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Cookie and Candy Recipes, page 2

 


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Chocolate Hazelnut Pepperballs 

This photo may not do justice, as I tried an experiment for the "frosting". It tasted wonderful, but did not turn out as I had hoped. These may be rolled in confectioners' sugar or a combination of confectioners' sugar with a little unsweetened cocoa powder if desired. Alternatively, drizzle with a little thinned down Royal Icing. Hazelnut meal (or "flour") is available from Bob's Red Mill.

Makes about 6 dozen 1-inch balls

1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
1 cup hazelnut meal


Chocolate Hazelnut Pepperballs
Chocolate Hazelnut Pepperballs


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Peanut Butter Cookies 


This is not an original recipe of mine, but it is found everywhere and attributed to no one. My daughter brought home the recipe from school back in the 1990s. My first reaction was that this couldn't work! But the recipe does work, and it is completely Gluten-Free! The recipe could hardly be more simple.

Makes about 5 - 6 dozen

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy as preferred
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convect Bake). By hand or with a mixer, combine all ingredients until they form a dough. Roll into balls about 1-inch in diameter and place them about 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you have a small cookie scoop, this makes very quick work of it. With fork tines, make a crisscross pattern on top of the cookies by first pressing the fork down to flatten partially, then press down again across the first pattern. Bake the cookies for about 10 - 12 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies

Cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar; add in the vanilla to combine. Separately whisk together the flour, cocoa, spices, salt and hazelnut meal, then add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks, until it clumps together. Chill the dough for about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (350 on Convect Bake). Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Using a small cookie scoop makes all the balls uniform in size. Set the balls of dough onto a baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until set.

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Gingerspice Cookies 

My goal with this recipe was a nicely spiced cookie without it being - quite - gingerbread. I like gingerbread cookies, but not nearly as much as other varieties, so there is just too much competition during the holidays and the gingerbread are left on the plate.I love spices, so that is not the problem. Most gingerbread has molasses as an ingredient and I am not overfond of molasses. These cookies have more ginger and no molasses, and are just right.

Makes 11 - 12 dozen 2-inch cookies

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cassia cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 2 tablespoons water or milk, as needed

Gingerspice Cookies
Gingerspice Cookies

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter as for pie dough, until crumbly. Whisk together the egg and the vanilla and add this to the crumbly mixture, tossing lightly with a fork to combine the wet and dry ingredients. If the mass will not come together, add in 1 tablespoon of the water or milk. Add up to 1 tablespoon more of the liquid if needed to form a dough.

Form the dough into two cylindrical shapes and roll in waxed paper; refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours, or freeze up to a month in advance. If frozen, allow the dough to thaw in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convect Bake). Remove half the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter or just slice into squares or rectangles. Bake the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but not too browned. Remove from the baking sheet to a counter or rack to cool. Ice if desired.



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Pecan Praline Fudge 

Having made chocolate fudge using pinto beans as a base ingredient, I wondered how it would be to make a white "fudge" using white beans and no cocoa? My first intent was to make the recipe Maple Walnut, but switched to Pecan Praline. Feel free to substitute maple flavoring for the pecan praline flavoring and walnuts for the pecans, if desired.

Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan

1 can (15-ounce) white beans (navy or great northern)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons pecan praline flavoring
2 pounds + 2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups pecans, rough chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside.

Pour beans into a colander and run copious amounts of cool water over them until they stop foaming. Allow to drain well, then place the beans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth, stopping and scraping the sides as needed. Add in the melted butter and the flavorings and process to blend thoroughly.

Pour the mass into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the confectioners' sugar and starting very slowly, mix until the whole mass comes together. Add in the pecans and salt and mix again only just to combine. Turn out the whole mass into the prepared pan and with a spatula, press the fudge into the whole pan evenly. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cut into whatever size pieces you prefer for serving.

 
Pecan Praline Fudge
Pecan Praline Fudge
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Cardamom Almond Cookies 

A blending of flavors in a crisp, buttery wafer make these cookies perfect for any time of year. For the holidays they can be cut into any shape preferred. They could also be rolled neatly into a 2-inch diameter log and chilled, then sliced to make this recipe quick and easy.

Makes approximately 8 dozen 2-inch wafers

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, finely grated
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup almond meal
1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (12 tablespoons)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water, milk or Amaretto liqueur

Cardamom Almond Cookies
Cardamom Almond Cookies
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients to combine. Cut in the butter as for pie dough, with a pastry cutter, fork, two knives or with fingertips to make a crumbly mixture. Combine the eggs and liquid of choice and add in, tossing lightly with a fork until the mixture begins to hold together. With hands, form the dough into a log and wrap in waxed paper. Chill the dough before proceeding.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convection). This recipe can easily be made using my Busy-Mom-Method. If you choose to roll the dough and cut out shapes, roll to about 1/8-inch thickness and cut. Re-roll the scraps and repeat. Bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until just lightly browned.

These cookies are flavorful enough to be enjoyed as is. If you choose they may be iced as desired, or made into sandwich cookies.


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Springerle 

Traditionally anise flavored and made with stamped images, these cookies can also be made with other flavors. I chose to make mine orange flavored. These cookies must be made at least 12 hours prior to baking, as the drying time allows the images to set and show after baking. They puff while baking, so trying to make them too soon may result in the image being blurred.

Makes about 60 to 70 (1¼ x 2-inch) cookies

4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon orange flavoring
3½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour


Springerle before baking
Springerle just made, before baking
Springerle
Springerle
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and lemon colored. Add in the sugar gradually while still beating, and then the butter, baking powder, orange zest and flavoring. Begin to incorporate the flour. You may not need all the flour, but the dough should come out stiff and not very sticky. More flour may be added while rolling out the dough if needed.

Flour a surface and turn out the dough. With a regular rolling pin, roll the dough to about 1/3 to ½-inch thick. Using a springerle mold, rolling pin, or cookie stamps, press the mold into the dough to imprint a clear picture. Cut apart the cookies and set them on a floured board or towel. allow the cookies to air dry, uncovered, for at least 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Set the dried cookies onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake them for approximately 15 minutes, or until set but not brown.

NOTES: If desired, using edible colored dusts, the designs can be tinted prettily.


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Chocolate Wafer Cookies 


I tried these out first as tiny tea cookies, frosted with a little star of Cinnamon Ancho Buttercream; delicious. Then I made them into larger wafers using a mandoline. These cookies were thin and crisp and perfect. Not too sweet and wonderful flavor to stand alone. Then I gilded the lily by making them into sandwiches with Chocolate Ganache. OMG.

Makes about 40 (2½-inch) cookies, 1/8-inch thick
Makes about 75 tiny 1¼-inc diameter cookies about ¼-inch thick

1 1/3 cups flour
¼ cup cocoa, unsweetened
2 pinches vanilla powder, optional
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cassia cinnamon
¾ cup confectioners' sugar
½ cup hazelnut meal
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1½ sticks), in small cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water


Chocolate Wafers with Cinnamon Ancho Buttercream

Tiny Chocolate Tea Wafers with
Cinnamon Ancho Buttercream
Chocolate Wafers as Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Wafers as Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Ganache Filling
Add the first 7 ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine the ingredients. Add in the cubes of cold butter and process until the mixture makes fine crumbs. Mix the egg yolk and water and add to the food processor and pulse until the mass starts to come together, figure 1.

Dump the crumbly mixture onto a counter top or marble slab, figure 2. Using the flat of the hand, press and smear the mass away from you, figure 3. With hands or a bench scraper, gather the mass and fold onto itself, figure 4. Turn the dough slightly and repeat, then repeat once more, until the dough comes together.

Form the dough into a log, figure 5, and roll in plastic wrap, figure 6. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour. The diameter of the log depends on what sort of cookies you choose to make. Roll into two long , thin logs for tiny tea cookies, or into one thick log about 2½-inches thick for the larger, thin wafers.

Once well chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 on Convect). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Using a sharp knife or an adjustable mandoline, slice the cookies as desired and lay them flat on the parchment. They will not grow significantly, so spacing is less important. Bake the cookies for about 25 minutes. Allow them to cool on the parchment.

Frost with Cinnamon Ancho Buttercream or Chocolate Ganache as desired.

NOTES: It had never occurred to me to use a mandoline to slice chilled cookie dough. For the sandwich cookies, I wanted a far thinner wafer so as not to have too thick a finished cookie. With the dough well chilled, it sliced perfectly on my mandoline, giving me near-perfect wafers.

Also, when a recipes says to chill the dough this way, you usually end up with the dough slightly flattened on one side from laying on a hard surface. If you happen to have a French baguette pan, with the rounded wells, this works perfectly for keeping the dough nicely rounded. See Chris's Tips #7 for photo.


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Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies 

A delightful blend of my favorite flavors, these cookies come out a little puffed and a whole lot chewy. If you do not have the Cinnamon Flav-r-Bites, try substituting cinnamon mini chips.

Makes about 6 dozen 3-inch cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon butterscotch flavoring
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 fresh apple, peeled, grated, rough chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped or broken
1 cup cinnamon Flav-r-Bites (King Arthur Flour website)


Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using convection, set temperature to 325).

In a stand mixer cream together the butter and the sugars. Add in the flavorings (if butterscotch flavor is not available, use all vanilla) and the eggs and mix well. It is easy to prepare the apple if it is peeled, then grated on a large holed grater. Using a large knife, roughly chop across the long grated strands to break them up. Add the apples to the mixer bowl and beat to combine. Whisk to ether the flour, salt, soda and baking powder and all to the bowl on low speed to just moisten, then higher speed to combine. Add in the walnuts and cinnamon flav-r-bites and mix to combine.

Drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheets using either two small spoons or a cookie scoop, placing them about 2-inches apart. Bake the cookies for approximately 12 minutes, until puffed and brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to remain on the pans for 2 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

NOTES: The King Arthur Flour website carries Cinnamon Flav-r-Bites. I love adding them to scones as they give a wonderful burst of cinnamon flavor. With that in mind, I thought they would also be fabulous in cookies. Cinnamon mini-chips would also work well in these cookies, but the pure flavor in the little bites is hard to duplicate.

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Cinnamon Spice Macarons 

These are single cookies; not the little sandwich types seen everywhere these days. Very similar in style, I made these a bit larger, but they are basically a meringue cookie with finely ground almonds. The spices make for an interesting combination. They disappeared in no time in my house.

Makes about 55 larger single macarons

6 egg white, or about ¾ cup total, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup almond “flour” (very finely ground almonds)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ to ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
Pinch of salt

Cinnamon Spice Macarons
Cinnamon Spice Macarons
In a small bowl combine the almond flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, cocoa, cardamom, chile powder and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

In the bowl of a mixer, place the egg whites and cream of tartar and whip until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the meringue is smooth and glossy and holds stiff peaks. By hand, fold in the dry ingredients gently. Drop by rounded tablespoons into high mounds onto the parchment, allowing at least 2 inches between cookies, as they will flatten and puff as they bake. Bake the meringues for about 40 minutes on two racks in the oven. Switch the sheets top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking time. They should be dried on the outside and slightly soft in the center when done.

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Saffron Almond Tea Wafers 

These little cookies look simple, but are bursting with flavor. Saffron makes them an enticing color, the sparkling sugar at the edges makes them jewel-like.  I created these little gems to go perfectly with a sweet dessert wine. Perfect with a cup of tea, also.

Makes about 48 little 1½ x ¼-inch little cookies.

1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup almond "flour" (very finely ground almonds)
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom, ground
½ teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
2 teaspoons milk, heated
1 egg, lightly beaten

Coarse sugar: "Sparkling" Sugar, Turbinado, Demerara


Saffron Almond Tea Wafers
Saffron Almond Tea Wafers
Place the first 5 ingredients into a large bowl. If you own a mortar and pestle, place the saffron threads into the mortar and grind them to a fine powder. Otherwise, use fingers to powder the threads as well as possible. Add the hot milk to the saffron and set aside.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture in the bowl as for making pie, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the saffron milk to the egg and beat with a fork to combine, then add to the mixture in the bowl and toss together to form a cohesive dough. Cut two pieces of plastic wrap about 12 inches long. Divide the dough into two sections and roll each into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Set a log of dough onto the edge of one of the pieces of plastic wrap and roll the dough into the wrap, tuck edges under. Repeat with second piece of dough. Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. On a large plate, pour about 1/3 cup of the coarse sugar. Remove one log of dough from its wrapper and roll it, pressing gently, into the sugar to thoroughly coat the edges. Slice the log into ¼-inch thick slices and lay them onto a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Repeat with the second log of dough. Bake the cookies for about 6 to 8 minutes, until they are completely set and the edges just begin to show color. Remove from cookie sheet immediately.

 
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