Confetti Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Sprinkle sugar cookies

So, yesterday, I totally had one of those panic realizations that Halloween is this month.  How did I forget something like that!?  This year has been going by so quickly, I can’t seem to keep up with the time!  Before we know it, there will be snow on the ground!  Although, I must admit, I am pretty excited to decorate our new place for Christmas.  Yes, I am weird like that.  I can’t help it, I love Christmas lights!

sprinkle sugar cookies

So, about these cookies.  Aren’t they just adorable?  What is it about sprinkles that makes everything cuter?  These sugar cookies are soft, chewy and just down-right delicious.  The rainbow sprinkles could definitely be exchanged for some holiday themed sprinkles.  Red, green and white for Christmas anyone?

Confetti Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 30 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients with the on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

Scoop the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each.  Space them evenly on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are just set and the edges are barely browned, about 15-16 minutes.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Chocolate Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles

Hullo!  I apologize for the sudden and long absence.  Things got really crazy very quickly.  We bought a house elsewhere on the island and we jumped right into some repairs before moving in.  It’s an old fixer-upper, which is what I love about it the most.  My husband took two weeks off to scrape wall paper, mud and sand walls and floors, and paint.  He had the day shift while I had the night shift.  It was intense while packing everything at the same time.  We are finally (mostly) settled into the house, with many exciting projects on the horizon.  The most immediate one is, turning over the old garden and planting vegetables!  I am super excited about fresh veggies again.  Now, if only the weather would stay warm!  Northern Maine got snow a few days ago!! Crazy.

Now, onto these fabulous cookies.  These are my husband’s absolute favorite cookies.  His grandmother was kind enough to share her recipe with me.  She used to make them all the time for my husband and his brothers.  They are soft and chocolately- just the way a cookie should be!  These would make any chocolate lover in your life happy.

Chocolate Crinkles

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (or more as needed) confectioner’s sugar

Directions

Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water.  Melt completely, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract, then stir in the melted chocolate mixture until no streaks remain.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, mixing until completely combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2-3 hours.

Once thoroughly chilled, preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl.  Scoop the chilled dough into small rounds (about 1-inch in size), and roll the dough in the confectioners’ sugar until completely covered.  Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Repeat until all the dough is gone.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are cracked and the edges are just firm but the center is still soft.  Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Source: My husband’s grandmother

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Has everyone made their Valentine’s Day plans?  What do you all do?  Stay in? Go out?  Do something romantic?  As I’ve said before, my husband and I don’t really celebrate the day. We generally exchange cards, but that’s as far as it goes.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t mind going out to eat! But, with three kids and one of them exclusively breast feeding, it’s a lot of work to find a sitter and pump enough milk. And, I’d rather dote upon my husband on his birthday, the day before (today!) instead.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies2

My daughter’s kindergarten class has a Valentine’s Day party today. Of course I offered to make something sweet. These chocolate sugar cookies came to mind immediately.  Royal icing brings cookie decorating to the next level.  How cute are those hearts!  Why have chocolate sugar cookies not become a really popular thing? Or maybe they have, and I missed it. These cookies are incredibly simple, but still delicious. Chocolately, buttery yumminess. These cookies make a great treat for Valentine’s Day. Or any time of the year, really. You still have time to decorate with royal frosting if you make these today! If you need an awesome tutorial for royal icing decorating, check out Annie’s Eats.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies3

Chocolate Sugar Cookies4

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies when using a larger cookie cutter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt, set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated and no streaks remain.  Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters and place cut outs on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes, just until set.  Let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats, via Martha Stewart

Sugar Sparkled Gingersnaps

Surgar Sparkled Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps are something that I didn’t particularly like as a kid. Actually, even as an adult. That is, until I started making them myself. Every kind I had had before were dry, hard and way too crunchy for my taste. I like a soft cookie that is chewy. I have always enjoyed the flavor of gingersnaps, but that was far as it went. So, a few years back, I started trying different recipes at home. I never really came across the “one”. That is, until I tried these cookies. I bookmarked this recipe about a year ago, but never got around to trying them. I made these about two months ago, and it was love at first bite. The search is now over. This is it folks. The best gingersnap cookie. That may be a bit presumptuous, but I don’t care. These cookies are soft, chewy and perfect. The ginger flavor really pulls through, but it isn’t over powering. Just right.

Surgar Sparkled Gingersnaps

I knew that I just HAD to share this recipe with you all. But, when I went to make them two weeks ago, I couldn’t find coarse sugar anywhere. I mean ANYWHERE. I looked in all my regular stores, and then some. It’s like it just disappeared. They had blue, pink, green, purple; you name it. But no white. What the heck!? So, finally, I took action and decided to look online. Ding ding; King Arthur Flour! I always get their catalogs with recipes and baking equipment that I definitely droll over. So, I ordered two containers. I wasn’t messing around this time. I got it in two days with regular shipping, and on a Sunday. Amazing! So, yesterday, first thing I did was make up a batch of these. Just in time for Christmas!

Surgar Sparkled Gingersnaps

Speaking of Christmas, I can’t believe it’s tomorrow! Is everyone ready? I guess I am. Even though it’s suppose to rain all Christmas day, Yuck!

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love and cheer!

Sugar Sparkled Gingersnaps

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2-1 cup coarse/sparkling sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the oil, sugar, molasses and the egg together until well blended. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated and a dough forms.

Place the coarse sugar in a small bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the dough. Roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar until coated in an even layer.

Place the coated balls on the prepared baking sheets about 2 to 3 inches apart.  Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, just until the tops of the cookies are set and beginning to crack, about 15-17 minutes total. They will still be very soft. Make sure not to overbake because they will become hard. Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from Williams Sonoma

*Opinions are completely my own. King Arthur Flour has no idea who I am.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies are something that I have always admired, but never tackled in the kitchen myself. For some reason, they always intimidated me in the beginning of my cooking days, then as time passed, I sort of forgot about them. Maybe because they aren’t a cookie that you typically see, so the thought didn’t cross my mind to make them. Then, I came across online, Ina Garten sharing her favorite cookie recipes for the holidays. This recipe was on the list. I checked it out, and knew I had to make them.

Linzer Cookies

I think the typical linzer cookie has ground nuts in the dough, but these ones were straight up butter. I was a little reluctant at first when I saw how much butte there was, in fact, in the recipe, but I decided to go with it. Ina knows her stuff. Oh boy, these did not disappoint. They were slightly crumbly, yet still moist. I decided to vamp up the cookies a bit and use caramel sauce I had in the fridge left over from the brie, as well as some homemade strawberry jam. They were SO good! I would definitely recommend the caramel. I preferred these cookies the following day. Partly because they became a little softer (I accidentally over-baked my cookies since I am still getting used to the convection oven), but, also time let the flavors meld together. These will be a show stopper at any upcoming holiday party! Or for any time of the year.

Linzer Cookies

Yield: About 15-18 sandwich cookies

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • your choice of jam flavor
  • caramel sauce, homemade or store bought (optional)
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of flour and salt. On low speed, slowly mix in the flour mixture. Mix until completely combined. If the dough seems too wet, slowly add more flour until the dough holds together, but isn’t crumbly.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat into a large disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and set aside.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out circles with a plain or fluted cutter. With half of the circles, cut out a smaller circle or a small design with a mini cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges just barely begin to brown. Let cool completely before proceeding with jam. Spread desired jam on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with confectioners’ sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners’ sugar on the top. Serve or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2-3 days.

Source: Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies

Spice Sugar Cookies

This year, I seem to be having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit. I have been listening to Christmas music almost daily and eating lots of holiday goodies. I strung up some lights, made some decorations with the kids, and this past weekend, we got our tree from the woods and decorated it. But still, something feels like it’s missing. Perhaps it’s the lack of snow, and the temperature fluctuations that has gotten me confused. We had a white Thanksgiving, but it looks like we may be having a brown and drab Christmas. I think northern Maine is getting all of our snow. It’s funny how a white Christmas can seem so magical, especially when you are a kid. Oh well!

Spice Sugar Cookies

To indulge in the Christmas spirit, I knew that I had to share these cookies with you. They are my all-time favorite cut-out cookie. They are super easy, and super delicious. And no chilling time! The spices are just the right amount to make your taste buds happy. I have been eating way too many of these. Three days and counting, and they are still as good as the day I made them! I love to decorate them with royal icing. Although, I am still getting the hang of it. It doesn’t help that I had to rush this time because baby decided she wanted me to hold her most of the afternoon instead of accomplishing the things I needed to do. But hey, that’s part of being a parent! These cookies can be decorated with whatever frosting you desire. Or eaten plain! These would make wonderful addition to your holiday gift bag, if you do that sort of thing. They are sturdy, yet moist, and they keep very well. They would probably be shippable as well!

Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until blended. On low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until completely combined.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, making sure not to over-brown the cookies, or they will become crispy. Let cool completely before decorating as desired.

Source: Bake at 350

Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cookies

So, I am not the type that likes pumpkin pie. Weird right? I like other pumpkin things, like these cookies, but not pie. My husband is the same way. I thought that since we are not big pumpkin pie lovers, there might be others out there with similar feelings. These cookies are a great alternative pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving day. And who doesn’t love the simplicity of a cookie? They are virtually mess free and easy to grab!

These cookies are bursting with flavor. They are soft and cake-like with a smear of cream cheese frosting over the top. I made my cookies large, but you can definitely make them smaller with a shorter baking time. These would be a welcome addition at any Thanksgiving table!

Pumpkin Cookies

Yield: About 18 large cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Using a large cookie dough scoop (for smaller cookies, use a small scoop), place mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes (shorter cooking time for smaller cookies), or until springy to the touch. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until the frosting is soft and creamy, about 4 minutes. Spread small dollops over each cookie.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Source: Adapted from Joy of Baking