ 4 dozen

4 cup all purpose flour
1 teas. salt
1 lb. butter
6 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 Tabl. Vanilla extract
2.5 cups walnuts

Chop and toast walnuts.

Mix salt and flour together.

In separate large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy w/ mixer.

Mix in sugar and vanilla

Use wooden spoon, stir in flour mix.

Stir in 1.5 cups of the toasted walnuts - reserve the rest for later.

Divide dough in half. Roll each into a cylinder 8-9 inches long.
wrap in parchment, freeze at least 30 minutes until firm or overnight. (I make the dough for this one and the mocha slices one day, cook the next or keep some on hand over the holidays to whip out and slice and make the house smell wonderful.)

Role each log in cup finely chopped walnuts.

Slice into 1/2 inch rounds.

Bake on parchment lined sheets at 350 degrees until golden.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread People
These are the brown ones in the picture. We decorate with a simple powdered sugar/milk/cream of tarter thin icing, colored sugars and piped premade decorating icing.

4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup cocoa powder
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup dark natural cane sugar (i.e. muscavado), or alternately use a dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2/3 cup organic unsulfured molasses (blackstrap)
large grain sugar (turbinado) for decoration
popsicle sticks (optional)

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl by hand (or with an electric mixer) cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix again until light and creamy. Blend in the eggs one at a time and then the molasses. Add the flour mixture in two additions either by hand or on low speed. Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap each in plastic and chill for an hour or so.

Heat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the middle, and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Set aside.

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop roughly 1/8-inch thick and cut into gingerbread men (or other desired shapes). Transfer to baking sheets and arrange a popsicle stick underneath each (if desired), no need to press the stick aggressively into the dough, gently is fine – the cookies will bake right onto the sticks. Sprinkle with sugar (optional) and bake for 7 –10 minutes (for 3 – 4-inch cookies), less for smaller cookies, more for larger.

Makes about 3 dozen four-inch gingerbread men.

Mocha Slice Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes about 4 dozen
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cocoa nibs
½ cup finely chopped pecans

Sift together flower, cocoa, salt, espresso powder and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture until just combined and stir in cocoa nibs and nuts.

Turn dough out on lightly floured surface. Roll into 2 inch diameter logs. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate until firm or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Unwrap logs and let warm a bit. Brush with water and roll in chopped nuts or decorators sugar. Cut logs into ¼ inch thick rounds. Space 1 ½ inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. The parchment really helps and is worth it.

Bake until centers are set, about 8-9 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Variation #1

I received this recipe in the Cooking Conference in the venerable online community, The Well

1 cup shortening (I use butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (or I have used pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 6 oz pkg chocolate chips (1 cup) (I like to use mini chips)
1/2 cup pecans

Beat shortening at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add sugar beating well. Add egg and pumpkin. Again mix well.

In separate bowl add all dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture slowly. Stir in vanilla, chips and pecans.

Drop dough by tablespoons onto lightly "Pammed" cookie sheets (I use parchment instead). Bake @ 350 for 13 mins.

about 5.5 dozen.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Variation #2
From a variety of recipes mashed together

1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
3 cups oatmeal
1 bag mini chocolate chips

In large bowl, combine flowr, oats, baking soda and spices.

In a separate bowl, cream butter. Mix in pumpkin and brown sugar. Add vanilla.
Gently stir dry and wet ingredients together. Add in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on racks.

Happy Holidays!


Anonymous dave cormier said...

You win the interwebs. well played.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Karl Kapp said...

I agree with Dave, well played and great cookie recipes.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Bev Trayner said...

brilliant idea having cooky recipes...

2:31 PM  

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