Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cookie Weekend 2004



Every year I take a couple of days off and have myself a very long weekend of Christmas cookie baking. Inevitably other things come up, so it’s not like I’m baking cookies day and night, but it is definitely the focus of those three or four days. I usually bake six kinds of cookies. This year I baked seven – six plus my “Mondays with Maida” cookies. The other thing that was different (and fun) this year was that three of the recipes I tried came from other food bloggers.

Here’s what I made:

Chocolate pecan bars – I make these every year and they are always everyone’s favorite. They’re from a 1989 Karo corn syrup magazine ad and taste like a chocolate pecan pie.

Sugar cookies – page 193 in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies. I make these every year as well. This is a wonderful recipe – the cookies have great flavor and the dough handles beautifully.



Cardamom butter squares – page 120 in the December, 2004 Gourmet. (Gourmet's recipe was based on this recipe from McCormick. The recipe in Gourmet uses a little more cardamom and adds the icings.) These are tasty little cookies drizzled with chocolate and an espresso icing. They are easy, beautiful, and delicious!

Soetkoekies (spice wine cookies) – from Jeanne at Cook Sister!. This is a South African cookie loaded with spices, almonds and red wine too. You don’t even need a mixer for these and they taste great!

Chez Panisse Gingersnaps – from Renee at feeding dexygus seconds. Such a great story – I had to make them. I had a little trouble slicing them neatly, but they are still delicious.



Marzipan pine nut cookies – page 44 in the Spring 2004 Eating Well. Sam at Becks & Posh made these for IMBB10 and fortunately I just happened to have this issue of Eating Well. I’ve only eaten one of these (so far) – but I think this is my favorite new cookie this year. I plan to make a second batch so I can enjoy a few more!

Coconut Grove Cookies – page 28 in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies. More about these tomorrow!

6 comments:

Linda said...

Wow, what great looking cookies! You selected a really nice assortment of flavors and styles. It's terrific you took the time to make all these. Enjoy them with your friends and family and happy holidays!

Santos said...

hi cathy

those cardamom butter squares are *gorgeous*--actually, they match my apartment :-) i may have to add those to my cookie list. does the icing harden enough so the cookies don't get all smooshy looking when you stack them?

you know, i'm on my third batch of those chez panisse gingersnaps, and i'm not loving them yet. and yet i keep trying because i feel i *should* love them. i can't get the spicing right to suit me, they seem sort of dull. and there's no way i can get 70 cookies out of one batch. do you like the spiciness? do you know of a way to 'up' the gingery-ness? i've doubled the amount of ginger and added a tsp of fresh ginger, but i still find them to be too mellow.

Cathy said...

Linda - thanks so much! Happy holidays to you as well.

Hi Santos! Thanks! I generally shy away from iced cookies for just that reason - I want to be able to pack them up without them getting all messed up. The notes for these cookies indicated that they could be stored iced for up to a week, so I took a chance. If you store them in single layers separated by sheets of wax paper they do OK. I've come across a little smooshing - but so far only on ones that I accidentally glopped a little too much icing on.

I like the gingersnaps but I'm not swooning over them - I think that has more to do with the way I feel about gingersnaps generally than these in particular. I don't need them any spicier, but since you do...would it be completely crazy to add something like cayenne pepper? The other thing I thought of (but this would make the slicing even more difficult) would be to add some chopped up candied ginger. If I were to make these again, I think I'd shape them smaller (i.e. not as wide) so that they'd be easier to slice. I didn't have so much trouble slicing thin - but I had a terrible time slicing straight!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

Looks like you did a load of baking. I did lots too.
The cookies you made all sound wonderful. I've wanted to try Renee's gingersnap recipe, but never got around to it.

Have a happy holiday!

Sam said...

Ooh - I am glad you had the recipe.
I didnt feel I could publish it because of copyright.
I am glad yours looked like mine too - did you use the Trader Joes nuts? With the husks still on?
We later made some after with very fine ground almonds and they looked quite different.
But aren't they delicious?
I think I am going to make some again on Christmas Day to go with coffee after dinner.

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Reid - yes, baking cookies is my Christmas ritual. I enjoy all aspects of it - planning, the actual baking, packaging them, and of course the ooh's and ah's when I give them out! Happy holidays to you as well!

Hi Sam! I'm so glad I had the recipe too - I love it! They really are delicious! I don't remember if my almonds were from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (I stocked up in both places), but they did still have the husks on. I've ground up a second batch of almonds and sugar, but I haven't had a chance to mix up that batch. Maybe after Christmas when life resumes a more normal pace!