December 23, 2011

Nutella Cookies, Scottish Shortbread Cookies & Mexican Wedding Cookies

I'm back for the 11th edition of Blogging Marathon. I can't believe another year has almost come to an end and kudos to Valli for taking time and organizing these BMs. With the holiday season right upon us, I chose  "Holiday Specials" theme for the marathon. So for the next 7 days, I will posting some dishes made for holidays or made on holidays (including weekends).

This is my 500th Post and I'm celebrating with some homemade cookies.

 

I made cookies for this years's holiday gift-giving. I tend to stay away from cookies that require rolling & cutting and prefer slicing and baking cookies (psst.. if you really want to know why..... 'cos I'm a little lazy). So when I saw these slice & bake icebox cookies in Vegetarian Times magazine, I decided to give them a try and glad I did as they were easy to make and turned out pretty good.


In the gift box, I have nutella cookies, fruit & nut cookies, Scottish shortbread & Mexican wedding cookies. Here's how I made them:

Nutella Cookies:
Ingredients:
All purpose Flour - 1¾cups
Unsweetened Cocoa - ¼cup
Baking Soda - ½tsp
Salt - ¼tsp
Nutella - 1cup, plus more for frosting cookies
Butter or margarine - 4oz. (stick), softened
Brown Sugar - ¾cup
Egg - 1, large
Hazelnut extract - ½tsp
Blanched whole hazelnuts - for garnish

Method:

  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Keep aside.
  • Beat nutella and butter with electric mixer until smooth and combined. Beat in brown sugar, then egg and hazelnut extract with mixer on low speed until dough forms. The mixture will look pretty dry to begin with, but as you beat it will come together into a smooth dough, will take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Shape dough into 2" diameter log with plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice the dough log into ¼"thick slices. Transfer slices onto greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are firm and dry. 
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Frost each cookie with ½tsp Nutella, and garnish with hazelnut.
I found that these cookies tasted good even without the frosting, so I skipped the frosting part for the cookies in my gift box.

Scottish shortbread & Mexican wedding cookies are very similar to make: only difference being the shape of the cookie and addition of chopped walnuts to the Mexican wedding cookies. 



Scottish Shortbread & Mexican Wedding Cookies:
Ingredients:
Butter or margarine - 2 sticks, 1 cup, softened
Confectioners sugar - ½cup, plus more for rolling Mexican wedding cookies
Vanilla bean - 1, slit (optional)
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Salt - ¼tsp
Toasted walnuts - ½cup, chopped
Sugar - for dipping Scottish shortbread

Method:

  • Cream butter and ½cup confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, if using, into butter mixture, and beat until combined. Beat in flour and salt.
  • Divide dough in half. Transfer half the dough to a plastic wrap and pat or roll into 5" square that is ½" thick. Wrap the square tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • In the remaining dough, stir in the walnuts. Use plastic wrap to shape dough into 12" long x 1½" wide log that is rounded on the top and flat on the bottom. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to  350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
  • Scottish Shortbread: Cut dough square in half - that will make two 5" x 2½"rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 3/8" wide fingers. Dip sliced side of the fingers in sugar and place them sugar side up on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer t owire rack to cool completely.
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies: Slice dough log into ½" wide slices and transfer to the baking sheet. bake for 10-13 minutees, or until the cookies are lightly golden brown. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on baking sheet.
  • Place confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll Mexican wedding cookies in confectioners sugar while still warm. Cool completely on wire rack.


Notes:
  • I leave the butter out on the counter overnight to give it time to soften and make the dough in the morning. If you are in a rush and don't have softened butter on hand, simply zap the butter in microwave at 20% Power level for 10-15 seconds. Check and repeat until butter softens. Make sure not to melt the butter.
  • Chilled dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before slicing if frozen.
Here's a behind the scenes look when I was taking these pictures.


Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for Day 1 of BM#11.

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12 comments:

  1. That's a lovely array of delicious cookies.

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  2. Congrats on ur 500th post Pavani,keep on rocking yaar, cookies and shortbreads looks stunning and prefect for this festive season.

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  3. Wow Pavani, what a lovely box full of cookies!..all of them look so inviting..Happy Holidays and I am so looking forward to your posts..I am happy having these BMs..:)

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  4. Congrats on your 500th post Dear!!!! cookies look very delicious!!!

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  5. Beautiful nad delicious cookies.Pls do link them up wit lets cook for christmas red/green event @ simply.food

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  6. I completely forgot to wish you!..Congrats on your milestone..wishing you many more to come..

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  7. Congrats Pavani on the 500th post and the cookies are a perfect way to celebrate.

    Vardhini
    Event: Sinful Delights
    Event: Stuffed Paratha

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  8. Congrats dear...cookies look gorgeous and yummy,perfect for holidays and celebration.

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  9. I want that box of cookies for myself! Looks so good!

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  10. The cookies look absolutely delicious...

    ReplyDelete

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