Friday, December 17, 2010

Turning 1 Pound of Butter into 12 dozen cookies

I found this great recipe a couple of years ago on the Internet. Of course I've lost the link. But I decided to give it a try this year since earlier this fall I bought a pound of unsalted butter in stick form on special. The basic recipe calls for one stick of butter and makes three dozen cookies. I also wanted to make cookies with the cookie stamps I have: a tree of life, a dove, and flower/sun. I used one stick of butter for some oatmeal cookies earlier in the week.

Here's the basic recipe:
Cream together in a bowl: 1 stick of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup of organic sugar (or use yellow, brown or white). Beat in 1 large egg and 1 tsp vanilla. This goes fast if you can use an electric mixer.

Mix together the dry ingredients in another bowl: 2 cups white whole wheat flour or unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 tsp sea salt.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the butter/sugar mixture and blend well. I used a wooden spoon for this.

Preheat your over to 350 deg F. Line cookie sheets with silicon sheets (or parchment paper).
You can form your cookies by rolling them out, slicing them from a log, or forming into balls that you press flat with a cookie stamp. The first two methods require you to chill the dough, which make the cookie stamp method appealing. Whatever method you use, bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie edges lightly brown. They will firm up more as they cool on a wire rack.

Cookie stamping: form the dough into balls and place on your prepared cookie sheet. Press flat with the cookie stamp. The cookie should go to the edges of the stamp and be about a quarter-inch thick.

Additional variations: It's nice to have a variety of cookies at holiday time, I think, so I tried two of the variations to the recipe.

Chocolate Mocha Cookies: Add 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dough. I used two tablespoons less of the flour so they wouldn't be too dry.

Ginger Spicy Cookies: Substitute 1/4 cup of molasses for 1/4 cup of sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of allspice to the dough. You might want to add two tablespoons more of flour as well so the dough will be less sticky. I had to flour the glass cookie stamp I used so the cookies wouldn't stick to it.

Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 c finely chopped pecans (I would try pecan meal in these) to the dough and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto your cookie sheets.

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