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Chocolate Dipped Macaroons


This recipe came from a fellow preschool mom who made these delicious cookies for a school event. The plate was empty in a flash! She told me that the recipe came from Gourmet Magazine. These cookies take some time but are well worth the effort.

4 large eggs whites
1 – 1/3 cup sugar
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 – 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 – 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon flour
Fine Quality bittersweet chocolate

In a heavy saucepan stir together the egg whites, sugar, salt, vanilla, and coconut. Sift in the flour and stir the mixture until it is well combined. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and cook the mixture, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until it is thick and begins to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan. Transfer to a bowl, letting it cool slightly. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill mixture just until cold. Drop desired size cookies 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets. Bake in the middle of a preheated 300 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are pale golden. Watch for cookies to get the color and consistency you desire. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool. Melt the chocolate and dip the macaroons. Transfer to a foil-lined tray and chill until the chocolate is set (30 minutes to 1 hour). The macaroons keep chilled and separated by layers of wax paper in an airtight container for 3 days. Makes about 30 small cookies or less if bigger cookies are desired.

Grandma Annie’s Mostazzoli

One of Dad’s holiday favorites was Grandma Annie’s Mostazzoli. Nothing smells or tastes quite like them! When she agreed to walk me through this recipe she said that this cookie was made in Bari, Italy for Christmas and weddings. Grandma made them in the true Italian cookie tradition – quite dry and hard. The variation below is my spin on this wonderful treat but caters more to the soft cookie lover. Hopefully it packs the same great taste and flavor!

1 pound almonds – shelled and roasted
2 – 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups flour
2 cubes margarine or butter – softened
2 eggs
2 – 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
strong coffee
1 cup powdered sugar
2 or more tablespoons cocoa
lemon juice

Mix margarine and sugar with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice, mixing to incorporate. Stir in the almond pieces. Slowly add a bit of strong coffee to form a firm dough. Shape pieces of dough into a one inch thick rope, pat down a little and cut 1 – 1/2 inch angled pieces. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not over bake as the cookies will harden as they cool.

Icing: Mix together the powdered sugar and cocoa. (The amount of cocoa depends on how dark you want the cookies.) Slowly whisk in enough milk to achieve the desired glaze consistency. Although she did not include it in the written recipe, she told me that a touch of fresh lemon juice was also stirred in to the icing to make them a bit more shiny.

To roast almonds: Place almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and crush almonds to desired size pieces for cookies.

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Nothing brings back childhood memories of Mom’s kitchen in the the summertime more than her “No-Bakes”. She made them so often that they were simply perfect every time! As the years wore on and the four of us grew up, she made them for special occasions, too. On one such day, as a group of her children, nieces, and nephews headed off on a 12 hour road trip, she handed off a carefully packed tin bursting with this treasured confection. The cookies barely made it to our destination as they were almost gone by the time we left our first stop along the way!

3/4 cup milk
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 – 1/2 cubes of margarine
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 – 1/2 cups oats
1 – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Measure the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla extract and set aside in separate bowls. Combine the milk, sugar, cocoa, and margarine in a pan and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 3 minutes but not longer. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla, stirring after each addition. Work quickly to drop the cookies on waxed paper. Allow to cool.


Antoinette’s Iced Italian Cookies

“A Friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first time our family had these amazing cookies was when a family friend brought them to a reception that followed the funeral services for our beloved Aunt Kay. This recipe makes a very generous batch of comfort cookies that we have made for years. They are one of our favorites to share with those that are near and dear to us!

1 cup crisco
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons baking powder
6 eggs
1 cup milk
5 1/2 – 6 cups flour
powdered sugar
lemon juice

Combine crisco, sugar, vanilla, oil, and salt. Mix with an electric mixer. Add baking powder and eggs, mixing well. Pour in milk, mixing again to incorporate. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Some flour may be stirred in as it may get difficult to use a mixer. Roll pieces of dough like a rope and cut them into desired sizes – about 1 or 2 inches long. (Cookies will expand during baking.) Put on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Icing: Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk to make a medium thick icing. Brush the tops and sides of cooled cookies.
Allow icing time to dry before serving.

Grandma Adamo’s Biscotti

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies.   ~ Author Unknown

This biscotti recipe was passed on to me by my faithful friend, Angela Gober. It is one of the cookies she grew up on and treasures from her Sicilian Grandma Mary Adamo’s kitchen. It has long been a favorite of ours and one of our most requested recipes. These biscotti are great made just as the recipe reads or can easily be adapted to create other delicious variations.

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup slivered almonds
good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix oil, sugar, and eggs with an electric mixer. Add flour, baking powder, and almond extract. Mix well and then stir in slivered almonds. Separate dough into 4 pieces and put 2 long rows on each cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and slice each biscotti loaf diagonally, placing the cookies on their sides and returning them to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more or until lightly browned.

If desired: Dip each cookie in melted chocolate.