Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie Baking Extravaganza - The Cookies

Looking back over all of the photos from last weekend (Thanks, C!), I'm wondering if I'll ever get all of these posted.

First off, here's only PART of the haul...

I don't think the Kahlua Brownies (which were VERY yummy) made an appearance until a little later.  Also, the Peanut Butter Doggie Treats that were one of Offspring's offerings didn't make it onto the cookie plate going to work (although there was really nothing in them that would be objectionable to a human palate).

One of the first items up to the plate (Heh.  Get it?) were these Chocolate Orange Shortbread cookies, which 'C' supplied (Seems odd to refer to people by a letter, but safety first.  Also, I was going to use 'CHP' instead, but then I had visions of Erik Estrada.  If you're my age, you TOTALLY got that.  Admit it.)

Anyway...  Shortbread is always a fabulous choice for holiday cookies, and these were just wonderful with the slight hint of orange.

Chocolate Chip Orange Shortbread

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 Tbs. grated orange peel
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325ยบ.  In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy.  Add orange peel; blend well.  Add flour and cornstarch; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide dough into four parts.  Shape each part into a ball.  On a floured surface, roll each round into a 6" circle, about 1/4" thick.  Cut into shapes and transfer to a baking sheet.  Bake about 17 minutes, until edges are a light golden brown.  Let cool slightly and then remove from baking sheet.

My contributions included two recipes I had never tried before (that'll learn me), Lavender Honey Biscotti with a Rose Glaze and Raivas, which are a Portuguese cookie (kinda like me).  I would make both again, but change the amount of lavender I used in the Biscotti (I'd cut it in half), and cut the amount of rosewater I used in the glaze WAAAAY back.  They were kind of like eating potpourri.  So I want to make another go of it, some other time.

As for the Raivas, I'd make them again but add salt (which the original recipe didn't call for but again, I should have known better).  They were just kind of bland.  But I had fun making the traditional shapes, which were something like this...

And yes, those are the ill-fated biscotti in the background.

My third recipe was tried and true.  Very little flour in the mix, so they're gooey and fudgy with crisp outsides.  Everything a girl could want in a cookie.

Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Next post...  These wonderfully tender buttermilk sugar cookies and Offspring's Doggie Biscuits.

1 comment:

  1. It's not easy having initials synonymous with the California Highway Patrol :) Oh, and I had such a crush on Ponch and Jon as a kid...but that's just between you, me, and your readers!

    And I think your chocolate toffee cookies were both a personal and group favorite of the bunch. They certainly disappeared the fastest from my share of the cookie haul. I will definitely be making those!