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Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Night Cookie Factory!

Happy Friday everyone! If you're exhausted from the pre-Christmas madness (or you're like me and getting home from work means pushing your way through crowds of tourists taking pictures of rooftops), you're going to need a break. Might I suggest having a cookie bonanza in the comfort of your own home? I am salivating just thinking about eating soft, chewy cookies, crumbs littering the corners of my lips. Yum. Grab a glass of wine (if you are of age!) and try one of these outrageously delicious cookie recipes.

Pucker up, baby!
Lemony Slice-and-Bakes
Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sanding sugar (optional)
For cookies
  1. Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks; beat just to blend. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat, occasionally scraping down sides, just to blend. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 10"-long log about 1 3/4" in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  2. Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap 1 dough log. Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut log into 1/4"-thick rounds. Transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1" apart.
  3. Bake until cookies are firm and golden brown around edges, 16-18 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough log, using cooled baking sheets and new parchment paper.

For icing
  1. Whisk sugar and 2 tablespoons juice in a small bowl, adding more juice by 1/2-teaspoonfuls if too thick. Add coloring, if desired. Spread or drizzle icing over cookies. Decorate as desired. Let stand until icing sets, about 10 minutes. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Minimalist eater?
Cinnamon Sour Cream Cookies
Florence Fabricant

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup soft butter, plus a little for greasing pans
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugar until well blended and creamy. Beat in the egg.
  3. Mix the sour cream and baking soda together and add to the butter mixture. Add the dry ingredients and beat well to make a soft dough. It will be sticky, so cover and chill the dough for about 30 minutes until it is firm enough to handle. If the kitchen is hot you may need to chill the dough a little longer.
  4. Lightly grease baking sheets. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Take walnut-size pieces of the dough and roll into balls. Arrange on the baking sheets about two inches apart to allow for spreading. Flatten the balls with the tines of a fork. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown but still slightly soft in the center. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the pans, then transfer them to racks to cool completely.

Salt Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread
Adapted from The Picnic Cookbook by Annie Bell 


  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons (from 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup (may substitute dark corn syrup)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought dulce de leche
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (60 to 70 percent cacao)
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces
  1. For the shortbread: Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray, then line with parchment paper so the paper hangs over two sides (for easy lifting).
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse to form a dough that holds together. Transfer to the pan and press the dough into the bottom; feel free to lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough for this step. Use a fork to prick the dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the shortbread dough, straight from the refrigerator, for 40 to 45 minutes; it should just be starting to brown. Cool in the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine the butter, sugar, syrup, dulce de leche and salt in a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat. stirring until the mixture is melted and blended. Reduce the heat to low; cook for 8 or 9 minutes, stirring often, to form a caramel; when it’s ready, it will be darkened in color with a thinner, pourable consistency.
  5. Pour the caramel directly over the center of the shortbread base; it will spread by itself. You don’t want to work it into the corners. Leave it undisturbed for at least 1 hour to set.
  6. Heat a few inches of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the bittersweet chocolate chips in a bowl that fits over the saucepan. Once the chocolate has melted and can be stirred smooth, pour it over the set caramel. Use a bamboo skewer or cake tester to create swirl patterns in the chocolate.
  7. Repeat the melting and swirling with the white chocolate. If either chocolate begins to firm up prematurely, transfer to a low-temperature oven just until softened.
  8. Cool until the chocolate is set yet slightly soft. Use the parchment paper to lift and transfer the shortbread to a cutting board. A serrated knife works best for cutting into 16 or 32 squares. Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving or storing.

Happy baking!

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