Monday, December 20, 2010
Mexican Wedding Cookies AKA Snowballs
1 cup butter (don't use margarine, they aren't the same)
1/2 cup confectionery sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts) and toast them in the microwave until you start to smell them. Don't burn.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, sugar and almond. Work in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together. Shape into 1-inch balls. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. While warm, roll in confectionery sugar. Cool and roll in sugar again.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- 2 sticks, room temperature unsalted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Zest from 3 large oranges
- 2 cups rough chopped walnuts
- 1 Tbs fresh cracked black pepper (optional)
- Parchment paper for lining baking trays
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and use a mixer to cream 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter with 2 cups of light brown sugar.
Then add 4 large eggs, one at a time, and then add 2 tsp vanilla and the zest from 3 large oranges and turn the machine off.
Next, use a mixing bowl to combine 5 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt, turn the machine on low and carefully add the flour to make the dough.
Then add 1 Tbs cracked black pepper and 2 cups rough chopped walnuts and turn the machine off as soon as the nuts are incorporated.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each one into a long, 2-inch thick log.
Divide those up on 2 heavy bottomed parchment paper lined baking trays and place them into the preheated oven.
They'll take about 25-30 minutes to brown up during the first baking and you'll want to switch the trays from top to bottom halfway through.
Pull the trays out, turn the heat down to 250 degrees, and let the biscotti cool down enough to handle.
Then use a serrated knife to cut each one crosswise, on a slight bias, into 1 inch thick cookies placing them back onto the baking trays, flat side down, as you go.
Once the cookies are all cut, place the trays back into the oven to bake the second time.
Believe it or not, they can take another 30-45 minutes at 250 degrees during the second baking and they'll be nice and firm to the touch when they are done.
Feel free to cut this recipe in half if you like.
The term "biscotti" refers to the fact that the cookies are "twice baked".
Using a serrated knife to slice the individual cookies really helps to keep them from breaking.
Substitute other ingredients, like pistachios and a handful of dried cranberries, for the walnuts and leave out the black pepper if you like.
Basic Cookie Dough
5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs and 4 egg yolks
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp any extract
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts or any nuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix butter, sugar, and eggs (4 whole) thoroughly. Add extract. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. At a low speed, add 4 egg yolks and nuts. Add flour as needed until dough is not sticky.
Divide dough in half and add cocoa to one half.
Roll each half of dough into 2 ropes. Place ropes on well greased baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until very firm to the touch.
Slice ropes at an angle and place side down on baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes again or until golden brown.
For Christmas add Craisins and pistachios.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
3 lbs figs
2 lbs chopped dates
1 lb raisins
2 jars orange marmalade
1 jar honey
2 lbs almonds and walnuts, toasted
1 whole orange including rind
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Grind up figs, dates, raisins, and cherries. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Put the mixture into a large ziplock bag.
5 lbs flour
4 cups shortening
8 tbsp baking powder
2.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cups milk
Beat eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, shortening. Make a well and add the wet ingredients. When the dough comes off your hands it's ready. Cover with a towel.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Put the filling into a plastic freezer bag and cut off a corner to form a tip.
Squeeze a line of filling onto the dough; roll the dough over the filling and repeat. Then cut the logs into cookies on a diagonal.
Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned. Let cool and frost cookies with confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Sprinkle with colored decorations.