Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cookie Success

Here are the cookie recipes from our annual TT cookie exchange. YUM, YUM! I'm sorry I couldn't get a picture of everyone's cookies!

Butter Cookie Thumbprints
aka Mrs.. Gangel's Thumb Cookies

Baked by Kathy


3/4 lb butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3 cups flour
Preheat oven at 350.


Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and mix well.
Add flour and mix well.
Form small balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet and press down with thumb.
Fill indent with jam or jelly.
Bake 10 minutes or until bottom of cookie edge barely browns.

Note from Kathy "At my first wedding shower each guest was asked to bring a favorite recipe as part of the gift. This recipe came from our next door neighbor. I can still remember her having the cookies lined up on her kitchen table as she made them for every xmas season".


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Baked by Jill

Preparation 15 min / cooking 16 min /yields 12 (1 dozen) cookies.
Note: I made the cookies a little smaller. Recipe doubled made about 3 dozen


1 3/4 cups (10 oz pkg) Nestle' Chocolatier 53 % Cacao Dark Chocolate Chunks, divided (I couldn't find so I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/'2 teaspoon salt
1/2 (1stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Parchment paper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line Baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt 2/3 cups chunks in microwave-safe bowl on high power (100%) for 45 seconds; STIR. Chunks may retain some of their original shape. Microwave at additional 10 to 15 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, mixing just until blended, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining chunks. Drop dough by level 1/4 cup measure 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs and the tops have a cracked appearance. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.


Swirled Surprise Cookies

Baked by Theresa


* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup quick oats
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestle Chocolate/Vanilla Swirled Morsels, divided
* 1/2 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, oats, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 3/4 cup SWIRLED™ Morsels. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

ROLL dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. If dough balls become warm, refrigerate until firm.

BAKE for 8 to 10 minutes or until sides are set. Press 1/2-inch deep and quarter-size wide pockets into centers of cookies with back of small spoon. Fill pockets with remaining SWIRLED™ Morsels while cookies are still warm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PLACE milk chocolate morsels in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 30 seconds; knead to mix. Microwave at additional 10-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut a small hole in corner of bag; squeeze to drizzle over cookies.


Fudgy Bonbons

Baked by Patty


1 - 12oz pkg (2-cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts if desired (I did not use)
1 teaspoon vanilla
60 milk chocolate candy kisses or white & chocolate-striped candy kisses, unwrapped
2 oz. white baking bar or vanilla flavored candy coating (I actually used white make & mold candy waffers)
1 teaspoon shortening or oil


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate chips and butter; cook and stir over very low heat until chips are melted and smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk; mix well.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In a medium bowl, combine flour, nuts, chocolate mixture and vanilla; mix well. Shape 1 tablespoon of dough around each candy kiss, covering completely. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes. Cookies will look shiny but become firm as they cool. Do not overbake. Remove from cookie sheets and cool.

In a small saucepan, combine white baking bar and shortening; cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. (If you used the white make & mold waffers, you just have to melt these in the microware. I just put the melted waffers in a baggy and cut a small piece out of the corner and drizzled over the cookies that way.) Drizzle over cookies. Store in tightly covered container. Makes 5 dozen cookies. I had doubled the recipe for the cookie exchange.


Grandma's Old Fashion Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
Baked By Kelly


* 1 cup shortening
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs well beaten
* 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cup flour
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
* 3 cups oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
* 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
* 1 cup raisins (optional)


Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add raisins and nuts. Add oats last.

Spoon out by rounded tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


Kolache Cookies

Baked by Debbie


Cookie Dough:

1 pound butter
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound flour (4 cups)

Nut Filling:

2 pounds walnuts, ground
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg whites, beaten


Place butter, cream cheese and flour in a mixing bowl and mix by hand. Divide dough into 4 parts and chill. Mix together filling; adding milk gradually, using enough to make a stiff paste. Roll out one part of dough very thin, using powdered sugar instead of flour. Sift it on dough as you roll. Cut crosswise to form 2-inch squares. Place a heaping teaspoon of nut mixture into center of squares. Roll each corner to opposite corner and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 F. for 7 to 10 minutes. (Don't overbake!) Sift with powdered sugar. (These freeze well) (Yields: 200 cookies)


M&M Cookies
Baked by Karen


1 cup packed brown sugar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag M&M candies


1. In a large bowl, mix sugars, eggs, shortening and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add M&M candies.

2. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes.


Peanut Blossoms
Baked by Lisa


1 ¾ flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
sugar to roll dough balls in
48 - 60 chocolate kisses


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix at low speed until stiff dough forms.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar
4. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets
5. Bake at 375 for 10-to-12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Immediately top each cookie with 1 candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge.
7. Remove from cookie sheets.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
Recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray

Baked by Cathy


1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
Two 3.5-ounce bars dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes or candies


1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt; add to the mixer about one-third at a time, beating at low speed until smooth.

2. Lay a 16-inch sheet of parchment paper on a work surface; turn out the dough onto the paper. Using your hands, shape the dough into a 12-inch-long cylinder; wrap tightly in the parchment and roll into a smooth, even log. Twist the ends to seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes; reshape the cylinder and refrigerate for 30 minutes more.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°; line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough; using a sharp knife, slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Place about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets; bake until firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

4. In a bowl, combine two-thirds of the chopped chocolate with the oil; microwave for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. (If needed, heat for additional 10-second intervals.) Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate until smooth.

5. Using an offset spatula, spread a scant teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of each cookie. Sprinkle the peppermints on top and let stand until set, 2 to 3 hours.


Lemon Stars
Baked by Kathi-Anne

Waiting for recipe ...

Enjoy & Happy Holidays from all of us at
Taste Tempters!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Appetizer Recipes

This month was my turn to host Decembers TT outing. Our tradition is to have a cookie swap. The host prepares appetizers, dinner or what ever she has time for. This year I prepared appetizers for our swap....

Marinated Mushrooms

Prepared by Debbie

1 cup water
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon onion powder


1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
2.In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, thyme, salt, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, parsley and onion powder. Add mushrooms and toss until coated. Chill in marinade overnight, and reheat to serve.


BBQ Kielbasa Bites

Prepared by Debbie

  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Note: I doubled the recipe for the cookie swap.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Annual Cookie & Ornament Exchange

Tonight was our annual Taste Tempters cookie & ornament swap. Almost every member was able to attend tonight. Yippy! Everyone is SOooo busy this time of year so it was nice to hang out for a few hours and get a chance to take a breath and enjoy ourselves.

Our appetizers consisted of Mock Swedish Meatballs, BBQ Kielbasa bites, Winter Grape Salad, Marinated Mushrooms, and Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Panini.

And the star food of the night was our Christmas cookies .. Butter Cookie Thumbprints, Oatmeal, Fudgy Chocolate Bonbons, Kolache, Chocolate Swirl, Lemon Stars, Peppermint Chocolate Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, and M&M cookies.

I will be posting our recipes soon so check back .....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Cookies Cookies !!!

Tomorrow night is out Taste Tempters Annual Cookie & Ornament Swap. My kids couldn't wait so we made a few of our family traditional cookies last weekend.

Granny's Cut-Out Cookies
Cream Together:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar

Blend In:
1 Egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sift & Add:
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 cup flour

Roll, Cut, and bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes (cooking time depends on how thick you roll out the dough. You want them to be a very light golden color on the bottom). I frost them and then freeze them. They seem to taste better after they freeze.

And you can never have too many Peanut Butter Blossoms:

  • 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

Leave us a comment and let us know about your family cookie traditions.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Cookie Swap

It's that time of year again! Our annual Christmas Cookie & Ornament Swap will be on December 22nd at Deb's house.

What is a cookie swap?

Traditionally the way we do it is that a host will plan and coordinate a cookie swap party and then host a get-together, so everyone can trade packs of cookies. In some cases, everyone brings extra cookies for the swap, and everyone gets to sample the cookies at the swap/party. The host has the option to provide food & drinks for the swap. It can be whatever you have time for!

During our cookie party we also do an exchange of Christmas ornaments with each other. It adds a very nice touch to our gathering and each year we get to hang up or ornaments that we have received from each other over the years.

Want to host a cookie swap?

This is a great way to get a nice variety of cookies without doing all the baking yourself! Check out these places for ideas:
Cooking Light Cookie Swap
Betty Crocker (Take the cookie poll while you're there)
Martha Stewart Cookie Swap
Old Fashion Living
Domino Sugar


What's Paula got cookin'

Old Fashion Living Recipes
Southern Food
Baking Delights (50 Best recipes on the net)

Let us know of any other good cookie recipes websites or blogs out there by leaving a comment here.

Check back after the holidays to see what we baked up for our swap. Happy Holidays!