December 24, 2007

X'mas Cookie Baking I

The past few days had been a cookie baking marathorn for me. I had been baking x'mas cookies for different groups of friends, one day after another. I had wanted to bake some cupcakes with frosting and probably a yule log (although I don't have much confidence) but after I had finished with my last batch of cookies on saturday night, I told myself it's really time to take a rest! I wanted some time to myself to amend the dress I bought and doll myself up for my gatherings. Hehe...:P

Next year, hopefully I will have pre-empt more time to bake a log cake. Meantime, I would have to continue practising the technique of making a swiss roll. :)

I made a total of 4 different types of cookies this year, although nothing much elaborate. They were mostly simple cookies to suit the taste and preferences of the recepients.

This is the first christmas cookie I made. I used a simple sugar cookie recipe adopted from Joy of Baking. This type of cookie is harder and crispier as compared to the previous one I made, which yielded those danish cookies with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I find that this recipe was ok, I couldn't comment much as I seldom make such cookies; it was crispy but it had to be stored in an air-tight container if not it turns soft easily.

I did not made any sugar frosting as I'll only be making small batches so decided to try with melted chocolate. But the melted chocolate was too soft and not good at piping and drawing at all! I was also not experienced. Hehe, so it looked kinda ugly, especially the gingerbread man. For the pink frosting, I added some strawberry emulco to the melted white chocolate and the result was not bad, it was firmer and has a tinge of strawberry taste, much to the likings from my friends!

Ingredients:

  • 245 g all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 150 g granulated white sugar (I used 120 g)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 175°C and place rack in center of oven.
  5. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm).
  6. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
  8. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they are brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. Frost as desired.

Note: I made half recipe. For frosting recipe, refer to recipe source: Joy of Baking


Due to the melted chocolate piping which wasn't as firm as sugar / royal icing, it smulged onto the cookie bag when I packed for my friend. Aiya, so bad presentation...Hope she don't mind. :P
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The second cookie that I made was for a group of my beloved girl friends. I knew they like shortbread-like texture. So I hopped through several blogs and websites for ideas and finally decided to settle on this snowball cookies by
Cheryl - She Bakes and She Cooks. This gal whom I realized is my junior from NUS though different faculty, writes really well; she has an interesting blog on food, do check out her blog for dining-out ideas as well as foolproof recipes.
This melting-moments cookie that I made is essentially a Russian Tea cake (or Mexican Wedding cake as some called it) but with a hidden surprise inside...hershey kisses! I had fun making these cookie; as it was Dong Zhi (Winter Solstice Festival) the next day, I felt as if I'm reviving my good old childhood days of making Tang Yuan (glutinous rice dumplings), only that instead of using glutinoud rice flour, now I'm using rich buttery dough wrapped with hershey kisses chocolates!

My mum used to buy those pre-made glutinous rice flour which has already been rolled into a dough. They usually comes in pink and white colour. We would wrap each dumpling in gula medeka and cooked in a sweetened soup. For past couple of years, my mum just bought pre-packaged tang yuan instead of making our ownself. I added one whole hershey kiss into one cookie...yes it's sinful but really heavenly! Her recipe also called for a generous amount of chopped nuts. There is no better combination than chocolates and shortbread cookie especially if you are a lover of these two! My friends liked them a lot. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Ingredients:

  • 227 g soft butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used almond nibs and had it toasted)
  • 1 package of chocolate kisses (there are 24 inside)
  • Powdered Sugar

Method:

  1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sifted flour and nuts, blend well.
  3. Chill dough about 1/2 hour. Remove foil from kisses and shape dough around kisses, using scant tablespoon of dough for each.
  4. Roll to form a ball. (Each ball would have a diameter of about 3 cm)
  5. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 190°C for 12 minutes until set but not brown.
  6. While still warm roll in powdered sugar.
  7. Cool and store in a tightly covered container. Roll in sugar again before serving if desired.

Merry Christmas to all!

7 comments:

sweet-tooth said...

Grea idea of using the Hershey's Kisses in your cookies!

Merry Christmas :D

Happy Homebaker said...

Merry Xmas Aimei! It's very nice of you to bake cookies for your friends! I was so busy that I have not even started baking any cookies!!

Somewhere in Singapore said...

Hi Aimei

First time visit your blog...

Your blog is very interesting...

ilovepearly said...

The snowball cookie looks yummie!

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Hi Aimei,

Your melting moments cookies looked so lovely! I'm going to schedule it onto my To-Do list!

Btw, I had my blog address changed ;) You know lah hor! Heh!

XOXO,
Happy Mrs Kwok

Aimei said...

Hihi...

Thanks all for your comments! :)

Happy Cooking and Baking!!! ;)

Baking gal said...

Hi Aimei
Stumbled across your blog the other day and your snowball cookies caught my eye!
Attempted them over the weekend but had very different outcome from yours.

Firstly, my cookies are chewy and not crispy. I'm not sure if that's how it's supposed to be. =(

Secondly, my pastry was very
crumbly, not at all like yours which is more like a dough.

Thirdly, my cookies were quite big already but yet I made more than 40 pieces. May I know if you used the full recipe for the cookies?

Can you please tell me what is wrong? Hope you can help me. =(