Paper and Ink Imaginings

just playing with paper and ink


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Russian Tea Cakes

russian-tea-cakes-finished

It is time for holiday baking to commence!

Russian Tea Cakes are something my mother baked for Christmas when I was a child. Her cookbook named them “Nut Butter Balls” (this was published during the Cold War…I am sure anything named “Russian” got a new name!). They are also called Mexican Wedding Cakes.

I usually only make them for Christmas. It keeps them special.

Russian Tea Cakes

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • Confectioner’s sugar (for rolling after baking)

Cream butter/margarine with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Wrap dough in plastic wrap (I shape into a rectangle, maybe an inch in height), and chill for at least 2 hours. (I mix up the dough after dinner, and don’t roll the dough balls until the next day.)

Roll dough into balls that are a little less than 1 inch in diameter (if you chilled the dough in a rectangle, you can now slice the rectangle into small cubes to be rolled – easy peasy).

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 15 minutes (bottoms should be golden, tops might be just starting to crack).

Let cool on pan 5 minutes, then start rolling them individually in Confectioner’s sugar and placing them on wax paper to cool.

Let cool on wax paper several hours.

Roll them in Confectioner’s sugar again, as you are placing them into the storage container. (And I re-roll them in Confectioner’s sugar as I put them out on Christmas day – just so they look pretty!)

Note: You can substitute most any kind of nut. I have made them with pecans, I am sure I have had the same recipe shaped like crescents made with almonds.

Here is what a batch of dough looks like on a sandwich plate:

russian-tea-cakes-rolled-dough

Here’s a dough ball I saved for one of the offspring:

russian-tea-cakes-dough-ball-for-offspring

This dough has no egg in it, it was always considered safe to eat.

AND…here is the new warning label (new this year – after the e-coli outbreak caused by one specific flour processing plant in July 2106) that tells me that I should not eat raw flour products:

flour-warning

Sorry, no lectures please…I am #TEAMCOOKIEDOUGH all the way. The dough is sometimes even better than the cookies!

 


New Star Wars movie, celebrate you must!

star wars dough

There is some Star Wars geekiness going on in this house. With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opening in theaters this week, I had to break out the Star Wars cookie cutters!

Basic Sugar Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

Cream together butter/margarine & sugar. Mix in liquid ingredients, then work in the dry ingredients. Wrap well, chill overnight.  Roll out to desired thickness (the Star Wars cookies are much thicker than my usual sugar cookies, so the details would stay visible after baking). Cut with desired cookie cutters. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 8 minutes (longer if cookies are large and/or thick).

star wars cookies

My cookie cutters came in 2 separate sets – characters and vehicles, and were purchased at Williams-Sonoma in our local mall 5 or 6 years ago. I checked online, they currently sell a single set of 8 cookie cutters, but some are different from what I have.

Here is a link to the current product:

Star Wars Cookie Cutters at Williams-Sonoma

May The Force Be With You!


Reese’s Minis and Mini M&M Monster Cookies

monster cookie

A few years ago while flipping channels, I stumbled upon Ree Drummond (“The Pioneer Woman”) making Monster Cookies.

Here is her recipe – Monster Cookies by Ree Drummond .

Hmmmm…too many suggested additions in her posted recipe for me. But I do like the cookie base. The first time I tried the recipe, I added regular M&Ms, pecans, oats, and Rice Krispies. But I skimped on the suggested amount of salt.

This time, I dumped in (2) 8 ounce bags of Reese’s Minis (less what I ate as I worked!), a 12 ounce bag of Mini M&Ms, and 2 or 3 cups of Rice Krispies. And all of the salt in the original recipe. The salt is just such a great counterpoint to the brown sugar and chocolate.

Here is what they looked like ready to go into the oven:

monster cookie dough balls

Sorry for the photo quality…I baked at night, this is the best photo to be had in the kitchen in the middle of baking! I used my muffin scoop, and flattened each ball out a bit to help them cook evenly.

Thanks for stopping by!


2 Comments

Gingersnaps

gingersnaps

I baked these a few weeks ago. We still have a few left in the freezer.

Gingersnaps

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • —————————————————–
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir together first 6 (dry) ingredients (above the line), and set aside.

Cream together butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and molasses, mix until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients (may need to turn off the mixer and switch to a wooden spoon – thick stuff!).

Roll dough into balls about one inch in size. Place on cookie sheet (well spaced, they will spread). Flatten each ball gently with flat-bottomed drinking glass (dipped in ice water).

Bake in 400 degree F oven for 7 – 9 minutes (7 for chewy cookies, 9 for crisp cookies – at least in MY oven! Your mileage may vary.). Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool.


Christmas Shiba Card

xmas 2014 J

I think I have mentioned before, Offspring2 and I share all things Shiba Inu related. (I have too many allergies, we cannot have any animals (furry, hairless, or hypo allergenic!), reptiles, feathered things in the house.)

I finally splurged and bought Lawn Fawn’s “Into The Woods” stamp set (and matching dies), because the fox image reminds me of a Shiba. I colored the image with my Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol. Then, I die cut the image and mounted it on a tag with some silver snowflakes.

So, I finished my cookie baking yesterday, and made a HUGE batch of Nuts & Bolts (cereal snack mix).

nuts and bolts 2014

My recipe for Nuts & Bolts comes from Spouse’s Aunt, who claims it she got the recipe from a childhood friend. No measuring involved, the recipe calls for whole boxes of cereal, whole bag of pretzels, whole pound of nuts. The recipe was written back in the 1960’s, when cereal only came in one size box (not 3 or 4 choices per cereal). I am a bargain hunter, so I bought the biggest boxes of each variety when they were on sale in my local Target. I wound up with 2 roasting pans full of Nuts & Bolts! I looked online for the recipe, and none are quite our recipe. The closest recipe I found is here:  Once Upon a Chef, Nuts n’ Bolts recipe .

Supplies: Stamps- A Muse Artstamps, Lawn Fawn, paper – Lawn Fawn Snow Day, Papertrey Ink White, Recollections Silver Mirror, Stampin’ Up! Real Red, inks – VersaFine Onyx Black, pencils – Prismacolor PC914 (cream), PC941 (light brown), PC943 (burnt umber), PC1034 (goldenrod), dies – Impression Obsession (snowflakes), Lawn Fawn (tag, fox), My Favorite Things (snowflake), Stampin’ Up! (banner), embossing powder – Ranger Liquid Platinum, twine – We R Memory Keepers.


Chocolate Mint Delightfulls Cookies

mint delightfull cookies

Do you remember a few weeks ago I tried the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter variety of DelightFulls Morsels by Nestle? (that cookie post is HERE)

This week I tried the Dark Chocolate Mint variety.

mint delightfulls

I absolutely LOVE them!! (odd, I know, I am a milk chocolate fiend…)

The inside texture was a bit like a York Peppermint Patty, and the mint flavor was better than the usual Nestle Mint/Dark Chocolate Morsel Winter mix.

I used a bag and a half of DelightFulls to a regular batch of Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe, plus 1/3 cup of cocoa to make the batter chocolate. And, my oven runs a little warm, so I reduced the temperature to 350 degrees.

The cookies were delivered within hours of baking to the college offspring.

Thanks for stopping by!