Hidden Kisses

Some more goodness from Paula Deen, Hidden Kisses

Original Source: Paula Deen

Ingredients
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1 (9-ounce) package Hershey’s Kisses
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
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Directions

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts.
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Stir in the flour and blend well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Unwrap the candy kisses.
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Press a scant tablespoon of dough around each kiss, covering it completely; shape into balls.
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Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.
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Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
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Roll the cookies in confectioners’ sugar.
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Results: Very good. They taste a lot like the Cuban Cookies – but with a Hershey Kiss!

Cream Cheese Spritz

Still here and making cookies. I’m trying to catch up with the posts while the Wife forces me to watch New Moon. The bad acting, silly dialogue, and predictable plotline is really distracting me from writing anything funny.

A couple of weeks ago I made some Cream Cheese Spritz using the trusty cookie press.

Original Source: AllRecipes.com

Ingredients
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 teaspoon lemon extract
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, cream together shortening, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy.
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Beat in egg yolk, and lemon extract.
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Combine flour and salt; gradually mix into the creamed mixture in three additions, mixing well after each.
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Load dough into a cookie press, and press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (Please note: The random round cookie on the sheet is due to the Wife messing around with the cookie press)
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Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden.

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Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
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Results: Good for the first few days but they got funky after that. They could be good with other types of extract too.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Falling a little behind with the posts but have no fear … the cookies are still being made.

I made some Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
two weekends ago but never got around to actually posting them. I was too busy being depressed about PC ending the season with a 10 game losing streak.

Original Source: AllRecipes.com

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
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Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
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Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.
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Mix in the quick oats and chocolate chips.
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Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
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Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Jam Filled Butter Cookies

Jam Filled Butter Cookies

To make up for the delayed post for last week, here is an early post for this week! It features another Grand Theft Cookie-approved band: The Jam

These cookies were actually made before the last post went up. Kind of like a confusing alternate timeline like on Lost.

Original Source: AllRecipes.com (maybe – the wife doesn’t remember where she got it but her version looks identical to this one)

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fruit preserves, any flavor
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Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and egg yolks.
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Mix in flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms.
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Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use your finger or an instrument of similar size to make a well in the center of each cookie.
(If dough is too soft, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.)

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Fill the hole with 1/2 teaspoon of preserves.
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Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
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Result: Pretty good. The wife usually makes them around the holidays and does a damn good job. I have to let her make some of the cookies around here too but I wanted to try to make them once.

The Jam!

On The Road, Part 1

Sorry for the delayed post but this week was crazy – the last night of the 2nd term of grad school and filling in for the wife’s boss at school for the week (long story).

The week before that was February break so I decided to take Grand Theft Cookie on the road. First stop: back home to bake some cookies with Mom. Since it’s her kitchen, it was her choice of what to make. She selected:

Glazed Lemon Cookies

We also had some help from special guest sous chef Maddie
maddie

Original Source: Real Simple magazine

Ingredients
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
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Directions

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
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Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine.
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Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
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Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
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Heat oven to 350° F.

Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
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Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
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In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary).
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Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.
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Result: So good that Dad couldn’t wait for the glaze to set.
dad

If you want me to come to your house to make some cookies for a future post, let me know!

Stealing from the Girl Scouts, Part 2 (Valentine’s Day edition)

Since Valentine’s Day fell on Cookie Making Day (aka Sunday), I let the wife pick out what I should make. With one stipulation – that she help make them. She selected her favorite Girl Scout cookie:

Homemade Tagalongs (a.k.a. Peanut Butter Patties)

The Girl Scout website includes the following “description” of the Tagalongs: “These are round cookies with a layer of peanut butter on top, and covered in chocolate. These cookies come in a red box.”

Original Source: BakingBites.com (Don’t be confused by this site’s name – It means all of the recipes are small things like cookies, not that the author does not think highly of baking)

Ingredients
Cookie Part
1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk

Filling + Coating
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (natural or regular)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar*
generous pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 8-oz semisweet chocolate
Ingred

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
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Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk.
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The dough should come together into a soft ball.
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Take a tablespoon full of dough and flatten it into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Cookies will not spread too much, so you can squeeze them in more than you would for chocolate chip cookies.
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Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, until bottoms and the edges are lightly browned and cookies are set. Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use your thumb or a small spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie.
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Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla.
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When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (again in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is very, very soft. Working carefully with the hot filling, transfer it to a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the tip cut off) and pipe a generous dome of the filling into each cookie’s “thumbprint”. Chill cookies with filling for 20-30 minutes, or until the peanut butter is firm.
(Forgot to take a picture of the peanut butter mixture – but this what the bowl looked like when we were done!)
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Melt the chocolate in a small, heat-resistant bowl. This can be done in a microwave (with frequent stirring) or on a double boiler.
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Dip chilled cookies into chocolate, let excess drip off, and place on a sheet of parchment paper to let the cookies set up. The setting process can be accelerated by putting the cookies into the refrigerator once they have been coated. Makes about 3-dozen.
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This is what happens to my recipe print-outs when a certain someone helps me make cookies:
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And this is what you can do with the extra peanut butter fillin’ while the cookies are chillin
‘:
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Glengarry Glen Girl Scout

Polvorones con Canela (Cuban Cinnamon Sugar Cookies)

I tried to think of a type of cookie that I could tie in with the Super Bowl, especially since it would be taking place on Cookie Making Day (aka Sunday). A football/dolphin/Florida/Lombardi Trophy shape was out of the question because the only cookie cutters I have are Mom’s old Christmas ones. And a cookie using Florida oranges did not sound too appealing. So instead I settled on a more subtle connection to the big game’s host city.

Polvorones con Canela (Cuban Cinnamon Sugar Cookies)

Original Source: TasteofCuba.com

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature or
1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract or brandy
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup finely ground pecans or walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon (cassia)
Ingredients

Directions
Beat the butter in a bowl with an electric beater until creamy.
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Add the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla, and continue beating until light and fluffy.
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Mix in the flour and salt very gradually, a tablespoon at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Add the nuts with the last of the flour.
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Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.
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Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using your hands, form the dough into 3/4″ balls. Place on an ungreased baking pan about 1 inch apart.
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Bake in a moderate oven about 15 minutes, or until the edges turn pale gold.(Grand Theft Cookie suggestion: Don’t overcook them. They can get way too dried out if you do.)
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Place the remaining cup of sugar in a shallow bowl or plate with the cinnamon.
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Remove the cookies from the oven and, while still hot, carefully roll each in the powdered sugar mixture. Set aside until cooled completely and roll them again in the sugar, shaking off any excess.
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Results:
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Excellent. They were all gone by Wednesday morning.