Tuesday, December 21, 2010

C is for Cookie

And that's good enough for me =]

Saturday I had an unsuspected day off from work, so I took full advantage of it and baked my Christmas cookies. I made peanut butter blossoms

(you can get the recipe off of any Hershey Kisses bag at this time of the year),

chocolate cookies with red and green M&M's in them, and

neapolitan aka seven layer cookies. I still have to make my dad's favorite cookies- sesame cookies. Yes they sound a bit strange, but they are his favorite.

The 7 layer's should have a green, yellow, and red layer to them, but I ran out of red food coloring, so this year they is a blue (sea foam blue) layer instead. They are still going to taste the same because it is a base dough that has the different colors added to it.  To get 7 layers there are three layers of cake, 2 layers of jam, and 2 layers of chocolate. Yummy!

Italian 7 Layer cookies

8oz almond paste

1 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg white
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
red, yellow, and green food coloring
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup apricot preserves
6oz semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 13x9inch cake pans, line with parchment paper.
Beat almond paste to soften.

Add butter, sugar, egg yolks, and almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy (about 15 minutes).

On low speed, add in flour.

Beat egg white until soft peaks form.

Add egg whites to almond dough in batches, to lighten the batter.

Divide dough, about 1 1/2 cups, into 3 bowls and add a different color food coloring to each bowl.

Spread dough into the pans

and bake 9 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Cook on racks. remove cakes and cool completely.

Once cooled, top green layer with raspberry jam.

Top that with the yellow layer and add the apricot preserves on top of that, remove large chunks as spreading.

Top with red (my blue) layer and wrap in plastic wrap. Place on a cookie sheet and top with a cutting board. Place in fridge and I usually let them sit for a day with weights on top of them. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.

Coat the bottom of the cookies first with the chocolate. place in fridge and let it harden.

Then flip and coat the top with chocolate, you can also coat the sides of the cakes if you have enough chocolate. The chocolate layer should not be very thick, just and nice thin layer.

Cut into 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch cookies.

I also made vegan Gingerbread cookies,

I did mention I was in the previous entry. They came out better than I suspected. They are also really easy to make.

Gingerbread Cookies

5 cups whole wheat flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegan butter, softened (I used earthbalance sticks)
1 1/2 cups molasses
3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 tablespoons vinegar

I made the dough and then chilled it for a day before baking. The day you are going to bake it, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, spices, and baking soda.

Combine molasses, applesauce, and vinegar.

Add to butter, this was a little difficult, so I used my hands.

Then add to the flour mix. I divided the dough into 4 equal parts and wrapped in plastic wrap. I froze 2 parts and kept the rest to make my cookies with.
After chilled, flour a board and rolling pin, and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.

Use cookie cutters that are floured, and cut of fun shapes.

Bake 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your cookies-
 a little crispier 10 minutes, softer 8 minutes.

Cool and yum! Even my mom who does not like gingerbread liked them. I like them baked either way, so I made some crispy and some soft.

Sorry I have not been keeping up on my What's for dindin so here you are:

What's For Dinner?

Friday, December 17th
I was lazy and made a salad with tomatoes, peppers, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and toasted almonds, with gingerly lite dressing.

Saturday, December 18th
I went to dinner with my family to celebrate my dad's birthday. We went to Arirang. I had miso soup, garden salad with lemon-ginger dressing, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower with mustard sauce.

Sunday, December 19th

Spinach salad with tomatoes, yellow peppers, and roasted mushrooms and melted cheese with roasted red pepper dressing.

Monday, December 20th

Sweet potato platski's with cinnamon applesauce and toasted hazelnuts.

Tuesday, December 21st

Roasted veg/parsley salad. With butternut squash, sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, parsnips, and Idaho potatoes, with toasted cashews.

There you are! "C" is most definitely for cookies!

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