Tis the Season!
We decided that this weekend would be our family holiday cookie baking extravaganza! We’ve been baking most of the day, & will be finishing up tomorrow.
I thought I’d share some of our favorite recipes with you, I hope you enjoy!
Sinful Chocolate Cookies
This is a recipe that’s been passed around our family for a few years. I’m not sure where the original came from, but we’ve tweaked it a bit… You will be asked for this recipe!
These cookies are wonderful for Christmas cookie plates, a special Valentine’s Day treat for your sweetie, bake sales, you name it, they work wonderfully!
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix with pudding
½ cup butter – softened
8 oz. Cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together all ingredients. Roll dough into small balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet (or a silicone lined cookie sheet), gently flatten.
Bake at 350ºF for 8 minutes.*
*I usually take them out a minute or so early & let them finish on the cookie sheet – makes them softer & moister – they are just right when they get all crackly.
I know that Pumpkin is usually associated with Thanksgiving, but these are a family favorite.
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 large can pumpkin pie filling
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups dried fruit*
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream the butter & sugar, and add the eggs.
Combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly into the wet ingredients. Add the pumpkin filling, spices, fruits and nuts.
Drop large dough balls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool on rack.
*Our favorite fruits to use are chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries. If you make large cookies, they are very good as a breakfast cookie – they are almost pumpkin scones! Adding more pumpkin will moisten the cookies – I usually use the medium-sized can of pumpkin pie filling, but the new huge one will work too – or make a couple of batches!
For you “true bakers” out there… here are the “proper” directions…
cream butter & sugar. Add the eggs. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter/egg mixture, alternating with the pumpkin filling. Stir until just combined. Gently mix in the dried fruits and nuts. Bake.
I have done it both ways, and while I usually cream the butter first, everything else just goes into the mixing bowl as my hand reaches it!
We have also used fresh pumpkin, and if you have it on hand, it is wonderful! But it is not a necessity… the canned stuff tastes great too!
Cream Cheese and Lemon Sugar Cookies
Growing up we had a recipe for a short while that was simply labeled “Susan’s Sugar Cookies.” However, I can personally attest to the fact that there was nothing simplistic about them. They were sublime. What was the secret? I personally think it may have been the lemon extract, but I can’t guarantee that, as I added it to other recipes with less spectacular results.
I have been searching for that recipe (or one like it) for decades. You see, we lost the recipe card somewhere along the way, and no one else seemed to have it either.
I think I may have found a worthy substitute today.
These cookies can be called sublime… delicious… moist, thick, wonderful sugar cookies. With just a hint of lemon, of course
What is their secret? Well, the hint of lemon helps, but I really think it’s the cream cheese. It’s not much, but it added a certain tang and moistness that really makes them delish.
And I will now share the recipe with you, because they are just too good to keep to myself. Seriously.
Lemon Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 2 cups evaporated cane sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh zest of 1 lemon OR 1 tsp lemon extract*
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
Cream the butter, sugar and cream cheese in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
Cover the bowl or wrap the dough in logs and chill for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better.
Preheat oven to 390F. Roll dough out on a floured surface or a pastry mat. If you like a crisper cookie, roll it to 1/4 inch thick. For moister cookies, roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place onto a making sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Bake for 5-8 minutes. For more moist cookies, take them out just before they “look done.” Like as soon as the timer goes off the first time.
Try to restrain yourself and let them cool… or not your choice.
If you feel so inclined, decorate them with icing. Royal icing is the typical topping, but I think a cream cheese frosting would be a lovely addition. You know, cream cheese & heavy whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks and smeared all over the top of everything… err, these wonderful cookies.
*yes, I highly recommend using fresh zest – get yourself a good micro-plane zester and use it often. I hated lemon zest until I started using the micro-plane… and now, all I can say is wow! The amazing flavor that can be added with zest! If your zester is fine enough, you will never find yourself chewing the zest in the final product. Go now & get one!
One must give proper credit – that is an unwritten rule, is it not? Following a series of links in my frantic searching today, I came upon a fabulous site that I will be sure to bookmark and visit often. I invite you to also visit often, as I think this site is a winner. Susan over at http://doughmesstic.blogspot.com/ is the author of these delicious cookies. Thank you!
1 cup butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix until smooth. Divide dough into three equal pieces.
Work with one dough piece at a time. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Using cookie cutters cut out two equal sized heart shapes for each cookie. Then using a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter cut out another heart in the center of one of the heart shaped cookies. Spread the solid heart cookie with a little strawberry jam/jelly and place on cookie sheet, top with the second cookie (the one with the heart-shaped center cut out). The center of each cookie will reveal a red jelly heart.
Repeat process until all dough is used. Bake cookies at 350F for approximately 8 minutes or until golden and baked through.
These are a few of the recipes we used today. If you are doing any baking, feel free to try them out!
We here at New Horizons Development, Inc. hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, and truly enjoy the time spent with family & friends as 2018 winds down to a close.