A recipe that remains a favorite of TRB‘s for its sheer versatility for any holiday, special occasion or “just because” is Emeril’s Butter Cookie dough. Whether you follow the recipe to the letter and prepare cut-out cookies with frosting, use a cookie gun to make specific shapes or roll the dough by hand, just about anything you decide to make will turn out simply delicious with this dough.
This year, TRB decided to use Emeril’s recipe as a base for Apple and Raspberry Thumbprints.
For the Raspberry cookies, TRB shaped the dough into 2 inch balls and then made an indent with her thumb for the raspberry jam. These baked for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees and were cooled on a baking rack.
For the Apple variety, TRB tried something a little different; after using half the dough for the raspberry cookies, she added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans to the remainder. Then, using the same method, rolled 2 inch balls and made and indent with her thumb for the apple cinnamon jam. The result? A cookie that tastes just like a mini-apple pie.
In addition to the Thumbprints, TRB made some Espresso Shortbread cookies — a recipe found with the help of a co-worker, who fell in love with the easy “Cookies for Grown-Ups” recipes in a recent issue of More magazine. TRB substituted a much smaller cookie cutter than the one pictured in the magazine and needed to adjust the baking time to roughly 10 minutes. However, another tip for this recipe would be to dissolve the instant espresso crystals in a tablespoon or two of water before adding to the dough because the crystals are visible in the cookies after they are baked. Either way, they are simple, yet delicious.
As for the rest of the baking with Cousin Cathy, we made a wide variety of cookies. In addition to the Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Crackles, Ricotta Cookies and Pipchicks, we prepared Chocolate Sandwiches, Pecan Tassies, Linzer Tarts, Cinnamon Balls, Biscotti and Almond Cookies.
Unfortunately, TRB was not able to wrest the top-secret recipes from Cathy’s hands, but here are a few similar ones that are not likely to disappoint:
Here are some photos from our baking marathon…
At left: Shaping the Biscotti cookies… these had raspberry jam filling. Yum!
At left: The Cinnamon Balls are rolled by hand into 1 1/2 inch balls before being baked and rolled in cinnamon sugar – while hot.
At left: The Ricotta cookies cool, while Vanilla frosting is being prepared. These are topped with the frosting and colored sprinkles for a festive holiday decoration.
Happy Holidays (and baking!) to all!
What did you bake this holiday season? Post a comment below.