Feb 5, 2012

Three Cookies in One Day, Booyah!

Last semester I brought these treat to the last day of my history class. It was for part of my final project; we have to present the class material in a creative way; and I decided to bake.

I made three kinds of cookies, all from different country:
Italian Wedding Cookies from Italy
Pepparkakor from Sweden
Spritz Cookies from Germany

Italian Wedding Cookies were my favorite out of the three. Some call them “Mexican wedding cookies” or “Russian tea cakes”. They are very similar to “melting moment”; they both use the method of creaming together butter and confectioners’ sugar, and then mixing in the dry mixture. The only difference is that melting moments don’t contain nuts while the rest of them do. These cookies are not too sweet and perfect with coffee!

Italian Wedding Cookies
I got my recipe from here
But I halved the recipe and made a few change.

¾ C butter, at room temperature
1/4C+2Tbsp confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar
pinch of salt
¾ C ground almonds
2 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ C all-purpose flour
more confectioners’ sugar for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. In a bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Gradually sift in sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Make sure you beat them well! I used a whisk and beat mixture for about 5 minutes
3. Add in vanilla, mix well; and gradually add in ground almonds and flour, mix just until mixture comes together. Don’t over mix once you add the flour!
4. Shape dough into little balls; you want bite-size cookies
5. Bake them for 15-20 minutes
6. Roll them in confectioners’ sugar while they’re still hot, and then again once they’re cooler

And then there were the traditional Christmas cookies from Sweden, Pepparkakor. I love saying that word, although I probably never said it right. They are basically like gingersnaps or ginger cookies. Unlike ginger cookies I made before, these Pepparkakor were crispy.

I got my recipe from here.
I chose this recipe because it calls for a lot of spices, and I like my cookies spicy
½ C unsalted butter, softened
½ C dark brown sugar
¼ C molasses
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 C all-purpose flour
1. In a bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and baking soda until well-blended.
2. Slowly add in cream and then flour, mix until blended
3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, form a log and let chill for at least 30 minutes. I made mine the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight
4. Preheat oven to 375F
5. The recipe says to roll the dough out and cut it with cookie cutter, but I just sliced the log into ¼-inch thick cookies
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are firm

Finally the Spritz cookies
Most people liked these cookies the most. For some reason my dough is a lot tougher and dryer than the ones I usually make, so they were more like shortbread than butter cookies I probably added extra cup of flour…
Spritz cookies don’t usually look like this, this is more like shortbread.
Spritz Cookies
I got the recipe from here
1 C butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened (feel free to use reduced face, but try not to use fat free)
1 C granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
2 ¼ C
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl, sift together flour, salt and cinnamon, set aside
3. In another bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until well-combined.
Add in sugar and egg yolk; beat until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and lemon zest
4. Gradually add in flour mixture, mix until combined, do not over mix.
5. Pipe the dough out into desired shape and bake for 12-15 minutes

However, my dough is not soft enough to pipe; so after ripping two plastic bags, I pressed my dough into a 8-inch pan, lightly score the top and bake them for 20 minutes.
Because the dough was very thick, I took it out after 20 minutes and cut them into cubes and lay them on a baking sheet
and then bake them for another 15 minutes. They were very  yummy!

* These cookies are very fragile when they first came out of the oven, try to let them cool down a but before moving them. (mine were chunky, so I didn’t have to worry about that)
* I used lemon zest instead of orange zest because I had it on hand; it taste perfect.


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