Friday, December 21, 2012

Foodie Fridays: Naughty and Nice Cookies

Snickerdoodles (from How to Eat a Cupcake)

Cookies for Christmas is my theme for Foodie Fridays this month.  As a special bonus, this week I am providing two cookie recipes which I call "naughty and nice".  Vanilla- and cinnamon-flavored, buttery Snickerdoodles are extra nice, while Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, with their added kick of cocoa powder and ground chipotle chiles, are an intriguingly naughty contrast.  I suggest baking up a batch of each, and letting guests decide which category is appropriate for them!

Snickerdoodles

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl.  Stir in the vanilla, then add the eggs and blend well.  Stir together the next four ingredients in a medium bowl, then add gradually to the first mixture, combining thoroughly.  Shape the dough into one-inch balls (chill the dough slightly if it is too soft to roll easily).  Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a pie plate.  Roll the dough balls in the mixture and place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until set.  Cool briefly on the cookie sheets, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.  Makes 48 cookies.

Note: Many Snickerdoodle recipes call for vegetable shortening as half of the fat, but I try to avoid this hydrogenated fat-laden ingredient and prefer an all-butter version instead as the lesser of two evils.  Also, for a more festive touch, try using colored sugars instead of plain white for the rolling mixture:

Christmas Snickerdoodles (from The Traveling Spoon)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chile
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chile

Combine the first seven ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.  Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, combining thoroughly.  Shape the dough into one-inch balls.  Combine the last three ingredients in a pie plate.  Roll the dough balls in the mixture and place three inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until set in the center and beginning to crack.  Cool on the cookie sheets for five minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.  Makes 36 cookies.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies (from The Busty Baker)

Happy Holidays to all, whether naughty or nice!
          

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