Holidays/Special Occasions

12 Days of Cookies Day 5: Orange-Cream

With flu season coinciding with the holidays, it’s important to get your vitamin C fix. You may be thinking about chugging a glass of orange juice, but don’t orange-cream cookies just sound so much better? So here’s the plan: Whip up these tasty morsels, then scarf down the leftover orange you used for zest before you indulge your sweet tooth in these citrus sweets.

 

 

Orange-Cream Cookies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. orange zest + more for garnish

seeds from 1 vanilla bean

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla bean.

3. Halve the dough, form into 1.5-inch-diameter long logs, tightly wrap in parchment paper and chill 2 hours.

4. Trim off the ends, then slice the logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer cookies to cookie sheets.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks, spread with Easy Icing and sprinkle with zest.

Related Links

12 Days of Cookies

Get Fresh: Tangerines

Stuffed Holiday Cookies

 

Rachael Ray Cookware Gift Guide Pick #2

 

Gift Pick #2: Rachael Ray 3 Piece Lazy Tool Set in Orange

Rachael Ray’s tools are built to make your time in the kitchen just as fun as it is efficient. This bright orange set contains a slotted spoon, a lazy spoon and tongs, all built to last through the toughest of cooking challenges. As the tools can resist up to 500 degrees of heat, you can feel comfortable resting them on the edges of hot cookware, which is made even easier with their built in side notch. The nonstick material is dishwasher safe and makes for easy cleanup. So easy! Purchase a set of these spoons here.

Be sure to check out our entire 2013 gift guide here and pin your favorite ideas from our Pinterest board!

12 Days of Cookies Day 4: Mocha Nut Balls

Day 4 of our #RRcookiecountdown brings a recipe that resembles snowballs, but tastes a heck of a lot better! These nutty, cocoa-y, crunchy balls of goodness are best served aside a warm mug of cocoa or coffee. Bonus: The powdered sugar coating will give you an excuse to lick your fingers!

Mocha Nut Balls

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl,  whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Mix in pecans on low speed.

3. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.

4. Form 1 tbsp. dough into a ball; transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill 15 minutes.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are firm, about 20 minutes.

6. When cool enough to handle, roll in confectioners’ sugar. Roll in sugar again just before serving.

Related Links

12 Days of Cookies

Hot Drink Recipes

Stuffed Holiday Cookies

12 Days of Cookies Day 3: Cornmeal Thumbprints

Happy Friday! To start your weekend off right, we’re giving you our recipe for Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies. Fill these cookies with your favorite fruit jam or preserves, or get creative and try fillings like Nutella, peanut butter or even marshmallow fluff. The snowy sky is the limit!

Cornmeal Thumbprints

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl,  whisk the flour, cornmeal and salt, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated.

3. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.

4. Roll 1 tbsp. dough into a ball; transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill 15 minutes.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use your thumb to create an imprint in the center of the cookies.

6. Return to the oven and bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; press each cookie again.

7. Cool cookies on racks, then fill with jam.

 

Related Links

12 Days of Cookies Day 2

12 Days of Cookies Day 1

Fast Idea Friday

12 Days of Cookies Day 2: Chai-Spiced & Spicy Peanut Brittle

Day 2 of our #RRcookiecountdown is all about sugar and spice! And it’s oh so simple. Both of these cookies are easily rolled into logs and sliced into cookie discs. Try one (or both) of these sweets when the weather outside is frightful.

 

 

Chai-Spiced Cookies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl,  whisk the flour, salt, cardamom and ginger, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated.

3. Halve the dough, form into 1.5-inch-diameter long logs, tightly wrap in parchment paper and chill 2 hours.

4. Trim off the ends, then slice the logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer cookies to cookie sheets and sprinkle with gold sanding sugar.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.

 

 

Spicy Peanut Brittle Cookies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 cup chopped peanut brittle

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl,  whisk the flour, salt and cayenne, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in chopped peanut brittle.

3. Halve the dough, form into 1.5-inch-diameter long logs, tightly wrap in parchment paper and chill 2 hours.

4. Trim off the ends and roll logs in turbinado sugar. Slice the logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and transfer cookies to cookie sheets.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.

Related Links

12 Days of Cookies Day 1

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Christmas Cookie Recipes

Rachael Ray’s Cookware Gift Guide

As you’re checking off your gift list, make sure you’ve covered everyone on your list: Including the foodie! When it comes to home cooking, you can never have too many pots, pans, utensils and cooking accessories. So this year, pick up a few of Rachael Ray’s best-selling kitchen tools, and give your friends a reason to make YOU a home-cooked meal!

 

Gift Pick #1: Rachael Ray 14 Piece Cookware Set

This gift is ideal for someone who’s just moved into a new home or needs to restock their kitchen. It includes all of the pans needed to equip your kitchen with the most-used cooking pieces, like sauce pans, stock pots and skillets. With deep sides, you’ll make the most of each pot and will have plenty of room for one-dish meals. The pots are hard-andonized, which means they’re exceptionally durable, heat quickly and evenly and reduce “hot spots” that can burn foods. They’re also dishwasher and oven safe with nonstick interiors and rubberized handles that can withstand temperatures up to 350 degrees. These pots are everything a home cook could need, and more. You may want to pick up an extra set for yourself! Purchase the set here.

 

Be sure to check out our entire 2013 gift guide here and pin your favorite ideas from our Pinterest board!

12 Days of Cookies Day 1: Buttery Holiday Cookies

Christmas time is upon us, and what better way to count down the days than with cookies? Over the next three weeks, we’ll be sharing 16 different cookie recipes. The best part? They all start with the same base dough, so you can mix and match flavors as you please! Holiday baking just got a whole lot easier.

 

 

For our inaugural #RRcookiecountdown post, we’re sharing the recipe for our Buttery Holiday Cookie dough that’ll be the base for the rest of your doughs. But don’t worry–if you want to stop here, the dough is just as delicious by itself or covered in frosting!

 

Buttery Holiday Cookies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the yolks and vanilla until just combined.

2. In a medium bowl,  whisk the flour and salt, then combine with the butter mixture on low speed until just incorporated.

3. Halve the dough, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.

4. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies, transfer to cookie sheets and chill 15 minutes.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks. Decorate with Easy Icing and sprinkles.

Easy Icing

In a medium bowl, stir 2 cups confectioners’ sugar with 3 tbsp. whole milk and 3 tbsp. melted butter. Thin with a few drops of water to desired consistency.

 

Be sure to check out our Holiday Cookies Pinterest Board for enough recipes to last throughout the new year! We’ll be pinning and instagramming all season long.

Related Links

Our Most Popular Holiday Cookies

Stuffed Holiday Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes

 

 

Our Issue in Action!

Nothing makes us happier than seeing our ideas in YOUR homes! Two very special readers put our November issue to the test this Thanksgiving holiday and we were wowed the by results. Check is out!

 

Jaime Hollander, Every Day with Rachael Ray merchandising director, made all six of our gravy wheel recipes and turned them into a full on gravy bar. She completed the spread with a chalkboard platter that’s both informational and super cute (you know how much we love chalkboards!).

 

The Spivak family from Potomac, MD used two ideas from our “15 Holiday Table Tricks from the Pros” story: David Stark’s apple centerpeiece and Alison Caporimo’s kids’ tablecloth. We think it was a smashing success!

 

Be sure to tag your photos of our recipes and crafts on Twitter and Instagram (@rachaelraymag) for a chance to be featured on our blog!

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Thanksgiving Menus

Charm Them with Cheese!

Your holiday cheese plate is only as good as its pairings. Our five favorite fromages–each perfect on its own–become utterly sublime when put together and served with their best sidekicks.

 

Cheddar: Strong English-style cheddars can stand up to bold, salty meats, like salami (though garlicky ones will overtake the cheese’s complex flavor). Walnuts bring out cheddar’s earthiness.

Blue: When serving a blue, think sweet: honey (its classic match), bittersweet chocolate, dried dates and even that seasonal standby, fruitcake.

 

Triple-Créme: Truth is, you don’t want to muck up an already perfect triple-créme with anything fancy. For textural contrast, munch on a handful of hazelnuts.

 

Goat: Tart dried fruits like apricots or cranberries compliment the tang of goat cheese. Crumbly, buttery pine nuts are small enough to press right into the cheese.

 

Sheep’s-Milk: Take a cue from Spanish tapas bars and serve sheep’s-milk cheese with sweet, slightly tart membrillo (quince paste), available at cheese shops and many supermarkets. Roasted almonds bring out the cheese’s nutty, salty flavors.

Tip: Contrary to popular wisdom, not every cheese should be eaten with bread or crackers. Harder cheese don’t have much moisture, so the combination can be unappetizingly dry. Eat those on their own and save the carbs for creamier cheeses.

Related Links

Macaroni & Cheese Recipes

Throw a Grilled Cheese Potluck

Wine and Cheese Party

Cocktails, Anyone?

Because the holiday gatherings deserve better than the stuff in the carton, we’re sharing our favorite recipes for Eggnog! Just start with our classic recipe for Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog, then can change it up…two different ways!

 

 

 

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog


Chocolate-Hazelnut Eggnog

Change it up based on the Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog: In Step 1, whisk 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread and 6 tbsp. cocoa powder into the egg yolk-sugar  mixture; substitute brandy for the bourbon; omit the nutmeg. To serve, moisten the rims of 8 glasses with water, then dip them in 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts Fill the glasses with ice and then the eggnog. Garnish with dark-chocolate shavings.

 

Coconut Eggnog Floats

Change it up based on the Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog: In step 1, substitute 1 cup canned cream of coconut for the 1/2 cup sugar and spiced rum for the bourbon; omit the nutmeg. Pour into glasses and top with scoops of coconut sorbet or ice cream. Sprinkle with large flakes of toasted coconut. Serve with spoons.

 

Related Links

Easy Cocktail Upgrades

Cocktails from A to Z

12 Seasonal Sparkling Drinks