Holiday cookies offer a blend of flavors

2012-12-05T00:00:00Z 2012-12-05T19:25:03Z Holiday cookies offer a blend of flavorsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
December 05, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Sweets lovers will begin taking to the kitchen to create favorite baked goods for the holidays. Making cookies has long been a traditional activity for many people during the festive season.

From old-fashioned chocolate chip to bar renditions and blends of different flavors, holiday cookies run the gamut. If you're looking for some good recipes to try for your baking sessions this winter, try your hand at the following cookies.

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves

1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Sea Salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup white sugar, plus 1/4 cup extra for rolling

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup molasses

1 egg

2 teaspoons Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup Spice Islands Crystallized Ginger, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt and baking soda, and transfer to a large bowl. In a stand mixer, cream together 1 cup of sugar and the butter for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg and vanilla, and then mix to combine, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly add the dry mixture and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is fully incorporated. Add the crystalized ginger at the very end and combine. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, scoop 12 cookies onto each tray. Using clean hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball and roll the ball around in the bowl of sugar. Evenly space the cookies on a cookie sheet, place into the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes, until they begin to crackle in the middle and the edges are just golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat the baking process for the remaining dough. Once the cookies are cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container and store in a cool place. Source: Spice Islands

Double Chocolate Chipotle Cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Chipotle Chile

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Sea Salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, chipotle, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and sugar until it is the consistency of wet sand and no chunks of butter are visible. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or two of space between them. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Source: Spice Islands

White Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Cookies

2 tablespoons dark molasses

1 tablespoon water

1 egg

3-1/4 cups flour

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 tablespoons Spice Islands Orange Peel

1 tablespoon Spice Islands Ginger, Ground

2 teaspoons Spice Islands Cinnamon, Ground Saigon

1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Cloves, Ground

1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Nutmeg, Ground

1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands Allspice, Ground

1 cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup shortening

12 ounces white chocolate baking squares

DIRECTIONS: Whisk molasses, water and egg in a small bowl; set aside. If using an electric mixer: Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour molasses mixture over flour; beat with mixer until dough forms. I using a food processor: Place flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice in food processor; process 10 seconds. Add butter; process until dough resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds. Pour molasses mixture over flour and process until dough forms. Remove dough from processor. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer dough to bowl; cover. Chill a minimum of 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on baking sheets; bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Melt shortening and white baking chocolate in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate. Place on cooling racks or wax paper to let chocolate harden. Source: Spice Islands

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