Sunday, January 01, 2006

Cookie Madness!!

With apologies to Anna, of course.

The holidays have come and gone, and I’ve finally compiled my list of all the last-minute cookie making. These are truly a few of my favourite things.

Christmas-Flavoured Biscotti

I’d been in the mood to make biscotti, but only got around to a couple this year. I’m glad this one was included, as it was perfectly coconutty and crisp. Dipping it in not simply chocolate, but melted peppermint bark, really gave it that Christmas flavour. If Christmas tastes like decadence, that is. Perfect for gift-giving.

These are adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, a book I have the feeling may become my own personal cookie bible. Screw you, Martha.

Marion Cunningham’s Almond Butter Cake

The first time DucCat saw the title to this recipe, he said, “I didn’t know that Happy Days chick wrote cookbooks!” (He was kidding, of course.)

Anyways, Marion says: "Almond butter cake is not to be taken lightly just because you can stir it together in about 3 minutes, pop it in the oven to bake, and serve it within an hour. It's truly a unique cake, because it doesn't rise very high and it comes out moist, sticky, and chewy, like a cookie. It also keeps twice as long as any conventional cake."

Heidi's Peppermint Bark Cookies

These may not be Heidi's recipe, but since I found them on her site, that’s how they’ve come to be known. Picture a deeply chocolate cookie, liberally pebbled with peppermint bark chunks, and you’ve got a recipe for a little taste of heaven.

Susan Betz's Triple-Orange Pecan Biscotti

I’m not quite sure where this recipe came from, but it looks like it was copied from a magazine. These are the second of the holiday biscotti that I made, and at first, I was a bit disappointed. The orange flavour was quite faint, and in the end, the method of forming the biscotti seemed overly fussy.

It turned out I was just a bit impatient. Over the next couple of days, the citrus flavours blossomed. By the time they made it to their recipeients, I’m guessing the flavour was just perfect.

Chez Panisse Gingersnaps

I won't belabour a story that has made the rounds with so many food bloggers; so many thanks to Renee for sharing her story- and this recipe- with the world.

[Note: the link seems to have vanished, so I'm adding the recipe here for safekeeping.]
Chez Panisse Gingersnaps

- 8 oz (220g) salted butter
- 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (280g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/paste
- 2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
- 1/3 C (114g) molasses
- 3 C (360g) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

(Yields about 70 cookies.)

Cream butter until soft. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat again. Add molasses and beat until well incorporated.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add into the mixture. Mix until it all just comes together. Line a 9" x 5" (22 x 12 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the sides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan, pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove dough from the pan and unwrap from one side. Slice the "brick" into very thin slices, no more than 1/10" (2mm). Place the slices on the cookie sheet (give them a little room, they will expand) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn brown to dark brown (depending on how cooked and crispy you like them). Turn out on a rack to cool completely.


Creloe chef's have their trinity, and my Mom had her own for holiday cookie baking. They included chocolate-chip cookies, chocolate crinkles, and snickerdoodles.

The first two I snuck away with at every opportunity, foiling her attempts to fill cookie gift jars with a paltry couple of batches.

The snickerdoodles, much like the cheese, always stood alone. I seem to remember a mere dozen fully outfitting multiple recipients' jars with ease.

Just recently, I decided it was time to get over my opposition to this simple cookie, and was pleasantly surprised. It's soft, cakey, and doused liberally with cinnamon-sugar. As an adult, it's a great way to break in the morning over a cup of coffee. Not that I eat cookies for breakfast, or anything.

Guittard Chocolate Mint Cookies

I found these chips at World Market, and I'd advise not looking too closely at the ingredients. After all, you only make these once a year, right?

Cranberry-Lemon Iced Drops

You remember these little treats, don't you? Without a doubt, these are my favourite holiday cookies. Fruity and fun- just like me! ;)

Check out my SHFIMBB rendition of these bad boys- and don't forget, they freeze like a dream (before baking), so don't be afraid to do a large batch.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

I first made these truffles a few years ago, when hanging out on the Recipezaar boards. These were one of the first recipes to be featured in a fun photo challenge, and one that has stayed dear in this household.

It's very simple to make, reminiescient of a Reese's, yet a bit more sophisticated. Goes great with bubbly, baby, and looks simply smashing in an assortment of cookies.

Now, this comes last because DucCat made me take a picture of the truffle-making cooking process.

"That's truly art!" he marveled, as I piled a little pan high with the ingredients.

I couldn't agree more.

Now that the holidays are over, is anybody ready for a salad?

All the fabulous recipes:

Christmas-Flavoured Biscotti (Chocolate-Coconut Biscotti)
Marion Cunningham's Almond Butter Cake (Almond Butter Squares)
Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
Susan Betz's Triple-Orange Pecan Biscotti
Chez Panisse Gingersnaps
Guittard Chocolate Mint Cookies
Cranberry-Lemon Iced Drops
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles


Blogger ilva said...

They all sound delicious!

January 02, 2006 1:59 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Everything looks wonderful.

Best wishes for a great 2006.

January 02, 2006 9:03 AM  
Blogger nosheteria said...

Wow! Those are some cookies. Looks like you were quite busy!

January 02, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I adore snickerdoodles!!

Your cookies are beautiful. Happy New Year!

January 02, 2006 4:37 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Did you and DucCat eat all those cookies? Lucky you! Hope you had a happy holiday and I'm looking forward to more blogging in 2006.

January 02, 2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

groan Here I sit with tea and no cookies. Which sucked less before I read this post. Now it sucks so much I may have to go pull butter out of the fridge and make some. Because I need the calories. Uh huh.

shakes fist Damn you s'kat!

January 04, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I can't remember ever having made nor eaten a snickerdoodle, but they are quite popular. Glad the KA biscotti worked out for you.

January 04, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

ilva, they most certainly were.

Thanks Ruth, and right back atcha!

Nosh, I answered the door to recieve a package, and the deliverman laughed at me, as I was covered in patches of dough and flour!

Amy, I've come around that bend, thank goodness.

mebeth, there was, of course, quality control checks with every batch. Sometimes, you gotta do it for the people.

kitchenmage, my evil plan is coming to fruition. Muah-ha-ha!

Anna, I'm really liking that book!

January 05, 2006 12:58 PM  

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