sugar cookies

Yesterday, I made sugar cookies for the last day of Hanukkah party I helped Benjie host. I made two different recipes, one was (I think) the recipe from the back of the Domino’s sugar bag, and is a regular sugar cookie recipe, which used only white granulated sugar. The other one I have saved from Gourmet magazine, and it is a brown sugar cookie recipe. The first one can be rolled and shaped and cut out and decorated. The other can be scooped, and is more like a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe without the chocolate chips. I decorated with sprinkles and blue icing. Many people like to use royal icing for decorating cookies, but with everything else going on for the party (we made latkes, too) I didn’t want to make royal icing. However, I will include the recipe just in case you want it for your sugar cookies. The royal icing is from A Field Guide To Cookies, which is written by another food blogger; her site is called Dessert First.

So, here are the recipes, in order they were mentioned:

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup sugar or 1- 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

Heat oven to 375º. Sift together the dry ingredients; set aside. Cream together butter and vanilla. Add either 3/4 cup sugar or 1-1/2 cups for chewy cookies. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Roll out and cut to desired shapes. You can add sprinkles right into the dough, and/or you can add sprinkles to the top of the cookies. The colder the dough, the easier it is to handle. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 1-1/2 dozen large cookies.

(Almond) Brown sugar cookies (from Gourmet magazine)

1-1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

(1/2 cup whole blanched almonds = 2-1/2 oz)

Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. (Stir in almonds) Roll into logs and chill or freeze dough or scoop onto baking sheets. If you rolled the dough into logs, you will slice the dough less than 1/8 inch thick. If you scooped them, use the back of a wet spoon or wet the palm of your hand, and press down. Bake cookies 12-15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes 100 to 120 sliced cookies. I think I made about 12-18 3 inch scooped cookies.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites

1 Tbs. lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

food coloring

Whisk all ingredients except for the coloring in a clean bowl on high speed. They should be shiny and an opaque white. It should be a glue-like consistency. Divide into bowls and mix in the coloring as desired. Keep covered with a damp towel so it does not dry out.

So, those are the recipes for sugar cookies and royal icing for decorating. I really liked the brown sugar cookies, and I think that was everyone’s favorite as well.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! (though I am sure I’ll bake something else before New Year’s.)

apple fritters

I am (carefully!) typing this while keeping an eye on the apple fritters I am making.

I had leftover apples and walnuts from a crisp that I was making and needed something to do with them, so I found this recipe:

Ingredients:

* 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/3 cup milk
* 1 egg
* 1 cup finely chopped apple
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preparation:
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add milk and egg; beat until batter is smooth. Fold in chopped apple. Drop by teaspoonfuls into deep hot oil — about 370° and at least 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep — and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely browned.
Drain well on paper towels then roll in confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Serve as is or warm, with syrup, if desired.

I thought the batter was a little thick, so I added more milk. I also thought that they were a little bland, so I added cinnamon to the batter. I also used a heaping 1/4 cup full of batter, and they turned out with a funky shape, but still taste awesome. They are a good thing to fry this week for Hanukkah. Oh, how I love fried food! But I know that it is bad for me, so I try not to eat it too often and I will try not to consume too much of it this week! Happy Hanukkah everyone! :o

I think this one kinda looks like a (snow covered) person, or perhaps a teddy bear?(hmm…do you see it?):

Thanksgiving (x2)

First, I want to apologize for the late Thanksgiving post. I came home from Thanksgiving sick, so I’ve been spending my time resting. I had two Thanksgivings this year (sort of). The first one was last week and it was at my house, with my roommates, and their friends and family. It was nice, and a BIG feast! There was pretty much two of everything, and way too much food for about 15 people. I made zucchini bread (cake, really.) and muffins and banana cake.

The second (and real) Thanksgiving was at Benjie’s family’s house in San Jose. It was nice and there was also a lot of food there. Benjie and I made most of the meal ourselves. I made pumpkin pie and apple pie/crumble. We also made the turkey, stuffing, butternut squash soup, and other sides were brought by the guests. It all tasted very good. I wish I had pictures of the food that I made, but I was so caught up in the business (busy-ness) of it all that I forgot to stop and take pictures. Oh well. I’ll still have the memories, but you’ll have to just use your imagination! (Ha!) I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is well rested now, and ready to ease into the Holiday season. Since when did Christmas start right after Thanksgiving? I guess I didn’t notice it as much growing up in a Jewish household? Or just didn’t care that much since I was the one getting the presents and not the one buying the presents/just eating the food and not the one making the food? Anyway, I am looking forward to the New Year. Hopefully, it will bring me luck on the job front and will be much better than the last. I am looking forward to cleaning up and starting again. What are you looking forward to this holiday season? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?