Even though we had a bit of a snowstorm (nothing compared to today though!) our Downtown Baraboo Cookie Contest was a success! We raised money for the local Habitat for Humanity and got to try lots of yummy cookies! Here are the winning recipes:
1st Place in the category of Icebox Cookies goes to Lindsay Becher for her amazing Lime Meltaways. Lindsay did not provide her recipe but thank goodness Martha Stewart has our back. This is from her Cookies book:
Makes about 3 dozen
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.
- Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
1st Place in the category of Cutout Cookies goes to Arline Beagan for her Linzer Torte Cookies.
Linzer Torte Cookies
Linzer Cookies, traditional Christmas cookies, are sandwich cookies typically filled with red jams or green jellies. It’s nice to have a Linzer Cookie Cutter to make this recipe, but it’s not necessary. All that is needed is one large cookie cutter and a much smaller one that can cut-out a “window” out of a larger cookie’s dough.
1 egg, slightly beaten,
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon peel
1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ cup unblanched almonds, ground (I use the sliced almonds and crush them)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
¼ cup raspberry jam (stirred so it is easier to work with)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F Grease a cookie sheet, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add almonds and lemon peel; stir to mix.
3. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture has an even texture. Stir in the egg and mix until dough holds together.
4. Divide dough in half; wrap each in waxed paper. Chill for 1 hour.
5. On a lightly floured surface, using a stockinet-covered rolling pin, roll half of the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut with scalloped side of cutter or any shape cookie cutter. Lift carefully and place on a cookie sheet. Place ½ teaspoon jam in center of each cookie – keep ½ inch clear around the edge of the cookie.
6. Roll the second half of the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut with same cookie cutter then cut in center with a smaller cookie cutter. Place these ring cookies on top of the jam-covered cookies. Brush tops with egg-yolk mixture.
7. Bake 15 minutes or longer until golden brown. Remove quickly, cool on wire rack. Can be sprinkled with powder sugar.
Makes about 25 cookies
Cat Beagan’s favorite Christmas cookie made by Arline Beagan
McCall’s magazine recipe from January, 1984
In the Candy category we had a tie for 1st between Sharon Prochnow and Morgan Tribbey. Sharon made Angel Food in a Lace Chocolate Bowl and Morgan made Chocolate-Topped Sea Salt Caramels. Yum!
Angel Food in a Lace Chocolate Bowl
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
Bar of your favorite chocolate (milk, dark, bittersweet, etc)
In a saucepan, combine sugars, corn syrup, and vinegar and stir over medium heat until sugars are dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Stop stirring and bring to a boil. Stir occasionaly until it reaches ‘hard crack’ stage (300 degrees) which takes about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking sodac (it will puff up). Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan but do not spread. The candy will not fill the pan. Let the candy cool.
Melt the chocolate. Break the candy into chunks and dip it into the melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper and top with crushed candy cane pieces. Let cool before serving.
For the lace candy bowl, rub the outside of a metal mixing bowl with butter and place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Melt your favorite chocolate, then drizzle it over the chilled bowl until most of the outside and the bottom is covered in a lacy pattern. Place back in the freezer for about half an hour, then gently remove the chocolate “bowl” from the metal one. Serve the angel food in the chocolate lace bowl.
Chocolate Topped Sea Salt Caramels
Butter for greasing
1 cup butter (do NOT use margarine)
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Line the bottom and sides of an 11×7″ glass baking dish or pan with foil, leaving 1″ of foil overhanging on two opposite sides of the pan. Grease the foil with butter.
In a 3qt heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the corn syrup and the sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook 40-50 minutes or until 248 degrees on a candy thermometer (firm ball stage). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into pan. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until completely cool.
In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and oil on high for 30-40 seconds, stirring ever 10 seconds, until chocolate is melted. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly over caramel layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.
Remove caramels from baking dish to a cutting surface, using foil to lift. Peel away the foil and cut into 8 rows, by 6 rows. Store at room temperature.
In the Drop cookie category, Debra Vogel took 1st place for her deliciously simple Snowflakes.
1 lb almond bark
3 cups crushed potato chips
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
Melt almond bark in the microwave.
Add the chips and the peanuts and stir until well coated.
Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet coated in waxed paper. Let cool and serve!
In the Other category Diane Lasceski took 1st place for her Melt-Aways and our Junior cooke winner was Quinn Ruhland. Hopefully their recipes will follow shortly….