weeknight gourmet

Category : Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Cocoa Thumbprints

In case you are still in the baking mood, here are some chocolate cookies that are a nice take on traditional thumbprints!  This is not my favorite chocolate Christmas cookie recipe but they are tasty.  I think I like a richer chocolate flavor.  For those of you who are not chocoholics, this might be the Christmas cookie for you!  Tim thinks they are delicious!

Cocoa Thumbprints
Food Network Magazine

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Sprinkles, mini marshmallows, mini candies or dried fruit, for filling

Whisk the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and eggs and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Place the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in 2 separate small bowls. Roll scant tablespoonfuls of dough into balls; roll in the granulated sugar and then in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly flatten each ball with your fingers and make a deep 1/2-inch-wide indentation in the centers with your thumb. Place your choice of filling in the indentation.

Bake the cookies until puffed and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Christmas Cookies: Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I made these cookies for Tim’s “snack day” at work along with the Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints.  Mine did not turn out as pretty as Giada’s but they were delicious!  So moist from the *whole* container of ricotta cheese.  And, such great lemon flavor from the zest in the cookie and the very lemony glaze.

Just a couple of notes:

The glaze recipe made just enough to cover all the cookies.  So be generous but not overly so when coating the cookies.

I have started to always line my cookie sheets with parchment paper or my Silpat mat.  The cookies bake more evenly and are easy to remove from the cookie sheet.  And, clean up is a breeze — just throw out the paper or wipe down the mat!

Lastly, if you don’t own a Microplane zester, it really is an amazing tool to zest citrus.  You can use it to grate parmesan cheese, and I’ve even seen people use it on garlic cloves and ginger.

Enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies: In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints

My friend Emily made these cookies for Thanksgiving and they were delicious!  I needed to make a holiday treat for Tim’s office so I decided to make them.  What says Christmas more than chocolate + peppermint?!

Do not overbake the cookies.  I followed the instructions exactly and the cookies were so moist and delicious.

To make the chocolate – peppermint filling, all you need is butter, chocolate chips, and some peppermint extract.  You can pipe the filling through a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off.

The cookies were a hit in Tim’s office.  I think they were all gone within two days!  I was a little sad I didn’t save any for myself but my waistline probably thanks me.

Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints
Everyday Food

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup each butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove sheets from oven; with the small end of a melon baller or the bottom of a small round measuring spoon, make an indentation in center of each cookie.

Bake until cookies are just set but still look moist, 4 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and ¼ cup butter in 10-second increments until melted; stir in peppermint extract. Let cool until thick enough to pipe, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large zip-top bag; snip 1/4-inch hole in one corner. Pipe chocolate into cookie indentations. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 week.)

Active time: 35 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes + cooling

Makes 4 dozen

Christmas Cookies: Dried Cherry & Almond Cookies

I knew that Tim and I would love these cookies!  He loves cherries and I love any baked good with almond extract.  The cookies are amazing!  A wonderful combination of almond, cinnamon, vanilla, and tartness from the cherries.

Dried Cherry & Almond Cookies
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Cook’s Note)

Icing:

  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus extra, as needed

For the Cookies:

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the egg. Add the flour and beat on the lowest speed until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dried cherries and almonds.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be made up to 3 days in advance).

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer the dough slices to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing, about 30 minutes.

For the Icing:

Put the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the vanilla extract and water, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture becomes a drizzling consistency. (Makes about 2/3 cups icing, enough to ice both variations.)

Put the cooled cookies on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or a fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 1 hour.

Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Cook’s Note Alternative:

Replace the dried cherries with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots and add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Also, use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and omit the almond extract.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps

Not a lot of comments on this recipe other than that these are DELICIOUS!  I used semi-sweet chocolate rather than bittersweet.   The cookies are amazing chocolate-y bites.  Soft and chewy!

Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
Everyday Food

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for coating
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Christmas Cookies: Angeletti

We were supposed to be in the Berkshires this weekend with friends but unfortunately Charlotte got sick.  We planned to get our tree and really get into the Christmas spirit.  Instead, I was in our apartment for 48 straight hours.  But I did have the chance to do some baking.

These cookies from Real Simple are light and fluffy and covered with some delicious icing made from confectioner’s sugar.  I love how festive they look with the nonpareils.

Make sure to not over bake the cookies.  7 minutes was perfect in my oven.  Enjoy!

Angeletti
Real Simple

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Glaze:
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons multicolor nonpareil sprinkles, for decoration (optional)
Heat oven to 375° F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
With floured hands, roll level tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and the bottoms are pale golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and the vanilla until the mixture forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more water if necessary).
Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, rounded side up, on a rack set over a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with non-pareils, if using. Allow the glaze to set, about 20 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Here’s a delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I made these today to bring up to Vermont where we are spending New Year’s with Tim’s brother, his wife, and baby girl.  The cookies are chewy and packed with lots of chocolaty and oat goodness.

The reviews of the recipe suggested reducing the sugars to 1/3 of a cup each since the recipe also calls for maple syrup.  I followed this tip and think the cookies are perfectly sweet.

Hope you enjoy the twist on your basic chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Wayne Harley Brachman

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Set 2 racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, and pecans together with a whisk or fork.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together for 30 seconds until blended. Beat in the egg until smooth and barely fluffy. With mixer running on medium high, drizzle in the maple syrup, and vanilla until incorporated. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually add the flour-oatmeal mixture. Blend just to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop walnut-sized balls of dough onto a nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheet at 3-inch intervals. With moistened fingers, flatten and round out the cookies a little. Bake for 9 minutes, turning the pan once for even baking. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned on top. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool.

Christmas Cookies: Classic Sugar Cookies

Here is a delicious sugar cookie recipe.

I don’t think the cookies needed 15 to 20 minutes.  Check on them at 12 minutes.  I decorated the cookies with red sugar and red and green M&Ms to make them festive!

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas!

Classic Sugar Cookies
Food Network Magazine

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract, and orange zest.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the butter mixture, then chill 30 minutes.

Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and flatten; sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Christmas Cookies: Thumbprint Cookies

Merry Christmas to all the Weeknight Gourmet readers!  I was baking this morning so I figured I would share a couple of last minute cookie recipes.

I made a couple of modifications to the thumbprint cookie recipe below.  Instead of lemon juice and zest, I used orange juice and zest.  I also substituted Grand Marnier for Chambord because that’s what I had.  Lastly, I didn’t think the cookies needed a full 20 minutes.  Check on them at 15 minutes.

So delicious!


Raspberry-Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Emeril Lagasse

1/2 cup raspberry jam or jelly
1 tablespoon Chambord or kirsch
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.
In a small bowl, combine the jam and Chambord. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.

Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkles

Here is a delicious chocolaty cookie for the holidays!  They are so chewy and rich!  I had splurged and bought some Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder which gave these cookies an amazing flavor.

Next time I might try rolling half in regular sugar and the other half in confectioners sugar.

Chocolate Crinkles
Real Simple

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Form the dough into balls (each equal to 1 level tablespoon). Roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are firm and the tops crack, 13 to 15 minutes.Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 36 cookies.