Northwest NEWS

November 30, 1998

Home & Garden

Dining In: Sweet treats for the holidays

gingerbread men

Gingerbread men make perfect holiday gifts.

Orange Gingerbread Men

   1 package (14 oz.) gingerbread mix
   Grated peel of 1 orange
   1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
   Decorating icing, redhots, and raisins

   In a large bowl, combine gingerbread mix, orange peel, and juice; mix well. Knead dough lightly to thoroughly blend in gingerbread mix. Cover and chill 1 hour. On lightly floured board, roll dough, one half at a time, to 1/8-inch thickness, cut with floured gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove and cool on wire racks. Decorate as desired. Makes 8 to 10 gingerbread men.

Hanukkah Cut-Out Cookies

   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. butter, softened
   1/4 c. honey
   1 egg yolk
   1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
   1 tsp. baking powder
   Decorator sugars
   Decorator frosting

   In a large mixer bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). Add honey and egg yolk. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce to low speed; add flour and baking powder. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, just until mixed (1 minute). Cover; refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Heat oven to 400 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle with colored sugars. Bake for 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely. Decorate with frosting. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Snowman Cookies

   8 Tbsp. butter, softened
   2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   1/4 c. granulated sugar
   1 egg
   1 tsp. vanilla
   3/4 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 tsp. baking soda
   1/4 tsp. salt
   2 1/2 c. oats
   Icing in tubes
   Candy sprinkles and small candies

   Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add butter mixture; mix well. Stir in oats, mix well. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Pat each portion of dough into a 1/4-inch thick snowman shape on a cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden grown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; carefully remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Decorate as desired. Makes 4 jumbo oatmeal cookies.

The Best Butter Cookies

   2 c. butter, room temperature
   1 1/2 c. sugar
   2 eggs
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   5 c. all-purpose flour
   2 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt

   Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cream butter in a large mixer bowl. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture; mix well. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll one portion of dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shaped with floured cookie cutters. Place on unbuttered cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or just until cookies begin to brown around edges. Cool completely on wire racks, decorate as desired. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate-Dipped Moons

   1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
   1 c. butter, softened
   1 egg
   1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
   2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
   1 tsp. cream of tartar
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1 (12 oz.) package (2 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
   1 Tbsp. shortening
   Powdered sugar

   Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar and butter. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and almond extract; continue beating until mixed well. Reduce speed to low; add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Continue beating until well-mixed. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls into 2-inch ropes, shape into half-moons. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. (Cookies do not brown.) Cool completely.
   In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth (2 to 3 minutes). Dip half of each cookie into chocolate; let stand on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets until chocolate is set. Sprinkle remaining half with powdered sugar. Store between sheets of waxed paper in covered containers. Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.