Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....Cookies that is.

Blog-checking lines: Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

Christmas cookies!

I was so excited when I saw this month's baking challenge, as I love to make Christmas cookies for people. It is a fond memory for me to have where my mom and I and my sister would all spend hours making various Christmas cookies for friends and family. The ones that we always make every year would be sugar cookies with a butter cream frosting, and Spritz cookies. I have a very distinct memory of the flavor of the Spritz cookies and well as bad as it is, butter is nice, but margarine is the only way to go. Now my mom's sugar cookies make a ton, and the dough is so tasty. For this challenge I was excited to look at all the different types of cookies. I had big plans, I planned to complete three different types of cookies, Mexican Chocolate with Caramel filling, Layer Christmas Cookies, and then finally some Rosemary Lemon Thumbprint cookies; I completed the first two and am still planing on the Thumbprints just not this week.

The first the Layer Christmas cookies are cookies that I have looked at for years and thought I really should try to make those one day so I was thrilled when I saw that one of the suggested cookie recipes included Layer cookies, I however used a recipe from Epicurious.com. I read and re-read the recipe to make sure I understood it, and to my surprise I did not. I prepared the cookies wrong, but they came out correctly. The Epicurious recipe that I used said to add the sugar to the egg whites a 1/4 cup at a time; later in the recipe when you are using the almond paste it says to add the remained of the 3/4 cups of sugar. There is a possibility the cookies would have had a bit more loft had I mixed the sugar correctly but they are still amazing! The flavor is phenomenal. I have shared them with family, friends and co-workers. I love it when I get to take cookies in to work as they all enjoy the treats.

 Egg whites, pre-whip. 
 Egg whites, post whip.

Cookie batter for the layer cookies.

Red layer after baking, it is hard to tell, but these are pretty thin layers.

The layers once they have the apricot jam has been added.

Yes it took 13 cans to ensure a level pressure on the cookie layers.

Layers after the chocolate had been done. Really beautiful cookies!

The Mexican Chocolate cookies came out the the 100 Best Cookies from Better Homes and Gardens. They have cinnamon in them as well as cayenne pepper; spice like Mexican hot chocolate. These cookies are incredible as the recipe suggests that you use high quality dutch processed hot chocolate; which I did. The cookies had an amazing chocolate smell and were incredibly rich. These cookies are icebox cookies that you chill and cut; they were not difficult at all to make. Once baked and cool it was time to fill with the caramel filling, I used the dulce de leche which is VERY sticky, but very worth it. The cookies tasted fantastic and were the perfect amount of sweet, chocolate, and spice.

Cocoa, butter, and sugar.

Cookie dough once the flour has been added.

The dough was split into two piles to be rolled into a log and chilled.

Cookies cooked.

This is a local brand of Cajeta, dulce de leche, or caramel; it is very very sticky!

Cookies after cooling, don't they look great!

Only one casualty of the entire batch, fortunately it was the perfect size to just sandwich it's self.

Spooning the cajeta.

Spreading the cajeta.

You will notice the caramel is all over the place on the cookies, and the layers started to slide quickly.

I generally don't care for chocolate when it comes to cookies, cakes, or desserts however these were all great. I have had the chance to share them like I said with my family. Additionally my mom and I had gone to the military post here where they live, and when we were in the commissary we saw some of the layer cookies, my mom and I both thought mine looked so nice in comparison to the ones at the commissary. The joys of being able to make a quality product! The final photos.

Nothing better then holiday cookies with the ones you love.

Layer cookies with some hot chocolate.

Layer, Mexican Chocolate and hot cocoa.

Thanks mom for letting me take your photo while giving the cookie a taste.
I cannot wait to make these all again, I would not make them in bulk though as both sets require a bit of time for setting up and chilling. I will have to post a note about the rosemary lemon ones once all done. Hope everyone else enjoyed the cookie baking as much as I did.