Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas baking: holiday/thank you cookies for 2009

I done it! The first time ever holiday/thank you cookies from Yujai! Woohoo!

Chocolate candied orange peel, Gingersnap, Spiced oatmeal raisin cookies, Stained glass cookies, Caramel chocolate walnut cookies, Molasses cookies, Cranberries almond biscotti

Sending loveeeeeeeeee!

Most of them are for my coworkers, as a big thank you for all the help and work this year. I also mailed some to my friend in Peru and my brother in Hong Kong. Surprisingly it actually mailed pretty quickly to Peru(10 days for regular mail) but extremely slow to Hong Kong(3 weeks for priority mail)!

The stained glass cookies are so fun to look at, but taste-wise...erh..hmm...not my favourite, literally an eye candy! Among all I like the chocolate coated orange peel the best, mainly because I was a little stuffed/sick/tired of know, there are always a few imperfect ones that you will eat immediately and if you ate one or two from each tray, you will know how I felt XD

Stained glass cookies

Recipe revised from Stained glass cookies by Simple recipe

Butter // 1/2 cup (1 stick)
Sugar // 1/2 cup
Brown sugar // 1/4 cup
Molasses // 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract // 1/2 tsp
Egg // 1
Flour // 2 cup
Salt // 1/4 tsp
Baking powder // 3/4 tsp
Hard candies, preferably in several flavors/colors // 30

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.

3. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days.

4. Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet to crush candies.

5. Place one disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough.

6. Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie.

7. If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking.

8. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.

:: notes ::
1. Most people use LifeSaver for the hard candies, but the sour taste will override the cookies.

Molasses cookies

Made from the leftover dough from the stained glass cookies recipe. Try using some unique cookie cookies, top it with frosting or even coat them with chocolate to make it more special. I used my fancy pie crust cutter to make these cutie small leaves :D

Cranberries almond biscotti

Light olive oil // 2 tbsp
Sugar // 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract // 1 tsp
Almond extract // 1/4 tsp
Eggs // 1
All-purpose flour // 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Salt // 1/8 tsp
Baking powder // 1/2 tsp
Dried cranberries // 1/3 cup
Almond // 1 cups

1. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.

2. Divide dough in half. Form a log (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

3. Bake at 300F/150C for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Cut logs diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices.

5. Lay on flat side (cut side) on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 275F/135C for another 8 to 10 minutes each side (16 - 20 minutes in total).

Chocolate coated orange peel

Simply delicious. Oh, and it's eco-friendly too!
Recipe ::


6 ~ 8 dozen cookies
Recipe from Gingersnap by Simple recipe

Unsalted butter // 8 oz
Granulated sugar // 1 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract // 1/2 tsp
Eggs, large // 1 1/2 (or 2 small ones)
Molasses // 1/3 cup
Flour // 3 cups
Baking soda // 2 /12 tsp
Salt // 1 tsp
Cinnamon // 2 1/2 tsp
Ground ginger // 2 1/2 teaspoon
Finely ground black pepper // 1/8 teaspoon

1. Cream butter until soft; add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-mixed.

2. Sift the dry ingredients; add to the mixture, 1/3 at a time. Mix only until the dry ingredients become incorporated.

3. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight.

4. Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8". Place on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheetpan (space at least an inch apart) and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, 7-12 minutes, depending on how thinly you have sliced the dough. Check the oven for doneness at 7 minutes.

Caramel chocolate chip walnut cookies

Everyone's favourite chocolate chip cookies!
Recipe ::

Vanilla Sablé

Good times of the beloved sablé recipe!
Recipe ::

Spice oatmeal raisin cookies

Once again, my all time favourite oatmeal raisin recipes.
Recipe ::

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