Cookie Valentines

I was cleaning out the pantry and saw half a package of Vienna Fingers.  No one is eating them (the bowl of freshly made homemade cookies on the counter might have something to do with it!) and I was wondering what I could do with them when I got this idea.  I’d been making some krispy pops for Valentines Day and had been trying to figure out how to add something that said “puppy love” to them.  Perfect! (I’ll show you how I made these cuties tomorrow)  I have all kinds of ideas of other things I could write on them and use for other holidays as well.  I think some made with oreos with a big red heart in the middle would be cute as well.
COOKIE VALENTINES
Recipe by My Stained Apron
Cookies (I used Keebler’s Vienna Fingers)
Candy coating or chocolate
sucker sticks
Decorations (I used large and small heart sprinkles)
Dark chocolate or candy coating for writing
Carefully separate cookies.
Dip sucker stick in melted chocolate or candy coating and press top of cookie back on.
Holding cookie by the stick, dip in melted chocolate or candy coating. (It may be easier to partially dip in coating and use a spoon to spoon coating over the top.)
Gently tap excess coating off.  Lay on a wax paper lined tray.  Repeat with all cookies.
While coating is wet, place decorations on. (If your coating dries, just use a toothpick to dab some melted coating on the back of decorations to “glue”).
Let cookies sit until coating is set.  To write, make a parchment funnel.
Curl on short end in to the middle.  Repeat with other end, wrapping it around.
Make sure your hole is very small.  Fold over the top or use a piece of tape on the outside seam if needed.
Stand funnel up in a glass or cup and fill with melted chocolate (it doesn’t take very much).
Practice writing on the wax paper first, then write out your messages on the cookies.
Let sit until chocolate has set up.
 
Cookie Valentines

Ingredients

  • Cookies (I used Keebler's Vienna Fingers)
  • Candy coating or chocolate
  • sucker sticks
  • Decorations (I used large and small heart sprinkles)
  • Dark chocolate or candy coating for writing

Instructions

  • Carefully separate cookies.
  • Dip sucker stick in melted chocolate or candy coating and press top of cookie back on.
  • Holding cookie by the stick, dip in melted chocolate or candy coating. (It may be easier to partially dip in coating and use a spoon to spoon coating over the top.)
  • Gently tap excess coating off. Lay on a wax paper lined tray. Repeat with all cookies.
  • While coating is wet, place decorations on. (If your coating dries, just use a toothpick to dab some melted coating on the back of decorations to "glue").
  • Let cookies sit until coating is set. To write, make a parchment funnel.
  • Curl on short end in to the middle. Repeat with other end, wrapping it around.
  • Make sure your hole is very small. Fold over the top or use a piece of tape on the outside seam if needed.
  • Stand funnel up in a glass or cup and fill with melted chocolate (it doesn't take very much).
  • Practice writing on the wax paper first, then write out your messages on the cookies.
  • Let sit until chocolate has set up.
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    Animal Crackers

    I’ve found this mini Noah’s Ark Cookie Cutter set at the craft store recently and knew just what to do with it.  Homemade animal crackers! But made using my graham crackers recipe to be healthier.  They turned out super cute and the girls thought they were pretty cute too!  They’re great to take to the Zoo for a snack too. : )
    GRAHAM ANIMAL CRACKERS
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use white wheat)
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/3 cup unsalted butter
    1/2 cup honey
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/4 cup granulated sugar, optional
    1 T cinnamon, optional
    Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together.
    Using a pastry blender, cut in butter. (You could also do this in a food processor, just pulse until incorporated.)
    If needed, rub butter between your fingers until butter pieces are smaller than peas.
    Using a fork, stir in honey and brown sugar.
    Add milk and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
    Knead until smooth, dusting with flour sparingly.
    Dough will be a little sticky. ( I use a bowl scraper to scrape up off the counter if needed)
    Divide dough in half.

    Pat dough into rectangle and place on 12 by 16 inch silicone mat*
    Place plastic wrap or wax paper on top.
    Roll dough out, working from the middle out, trimming at edges if needed.
    Using cookie cutter of choice, cut out desired shape.

    Peel away extra dough in between shapes.
    If desired, sprinkle with granulated sugar. (mix with cinnamon if desired.)

    Bake at 350 degrees for 8-15 minutes, depending on size of cutter used.

    *If you don’t have a silicone mat, roll dough onto lightly greased cookie sheets. This will just be a little more tricky, especially if you have a lip on your cookie sheet. You could turn your cookie sheet over and use the underside of your cookie sheet to make it easier.
    I packaged some in some cute take-out boxes from the craft store for a fun treat.

    Springerle

    Meet the new love in my life. Springerle.  They are dense little German cookies, a silky soft dough is imprinted with an image and left out to dry overnight.  This hardens the image so that it will maintain all of its little details as it bakes.  You can get the molds in all manner of designs, the one I used was ordered from King Arthur Flour, but is made by House On The Hill. (Wish I had ordered from them, for the same price they sell the exact one, but with 2 additional images!)
    I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making them for some time now, and I got very worried when I was making my first batch.  I used King Arthur Flour’s recipe and it was like a brick. I couldn’t even roll it out!  After a quick call to Ute, my mom’s German friend, I had another batch going that looked MUCH better.  Sure enough, when I baked them the next day they turned out perfectly.
    I love how cooking and art meet so well at times, and Springerle is definitely one of those times.
    I keep daydreaming about making a trip to Germany just to buy enough Springerle molds to fill a large suitcase! (I’m sure that will happen soon, just after I attain the Nobel Prize)
    SPRINGERLE
    4 large eggs
    1 pound powdered sugar
    1 pound flour
    2 tsp anise*, optional (extract, oil, or flavoring)
    Beat eggs and sugar well, until they turn into a light and airy cream.
    Add the flour and anise, mix until smooth.  Rest dough for 10 minutes.
    Divide dough into 4 parts. The dough will feel sticky.
    Lightly dust dough with flour, it should feel silky.
    Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
    Dust mold lightly with flour and press into dough to leave impression.  Cut out using either a knife, pizza wheel, or decorative wheel.  If your image is a circular one, you can cut out using a biscuit cutter or fluted circle, etc.
    Carefully place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Don’t spray with cooking spray or anything)
    Leave cookies to air-dry for 8 to 24 hours, depending on size.
    Bake at 300 degrees for 12-18 minutes ( again, depending on size)
    Cookies should become pale golden on bottom but the top shouldn’t get any color on them.
    As they bake, you should see “little feet” form, that’s where the cookies rise up at the bottom.
    *You could also substitute lemon flavoring or extract, or really any flavoring you want.
    Don’t forget the 2 most important ingredients in Springerle.. Time and Love!
    Springerle

    Ingredients

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 pound powdered sugar
    • 1 pound flour
    • 2 tsp anise*, optional (extract, oil, or flavoring)

    Instructions

  • Beat eggs and sugar well, until they turn into a light and airy cream.
  • Add the flour and anise, mix until smooth. Rest dough for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 4 parts. The dough will feel sticky.
  • Lightly dust dough with flour, it should feel silky.
  • Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Dust mold lightly with flour and press into dough to leave impression. Cut out using either a knife, pizza wheel, or decorative wheel. If your image is a circular one, you can cut out using a biscuit cutter or fluted circle, etc.
  • Carefully place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Don't spray with cooking spray or anything)
  • Leave cookies to air-dry for 8 to 24 hours, depending on size.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 12-18 minutes ( again, depending on size)
  • Cookies should become pale golden on bottom but the top shouldn't get any color on them.
  • As they bake, you should see "little feet" form, that's where the cookies rise up at the bottom.
  • *You could also substitute lemon flavoring or extract, or really any flavoring you want.
  • Don't forget the 2 most important ingredients in Springerle.. Time and Love!
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    http://mystainedapron.com/springerle/

    Spumoni Cookie Sandwiches

    This recipe has been sitting in “to post” pile for awhile now, I’m not sure how I forgot to post it right away!   I made these this summer, and since fresh cherries are harder to come by I thought about waiting until next summer to post this, but I couldn’t wait that long! If you can’t find fresh cherries, I would substitute marashino cherries, or even leave them out completely and just have the chocolate and pistachio. They would still be quite delicious!  These cookies are so easy to throw together, and are great on their own, but when I saw pistachio gelato for sale at Costco, how could I resist?!  And since I had fresh cherries on the counter, they naturally got thrown in the mix.  If you don’t have gelato available where you are, no worries- just substitute ice cream.  I guess this is a good way to say farwell to summer in my book! 
    SPUMONI COOKIE SANDWICHES
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    To assemble:
    Chewy Chocolate cookies (recipe below)
    pistachio gelato (I bought mine at Costco)
    Fresh Cherries
    chopped pistachios
    CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES:
    1 1/4 cups butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 cups flour
    3/4 cup cocoa or carob powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup finely chopped nuts, optional (I usually use walnuts, but I used pistachios for this purpose)
    Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend well. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Blend well. Add nuts if using.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I use my silicone baking mat for best results).  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.  Don’t overbake- they will be soft.  They puff during baking and flatten upon cooling. 
    Cool on cookie sheet until set, about 1 minute.  Cool on a wire rack.
    TO ASSEMBLE SANDWICHES:
    Place a scoop of pistachio gelato (I used my small cookie scooper) on half of the cookies.
    Place half of a pitted cherry in the middle of gelato, then top with another cookie, pressing slightly.
    Serve as is or roll sides of cookie sandwiches in chopped pistachios.  If you aren’t serving immediately, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in freezer.

    Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? If you raised your hand, put it back down, I don’t believe you.  If you’re trying to get your family eating healthier, this is the best way to start.  After all, who would turn one of these down?  They may be whole grain, but the only thing people think when they eat them is how good they are.  The whole wheat gives a great heartiness, while the oats keep them light.
    And bonus? They freeze well too!
    WHOLE GRAIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
    2 cups butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups brown sugar
    4 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    4 cups white whole wheat flour*
    4 cups oatmeal, blended in blender to make oat flour
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking soda
    24 oz chocolate chips
    8 oz chocolate grated (not needed but adds flavor- I don’t usually add this)
    Cream the butter and sugars together.
    Add the eggs and vanilla.
    Mix in the remaining ingredients. 
    Drop by tablespoonfulls onto ungreased cookie sheets, bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
    *Sometimes called spring wheat as well.
    To freeze: Put a few cups of batter in a cookie sheet, smooth out in an even layer about 1″ thick. Seal and freeze.  When ready to bake, just cut bag open and use a chef’s knife to cut into 1″ cubes. Bake as usual.

    S’mores Cookie Sandwiches and S’mores Kisses

    Hello, world peace award.  Usually I’m not one for being the center of attention, but after creating this cookie recipe, I do believe I deserve it.  I mean, just look at them..
    mmmm. Better than any s’more I’ve EVER had. (And I camped alot as a kid!)
    Homemade soft marshmallow, honey grahams, and milk chocolate.
    And look! They have cute litte cousins too!
    WHAT?! You say there is no world peace award given for cookies?!
    Are you sure?
    Positive?
    Drat.  Well, I might as well share the recipe anyways.
    S’MORES COOKIE SANDWICHES and S’MORES KISSES
    Recipe by My Stained Apron 
    GLAZE:
    2 cups milk chocolate chips
    1 T shortening, optional
    For S’mores Kisses:
    Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip with fresh marshmallows.
    Pipe onto graham cookies.
    (I just held tip over the middle of the cookie, pressed on bag to pipe marshmallows, and released pressure and lifted up.  It will kind of ooze over to the edge a bit.)
    Let set for an hour or two.
    Melt glaze over low heat, or microwave for a minute or two at 50% power, stirring ever 30 seconds.
    Take one cookie at a time and swirl marshmallow side down in the chocolate, making sure the chocolate goes to the edges of the cookie.
    Set on wax paper or a silicone mat for chocolate to set up.
    I’ll try one, you know, just for you.
    FOR S’MORES COOKIE SANDWICHES
    Smear fresh marshmallow on half of the graham cookies, then top with the other half of the cookies.
    Press evenly for marshmallow to spread in between the cookies.
    Dip cookies completely in chocolate glaze, and use a fork to retrieve and set on a silicone mat or wax paper to set up.
    Okay, I know I JUST published this, but I forgot to mention that these freeze quite well too. Just let them thaw for a bit before enjoying. And if you want to CHEAT, then use store bought graham crackers and marshmallow fluff. And NO, they will NOT taste ANYWHERE near as divine. I promise.  : )

    Graham Crackers

    I’m not a huge graham cracker fan.  While I use them in some recipes and they’re a good snack for the girls, they really leave alot to be desired in my opinion.  And if you read the label you might be surprised at how many ingredients are in those simple little crackers.  And while the box says “Honey Grahams” they contain more corn syrup than honey.  So I’ve experimented until I made my solution.
    These crackers are everything they should be.  Flavorful, crispy, just the right amount of honey flavor, healthy, and really easy.  And a bonus- If you keep them in an airtight container (I use a big freezer container), they will keep for a couple of weeks at least.  And feel free to leave off that sprinkling of sugar on top if you like, or try it both ways to see which you like.  And check back this week and I’ll show the most amazing cookies I made with them…
    GRAHAM CRACKERS
    2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use white wheat)
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/3 cup unsalted butter
    1/2 cup honey
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/4 cup granulated sugar, optional
    1 T cinnamon, optional
    Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together.
    Using a pastry blender, cut in butter. (You could also do this in a food processor, just pulse until incorporated.)
    If needed, rub butter between your fingers until butter pieces are smaller than peas.
    Using a fork, stir in honey and brown sugar.
    Add milk and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
    Knead until smooth, dusting with flour sparingly.
    Dough will be a little sticky. ( I use a bowl scraper to scrape up off the counter if needed)
    FOR TRADITIONAL SQUARES:
    Divide dough in half.
    Pat dough into rectangle and place on 12 by 16 inch silicone mat*
    Place plastic wrap or wax paper on top.
    Roll dough out, working from the middle out, trimming at edges if needed.
    Cut dough into about 3″ squares with a pizza wheel and dot with a fork dipped in flour.
    Place silicon mat into a large baking sheet.
    If desired, sprinkle with granulated sugar. (mix with cinnamon if desired.)
    Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-22 minutes, until browned.
    The longer they cook they more crispy they will become, so keep that in mind.
    Repeat with second half of dough.
    FOR COOKIES:
    Follow direcions for making squares, up to cutting into squares.
    Using cookie cutter of choice, cut out desired shape. ( Use the same shape so they cook at the same rate.)
    Peel away extra dough in between shapes.
    If shapes are smaller, bake less. (My 2″ fluted circles took about 12 to 14 minutes.)
    *If you don’t have a silicone mat, roll dough onto lightly greased cookie sheets. This will just be a little more tricky, especially if you have a lip on your cookie sheet.  You could turn your cookie sheet over and use the underside of your cookie sheet to make it easier.

    Carrie’s "World Famous" Cookies

     You really should make these cookies. They are SO GOOD! Carrie, my very dear friend, brought these to our Irish Dinner Party and was nice enough to share the recipe with all of us. She is a seriousely good cookie maker!  She calls these her “world famous” cookies because she’s had requests from friends to send them a batch when they were serving in Afghanistan.  Carrie deserves a HUGE round of applause and pat on the back from us all for serving our country as well. Thanks Carrie for your patriotism and willingness to give so much of your life to serve our country!
    You amaze me!
    Carrie’s “World Famous” Cookies
     
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 cup unsalted butter (cold)
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
    2 cups rolled oats
    2 cups chocolate chips*
    *You can do 1 cup milk chocolate with 1 cup semi sweet,
    or 1 cup white chocolate with 1 cup peanut butter, or any combination you fancy
    Mix together sugars, chop butter and add, mixing until butter is well blended.
    Add in eggs, mixing at high speed.
    Add vanilla, mix well. Add baking soda and salt, blending well.
    Add flour gradually, mixing in until well blended.
    Add oats and mix, then chips and mix.
    Use a 1/4 cup measure to measure cookies, roll into balls and place on cookie sheet, flatten slightly.
    Bake at 375 for 12 to 14 minutes or until just golden on top. (If you’re butter wasn’t cold enough they will spread out some)
    For smaller cookies- drop by tablespoonfulls and bake for 10 minutes.
    Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
    These are my two favorite handy-dandy scoopers.
    I placed a Tablespoon measure and 1/4 cup measure next to them to show you their size. I love em!

    Corn Flake Cookies

    These are a throw back to my childhood.  And they’re also my oldest daughter’s favorite cookies.  And I love how quick and easy they are to make.  Only 5 ingredients and no baking time. I usually hate no-bake cookies.  Some are decent enough, but rarely are they as good as a baked cookie in my opinion. These however are as good as they are quick! I hope you love em too!

    CORN FLAKE COOKIES

    1/2 c sugar
    1/2 c corn syrup
    1 c smooth peanut butter (or chunky if you prefer)
    2 c corn flakes
    1/2 c coconut

    Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a pot.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
    Add in peanut butter, stir until smooth. Take off the heat and stir in corn flakes and coconut.
    Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

    Corn Flake Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 c sugar
    • 1/2 c corn syrup
    • 1 c smooth peanut butter (or chunky if you prefer)
    • 2 c corn flakes
    • 1/2 c coconut

    Instructions

  • Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Add in peanut butter, stir until smooth. Take off the heat and stir in corn flakes and coconut.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
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    Polka-Dot Cookies

    I have an obsession with polka-dots.  It’s really quite sad. So when I saw this recipe I knew I needed to make them for Valentine’s day.  My girls love pigs, and I thought the polka-dot them went quite well with them.

    Polka-Dot Cookies

    printable version
    4 c flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 c plus 2 T unsalted butter, at room temp
    1 3/4 c sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 T vanilla extract
    1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
    food coloring (I used pink)
    Sanding or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

    In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 2/3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt.
    In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
    Beat in the eggs, then beat in the vanilla. 
    On low speed, add in the flour mixture.
    Transfer half the dough to another bowl.
    Beat in the remaining 1/3 cup flour and desired amount food coloring (if using) to one half.
    Beat in the cocoa powder to the other half.
    Shape into discs and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2 hours to firm dough.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
    Roll out doughs on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thickness, cut out desired shapes.
    (I did pigs, my girls favorite animal, and hearts for valentines day)
    Cut small circles out using the wide end of a pastry tip or a doughnut circle cutter.
    I also did some hearts as well.
    Interchange the 2 doughs in the cookies.

    Sprinkle with sugar, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned.
    Cool on sheets for 1 minute, then finish cooling on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
    TIP: I use an offset spatula when lifting cut-out cookies- it’s a life saver (and cookie saver!)

    SOURCE: Mary Engelbreit’s Cookies Cookbook

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