Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spiced Butter Cookies

What you will need

2 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice 

I took an old sugar cookie recipe and played around with the ingredients for this cookie.  The old recipe never really reminded me of a sugar cookie anyways.

Start off with a ton of softened butter.  Cream the butter with the sugar on low speed.  Scrape down the bowl if you need to.   Next, comes my favorite part....opening up a vanilla bean.

Of course, you can always use vanilla extract if you can't find vanilla beans.  Add your egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar.  Mix just until everything is incorporated.

Combine all your dry ingredients together and add them all at once to your mixer.  Now if you have a stand mixer, throw a hand towel over the bowl.  Flour will start flying.  If you have a hand mixer, might I suggest a gas mask then.

Once the dough starts to clump up, you are done mixing.  Dump the dough out onto some parchment paper.

Place another piece of parchment on top and press it down.  Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough out until you reach the thickness you want.  

Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.  When ready, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pull the dough out and use whatever kind of cookie cutter you want.  

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes.  It really depends on the thickness of the cookies.  But once the edges start turning golden brown, you are ready to pull them out.  Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before stacking them up and storing them.

As for the scraps of dough leftover, roll it out again and start making more cookies.  Just keep it in the fridge until you are ready to roll it out and cut it.  This recipe yields almost 3 dozen 2 inch cookies.  

And if I don't get to posting again this week, have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pillow Cookies

The holiday season is fast approaching us and I have the perfect gift to give.  Cookies!  And not only are they cookies, but they come with their own present inside.  Brownies!!  

With my last post, I mentioned the awesome Bakerella.  I grabbed this recipe off of her site last year, but I made a tweak here and there with the ingredients.

Here is what you will need

1 package of brownie mix (choose your fav brand)
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, plus an egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 12 ounce bag of mini chocolate chips

Bake the brownies and cut into 1 inch squares when cooled.

Gather all your ingredients together.  You can throw the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into one large bowl.  Just make sure you stir it up real well.

Cream your butter and sugar together.

Add in your eggs and vanilla.  Now throw in the flour mix and combine on a low speed.  You don't want flour everywhere.  When the dough starts to clump up, throw in the chocolate chips and combine.  

Cover the bowl and throw in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Using a 1/2 cup measuring spoon as your guide, scoop out enough dough to fill the spoon.

Did I mention how big these cookies were?  One word...massive.

Place the dough on parchment paper and press down the dough a little to make way for the brownie square.  

Now form the cookie dough around the brownie chunk like this...

You can get about 6 cookies to a large cookie sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.  When you pull them out of the oven, let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to cool and then transfer to a rack.

And here is proof of how big the cookies are.  Needless to say, this recipe only yields about 12 cookies.  12 warm delicious (and let me mention again) brownie filled cookies...