Tag-Archive for ◊ cookies ◊

03 Jul 2019 Italian Butter Cookies

Italian Butter Cookies

I love these cookies. Not the ones in the package. Not the ones from the bakery. These cookies. Made at home. With butter.

I’m sure you’ve all seen these cookies. I swear they are in every bakery and often overlooked because they look at bit plain and basic, and even, in some bakeries, a bit dry and floury. The cookies often appeal to kids though, probably because of the rainbow sprinkles.

This cookie will appeal to kids and grown ups, because it’s not floury, it’s not dry. It’s very buttery and very vanilla and very delicious.

The cookie is pretty straightforward, made from everyday pantry staples plus a package of rainbow sprinkles, but putting the cookies on the baking tray does require a piping bag and tip. It’s an extra step and extra clean up, but it’s not an Italian Butter Cookie without it. The other tricky part is knowing when to take the cookies out of the oven. Do not overbake or underbake. Watch the cookies carefully, look for a very light golden browning So deep breath, you can do it! The results will be worth it.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

1 egg, at room temperature

2 ½ cups all purpose flour (313 grams)

½ teaspoon baking powder

Rainbow sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • With an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and optional lemon or almond extracts.  Beat at medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg and milk and combine thoroughly.
  • Mix the baking powder into the flour and then slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Beat until a dough forms.
  • NOTE: This dough should be piped right after it’s mixed.  Don’t let it rest for too long or refrigerate, as the dough will become stiff and more difficult to pipe.  If the dough does become too stiff to pipe, add a few drops of milk to loosen it. Fit a pastry bag with an extra-large French or open star pastry tip.  Fill the bag with half of the dough.
  • Pipe the dough into rounds about 2-inches in diameter.  Space the cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart as they do flatten and spread slightly. 
  • Sprinkle cookies rounds with rainbow sprinkles.
  • Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes, or until they are light golden brown on the very edges and have very light brown bottoms! This is the hardest part of making this cookie: do not under bake the cookies and do not overbake. Do not allow cookies to brown beyond a very light golden brown on the outside edges and bottoms.
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Depending upon size, makes 24-36 cookies. I’ve started doubling this recipe. (Cookies freeze well.)
20 Jun 2019 Summer Berry Bars

Have you ever made a cover recipe? I’ve made enough of them to figure out that cover recipes are usually a pretty good bet! My daughter saw this cover and said she wanted me to make them for July 4th because of the red, “white” and blue colors. So I tried them, and they were GOOD! They will be on her July 4th dessert buffet.

Mix and match the berries to your preference. Basically, you will need 5 cups of berries. Strawberries usually don’t bake up too well as they tend to release too much liquid and also take on a bit of ugly gray tinge, so don’t use too many strawberries, maybe one cup max. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and even pitted and halved/quartered cherries will all work.

There is no need to top these bars with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but… 🙂

Note that these bars need to rest overnight in the refrigerator before serving, so plan accordingly.

Summer Berry Bars

3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups (267 grams) granulated sugar, divided use

1 tablespoon (3 grams) lime zest (OK to sub lemon or orange zest)

1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder

¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt

1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 large egg (50 grams), lightly beaten

1½ tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch

2 cups (260 grams) fresh raspberries

1 cup (147 grams) chopped fresh strawberries

1 cup (160 grams) fresh blackberries

1 cup (170 grams) fresh blueberries

3 tablespoons (15 grams) fresh lime juice (OK to sub lemon juice or orange juice)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, zest, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender—or a food processor—add butter to flour mixture and process or cut in butter until pea-size pieces remain.
  4. Stir in egg until blended and mixture is crumbly.
  5. Reserve 1½ cups dough and refrigerate until needed in step 11.
  6. Press remaining 3½ cups dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. In another large bowl, stir together cornstarch and remaining ? cup (67 grams) sugar.
  9. Gently fold in berries, citrus juice, and vanilla until combined.
  10. Scatter berry mixture over prepared crust.
  11. Crumble reserved 1½ cups chilled dough over berries, pressing the dough to form small clumps before scattering over berries.
  12. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes more. Let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
  13. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into bars.
  14. Store bars in refrigerator.

So, off to the farmer’s market! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

13 Jun 2019 Cowboy Cookies
 |  Category: Cookies & Bars  | Tags: , , ,  | Leave a Comment
Crisp, buttery and slightly chewy

I have no idea why these cookies are called “Cowboy Cookies”. Coconut, oats and Rice Krispie’s don’t scream cowboy to me. Well, maybe the oats do. Legend has it that Laura Bush made these cookies popular after she submitted a recipe to Family Circle in 2000, which was running a best presidential candidate’s spouse’s cookie contest <sigh>. Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies won the contest. So maybe the fact that these cookies originate from/are popular in Texas make them “cowboy”?

Laura Bush’s recipe differs from mine in that hers has NO Rice Krispies but does have 2 cups of chopped pecans stirred in (4 years later she submitted the recipe again, with chocolate chips stirred in along with the pecans,but still no Rice Krispies! What was she thinking?). My recipe has no pecans or chocolate chips, although I am sure you can add some if desired.

I am pretty sure my recipe pre-dates Laura Bush’s published recipe. I think I started making them in the 1980s. I know my daughter Abby was baking them and selling them by the dozen in the early 2000s.

I like these cookies because, although they look like (and bake like) chocolate chip cookies, they are NOT Chocolate Chip Cookies (Laura Bush’s recipe seems a lot like Chocolate Chip Cookies though!). My Cowboy Cookies are slightly crisp and buttery with a slight chew from the coconut and oats, and they are not over-the-top sweet.

Cowboy Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco, do not use the butter flavored kind, just the plain, regular, old fashioned kind, either the sticks or the tub are OK)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats (NOT instant)
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup Shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325º. Beat the butter and shortening together for a minute or so.  Add in the sugars and beat for 5 minutes with an electric mixer.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-egg mixture.  Stir in oatmeal, Rice Krispies and coconut.  Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet.  Roll dough into a ball, then flatten slightly with finger or palm of hand.  Bake in preheated 325º oven for 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will have a very light tan tinge when done.  Don’t over bake. Remove cookies from oven and cool on racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!