Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Some days you have cookies for lunch.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

When I was pregnant I SO wanted a boy hoping I would avoid some of the emotional roller coasters that are typically associated with girls. Someone failed to mention to me that emotions run high with toddlers regardless of their gender.

 

Major meltdown over things like the wrong spoon for his yogurt and the fact that his friend was touching one of his books made me desperate for nap time. And while my naptime to do list last fourteen items deep I made cookies instead.

Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Seriously though. To be a toddler. To get  to throw myself on the floor in a crazed fit because mom cut the skin off my apples. The same skin I refused to eat since the day I started eating solids. To cry unconsolably because mom forgot and put my shirt over my head first before letting me put my arms through. To forcefully refuse to eat yogurt. The same yogurt I cried for and refused all other food for 20 minutes prior.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my son. I sit nearby and offer empathy when is having a hard time. Being a toddler is hard and he is just trying to find his place in the world. I understand.

Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Most of the time.

And sometimes I read books to him (sorta, he doesn’t sit still) and hope for naptime to come soon. So I can make and eat cookies.

Thankfully there is tomorrow and chance to start over.

Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam (makes about 30 cookies)
Adapted from Technicolor Kitchen 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 cup unsalted butter room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry jam (or whatever you have on hand)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix together the flour, salt and poppy seeds in a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium-low speed until smooth. Pour in the sugar and mix just until incorporated. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, mixing only until blended. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just to combine after each addition. Do not overmix or this dough will become oily (this happened to me). Roll 1 leveled tablespoon of dough into balls place 2 in apart on a lined cookie sheet. Using a wooden spoon with a rounded handle no wider than about 1/2 inch wide make a deep indentation with the tip of the handle in the center of each cookie. Dipping the handle in flour will keep it from sticking. Place the cookies in the oven. After 10 minutes, remove the cookies from the oven and re-press each indentation. Then fill the centers with jam. Do not overfill these or the jam will run over. Return the cookies to the oven, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 5-7 minutes longer until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Using a spatula, loosen the cookies from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Snickerdoodles

Often friends and family comment about how they would be quite large if they lived in my house with my constant baking.

I take offense because, while I do lots of baking, I don’t only make sweets. Take this weeks other post as a great example- a vegan veggie mushroom stir fry and a veggie laden risotto. Yes that second recipe does have quite a bit of butter and cheese but I think it balances out.

Classic snickerdoodles

Most of the sweet treats that are made around here are for specific purposes- to deliver to a friend, for a party or special occasion, for dessert after a dinner party I’m hosting. Rarely are we left with piles of cookies or panfulls of brownies lying about.

And on the rare occasion when there are lots of extra treats to be had I make sure they find a home elsewhere. I offer them up on Facebook to whomever comes over to fetch them or send them to work with Nathan. If somehow treats stay here at home I have always had remarkable self control and not inhaled them. That is till these cookies.

Classic snickerdoodles

Apparently snickerdoodles are my kryptonyte. I haven’t made them in ages so how would I know? Once these light cinnamon cookies came out of the oven I was toast. I think I ate three before they were truly cool enough to handle. What? It happens to you too right?

Snickerdoodles were a staple in our house when I was little. They were the only cookies we always had all the ingredients on hand for. Also they were the first cookies I ever made by myself start to finish. Interesting fact- that day when I made these all by myself is one of the most vivid memories I have. So needless to say they hold a special place in my heart. Which means they occupy a special place in my tummy too.

Classic snickerdoodles

Can I claim them as a comfort food?

Thanks. And I appreciate you not judging my excessive cookies eating binge.

Classic snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles (makes 3 dozen)
From the Joy of Cooking

1 c. butter at room temp
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat to 400°F. Mix together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and beat. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until smooth. Roll the batter into 1 1/4 inch balls with your hands. Roll the balls in a mixture of the remaining sugar and cinnamon and place about 3 inches apart on the pan. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until light golden brown on the edges.

Classic snickerdoodles

Peanut butter cookies

Things you may or may not know about me in relationship to my taste in music:

1. As I type this I am enjoying Justin Timberlake’s new album.

2. This morning in our house we were listening to the 90’s station on Pandora. My favorite part is when they play Backstreet Boys and Nathan cringes.

Peanut butter cookies (gluten AND dairy free)

3. We almost ALWAYS have music on in our house. I have my old 3g iPhone parked in a dock in the kitchen. From hi tech phone to glorified radio. I sometimes feel bad for the old phone.

4. Little loves 80’s music (the default music we listen to). At least I like to think he does. The only times I really see him dance are to vintage Madonna and MJ. I sometimes feel bad when we aren’t listening to toddler tunes but he doesn’t seem to mind yet another Duran Duran or Paula Abdul song.

5. However there is too much of a good thing so my “I need something that isn’t pop music” go to is blues. Specifically Hugh Laurie. Why hasn’t he come out with another album?

Peanut butter cookies (gluten AND dairy free)

6. Queen. No other music makes me smile quite as much as Queen.

7. I don’t know how I lived in a world before Pandora (when I’m mobile) or Spotify (when I am at my computer).

8. When I am alone in the car I listen to musicals- Les Mis, Hairspray, Chicago, Rent, Wicked, Moulin Rouge, etc. And yes. I do sing at the top of my lungs.

Why am I telling you all of this? I have no idea.

Peanut butter cookies (gluten AND dairy free)

Because this really should be about these tasty cookies. Cookies that, while not vegan, are dairy and gluten free. I seem to have a host of friends avoiding gluten these days (love you all!) so I am thrilled to finally have an easy gluten free cookie in my repertoire that doesn’t require me to keep random flours on hand.

In fact I bet you have then ingredients for these cookies. Sugar, peanut butter, an egg, and a bit of vanilla and baking soda.

Well, unless you are like us and have a peanut butter eating disorder and can’t manage to keep peanut butter in the house. We practically inhale it around here.

Which is why I think these cookies are so dang good. Despite my questionable taste in music.

Peanut butter cookies (gluten AND dairy free)

Peanut Butter Cookies (make about 20 cookies)
Barely adapted from Shockingly Delicious

1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (look at the ingredients- it should ONLY be peanuts. Or peanuts and salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and set sheet aside. In a bowl mix all the ingredients (except the turbinado sugar) together till combined. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough, and place them on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press top of each cookie with fork tines twice crosswise to form a classic crosshatch pattern. Sprinkle tops of unbaked cookies with turbinado sugar (you could use plain sugar too). Bake for 11-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking pan at least 5 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.

Peanut butter cookies (gluten AND dairy free)

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Alright. Whatever. I clearly have an issue with food obsessions. Lately it has been Mexican food (refried beans, tortillas, enchiladas) and now biscotti.

First there was the plain hazelnut biscotti last week. It was perfect. But the only reason I made that recipe was because I didn’t have the chocolate chips to make this recipe. Oh my word chocolate hazelnut biscotti where have you been all my life?

 Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

The downside? I ate too many of these. The plain ones paired perfectly with a latte and were not as appealing to eat solo. These delicious nutty chocolate monsters however just seemed to find their way in to my hands and subsequently my face.

I just wish I had more hazelnuts lying around. Perhaps it is a good thing I am out and too cheap to pay out of season prices for more (yes I LOVE living in Oregon where we can just go gather hazelnuts out of our friends’ yards).

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Make them at your own risk. You have been warned.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti (makes 2 dozen + cookies)
from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, 1 cup chocolate chunks and hazelnuts until nuts and chocolate are pea sized. Using whisk attachment, beat eggs and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and foamy  and leaves a ribbon when drizzled back into the bowl (about 4 minutes). Replace whisk with paddle attachment, switch to low speed, and add the flour/cocoa mixture and mix till just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir in gently.

Flour your work surface and turn the dough onto it. It will be pretty sticky at this point. Separate dough into three equal pieces. On parchment paper pat the dough into logs roughly 2 in x 18 in. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake 22-24 minutes, until firm to the touch. Transfer logs to wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Once cool transfer logs to cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch diagonal slices.

Place a wire rack on your baking sheet and arrange slices (cut side down) on the rack. Bake until biscotti are firm and dry, 15-20 minutes. Let biscotti cool completely (if you can). Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Gift it. Lest you eat it all yourself.

 

Hazelnut Biscotti

Last fall a sweet friend invited Little and I over to gather nuts. She had a yard full of hazelnuts and walnuts and I was not above a bit of work for free food. Little was pretty tiny still and spent most of his time falling in the mud or trying to eat the nuts on that very very cold fall afternoon.

I brought home two half full Trader Joe’s bag (one of each). And then I forgot all about them.

  Hazelnut biscotti

Seriously. They have sat in my laundry room all winter.

Just recently I went to make these amazing lemon bars and needed walnuts. We were fresh out when I remembered we had the ones in the laundry room!  Nathan cracked AND chopped them for me. How can a girl be so lucky?

Hazelnut biscotti

And then I got a craving for biscotti. These not too sweet twice baked Italian cookies are traditional made with almonds but as I was perusing recipes I found this tasty looking one that called for hazelnuts instead. Well I found a plain hazelnut one and then a chocolate hazelnut one but since I was short the chocolate chips (how I don’t know) I opted to make the plain one. Stay tuned. I see chocolate hazelnut biscotti in my future.

These were delicious. Even better when paired with a delicious latte. Yes, I have an espresso machine at home. Yes, I have a latte nearly ever morning. What can I say? We take our coffee very seriously around here.

How seriously? We have three french presses, one stove top espresso maker, a drip coffee pot with a burr grinder, and then my beloved, sweet, gorgeous espresso machine. Best mother’s day present ever.

Hazelnut biscotti

And you know what makes great coffee even better? Biscotti. I promise.

So I’m curious- Do you take coffee seriously?

How many and what kind of coffee makers do you have?

What’s your favorite coffee? (I have many but the current faves are Casi Cielo from Starbucks for the drip coffee and Five Region Espresso Blend from Trader Joes for the espresso machine)

Hazelnut biscotti

Hazelnut Biscotti (makes about 2 dozen cookies)
Adapted from Gourmet Today

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (7 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs (maybe 3)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until lightly colored and skins are blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute, then rub off any loose skins in towel while nuts are still warm (don’t worry about skins that don’t come off). Cool nuts completely, then very coarsely chop.

Pulse together sugar and 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to bowl of mixer along with flour and beat at medium speed until combined well. Add 2 eggs and vanilla and beat just until a dough forms (if dough doesn’t form add one more egg). Reduce speed to low, then add remaining chopped hazelnuts and mix until incorporated. Turn off mixer and knead in any loose hazelnuts with your hands.

Halve dough and, with dampened hands, form each half into a roughly 10- by 2- by 1-inch log on lined baking sheet, arranging logs 3 inches apart.

Bake until golden and set but still soft to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes.

Transfer logs to a cutting board, discarding parchment, and cut logs with a serrated knife on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Bake slices until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool biscotti completely on sheet on rack, about 30 minutes. Dip in a latte.

Hazelnut biscotti

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

As promised here are the ice cream sandwich cookies.

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

These were for a belated birthday desert. We are getting a bit more sleep around here these days (thanks Little!) so I honestly had no excuse for not making a cake. Although in my defense these were made amongst the madness that was making the tiramisu cake. We churned so much ice cream last week!

Trying to make ice cream sandwiches can be a bit of a messy business. I tried making them when the ice cream was still fairly soft and they didn’t hold together. I finally set a cookie in a custard cup, topped with ice cream, then added the last cookie on top. The cup helped hold the cookie upright so the ice cream could harden properly. Otherwise the top cookie just slid right off. What a stressful little mess it was.

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Second piece of advice I have to offer about these is to pull the sandwiches out of the freezer fifteen minutes before you intend on eating them. Letting them warm up ever so slightly will make eating them so much easier. The ice cream is soft enough straight out of the freezer but the cookie gets a bit hard.

I’m totally making more ice cream cookie come summer. These were awesome.

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches (makes about 18 sandwiches)
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups very cold heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup high quality strawberry jam (preferably homemade)1 recipe chocolate brownie cookies

Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Gently scrape out all the seeds. Place vanilla-bean scrapings and pods in a medium saucepan with milk, cream, salt and half the sugar. Scald the mixture, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes.

Combine egg yolks and the rest of the sugar and whisk together in a medium bowl. Return milk to stove, and bring just to a simmer. Using a measuring cup or ladle, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly until blended. Keep adding milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it has all been added. Whisk until combined.

Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes and 170F. The custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Remove pan from heat and pour through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl set in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until cooled. (Discard vanilla-bean pod and strained seeds.) Cover bowl, and transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes but overnight is best.

Pour custard into an ice-cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Churn until the ice cream is almost set. Add 1/2 cup of the jam and churn for a minute or two more. Transfer soft ice cream to an airtight plastic container and fold in the last 1/2 cup of jam. Freeze at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.

Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peppermint Pattie Cookies

These cookies were part of a secret mission.

A delicious secret mission.

See, my dear friend Mike came home from Afghanistan. If you have been reading here for a while you can recall that when he left for Afghanistan last summer I made him a peppermint pattie cake. It was a huge hit.

Last Wednesday I saw this cookie recipe and knew in a heartbeat I had to make it for him. Not wanting to intrude on his first weekend home and his time with his lovely girl Bev, I decided to play ding dong ditch. It is actually one of my items on the list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30- #6 play ding dong ditch 6 times and leave behind tasty treats.

Peppermint Pattie Cookie

You know what ding dong ditch is right? You go to someone’s house, ring the doorbell, then run away (ditch) before they get to the door. Mostly it is done as a practical joke. I find it a fun way to unload excess baked goods.

The problem was these were so good they almost didn’t make it to his house. I had the thought several times of just eating them all myself since he would never know he didn’t get them. The brownie cookie is superb. Be sure to make them on the small side because they are quite rich. The frosting recipe only made enough to frost about two dozen cookies so either make extra or just enjoy the plain brownie cookies. That was our compromise actually- we kept the dozen that didn’t get frosted. They are perfect for breakfast. Honestly.

Peppermint Pattie Cookie

One final note- I am always learning things. The original recipe author had a hard time drizzling the chocolate so I opted to make a piping cone out of parchment paper to do my chocolate decorating. Problem was I had no idea how to make the paper piping cone. You tube came to rescue. I highly recommend watching the video and making your own. It made decorating the cookies SO easy. Then the leftover ganache went in my latte. Cause you know… That’s where it belongs.

Peppermint Pattie Cookie

Peppermint Pattie Cookies (makes 3 dozen cookies and frosting for 2 dozen)
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Cookies
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup loosely brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Peppermint Icing (increase by 1/2 if you want to frost all your cookies)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Ganache
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Peppermint Pattie Cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the cooled butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. Fold in chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1-1 1/2-inch balls (about 1 Tbs) and place on a nonstick baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the middles are just set.  Let cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, add powdered sugar, butter, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula and spread the peppermint cream over the top of each cookie evenly.

Once the frosting has had a chance to dry (about an hour) carefully microwave the dark chocolate and heavy cream till melted and smooth (I did it in 30 second increments). Either drizzle or pipe the chocolate decoratively over the cookies. Allow to harden.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

I’m sorry there haven’t been very many cookies on here of late. I’ve got cookies for you today at least.

There might be a whole lot more cookies around here in the coming months. Not just to you computer screen but possibly to your doorstep. I made these cookies as I was being filmed. Thankfully I’m not an introvert and it didn’t phase me. Well, the rolling cookies with my left hand so it looked better in the shot was hard but the rest of it was easy peasy.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

You see, we might be doing a kickstarter. I’m not going to say too much about it now because if/when we do decide to actually run the campaign it will be on here plenty. More than necessary I’m sure.

Enough of that. Back to the cookies. There is a local restaurant that makes the most amazing dinner plate sized chewy molasses cookies. No one needs to eat a dinner plate sized cookie. Unless you do, in which case I don’t judge. I wanted a smaller cookie that was equally chewy and dark. And these are just right. They are made almost exactly like snickerdoodles but have more depth of flavor because of the molasses and spices. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

The entire batch was gone within 24 hours thanks to the filming crew on Saturday and my lovely tamale making friends who came over Sunday. Somehow you just don’t feel as bad eating 17 small cookies than you do for eating one bigger than your plate. Right? Right.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ginger Molasses Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)
adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Nutter butters

I’m really really happy these cookies have come and gone from my house. You could say there has been a bit of stress around here lately and, while I have historically not had this problem, I have have been stress eating. To combat the inevitable weight gain I have no snacks in the house. No ice cream, no cookies, no chocolate. Well the chocolate part is a lie right now because I have one Lindt Lindor ball and one Ferrero Rocher that I pilfered from my parents house last night. But otherwise no chocolate.

Delicious homemade nutter butters

What is there to eat in my house? Salad. Lots of fresh veggies. Ingredients for dinner but everything has to be assembled which means time which is good in the stress eating world. Less likely to down a whole box of uncooked pasta mindlessly. If I had chips they would be gone. Also I have lots and lots of fruit. I’m drinking loads of tea and water. Anything to help me chill out on the stuffing my face front.

Life should mellow out here shortly. I really want to attempt a couple of recipes this weekend but I either need people around to eat the results or I need to develop some self control. Maybe a bit of both. Maybe I should just eat more oranges.

Delicious homemade nutter butters

Oh but these cookies. I wish, and don’t wish, I had some right now. They are less crunchy than the name brand cookies you buy in the store but they are equally good. Stuff your face with them good. Give them all away so you don’t eat them in one sitting good. If you are a peanut butter fiend, and have the self control I currently lack, you need to make these right away. I’m going to go snack on a kiwi.

Nutter Butters (makes about 2 dozen 2 cookie sandwiches)
Adapted from Remodelaholic

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

For the filling:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3  cups confectioners’ sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cookies: in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; use a whisk to combine, set aside. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes, scraping down bowl twice. At low speed, add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well mixed, frequently scraping down bowl. Add oats, and mix well.

Using a small scoop, place balls of dough on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies have spread and turned very light golden brown, about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool and firm up, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before filling.

Make the filling: Cream together the butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until very smooth.

Delicious homemade nutter butters

Assemble cookies: Spread a thin layer of filling on two similarly sized cookies then sandwich them together.

Notes: This batter spreads and therefore the cookies can be huge and a bit thin. Use a small scoop of batter (like only a tablespoon or less) for smaller bite sized cookies.

Delicious homemade nutter butters

Sugar Cookies

Christmas is probably my favorite time of year. I start in on the Christmas music early (Nov. 2nd this year). If it weren’t for my husband putting his foot down I would have had our tree up BEFORE thanksgiving. My house is slowly getting decorated as it is hard to get things done with Little underfoot but I just love it. Part of the Christmas season in my house has always involved an inordinate amount of baking. It is all so so so good.

Sugar cookies

Sugar cookies are a staple on the Christmas baking list. When I was little we would decorate them at the kitchen table, always consuming more frosting than any child should. Now that I have my own Little I wonder about my mother’s state of mind letting two wild children have that much contact with frosting- the perfect sugar high delivery vehicle. I loved decorating those cookies but can remember always being frustrated they weren’t perfect. We used a simple buttercream (butter, powdered sugar, a bit of milk) frosting. It was delicious but it was hard to be precise. When I got older and made the cookies at my house I always felt a bit blah about the frosting. Don’t get me wrong- I loved the flavor. I just wanted my cookies to look prettier.

Sugar cookies

With all these baking endeavors I have embarked on I have finally discovered how to decorate my cookies and make them look like I want them to! At first it took a couple of tries but I think I’ve got at least to my level of satisfaction. Lets not get crazy here, I am no perfectionist. The secret is to get the glaze/frosting the consistency of cold honey then put it in a squeeze bottle. It makes the whole process so easy! I used to pipe a thin border around the cookie then flood them with a thinner consistency icing. That was so.much.work. If you keep your glaze/frosting thick enough you can just squeeze a good amount on to the cookie then spread it around with a knife or small spatula.

Enjoy.

Sugar cookies

Sugar Cookies and a simple frosting/glaze (makes about 4 dozen depending on how big your cookie cutters are)
cookies adapted from I am Baker and frosting from King Arthur Flour

1 1/2 cup Butter (I Use Unsalted)
2 cups Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 whole Eggs Yolks
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoons Almond Extract
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks and mix until combined. Add in vanilla and almond extract; mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine.  Be careful to not overmix as this dough can get tough.

Put dough in some plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out, cut out cookies, and bake for 8-10  minutes.

Sugar cookies

Frosting/Glaze

2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
Food coloring (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup.  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk 1 tsp at a time till it reaches the consistency of cold honey. Color with food coloring, place in squeeze bottles and frost your completely cool cookies.

Sugar cookies