Tried & True Treats

Sun Staffers Share Their Favorite Cookie Recipes, Just In Time For The Holidays

December 09, 2009|By Sarah Kickler Kelber | Sarah Kickler Kelber , sarah.kelber@baltsun.com

Once you get past Thanksgiving, it sure seems like a shame to let the oven rest - bring on cookie season.

If you're dusting off your favorite recipes and thinking you're a little bored, wanting to try something new, we're here to help. This is a collection of staffers' tried-and-true baked goodies, some classic (like a traditional Hanukkah Rugelach), some trendy (like a Salted Ginger Oatmeal Cookie), some easy (like the Lazy Baker's Almond Biscotti) and one that's sure to impress (the Mushroom Meringue, named for its shape, not its flavor).

Nutrition information

Turn to PAGES 4-5: to find the recipes, and go to baltimoresun .com/cookieexchange to share yours, too.

Rugelach

I love this classic rugelach recipe, from "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book," for its tender, flavorful pastry. With chopped nuts, raisins, and your choice of jam, it's great with coffee - a holiday cookie you can actually justify for breakfast. To make this recipe, it helps to chill not only the dough, but also your rolling pin and the board you'll use to roll it out.

- Kate Shatzkin

Makes: 48 cookies

2

sticks unsalted butter, softened

6

ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3

cups flour

1/2

teaspoon salt

3/4

cup sugar

2

teaspoons cinnamon

6

tablespoons chopped raisins

1/2

cup chopped walnuts

3/4

cup jam (apricot, strawberry or cherry)

1

egg yolk

1

tablespoon water

Combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until well mixed. Add the flour and salt, and mix until completely blended. The dough will be easier to handle if you wrap and chill it for about an hour.

Stir together 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. Add the raisins and nuts and toss to coat all the pieces. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and get out some cookie sheets.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Keep chilled any dough you are not working on. Roll one of the pieces into an 8-inch circle. Spread with 2 tablespoons jam and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar-raisin-nut mixture. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Beginning at the wide end, roll toward the point, forming a crescent shape. Roll out and form the remaining dough in the same way.

Place the cookies point sides down about 1 inch apart on the ungreased cookie sheets. Mix together the egg yolk and water and brush over the top of each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a little of the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to racks to cool.

From "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book"

Nutrition information

Per serving: 111 calories, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 2 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, trace fiber, 18 milligrams cholesterol, 39 milligrams sodium

Fudgy Bonbons

These cookies are winners. Literally. The recipe won the $50,000 grand prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in 1994. Created by Mary Anne Tyndall, of Whiteville, N.C., the recipe is easy and fun to make with kids. I mix it up by using different flavors of Hershey Kisses inside. The nuts are totally optional, I've made it both with and without. Just remember, don't overbake.

- Michelle Deal-Zimmerman

Makes: 5 dozen cookies

1

12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1/4

cup margarine or butter

1

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

2

cups all-purpose flour

1/2

cup finely chopped nuts, if desired

1

teaspoon vanilla

60

milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

2

ounces white chocolate baking bar or vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)

1

teaspoon shortening or oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, combine chocolate chips and margarine; cook and stir over very low heat until chips are melted and smooth. (Mixture will be stiff.) Add condensed milk; mix well.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, nuts, chocolate mixture and vanilla; mix well. Shape 1 tablespoon dough (use measuring spoon) around each milk chocolate candy, covering completely. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will be soft and shiny but will become firm as they cool. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine baking bar and shortening; cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Let stand until set. Store in tightly covered container.

From pillsbury.com

Nutrition information

Per serving: 107 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 4 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 13 milligrams sodium

Sables (French Butter Cookies)

I like this recipe because it's so versatile - if you need a quick fix, you can whip up a batch of plain sables, or if you're feeling adventurous, you can make beautiful spiral or pretzel cookies with a few adjustments. Even better, I love that you can make multiple batches, then freeze your extra dough for use later. During the holidays, it doesn't hurt to have dough on hand for those last-minute cookie emergencies.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.