Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cookie Exchange

I'm back! Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? I hope you had lots and lots of yummy food. If you have any must-have recipes from the holiday, send them my way.

The Christmas season has just begun and I've already participated in two different cookie exchanges. So since you, faithful readers, may also be asked to participate in such an event, I am posting my 4 favorite cookie recipes with which you may impress all your friends.

The best part is that this week's Guest Chef is the lovely and always entertaining, Shauri Quinn. My very own sister. Author of the ever popular blog, Spin-ster Stories. Hopefully some of her readers made it over so they can see that in addition to her talents in film, photography, writing, and embarrassing moments, she makes a mean oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Oh, another talent. She is the best gift giver I know. A few Christmases ago she made me a fabulous cookbook called Delsa's Delights with all of my favorite recipes from my mom. A book which I consult weekly for this very blog. So without further ado... I give to you: Shauri Quinn!

Aunt Carolee's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Guest Chef Shauri Quinn

Golden brown on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with gooey-melty chocolate chips and a little kick of salt. It's the ultimate answer to PMS: a little chocolate, a little salt. Everyone loves the classic chocolate chip cookie, but this one is over the moon, die and go to heaven delicious. Not to puffy, not too flat.

Truth be told, this cookie only recently entered my consciousness in the past couple of years. I made it once and it was so delicious that Lisa, my sister-in-law, insisted I make them on a weekly basis. Every time we got a craving, she told me that I had to make them because no one else could make them as good as I could. I totally bought it because I am a bit of an ego-maniac which she shamelessly targeted, but I just tasted them at her house recently and noted no difference whatsoever, so rest assured that if you give these babies a whirl they'll be equally delicious.

One important note - only bake them for 10 minutes and let them bake a bit on the pan out of the oven. This is something Lisa insisted up on and I eventually owned was a good decision (internally - never to her out loud). AND put the leftovers in the freezer and pull them out as you eat them with a 30 second zip in the microwave for a fresh just out of the oven taste.

1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 c flour
1 1/2 c oatmeal
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar, brown sugar and shortening. Add the next 7 ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake 10 minutes.

Peanut Butter Candy Cookies

This recipe comes from some recipe booklet my mom bought in the check out line one day. I can't even tell you the name because the cover has been ripped off. What I can tell you is that they made my favorite cookies list.

3/4 c Chunky Peanut Butter
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 c quartered miniature peanut butter cups
1/3 c milk chocolate chips
1 small plastic bag

  1. Beat peanut butter and butter in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in sugar, baking powder and baking soda until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended. Beat in flour at low speed just until mixed. Stir in peanut butter cups. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form 1/4 cup dough into a 1/4-inch-thick disc.
  3. Place dough on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
  4. Place chocolate in small resealable plastic freezer bag; seal bag. Microwave at MEDIUM 2 minutes, turning bag once. Knead bag until chocolate is smooth. Cut off tiny corner of bag; pipe chocolate onto cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Chewy Cinnamon Cookies

My friend Andrea recommended the blog Kitchen Addiction to me and I'm loving it. This girl is hardcore. She comes up with her own recipes and I have been loving the ones I've tried. My favorite are her Chewy Cinnamon Cookies.

Peanut Blossoms

My mom would make these cookies every December along with her Christmas candy. Actually, knowing her, she was probably done with them in October. But in any event, she would put everything out in the freezer so it would be fresh for Christmas.

Enter Kristin. I would then sneak out to the freezer in the garage and sneak as many cookies and candy as possible before I estimated she would start to notice. And to this day, I prefer my Peanut Blossoms frozen.

1 3/4 c flour
1 t soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c peanut butter
1 egg
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
24 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven at 375. Combine all ingredients except for candy. Mix at low speed until dough forms. Shape dough into 24 balls. Roll balls in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes. Top each cookie immediately with candy kiss. Press down firmly so cookie cracks around edges.