(Source: Adapted from recipe in Penzey’s Spring 2010 catalog)

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (if you don’t like heat, leave this out)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 c. butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. semi sweet chocolate chunk morsels (I used semisweet chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (I line the pan with nonstick foil).

In large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, chipotle pepper, cayenne (if using), cinnamon and ginger; set aside.

Carefully melt butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, stirring constantly. Add  water, vanilla and melted butter/chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients; stir quickly until well blended. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting. Makes 48 bite-sized pieces.

Ooey, Gooey, Butter Cake

1 pkg. Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
2 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, butter and eggs together. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, eggs and vanilla. Pour over top of batter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Nutmeg Cookie Logs

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons rum flavored extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon rum flavored extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

  1. Cream together 1 cup butter or margarine and white sugar. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla, egg, and 2 teaspoons rum flavoring. Mix well. Add 3 cups flour and nutmeg.
  2. Roll in long “logs” 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut into 3 inch strips. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and frost.
  3. To Make Frosting: Cream together 3 tablespoons butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon rum. Stir in milk (may add more to reach desired consistency).

Russian Tea Cakes

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teasp0oon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Powdered sugar for coating, about 1 cup.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Blend on low speed for about 1 minute. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Gradually add flour, at low speed, just until combined. Don’t over mix it or the dough will be tough. Stir in nuts. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, until firm, but not brown (do not overbake). While warm, roll in powdered sugar (put it in a bowl) and place on wire rack. When totally cool, roll again in powdered sugar.

Makes about 3-4 dozen.

Sugar and Spice Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (I use butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl. Combine wet ingredients (cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add egg and molasses). Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll into a mixture of 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet about 2″ apart. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on racks. Makes about 3 dozen.

Scotch Shortbread Cookies

1 pound butter
3 cups flour
1 cup potato starch
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter, sugar, and egg together. Add flour, salt, potato starch, alternating the flour and the potato starch.

Flour a surface and roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Prick each shape three times with a fork (just for looks) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Makes about 8 dozen. You can cut the recipe in half.

Coconut Kisses
Simple, but crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

2 egg whites at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating.

Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Fold in 1 can canned coconut. It’s in the baking aisle by the bagged coconut.

Drop by tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. You can add food coloring, if you want to make them look festive.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream shortening and sugar; beat in egg and add vanilla. Mix together flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar. Add to wet mixture. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Roll, by hand, into balls. Dip the balls in granulated sugar, place on a an ungreased baking sheets, and flatten balls slightly with the bottom of a smooth glass. I usually press the glass on a cookie, then dip the glass in sugar, so the sugar sticks a bit to the glass. It helps release the glass from the cookie. Bake for about 15 minutes.  Makes about 18 cookies.


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