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A Cut-out Cookie Collection!

Cut-out Cookie CollectionIt’s nearly Christmas, and those cute bells, stars and tree cookie cutters are begging to be used!  This post is dedicated to our favorite cut-out cookie recipes featured here on Easybaked. We have everything from gingerbread to mocha, simple sugar cookies to international favorites! Make this year’s cookies your best yet!

Let’s start with the family favorite. My mom’s thick and cake-like cutout cookie recipe features a hint of cinnamon flavor and is truly a part of our Christmas (and Easter, and 4th of July, and back-to-school and GO PACKERS!) traditions. These are easy, and freeze well- so you can make them ahead. Go ahead and click on that photo to see the recipe.

IMG_1195

 

Next, is my personal favorite: GINGERBREAD!  These, too, have been a part of our family Christmas traditions. This recipe is my grandmother’s, and she faithfully made them every year, cut them as Christmas trees and decorated them with red-hots! Click on the photo to see her oh-so-yummy recipe!

Gingerbread Cookies!Similar to gingerbread are my Pumpkin Spice Cookies. These are sweeter and bake very flat and easy to decorate.

Pumpkin Pie Cutout cookies!Chocolate cut-out cookies that taste like the richest brownie but roll out and cut like a dream? Yes, please!  I love how the frosting colors really stand out on that dark chocolate! These chocolate cut-outs have been in our family awhile too- but as drop cookies that I tweaked to make cut-outs. Click the photo to see this delicious recipe:

Chocolate cut-out cookies

That chocolate cut-out recipe is so yummy that I experimented a little more with it to create a chocolate espresso cut out cookie and…oh my…one of my favorites!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies!I’ve spent some time overseas and discovered a wonderful dessert in Prague called Medovnic. Then I found these wonderful little honey-filled cut out cookies called Medovniky that are often made at Christmas. I made them for autumn, but they are a delicious flavor for any season!!

Honey cookies cut into leaf shapes!

Speaking of international cookies, these Alfajores from Peru add a totally unique (and deliciously caramel-filled) flavor to the holidays.

Alfajores (Peruvian caramel cookie)!

When it comes to cut-out cookies, the cookie cutters make all the difference! I absolutely LOVE the look created by Linzer cookie cutters. Typically they are layered with a fruit filling, but I just used colored frosting and you have beautiful cookies with very little fancy frosting technique!

Linzer Christmas CookiesOne other thing you’ll need are some good frosting recipes, which I’ve compiled right here in a post called: Frostings, fillings and fun!

mmm......frosting!

I hope that these recipes inspire fun-filled cookie making times with your family this season.

Merry Christmas! 

~r

12/19/14: On a personal note: I blog my recipes ahead, and I prepared this post and my next one (very fun New Years cookies) several weeks ago. Since that time, my mom has been diagnosed with very, very aggressive cancer and admitted to Hospice. I just wanted to ask for all of you who have followed this little blog and enjoyed these recipes to keep our family in your prayers as we say good bye to her this Christmas. After next week’s post (which is already scheduled),  I will probably take a little break from sharing recipes here. Many thanks, friends! ~r

(My personal and ministry blog is at: www.thenavajojourney.com, if you want to keep up with me there.)

Alfajores (Peruvian Caramel Cookies)

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Alfajores- Peruvian Caramel Cookie! These shortbread-like cookies are sandwiched around caramel and topped with chocolate and sugar…yum!

Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu!

I’m back!  For those of you who follow the comings and goings of Easybaked you know that I spent about 10 days in Peru.  It was a wonderful trip.  I visited my childhood friend Deb in Lima and then the two of us toured Machu Picchu and spent a few days in the Amazon jungle.  The foods were incredible, especially the fresh fruits!  I will add some pictures of our trip at the end….

One of the treats we had in Peru was a cookie called an Alfajore.  The cookie is very subtle- not too sweet- and very dense.  It is served with a caramel filling called Manjarblanco.  I had this filling in a variety of desserts and kept thinking that it tasted like Dulce de Leche.  When I returned home and looked it up I found that it is Dulce de Leche- in a convenient little pouch and ready to eat.

Manjarblanco

Here is my version of this yummy cookie.  If you like things that aren’t overwhelmingly sweet, this is your dessert!

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies (makes about 24 sandwich cookies)

  • 1/2stick (2 oz) butter (softened)
  • 1/4c. sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • a few drops of rum (optional)
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Dulce de Leche:

  •  1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (or Manjarblanco if you live in an area that offers this!)

DIRECTIONS:

{If you can’t purchase ready-made manjarblanco (dulce de leche), you will need to make your own.  Do this before making your cookies as it takes some time and will need to cool.  My favorite method of making dulce de leche involves boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk, and I have detailed instructions if you click here.}

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Cream together sugar and butter.
  • Add eggs, corn syrup, vanilla and rum.
  • Add flour and baking soda last, and knead dough together with clean hands. (The dough will be dry- a little like play-dough in consistency.  You can add a little water to soften it up if necessary.)
  • Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thick and cut using a 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch cookie cutter.
  • Place on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until just turning brown on top.
  • Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a rack.
  • Spread cookies with cooled caramel and sprinkle with powdered sugar/ drizzle with a little chocolate if you like.


Alfajores (Peruvian caramel cookie)!

My thoughts:  I love international recipes.  One of my favorite parts of travel is trying new foods and hearing stories about how those foods fit in with the lives of the people I meet.  These cookies are really good, and available all over in Peru.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!!

Alfajores
Alfajores-- yummy dulce de leche filling!

A few glimpses at Peru…such a beautiful country full of kind and beautiful people!

Sunrise at Machu Picchu

Sunrise at Machu Picchu

Stairs up Wayana Picchu

Stairs up Wayana Picchu

Beautiful Machu Picchu!!!

Beautiful Machu Picchu!!!

Amazon Village

Amazon Village

Piranha fishing!!

Piranha fishing!!

Jungle hike...baby ferns

Jungle hike…baby ferns

Fresh watermelon in the market at Iquitos

Fresh watermelon in the market at Iquitos

Sloth cuddles :)

Sloth cuddles 🙂

Anaconda!

Anaconda!

Amazon sampler: Jungle pig, Cayman and Paiche (Arapayma)

Amazon sampler: Jungle pig, Cayman and Paiche (Arapayma)

Deb and I - we've been friends since we were two!  Fun trip!!

Deb and I – we’ve been friends since we were two! Fun trip!!

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