Sunday, December 6, 2009

Something Old, Something New, Cookies - Cookies, Just for You!

I love holiday baking - do you? This weekend I baked two big batches of cookies - one new recipe that I've been planning to try for several years and one old recipe that is a favorite of many on our cookie gift list. Let's talk about the new recipe first - Mocha Almond Cookies.

They're very pretty as you can see. It's an easy recipe that is also fast - the only time consuming thing is rolling the cookies into balls and then rolling them in sugars (granulated, then powdered). I think kids would love rolling these - rolling them in granulated sugar first keeps the powdered sugar suspended and as they bake it cracks revealing the yummy chocolateness beneath! Here's the recipe:

Mocha Almond Cookies (from Martha Stewart's Holidays book)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (you won't be sorry if you use good chocolate here!)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (I used Kahlua)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped or ground
Extra sugar, for rolling
Sifted confectioners' sugar, for rolling

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stir in liqueur; keep mixture warm.
  2. In separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Stir in chocolate mixture.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture.
  4. Stir in almonds. Chill dough until firm.
  5. Roll into one-inch balls (another great use for a small scoop) and chill for 10 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 325.
  7. Roll balls first in granulated sugar then in confectioners' sugar, coating well.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on rack.
Leah's notes: These cookies are better the second day - more moist and more chocolaty. These are a good choice for mailing/packing/exchanging as they don't crumble and are rather 'sturdy'.

Now on to the sugar cookies - this recipe makes the best sugar cookies I've ever tasted. It's easy, easy, easy and the cookies are light and crunchy with just a hint of almond.

And, if you're in a hurry (as we often are at the holidays, right?) you can use this dough with a cookie press and have five dozen cookies baked in an hour. Sometimes I do roll these out and decorate them, but often I use a cookie press (you don't even have to chill the dough!). As you know, cookie press cookies lose a bit of their shape during baking, but they're still very cheery and extremely tasty! (And some cookie press shapes are better than these trees - wreaths are a great choice.)

Queen Street Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (yes, this is the secret to the yumminess!)
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (I use self-rising; if using all-purpose add 1 t. baking soda & 1 t. cream of tartar)

  1. Mix butter and sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.
  2. Stir in flour.
  3. Chill at least three hours. Roll to 3/16" and cut into desired shapes.
  4. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 7 to 8 minutes.
Leah's notes: Do not chill if using a cookie press, just press and bake immediately after mixing. Sugar cookies are best if they don't brown, so remove from oven as soon as cooked. You can sprinkle with sprinkling sugar before or after baking.

Happy Baking!


  1. Those chocolate cookies look fabulous. Are they moist and chewy like crinkle cookies?

  2. These look great! Didn't do any Christmas baking this weekend (but did some decorating!!). Next weekend though and perhaps I can try these.

  3. OOOOHHHH! Those mocha almond cookies look delicious - I'm adding that recipe to my list of holiday cookies to bake. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for stopping by! Christine - no, these aren't chewy - the texture is more like a wedding cookie, but not as dry. Cheers!


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