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Posts Tagged ‘shortbread cookies’

by Sarah Steimer and Caitlin Saniga

Every year we like to pick a few cookies that are part of our yearly traditions, as well as a few newbies. As you’re likely in the middle of your own cookie-baking bonanza, we thought we’d share a few of our favorites from the past three years. And be sure to share some of your favorite recipes with us as well!

Classics

Some cookies don't fit into any other category except for classic must-haves.

Some cookies don’t fit into any other category except for classic must-haves.

Cut-outs

Put out the cookie cutters for this batch of desserts, you'll want to be in perfect form.

Pull out the cookie cutters for this batch of desserts, you’ll want to be in perfect form.

Drop cookies

There's very little flair required for drop cookies, but who says dessert requires finesse?

There’s very little flair required for drop cookies, but who says dessert requires finesse?

Shortbreads

Shortbread starts with a fairly simple base, but then gets jazzed up with some great add-ins or toppings.

Shortbread starts with a fairly simple base, but then gets jazzed up with some great add-ins or toppings.

Chocolate chip

C'mon, we really don't need to introduce the invisible chocolate chip cookie.

C’mon, we really don’t need to introduce the invisible chocolate chip cookie.

Slice cookies

Slice cookies just require some refrigeration time and a sharp knife.

Slice cookies just require some refrigeration time and a sharp knife.

Bar cookies

Not all cookies are created equal... or round.

Not all cookies are created equal… or round.

Biscotti

Translated to mean "twice-baked," these cookies can help start your holiday mornings.

Translated to mean “twice-baked,” these cookies can help start your holiday mornings.

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by Caitlin Saniga and Sarah Steimer

Included in the box Caitlin sent Sarah were mocha chocolate chip cookies, rosemary shortbread cookies, a couple of sticks of peppermint mocha biscotti (recipe here) and orange-almond biscotti (recipe here).

Included in the box Caitlin sent Sarah were mocha chocolate chip cookies, rosemary shortbread cookies, a couple of sticks of peppermint mocha biscotti (recipe here) and orange-almond biscotti (recipe here).

We love making cookies for the holidays and sharing photos and recipes of them on the blog (most notable was our 2010 Holiday Dozen guide). We often email or text each other to rave about how good the other’s photos look, or to say how good our own cookies tasted. On a few very rare occasions, we’ve been able to try each other’s creations. This year, we decided to send cookies directly to one another so we didn’t have to be too jealous when the pictures and recipes hit the Web! 

Below are the recipes for the cookies Caitlin sent to Sarah this year. She got sick before she could finish a third batch, which would have been some sort of crunchy pignoli cookie. Oh, well! There’s always next year, right?

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Rosemary shortbread cookies

Caitlin: I had just inherited a robust rosemary plant from a family friend, so I was ecstatic when I found this cookie recipe that included the herb. The flavor intensifies over time for this cookie. Delicious!
Sarah: I fully expected the mocha chocolate cookies to be my favorite — for obvious reasons — but these ended up being my top pick. The cookie is flaky without being dry, and there is literally just the right amount of rosemary in it.

Rosemary shortbread cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar for decoration
Rosemary shortbread cookies

Caitlin:  I haven’t tried this trick yet, but I’ve heard that you can save time by rolling out cookie dough between sheets of wax paper or parchment and placing it on a baking sheet before sticking it in the fridge to chill. I’ll definitely be trying this the next time I make cutouts!

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt and rosemary until well blended. The dough will be somewhat soft. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use small cookie cutters to make cutouts. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

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Mocha chocolate chip cookies

  • 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground espresso
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Mocha chocolate chip cookies

Caitlin: I wonder if Sarah realized there was a sparkle of cayenne in this recipe. I added a few heavy shakes at the last minute.
Sarah: Again with the great texture! Chewy and crispy in all the right spots.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition to make sure they are well combined.

In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne and ground espresso.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix everything until the ingredients are fully combined, but do not overbeat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, drop rounded balls of dough on the sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Recipe adapted from: Food 52

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So one of the best things Caitlin sent was actually a baggie of Chex mix. One night in college while we decorated and made cards for Christmas, Caitlin made a big batch of the mix and I probably ate almost all of it. She also sent along a recipe book on seasonal pies and a French baguette-scented candle. I could have happily curled up in this box. Too bad she fattened me up with those biscotti before I even had a chance to try.

Sarah: So one of the best things Caitlin sent was actually a baggie of Chex mix. One night in college while we decorated and made cards for Christmas, Caitlin made a big batch of the mix and I probably ate almost all of it. She also sent along a recipe book on seasonal pies and a French baguette-scented candle. I could have happily curled up in this box. Too bad she fattened me up with those biscotti before I even had a chance to try. Rude.

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by Sarah Steimer

You can make these tea bag-shaped cookies with a regular shortbread recipe, or try Caitlin’s orange shortbread recipe (it’s delicious with chocolate).

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Whisk together the flour, matcha and sea salt in a small or medium bowl.

I made these specifically for Mother’s Day. Sure, not all moms love tea – but you’ve got one weird-o mom if she doesn’t love chocolate. Or gifts from her offspring.

Cream the butter with an electric mixer in a larger bowl, then add the sugar and whip until fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture a little at a time until the dough forms into a ball.

Place the dough, flattened, between two sheets of wax paper and roll out to about an 1/8-inch thickness. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove a teabag from its wrapper and trace its outline on a thick piece of paper. Cut out to use as a stencil.

Trace the teabag stencil on the dough using a sharp knife. Remove the excess dough to re-roll and refrigerate again for the next batch. Use a straw to poke a hole at the top of your tea bag cookies.

Place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Allow the cookies to cool a little on the sheet before placing on a cooling rack.

Once all the cookies have fully cooled, melt the chocolate over a double-boiler (this is a metal or glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering water). Dip just the bottom one-third or one-half of the cookie in the chocolate (I only did the front). Place on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Once the sheet is filled, pop in the freezer to let the

I was trying to find a stamp of a teapot or teacup for my tags, or even the letter “M” for mom. Had to settle with a rose instead. You could also print out an image for your tags of, say, your face.

chocolate set.

When ready, loop the string with your personalized tag onto the cookies. Serve in a teacup – so no one mistakes them for large sales tags.

Recipe adapted from: Ice Cream Before Dinner

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by Caitlin Saniga

Relieve holiday stress by creating cookie art and splashing white chocolate on every surface of your kitchen.

Relieve holiday stress by creating cookie art and splashing white chocolate on every surface of your kitchen.

  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 12 ounces white chocolate baking squares, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons shortening (not sure if you really need this)
  • white nonpareils or other sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread the cherries on paper towels to drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the drained cherries and 2/3 cup of the chopped chocolate. Stir in the almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. (I used a few good squirts.) Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten the balls to 2-inch rounds.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted.

One the cookies have cooled, spread them on wax paper. Dip a spoon in the chocolate and drizzle it in a back-and-forth motion over the cookies. Sprinkle the nonpareils over the wet chocolate. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Makes about 36.

Recipe adapted from: With a Grateful Prayer and a Thoughtful Heart

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