Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

I'm busy gathering my cookie recipes. I'm looking for an Italian snowball cookie recipe. I haven't found one that looks exactly right yet. I found a few others that come close though. I'm also not sure which spice cookie to make. (maybe both?!) I'm also going to make a sugar free oatmeal cookie for a friend, but realized that I don't have any old-fashioned oats. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to the store!

Soft Gingersnaps
* 1 1/2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Additional sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Roll into 1-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Molasses Sugar Cookies
* 1 1/2 cups shortening
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 2 eggs
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt

1. Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
2. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
4. Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Walnut Balls
* 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter (no substitutions), softened
* 6 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
* 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1 bag(s) (8-ounce) walnuts, chopped
* 1 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour and salt just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. Stir in walnuts.
2. Shape dough by rounded measuring teaspoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
3. Place confectioners' sugar in pie plate. While cookies are hot, with metal spatula, transfer 4 or 5 cookies at a time to pie plate with confectioners' sugar. Gently turn cookies with fork to generously coat with sugar. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat with remaining dough and confectioners' sugar. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week or in freezer up to 3 months. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar before serving if you like.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
You'll just have to click over to the link.

Italian Snowball Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup confectioners' sugar plus more for rolling cookies

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ cup finally chopped nuts (almond, walnuts or pecans all work fine)

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until well combined. Add chopped nuts and mix well. Stir in the flour and salt until a firm dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set but not browned, 10 - 12 minutes. Try not to overcook these! Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then roll in the confectioners' sugar.