Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Valentine's Day Soft Sugar Cookies

The most popular type of dessert in this house is by far cookies. It seems we have tried every type of chocolate chip cookie and frosted sugar cookie there is. I am always saving the latest and greatest recipes I find. While I was thinking about what I was going to make for Valentine’s Day, I knew that a soft fluffy cut-out sugar cookie with buttercream frosting was in order. Last years cutout sugar cookies with buttercream frosting were such a hit that I thought soft heart cookies would be worth a try. I made soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting a couple years ago for a bake sale and they were heavenly. My mom made them for Christmas this year and between my boyfriend and I we ate at least half the batch! These heart shaped soft sugars are right up there with the my other two favorite recipes!

Cut Out Soft Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
I divided the original recipe in half because it made 6 dozen cookies. Since there is only the two of us in my house and we are both on Weight Watchers, we really did not need 6 dozen cookies!

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies

After decorating these cookies with pink frosting and Valentine’s Day sprinkles, I realized how similar these looked to last year’s cookies! I should have tried to make red or purple frosting, but oh well! They were delicious anyways.

Heart Cut Out Cookies
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
 
Ingredients
For Cookies:
  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 small eggs or 1 and ½ large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream or light sour cream
For Frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Smidgen of salt
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • food coloring, optional
  • sprinkles, optional
Instructions
For Cookies:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in egg and mix until combined. Add in vanilla extract and sour cream and stir until everything is incorporated.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture, with your mixer on low and making sure to scrape down the sides. Once all combined, divide dough into two. The dough will be sticky so you may want to lightly oil or flour your hands to prevent sticking. Place each dough half on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to about 1 ½ inches thickness. Wrap completely, repeat for second half, and chill both halves for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Flour countertops and roll out the first dough slab to about a ¼th inch thickness. You may need to flour the top of a dough a little too if it gets too sticky. Lightly flour your cookie cutter and cut out your shapes, place each cookie on prepared baking sheet and leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Repeat until you use up all the dough. This recipe should make about 3 dozen but that all depends on the size of your cookie cutter (mine was about a 3 inch heart.)
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies start to turn golden on the edges. Using a spatula, gently move your cookies over to a cooling rack.
For Frosting:
  1. Cream together butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of you stand mixer set at a low speed. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and a smidgen of salt (half a pinch) until smooth. Add in heavy cream a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until the frosting has a light and fluffy consistency. Add your desired food coloring and mix in.
For Assembly:
  1. Once the cookies are cool, frost them with 1-2 tsp. of frosting with a offset spatula or a butter knife. If desired, add sprinkles to frosting right after before it begins to set. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
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Throwback Thursdays- The Root Beer Float

Root Beer Floats

Do you remember the days of letter jackets, Sadie Hawkins dances, and hanging out at the soda shop after school? Yeah I don’t… I wasn’t born yet.  I did have a poodle skirt and saddle shoes for a Halloween costume though.  I am also pretty sure I kept wearing the saddle shoes well after Halloween because I thought I was “wicked” cool.  (Wicked is a term used in the Syracuse and Boston area that in essence means really really or like totally… Yup that’s my technical definition.)

Vanilla Ice Cream for Float
Why am I referring to soda shops and saddle shoes? That’s because today’s recipe is the Root Beer Float, a favorite throwback recipe in my home.

Root Beer Poured into Float

My mom and I made some fantastic root beer floats when she came to visit in November.  Due to Thanksgiving sides, Christmas cookies, and appetizer craziness around here, I hadn’t had a chance to post about them.   While we were making the floats, we recalled how grandma called root beer floats, Brown Cows, and ones made with cola and vanilla ice cream, Black Cows.   This sparked a conversation and some googling to see what other types of floats are out there.

There are a lot of types of soda floats!  A Boston Cooler is when you made a float with ginger ale and vanilla ice cream (originated in Detroit not Boston- sorry M!)  A Snow White is a when you make a float with lemon-lime soda and vanilla ice cream.  Then, there is an Orange Cow with orange soda and Purple Cows with grape soda, both with vanilla ice cream.  You can get crazy with some Beer floats or Shakin’ Jesse, which is Guinness and vanilla ice cream.  Who knew you could make this many floats, but my favorite will always be the Root Beer Float!

Root Beer Floats
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
Variations:
  • Cola and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Orange Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Grape Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Root Beer and Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Lemon-Lime Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Ginger Ale and Vanilla Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. In a glass add in two scoops of ice cream and then slowly pour in soda until glass is filled.
  2. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

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1 Roly-Poly Santa Cookies

Roly-Poly Santas

Here we are, our last cookie of the 2013 2 Sisters 2 Cities’ Cookie Countdown!   The last cookie is always the hardest to pick.  Since we photograph the number of cookies that correlate with the day of the countdown (if you haven’t noticed yet), having one cookie in a photo can be boring!   I knew that the last cookie had to be something special so when I saw these Roly-Poly Santa Cookies on Better Homes and Gardens’ website I was sold.  The funny thing is that  M and I both had these cookies on our 2013 cookie brainstorming list.

Roly-Poly Santa

Although these cookies are so cute, they are a little bit more labor-intensive than your average cookie.  I think this would be a great recipe to gift to kids.  I wanted to save one for my nephew T, but I knew they would never last in my luggage on the way home.

Roly-Poly Santas are made up with 11 red and white dough balls, then embellished with mini chocolate chips, red hots, and frosting.   I was worried that my red dye wouldn’t make a true red color.  I always get a bright pink when I try to make red frosting, but I’ve heard this happens to a lot of people.  From my research, I discovered that Americolor’s Super Red soft gel paste does the trick.  I was happy with the red color that my Santa cookies came out in and I did not taste any dye in them.

Roly-Poly Santas
Author: 
Recipe type: cookies
 
Ingredients
For Cookies
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • Red paste food coloring
  • Miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 recipe of Snow Frosting
  • Red cinnamon candies
White Frosting
  • ¼ cup of shortening
  • ¼ tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ tsp. of milk
Instructions
For Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add sugar to butter and continue to beat until combined.
  3. Beat in milk and vanilla, scraping down sides until all is combined.
  4. Next mix in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour by hand. Remove 1 cup of the dough and place in a separate bowl . With the remaining dough, tint red with food coloring gel in mixer.
  5. For each Santa (this should make 10-12 cookies), shape red dough into twelve- 1-inch ball and sixty -1/2-inch balls(one 1-inch red dough ball, and five ½-inch red dough balls per Santa cookie.)
  6. Shape plain dough into twelve- ¾-inch ball and forty-eight- ¼-inch balls (one ¾-inch plain dough ball, and four-1/4 inch plain dough balls)
  7. Line 2 baking sheets with baking mat or parchment paper.
  8. Place the red 1-inch ball on a baking sheet, flattening the dough ball until about ½ inch thick. Attach the plain ¾-inch ball for head, flattening until ½ inch thick.
  9. Next, attach four of the red ½-inch balls for arms and legs and then attach the plain ¼-inch balls for hands and feet. Pinch the remaining ½-inch red ball into a Santa hat and attach to head.
  10. Repeat steps to create the rest of the Santas. Add the mini-chocolate chips as eyes and buttons.
  11. Bake Santa cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  12. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet. Be careful because the are extremely fragile. Once cooled, gently move to a wire cooling rack.
  13. To create beard, put frosting in a piping bag with a small star tip (recipe below). Attach the red hot for the nose. Let sit until frosting sets.
For Frosting-
  1. In the bowl of you mixer, beat together shortening and vanilla for around 30 seconds. Gradually mix in around ½ cups of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Next beat in 1½ tsp. milk. Continue to mix in remaining confectioners’ sugar until the consistency for piping.

Source- Slightly Adapted from BHG.com

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2 Pecan Sandies

I know M and I have been saying this the whole time, but I cannot believe we are only three days away from Christmas.  All the cookies are made and we are so excited to share the the last two with you.  Today’s cookies are the Pecan Sandies, a delicious butter cookie with a hint of sweetness and a whole lot of pecans!  I actually picked out this recipe last February when I got the Bouchon Bakery cookbook.  When you know you have to make 12 new types of cookies in December, you definitely  need to plan ahead!

Pecan Sandies

This recipe closely resembles my family’s recipes for Mexican Wedding Cakes, the only difference is that these are made with pecans instead of walnuts, and the cookies are pressed down instead of just cooked in ball shape. I wouldn’t refuse either with a cup of tea or coffee…mmmmmmm.

2 Pecan Sandies

2 Pecan Sandies
Author: 
Serves: 24-30
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, additional for sprinkling finished cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix together until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl combine pecans and flour.
  4. Mix dry ingredients into butter until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Roll dough into 1 to 1½ inch balls. Place dough balls at least 2 inches away from on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Lightly flour the backside of a measuring cup, press dough ball into ½ inch thick disk.I
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies are lightly golden on edges, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Let cool on a wire rack and lightly sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar.

Source- Slightly adapted from Bouchon Bakery cookbook

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4 Oatmeal Chocolate Mint Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Mint Cookies

Was that a misprint?  An oatmeal cookie with mint?  No mistake here, these two flavors are a hidden treasure.  San Francisco is know for an ice cream sandwich from IT’s-IT Ice Cream which is vanilla, mint, chocolate, or cappuccino ice cream in between two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies and then dipped in dark chocolate.  We found them at the grocery store recently and have tried both the vanilla and mint sandwiches.  I have to say my favorite is the mint.  The classic oatmeal cookie with the cool refreshing taste of mint ice cream all pulled together with the bitter dark chocolate is something truly to write home about.

IT'S-IT Inspired Cookies

I was inspired to try to make a cookie version of this ice cream sandwich after eating some of Hershey’s Holiday Mint Truffle Kisses.  I searched through my cookbooks for a basic oatmeal cookie recipe and decided to tuck the kiss inside the cookie versus placing on top.  When the cookies came out of the oven, the flavor was almost perfect but missing something.  I had leftover melted chocolate from the chocolate-dipped shortbread cookie recipe so I drizzled some chocolate on top.  With the addition of the chocolate, the cookie instantly tasted just like the ice cream sandwich.

My boyfriend told me that they were best of all the holiday cookies I created, which is a huge feat after our favorite shortbread recipe.  I was a little worried about bringing them into work because of the weird combo, but my co-workers went nuts over them and they were gone quickly.   Take a chance this holiday season and make these cookies before those truffle kisses run out!

4 Oatmeal Chocolate Mint Cookies

4 Oatmeal Chocolate Mint Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 30-36 Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses, unwrapped
  • ¼ cup Bittersweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of you mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until its fluffy and light yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in egg and vanilla extract, mix for about 1 minute.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add in oats.
  3. With mixer on low speed add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix for about 30 seconds and then finish the rest with a rubber spatula.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  5. After at least an hour of chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Taking about 2 teaspoon of dough in your hand, flatten into a disk and place a mint kiss in the middle. Fold sides up around the kiss and top with an additional teaspoon of dough so that the kiss is completely sealed in the dough ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until set. Let cool on baking sheet a couple of minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Once cookies have cooled top with chocolate drizzle.
  9. For Drizzle- In a small heat proof bowl, add chocolate chips. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. To drizzle, take a spoon of melted chocolate, tip the spoon to get a small stream of chocolate going and move back and forth over the cookies so you get zig zags over the cookies.

Have you been following our entire 2013 Cookie Countdown?  Catch up below if you have missed any!

5 Sprinkle Cookies
6 Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cutouts
7 Chocolate Hazelnut Coins
8 Italian Lemon Drops
9 Chocolate Toffee Crackers
10 Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
11 Christmas Snickerdoodles
12 Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

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5 Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkle Cookies

Today we bring you 5 sprinkle cookies! Can you tell that I am in a sprinkle mood after cookie number 6?   I ended up buying two huge containers of sprinkles at the store when I ran out last weekend for the chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies.  During the week I had a very productive night: getting home, working out, and making dinner all before 8.  I decided to get ahead and make another batch of cookies for our cookie countdown.

I found a recipe for Italian Sprinkle cookies and since these happened to be my most favorite of the Italian variety, I knew I had to make them.  Better yet, this recipe was so easy to make!  The recipe has lemon zest in it which may seem weird to you.  My boyfriend was very skeptical about this addition but it adds a really great flavor to the cookies.  We ate so many of these cookies that I was lucky to have five cookies left to take a picture!

5 Sprinkle Cookies

5 Sprinkle Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ sticks of unsalted butter (12 tbsp.), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ of a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sprinkles
  • 1 egg white, light beaten
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Sir in vanilla, lemon zest, and egg into the butter mixture until smooth.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the butter, and mix until just combined.
  5. Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  6. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on baking sheet at least 2 inches away from each other.
  7. With the back side of clean measuring cup, dust lightly with flour and press down each cookie ball in disk. Continue to flour the bottom of the measuring cup as needed to prevent the dough from sticking
  8. Refrigerate the cookie disk for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  10. Place sprinkles in one bowl and egg white in another bowl.
  11. With a pastry brush, brush each cookie with egg white and then dip into sprinkles, pressing lightly to get sprinkles to adhere. Place each cookie back on baking sheet.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes until each cookie is set.
  13. Let cool and serve! Keep in a airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months,

Source- Adapted from Saveur.com

Looking for more cookie recipes?  Check out our countdown so far:

6 Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread
7 Chocolate Hazelnut Coins
8 Italian Lemon Drops
9 Chocolate Toffee Crackers
10 Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
11 Christmas Snickerdoodles
12 Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

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Homemade Candy

Slow Cooker Candy

Today we are taking a break from the cookie countdown, but we are still focusing on Christmas treats!  This year for my co-workers’ holiday gifts, I am giving mason jars filled with two kinds of homemade candy inside.   I have given my co-workers Christmas cookies in the past, but I decided to change it up this year.  I have been bringing the cookies into work right after I make them to give us a little break from being surrounded by Christmas cookies 24/7.  I love the idea of mason jars and how they can be used for some many things.  Leftovers, soups, vases, glasses, and gift packaging!  I purchased my jars at Target for around $8 for 12, but they also sell them on Amazon for $9.99 with Prime shipping if you can’t find them around where you live.

Slow Cooker Candies

The first candy I made was one that I have been seeing all over Pinterest called “Crockpot Candy.”  This candy is made with a slow cooker.  It is really easy to make and is super addictive!  They are like a chocolate-covered nut cluster with a softer more tastier chocolate mixture.  I used mini cupcake liners to put the chocolate candies in instead of the regular sized liners called for in the original recipe.  I found Christmas cupcake liners at both Target and my grocery store.  The original recipe also asks for white almond bark, which they do not sell anywhere around here.   After googling some resolutions, I found out that you can use Candiquik vanilla melting chocolate in replacement of white almond bark.  I had seen this product at Target when I was looking for the bark.  If you can’t find either, just use white chocolate.

For a quicker hardening stage- stick your trays outside (if it’s cold out).  It has been record breaking cold over hear in the Bay Area, which would be regular cold everywhere else, but its considered cold here.  I know what M is thinking now- we grew up with Syracuse winters… toughen up K!  Right M?

Slow Cooker Candies
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 50-60 candies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry-roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 oz. German Chocolate, broken into squares
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1¼ pounds Candiquik vanilla melting chocolate, broken into squares
Instructions
  1. In your slow cooker add peanuts followed by German sweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips and then topped with the candiquik vanilla melting chocolate.
  2. Cover slow cooker and turn on low. Cook untouched for 2½ hours.
  3. While the chocolate is heating, line a baking sheet with mini cupcake liners. You will need about 50-60 liners.
  4. After 2½ hour cooking time, stir the chocolate until all combined. Keep the heat on low while dividing.
  5. Using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, scoop candy mixture into each liner. Half way through filling. Tap tray against counter to force the chocolate to settle into the liners. Repeat when finished filling the remainder of liners.
  6. Let candies cool complete before eating. Keep in an air tight container.

Source- Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood via foodnetwork.com

Peanut Brittle

The second type of candy I am packaging this year is my all time favorite holiday candy, Peanut Brittle.  My mom made this recipe growing up and I am such a huge fan.  I had posted this recipe when we first started this blog, but I didn’t have any photos of it and it is pretty buried in our history.  The key to this recipe is finding raw, blanched peanuts.  This, my friends, is not an easy task.  I have been searching for raw blanched peanuts for the last four years!  Wegmans used to carry then and Whole Foods has them occasionally,  but I haven’t seen them in either for awhile.  You can buy these on-line for sure, I just never got to ordering them ahead of time.  This year while  getting my produce at a store called Sprouts, I found the peanuts in the bulk nut section!   I couldn’t believe it!  I quickly filled a bag with the peanuts and knew I had to make my favorite peanut brittle again.

Peanut Brittle
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups raw blanched peanuts
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with cooking spray and set aside. Also spray a heat resistant rubber spatula or regular spatula with spray; it will come in handy when spreading the sticky mixture.
  2. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and light corn syrup.
  3. Once melted together, add in raw peanuts. Stir constantly for 12-15 minutes, until peanuts start to turn brown (often the signal that it’s ready is a puff of smoke, but I am yet to see this puff.)
  4. Stir in vanilla extract and baking soda quickly before the candy starts to harden.
  5. Once all the ingredients are completely stirred together, pour mixture onto greased baking sheet, using greased spatula to spread it out. Spread candy out as far as you can without making holes so that there is a single layer of peanuts.
  6. After this is spread, leave for about 1 or 2 hours until completely hardened then break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Source- A 2s2c original
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P.S. Looking for more holiday edible gift ideas besides homemade candy?  Try our homemade hot chocolate mix!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

6 Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cutouts

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cutouts

On the sixth day of Christmas cookies my true love gave to me… 6 chocolate-dipped shortbread cutouts!   Aww, thanks!  I love love this recipe for shortbread.  It is one of my favorite cookies.  I feel like I say that a lot, but what can I say, I love me some cookies.  My boyfriend and I make them year-round in different shapes based on the season.  He will make the dough and put it in the refrigerator, and do the dishes, and then I will roll it out, cut them out, bake them and dip them in chocolate.   When I am feeling festive, I add sprinkles!  I love the longer “jimmie” sprinkles rather than the nonpareil sprinkles.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cutouts

I happened to only have the later when I was making these cookies so I ran out the grocery store to get some  more.  I later discovered that I also had no confectioners’ sugar left to make my next cookie!  Don’t you hate when that happens!  I had every type of sugar – granulated, light brown, dark brown, and even superfine!  I had to change my next cookie recipe up because I was not about to go back to the store.  Sprinkles and chocolate are optional and if this recipe looks familiar to you, it’s just a variation of the recipe I use for linzer cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are great to come home to after a long day of last-minute shopping.  Not to toot my own horn, but I don’t have any last minute shopping to do because I bought everything on-line last week…Toot TOOT!  I do have some serious baking to do this weekend though!
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cutouts
6 Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cutouts
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups of Butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups AP flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, add in butter and sugar and mix until combined (using the paddle attachment.) Mix in vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour and salt.
  3. With mixer on low, add the dry ingredients into the butter and mix until combined.
  4. Take dough out on to a floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. On a floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin to ¼-1/2 inch thickness.
  7. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place them on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Space cookies at least 2 inches away from one another.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies start to brown on edges.
  9. To melt chocolate– In a microwave safe bowl place chocolate chips. On a 50% power setting on the microwave heat the chocolate for 1-1½ minutes. Stir chocolate then continue to heat until melted in 20 seconds intervals until completely smooth or melted.
  10. Dip cookies in melted chocolate, using a off-set spatula to scrape the chocolate off the bottom of the cookie. Lie on parchment paper. Add sprinkles immediately before chocolate starts to dried. Repeat for all cookies. Let dry before repacking cookies. Eat within three days or freeze.
  11. *I would recommend higher quality chocolate chips for this process because although I am a huge fan of Nestle chips and Costco chips in cookies, they have added more wax in their chips in the last few years and they do not melt as smoothly. I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate chips and they melted perfectly. For smoother chocolate you can even used baking bars of chocolate which have even less wax in them resulting in smoother chocolate.
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8 Italian Lemon Drops

Italian Lemon Drops

As I have told you all before, I have a crazy food memory in which I can practically remember everything I have eaten at most events in my life.   Can I remember a phone number or where my keys are…uhhh nope!  It’s funny how selective memories can be, but I guess it shows my love for all things food.

Where were we?  Oh right, when I think of Christmas as a child, all the cookies my mom made around the holiday time come to mind.  I can remember the peanut brittle, the chocolate crinkles, the peanut butter cup blossoms, the Mexican wedding cakes, the cut-out cookies, the buckeyes and endless more.  As I grew up and learned how to bake, I started taking on more baking around the holidays and emulated the same tradition my mom had in my own place.  The whole Christmas cookie process of planning, sharing, giving and of course, eating has become quiet an obsession of mine and really how our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies started here at 2s2c.

Italian Lemon Drops

I have shared most of the above recipes that I remember growing up with, but there was one cookie missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.  I kept remembering a round puffy lemon cookie with lemon glaze.   It was driving me crazy that I couldn’t find the recipe in any of my family cookbooks.  When I asked my mom, she remembered where it was from: a school fundraiser cookbook she had bought over 30 years ago.  Alas, here is how we came to cookie number eight on this year’s countdown- the Italian Lemon Drop cookie (i.e. the Lemon Anginetti.)  I have updated some of the ingredients to more modern ones since the original recipe included melted Crisco and 3 tablespoons of lemon extract!

Italian Lemon Drops
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Cookie-
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Zest from one lemon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 tsp baking powder
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Glaze-
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1-1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer add sugar and lemon zest. Mix for 1-2 minutes to infuse the sugar with the lemon flavor.
  3. Add melted butter to lemon sugar and combine. Mix in eggs and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together flour and baking powder.
  5. In measuring cup mix together milk, lemon extract and vanilla extract.
  6. Mix in ⅓ of flour mixture to butter followed by ⅓ of milk mixture. Repeat process ending with milk and stirring until all ingredients are combined.
  7. Line baking sheets with non-stick baking mats or parchment paper. Roll dough in balls the size of walnuts. The dough may be sticky so make sure your hands are well floured. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are firm to touch. Let cool on wire rack.
  9. To make glaze- whisk together 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Continue to whisk until smooth, adding more lemon juice as needed. If glaze gets too thin add additional confectioners’ sugar. Dip each cookie top in glaze and let excess drip back into bowl. Place on parchment paper and let dry completely before putting away. Can be store in air tight container for up to three days or frozen up to 3 months.

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10 Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

Today’s cookie is number ten on our cookie countdown: Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread cookies.  I was inspired to make these cookies by looking through my pantry to see what I had available to make for Christmas cookies this year. As you know, I love to bake so I already had many options before having to go out to buy ingredients. I had a bag of pistachios and dried cranberries sitting next to each other and the thought came to me of trying to find a recipe that contained both ingredients since they are natural Christmas colors. I then found a shortbread recipe that incorporated both ingredients and the results were just what I wanted.

These shortbread cookies were perfect, a light buttery cookies with punches of sweet cranberries and salty pistachios.  I brought the leftover cookies to work so I wouldn’t eat them all, and they were gone within an hour of putting them out.   Enjoy!

10 Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

10 Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and continues to mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Next beat in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter until just incorporated. With a spatula, fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries until evenly combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and roll each dough half into 14 inch logs, so that the width is the same throughout . Wrap in parchment paper and twist the ends. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours but up to three days.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  5. Using a sharp knife slice the logs into ¼ thick slices. Place cookies on baking sheet space at least 1½ inches away. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies just start to brown on edges. Let cool on wire rack. Store in an airtight container up to three days. Freeze cookies to keep them longer (up to 3 months.)

Source- Adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book via JoyofBaking.com

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