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Tuesday 20 August, 2019 | RSS Feed

Christmas Cookies - Christmas Pinwheel Cookies and More

The history of cookies goes back to the time of Alexander the Great, and perhaps even earlier. It is no wonder there are so many varieties of these easy to carry treats. Pinwheel cookies are no exception. Whether you are combining two different colors or flavors of dough, or rolling dough with a filling, these cookies are pretty to look at and tasty treats to eat.

For a filled Christmas Pinwheel Cookie try this. You will need:

1 1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberry raisins)

1 cup pistachios

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put the craisins and nuts in a food processor and chop coarsely. Just use the pulse a few times. Place this mixture in a small saucepan with the water and 1/4 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Cream the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, soda and, salt, together and add to the creamed mixture. You should get a medium soft dough. Chill 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out between sheets of wax paper. You want a large rectangle. Spread the nut and craisin mixture evenly across the dough, almost to the edge. You will roll from the long side so the filling can extend to the edges of the short sides and about 1/8 inch from the edges of the long sides. Starting at one long side, use the wax paper to help you roll the dough. Press the seam slightly. I use a fork to add a little decorative edge. Just gently press the fork across the length of the seam to create little indentations, much like you might do on a pie crust.

Wrap the cookie-roll in wax paper and chill until firm. When ready to bake, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Bake on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Here is a tip. If you use a new, clean, piece of dental floss as your knife you won't end up with cookies that are flat on one side. Simply slide a length of the floss beneath the roll. pull the ends up and over the dough and cross them, like you were about to tie a shoelace. Pull and the floss will evenly cut through the dough. Move down and repeat. Toss the floss when done.

Bake the cookies about 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Wait one minute before removing to a wire rack to cool. You may wish to lightly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, or confectioners sugar before serving. Santa loves these and the sugar-coating my reveal his true identity.

You can also make Pinwheel cookies by mixing up two batches of your favorite refrigerator cookie dough. You can even use the packaged cookie mixes if you like. My family loves old-fashioned sugar cookies. Tint one batch with food coloring. Roll each into a rectangle and layer one atop the other. Roll, chill, cut, bake and serve. Be adventuresome. Spread some raspberry jam between layers of plain and green tinted dough for a festive cookie.

If you are in a hurry or are pressed for time, you may decide to make drop cookies your choice. There are many to choose from. Try these delicate cookies. They have a big pecan flavor and are a great addition to a cookie tray as well as a unique and welcome hostess gift.

For these Pecan Lace Cookies You will need:

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup butter,melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, use pure extract if you can. It is a difference in taste.

1/2 cup pecan halves for garnish

Using a food processor, process the pecans and sugar until finely ground. Use the pulse. You don't want pecan butter. Place in a bowl and stir in the sifted flour,powder, and salt.

Prepare your cookie sheets by lining with foil and greasing or use parchment paper sprayed with a cooking spray. You could also use a silicon pad.

In another bowl beat the egg. Add the melted butter and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls about 3 inches apart onto the prepared pans. Press 1/2 of a pecan into the center of each cookie.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and 'lacy' in appearance. Cookies should be allowed to cool on the pans before removing.

Optional: You can carefully remove the warm cookies while they are still soft and pliable by rolling them lightly around the handle of a wooden spoon. Slide them off gently and allow to finish cooling. When they are cooled they can be served with a filling of whipped topping mixed with fruit, or any other filling of your choice. IF you choose this option, keep in mind that you will need to fill and serve immediately. Cookies will get soggy if left to sit with fillings. Store flat between sheets of wax paper in an air tight container.

One of the reasons we bake all those cookies is because we want to share our love with our family, and lets face it, home-baked cookies are one of the favorite ways to show them you care. But, today it is sometimes hard to find the time to bake. Here is a way to share the love of a home-baked cookie, without having to do the baking.

Christmas Cookies in a Jar.

When you can't bake, or if you want to send cookies easily and not have your recipient end up with a box of crumbs, try this recipe. You can adapt it to your favorite recipe as well. Just omit the wet ingredients, layer the dry ingredients, and include a recipe card with instructions.

In a pretty Jar layer

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar (pack to measure then break up in the jar)

3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt sifted together

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup vanilla chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

From your computer you can print out a pretty recipe card, or you can write out the directions by hand. I prefer the hand-written version. It is a little more personal, but the choice is yours. Here is what you should include on the recipe card for these cookies.

To prepare these cookies please add 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla which to the contents of the jar in a large bowl. Stir well and chill for 30 minutes. When you are ready, bake the cookies at 375 degrees F. You should drop them by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheets and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

This gift will keep for up to 6 months if sealed air tight, so when you have a little time earlier in the year you can make up a few of these and store in your pantry until gift giving time comes around. You can also mix up these 'cookie mixes' and keep on hand for those emergencies when you just gotta have a cookie but you didn't get a chance to shop for that missing ingredient.

These cookies in a jar are also great additions to a goodies basket. You might want to consider creating several different versions and make a cookie basket to give as a gift. Tuck into a large mixing bowl with some wooden spoons, a pot holder and stack on a cookie sheet. Wrap with a pretty ribbon and any cook would be thrilled. You might even want to tuck in some home-bakes samples.

These recipes are basics. With a little imagination you can turn them into different variations and create a platter full of 'different' cookie with minimal effort. And don't forget to get the kids and other family members involved. Making cookies is truly one of the joys we share during the winter holiday season. Christmas cookies aren't just for Christmas, they are good year-round, for all holidays, and especially good for a smile. Oh, don't forget to leave a few for Santa. (He likes the Pinwheel kind).





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