2023 Christmas cookies!

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pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
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4,811
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I'm not baking yet, but I did get started making the dough! I made the hot gingersnaps first, then put everything in the DW, and after all that dries, I'll get started on things that won't "flavor" things I make in the FP after, like the vanilla sables, and TN icebox, and finish with the sesame cookies, then do a half load in the DW, while I eat my leftovers for dinner. Then later do any chocolate cookies I'm making. The snickerdoodles (I have at least 3 kinds of those!) I'll have to make the night before baking - I'll have find out when my helper(s) will be over.

One of the "new" snickerdoodles I'll be making is the oatmeal snickerdoodles (which I've made for decades), with rolled barley instead of oats. It seems the barley is preferred to the oats in a few things I've tried them in, when I had people try them.
The dry ingredients for 4 batches of hot gingersnaps, one in the FP, ready to add the butter and molasses to. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The dry ingredients ground up with the butter, and the molasses added, in the FP, then mixed with nuts, by hand. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The first log of hot gingersnap dough, ready to even out in the waxed paper. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

4 batches of hot gingersnap dough, ready to freeze. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
then put everything in the DW,

No matter how many appliances I run thru in my head - all I can come up with is Dish Washer.!
 
Yeah, I've learned FP, :blush:.
So I take it you are you putting them in the DW for temporary storage, to clear the counters for more work space?

I know I'm being a bit dense - think I'm a bit tired, LOL, at least I hope that's all it is and not a permanent condition.
 
Yeah, I've learned FP, :blush:.
So I take it you are you putting them in the DW for temporary storage, to clear the counters for more work space?

I know I'm being a bit dense - think I'm a bit tired, LOL, at least I hope that's all it is and not a permanent condition.
I think he's just putting the stuff that got dirtied in the dishwasher, so it can get clean for re-use.
 
That's exactly why, TL - the reason I put them through the DW, several times instead of just once, is because of the different types of dough can carry over to another type. The spicy stuff, especially, but the sesame oil is another, and the chocolate has to start with a clean container, and the bits and pieces of the oats can show up in a plain dough - a little always sticks to the blades, etc. unless you clean it every time, which is not an option when making as many as I do!. So I always do these in some sort of order, ending with one of the messy ones last, and all the chocolate ones get done in a row. That's getting done today.
 
I knew you would know that one, dragn! :LOL:

Today was the day to make some chocolate cookie dough, using Dutch cocoa in all these, since they are made in the food processor. I figured out that I used 4¼ c in the 7 recipes, which is just over a pound. I had to refill my cocoa container after the first 4, so I got a bag of the Saco cocoa I had in my pantry - a brand I tested with 4 others several years ago, by just making a simple brownie recipe, and plain hot cocoa, and even though it was a little lighter than a couple others, it was the best tasting of the 5, in both the brownies and hot cocoa. I took the bag and cocoa container out on my deck, to refill it, because of the cloud of cocoa dust I knew I'd get! I hate seeing all that cocoa going to waste, but I really didn't want it to be settling in my house! I get enough from the dry ingredients when making the dough. :LOL:
Cookie compost! lol by pepperhead212, on Flickr

These chocolate orange cookies I made with the same basic recipe from the Wienerstube, without the spices, but with orange zest. And this time, I tried something new, though I don't know if I will notice it - a tb of Grand Marnier, as a flavoring. I'll let you know how it turns out.
The dry ingredients for the chocolate orange cookies, with the zest from 2 mandarins added. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

7 chocolate cookies - Wiennerstube, chocolate orange, chocolate coconut nut, and chocolate sables. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

After eating dinner (more leftovers), I put away all the dried dishes, and now I can make a mess again! I just got my rolled barley, to make some of the same cookies I've been making over 30 years with oats - now I make some with each, so people can sample them, side by side, and more often than not, they like the barley more. There is another oatmeal bar that I make, that is almost like a candy, that I have to try with the barley.

I just thought of something I might do tonight, instead of making more dough - make some browned butter for the dough. Something I do with a few of the recipes every year. Just brown some butter, cool, then add milk, to bring the weight back up to a lb (or however much I started with, and beat it in, until emulsified. Once chilled, it can be used just like regular butter.
 
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Here's that browned butter I made - 24 oz of it. When making ghee, I let it get to about the same temp - 280-285° - but with the ghee I let it stick to the bottom of the saucepan (and filter the rest out), while with this I start stirring around 255° with the silicone spatula, and keep it from sticking on the bottom, so those particles remain suspended, and stay in the browned butter.
Browned butter, poured into a metal bowl, to cool, before adding milk back to it. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

browned butter, with the 4 oz of milk added to bring it back to 24 oz. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The browned butter, down to about 84 degrees, when it thickens and emulsifies, which is when I measure it out. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
I made 6 more logs of dough today with that browned butter. Those Tennessee icebox cookes, with the light brown sugar are good with it, and the oatmeal icebox, with half white and half dark brown sugar, are also really good with the browned butter, like a really strong butterscotch flavor, and I made two of each of those, and two with the barley flakes, in place of the oats. This brought the total to 23 batches - the most I've made since before the pandemic started. And I haven't even gotten to the snickerdoodles yet.

Here's that browned butter, showing how I cut it up just like regular sticks of butter, and the moisture has been put back into it.
Chilled browned butter, unmolded and ready to cut up for the cookie dough. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Browned butter chopped up into the dry ingredients of the oat cookies, ready to chop into it. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

6 more logs of cookie dough, all these with browned butter. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
Pepper, I just realized I was looking at your FP when you talked and showed the various ingredients for mixing.

So you use your FP to mix all your doughs rather than a stand mixer?
 
dragn, I don't use the FP for all the doughs, just these ones I'm making into logs, for those icebox cookies (really freezer cookies!). The method for doing it is simple: the dry ingredients go into the FP (flour, sugar, salt, soda, spices), and it's mixed briefly, until blended, then I cut up the chilled butter into about half inch pieces, and drop into the dry ingredients. Then pulse several times, to break it up, then turn it on maybe 10 seconds, to blend it a lot finer, then take a spatula - one of those firm ones, not the flexible - and scrape around the base of the bowl (seems flour builds up there a little), then run it, until the butter is totally ground up into the dry ingredients. Then, gradually pour in an egg, beaten up with the vanilla (usually the liquids) slowly through the hole in the FP lid, while pulsing the FP. Then scrape around one more time, pulse a few more times, and the dough will start to come together, then dump it into a 4 qt bowl (what I use for a single recipe), on top of any other things, like nuts or oats, and work it in by hand. Still being cool, the dough is easy to work into a log - the ones with oats, and especially the barley flakes, are sticky, since they are absorbing the egg slower, but I work quickly with those, getting them on the waxed paper, and working it through the paper. If you did these recipes with a mixer, and room temp ingredients, it would be very sticky, and you'd have to spoon it onto the waxed paper in a line, and work with it though the paper. Much easier with the FP. The snickerdoodles and similar cookies, I do in the mixer.
 
Super thanks! Hopefully I'll get around to some cookies and I will be trying that for sure! My FP is much handier than the big mixer upstairs and my old stand mixer (60+ yrs) - well, not sure if the old gal would be up to cookies anymore.
 
@dragnlaw I don't think I posted this to anyplace here, but here are 12 of the recipes I use on a regular basis - not all are icebox cookies, but most are, and you can see quickly how they are made. I got almost all of my recipes from Maida Heatter's books - all those books on "greater" cookies, desserts, and everything sweet! (At least 7, maybe 8 of her books I have). I tweaked them, to my method, but most ingredients were not changed. The snowballs and pine nut cookies are made in the FP, even though those are not "slice and bake".
 
Golly-gee-whilikers! Thanks pepper. Have made note of all.

ps - I had joined Flicker quite awhile ago - just to see your photo's! LOL,

pps - Go to the $-$tore (I'm assuming you have them there) and get some 'sleeves' for those recipes in your binder. Got 50 for $3.00. That's what I use for my recipes to keep them from spatters and smearing the print.

20231209_074243.jpg 20231209_074754.jpg
 
I know what you're talking about, with those sleeves, but I have so many pages in that "blue book" (my favorite recipes, mostly hand written), and not quite as many in my "black book" (fav Asian recipes), that I'd have to make another notebook! There aren't that many pages I've messed up, and in my early days, so the ink wouldn't smear, if I got something on it, I used a pen with India ink in it! Talk about obsessive...
 
Oh my, I didn't mean for each page! LOL
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I only use them on the ones I'm doing or want to do, etc. Not in my binders - I'd need another bookshelf. I may have about 6 or 8 going at any one time. When I give a recipe to someone I put it in a sleeve. Hence having so many. Also use them for many other projects on the go.
 

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