02 January 2009

Frosted Friday

Thank you all for your well wishes and concerns. I swear we really are ok.

I'm still angry at myself for what amounts to a rookie mistake. I've been driving for almost 15 years and have lived in MA my whole life. I actually took my test in the snow! (FYI: 3 point turn + snow + mailbox + Boston streets = 8 point turn.)

Despite being told by everyone around me that it wasn't my fault, I still think I should have known better. The snow tricked me. Surface road conditions looked better than the highway ended up actually being. I'm still replaying it in my head trying to figure out what I should have done differently, but live and learn and challenge the premium increase, right?

Now for something frosted:

('Cause frosting makes everything better.)

The cookie recipes from last week!

They all originate elsewhere, and are gently tweaked.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alton Brown - Food Network

(I follow this almost to the letter, but if I made a change to the original, I have marked it with a *.)

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips*

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter*. (He uses the stove. I microwave it.) Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then using an ice cream disher*, scoop onto silpat* lined baking sheets, 6 cookies* per sheet. (Alton uses parchment, and I have too, but Silpats are reusable. Also, I use the smallest disher I have, and can fit more cookies on the sheet. Beware, they will spread.) Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container

Scottish Shortbread Bars or Bites

The Joy of Cooking

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 300 for bars, 374 for bites
Cream together the butter, sugars, and salt until fluffy. Slowly sift in the flour and mix until dough holds together. If it's too dry, add a few drops of water, but do not over moisten.

For bars, with oven at 300, press dough into a pan. pierce the dough with a fork, score to form bar shapes, and sprinkle with additional granulated sugar. Bake until pale gold and slightly darker at edges, about 45 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool. Cut before cold. Yields depends on size of bars.

*My variations*

For bites, use a small ice cream disher to form balls. Flatten, pierce with a fork, and sprinkle with additional granulated sugar. Bake 10-14 at 375 minutes until firm and golden brown on the bottom. Yield depends on size of dough balls.

Anise Spritz Cookies

adapted from
Classic Spritz Cookies, Pampered Chef

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons anise extract, adjust to taste
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
green food coloring (optional)
colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, egg, coloring, and anise. Add flour, 1 cup at a time; mix well. Dough will be soft, so do not refrigerate.

Using small ice cream disher, form dough balls. Flatten slightly onto cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. I used the back of a fork to make a checkerboard pattern.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm but not brown. Remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Yield depends on size of dough ball.

Iced Gingerbread Cookies

These were a mix, but for the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
water - do not add yet

Mix the vanilla and powdered sugar in a bowl with a fork. A whisk will only get clogged. Slowly add water until the icing is smooth and firm, but coats fork without running. Dip cooled gingerbread in to the icing and lay flat to dry. Store in an air tight container.

Lemon Cookies

These were actually a disaster, and never left our kitchen, but they were tasty enough. I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon extract to a sugar cookie mix. I originally intended to ice them too, but they spread out and touched and generally made a mess. I'll try again with a sugar cookie from scratch.

I'm taking the weekend off. Who am I kidding, I just won't be posting for the weekend! Hubby's family is coming in for Christmas part 2 next weekend, and we have to get in gear!

I'll be back Monday with a preview of the new crafty skills I'm going to attempt this year and a whole bunch of questions.

Alert! Alert! Reader participation ahead!


  1. Mmmm cookies!
    Sorry about your accident. :(

  2. Glad you are okay! I spun out on the highway once, on a road trip from New Orleans to Chicago - the weather got progressively snowier as I drove north, but I didn't adjust my driving accordingly until I found myself facing the other direction and in a totally different lane than I started out in! Didn't hit anything, though, and I'm grateful the weather was so bad that there was practically no other traffic on the road.

    With these past few snowstorms, I've found myself driving very slowly and cautiously - don't care how pissed off it makes the person(s) behind me - I interpret it as another sign that I'm getting old!

    Enjoy your second Christmas!

  3. My kids want the frosting. Me, I like to scrape it off. I like a hint of frosting. Kinda like how I like chocolate chip cookies. Minus the chocolate chips. I'll take a roll or a bag of chips any day. Not that I would ever refuse a cookie :-)

    I love your word verification - it's "joyfible"

  4. Sorry to hear about your wreck! I am glad to hear that you are all okay.

    Oh, and yes, frosting makes everything better.

  5. Glad to hear you're fine! Sorry about the car though...

    Love all those cookie recipes - mmmm - yum!

  6. Yummy cookies! Want to make one today...

    Over here from SITS. Glad your accident wasn't too bad!

  7. Sorry about the accident glad you weren't hurt. Love the recipes gonna have to try some. I'm visiting from SITS hope you have a great day.

  8. Oh, yum! Love cookies!
    Former Bostonian...miss it like crazy! Off to check out the rest of your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine!
    :) Robin
    cinnamon & honey

  9. Wow, those cookie recipes look yummy!

    Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you are ok, those winter roads are so misleading sometimes!

  10. Glad you are okay, and happy to see some yummy recipes!

    Have an excellent new week!

    Sylvia C.

  11. Hey, you won the Boy Scout card! Zip me your snail mail addy: maryann(at)averymarydesign(dot)com


What's up, Pixel Peep?