Monkeytonic (monkeytonic) wrote in awesomerecipes,
Monkeytonic
monkeytonic
awesomerecipes

[x-postarama] dear grandma, I made these cookies and they're better than yours. I win.

Last year, the cookies I made from the Star Tribune's cookie contest were amazing. So, for longevity, here are the winning cookies from this year. I'm not sure which I plan to make quite yet.

Karova Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

Note: This recipe must be made in advance. When contest winner Mary Eckmeier of St. Paul bakes these memorable, easy-to-make cookies, she uses Penzey's Natural Cocoa Powder (available at Penzeys; three Twin Cities locations, penzeys.com), Guittard chocolate chips (available at most natural foods co-ops) and Hope Creamery butter (made in Hope, Minn., and available at most supermarkets and natural foods co-ops). "These cookies are mostly butter, so you have to use the right butter to get the right cookie," said Eckmeier. Sel de guerande is a sea salt that is harvested from the salt marshes of Brittany and is available at Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul and Edina.

• 1 1/4 c. flour
• 1/3 c. natural (unsweetened) cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp. sel de guerande or other coarse sea salt
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. (1 stick plus 3 tbsp., or 5 1/2 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 5 oz. (about 3/4 c.) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sel de guerande (or other coarse sea salt) and baking soda and reserve.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add flour mixture and mix until crumbly, just enough so flour is not blowing all over bowl. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips.

Dump mixture onto a clean work surface and knead a few times to finish mixing (the warmth of your hands will help the mixture come together).

Divide dough in half and shape into logs about 18 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap logs and using a very sharp knife with a thin blade, slice logs into 1/2-inch cookies (if cookies come apart after slicing, just push dough back together using your fingers).

Place about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets and bake 12 minutes; do not overbake. Remove from oven, cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sambuca Chocolate Crinkles

Makes about 4 dozen.

Note: This recipe must be made in advance. When Robert Bantle of St. Paul bakes this adult version of the chocolate crinkle, he uses the Sambuca Black version of Sambuca, an anise-flavored liqueur.

• 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
• 1 tbsp. butter
• 3 eggs
• 1/3 c. Sambuca Black
• 1 c. granulated sugar, divided
• 1 c. raw almonds, finely chopped
• 2/3 c. flour
• 3/4 tsp. baking soda
• 1/3 c. powdered sugar

Directions

In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter and cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Sambuca and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.

Using a spatula, fold in almonds, flour and baking soda until combined; dough will be soft and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 c. granulated sugar and powdered sugar.

With slightly wet fingers, roll teaspoon-size balls of dough and roll dough in sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are puffed, cracked and just set. Remove from oven and cool completely on baking sheets.

Cranberry Cat Kisses

Makes about 4 dozen.

From Hannah and Anne Park of St. Paul.

For cookies:
• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 1/2 tsp. almond extract
• 2 1/4 c. flour
• 3/4 c. finely chopped almonds
• 1/2 c. craisins (dried cranberries), finely chopped

For chocolate coating:
• 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
• 2 tbsp. shortening
• Sliced almonds for decoration

Directions

To make cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Mix in almond extract.

Add flour, almonds and craisins and mix until thoroughly combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake 7 to 8 minutes, until cookies are set but not browned. Remove from oven, cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make chocolate coating: In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate chips and shortening, and whisk until combined. Dip cookies in chocolate, decorate with an almond slice and transfer to a wire rack until chocolate sets.

Pumpkin Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

Amy Karlen of Minnetonka suggests making icing while cookies are baking.

For cookies:
• 3 1/2 c. sifted flour
• 2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 1 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 c. shortening
• 2 c. granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup pumpkin purée

For icing:
• 5 tbsp. brown sugar
• 3 tbsp. butter
• 5 tbsp. milk
• 1 c. powdered sugar, plus extra if needed

Directions

To make cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger and ground cloves and reserve.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat shortening and granulated sugar until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin purée and mix until well combined.

Slowly add flour mixture, mixing until combined. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes; do not overbake. Remove from oven, cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make icing: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter and milk and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, set aside and cool completely, about an hour. Stir in powdered sugar until icing is desired consistency, adding more if necessary. Ice cookies to taste.

Orange Kisses

Makes about 4 dozen.

From Bette Revoir of St. Paul.

For cookies:
• 2 c. flour
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 2/3 c. butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 c. granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
• 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice

For icing:

• 2 c. powdered sugar
• 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice, plus extra if needed
• 1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest

Directions

To make cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder and reserve. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Add egg and beat until thoroughly combined.

Add orange zest and mix until combined. Add orange juice and beat for 30 seconds. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make icing: In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, butter, orange juice and orange zest until combined, adding more orange juice if necessary to make right consistency. Ice cookies to taste.

After a bit of looking over the recipes, I'm pretty sure I'm going to make the Karova cookies tonight and then at some point the Sambuca cookies. They must be made. Especially since I have that Dominican Republic cocoa that I brought home with me.
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