Well, we got 24 inches of snow in our neck of the woods this weekend – since my husband and I had no place to go, we stayed in and “let it snow!” While everyone else in the city stocked up on bread, milk and eggs (presumably to make french toast?) I opted for butter, flour, sugar and other baking implements – I figured we can always live off of cookies for a few days! I made four different varieties yesterday, and one more today!! Here are the first couple – the rest will follow soon!
Batch #1 – Gingerbread Cookies
I just love these little ginger-colored treats with frosting-piped faces. Although in my typical fashion I wanted a “healthier” cookie recipe if possible, these came out very moist and delicious – my husband didn’t even realize they were from Cooking Light. They were surprisingly easy to cut and the dough didn’t crumble on me like the last few batches of gingerbread cookies I made.
Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & nutmeg with a whisk. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, & molasses and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat well to combine. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients – I used a heavy duty stand mixer as the dough became quite thick and sticky. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disc and wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 90 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness and cut with the desired cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.
For decorating: Mix powdered sugar and water – if too thick, add drops of water – I ended up using closer to 1.5 tablespoons in the end. Spoon the icing into a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner and decorate away!
Batch #2 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pinwheels
My husband loves anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter – so in my baking extravaganza I wanted to make sure I included some cookies he would really enjoy! This recipe I found was great, although I made a couple minor substitutions – I didn’t have baking chocolate on hand, and as there was a blizzard outside I opted to substitute in some cocoa powder. They came out great – although the dough softened very fast when out of the fridge. Cut them speedily!
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Beat sugar, butter, egg and vanilla together in a large bowl – scrape the bowl often to make sure everything is well mixed! Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together well. Divide dough into two even portions. To the first portion, add the cocoa powder and the vegetable oil and mix well. To the second portion, add the peanut butter and mix well. Shape the two doughs into rectangles and wrap tightly in saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr. Roll each dough out between 2 pieces of floured wax paper – Make sure the doughs are approximately the same size! Then peel away one sheet of wax paper from each dough. Press the two doughs together, and roll (jelly-roll style) into a log. Wrap the log in saran wrap and place the dough into the freezer for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough and quickly slice into 1/4 inch thick discs. Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie pan and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.