Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cookies Part 1


It's the holidays, and Christmas always gets me in the cookie baking mood.  I will apologize to my family in advance because I know that they love when I bake cookies, and they're a little too far to enjoy.
There are three cookies I must always make, and each year I choose a new one.  Since I have tons of time this year, I'll probably end up with a lot more, and Honey will probably gain 5 pounds eating them.
When I began baking cookies, I learned way back when the Martha Stewart Show was on ABC. I loved all the treats she made for the holiday and her rapping ideas. I recommend her site, marthastewart.com,  for great cookie ideas. My first cookie recipe definitely is a keeper and the most accepted, Thumbprint Cookie. The second are my friend's favorite, Chocolate Chip; they have sour cream which make them a little more doughy and chewy, which I love (Honey doesn't so much, but he'll still eat them).


THUMBPRINT COOKIES
makes 2 dozen

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar, separated
1 large egg, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup jam, or preserves (blackberry is my favorite)
 
Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour and salt, and add to mixture, beating on low until combined.
In a small food processor, combine almonds with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and process until almonds are finely ground. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Dip in egg white, then in almond-and-sugar mixture. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your finger or bottom of a thick wooden spoon.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press down the centers again. Fill the center of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of jam. Rotate sheets, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.
 
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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
makes 2 dozen
 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk-chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with sour cream, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Cover, and freeze for 10 minutes.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake until centers are set and cookies are pale golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
 

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