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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
1

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!

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
I tried to switch up what type of cookie to make this week (no chocolate!) and mix up the recipe too.

Original Source: Ina Garten

Ingredients
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Ingredients

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Coconut
Milk
Vanilla
Mixed

Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. (Grand Theft Cookie revision of this step: If you don’t have an electric mixer, have the wife do this with a handheld electric mixer)
Eggs
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Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Fold

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. (Grand Theft Cookie revision: I decided to try making these in a mini muffin pan)
Muffin
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Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve. (Grand Theft Cookie revision: Don’t bake them for 25 minutes if in a mini muffin pan!)
Cool

Result: Pretty good but pretty well done. I don’t think I’ll be revising the recipes of professional chefs anymore!

No video this week. A social studies lesson instead!
I thought macaroons were created by the French for some reason. The French style macaroon is very popular but apparently this cookie actually has a Scottish origin. But I don’t suggest you try old-style Scottish macaroons because the main ingredient was left-over mashed potatoes.

Different regions have different variations of the macaroon:
the French version is cream-filled
the North American version is the most common (the kind used for this recipe)
the Australian version has raspberry jam in the middle
the Spanish version is made with hazelnuts and honey and called “carajitos”
the Indian version uses cashews
the Turkish version uses almonds