November 8, 2010

This Week's Cravings: Thanksgiving Cookies & Treats

Welcome to week #2 of This Week's Cravings - last week's pumpkin theme was a huge success. Mom's Crazy Cooking, Delightful Country Cookin' and I are thrilled with the link ups & hope to see you all every week.

Remember ~ this is a blog hop party so please take a few minutes to browse the other guest's blogs and leave some comment love. Also, don't forget to link back to one of the party hosts in your blog!

This week's theme is Thanksgiving Cookies & Treats.... I really considered pulling a cookie from my archive. There are several that would be great for baking in advance, travelling, packaging to share - such as the Brownie Crisps or Chocolate Crack-Ups, but I decided to head in a different direction!

Thanksgiving Cookie Place Cards

These were a lot of fun and very simple to make. Plus - bonus - the cookies can be baked several days in advance and stored in airtight containers. Decorating can take place 2 days in advance! If you have several kiddos it can be a great activity that allows them to be involved in the Thanksgiving preparation ~ Simply give them baked and flooded cookies, a bag of icing & let their creativity fly!

For the sugar cookie & royal icing, I use recipes provided on Bake at 350:

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 c sugar

  • 2 sticks butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside.

  3. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix.

  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

Royal Icing

  • 4 TBSP meringue powder

  • scant 1/2 c. water

  • 1 lb. powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp light corn syrup

  • few drops clear extract (optional) {I use almond extract}

  1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

  2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!) {I pre-sift the powdered sugar onto a piece of waxed paper, then add to the mixer 1 cup at a time.}

  3. Add the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.) Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not over beat.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

  5. This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."

Notes: Be sure to watch her videos on making the cookie dough, icing, and how to outline & flood. They are incredibly helpful!

Now, for the place cards....

  • Roll your dough to approx 1/4 thick. I do use flour when rolling the dough - I have tried powdered sugar and it simples absorbs into the dough, changing the consistency. In a bad way. Use flour.

  • Using cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. This is key - put in the freezer for 5 minutes! It will help the cookies maintain their shape when baking.

  • Bake at 350 minutes for 7-8 minutes, until slightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes before removing and transferring to cooling racks.

  • Once completely cooled, you can being the icing process! First you want to outline - let sit for at least 30 minutes to harden slightly.

  • Then flood....

  • Once flooded, let your cookies set out for at least an hour. If you are using these as a kids activity, I would let them set out over night to harden completely.

  • Now decorate! (Just be sure to let the decorated cookies sit for at least an hour before placing on the table)

This is a little dessert before dinner, but hey, it's the holidays :)

Here's a run down of our little shindig and the rules:

This is your chance to share your favorite recipe each week based on our themes. Post that favorite breakfast from last week, or post your favorite cheesecake you made last month, just please stick to the theme. We all want to read and discover your favorite recipe post, or if you don’t have a recipe that matches this week’s theme, then our hope is we inspire you to make something and link-up in the future.

Please link directly to your post, NOT to your home page. And pretty pretty please link back to one of our hosts using the button or a direct link. We hope to see you week after week sharing new recipes. It’s FUN to visit too! Click around at the other participant’s and visit as many as you can, LEAVE COMMENTS too! Everyone loves to know that their blog is being enjoyed by others. And remember, this is a BLOG PARTY so please ENJOY THE PARTY AND MEET BLOGGERS!

Everyone is invited, if you don’t have a blog, then fell free to post your recipe in the comments for others to see.

This Week's Craving Schedule & Past Recipe Links:
November 1 -
Anything with Pumpkin
November 8 – Thanksgiving Cookies & Treats
November 15 - Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
November 22 - Recipes for "What to do with Thanksgiving Left-Overs"
November 29 - Potatoes

If you like, grab our button too!

These recipes & idea are also linked to:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday


Tuesdays at the Table

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the country cook said...

Oh my goodness, those are just the cutest things I've ever seen!!!

Avril said...

Fabulous, fabulous idea for Thanksgiving "place cards"! LOVE it! :-)


What a CUTE idea... I may do this for Christmas. I have 25 people coming to my house and this would be SOOOOO cute!

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

What a great idea - I love your placecard cookies! This is my first time linking up to This week's cravings - thank you for hosting! I'm looking forward to visiting the other very yummy looking links :)

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

A very clever idea!! Thanks for sharing :)

Gail said...

I love your cookies! What a beautiful fun way to personalize plate settings.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and inviting me to link up! You have a great collection of dishes linked here. I'm honored to be part of it!

Rachymommy -

Yenta Mary said...

Thanks so much for the invitation to join in! Now happily following ... :)

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

Wow these are so cute, I was looking for the perfect sugar cookie!! I've eaten some lately that now are beautiful, but blah in taste, how are these?

Charlene said...

What an array of treats! Can't wait to try some of these!

Lisa said...

Those cookies are adorable! I love how they're personalized and look like little pieces of art : )

SnoWhite said...

Those look so cute!! What a fun {and delicious} idea :)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

What a cute idea and who doesn't love cookies? I once made cookie gift tags. A lot of work, but so much fun tying onto Christmas packages.