Tag: cookies

Baking for a Claus: A Tribute to Childhood

by in Holidays, December 23rd, 2012

Christmas CookiesFall has finally given way to winter. Driveways are being shoveled, snow tires are mounted onto cars and steaming mugs of hot chocolate warm our souls. I, however, sit on a snowy-white beach contemplating what to bake for Santa’s annual visit, a tradition my mom started when I was very young.

Fast-forward to today: As one who works with flour, sugar and eggs, I bring joy year-round (to the many sweet tooths out there), but never a more important time than at holidays. This time of year, I bake for a “claus.”

I like to deliver tasty treats to my local police and fire stations as my way of saying thank you for saving lives. All of this leads me to sharing some of my fun holiday traditions. Some are past favorites, some are newer ideas soon to become classics.

Cookies left on a plate for Santa maybe very traditional, but who says it has to be boring? Invite the neighbors, family and friends over for a decorating party.

Find out how I set up my decorating party

Ornaments You Can Eat: Cookies to Decorate Your Christmas Tree

by in Recipes, December 16th, 2012

Stained Glass Cookie OrnamentsGingerbread houses aren’t the only way to decorate with cookies around holiday time. Classic cut-out cookies make quite handsome ornaments. But what makes them even better than other handmade ornaments — like paper stars or pipe cleaner snowflakes — is that you can eat them (best the same day you bake them, of course). So if you’re bored of the same old decorations every year, why not try baking your own ornaments? Your only limitation is your imagination — or the size of your cookie cutter collection.

These Stained Glass Wreath Cookies make the perfect hanging ornament for your tree. The recipe from Sandra Lee uses store-bought sugar cookie dough to make it even easier. The colorful centers are created using hard candies that melt in the oven to replicate the look of stained glass. For an extra dazzling touch, use icing to affix silver dragees. Whatever you do, don’t forget to cut a hole at the top of each cookie using a large straw after they come out of the oven. It will make hanging them much easier.

Rugelach — The Weekender

by in Holidays, December 14th, 2012

RugelachMy Great-Aunt Doris made the best rugelach. A nurse who preferred baking to hospital work, Aunt Doris never turned down an opportunity to help cater her charity functions, Temple’s holiday dinners and family gatherings.

Her instinct to feed continually vexed her sister, because no matter how clear my grandmother was that the dinner party menu was entirely handled, Doris would show up with a Saran-covered platter of freezer strudel or rugelach. At the end of the meal, my grandmother would be forced to watch as her guests gobbled up the party-crashing treat and ignored her own carefully selected pastries.

Because I grew up a country away from my Aunt Doris, I only got to see her once or twice a year. As soon as we landed in Philadelphia, however, she’d march me up to my grandmother’s apartment (they lived in the same building), slip an apron over my head and pull a stool over to the counter so that I could help her roll the dough. We’d make cinnamon twists, Mandelbrot and rugelach.

Before you start your dough, read these tips

Ree Drummond’s Favorite Christmas Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 13th, 2012

Ree Drummond's Favorite Christmas Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Kids — and kids at heart — will appreciate the bright color and seasonal whimsy of these decorated star-shaped bites. Although the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is similar to that of traditional sugar cookies, it boasts one secret ingredient: grated citrus zest, either orange or lemon. Just a half teaspoon of this refreshing flavor is all it takes to transform Ree’s cookies into light, scented treats. Before baking, Ree tops cutout dough with a brush of colored egg-yolk glaze, and later finishes the cooled cookies with snow-white powdered-sugar icing.

Get Ree’s Favorite Christmas Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Show us your best cookie creations

Jamie Deen’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 12th, 2012

Jamie Deen's Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, Jamie’s turbinado sugar-topped cookies are made with molasses and a blend of seasonal spices like ground ginger, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to guarantee that they turn out as wonderfully fragrant as they do deliciously sweet. This top-rated recipe can be made entirely in one bowl, and since the cookies only need to bake for 9 to 11 minutes, they’re a go-to pick for a last-minute dessert. If you’ve never baked with turbinado sugar before, know that you should be able to find it at most grocery stores; it’s a kind of raw cane sugar that’s crystallized and off-white in color.

Get Jamie’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Get recipes for past cookies

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Coconut Balls — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 2012

Alton Brown's Chocolate Coconut Balls
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

If you’re a novice baker or simply don’t have the time or energy to heat the oven and bake up cookies, Alton’s chocolate-coconut candies are a holiday treat to savor. These no-cook beauties are made with only six ingredients, and it takes just minutes to press the deliciously rich, sweet combination of crunchy macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and thick condensed milk into balls. The rest of the time it takes to finish the candies is largely hands-off; just wait for the balls to set, either quickly in the refrigerator or more slowly at room temperature, then dunk the clusters in a glossy pool of melted semisweet chocolate and let them dry before digging in.

Get Alton’s Coconut Balls recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Host your best cookie swap yet

Geoffrey Zakarian’s Vanilla Crescents — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 10th, 2012

Geoffrey Zakarian's Vanilla Crescents
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Just because this recipe was created by an Iron Chef doesn’t mean it’s going to involve oddball ingredients or a crazy-difficult cooking process. In fact, these light, vanilla-scented cookies are made with just eight ingredients, and you don’t even need a cookie cutter to shape them. After mixing together flour, butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla, roll the cookies into a long log and chill before cutting and rolling the dough into two-bite crescents. If you’re a first-time crescent-shaper or are baking with little ones who are, don’t worry if your moons look more like stars, spaceships or the sun — they’ll surely be deliciously sweet anyway.

Get Geoffrey’s Vanilla Crescents recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Read more

Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Rich, decadent and deliciously fudgy, this top-rated cheesecake boast three layers of chocolate goodness: a chocolate-cookie crust, bittersweet-chocolate filling and semisweet-chocolate glaze. If you’re used to relying on store-bought pie or cookie crusts to save time in the kitchen, try making this recipe at home. It comes together with just five ingredients and can be made entirely in the food processor. These peppermint-topped beauties need to chill overnight before you enjoy them, so plan ahead if preparing the bars for a party — or Santa.

Get the recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Get more cookie inspiration

Ina Garten’s Fruitcake Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2012

Fruitcake Cookies
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Forget about everything you know – and perhaps dislike – about traditional holiday fruitcakes because this recipe is nothing like those dense, dry loaves. Ina’s cookies, merely inspired by fruitcake, are light and moist, made with four different kinds of dried fruit, chopped pecans, golden honey and a pinch of ground cloves for subtle spice. Perhaps the best part about these cookies is that they can be shaped into logs and kept in the refrigerator for a last-minute party dessert or sweet-tooth-satisfying treat – just slice as many cookies as you need and save the remaining dough for later.

Get Ina’s Fruitcake Cookies recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Show us your best cookie creations

Jeff Mauro’s PB and J Blondie — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2012

PB & J Blondie
12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Leave it to the Sandwich King to take what’s perhaps the ultimate American sandwich – the PB & J – and turn it into a deliciously sweet dessert. Instead of using actual peanut butter to guarantee a nutty taste, Jeff adds peanut butter chips and crushed roasted peanuts to the buttery batter, and he opts for fruit preserves in place of jams or jellies. Depending on what your family’s favorite taste is, top the batter with raspberry, strawberry or grape preserves and use a knife to achieve a swirly effect before baking these blondies.

Get Jeff’s PB and J Blondie recipe and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

Host your best cookie swap yet with these easy party ideas