Tag Archives: cookies

In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune Kettle One Offers Free Rides, Food by Bayless “Anyone toddlin’ around town late at night knows nothing beats the munchies like Mexican food. But Rick Bayless’ Mexican food?You’ll have three nights starting Thursday to find out.The superstar restaurateur, author and television personality has teamed up with Ketel One vodka to drive home a point about drinking responsibly during the holiday season.”

4. – The Boston Globe Potato Latkes for a New Generation “or years, grandmothers everywhere grated potatoes on box graters that could easily skin your knuckles. But even made with care, the pancakes were often heavy and greasy. The next generation is upgrading latkes with great success, changing the way they’re made and what goes into them.”

3. – The LA Times For Hanukkah Parties, Fried Foods are a Must “And on a holiday that revolves around a one-day supply of oil that miraculously lasted for eight days, part of the celebrating — with or without the feathers and sparkles — still means frying.”

2. – The NY Times Sous Vide Moves From Avant-Garde to the Countertop “Sous vide combines the gentle, steady heat of poaching and an airtight seal, as in traditional methods of cooking in clay. The food literally stews in its own juices: no air, no water, no evaporation”

1. – The Washington Post Holiday Cookies “This year, we offer 25 delicate, fruity, saucer-size, tart, savory, colorful, crisp, gingerrific, salty-sweet, dairy-free, vegan, melting, buttery, giftable and easy-to-freeze treats to brighten the holidays.”

photo from The LA Times


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Having Fun with Fortunes

Homemade fortune cookies, complete with homemade fortunes are a great addition to any cocktail gathering.  In preparation for our Olympic Dinner for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing on Friday, we decided to whip up a batch.  Though they didn’t originate in China (click here to read about their origin), we thought it would be fun to have them as you can’t order Chinese takeout without getting a handful of them in the bag.

The batter has just a few steps, and the only tricky part is thinning out the batter on the cookie sheet.  Once you perfect this (and even if you don’t) you’ll have your friends and family blown away by your pastry skill!  Forming the actual cookies is as simple as folding them while they’re still hot.  So get creative, come up with some fun predictors of the future and whip up a batch of the future!

Homemade Fortune Cookies

3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter — melted
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

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Holiday Countdown: Anise Cookies

For my final cookie contribution to the site for the year, I saved the best for last. These anise cookies are beyond delightful. They aren’t for the faint of heart though – you definitely have to like anise. The recipe (which my mom has been making for YEARS) is from the December 1977 issue of McCall’s magazine and is in such rough shape, it is barely legible. Without any further ado – Merry Christmas and Enjoy!

Anise Cookies
makes 5 dozen

3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp anise extract

Grease and flour 3 baking sheets.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs until very thick and light.

Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating for 20 minutes longer.

At low speed, beat in flour, baking powder and salt; beat one minute. Add anise extract; beat just until blended.

Drop by teaspoonfuls, 1/2 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Swirl each to make a circle about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.

Let stand at room temperature uncovered, 8 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies about 10 minutes or until smooth and firm when pressed with fingertips. Cool cookies on wire rack then store in an airtight container.


For a little history on these cookies and a variation to make pressed patterns in the cookies, Continue reading

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Holiday Countdown: Eggnog Cookies

Similar to snickerdoodles, these are packed with a bit of an eggnog punch!


Eggnog cookies
makes 3 dozen

2 1/2 cups flour, all purpose
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup purchased eggnog
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
2 to 3 tsp ground nutmeg

    Preheat oven to 300°. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well with a whisk and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl cream sugar and butter with an electric hand-held mixer. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks; beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed just until dry ingredients are moistened.

    Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to a flat surface with a spatula.


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    Holiday Countdown: Jan Hagels

    This is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. When I asked my mom for the recipe, she reluctantly agreed to give it to me – and once I whipped up my first batch, I knew why. It literally takes about 5 minutes to mix everything together and press the batter into a pan for baking. These are fabulous cookies from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!img_0245.jpg

    Jan Hagels

    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg, separated
    1 tsp almond extract
    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup sliced almonds
    1 tbsp sugar
    1/4 tsp cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add extract and yolk and mix just until incorporated. Slowly add flour. Press into an ungreased 10×15″ jelly roll pan. Spread to edges.

    Beat egg white until foamy and brush over top of dough. Sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon sugar mixture.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

    Let bars sit for 5 minutes then cut straight rows down the long way of the pan. Then cut diagonals down the short side of the pan to form diamonds.


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    Holiday Countdown: Peppermint Patties

    peppermintpaptties.jpgThese are straight out of this months Gourmet Magazine – when I saw them I knew I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch (and eating several of them as I was making them). The tempering of the chocolate is a pain, but the labor pays off as they are quite tasty. The only change I made to the recipe was doubling the amount of peppermint extract as I found their amount was too subtle and I wanted more of a minty kick.

    Homemade Peppermint Patties

    2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (less than 1 pound), divided
    1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
    1 1/2 tbsp water
    1 tsp pure peppermint extract
    1 tbsp vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
    10 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

    Make filling:
    Beat 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar with corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening, and a pinch of salt using an electric mixer (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) at medium speed until just combined. Knead on a work surface dusted with remaining 1/4 cup confectioners sugar until smooth. Roll out between sheets of parchment paper on a large baking sheet into a 7- to 8-inch round (less than 1/4 inch thick). Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove top sheet of paper and sprinkle round with confectioners sugar. Replace top sheet, then flip round over and repeat sprinkling on other side.

    Cut out as many rounds as possible with cutter, transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, gather scraps, reroll, and freeze, then cut out more rounds, freezing them.

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    Holiday Cookie Countdown

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and in terms of food, that means:

    1. Overeating to my heart’s content without even thinking about calories
    2. Homemade eggnog (recipe coming soon)
    3. cocktail party after cocktail party for a month straight
    4. and last, but not least, HOLIDAY COOKIES!

    So, with that in mind, I thought I would share some of my favorite cookie recipes. Some are very holiday-centric (think gingerbread men) and others are just delightful (see below). So stay tuned, as I reveal another cookie recipe every couple of days, and email your favorites… We are always looking for reader recipes!

    Lemon Sandwich Cookieslemoncookie.jpg
    makes about 40 cookies

    For the cookies:
    2 sticks butter, room temperature
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 cups flour
    2 tbsp sanding sugar (granulated works too)

    For the filling:
    4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
    1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
    1 cup powdered sugar

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy – just a couple of minutes. Add the lemon zest and salt and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and mix only until flour in incorporated.

    Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick, then wrap and chill until firm (about 1 hour or up to 2 days).

    Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be somewhat sticky, so flour frequently. Cut out cookies using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, or a water glass. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Repeat process until all dough has been cut into cookies. Bake until the dough is about the turn a light golden color (10-15 minutes) – you want to take them out as soon as they are cooked almost through. Think less is more in this case.

    While cookies are cooling, prepare the filling by mixing cream cheese and zest until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar mixing until smooth and creamy. Mix in enough flour to make a spreadable filling.

    Assemble cookies Oreo style.


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