Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.com

I’ve been on a cookie kick lately. In the past two months, I can’t tell you how many Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies I have made (and eaten)! I thought I would change it up completely and put this extra lemon I had to good use, in the form of a cookie! These are simple and very zesty!

To start off, whisk all your dry ingredients in a small bowl and then set it aside. Then using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, you beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.com

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comZest and juice a large lemon, then add the egg, vanilla, lemon juice and zest to the mixer bowl. Beat until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture until completely combined.

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comThe cookie dough will be a little bit sticky.

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comUsing a cookie scoop, make dough balls and then roll in sugar. I used a quarter cup pastel yellow sanding sugar and a quarter cup granulated sugar.

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comPlace sugared dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet one and a half to two inches apart. The cookies will spread quite a bit. Bake until lightly browned around the edges!

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comLet the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Lemon Chewy Sugar Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comThe outer edges are a little bit crispy and the middles are nice and chewy. These cookies are lemony and sweet, and leave a very citrusy after taste! 🙂

Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe

*Makes 26-30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set bowl to the side.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, make cookie dough balls one at a time, and then roll in sugar. Place the dough balls on the lined cookie sheets about one and a half to two inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until edges are just slightly beginning to turn brown. Mine baked for exactly 11 minutes.

Enjoy!

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies via bakeforcoffee.com

The end of 2013/beginning of 2014 was a little crazy, typical holiday fun along with some unexpected travel. Amongst all the craziness, I ate WAY too many sweets! I had vowed I would limit myself… HA! So like many others do, I started the new year with a bit of detoxing. Green smoothies, spinach salads, fruit, etc. Not that I don’t usually eat those things, I just added more of the good stuff and subtracted more of the sweets. Back to the balancing act!

Let’s be real though… I have a passion for baking and a massive sweet tooth that NEVER goes away even when I am trying to eat healthier. Plus I’ve had a craving chocolate chip cookies. So rather than deprive myself from a craving, I decided to make a batch of these S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies, eat a few, give the hubby a few, take pics of a few to share with you guys, then pass the rest on to a friend! Side note: I do not believe in depriving oneself of cravings because it tends to lead to binging, which has much worse consequences mentally and physically than just giving in to small portions. Balance. My opinion based on experience!

When I finally decided to cave into my craving and make chocolate chip cookies, I had been doing an early spring cleaning/after holiday inventory of my baking ingredients. I had leftover marshmallows and graham crackers, that I thought would be great to throw into the mix of the chocolate chip cookies, hence making them S’mores Cookies! Who says S’mores have to be just a summertime treat anyway?

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies via bakeforcoffee.com S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies via bakeforcoffee.com

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix the wet ingredients for about 5 minutes on medium speed. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on medium for about 1 minute.

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comThe mix-ins! Add the marshmallows, chocolate chips and graham crackers to the dough and mix on low to incorporate. Note: I used mini marshmallows cut in half. I highly suggest using Marshmallow Bits instead because the mini puffed marshmallows melted more than I had hoped and carmelized a little on the edges of the cookies.

IMG_4458It took everything in me not to dive in with a spoon! 😉

IMG_4460Using a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and then press down slightly with your fingers on the dough ball to flatten the tops ever so slightly. After all the dough balls are formed, cover the baking sheet with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2+ hours. Chilling them will prevent them from flattening out flat while baking.

IMG_4463After 2+ hours of chilling, remove pan of dough balls from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350°F and line another cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place chilled cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart from each other on the cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. I rotated the cookie sheet at about 4 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies via bakeforcoffee.comBest served warm! Chocolatey, chewy and sweet… craving fulfilled!

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Makes 26-30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped graham crackers (4 full sized sheets)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (one 12 ounce bag)
  • 1 1/4 cups Marshmallow Bits

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until creamed together about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined with wet ingredients, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the graham crackers, chocolate chips, marshmallows and beat momentarily to incorporate, 15-30 seconds.
  4. Using a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and then press down slightly with your fingers on the dough ball to flatten the tops ever so slightly. After all the dough balls are formed, cover the baking sheet with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2+ hours. Chilling them will prevent them from flattening out while baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F and line another cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place chilled cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart from each other on the cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. I rotated the cookie sheet at about 4 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.

ENJOY!

Recipe from Averie Cooks

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookies

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.com

When I first started following baking blogs back in 2009,  I noticed I was drawn to all the blogs geared towards cookies. These talented women were making beautiful sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous a cookie could be, and they made it look soooo easy! I was intrigued and decided to explore the art of cookie decorating. Oh is it an art! I started reading all the techniques involved and tips and tricks such as how thick or thin to make your royal icing depending on if you are outlining the cookie or flooding the cookie, which angle to hold your piping bag or bottle when outlining, making sure the icing doesn’t pipe too fast or too slow etc. After a lot of practice and time spent, I came to the realization that I am not cut out to create those types of beautifully decorated cookies, for a few reasons, one being I have shaky hands and you have to be completely steady when outlining.  I envy all of those that can decorate cookie masterpieces!

With that being said, I have a bazillion cookie cutters and try to get creative with decorating cut out sugar cookies in other ways other than with royal icing. So when I saw this holiday tree cookie   idea and its simplicity, I knew I had to make it! What I love about this cookie, is it is just a simple tree made elegant with it’s snowy tips, which are just dipped in white candy melts! I used my all time go to sugar cookie recipe dyed green then used vanilla CandiQuik to dip the edges of the tree to acheive the “snowy” look. Viola! You then have a beautiful, crisp looking snowy tree sugar cookie! This is another great cookie idea for cookie exchanges, teacher gifts, holiday parties, Santa, etc. And the best part is they don’t take much time to make, which you know I am all about simple and saving you time! This is what I like to call a relaxing recipe, does not require much focus, so you can zone out late at night making these and they will turn out great! 😉

Since the sugar cookie dough recipe is pretty straight forward and simple, I did not include the step by step photos this time.

You literally just whisk the flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl on medium speed with the paddle attachment for a couple of minutes, then add the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and add as many drops of green food color as you like until you achieve the shade of green you want. When all ingredients are combined, and the cookie dough is crumbly, you are ready knead it all together and roll out.

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comGreen cookie dough after I had kneaded it together.

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comRoll dough to the thickness you like on parchment paper, then place rolled cookie dough/parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. The chilled dough will make the trees much easier to cut out and will also help to keep the shape/prevent the dough from spreading while baking.

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comYou don’t have to leave as much space as I did between the cookies, they don’t spread very much at all. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comWhen finished baking, remove from oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet to cool for  about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Heat the candy melts (with the vanilla Candiquik, I heated mine in the microwave in the tray it came in at 50% power for 30 seconds twice, then at 50% power for 15 seconds twice. Stir candy melts in between each time interval until you achieve a liquidy consistency.)  Dip the edges of your cookies in the candy melt, then set cookie on a sheet of wax or parchment paper to dry.

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comOnce the candy melt (snow) has hardened and feels cool to the touch, the cookies are then ready to serve or package up!

Snowy Tree Sugar Cookie Recipe via bakeforcoffee.com

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe

*Makes about 36 cookies. The tree cookie cutter I used is 2 1/2 inches wide and 3 1/4 inches tall.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder by whisking together, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until just combined.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture until just combined. Add a few drops of green food color.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and beat until just combined and crumbly.
  6. Knead the dough together until no longer crumbly and roll out on parchment paper. I rolled mine to about 1/4″ thickness. Put the parchment paper with rolled dough on a cookie sheet and place in freezer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove dough from freezer and cut shapes. Place shapes on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges of cookie brown ever so slightly.
  9. When finished baking, remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  10. Heat candy melts, dip edges of cookies, and let dry on wax/parchment paper. (With the vanilla Candiquik, I heated mine in the microwave in the tray it came in at 50% power for 30 seconds twice, then at 50% power for 15 seconds twice. Stir candy melts in between each time interval until you achieve a liquidy consistency.)
  11. Once candy melt has cooled and hardened on the cookies completely, the cookies are ready to serve or package!

ENJOY!

Mini Gingerbread Houses & GIVEAWAY!

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.com

Last year, we had friends over around the holidays to make gingerbread houses. I had built the houses on foil lined cake boards, and then placed the cake boards on cookie sheets for ease of transporting them. When everyone came over, they had a standing house ready to decorate. We all gathered around the table with more candy and royal icing than we knew what to do with! It was so much fun! We had a bunch of candy left over that we held onto for this year, knowing Ben was going to try and out do his house from last year.  (He plans very early). 😉

A few weeks ago I was at the store scanning the holiday section, and my eyes fixated on a Mini 3-D Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter . Visions of all that leftover candy came rushing to my head, and knowing Ben was going to be building a regular size gingerbread house this year, I thought, well, then I’ll make mini houses! It wasn’t even an option to walk away from that cookie cutter empty handed. So not only did I pick one up for me, but I picked up an extra for one of YOU! This cutter was just way too cute to not share, so  I am going to give one away to one lucky reader!

I will get into the details of the giveaway in a bit, but for now, let’s move onto the Gingerbread recipe! The package that the cutter came on, included a classic gingerbread recipe, so I went ahead and used that one. I was VERY pleased with the results! The dough was very easy to work with and the dough does not expand much at all while baking. Although the finished cookies aren’t very flavorful to eat, they are the perfect texture for building the little houses and decorating!

Start off by preheating your oven to 325°F and spray your cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Slice up your sticks of butter, set aside.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comIn a large saucepan, put the brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently with a wire whisk. About a minute after molasses mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comStir in the baking soda. Once baking soda is combined and the mixture has puffed up, gradually add the butter, stirring after each addition. When butter is completely melted and combined, add the egg, vanilla, and salt. Stir until just combined.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comPour molasses mixture into a large bowl. Add flour gradually, stirring with each addition until just combined.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comWhen flour is just about all the way combined, yet dough feels crumbly, start kneading the dough until it comes together and is no longer sticky.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comThe kneaded ball of dough is ready to roll out and cut! No need to chill dough, it is very easy to work with after kneading it together.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comI rolled out the dough to about 5/16″ thick. Press cutter.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comCut.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comPlace the pieces on the cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake for 10 minutes.

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comWhen finished baking, remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to completely cool before decorating. I added the ruler to show you just how small these pieces are! So cute!

I made the royal icing while the cookies were cooling since I knew I would be decorating them right away. If you are not decorating right away, I suggest making the royal icing right before you decorate the houses since royal icing dries rather quickly. That way you can make the icing, put the icing directly into your piping bags with desired tip sizes, and you don’t have to worry if your previously made icing has dry chunks in it or not. Once you pipe the royal icing onto the houses, it dries completely within a couple of minutes. I will provide a royal icing recipe below, that is specifically for building gingerbread houses. This particular icing holds your gingerbread houses together like super glue. If only you could see what Ben piles onto his roof pieces! I swear his gingerbread houses weigh 20 pounds! 😉 A good royal icing makes all the difference! You don’t want a royal icing that will just chip off, you need “super glue” royal icing!

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.comSo small, it sits in the palm of my hand! Have fun decorating!

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.com

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.com

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.com

Classic Gingerbread Recipe

*Makes 4 dozen cookies using the Mini Gingerbread House Cutter

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently using a wire whisk.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda.
  4. Stir in butter gradually, stirring well in between additions to combine.
  5. Add egg, vanilla extract, and salt to sugar mixture, stirring to combine.
  6. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add flour gradually, stirring to combine.
  7. Knead dough until dough comes together and is no longer sticky.
  8. Roll the dough to about 5/16″ thick on parchment paper or a floured surface. Using the cookie cutter, cut dough and place shapes onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. When cookies are finished baking, remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

Recipe from cookie cutter packaging via goodcook.com

Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses

Ingredients

  • 2.2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
  • 3/4 cup warm water

Directions

  1. Put the meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer, add the water, then hand mix using a whisk for 30 seconds until there are no more lumps.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and hand whisk about 30 more seconds until there are no more lumps.
  3. Pour all the powdered sugar into the mixer bowl with the meringue powder and cream of tartar combination. Place the bowl on your mixer stand, and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 10 minutes. (#2 setting)
  4. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of your mixer bowl and transfer the royal icing to your piping bags fitted with whichever sized tips you prefer. For the mini gingerbread houses, I used a round #5 Wilton tip for building the walls, and a round #3 Wilton tip as well as the #5 tip for decorating. I also cut this royal icing recipe in half for the mini houses.  If you are building a regular size gingerbread house, I suggest using a round #10 Wilton tip for building the walls/decorating.

Recipe from sweetopia.net

Now for the GIVEAWAY! This giveaway contest is now closed. Thank you to those who commented!

ONE of my lucky readers will receive a Mini 3-D Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter!

Mini Gingerbread Houses via bakeforcoffee.com

All you have to do to be entered into this giveaway contest, is leave one comment on this blog post telling me what one of your favorite holiday traditions is! For example, every year, Ben and I make gingerbread houses while watching the Griswold’s Christmas Vacation movie!

This giveaway contest closes on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 8:00pm PST. I will be using random.org to select a winner. I will contact the winner via e-mail as soon as the contest closes so be sure when leaving a comment that the e-mail you provide a valid.  Otherwise, check back here after the contest closes to find out the winner!

GIVEAWAY CONTEST CLOSED! THE RESULT IS IN…

Congrats to Wendy (comment #2)! I will be contacting you via e-mail!

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 5 Result: 2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.com

It’s that time of year, where the hustle and bustle of the  holidays are all around us. The decorating, shopping, wrapping, mailing cards, baking, holiday parties, cookie exchanges, the list goes on and on and on. All of this, amongst our every day obligations, work and families to tend to.

So, how about an easy Shortbread Cookie recipe with a small list of ingredients, that you can roll out in no time at all! There truly is not much to making these cookies, in fact, you spend most of your time cutting them out and adding the sprinkles (the fun part), than you do collecting/measuring ingredients and making the dough.

I find these cookies perfect for Santa’s plate on Christmas Eve, or for that last minute Cookie Exchange party you were invited to but don’t have  a whole lot of time to bake anything extravagant, or as filler for the tray of holiday sweets you are sending to work with your spouse.

I look forward to baking these cookies every year, not only because of the simplicity in making them, but because they aren’t too sweet,  and they literally MELT IN YOUR MOUTH! I’m not kidding! The key ingredient here is the cornstarch, which adds a crumbly yet tender texture to these cookies.

Here’s how to make my Christmas  Shortbread Cookies…

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comStart off by whisking the flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Set aside.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comCut the cold sticks of butter into slices and put the slices into a separate mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on low (#2 setting) until smooth. Don’t over-beat the butter. Add the confectioners sugar to the butter, and cream together.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comAdd the flour mixture to the butter mixture, continuing to beat on low (#2 setting), then add the vanilla extract and salt and beat all ingredients together until just combined. This is about what your dough should look like, a little crumbly, not too creamy.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comBall up the dough, cut a large piece of parchment paper and place on your counter top. Roll dough flat (I rolled out my dough to be about 5/16″ thick) on the parchment paper. Place the parchment paper with rolled out dough on a large cookie sheet, and place in the freezer for 2-3 minutes. (Freezing/cooling the dough will make it much easier to cut the shapes and transfer them to the cookie sheet. Chilling the dough will also help the cookies hold their shape while baking.) Preheat oven to 300°F.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comAfter 2-3 minutes in the freezer, the dough should be ready to cut. I used a 2″ fluted square cookie cutter.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comPlace your cut shapes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill in the freezer again for 1-2 minutes before baking. If you don’t want to add sprinkles to the cookies, they are then ready to bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comI added a holly berry and leaves to each cookie. The sprinkles add such a holiday-ish touch and really dress up the cookies!

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comNow they are ready for the oven! 12 minutes.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comOnce cookies are done, let them cool on the cookie sheet about 5 minutes, then gently transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe via bakeforcoffee.comOnce cookies have cooled completely, they are ready to serve!

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

*Makes 40 two inch square cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cut the cold sticks of butter into slices and put the slices into your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on low (#2 setting) until smooth. Don’t over beat. Add the confectioners sugar to the butter, and cream together.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, continuing to beat on low (#2 setting), then add the vanilla extract and salt and beat all ingredients together until just combined.
  4. Make a dough ball, cut a large piece of parchment paper and place on your counter top. Roll dough flat (I rolled out my dough to be about 5/16″ thick) on the parchment paper. Place the parchment paper with rolled out dough on a large cookie sheet, and place in the freezer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  6. Remove dough from freezer. Using a 2″ fluted square cookie cutter (circle or any shape of your choice), cut your shapes.
  7. Place your cut shapes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Add sprinkles to the cookies if you choose to.  Chill in the freezer again for about 1-2 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes in the oven.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes.
  10. Gently transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Once completely cooled, the cookies are ready to package up or serve!

Variations:

*Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies – use Vanilla Bean Paste instead of the vanilla extract.

*Peppermint Shortbread Cookies – use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract instead of the 1 teaspoon vanilla

ENJOY!

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.com

You know that cozy, fall/winter, holiday-ish feeling you get when sipping hot apple cider? Well, get ready for that feeling, with these cookies! They are warm, with an apple cider bite to them, and filled with melting, caramel goodness! They look simple and plain, but do not be fooled! The flavor will leave you thinking you had just sipped from a mug of hot apple cider, rich with the sweetness of caramel! Hot caramel apple cider in the form of a cookie! Need I say more?

Let’s get started making them…

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comIn a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comNext you will need to cut open your apple cider drink packets. I personally like Alpine’s Spiced Apple Cider. They come in a box of 10.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comWith an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and packets of apple cider drink powder until just combined.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comBeat in the eggs one at a time until just combined. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined. This will look a little glossy and wet.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies vis BakeforCoffee.comUsing a spatula, gradually fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Dough will thicken up, but it is sticky to the touch. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for one hour for easier handling in the next step.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comNow is a good time to preheat your oven, get your cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and unwrap the caramel squares.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comMake dough balls using a cookie scoop or by hand about the size of a walnut.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comPress thumb lightly into the center of the ball to create a well.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comCaramel Apple Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comCaramel Apple Cider COokies via BakeforCoffee.comCover the entire caramel square with your dough back into a ball shape. Try to keep the dough an even thickness all the way around the caramel. Evenly space the cookie dough balls with enough room for the cookies to spread pretty flat while baking. Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 12-13 minutes at 350°F.

The cookies are finished baking when the edges ever so slightly start to brown. Mine took about 12 minutes and 45 seconds. When they are out of the oven, let them stay on the cookie sheet until slightly warm to the touch, not hot. I suggest very gently pulling them up while slowly twisting/rotating at the same time. Some may have oozed caramel on the bottom of the cookie, and with a forceful pull from the parchment paper, your cookie may fall apart (although, you may want one to fall apart… you know, to taste test! 😉 )

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comThese cookies are best served warm! I highly suggest serving these fresh. If they do cool, or you are saving them for later, just heat them in the microwave for about 7-10 seconds to melt the caramel again. Or, if you are drinking a hot drink with them, set the cookie on the edge of your mug and the steam from your drink will heat them perfectly warm again as well.

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.comRich, apple cider flavor, chewy and warm, melty caramel goodness!

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies via BakeforCoffee.com

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Makes 36-40 cookies

*This recipe can be halved.

Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 box (10 packets) Alpine Spiced Cider

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 standard bag of caramel squares (I used Kraft caramels)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, and using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and ten packets of apple cider drink mix packets.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Using a spatula, gradually fold the flour mixture into bowl of wet ingredients (butter/sugar) until just combined.
  • Cover dough, and refrigerate for one hour. The dough is sticky so by chilling it, it has time to harden a bit and will be much easier to work with.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the caramel squares, and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Start making your dough balls by using a cookie scoop, or by hand about the size of a walnut. Lightly press your thumb into the center of the dough ball, creating a well. Place one unwrapped caramel square in center (in the well you made), and then cover the whole caramel square with the dough. Try to make sure your dough is even around the caramel. Evenly place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are ever so slightly starting to brown.
  • When they are out of the oven, let them stay on cookie sheet until slightly warm to the touch. I suggest very gently pulling them up while twisting/rotating at the same time as to.
  • Serve warm, or store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scrambled Henfruit via The Cooking Photograher