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Cookies for any occasion.

Whether you're baking cookies for an after-school snack or for a holiday party, you want recipes you can count on. Here are seven that have proved to be favorites. All are simple to make.

If you have only 1 oven and bake 2 pans of cookies at a time, alternate pan positions about halfway through baking for even browning. Wipe pans clean between batches.

To store cookies, package each kind separately in rigid, airtight containers. If cookies have frostings or toppings or are inclined to stick together, separate layers with waxed paper. If held longer than 1 day at room temperature, cookies begin to soften and taste stale. Freezing preserves freshness best, even if cookies are to be kept only a few days.

Brownie Bites

1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

About 40 walnut halves

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, stir butter and chocolate over lowest heat until melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour.

Spoon batter into paper-lined tiny (1 1/2-in.-diameter) muffin cups, filling cups almost to the top. Place a walnut half on top of batter in each cup.

Bake in a 325|degrees~ oven until tops look dry and feel firm when lightly touched, about 20 minutes.

Let brownies cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to racks. Serve warm or cool. To store, let cool, then package airtight and hold at room temperature up to 4 days. Makes about 40.

Per cookie: 95 cal.; 1.4 g protein; 5.6 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 11 g carbo.; 29 mg sodium; 22 mg chol.

Oat and Nutmeg Cookies

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup unflavored low-fat yogurt

3 1/2 cups regular rolled oats

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl, beat until fluffy the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and yogurt; mix well.

Mix together oats, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and soda. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture; stir to mix, then beat to blend thoroughly.

Drop dough in rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Bake in a 350|degrees~ oven until edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to racks with a spatula; serve warm or cool. To store, let cool, then package airtight; hold at room temperature up to 2 days. Makes about 4 dozen.

Per cookie: 114 cal.; 1.9 g protein; 4.5 g fat (2.5 g sat.); 17 g carbo.; 71 mg sodium; 19 mg chol.

Oatmeal Thumbprints

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 large egg, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups regular rolled oats

About 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts or almonds

About 1/2 cup fruit jam

In a food processor or with a mixer, whirl or beat butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until smoothly blended. Whirl or stir in flour until mixed, then stir in oats.

Shape dough into 2-teaspoon-size balls. Beat egg white and 2 teaspoons water with a fork. Dip balls into egg white, drain briefly, then roll them in nuts. Set balls about 1 inch apart on an ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. With your thumb, press a well in the center of each ball.

Bake cookies in a 300|degrees~ oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and re-shape each thumbprint by pressing the hollow down with rounded end of a wooden spoon. Quickly spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jam into each hollow (jam should not flow over rim). Return to oven and bake until cookies are golden brown and jam has melted, about 15 minutes longer.

With a spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. Serve or store. Makes about 4 dozen.

Per cookie: 92 cal.; 1.3 g protein; 5.7 g fat (2.6 g sat.); 9.3 g carbo.; 42 mg sodium; 15 mg chol.

Whole-wheat Crisps

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

About 1/2 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine, cut into chunks

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a food processor or bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add butter and vanilla; whirl or rub until the dough holds together compactly.

Shape dough into 1-tablespoon-size balls. Place 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Dip a potato masher, slotted spoon, or fork in powdered sugar, then press each ball to flatten to about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.

Bake in a 325|degrees~ oven until cookies are richly browned, 25 to 35 minutes. If using 1 oven, switch pan positions half-way through baking. Transfer cookies to racks with a spatula and let cool. Dust lightly with more powdered sugar, if desired. Serve or store. Makes about 2 dozen.

Per cookie: 89 cal.; 0.7 g protein; 5.9 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 8.6 g carbo.; 60 mg sodium; 16 mg chol.

Pecan Cookies

3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup water

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups regular rolled oats

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

About 36 pecan halves

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and molasses. Beat in water, egg, and vanilla.

Mix oats, flour, soda, and baking powder; add to butter mixture. Stir to mix, then beat to blend thoroughly. Stir in chopped pecans.

Drop dough in rounded 2-tablespoon mounds about 2 inches apart onto ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. With the back of a floured spoon, spread each mound into a 1/2-inch-thick round; press a pecan half into center. Bake in a 350|degrees~ oven until edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a spatula to racks; serve warm or cool. To store, let cool, then package airtight; hold at room temperature up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen.

Per cookie: 126 cal.; 2.1 g protein; 7 g fat (2.7 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 56 mg sodium; 16 mg chol.

Hand-painted Christmas Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting (recipe follows)

Undiluted food coloring

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs and almond extract. Stir soda, then flour, into butter mixture until well blended. Cover; chill until firm, 2 1/2 hours or up to 3 days.

On a floured board, roll 1/4 of the dough at a time 3/16 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on 12-by 15-inch baking sheets. Chill and re-roll scraps. Bake in a 350|degrees~ oven until golden, 12 minutes. Cool on racks.

Dip cookie tops in frosting; let dry, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Using fine paintbrushes, decorate cookies with food coloring. Let dry, 15 minutes. Serve, or store airtight up to 4 days. Makes about 5 1/2 dozen, 2 1/4-inch size.

Per cookie: 87 cal.; 0.9 g protein; 14 g carbo.; 3 g fat (1.8 g sat.); 16 mg chol.; 36 mg sodium.

Frosting. In a bowl, beat 3 large egg whites until foamy. Beat in 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar until smooth.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Meltaways

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts

1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Beat together butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until creamy. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Add flour; mix until blended and dough forms. Stir in peanuts and chocolate.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place about 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Bake in a 375|degrees~ oven until cookies are pale gold, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar and the cocoa in a small bowl. Roll warm cookies, a few at a time, in cocoa mixture to coat. Cool on racks. Serve warm or cool. Store airtight up to 5 days. Makes about 40 cookies.

Per cookie: 105 cal.; 1.6 g protein; 10 g carbo.; 6.8 g fat (2.9 g sat.); 12 mg chol.; 58 mg sodium.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Special Issue: Best of the Holidays; recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Words:1519
Previous Article:A Christmas tree for munching and dunking.
Next Article:Ginger-kids grow into a tradition.
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