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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cookie Plates!

Life around the holidays got a little crazy with my heart procedure, family gatherings, cooking, traveling out of town, etc. so I didn't end up making "holiday" cookie plates for my coworkers, friends, and neighbors until mid-January. I've never made cookie plates before, but I sure love it when people give them to us. It was high time I reciprocated!

I knew I wanted to have a huge variety of treats and that I wanted to try new recipes instead of relying on my standard desserts. In order to avoid the insanity of too many recipes in too short a time, I divided up the work over several days.

Each night for about a week I made a double batch of cookies, rolled the dough into cookie-sized balls, and froze them. The next night I'd transfer the balls to a zippy bag. My friend, Kelly, told me to bake the frozen balls for an extra minute to avoid having to defrost them before baking. For the most part it worked great!

The night before delivering the 14 plates I baked up 28 of each type of cookie (and made the lemon bars). The marshmallows were made two days before. I used leftover paper plates from Dyani's wedding shower, florist plastic wrap from the Dollar Store, and yarn to package them up. Unfortunately I needed another roll of plastic wrap but since there were no other adults at home to stay with Eddie while I ran to the store, I had to make do. Each one was labeled with a holiday postcard. The plates that I would take to campus for coworkers or to friends' houses I loaded into a box and put in the car. I delivered the neighbors' plates to their doorsteps before work the next day.Fortunately or unfortunately I neglected to make us a cookie plate...but I still have dough in the freezer for each of the treats except the lemon bars so we can make cookies any time.

Projects like this are exactly the reason I shop at Costco: Whatever would I do without my beloved 50 pound sacks of sugar and flour? Or four pound packages of butter? Of course I could make do, but it sure would cost a LOT more.If you're interested in the recipes, I've linked or listed them below. In every case I used half whole wheat and half white flour (you know, to make them healthier and to cancel out the butter and sugar).

Homemade marshmallows


Spicy molasses cookies

White chip chocolate cookies--I formed the dough into balls and rolled each one in powdered sugar so they had a "glaze" when baked.

Oatmeal scotchies

Peppermint chocolate pinwheels--I used this recipe for the chocolate cookies and any standard sugar cookie recipe for the green/peppermint part. I added a few drops of green food coloring and peppermint extract to the regular sugar cookie dough. The combination of chocolate and peppermint doughs was reminiscent of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies (except that I baked them less so they were softer).

Lemon bars
Crust:

3/4 cups white flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups softened butter

Lemon topping:
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup lemon juice
3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
Powdered sugar for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x13" pan
2. Make crust by combining ingredients and the patting into pan. Bake 15 minutes until slightly golden.
3. While crust is baking, make topping. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, food coloring,and lemon juice until frothy.
4. Once crust is done, pour topping over hot crust.
5. Bake for 20 more minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely. Then dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Over all I think the plates were a hit! Everyone seemed to like the variety, not to mention the arrival of treats after the holidays (see, being late can be a good thing!). Next year I will make some refrigerator cookie-cutter cookies since we have a sack full of fun cookie cutters. Eddie'll be old enough to "help" by then, too.

3 comments:

mu rye uh said...

oh my goodness faaaancy! It looks absolutely delicious!

Kelly said...

Mmmmm!!! Thanks again for those yummy cookies Julie :D My favorite were the peppermint-chocolate pinwheels (oatmeal scotchies were a close second) and Jeff liked the marshmallows the best!

steph.kelley said...

Spectacular! Lucky neighbors! <3