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
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

19 comments:

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

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

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

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  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!

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  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!

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  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!

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  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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  13. These cookies are perfect for the celebration!!

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

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  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!!

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  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!

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  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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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear from you :)