Category Archives: Cookies

Chinese 5 spice ginger snaps

For a printable version, click here

Chinese 5 spice ginger snaps

½ c. butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
3-5 Tbsp. hot water

Cream together sugar and butter.  Sift flour and spices together.  Add flour mixture gradually to the sugar and butter.  Mix ½ tsp. baking soda with 3 Tbsp. hot water until dissolved and add it to the flour mixture.  If necessary, add some water, 1 Tbsp. at a time until a dough forms.

For refrigerator cookies, dough can be shaped into a log and wrapped in plastic wrap.  For cut-out cookies, shape dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm.  Slice cookie log into 1/8” slices.  Or roll out dough between two pieces of plastic using bamboo skewers as a thickness guide and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Place cookies on lined or greased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 mins. until golden brown.

Working with fondant

No fail sugar cookies recipe: click here for a printable version
Fondant instructions: click here for a printable version
Cupcake fondant roses: see below

NO FAIL SUGAR COOKIES
(from Kitchen Collectables)

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters.  The dough holds its shape and won’t spread during baking.  Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (e.g., almond)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture.  Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess — Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.  Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator.  Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all.  By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut.  Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process!  An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.


Fondant Instructions
(From the kitchen of Judy Wong)

 Fondant is available at Michael’s, JoAnn’s, and cake decorating stores like Do It With Icing, which is located at 7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd / 858-268-1234 (one block west of 99 Market).

From package, break out a chunk of fondant.  Re-seal package so that the fondant does not dry out.  Knead fondant until workable and roll out onto a silicone sheet, parchment or wax paper.  Use a pair of skewers to keep fondant uniform in size. (It’s optional if you want to lightly dust work surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch.)  Lift and move the fondant as you roll.  This will prevent it from sticking to the surface.

Cookies with fondant:

1. Bake your favorite sugar cookie recipe or use the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe provided above.

2. Cut fondant with same shape cookie cutters as used in your sugar cookies.

3. Brush cookies with shortening.

4. Place cut fondant on top of cookie.  Press to cover to edge of cookie (okay to have some edge of cookie showing).

5. Decorate cookies by adding texture, luster dust, edible pearls, fondant flowers* and piped icing.

Notes about fondant:

— *Fondant flowers can be cut out and shaped ahead of time.  Use piped icing to adhere to decorated cookies.

— Fondant cookies can keep for two weeks.  Best to keep in cellophane bag – not in Tupperware containers.  Do not put fondant cookies or fondant cupcakes in refrigerator.

— Fondant dries quickly.  Always keep covered to prevent drying when in use.  Leftover fondant should be tightly sealed in plastic wrap and kept in airtight container. Fondant has a shelf life of one year, as long as it is covered up.  Its enemy is air.  Do not refrigerate fondant.


Cupcake fondant roses
(From Bakerella)

For roses, cut rolled fondant into strips.  Roll strips and shape into roses.  Place on top of cupcakes.

Classic shortbread (by Lucy Ross Natkiel)


Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)
1 cup flour (unsifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Using the back of a large spoon or electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light. Cream in the powdered sugar, then the vanilla.  Now work in the flour.  Knead the dough on an unfloured board until nice and smooth.  Spray the shortbread pan very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray.  Put the ball of dough in the middle of the pan, and working out from the center, firmly press the dough into the pan.  Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake the shortbread right in the pan at 325 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned.  Be sure that the middle is thoroughly cooked and doesn’t look slightly opaque or the shortbread might stick in the pan.

Let the shortbread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before you loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a wood cutting board.  If the
shortbread does not come right out, hold the pan upside down over the cutting board and firmly tap one edge of the pan against the board.  This should loosen
the shortbread and it should drop out.  Cut the shortbread into serving pieces while it is still warm.

For other shortbread recipes by Lucy Ross Natkiel, visit:
http://shortbreadpan.com/classic-shortbread-recipe.html

Chinese sesame cookies

For a printable version, click here


Chinese sesame cookies

(from the kitchen of Meijean Chan)
Makes 80 – 90 cookies, about 2 inches diameter

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup white sugar (can substitute Splenda)
1/4 cup brown sugar (used dark brown sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 – 1 cup white sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
  2. Using mixer, beat butter, shortening, white and brown sugars.  Add the egg and almond extract, and beat until blended.  Add the flour mixture (in 2 or 3 portions) and mix well.  The dough is moist.
  3. Using your hands form the dough into 4 rolls or logs approximately 6-7 inches long.  Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 4 hours or longer (preferably overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Pour some toasted sesame seeds into a small bowl (e.g. rice bowl).
  6. Take one log at a time from refrigerator and slice into 20-24 slices.  Roll each slice into a small ball and roll ball in sesame seeds to cover.  I used a small spoon rather than my fingers.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean and they easily lift from the baking sheet.  Let cool for a couple of minutes before placing on cookie racks to cool completely.  Cool thoroughly before storing in a container.

Estimated cost:  $4.00

Approximate time:

  1. Thirty minutes to prepare dough.
  2. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to shape cookies and to bake.