Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies – Gluten Free

Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies

A pile of cookies waiting for tea time!

A pile of cookies waiting for tea time!

These cookies use no processed sugars just honey and no wheat flour, just oats! If you are cutting down on gluten these are perfect, if gluten is a serious issue for you, only use oats that are labeled “Gluten Free”. I don’t have any health issue with gluten, just trying to cut down on it, so I use regular oatmeal.

OOhhh look at all those chocolate chips!

OOhhh look at all those chocolate chips!

Golden Oatmeal Honey Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 F

Ingredients:

¼ c butter (1/2 stick)

¼ c coconut oil

½ c honey

1 c old fashioned rolled oats

½ c quick oats

 

1c oat flour (I grind oatmeal in coffee grinder that I use just for seeds and grains)

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cinnamon

 

1 c chopped walnuts + pecans (heavier on the walnuts)

½ c chopped almonds

1 ¼ c raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, dry cherries etc.

1 egg

¾ c chocolate chips (if you want)

½ c unsw. Shredded coconut (if you want)

  1. Put first 5 ingredients in a pan and heat on low to melt. Stir often to wet the oats and heat.
  2. Start mixing dry ingredients in a big bowl while the oats and honey heat.
  3. Remove oats from heat, put in glass bowl then in fridge or freezer to cool down just so it’s only warm.
  4. Mix nuts and fruits into dry ingredients. (and chips and coconut if adding)
  5. Mix egg into cooled honey oat mixture then mix into dry ingredients to form sticky dough.
  6. Drop onto lightly greased pans, push down a bit. It is very sticky, try to use spoon to scoop and then just touch with fingers to push into mounds. I do a bunch while waiting for first batch and put them on cutting board, they dry a bit and you can pick them up to put on cookie sheet, press down a bit after.
  7. Bake at 325 F 10 min. then turn pan bake 4 min. more. Let cool a tiny bit on pan then remove.

These taste so buttery and crispy, I’m really happy with them! I put too many chocolate chips in the ones pictured (is that possible?) because they kept wanting to fall apart before they were baked! So keep the chips to 3/4 c if you use them at all. I added the coconut oil to cut down on butter amount, I imagine you could use all coconut oil, but won’t have the same buttery taste. Add whatever dried fruits you want.

  • I also think these may be good baked as bars, I’ll try that next time, it’d be a lot less messy! (The dough is sticky!)
  • I think if you sprinkled little blobs of this dough all over the cookie sheet, and bake for less time, it’d make a wonderful snack to munch on!

 

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Rout Biscuits

Rout Biscuits with dried cherry on top

A very yummy , sweet, crispy, light and chewy all at once cookie! Well in England it’s known as a biscuit but all I know is it’s very easy and very special, perfect for tea time. Made simply from almond meal, sugar, egg whites and almond essence.

These clover shapes were made using a different plate.

I read that these were “popular accompaniments to a glass of wine or sherry at routs or fashionable gatherings in the 18th and 19th centuries.” It comes from Middlesex England. Your supposed to put a bit of glace cherry on top but I hate them, so I used dried cherries.

Crisp on the outside and chewy inside.

Now I didn’t know what a Rout was…did you? Well I looked it up and the only definitions I can find have to do with disorderly retreats (battle), a noisy rabble, to root or poke (like a pig!), a disorderly crowd of persons! Well I didn’t read anything about “fashionable gatherings”! Until I found an article on Huffinton Post that had a great article all about Nut Biscuits (cookies) from different countries. Reading about them gives me some ideas that might be creative to try out. (I’m sorry they took the link down so I removed it! Wish I had copied it)

I made some using a heart shaped plate.

You can easily try different shapes by just changing the round plate on the end of the press, no need to empty the it first. I made these heart shapes, depending on how much dough you squeeze out will make them fat or thin.

My old dough press, love it!

I bought this old press at the thrift store or a garage sale and I love it. It doesn’t have all the parts but I can still use many of the plates. Some are a bit spotty-old but that doesn’t hurt anything.

This is the press with the plate in it, and dough.

This is what the press looks like on the end the dough comes out, I have the ‘star’ plate in it.

Three plates and the cookies they make.

This shows the three plates and the cookies they make, a heart, star or blossom and what I’d call a clover. The blossom or star is great for putting a bit of jelly or fruit on top and I guess the clover is too.

Golden and hot from the oven!

Rout Biscuits

6 oz (3/4 c + 2 T + 1 tsp) castor sugar (or reg white sugar)
6 oz (1 3/4 c) ground almonds
2 egg whites (about 5 1/2 T)
1/8 tsp almond essence (extract)
A little beaten egg yolk to glaze (if you want, I didn’t bother)
small pieces of glace cherries (or dried cherries I used), angelica or flaked almond for decoration

1. Set oven to 350 F

2. Mix sugar and almonds, you can weigh them into the same bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with a fork a bit to break them up. I made a small depression in the centre of the mix
and poured the egg whites in then added the almond essence to it and mixed it into the egg, before mixing
all up into the almond-sugar. If you’re using up egg whites from other recipes, just measure out the 5 1/2 T.

4. Mix it and cream it very well. Let it sit while you grease a cookie sheet and give it another mix when you’re
ready. Another recipe I found suggested letting it sit an hour, so go ahead and make these up and let them sit while you clean up the kitchen! Spoon into a pastry press or an icing bag with a star tip and pipe into stars or using the press try
different shapes. I liked the heart, 4 leaved clover and the big star; that one is nice for the cherry. You can add
a sprinkle of colored sugar if you like.  I didn’t glaze with egg but maybe I’ll try if I start with whole eggs next time.

5. Press or pipe directly onto greased sheets and press pieces of dried cherry or glace cherry into tops if you like. You can also sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 8-10 min, until golden all around edges.

Some of the dough in the bowl.

Here’s some of the Rout Biscuit dough in the bowl, waiting for the press. A note from me, I have never had a ‘Rout Biscuit’ before so I wasn’t sure the consistency of the dough. I’m not sure if it should be stiffer, resulting in a less puffy biscuit? All I know is they tasted dandy!

Bob’s Red Mill almond meal flour.

I bought this at my local ‘Tops’ grocery store in the organic section, but it was EXPENSIVE!  More than $10, yikes!

Lots of Rout Biscuits waiting to be sampled.

These biscuits (or cookies) keep well in a tightly sealed container. Have you ever made Rout Biscuits or eaten them? If so please leave me a comment about them.

Below are links to glossy cards I made with the recipes on, you can keep them or send them!

“Rout Biscuits” Glossy Post Card
“Rout Biscuits” Recipe Card with customizable text
It’d be fun to mail this to a friend who loves baking! Maybe a birthday or to drop a hint that you want cookies!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Cookies!

I have a good friends who every few months have “Movie Night” at their house.  It’s well organized as he does themes for the year and usually starts with some interesting information about the film that I never knew.  The folks who come are all interesting to talk to as most are interested in culture; there’s a few retired professors from the local University and even some that come down from Canada just to attend!

Glazed and waiting to be eaten

This year it’s Sci-Fi and last night was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, a Walt Disney film. I won’t go into the detail of cool things I learned about the movie but just tell you about the cookies I made. They were a real hit and everyone loved them! It took a bit of effort on my part but I’m glad I took the time as everyone had a good time talking about them (and eating them!)

Use waxed paper between layers.

It’s a basic Butter Cookie dough that I’ve used for cut out cookies, and you can too. But you can also play around with the dough as I did and shape them by hand. I’ll give you tips under each photo that will help you make them successfully. I do hope you try them or at least creating something then let me know how it went for you.

Glazed with yellow sugar-milk-vanilla glaze

To glaze the cookies wait until they are totally cool, this insures less breakage when you handle them. Make a drippy glaze in a cup by putting about 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar in then drizzle in some vanilla (I didn’t measure, just don’t overdo it) maybe about 1 tsp or so, and start mixing; now add a drizzle of milk, just a tad! Mix it up and you’ll be surprised at how little milk will make it runny. You want it sort of runny so it glazes easier. Add a drop or so of food coloring and mix. Using  a spoon gently touch the cookie as you let glaze drizzle out, I keep contact with the spoon and it helps to guide the glaze where you want it to go.  Don’t put so much that it runs down the sides only because it’ll make it harder to move them without breaking tentacles later!

Dusted with powdered sugar for something different

Besides glazing you can leave the cookies plain or dust with confectioner’s sugar. With any you can still taste the yummy goodness of this basic butter cookie. My favorite part was nibbling off the tentacles! They are crispy golden and when you pick up a cookie it’s the first thing you want to eat! How fun! If the cookies aren’t too ‘detailed’ you can also brush with egg white and sprinkle with colored sugar then bake; this is usually what I do for cut outs.

whoa...a whole bunch of squid monsters!

These are cooling from the oven…can you see how each one is different? This is what makes them so fun. Now my boyfriend saw them and said if you look at them upside down, they could be a Medusa head! Oh…what a fun idea! Can you picture it?

So, onto the cookies! I’ll put the recipe here then below pictures with detailed explanation and tips.

Butter Cookie Dough (for cut outs or hand shaping):

1 c butter (2 sticks or 8 oz) softened
2/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c sifted flour

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C.
2. Cream butter and sugar well.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
4. Sift the flour, measure and add a bit at a time mixing in well each time.
5. On floured surface roll dough out and cut with cookie cutters. Lift the dough and move it around a bit and re-flour if needed before you cut out, this way they don’t stick to the counter as much. Or just follow my directions below to hand shape them.
6. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes depending on their size, look for edges to get golden . For shaped cookies, let them cool for 3 minutes on the pan before removing them.

I sifted flour right in my flour container

I’m pretty laze about sifting flour first for recipes, especially cookies, but for this one it says ‘sifted flour’ so I just sifted a pile into my container then gently scooped up to measure. I then sifted more and repeated until I had enough, it wasn’t a big deal to do it this way.

Start with a walnut sized ball

Ok, so first step is to start with a walnut sized ball. See how my hands are floury and the ball slightly floury? That’s how you want it, NOT sticky.

With flour dusted hands roll it into a log

Roll the ball into a log with your hands, if it feels at all sticky, just dust your hands with flour again or roll the log on the counter to pick up flour then roll it in your hands and the flour will disappear. It shouldn’t feel sticky is the point.

On a floured counter pat it out into an oblong shape making it wider at one end.

Now place the log on the floured counter and using your finger tips gently pat it out flat. You will coax it into shape by patting flat with fingers of one hand while the other hand will push the edge to make it into a shape. Like here my left hand is keeping the bottom from spreading and the dough will go wider as I press with my right hand (fingers). Of course I’m holding the camera so you can’t see it in action!  You can see it looks a bit squareish on the right, I then used my fingers to push it in and round it.

(I’m sorry if it seems I’m over explaining this to those of you who ‘get it’, I like to give a full description for those who have little experience in the kitchen, I guess it’s the teacher in me!)

Cut in the middle leaving 1/3 uncut.

Lift the piece of dough and lay it near the edge of the ‘floured’ counter like so. It helps to lift with an icing spatula, you can see mine in the picture above showing the ball of dough. Take a sharp knife or use the edge of the spatula to cut the dough up the middle, cut 2/3 up. The top is the head so how ever long your shape is will determine how long the tentacles are.

Cut each side piece into three

You’re going to cut each side into three parts, just keep the dough straight and make two cuts. BUT first! Here is the important tip!! When you cut, the dough will want to stick to your knife. As you lift it out, lift from the handle first in a rocking motion so the dough falls away from the knife and won’t pull on the dough near the tip of the knife. This is important because the trickiest part of making these is not pulling the tentacles off! You don’t want to ever pull the dough at the base of the tentacles, you’ll see what I mean when you do it. Wipe the blade off between cuts and use some flour on it if you want.

Six tentacles for a squid, but I don't think it matters, they are what you tell people they are, squid or octopus!

It’s really not that hard once you start doing them.

Lift gently and lay on cookie sheet

Use your icing spatula to help you lift the head then it’s easy to get your fingers under and lift the whole thing up. Gently lay on an ungreased cookie sheet. I put four on each sheet only because while some were baking I’d be working on them and it’s hard to get more done than that.

Gently pinch tentacles to make them more rounded.

After you lay it on the COOLED sheet, start with the outer legs and gently round each tentacle by lightly pinching with your fingertips then curve them up by the head. Then you do the rest of the legs being careful always not to pull on the legs at all.

Make eye holes with the end of a chop stick.

Use a pointed end of a chopstick or something similar to make holes for eyes. Stick it into the dough then make a circular motion to push the dough aside and create a hole, don’t make it too small or it’ll puff shut when you bake it. I found it helpful to hold the dough in place with the other hand while doing it. Do one cookie start to finish because the dough may get sticky if you let it sit on the cookie sheet waiting.

Put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, mine took 10. Check to see if they are golden on the tips of the tentacles, give the cookie sheet a turn when you check them for even baking. When you remove them from the oven, set the timer for three minutes and let the cookies cool for that long. I found they were cooled enough to let them slide off easily but still just warm enough that they didn’t want to stick to the pan. Use the icing spatula to lift them off, making sure first that every tentacle etc is loose.

Close up of a scary squid...I'm not afraid, I'll eat his arms off! mmwahahahaha

I hope you’ll try to make something with this dough and let me know! I’ve even used it at Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day by tinting some of the dough then making striped candy canes or shamrocks….hm…I may have to make them again just so I can photograph them and show you. Click the picture below to see the recipe and photos as a glossy note card you can send or keep!

The next movie night is March 31 and it’s Ulysses so my imagination is already having fun thinking of what I can make! Sign up on the left sidebar to follow my posts if you like and leave me comments if you want! Now time to get back to my painting…and eating cookies…

One Dough, Many Cookies!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a great recipe using my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie dough that was my Grandma Judge’s. It’s perfect for busy mom’s or artists!  You use the basic dough without the peanut butter and make several kinds all in the same baking. All very nice, crispy cookies!

Here’s the ingredients for basic dough:

1 c shortening (6.7 oz)

1 c sugar (7.1 oz)

1 c brown sugar (8.9 oz)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c flour (13 oz)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1. Cream the shortening and sugars well, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Wow when I was in England I missed this baby! Had to do everything by hand.

Creaming with my stand electric mixer

2. In another medium size bowl sift the flour, baking soda and salt.

Sifting dry ingredients

You can sift it first then use a whisk to mix it together well.

Mix dry ingredients well with a whisk

Now add it to the creamed mixture a little at a time and mix well, if using an electric stand mixer stop once or twice to scrape the beaters and bottom of the bowl, try to resist licking your fingers!

Depending on how many kinds of cookies you want to make will depend on how you divide the dough up.

Golden Crunch (Butterscotch): 

Just using the dough as is makes a nice crispy cookie. Make balls on ungreased cookie sheet, press with the fork in two directions to create a criss cross pattern. If it starts to stick to the dough, dip in water between squishes. Try baking just a few, let them cool and see if you like them. These may spread a little more than when you add the peanut butter.

*My mom told me that when my Grandma Judge made Peanut Butter cookies she’d mark them with the fork in one direction (like my pictures) but she’d criss cross the fork to make Butterscotch cookies and they were Grandpa Judge’s favorite! I never ever had a recipe for these Butterscotch cookies but because I like to experiment in the kitchen, I tried baking some of the dough without the peanut butter, thinking maybe that’s what Grandma did…well I was excited to discover that it worked and I think it’s just what she did! I love learning about that kind of family history and I think about them every time I make these butterscotch cookies, making the criss cross. I never knew my Grandpa but I think of him all the same when I bake these.

Peanut Butter:

Ohhh Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies!

For every 1 cup of dough (9 oz), you add 1/4 c of peanut butter; just scoop out 1 or 2 cups of dough and put in a small dish for now.

Use measuring cup or weigh the dough

After I mixed the chocolate chip cookies, I used the mixer bowl and just put this measured dough back in, added the peanut butter and mixed well. I used 2 cups of dough so I added ½ c peanut butter. Make balls on ungreased cookie sheet and squish gently with a fork. If it starts to stick to the dough, dip in water between squishes.

Use fork to squish in one direction

*Try whatever nut butter you want. I experimented once with ground sunflower butter, almond butter, and I think tahini (sesame seed), all as separate cookies. The sunflower one was strong flavored, I think the almond was nice…a good thing to know if you have someone allergic to peanuts!

Chocolate Chip:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey it’s not rocket science! Whatever you have left in the mixer bowl you can throw nuts and chips in till it ‘looks’ right to you.  If you want to make other types of cookies take some dough out now and put in another little bowl. If you took 2 cups of dough out for the peanut butter or other cookies then add 1/3 c chopped nuts and ½ c chocolate chips. (both were heaped a bit). You can use walnuts or pecans.

You don’t have to make balls, just pick up blobs of dough with your fingers and pinch off rounded pieces that ‘feel’ about right. Put on ungreased cookie sheet.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough....oh tasty all by itself!

You can make them any size you want, just make them all the same so they bake the same amount of time. Forget scooping with spoons, this way you get to nibble on bits as you go! Whoops I didn’t say that did I??  😉

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip:

(00ps! no picture, I ate the ones I experimented with before taking a picture! Sorry, guess I’ll have to make them again, they were really good though!)

Ok, so if you’re like me you know that every cookie is better with chocolate chips in it! You can make these without the chips if you want but think of how easy it is to use half the chocolate chip dough, add some more stuff and you have another type of cookie! When I bake again I’ll do some measuring so you’ll know exactly how much spice and oats to add per 1 c of dough. For now just bake a bunch of chocolate chip cookies then with the dough left in the bowl, throw in some oatmeal flakes, raisins, a good shake of cinnamon and a little shake of nutmeg. Look at the amount of dough you have and add about ½ that in oats, ¼ that in raisins. Really just do it till it looks right, but if you add too much the dough won’t hold together.  Not to confuse you but if you also want to add peanut butter to these, leave out the spice and ohhh they’re yummy!  Form balls with your fingers and hands, pinching off same size pieces and pressing together if it’s crumbly. Put on ungreased cookie sheet.

For ALL Cookies:

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*After the first 10 minutes I turn the cookie sheet around to help front and back bake evenly, then finish baking till golden. Don’t overbake. Remove from oven, pop next sheet of cookies in that you have ready and waiting, then remove them from the hot sheet. This way you keep things moving along.

Yum, waiting for company!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

 

chocolate crinkle cookies

chocolate crinkle cookies

A most delicious cookie! They were,( note I emphasize “were“) crispy outside and very chocolaty and tender inside. Very easy to make though a little messy on the hands, it’s worth it!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 c brown sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (dark or regular)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp cold butter -cut up in bits
2 large eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chocolate chips (semi sweet)

Put the brown sugar in a medium bowl and break it up; then put flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a sifter and sift on top of the sugar. I use a simple mesh strainer with a handle and put it on a plate while I measure the ingredients into it. Then sift over the bowl, adding what’s left on the plate also. Mix well.

Add the butter bits and repeatedly pinch into the mixture with your finger tips. (yes, this gets messy, try not to lick your fingers until your done!) Do this until it’s like breadcrumbs. Then add the beaten eggs, vanilla and lastly the chips. If the dough isn’t stiff enough then add more flour. I put it into the refrigerator to chill.

 

rolling balls of dough in sugar

Take a teaspoon and scoop up a little, roll into little balls and roll in confectioners sugar or cocoa powder and sugar mixture. Put on lightly greased cookie sheet about 2″ or so apart. Bake 10 min then turn pan, bake 2 more minutes. Adjust your baking time as needed.

notes:

  • this dough was very sticky, but if you dust your hands with flour or confectioners sugar it helps. Try not to handle it much, just take off the teaspoon and roll quickly into a ball, dropping into the powdered sugar.
  • Cocoa powder and powdered sugar mixture for rolling, is half and half amounts.
  • You can use dark or regular cocoa powder for the recipe, for the ones pictured I used dark, but rolled in regular with powdered sugar.

Plain sugar and cocoa powder and sugar

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Cookie Exchange Invitations!

Are you planning on having a cookie exchange? I created Invitations in my Zazzle shop that have pictures of  “Grandma Judge’s Peanut Butter Cookies” on them and the cards look so cool it makes me want to have a Cookie Exchange!

Here’s a link to see them, and a photo below. You can change the photo to one of your own cookies and all the text is ready for you to put in what you want, so easy! They come with envelopes and are printed on both sides.

Gingerbread Boys and Cut-Out Cookies

Stacks of Gingerbread cookies!

It wouldn’t feel (or smell) like Christmas without the smell of gingerbread cookies freshly baked, wafting through the house. This is a great recipe to make with your kids as the dough is extremely forgiving and handle-able. Some cut out doughs you aren’t supposed to handle too much or get too much flour mixed in but this dough seems to get easier to work with as you DO mix flour in. It starts a bit sticky so don’t be afraid to get flour on it. Here’s the recipe and I’ll explain steps along with the pictures.

Many times I make this dough the day before then put it in the refrigerator overnight, so I start with a clean fresh kitchen the next day and a well chilled dough. (Well a pretty clean kitchen, c’mon I’m not perfect!)

Gingerbread Cut Outs – 375 degrees.

1 1/2 c Sugar

1 c dark molasses

1 c shortening (or one Crisco stick)

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

1 Tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1/2 c hot water

6+  cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

First let me say that this actually is supposed to be a SOFT gingerbread cookie dough, if you use 5 cups of flour and don’t change anything else, you’ll have a great soft cookie recipe. What I do sometimes is make it this way, take some dough out and put in a separate bowl then add flour to the rest of the dough to make cut outs. The soft dough you can add raisins, chocolate chips and or nuts to and just drop them with a teaspoon onto the greased cookie sheets. So you make one mess and have two kinds of cookies, my favorite kind of recipe!

For cut outs (gingerbread boys etc) just add 6 cups of flour and later as you play with it add more as needed. What I do is test the dough by baking one cookie and see how much it puffs, if it puffs too much you loose the cut out look and means you need to add more flour. No big deal, just knead some in like you would with bread dough.

Mixing sugar and molasses

As always, wash your hands well first, not just for germs but in case you have hand lotion on etc. it won’t taste nice in your cookies! I use my fingers to get the dough off the beater all the time, it’s just easier. You’ll also handle the dough to shape it. Make sure the kids wash up too if they’re helping.

First mix the sugar with the molasses. I haven’t tried this with treacle yet, which is what our friends in the UK would use, I think you’d need to cut it with golden syrup. If I make them in England I’ll try it and let you know!

Shortening

You can use canned shortening or the sticks.

Creaming shortening into sugar mixture

Cream the shortening into the sugar mixture, if you buy “Crisco Sticks”  it’s one whole stick. I love these for baking because they’re so easy and minimize cleanup time.

Add your eggs now and mix well.

Water, vinegar and baking soda added

Just wanted to show you how weird it looks after you add the vinegar, this is normal!  After you add the vinegar measure 1/2 cup of Hot water into a liquid measure cup,  add 1 Tbsp of baking soda and mix it to dissolve. Add this to the cookie dough now.

Adding flour a little at a time

For the flour mixture, put your flour measured into a sifter then put the salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon on top. Sift this into a medium sized bowl to mix. Add by small amounts to the batter on slow (so flour won’t fly all over!) mixing well every time you add some.

Use a board or trivet to put hot cookie sheets on

I lay a wooden cutting board or a hot plate on the table and cover it with two dishtowels to protect the table from the hot cookie sheets.

All ready to bake!

Here’s my set up, one end of a cleared wooden table. Move all your junk, c’mon some of you must have stuff on your table like me! ; then clean the table surface with a damp cloth. I keep the cooling racks right next to where the cookie sheets are so it’s easy to slip large cookies off. You don’t need a huge area to roll out the dough, you only do a small amount at a time.

Roll dough around to pick up flour

Scoop out some dough, if it’s very sticky just roll it in the flour and you can knead some into the dough right now too. Before I roll it out on the table I pat it in my hands to flatten a bit like a huge cookie. Then sprinkle flour on the table and plop the dough on the table, roll it a bit, lift it to make sure it’s not sticking and roll some more. Don’t be afraid to add flour to the table.

Roll out dough and cut

Rub your cookie cutter in flour then cut the dough, lift it up and if it doesn’t stick to the table it’ll lift with the cutter, just hold it over your cookie sheet and poke it out with your finger. If it sticks to the table that’s ok! Just pull surrounding dough away, and either use your fingers to lift it or a pancake turner (spatula).  I would recommend baking one cookie first to test the dough. If it puffs up too much you need to add more flour, just knead it into the dough as you go.

Ready for the oven

Use a greased cookie sheet. Press raisins, chocolate chips, nuts and whatever candies you want into the dough to decorate it. I love the chocolate chips with it!  You can decorate with white icing after they are cooled too. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes , 5-6 for the small cookies and pretzel shapes. They will firm up as they cool. If you like a chewier cookie, keep them a bit underbaked and/or roll them thicker.

Rolling a rope

Ok, the best part of this dough is you can play with it, perfect for kids! It’s very forgiving, if it doesn’t turn out, smoosh it up and try again. Remember playing with clay when you were a kid, well it’s just like that when you want to make a pretzel shape or Celtic Knot. I show doing it on floured surface but I found that rolling it on the greasy cookie sheet was much better and you don’t have to lift it after. So roll and shape right on the greased cookie sheet.

Making a pretzel shaped cookie

Pretzel cookie with trimmed ends

Play around with it and trim the ends off.

Celtic Triskell knots made from Gingerbread dough

This is something I made up when my boyfriend saw the pretzel shapes and said they looked like Celtic Knots…the creative lightbulb went off immediately and I started creating these, Triskell Knots! Cool huh?  A little tricky to do…just play with it, it’s like making a pretzel but you close the loop on the third side instead of trimming it. A word of advice, don’t leave in the oven as long as the cut outs, these will bake much faster. Try 5-6 minutes.

Wow look at all those cookies!

Don’t forget to visit my fine art website  www.marymcandrew.com to see my paintings. I have a store coming soon where you can order note cards, t-shirts, mugs, stickers…gosh the list is never ending! I’ll keep you posted.

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