Thursday, March 1, 2012

Christmas Cookie Recipes - Santa Face Cookies

Santa Claus pays a visit to your table in these delightfully cute cookies.

1 cup butter

Baking A Cookie

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour plus additional for rolling

Royal Packaged Icing Mix

Red food coloring

Pastel candy dots


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place butter in a bowl and cream until nice and fluffy. Gently beat in sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla. Add in flour; mix thoroughly. Chill dough for 1 to 2 hours or until it is easy to handle.

Work with 1/3 of the dough at a time and leave rest in the refrigerator until ready to use.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Take a Santa shaped cookie cutter and dip it into flour, then cut out Santa faces. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until just golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Take off from cookie sheet and cool completely.

Prepare the royal icing agreeing to holder directions. Color half the icing red and leave the other half the original color. Using a icing bag or plastic bag with a hole cut in it, pipe a red Santa hat on each cookie. Effect up with white icing for Santa's beard, eyes and hat pompom.

Place a candy embellishment in the center of each white eye. Allow icing to set before serving.

Makes 18 to 24 cookies.

=> Christmas Cookie Recipes: Easy Snowmen Cookies

These snowmen are easy to make and they make nice centerpiece decorations.

1 (16 oz.) holder Nutter Butter Cookies

1 1/4 pounds white candy coating, melted

Miniature chocolate chips

M&M little baking bits

Pretzel sticks, halved

Orange and red decorating gel or frosting


Using tongs, dip cookies in candy coating; shake off excess. Place cookie on waxed paper.

To decorate: Place two chocolate chips on one end of cookies for eyes. Place baking bits down middle for buttons. For arms, dip ends of two pretzel stick halves into coating; attach one to each side.

Let stand until hardened. Pipe nose and scarf with gel or frosting.

Makes 32 cookies.

=> Christmas Cookie Recipes: Peppermint Twist Kiss Cookies

The peppermint twist isn't just a song, but a delicioius holiday cookie that is colorful and festive.

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 to 8 drops red food coloring

36 chocolate kisses


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Add in the egg yolk, peppermint citation and vanilla extract; mix well.

In a cut off bowl, combine the flour and salt; Gently add to creamed mixture.

Divide the dough into two sections. Tint one section red. Divide the dough into four sections. You should have two red sections and two quarterly sections. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Shape each section into a 9-inch log. Place one plain log next to one red log. Gently twist the plain and red logs together and generate one swirled log. Repeat with the other two logs.

Cut each log into nine slices; roll each slice into a ball. Place each slice 1-inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a glass.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Press a chocolate kiss candy piece into each cookie center, while cookies are still warm. Let cool.

Makes 36 cookies.

Christmas Cookie Recipes - Santa Face Cookies

How To Cook A Tender Juicy Steak

You invest a lot of time and money into the steaks for a special opening and when evening meal time comes, they are tough. What happened? How can you cook steaks as tender as your popular restaurant?

The first step to cooking a good steak is to pick the right grade of steak. The top ability beef is graded Usda Prime and commands top prices. Usda Prime grade meats are sold to the cafeteria commerce and specialty markets and are not as likely to be found at your local grocery chain. The next grade of beef is Usda Choice. Usda choice is tender, flavorful and only slightly lower in ability than Usda Prime. The meat is well marbled with fat and will be tender and juicy when properly prepared. Usda choice makes up about 70% of all graded beef and is facilely available in your supermarket. Usda Good graded beef is an standard grade of beef that has only minimal marbling of fat. It is leaner, but may not be as tender as Usda Prime or Choice.

Baking A Cookie

Next, look at the color and texture of the meat. A good steak should be firm to the touch, moist, and tantalizing in color. It should be well marbled with thin streaks of white fat throughout and a thin crust of steak on the outside. In our fat aware society, we tend to look for lean cuts of meat, but the thin streaks of white fat marbled throughout the meat are the key to a tender juicy steak.

The most tender and juicy steaks come from the sirloin, the short loin, and the rib. These steaks include the sirloin steaks, porterhouse steaks, t-bone steaks, rib steaks, delmonico steaks, and the filet mignons. Steaks containing bone will weigh more than those without, but the bone adds flavor to the steak.

Aging is a desirable process that intensifies the flavors and makes the meat more tender. Aged steaks are more high-priced and ordinarily only found in high end supermarkets and specialty markets. An aged steak is recognizable by its darker color.

Once you have purchased your steak, you can supplementary increase the tenderness and juiciness by marinating it. Try a marinade made of ½ cup each good wine and olive oil mixed 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or herb vinegar. Add any seasonings that you like such as garlic, freshly ground pepper, onion, or herbs. Place the steak in a ziplock bag, pour in enough marinade to just cover it, and refrigerate overnight. Marinating a steak like this will add flavor and tenderness. If you routinely store steak in the freezer before cooking, try pouring the marinade over the steak before freezing. The steak will marinate when thawing and be ready to cook.

There are meat tenderizers available to sprinkle onto your steak, and they nothing else but do tenderize the meat; however, meat tenderizers can sometimes over tenderize the meat, changing the texture of the meat into mush. If you should pick to go this route, do it carefully.

When ready to cook, slash straight through the face fat layer on the steak in a few places to prevent curling, but do not cut into the meat. The more tender steak cuts can be broiled, grilled, or pan fried. Less tender cuts should be pan fried or slow braised. Steak should never be cooked in liquid. When pan broiling, use a very heavy skillet such as an iron skillet or griddle and heat the pan before adding the meat. The heavy metal will hold the heat for allowable heat distribution and not cool down when the steak is added. A hot pan will fast sear the outside, trapping the moisture inside.

When cooking, try to turn the steak only once. Cook the meat until browned on one side and half done, then turn and discontinue the other side. Turning too often will stew the meat rather than searing it and yield a less juicy steak. When the steak is done, take off from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

While the meat rests you can make a sauce with the pan drippings if desired. Use your popular sauce, or fry mushrooms and onions in the pan. When nearly done, add a tablespoon each of butter and flour and cook until lightly browned. Add a splash of wine and loosen any bits that may be stuck to the lowest of the pan. Allow to cook until thick, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve over the steak. Enjoy!

How To Cook A Tender Juicy Steak