Tag Archives: cut out cookies

Cookies by Julias: Valentine Shortbread Cookies

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2 Julias + 1 day off of  school = Tons of cookie fun

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These 2 cute girls wanted to bake cookies on their day off of school, and since one of them is allergic to eggs, they decided to make shortbread cookies. But traditional rectangles were way too boring, so they went with hearts. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

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And once the chocolate melting and dipping started, their creative juices really got flowing!

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If you are looking for more traditional shortbread cookies, you can always go with plain-old-boring-rectangles:

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RECIPE:

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Valentine Shortbread Cookies

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
4 ½ cups flour
Dark chocolate and/or colored candy melts

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make sure that butter is very soft, but not melted. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour, mixing well.

Lightly sprinkle flour on a pastry board or mat. Gently press or roll dough until dough is about 1/3” thick (dough will be softer than a normal cut-out cookie dough). Use a heart cookie cutter to cut out shapes and use a thin metal spatula to transfer hearts to ungreased cookie sheets, leaving a small space between cookies.

Bake at 325°F for  about 20 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt about 1 cup chopped chocolate in microwave by cooking in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until completely melted. Dip cookies as desired. To drizzle chocolate, place chocolate or candy melts in a Ziploc bag and cook for 30 seconds in microwave. Squish bag and repeat as needed until melted. Use a toothpick or skewer to poke a small hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle melted chocolate over cookies.

Place cookies on parchment paper or wax paper to harden. You can chill them in the refrigerator, if desired, to speed up the setting of the chocolate. Higher quality dark chocolate will take longer to harden than the candy melts.

Makes 2 ½ – 3  dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

DAY 11: Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Today’s cookie is a bow to the Canadian heritage here in our home.

Tiny maple cookies filled with a maple cream cheese frosting. You could always make them bigger, but I love these cute little bite-sized cookies.

My big mistake with these cookies, however, was in thinking that my cookie cutter was symmetrical. Turns out it is not quite the same on both sides! (As you can see if you look closely at the top of the cookies.) This didn’t bother my kids at all. They all disappeared before any made it onto cookie trays.

Lesson for next time: if your cookie cutter is not perfectly symmetrical, before baking, flip half of your cookies over. Then you can put the back-sides of two different cookies together and your edges will line up.

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RECIPE:

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies
—–
(adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2005):

Maple Cookies:
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp maple extract

Maple Cream Cheese Filling:
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
½ tsp maple extract
¼ tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple extract until combined.

Add flour gradually and mix until just blended. Divide dough into two balls and flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap (or place in a Ziploc bag) and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼”. Use small maple leaf cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cookies on prepared sheets.

Note: If your cookie-cutter is not perfectly symmetrical,  turn half of your cookies upside down before baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (exact time will depend on size and thickness of cookies). Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Filling:
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, maple syrup, maple extract and salt until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar.

Spread the backside of cooled cookie with about ½ Tbs filling.  Top with another cookie. (If cookies are not symmetrical, be sure to pair cookies with their inverted match.)

 

Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies (using a 2” cookie cutter)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

DAY 8: Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Here is a fun Christmas treat to make with kids that is easier than your traditional frosted sugar cookies. All you need is a good sugar cookie recipe, a package of Jolly Rancher hard candies and two different sized cookie cutters.

To begin, you will need to line your baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper so that the candy centers don’t stick.

Prepare your dough and cut out large Christmas shapes (my cookie cutters were about 3” tall). I usually like to make nice thick sugar cookies, but these need to be about 1/8” thick, or the center “window” will be too thin compared to the cookie.

Place cookies on baking sheet before cutting out the smaller design in the center of each cookie. I used the inserts for linzer cookies to cut the center shapes. Cutting out the smaller shape after the cookie is on the baking sheet helps the cookie dough retain its shape. It is harder to move cookie dough with the center cut out.

Place half of a Jolly Rancher candy  in the center of each cut out. (Cut candy in half with a sharp knife)  If your openings are large enough to fit the whole Jolly Rancher, then use them whole. You can also crush the candies first, but I found that there are fewer bubbles in your windows if you leave the candies whole. And it is so much easier than crushing hard candy!

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies 3

While the cookies bake, the candies will melt and fill in the centers.

After baking, let the cookies completely cool and the candy window centers harden before removing from baking sheet.

Store covered between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper. The candy centers will stick together if they touch.

You could also make these using a Gingerbread Cookie Dough.

RECIPE:

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 package Jolly Rancher candies, cut in half for small openings

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.  Mix in baking soda, salt and enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough (Start with 7 cups and add more if needed).

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour, if necessary, for easier handling.

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll out dough to about 1/8” and cut out with large  cookie cutters. Place shapes on lined baking sheets. Cut out a smaller shape inside of each cookie  (after placing on baking sheet).

Place half of a Jolly Rancher candy in the center of each cookie. Use a whole Jolly Rancher if the opening is large enough to lay the candy down inside the opening.

Bake at 375°F for 8 -10 minutes, or until candies have melted; cookies should not be browned on the edges.  They should look white when done. Cool completely on the baking sheet. When candy centers are completely cool and hardened, remove cookies to a sheet of parchment paper.

Store covered between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper. The candy centers will stick together if they touch.

Makes about 6 dozen (using a 3” cookie cutter)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Frozen-Inspired Snowflake Sugar Cookies

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DAY 9: Frozen-Inspired Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Want to brighten a little girl’s eyes this Christmas? Make these Disney Frozen inspired snowflake cookies together. She can be totally in charge of the sprinkles.

This is a different sugar cookie dough than I usually use. (That recipe can be found here: Sugar Cookies). I prefer the flavor of the other dough, but this dough is much easier to work with and creates super sharp edges. And no refrigeration of the dough is needed. When I am using a cookie cutter where sharp edges really matter, this is the dough I prefer to use. The recipe comes from In Katrina’s Kitchen.

I used Royal Icing (recipe below) to pipe thick lines, but you could also use this Glacé Icing. Cover lines with shimmery sanding sugar or thicker blue and silver sprinkles immediately after piping.

Frozen Snowflake Sugar Cookies 1

RECIPE:

Frozen Snowflake Sugar Cookies 1

Snowflake Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
————–(from In Katrina’s Kitchen)

Sugar Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
Blue and Silver Shimmery Sanding Sugar or Coarse Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and slowly mix into the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.

Do not chill dough. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to almost 1/4 inch. You want these cookies to be thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 25 cookies made from 4” snowflake cookie cutters.

Royal Icing
——(from Bake at 350)

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant ¼ cup water
½ lb powdered sugar
½  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 3-5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

Use a thick open circle decorator tip to pipe thick lines onto each snowflake. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar or sprinkles immediately after piping lines (on each cookie). Icing will harden quickly.

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Chocolate Covered Bat and Mummy Cookies

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Mummy Cookies have long been a tradition for Halloween baking at our house. It is our only Halloween baking tradition. Until today! We have now added chocolate covered bat cookies to our short list of Halloween favorites.

I added mint extract to a chocolate cut-out cookie recipe and covered the cookies in a dark chocolate coating. These quickly became the adult favorite. Neither Brian nor I are a big fan of white chocolate. But a cookie that tastes like a Girls’ Scout Thin Mint cookie? Absolutely!

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I used an orange gel icing for the eyes, but it didn’t set firmly. Next time I will use a bright orange melted colored candy coating to make eyes. I had a pale green colored chocolate that I thought would look nice, but it was too pale, so I went with the gel icing.

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A naked bat ready to take the plunge:

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These white chocolate covered chocolate mummies are still the kids’ favorite (except for Little A- I usually make a few vanilla mummies for him, and he picks the eyes off).

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For recipe and details on making Mummy Cookies, click HERE.

RECIPE:

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Chocolate Covered Bat Cookies
——(cookie dough recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
10 Tbs butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1  tsp pure peppermint extract, optional
about 2 pounds dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
colored candy coating or frosting for eyes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add eggs and peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated.

Divide dough in half and place on two large pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap dough securely in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1-2 hours, or several days.

When ready to bake, place dough on a new piece of plastic wrap. Press with hands to make a thick disk of dough. Place another piece of plastic wrap over dough and use a rolling pin to flatten dough to about 1/4 inch. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until dry to the touch. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler (melt chocolate slowly). Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Use a fork to turn the cookie over in the chocolate. Pick up the cookie with the fork, let excess chocolate drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment (or waxed paper)-lined baking sheets. Let chocolate harden. (TIME SAVING NOTE: You can also just use your fingers to hold the cookie and only dunk the top and sides of the cookie, gently scraping the excess chocolate off of the top of the cookie before placing it on the parchment paper) To make eyes, place melted candy coating in a Ziploc or pastry bag. Poke a small hole in the end with a toothpick and pipe eyes onto bats.

Makes about 4 dozen, depending on the size of your cookies.

 

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