Tuesday, December 23, 2008

IN WHICH I INVENT A COOKIE, & SHARE OTHERS

I'm still baking! It almost makes me glad of the snow, except that I know if we hadn't have been snowed in these past...how many days is it, now? 4? 5?...days, I'd have simply been more diligent, and gotten my baking done by yesterday, when the first holiday get-together was scheduled. As it stands, I still have two or three kinds of cookie I'd like to bake, on top of the five that are done.

Last night, I invented a new one, and I have to share it. It is s-o-o-o yummy! It's also what I call a "cheater" recipe, one you don't make entirely from scratch, so it's also quite easy.

First, a list of the cookies in this list:


Toffee Coffee Mocha Rounds
Russian Teacakes
Tom Thumbs
Peanut Butter Kisses

We'll start with my new cookie, the Toffee Coffee Mocha Rounds:


Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon very finely ground coffee beans (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 bag Heath toffee candy bits, chopped more finely than packaged

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176.6 degrees C). Mix finely ground coffee beans into cake mix. Cut butter into cake mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg and coffee until well blended.

Mix Heath bits and chopped walnuts together.

Form cookie dough into 3/4" balls, and roll in the candy/nut mix, pressing gently to embed the candy.* Place on ungreased baking sheets about 2" apart.

Bake 12 minutes. Let cook on baking sheet two minutes, then remove.

*Further note: I played with the easiest way to shape the cookies and found that pouring a layer of the candy/nut mix onto the pastry sheet, and then rolling lumps of the dough into "snakes" worked nicely. It embeds the candy in the dough while you work. Cut the snakes into 1/2"-3/4" lengths, and gently push one cut end into the candy. It will look like a little almond rocca bar. Stand it on end on the baking sheet.

I think we just couldn't have Christmas without Russian Teacakes:


Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 tsp vanilla*
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla* thoroughly. Add the flour, and sprinkle the salt over the top, to aid even mixing. Blend in. Add nuts. Chill dough.

Preheat over to 400 degrees F (204 C). Form dough into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. (The cookies don't spread, so you can put them quite close together.) Cook 10 to 12 minutes, until set but not brown. While still warm, roll in confectioners' sugar**. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

*Substitute 1 teaspoon vodka for the vanilla, if desired.
** Easier: Put confectioners' sugar and baked cookies in a sealable plastic bag. Zip bag shut and gently tumble cookies to coat with sugar.

Our third cookie is one we've had at Christmas literally for as long as I can remember. Mama might remember when she first baked them; all I know is it was back in my childhood sometime.

Tom Thumbs


Ingredients:

1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
Coconut
Red and green marachino cherries
White frosting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C)
Beat butter and vanilla until creamy.
Gradually add sugar.
Add water and beat until fluffy.
Sift together flour and salt, and add to creamed mixture.
Stir in oats until blended.

Form dough into 1" balls, and press thumb into center of each to make small depression. Place on ungreased baking sheets. (The cookies don't spread.) Bake 20-25 minutes until set, but not brown.

Cool cookies completely. Frost the cookies. It isn't necessary to get frosting into the center depression. Dip the frosted cookie into shredded or flaked coconut, pressing lightly so the coconut sticks to the frosting. Place a marachino cherry half into the center of each cookie.

Variation: Form cookies into balls, but don't make the depression in the center. When they're baked and cooled, frost and sprinkle with those little tiny candy sprinkles. (Sorry--can't think what they're actually called!)

The last cookie is the favorite of several family members, Peanut Butter Kisses


This is another "cheater" recipe of my devising.

Ingredients:

1 envelope Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg
Chocolate kisses

Mix all together. Form dough into balls, and mash with a glass that has a prettily patterned bottom, or do the traditional crisscrossed fork thing.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes. While cookies are still hot, lightly press a chocolate kiss into the center of each.

Don't have peanut butter cookie mix? This is the world's easiest cookie. On top of that, if you can't have flour, you can still eat these cookies, because they don't have any. Honest. I kid you not.

Impossible Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanila

Mix all ingredients, and bake as above.

4 comments:

Sun2Create said...

I will try the toffee coffee mocha rounds soon. I already make the russian tea cookies. They all look yummy! Time for a snack! LOL

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