Cookies, cookies…

If you are looking for a cookie recipe that is sure to please, you are in the right place! No matter the season (or day) I make either treat, they never stick around for long.I’ll start with a family recipe from my grandmother, Shirley. She made these every Christmas and they are my dad’s favorite, hands down. As a result, I have received the torch and have committed to continue the tradition. I have no idea where she got the original recipe, so she gets the credit this time around. 

Vanilla Icebox Cookies
Serves: 4-5 dozen cookies1 1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 c. chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, Shirls always used walnuts)
4 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla

Mix thoroughly all ingredients, starting with the butter, sugar & eggs. Roll into 8-10 inch long, 2″ diameter logs after dough is chilled. Store logs in the fridge in wax paper, twisting the ends of the paper to seal. Refrigerate overnight before cutting in thin slices. Bake at 400º for 4-5 minutes, depending on how thick you cut the slices. I typically bake one log at a time, so the dough can last in my fridge for up to a week. After all, fresh out of the oven is always best for any cookie! 

Salted Caramel Cookies
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
10 oz. Hershey’s sea salt caramel chips
11 oz. Kraft caramel bits
sea salt for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. Set aside. In a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix well, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.  With the mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until dough comes together. Mix in caramel chips. Place dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto the baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes or under edges are golden brown. Melt caramel bits using half of the water on the package directions. Drizzle the caramel carefully and garnish with salt.
*Recipe from Marty Boyd, http://tastykitchen.com

*Please note… Hershey’s salted caramel chips can be difficult to find. Maybe they don’t even make them any more. I have found some off brands of caramel and salted caramel chips in the bakery section of various stores. All have worked very well. I also struggle to find the caramel bits in my local shops. Therefore, I buy the Kraft wrapped caramels, unwrapping about half of them and melt with a 1-2 tbls. of half & half in the microwave. Stir after 30 seconds. 1 minute is usually sufficient. In a ‘coming soon’ post, we’ll talk about homemade caramels. They could be a divine option for this recipe.

Cookie tips…

  • NEVER use shortening or margarine! Even if the recipe calls for it, always substitute real butter. Use Kerrygold Irish Butter found at Costco or your local grocery store. Yes, it’s more expensive but the flavor and quality is far better than any US butter I’ve found.
  • Use a medium sized cookie scoop (mine are from Pampered Chef) to create round, evenly sized cookies. Use parchment paper or a silicone pastry mat to bake your cookies. It helps eliminate burning and sticking to a cookie sheet and makes it super easy to transfer for cooling. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Serving a cookie platter at a party or holiday event? Bake them early and freeze when cool. They will still be fresh at the end of the week when the party starts.

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

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