Spanish Sausages and Nun Cookies

Some other exotic foods our previously mentioned globetrotting friend bestowed upon us involved specialties from Spain, including Spanish sausages, and breadsticks:

And these delicate square cookies made by nuns:

The sausage had a fantastic flavor and texture, the bread sticks were excellently crunchy, and the ‘nun cookies’ finished things off with a sort of fig-newtony type flair, but with a fruit that was lighter in color and taste. We ate them all like a snack, and washed them down with a bottle of fruity white wine, which complimented things well. All around it was a night of fantastic food tastery!

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Jello Cut Out Cookies

This is another one of those food photos that I took a while ago and haven’t blogged until now, as you might be able to tell, since these are CHRISTMAS cookies – hah!

Anyway… my mom never made normal sugar cookies, we always made Jello Cookie cutouts instead, which always had great flavor AND color. (You can make these cookies with a cookie press instead of cutouts if you want too.)

And these are the (raspberry flavored) Jello cookies we had over the holidays:

Below is the Jello Cookies recipe so you can play along at home! Oh, and I used a little extra jello powder instead of colored sugar on top of the cookies to give them a bit of darker accent color.

Jello Cookies

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups oleo or butter
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. (3 oz.) jello (any flavor)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix flour with baking powder and set aside. Cream oleo, gradually add sugar and jello, beating well. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well. Force dough through cookie press (or make cut outs) onto ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with additional jello or colored sugars, decorate if desired. Makes about 10 doz (from press only). Bake at 400 degrees about 8 minutes or until sides are golden brown.

Note: This makes an excellent alternative for regular sugar cookies, both in color and flavor. Use orange jello mix for Halloween cookies, etc.

Bon Bon Cookies

We have a backlog of food events/photos to post about, so you’ll be seeing some that happened a while ago – I’m sure you’ll adjust.

For example, sometime during the holiday season I made Bon Bon Cookies – a Hershey kiss inside a ball, dipped in chocolate glaze. The dough makes EXACTLY two dozen if you use only enough dough to make sure the kiss is completely surrounded – no extra. It’s great exercise for your hands, needless to say.

And here’s a delicious photo:

I had some extra glaze so that’s why you see some textury-type swirls on top of the first layer of chocolate there.  You could probably make these for Valentine’s day – who wouldn’t love these – wrapped up with a red bow and all.

Bon Bon Cookies (kiss inside ball)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter softened
1 tblsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pkg. kisses

Heat oven to 350 degrees, mix powdered sugar, oleo, and vanilla. Work in flour and salt until dough holds together. For each cookie, shape dough by tablespoonful around kiss to form ball. Place one inch apart on UNGREASED cookie sheet. Bake until set, but not brown (12-15 min). Cool. Dip tops into glaze. Decorate with coconut, nuts, colored sugar… (2 dozen)

CHOCOLATE GLAZE: beat one cup powdered sugar, 2 tblspoons milk, 1 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate (cool) and 1 tsp. vanilla until smooth and of desired consistency.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t remember what inspired me to want to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but I found myself purchasing some Quaker Oats the other day. (Anyone remember the movie Crazy People? “Quaker Oats… Do they taste good? Who knows. But at least the box is cute!”) The first batch spread out too much, and I figured out that I’d made the round dough balls on the cookie sheets much too big. Going back to a smaller size made them come out just as they should. (Whew!) I can’t include a photo here because there are already none left, and John took a bunch to work with him as an early holiday gift for his coworkers. But rumor has it that they were delicious.

The recipe I used is one I found in various places on the web, so I’ve included our own version here:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2.5 cups oats (NOT instant!)
2 cups chocolate chips (~12 oz.)

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

Mix butter, sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring well. (Can use mixer at this point if desired.) Then, stirring by hand, add the oats and then the chocolate chips.

Bake on parchment paper if you have it, otherwise an ungreased baking sheet will do fine. Form dough into 1 inch balls (no bigger or cookies will spread too much), and place them on the cookie sheet 1.5 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees between 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Baking Day, Apparently

Yesterday was baking day here, apparently. I had a hankering for some sugar cookies, but then remembered the Jello Cookies recipe which is very similar, just with the jello sugar instead. So I made the dough and whipped out my cookie press only to remember, after stuffing the barrel full of dough, that the plunger was broken and I needed a NEW press. Leaving me wondering why I had put the thing back in the cupboard to begin with. Oh well! So I got out a biscuit cutter and made cutouts. Since I used orange jello sugar, we had round orange cookies, with some green decorative sugars sprinkled on top for fall. I’m pretending that they’re pumpkins.

I also made a loaf of yeast bread with half white flour and half whole wheat; it turned out pretty good, if a bit dense! Tastes really good spread with butter and then strawberry jam.

Sorry I don’t have any photos at the moment – everything’s all sort of tucked away under plastic and foil and such and SO FAR AWAY in the kitchen, where I am not. Maybe I’ll get a few shots later if I can before everything’s gone. 🙂
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Have I ever mentioned that Kristen makes the best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the world?

Recently she made a batch of Chocolate Chocolate Chip (mmm chocolate). What I love about this recipe is that the cookies remain soft, unlike other recipes I’ve tried which turn to rocks after a few hours. The secret ingredient is a box of pudding mix, which keeps the cookies soft and so rich. Just thinking of them brings out my inner Cookie Monster.

Sometimes a Sale ISN’T a Good Thing

I love Fig Newtons. I don’t really like the other Nabisco type Newtons, as they are too sweet, but I digress… I love Fig Newtons. But I vow to never buy store-brand fig bars ever, EVER again. No matter WHAT the sale is. They’re heavy, the outside is hard and unpleasant, the inside is nasty, and they weigh a ton. Not a combo you want sitting in your stomach for very long. And while I’m ranting (I won’t always rant – it’s just that sometimes rant-inspiring experiences come in groups – LOL) – I hate misleading marketing. Above the ‘fig bars’ writing on the package is the word ‘original’ – vague enough to not be false advertising of course, but annoying that it tries to subtly trick people, I think. The best thing I can say about these fig bars is that at least the first ingredient in the list is figs, but it’s just a list, and even if they have lots of figs, they didn’t do anything redeemable with them. BLEH.

Got Cookie Gun?

Why, yes, I DO have a cookie gun, thanks, and I’m not afraid to use it! This is the newest design in the Food Follies Shop on t-shirts, an apron, mugs – all that stuff – just click on the image to check them all out.

I just love making spritz cookies, especially at Christmas time. I have a really tasty and colorful cookie recipe too, Jello Cookies – they do well as cut outs OR spritz cookies, and the colored Jello sugar not only adds great coloring, but also extra flavor that food coloring doesn’t. Eventually I’ll need to get a new cookie gun (cookie press, whatever) though, as the $10.99 version I bought all those years ago is wearing out bit by plastic bit. Ahh, well!