experiments in cooking

Posts tagged ‘spice cookies’

Cranberry-Spice Icebox Cookies


Chris and I have gotten in the habit of taking homemade cookies to work for our lunches every day, but we usually run out of a weekend batch by Tuesday night, so I needed a way to make some quick cookies in the middle of the week.

Yes, I said every day. And no, we are not getting fat from this. I may eat a couple of cookies Monday through Friday, but I pay attention to my total calorie intake and I don’t eat near as many as I used to back when I was young and thought that chubby would never describe me. Anyone else ever had a point in their life where four big cookies was a small snack? And while Chris is eating more cookies than I am, since he gave up regular pop completely, he can afford to eat a few cookies.

Plus, there’s something good about eating fresh sweets instead of processed, store-bought sweets. Eaten in moderation, homemade cookies can add a little nutrition, especially those with nuts or cranberries or oatmeal in them. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Anyway, as I said, we keep running out of cookies mid-week, when I’m usually so busy I don’t have much time to mix up and bake cookies. So, last weekend I used the “Fourteen-in-one” cookie recipe from my Joy of Cooking to mix up some spice cookie dough. I mixed dried cranberries into half the dough, and the other half I left plain. Then, in the beloved icebox cookie tradition, I refrigerated the dough to pull out the cranberry-spice dough as needed during the week.

On Tuesday evening, I discovered it was easy as could be to slice off nine cranberry-spice cookies and bake them for about 10 minutes. After cooling for just a short while they were ready to store to eat over the next couple of days.

As for the other half of the dough, I plan to roll out the plain spice cookie dough this weekend and cut out cookies with Jonah using some Christmas cookie cutters and maybe the new dog bone cookie cutter my mom gave me at Thanksgiving.

Our poor dogs won’t get any, though. They’re all on a diet. So maybe I shouldn’t make any cookie shapes that will get their hopes up.

 

“Fourteen-in-one” cookie basic ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ pound unsalted butter cut into 14 pieces, at room temperature (that’s 2 sticks)
1 cup superfine sugar (you can also pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for 1 minute)
½ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla


To make them into spice cookies:

Substitute 1 cup packed light brown sugar for the sugar and add ¾ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves to the flour.

Optional: dried cranberries (chopped or whole; you can mix them into the entire batter or into just half of it) 

On medium speed, mix butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add egg yolk, whole egg, vanilla and melted chocolate (or wet chocolate mixture) and mix until well blended. Reduce speed to low and add flour and spice mixture slowly until well combined. Divide dough in half. Roll the dough into a roll if you want to slice cookies from it after it’s chilled. If you want to roll cookies later, you can leave the dough in a dish shape. Wrap dough and refrigerate until firm. (At least 1 hour and up to several days. Dough may also be frozen for up to a month.)

Substitute 1 cup packed light brown sugar for the sugar and add ¾ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp ground cloves to the flour.

 

Optional: dried cranberries (chopped or whole; you can mix them into the entire batter or into just half of it)

Preheat oven to 375 degree F and prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

You can slice the cookies in desired thickness and place about two inches apart on the cookie sheets.

For rolled cookies, on a well-floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut cookies with cookie cutters. May re-roll scraps one time. Any scraps left over at this point should be rolled into balls, placed on a cookie sheet, and flattened. Place cookies on baking sheets and place sheets into oven (one on lower rack, one on upper). Bake for 6–10 minutes, rotating sheets half way through baking (watch closely for browning).

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