COOKIES – NORTH AMERICANS LOVE TO ENJOY
North Americans eternal love for cookies continues unabated. Those who cherish the full flavour and texture of lovingly baked cookies prefer to bake their own.
There are literally hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of brands in the marketplace, but none can compete with competently home-baked cookies using the best and purest ingredients.
The ingredients of the dough must be the best quality available to ensure purity and mouth feel.
On high altitudes baking times must be adjusted accordingly to compensate for atmospheric pressure.
Always bake in a hot oven using the centre of the middle rack.
All cookies must be uniform both in size, shape, and thickness, to guarantee uniform texture and appearance.
Once retrieved from the oven and cooled, cookies should be stored in an airtight container and in a dry place to prevent staleness.
There are several basic dough recipes that can be altered to suit individual tastes once a particular recipe has been mastered.
Sugar Cookie Dough (Basic recipe)
½ cup butter, unsalted, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, and vanilla and beat until everything is well combined.
Sift together baking powder and flour. Add to the butter mixture and stir until dough forms.
Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper, and using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of three millimetres, or 1/8 of an inch.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the dough is firm.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies and bake in a 350 F (150 C) oven for 10 – 12 minutes until golden at the edges.
Cornmeal And Currant Cookies
Yield – 50 cookies
1 recipe of Sugar Dough Basic Recipe
½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup dried currants
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
Sprinkle cornmeal, currant and lemon rind over dough and stir until just combined.
Follow instructions of basic sugar dough.
Date and fig pinwheels
Yield- 50 cookies
1 Sugar Cookie Dough Basic Recipe
1 cup dried figs, stems removed and quartered
¼ cup white wine
1 cup dried pitted dates
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup honey
1 tsp grated orange rind
Proceed as directed in basic sugar dough. Cut the dough into two rectangles and chill for 30 minutes.
Place figs in small pan with white wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
Place dates, walnuts, honey and orange rind in a bowl; add fig and mush to form a paste.
Spread fig mixture over one sheet and roll into a tight log. Repeat with second.
Using a sharp knife cut log into 5 millimetre (1/4 “) slices. Bake on parchment paper for 12 minutes
Short Bread Cookie Dough (Basic Recipe)
Yield – 24
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat until creamy.
Add flour and salt and stir until flour is absorbed, and crumbly.
Knead dough together gently, and gather into a ball.
Roll out into two sheets of 5 mm. thickness. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 300 F (130 F).
Using a cookie cutter, cut dough. Place cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 –22 minutes.
Apricot, Ginger and Almond Tartlets
Yield – 28
1 Recipe Shortbread Cookie Dough Basic Recipe
2 large egg whites
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped candied ginger
1 cup blanched sliced almonds
Roll dough into two ¼ “ (5 mm.) sheets
Cut dough into slices and place them into the well of a mini-muffin pan. Press dough to spread out to the edges with a slight depression. Prick each piece with a fork.
Bake for 18 minutes until bases are golden brown on edges.
Combine egg whites and brown sugar in a medium bowl and whisk. Add apricots, ginger, and almonds and toss.
Please a heaping tablespoon of mixture into each shortbread base, spreading it out to the edges.
Bake for 14 minutes until almonds are lightly toasted.
Allow tartlets to cool in pan.
Remove, using the tip of a sharp knife.
Pecan Butter Balls
Yield- 24 cookies
1 Recipe Shortbread Cookie dough Basic Recipe
1 cup finely chopped pecans
¼ cup sifted icing sugar
Gather dough into a ball and form into a log of 2.5 cm. (1”) in diameter.
Wrap in wax paper and chill for 30 minutes.
Form 2.5 cm. (1”) balls.
Place 2/5 cm (1”) apart on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes.