Is your cookie press stashed away until the holidays? Pull that baby out and make these adorable, portable and delicious cookies for Valentine's Day, a girl's baby shower or birthday, or any day.
Our classic spritz cookies are flavored with strawberry jam and dipped in 72 percent cacao chocolate for a not-too-sweet adult treat. But you can bump up the sugar content and use milk or semi-sweet chocolate for your little ones. The jam lends a slight pink to the dough. We added a baby pea-size amount of burgundy gel food coloring to get the pink in the photos.
This recipe, adapted from one from Bake, Love, Give makes 4 dozen cookies, depending on how hard you press. We didn't count as we ate a bunch of the "ugly" ones. You'll probably end up with more!
These are a great choice if you want to ship a gift to someone, as they are still tasty after a week if you keep them tightly sealed. To extend their life, you can also store in the fridge for an extra few days or the freezer for up to a month.
NOTE: Remember that the cookies will stick to the paper/silicone liner, so you should hold the press vertically, touch the rim to the pan, press quickly and then lift vertically for the best shape. You can place them fairly close together - about 1-2 inches between - as they do not expand very much.
This cheesecake will really wow your guests at any winter gathering. The intense red color comes from boxed red velvet cake mix and an entire large container of no-taste red gel food coloring. The crust is made from crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (you know the brand). This dessert is a hearty one, so a standard size cheesecake will serve at least 12 people.
The addition of the cake mix makes it necessary to use a water bath with this cheesecake. We forgot to add it with this particular cake, and you can see that it sank and had huge cracks in it. You can avoid this by following our directions and using the water bath! If you do still get cracks, you can always top the cake with whipped cream or just go with it, like we did and call it "rustic." It's still delicious!
Our red velvet cheesecake stores well in the fridge for several days and can be frozen for up to three months if well wrapped.
You can see below what happens when you don't use a water bath. Go dry at your own risk :)
Here's another family favorite that my grandmas used to make. The powdered sugar-dusted classic, the crescent cookie. The grandmothers usually used walnuts, but we chose to make our recipe with pecans, as that's one of our favorites.
We all have a recipe for these, but these have more nuts than many recipes, so we wanted to share it. As usual, SideSwipe can churn through the ingredients with ease and make this a quick one to prepare. No chilling or rolling and cutting out shapes. This one's just a bit more involved than a drop cookie. And it's melt-in-the-mouth good!
Cookies keep for about 1 week at room temperature in a tightly sealed container. They also freeze well. Store away from other cookies, as all the cookies will take on the flavors of the others.
The linzer cookie, based on a traditional Austrian torte, is another holiday classic. A tender, buttery cookie is filled with jam, sandwiched and dusted with powdered sugar. Elegant, yet fairly simple to make.
This recipe by Alexandra Stafford via King Arthur Flour, substitutes almond flour for some of the traditional wheat flour in the recipe. It adds a little more texture to the biscuit (for you Brits), while still keeping it manageable with the wheat flour. The inclusion of fresh lemon zest lifts the taste the cookie and pairs really well with berry jam. We used strawberry in the ones in the photos, but you can use any kind of jam or preserve or even a curd it you like.
These keep on the counter for about three days, in the freezer for a month or so. Be careful when storing. It's hard to tough up the powdered sugar ones the cookies are sandwiched together.
TIP: This dough MUST be cold for rolling and cutting. It will be too sticky otherwise. Roll and cut in small batches using a dusting of flour to make the job easier.
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