Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tea Cakes, Shortbread, and Zucchini Bread

Yesterday I made two different types of cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, and Classic Shortbread.  

The Russian Tea Cakes came out really good.  I took them out after 8 minutes though because they were done earlier than the 10 to 12 minutes that the recipe says.  I'm not sure where my mother got this recipe from, I will have to ask her.  I know she altered it though, cause she told me the original recipe calls for Vanilla Extract, but she always uses Almond.  Oh, btw, these cookies are also sometimes called Mexican Wedding Cakes.

Russian Tea Cakes
1 Cup Butter Softened
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Almond Extract
2 1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Walnuts Ground or Chopped Fine
1/4 tsp Salt
Powdered Sugar to Coat

Preheat oven to 400
Mix Butter, 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar and Almond Extract in bowl
Stir in Flour, Nuts, and Salt.  Mix until dough holds together.
Shape into 1" balls.  Place about 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set, but not brown.  (I found that about 8 minutes was right the oven I'm using)
Remove from cookie sheet while still warm, and roll each one in Powdered Sugar to coat.  Let cool completely, then coat again with Powdered Sugar.

I got both recipes from my mother, but found out she uses the shortbread recipe from the shortbread pan she has.  I bought a shortbread pan yesterday so, my baking would go faster.  It's really pretty, it's the Norwegian Woods Shortbread Pan by Brown Bag Cookie Art.  The pan makes a bunch of cookies, and then you cut them out along the lines.  This particular pan has trees and deer on it.  I'm ok with how they came out, but I'm going to try to see if I can get them to come out better on Saturday.  They were a little too dark I think, so I'm going to try cooking them at a slightly lower temperature, and checking on them a lot more.

Classic Shortbread
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
cream butter, combine powdered sugar then vanilla.  Work in flour.  knead until smooth.  spray shortbread pan lightly with oil, or brush lightly with oil.  firmly press dough into the pan.  prick dough surface.  Bake at 325 F for 30 to 35 minutes.  cool for 10 minutes.  loosen edge with knife  turn onto board.  cut into pieces. 
I put a plate or something flat on top and turn

While I was at it I made some Zucchini bread, using another recipe my mother sent me.  This came out awesome!  I love Zucchini bread.  I didn't have nutmeg or baking powder, so, I used extra cinnamon and some cream of tartar.
Zucchini bread
1 and 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cups sugar I usually use brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I usually use nutmeg in place of this)
1/2 cup  (optional) raisins, walnuts or chocolate chips or any combination of.  I used chocolate chips this time.)
spray loaf pan with oil or grease pan.  bake at 400 for 10 minutes and turn down to 325 for approximately one hour.
Loaf = 24 pieces at approximately 80 calories each, 14 g carbohydrates

I need to start going to the gym again :)

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