Thursday, January 13, 2011

What better way to celebrate the end of finals?....

....Than with cookies? And spiced brown sugar star shaped cookies to be exact. Finals were stressful, and I still feel like I should be studying! But it also feels like a tremendous pressure has been lifted from my shoulders. Ah, such a relaxing feeling. :) Plus, my hands, and brain, are so grateful it's over. After writing practice essays for a couple hours, my hands seriously did not want to write another essay. I can't even believe I'm writing this! I feel like I should be vegging out in front of the tv. Oh wait, I already did for three hours!
Unbaked star cookies
I actually made these during winter break, but didn't get around to post them until now. Usually I don't like to make shaped cookies, but surprisingly the dough was easy to roll out and cut. The trick I found is to roll out the dough between plastic wrap, peel away one side, cut out the shapes, and then flip the cut out shapes on to a sheet of parchment paper. I wish I took an after picture of these cookies, but they were eaten too quickly! The dough didn't spread a lot, which meant they kept their shape. Hooray! It's so discouraging when prettily shaped cookies spread an turn in to a plain drop cookie.

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
From Annie's Eats
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Form the dough into a ball or disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm, at least 30-60 minutes.
2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness.  Use cookie cutters to form desired shapes and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.


  1. I think cookies are the best way to celebrate every occasion!!! I love the ginger in these!

  2. Your cookies look great! Hope you get a gold star on your results too.

  3. Congrats on finishing the semester! I think these stars are perfect for your celebrating. They look so simple but full of flavor

  4. I have a question! I have been looking for a cookie that I can roll out and cut in shapes that is not too crunchy. I want to put a soft lemon icing between two of them to create a sandwich cookie, but I don't want the cookie to be so crispy crunchy that you can't bite into it without having the icing oozing all over your hand ... know what I mean?

    How do you think your recipe would do as a sandwich cookie? Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Nothing says celebration and the end of finals better than cookies! A little trick I learned if you want your cookies to keep shape, place them in the fridge for about 20 minutes before baking!

  6. @ Tiffany: Yup, you're totally right!

    @ All That's Left are the Crumbs: Thanks! I hope so too! :) Crossing fingers!

    @ Steph: Thanks! And you're definitely correct :)

    @ Susan: Hm...I know what you mean. The combination of the spices in these cookies would taste amazing with a lemon icing! I actually rolled my cookies out really thin (as thin as I could, almost transparent) to get that crunch, but I'd assume that slightly thicker cookies (maybe 6-7 mm) would equate to softer cookies, perfect for filling. Darn, I wish I still had some cookies so I could try this! If you try it, tell me how it goes! Good luck!

    @ Evan @swEEts: Oh, great tip! I'll try that next time too!

  7. Glad your finals are over! My midterms are still to come, and I feel so nervous! can't wait till they're over!
    Your cookies look so pretty and perfect :) and tip for keeping them from spreading: refridgerate for at least half an hour before baking, and just put themin directly from the fridge, it works really well.

  8. These look sooooo good. Contrats on your semester.
    Your blog is just delish!

  9. Congrats on your completion of the semester. The cookies looks perfect.

  10. Oh I simply loved your star cookies. My son is fond of both stars and cookies, got a nice idea to please him.

  11. These cookies look delicious! The perfect way to celebrate the end of finals! :)

  12. I am always a strong supporter of rewards for working hard...or any time... :) These look delicious.

  13. These cookies are perfect for the celebration!!

  14. I know baking these cookies must be so relaxing especially after those hard days.

  15. Congrats on passing your exams! The cookies look so pretty, and hey, thank you for that great tip about rolling the dough on a plastic wrap!!

  16. Hey Lynne!

    Susan back after making your cookies and sandwiching them ... I'm going to post them (giving your site a link and a nod) ... they came out really well! The only thing I did differently with your dough was to add 1/4 tsp. of five spice powder, which is my fave new spice to play with ... tasty lemon icing ... yum!

  17. @ Dee D.: Oh! Good luck! Thanks and great tip!

    @briarrose: Thanks!

    @Nicole: Thank you! :)

    @Quay Po Cooks: Thanks :)

    @Sonia: Hope he likes them!

    @sweetpeaskitchen: Yup, you're definitely correct

    @Nourhan: Can't agree with you more

    @Megan: Great motto!

    @Elle: Yes!

    @Radhika: It definitely was!

    @Alina: Thanks. I hope the tip helps!

    @Susan: Oh! Sounds wonderful! I can't wait to see how the sandwiching looked! Yum! five spice powder sounds delish!


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