Dried Cherry Shortbread Heart Cookies

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Cute and delicious!  These little buttery, crispy cookies are a perfect little gift for your Valentine!

Just wrap a bunch and tuck them into a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon for a home baked and thoughtful Valentine’s gift.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried  cherries

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.with a rack in center. Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined but not too creamy. Stir in dried cranberries.
  2. Pat dough evenly into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes. Run knife around edges, remove shortbread, and transfer, right side up, to work surface. Use 1 1/2- to 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Use a paring knife to trim stray bits of cranberry from edges. Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Winter Solstice Almond Crescent Biscuits

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Every Solstice I make our family and friends a special batch of almond crescent biscuits to celebrate with.  They are super easy and  buttery and have a gorgeous, hint of almond.

Make sure to re-dust the cookies after they have cooled completely, before serving.

Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
    • 2 1/2 cups flour, unbleached
    • 1 cup almonds, ground
    • confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Beat together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
  2. Blend in extracts.
  3. Mix in flour and almonds.
  4. Using about 1 T of dough for each, shape into logs and bend into crescents.
  5. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F until light brown.
  7. While warm, roll crescents in confectioners’ sugar.
  8. Cool on racks and store in a tightly sealed container.

Salted Caramel Cookie Bites by King Arthur Flour

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I only use King Arthur Flour.  It’s always the best quality and all of my baked goods turn out beautifully.

Their site is a plethora of great information, cool wares to buy and of course… recipes.

These little gems have bacon, salt and caramel!  YUM!

http://www.kingarthurflour.com

Enjoy!

Cookie base

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup block caramel, cut into 1/4″ pieces*
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds + 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or other coarse/flaky salt; OR 1/4 cup chopped smoked almonds; OR 2 strips very crisp bacon, crumbled
  • *Or substitute prepared caramel sauce

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease (or line with paper cups) a mini muffin pan or a filled teacakes pan.
2) In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and flavoring until well blended.
3) Add the baking powder and egg and beat until fluffy.
4) Mix in the flour.
5) Use a rounded teaspoon scoop to fill the 20 to 24 cups of your mini muffin pan. If you’re using a filled teacakes pan, use two rounded teaspoonfuls per cup.
6) Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned around the edges.
7) Top with the caramel pieces, return to the oven, and bake for 1 to 2 minutes more — just until the caramel melts. If you’re using caramel sauce, skip this step; simply drizzle it on just before serving.
8) Sprinkle the chopped almonds or crumbled bacon over the cookies while they’re warm, so the toppings will stick. Top with a tiny pinch of salt.
9) Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then gently transfer to a cooling rack.
10) Repeat with the remaining batter and toppings.
Yield: 36 cookies from a mini-muffin pan; 18 from a filled teacakes pan.

Hello Dolly’s aka Magic Bars

I have a serious love for coconut.  I know it’s one of those either love it or hate it foods.  I cannot understand how someone does not like it, honestly.  But it’s their loss I guess.

These cookies are wicked easy and wicked fast to make.  The problem is waiting for them to cool before cutting into them that is the problem.  We never make it and needless to say, the pan of cookies gets all messed up!

Just as a side note with this recipe, along the idea of those really good GS cookies, Samosas.  I wonder if you could put caramel over the top of these when just out of the oven?  If anyone wants to give it a go, let me know how it turns out!

HELLO DOLLY’S COOKIE BARS

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.

2. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes – until lightly browned. Cut into bars when cool. Store in the refrigerator and take out a few minutes early to soften before serving.