Almond Horns

If you didn’t know, almond is one of my favorite flavors when it comes to dessert. Give me an Almond Croissant for breakfast and I am a happy camper – although that’s not really a dessert item, but, it could be. LOL! Since I am a fan of almond I regularly get the Odense Newsletter that features recipes using their almond paste. In their latest newsletter they had a recipe for Almond Horns that were super simple, I had most of the ingredients on hand and I figured it was time to bake something sweet.

To make the dough I broke the almond paste into small pieces and added it to the bowl of my food processor along with confectioners’ sugar. I mixed the two until it was the texture of fine crumbs. I then added in an egg white (reserving the yolk) and almond flour. I continued mixing the dough until it became a smooth paste.

Next I turned the dough onto my counter that I dusted with confectioners’ sugar and rolled the dough into a 12-inch log and then divided it into 12 equal pieces and rolled each piece into a ball.

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After that I rolled the balls into 3-inch logs that were slightly tapered toward the ends.

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I added water to the reserved yolk and beat the two and spread thinly sliced almonds, which I crushed slightly, on a plate.

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I then dampened the logs in the egg yolk and rolled them in the almonds bending them into crescents and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet that I then placed in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

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While the Almond Horns were in the refrigerator I preheated the oven to 350F. After the 20 minutes, I baked them for 14 minutes and then let them cool completely on a wire rack.

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Once they were cooled I melted bittersweet chocolate and dipped the ends of the horns in.

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These are so good and so easy and quick to make. The outside is crispy while the inside is moist and chewy.

 

Almond Horns

Ingredients:

1 box Odense almond paste, broken into small pieces

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

1 large egg, separated and at room temperature

1 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour*

1 cup thinly sliced almonds, slightly crushed

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

*Can substitute Almond Flour. Using Almond Flour will make these cookies Gluten Free

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Using a food processor or mixer combine the almond paste and 3/4 cup of sugar. Mix until the texture is that of fine crumbs. Add the egg white and flour and continue mixing until the dough becomes a smooth paste, it will be slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a confectioners’ sugar dusted work surface and roll into a 12-inch log. Divide the log into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll the balls into a 3-inch log that is slightly tapered at then ends.

Spread the almonds on a plate and beat the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water. Dampen the logs in the yolk mixture and then rolls in the almonds shaping the logs into a crescent. Place the crescents onto the prepared cookie sheet 2-inches apart and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool the cookie sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then slide the parchment paper off of the cookie sheet and onto the wire rack so the cookies can cool completely.

Once cooled melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip the ends into the melted chocolate and return to the parchment paper so the chocolate can set. Layer the cookies between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe from Odense

Cookie Palooza: Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints

I hope you have enjoyed my Cookie Palooza and that one of these cookie recipes will be one that you try or has inspired you to create something totally your own. On this final day of Cookie Palooza I bring you a cookie with a flavor of the season, peppermint. A Chocolate-Mint Thumbprint to be precise. And don’t worry, the peppermint flavor isn’t overpowering as some peppermint-flavored things are.

After sifting flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl, I creamed butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl and then added in vanilla extract and salt. Once the butter mixture was well blended I added in the flour mixture and continued mixing using my handheld mixer on low speed until the dough formed. I chilled the dough for about 40 minutes until it was firm enough to roll into balls, but, not so cold that I would have to “defrost” it once out of the fridge.

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I rolled teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Next, I pressed straight down the middle of each ball with a floured finger – you could also use the end of a wooden spoon – almost to the cookie sheet to make a deep well. After baking the cookies in a 350 F preheated oven for about 8 minutes, I redefined the indentations with the end of a wooden spoon. I let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet so they could set and then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once the cookies were completely cooled I made the filling. I created my own double-boiler by bringing a pot of water to a simmer and then placed semisweet chocolate chips and unsalted butter in a heat proof bowl and set it over the simmering water. I began stirring the mixture with a rubber spatula and after a few minutes, before the mixture was completed melted, I removed it from the simmering water and continued stirring the mixture until it melted and then stirred in peppermint mixture. I let the mixture cool for about a half hour – until it was warm and slightly thickened…

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And then transferred it to a decorator bottle. You could also transfer the chocolate to a decorator bag with a small tip attached or a resealable bag with a small portion of the corned snipped off. I then piped the chocolate into the wells of the cookies.

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I’ll be the first to admit that my thumbprints came out a bit wonky looking, but, that didn’t detract from how yummy they were with just the right balance of chocolate and peppermint.

 

Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder

3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon table salt

For the Mint-Filling:

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Directions:

For the Cookies:

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl. Using a handheld mixer (or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and salt, continue beating until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough comes together. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls, about 40 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place them on the parchment paper about 2-inches apart. With a lightly floured thumb or fingertip (or the end of thick-handled wooden spoon), press straight down into the middle of each ball, almost to the cookie sheet, to make a deep well.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Gently redefine the wells using the end of a wooden spoon. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling:

Put the chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir with a heatproof spatula until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Let cool for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture is slightly warmer than room temperature and it has begun to thicken. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or into a resealable bag with a corner snipped off and pipe the filling into the center of each cookie. Let the filling set completely before storing.

Recipe from Fine Cooking

Cookie Palooza: Cannoli Wafer Sandwich Cookies

For today’s Cookie Palooza recipe I bring you a cookie you don’t have to bake! What could be better than that? No flour to measure, no oven to turn on… Anyone can make this cookie. So, what is it? It’s a Cannoli Wafer Sandwich Cookie! And let me just tell you that I brought these cookies to a friend’s house and they were a hit with everyone.

So, here’s what you need for these cookies; vanilla wafers, whole-milk ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, white candy coating and miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I began by making the cannoli filling by mixing whole-milk ricotta with confectioners’ sugar, sugar and vanilla extract.

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Next, I spread a teaspoon of the filling on the bottom half of the vanilla wafers and then topped them with another wafer.

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Once I had used up all of the cookies in the box….

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I dipped each of the sandwich cookies halfway into melted white candy coating – I used White Wilton Candy Melts. I dipped about five cookies at a time and then sprinkled mini chocolate chips on them. You don’t want the candy coating to set too much or the chocolate chips won’t stick to the cookies. Once I dipped all of the cookies I placed the cookies in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the candy coating could set.

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And finally, I dusted the cookies with confectioners’ sugar. How simple is that!?!?

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While these cookies are delicious and you might be tempted to save a few for the following day, they are best eaten the same day they are assembled.

Cannoli Wafer Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for dusting the cookies

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 package (12 oz.) vanilla wafers

12 oz. white candy coating, melted

1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until well blended.

Spread 1 scant teaspoon filling on half of the vanilla wafers and then top with the other half of the cookies.

Dip each of the sandwich cookies halfway into the melted candy coating and place on wax paper. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let the cookies stand until set, about 10 minutes. Alternatively you can place the cookies in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up the process.

Refrigerate the cookies until serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar prior to serving.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Cookie Palooza: Chocolate Walnut Crinkles

On this third day of Cookie Palooza I bring you a cookie that I have made before… a chocolate crinkle cookie. This version though is a bit simpler to make and it has walnuts. I love walnuts in cookies and brownies.

To make the dough for the cookies I started by toasting the walnuts and melting unsweetened chocolate and butter together. Once the walnuts and chocolate mixture cooled I added it to a large bowl with flour, sugar, eggs, Dutch processed cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a handheld mixer I beat the ingredients until they were combined.

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Using a cookie scoop I scooped the dough and rolled it into a ball and then rolled it in confectioners’ sugar before placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

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I baked them in a preheated 300 F oven for about 15 minutes. After removing them from the oven I let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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While these cookies were good, I will say this… They are on the sweeter side so they are definitely meant for those who have a super sweet tooth!

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Chocolate Walnut Crinkles

Ingredients:

2oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted*

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar, for rolling

*To toast the walnuts, I placed them on a cookie sheet and baked them in a 350 F oven for about 8 minutes.

Directions:

Position racks in the oven in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat to 300 F.

Place the chocolate and butter in a small microwave safe bowl, microwaving on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds, until melted. Let cool.

Scrape the melted chocolate into a large bowl and add in the flour, sugar, walnuts, eggs, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using an electric handheld mixer, blend on medium speed until well blended.

Using a small cookie scoop (or about 2 teaspoons), scoop the dough and roll in confectioners’ sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake until crackly on top and soft in the middle, rotating the sheets and reversing from the top to bottom racks halfway through baking, about 15 minutes. Let the cookies rest for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Rachael Ray

Cookie Palooza: Buttered Rum Meltaways

For today’s Cookie Palooza recipe I bring you a cookie for those of you who don’t like to drink your alcohol but eat it instead… A Buttered Rum Meltaway.

I began by beating butter and sugar until it was pale and fluffy. I then added in vanilla extract and rum.

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In another bowl I whisked together flour, cornstarch and spices in a medium bowl. Which I then gradually added to the butter mixture.

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Once the dough came together I shaped it into logs on parchment paper..

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That I then wrapped in the parchment paper and placed in the freezer.

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A few days later (you can freeze the dough up to a month) I removed it from the freezer and let it warm a little to make slicing it into 1/4 slices a bit easier.

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After baking the cookies for about 15 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven…

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I coated them in confectioners’ sugar by tossing them in the sugar in a Ziploc bag.

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These cookies are so festive looking they would make a wonderful homemade gift or a welcome addition to a dessert table to a Holiday party you may be attending. Another great thing about these cookies, thanks to the rum they can keep up to 2 weeks in an airtight container!

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Buttered Rum Meltaways

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup rum, dark or light

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer beat butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in the rum and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture.

Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into logs. Fold the parchment paper over the dough and using a ruler roll and press the dough into a 1 1/4 inch log. Wrap in parchment paper and chill in freezer at least 30 minutes or up to a month.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the parchment paper from the dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until cookies are just golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently toss the cookies with the remaining confectioners’ sugar in a resalable plastic bag.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Cookie Palooza: Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the first week of December, are your ovens ready? It’s time to bake until your hearts content and then bake a little more! It’s probably one of the best things about the Holiday Season… Sweets everywhere! And I am here to help… Every day this week I’ll be bringing you a new cookie recipe that may become part of your baking repertoire or give you some inspiration to create a new recipe for yourself. I’ve scoured my cookbooks and old holiday cookie magazines to gather recipes that are easy to make, are a bit traditional with a twist and one that combines three favorites in one. That’s today’s cookie… One that combines oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips together. So, welcome to Cookie Palooza 2016 on Bead Yarn & Spatula… Up first Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 30-36 cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars and use an electric mixer to cream together. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Christmas Wrap-Up

How was your Christmas? Mine was good… Filled with great times, great food and great cookies! As I’ve done in years past I had a Christmas baking marathon and baked various cookies to give as gifts. I took my last sheet of cookies out of the oven early in the day Christmas Eve. This year along with the usual rugelach and malted chocolate chip cookies, I made another batch of these vanilla spritz cookies along with peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies. YUM! And, there was also a batch of Gingerbread Men, one of who was a bit angry after losing part of his leg.

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And luckily this year I got my handmade Christmas gifts done in plenty of time, okay, with about a week to spare. This for me is good, since it gave me enough time to wrap them with pretty ribbon bows. I made two Afghans and an earring and bracelet set.

The first afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Thick & Quick Yarn following their Cromwell Court Afghan Pattern. Here’s a pic of the start…

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And the finish product…

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The second afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice Yarn following their 5 1/2 Hour Throw Pattern… Truthfully it took me longer than the 5 1/2 hours and since it involved crocheting three colors together I opted to wind the three colors into a ball to make crocheting a lot simpler.

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And the finish product…

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And finally the earring and bracelet set that I made using tila beads, superduo beads, seed beads and crystals just using basic beadweaving techniques.

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I also squeezed in some time to make my Christmas cards once again this year.

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I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and that you all have a wonderful New Year!