Cookies for Christmas

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Overview

More than 130 tested recipes-every one photographed-including favorites and new cookie ideas. Test Kitchen tips throughout, including decorating pointers, and packaging ideas for gift giving.
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Overview

More than 130 tested recipes-every one photographed-including favorites and new cookie ideas. Test Kitchen tips throughout, including decorating pointers, and packaging ideas for gift giving.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
From the test kitchens of Better Homes and GardensR, here are 130-plus recipes for drop cookies, cutout cookies, brownies and bars, refrigerator cookies, and more. While there are some more elegant recipes like Lemon Tuiles and "Old World Favorites" like Krumkake, most are rather homey, with many that will appeal particularly to kids--such as the gumdrop "pizza" and three different cookie houses. There are many other good cookie books out there, such as Holly Garrison's The Cookie Book (Macmillan, 1996), but the Better Homes and GardensR name will guarantee demand for this one. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780696217197
  • Publisher: Meredith Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2003
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.16 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


shimmering citrus snowflakes


No two snowflakes are alike, and the same goes for these citrus-infuse sweets. A simple drinking straw is as fancy a tool as you'll need to give each cookie its one-of-a-kind pattern, making it easy for kids to help.


ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dairy sour cream

1 egg

2 teaspoons finely shredded
lemon peel (optional)

1/2 teaspoon finely shredded
lime peel (optional)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Assorted colors of edible
glitter or colored sugar
Sifted powdered sugar


Prep: 40 minutes Chill: 2 hours Bake: 7 to 8 minutes


1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, sour cream, egg, vanilla, lemon and lime peels (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until easy to handle.


2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters or a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut dough into circles, triangles, squares, and/or diamonds. Using straws or aspic or hors d'oeuvre cutters, cut random holes in the cutout shapesso they resemble snowflakes. Use a straw to cut half circles from the edges to flute them. Using a wide spatula, place cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with edible cake glitter or colored sugar.


3. Bake in a 375° oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. When cookies are cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 40 (2 1/2-inch) cookies.


Nutrition facts per cookie: 87 cal., 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 12 mg chol., 44 mg sodium, 11 g carbo., 0 g fiber, 1 g pro.


cookies with sparkle


Transform plain cookies into sparkling jewels with colored sugar and edible glitter.

· Decorate cookies with sugar immediately after rolling and cutting.

· Don't waste sugar by piling it on too thickly; only the sugar that touches the cookie dough will bake in place.

· To add texture, score the cookies lightly with a table knife.


spicy ginger houses


Black pepper is the secret ingredient in these sugar-and-spice cookies that make beautiful decorations. Serve them with milk to cool the tongue-tingling sensation they produce.


ingredients

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons grated fresh
ginger or 2 teaspoons
ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground
black pepper

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground
cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

1/3 cup molasses

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Red cinnamon candies or
other small candies
(optional)

1 recipe Royal Icing (see
page 16) or purchased
decorator icing
(optional)


Prep: 50 minutes Chill: 4 to 24 hours Bake: 8 to 10 minutes


1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, ginger, pepper, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.


2. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until easy to handle.


3. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside.


4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 6x4-inch house-shaped cookie cutter, cut out dough. Cut out small heart-shaped windows from houses, if desired. Cut additional hearts from scraps for decorations. Place house shapes on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart; place heart cutouts on a separate prepared cookie sheet because they may bake at a rate different from the house shapes.


5. Bake house shapes in a 350° oven about 10 minutes or until tops of cookies appear dry (bake heart shapes about 8 minutes). Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.


6. When cookies are cool, decorate if desired with heart cutouts, candies, and icing, attaching candies and cutouts with the icing. Makes about 8 (6-inch) cookies.


Nutrition facts per 6-inch cookie without icing: 404 cal., 18 g total fat (11 g sat. fat), 73 mg chol., 204 mg sodium, 56 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 5 g pro.


black walnut thins


Piping the white icing in snowflake shapes atop these rich, nut-studded butter cookies puts on a holiday air.


ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

2 3/4 cups sifted
powdered sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups black walnuts or
hazelnuts (filberts),
toasted and chopped

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup black walnuts or
hazelnuts (filberts),
toasted and finely
chopped

1 recipe Powdered
Sugar Icing


Prep: 25 minutes Chill: 2 hours Bake: 8 to l0 minutes {


1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts.


2. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.


3. In a small bowl combine granulated sugar and the 1/2 cup chopped nuts; set aside.


4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round or fluted cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet; sprinkle with the granulated sugar-nut mixture.


5. Bake in a 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are just golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. When cookies are cool, pipe on Powdered Sugar Icing in a snowflake pattern. Makes about 36 (2 1/2-inch) cookies.


Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small mixing bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (2 to 4 teaspoons) to make of piping consistency.


Nutrition facts per cookie: 164 cal., 9 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 20 mg chol., 33 mg sodium, 19 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 3 g pro.


green cherry trees


Get the big kids in your house rolling and cutting, and let the littler ones decorate these three-dimensional sweet trees. (If they're not gobbled up right away, add them to a gingerbread house display.)


ingredients

1 8-ounce jar green
maraschino cherries
(about 1 cup), well
drained and finely
chopped

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter

Green paste food
coloring

1 cup white baking pieces

2 teaspoons butter-flavor
or regular shortening

Small multicolored
decorative candies


Prep: 45 minutes Chill: 30 minutes to 1 hour Bake: 12 to 14 minutes


1. Place chopped cherries in a fine sieve and squeeze out excess liquid; set aside.


2. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in cherries and a small amount of green paste food coloring. Form mixture into a ball and knead until well combined and nearly smooth.


3. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until easy to handle.


4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/4- to 3/8-inch thickness. For each tree, cut dough using a 1-inch star cookie cutter (for the treetop) and 4 star cookie cutters that gradually increase in size from 2 1/2 to 4 inches. Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.


5. Bake in a 325º oven 12 minutes for smaller stars and 14 minutes for larger stars or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.


6. In a heavy small saucepan heat white baking pieces and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, just until melted.


7. To assemble each tree, stack 5 stars, one of each size, with the largest on the bottom and the smallest standing on edge on the top. Spread a little of the melted white baking pieces mixture between cookies as you stack them. Drizzle or pipe melted white baking pieces mixture over each tree. Sprinkle with decorative candies. Makes about 6 cookie trees (depending on cutter sizes).


Nutrition facts per half tree: 363 cal., 21 g total fat (13 g sat. fat), 46 mg chol., 171 mg sodium, 41 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.

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Table of Contents

Cutouts for Christmas 6
Shapes of the Season 34
Slices of Delight 72
Sweet Spoonfuls 100
Festive Bars and Brownies 116
Old-World Favorites 132
Sugarplum Shortcuts 162
Sweeten the Scene 190
Cookie Basics 225
Index 232
Metric Conversion 239
Substitution Chart 240
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2006

    Fancy Schmancy

    This is a glorious cookbook full of color pictures of each cookie. However, I found the recipes to very time consuming and all required some type of icing decoration. I do not have time like this to spare during the holidays.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    Wonderful Book!

    I have so many Christmas cookbooks and cookie books, but this one caught my eye and I had to have it. There are a lot of new and unique recipes, along with all of the favorites. There are pictures with every recipe, which is great, plus tips on how to creatively package and serve the cookies. There is a whole section on making holiday cookies using store-bought cookie dough. I have not make any of the recipes yet, but with Better Homes and Garden publishing the book, I am not the least bit worried.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    Fabulous!

    I bought this cookbook recently, and it is a simply beautiful book! The recipes are scrumptious-sounding, easy-to-follow, and the photographs make you want to have Christmas every day. I only wish I'd found this book BEFORE Christmas. But, who says you can only make them at Christmas?! My daughter and I made the Orange Snowballs, and they were simple and delicious. This book would make a great gift for the baker on your list!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2000

    If You Are A Baker, You'll LOVE This book!

    As someone who bakes at least 15 different types of cookies each Christmas to give away to friends and neighbors, I am always on the lookout for a good cookie cookbook. This one definitely fits the bill with page after page of great recipes and color photographs galore. As the Italian Food Host @ BellaOnline, I must have 25 cookie cookbooks in my collection, but I think this one will become a favorite.If you love love bake cookies, you'll thoroughly enjoy this cookbook!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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