Friday, December 09, 2011

Christmas Favorites

It's that time of year again. Sometime soon, I will gather in a kitchen with my mom and Little Sister and we'll bake up a storm. In the past, I've shared recipes for some of our favorites. Oreo Truffles always go over well. The Kiss Mice are fun for kids to make. This year, I'm sharing another one I love. I sent these to my editor this summer as a thank you for rescuing my book from slush. I can't say I've gotten preferential treatment, but it sure didn't hurt. These cookies rock.

I've struggled to find a good oatmeal cookie recipe. The one in my kitchen bible (AKA the red and white Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook) always came out hard and crumbly. I wanted soft, decadent oatmeal cookies. And I found them. I can't take credit for these... they're Paula Deen... but that means you know they're good.

Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (Optional - I left them out and it was fine, just added more raisins)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Brown Butter Icing.
Brown Butter Icing
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.

If you're thinking for even a moment that you might skip the brown butter icing - don't! It MAKES the cookie. Seriously. Got any Christmas favorites to share? I love picking up new recipes. If you don't have your recipes handy - what's your favorite Christmas treat?

SP

6 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

I love quick breads and here are two of my faves for Christmas.

PUMPKIN-NUT BREAD
3 C. Bisquick
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmet
1 C. chopped nuts (can be left out)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl til well blended. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or til done. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Great served with cream cheese.

ZUCCHINI-NUT BREAD

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp each of baking soda, baking powder and salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1/2 cupped chopped walnuts or other nuts (can be left out)
1 medium zucchini shredded (about 1 cup)

Blend flour, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In medium bowl beat eggs and sugar well until blended. Beat in oil. Stir in nuts and zucchini, and then the flour mixture just until blended. Turn into a greased 8 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 1 hour or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. OR bake in 2 mini loaf pans for 40 - 45 minutes or til pick comes out clean.

YUM!

Instigator said...

I'm not a fan of oatmeal cookies, but I think I'd eat these just for the icing.

Insti

Virginia said...

Sounds really good I make a cookie like this. I have a recipe to where you can put the cookie mix in a jar and give as a gift, works really well.

Angel said...

One go to recipe we keep the ingredients on hand for at holiday time are 7 layer bars (we call them Hello Dollies - I'm not sure why). :)

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick margarine or butter
1sm. can coconut
6 oz chocolate chip morsels
6 oz butterscotch morsels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Some people add pecans or walnuts


Melt the butter in the bottom of a baking dish then sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs to form the crust, then layer all the ingredients on top saving the cond. milk for last. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Gooey every time!

PM's Mother said...

You've seen the rest -- now here is "The Best"! A real Holiday Treat.

FRUIT COOKIES
(Makes 6 - 7 dozen)

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees farenheit.

1 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups chopped mixed candied fruit
2 cups chopped dates

Combine shortening, sugar, eggs and buttermilk.

Sift dry ingredients together and stir into mixture.

Add nuts, dates and fruit.

Batter will be stiff.

Drop by heaping teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet (1 inch apart)

Bake at 300 degrees F 10 to 12 minutes

You can bake this batter in mini-muffin pans lined with paper cups and bake for 18 - 20 minutes. When cool, drizzle a little brandy or bourbon on them (optional)

You will like these cookies even if you don't like fruit cake. I promise!

Shana Smith said...

I can vouch for the fact that these oatmeal cookies are delicious (and very soft)! I refused to share them with any of my coworkers. :)