Nothing says "cozy" like a warm house on a cold winter day. Here are six recipes to make your home smell like winter.
Holiday Spice Simmer Pot
5 cups water
2 navel oranges, peeled
1 apple, sliced in half
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 teaspoon-sized knob of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over low heat until simmering. I have kept this going for a few hours, adding additional water when needed. You can also throw everything in the crockpot and set it on low or high with the top off.
Spiced Shortbread Cookies
(via Country Living)
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Butter a 9-inch cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper; butter parchment. Place flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine, 3 to 5 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like wet sand, 40 to 50 times.
- Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Prick dough, leaving a 1-inch border, with the tines of a fork; freeze 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until set and just beginning to brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Place pan on a wire rack and immediately use the handle of a wooden spoon to press a scallop pattern into the edge of shortbread and a sharp knife to score into 16 wedges. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the shortbread to loosen; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut along scored lines using a sharp knife.
Molasses Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups shortening
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
- Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
- In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
- Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!
- 2 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 peppermint candy canes, crushed
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.
- In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Drop by spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candy over the cookies.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours in preheated oven. Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar, and let meringues sit in the oven until completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in cool dry place for up to 2 months.
Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
- In a large bowl (KitchenAid's great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
- Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
- Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
- Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
- Cut out cookies with desired cutter-- the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
- Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies-- very good!)
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
- After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
- I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
(via Taste of Home)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, 1 tablespoon honey and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
- Shape a heaping tablespoonful of dough into a 6-in. log. In a shallow bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; roll log in cinnamon-sugar. Loosely coil log into a spiral shape; place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat, placing cookies 1 in. apart. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. In a small bowl, melt baking chocolate with remaining honey; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
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