Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#Christmas Week butter cookie recipe + book #giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:


Sometimes it's fun to try new recipes.  Last week, I found a great looking, multifaceted recipe in my Ralph's Supermarket flyer that I thought would be perfect and easy for kids to make. It's a basic butter cookie that you can dress up in lots of ways. The recipe showed how to make cinnamon pecan pinwheels, chocolate peppermint cookies, apricot button cookies, all using the same butter cookie recipe.

Well, I had my grandsons over the other day, and one of them is really into cooking. He has a burn on his arm to prove it - he showed me. It's minor. Got too close to the stove at home. We were VERY careful to keep him away from hot stuff this time around.

He chose to make the cinnamon pinwheels!

Now, talk about a mess! Oh my. Kids just can't seem to keep the flour from going everywhere, but that's another story. I'm a good floor cleaner-upper (once they are out of the kitchen and settled at the art table).

The recipe uses regular flour, but you know me. I need to make things gluten-free. This made it difficult. Gluten-free flour dough just doesn't "roll" the same as regular flour dough. Sigh. It breaks. The "stretch and give" of gluten is vital. I've proven this multiple times when making my quiche or pie shells. But the wonder of baking is that things "melt" together and ultimately taste great, so if you can  get over cookies not being "beautiful," then you are ready to start celebrating.

Sugar cookie found in Ralph’s Supermarket Flyer

Basic Butter Cookie Dough

1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour (*gluten-free flour substitution is equal)

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth (but not fluffy).  Beat in egg. Add flour (*or GF flour) and mix until incorporated. 

[forgot to take this picture; it's basic]

Chill dough for 1 hour. (I only refrigerated ½ hour. I think that was fine. And I had eager little boys.)

On floured parchment (*or GF floured parchment, if making GF cookies), set half the dough. Press down and flour the top. Cover with another piece of parchment and roll out into rectangle about 10 x 8. Then trim edges straight.  Repeat with second half of dough. Slide rectangles (on parchment paper) onto a baking sheet.

OOPS.  I misread this last direction when doing it, and it was difficult to move the dough – I did it, but it was messy. So pay attention. Keep it on the parchment paper.

Refrigerate another 20 minutes.  (*GF version refrigerate about 10 minutes; otherwise it can get “firm”).

For cinnamon pinwheels:

Meanwhile mix 3 tablespoons softened butter, ¾ cup brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl until well combined. Crumble half of the mixture of each of the rectangles and pat to distribute. (Ralph’s recipe also included ¼ cup chopped pecans; we elected not to use nuts.)

With long side facing you, using the parchment paper, roll rectangles into logs.  Chill until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut logs crosswise into ¼” slices. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until barely browned, about 12 minutes.  Let cool on sheets or wire racks.  Makes 3-4 dozen.

**My pinwheels spread a lot and then turned out sort of rectangular. I think this was because the gluten-free version was a little firm and didn’t roll into a nice round “log.” C’est la vie!

No matter what, consider setting cookies on two baking sheets.

Note: I used the trimmed edges for regular sugar cookies. I rolled the dough together, set out walnut-sized rounds. Pressed them down, and one of my darling helpers covered them with sprinkles. COVERED THEM.  LOL!!  Delicious!



Savor the mystery!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
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When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
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  1. I love to make mud balls. They are basically melted chocolate, almonds, marshmallows and butter, put it in the freezer for a couple hours then roll small balls of the base into graham cracker crumbs and toss back in the freezer. The chocolate has a tendency to stick the my fingers then the crumbs then more chocolate, more crumbs.... until I can barely hold my fingers up because they are so heavy. That is probably the messiest recipe I know. Everyone loves them. So fun to have children that like to bake. Happy holidays to all! konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Fabulous cookie varieties! My cooking mess = when I was 8 years old and trying to learn how to bake, I mistakenly added 1/2 CUP instead of 1/2 TSP of baking soda to a batch of peanut butter cookies. Yikes. Needless to say, the cookies were gigantic and went right into the trash - this is my definition of a major cooking/baking mess, haha.

    1. LOL. I added baking soda to baking powder biscuits one year. Ugh. Toss. ~ Daryl

  3. I had decided to try and make a real spaghetti sauce. The recipe called for cooked tomatoes and all I had were the little cherry ones so I decided to try and make pulp in the microwave...set the timer and left the room...a loud "Kaboom" later I had blown up a whole bowl of was a mess.
    Thank you for the contest and for the chance.

    1. Oh, yuck. That is a mess. Perfect for a murder mystery. ~ Daryl

  4. Right off I can't remember a major cooking mess as described by the two previous posters but I know I've burned the potatoes by letting the water boil out, I've had messes from canning tomatoes and making spaghetti sauces. There have been major clean ups from making sugar cookies (flour every where). When you cook, there will be messes, no matter how good of cook you are. I'd love to see some of the messes, those famous chefs make. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    1. Oh, burned potatoes are hard to clean up! I know. ~ Daryl

  5. The kids are so cute! Thanks for sharing! Isn't that funny how you never know where your next great recipe will come from. Who would have thought the store ad would be inspiration!! I can't wait until my little boy is old enough to help in the kitchen. I see at least a few kitchen disasters in my future...

    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Bec, I know, a store ad! Go figure! Enjoy every moment of your little one. ~ Daryl

  6. When I first started cooking I decided to make a vegetable soup recipe that was in the local paper. I had never made soup before and didn't know that the fact that it was using all water instead of stock was going to be an issue. I wound up with a pot of tasteless soup that I didn't know how to fix. It wound up in the trash.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. Sandy, tasteless soup. Almost nothing worse. LOL ~ Daryl

  7. Cooking with kids is messy but oh so fun! Your grandsons are darling and it's wonderful how you're creating special memories with them while baking! When my granddaughter was four she helped me mix up cookies in my stand mixer. After dumping the entire amount of flour in she turned the speed on to HIGH...and ended up being covered from head to toe with the flour :) Eight years later she still talks about how hard we laughed that day. You can excuse me from your giveaway since I already have your books but I just had to say your grandsons are adorable!

    1. Ha-ha! High with flour. So funny. I can picture that! ~ Daryl PS Thanks for the compliment. They are cutie pies. I have 5 boys to enjoy.

  8. Wonderful photo and great recipe. What sweethearts your grandsons are. When I started cooking for the family my attempts were pretty bad and I burnt more food since the temp was too high and there was no moisture so the chicken etc. was inedible. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. I've made my fair share of messes but the one I really remember is the one my husband made while I was at work. He made chili for a club chili cook-off. I can home and had to remove chili from the ceiling. :-0

  10. I've never been able to make a decent pie cdrust. I can remember the time that I tried making one, it turned out awful, I put it out for the birds----even the crows didn't like it and picked up pieces then flew just a bit and dropped them.

  11. Not a mess. But was a disaster. Was trying to make a big batch of hot chocolate for the kids and their friends. Went out to greet them when they came in after the game. Forgot that I had already put in the vanilla, added more. Got called out to greet the next car load. Went back in, added some vanilla. The worst tasting hot choc EVER. The kids and their friends they are still in touch with Still tease me about that. My son's friend Dave, when I answer the phone. "Hi, Mom. Made any chocolate lately?" It's going on 35 yrs now. Sigh. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc ((dot) com

    1. Ha, ha. Hot vanilla! I love when I forget that I already did something. Happening more and more... uh-oh. ~ Daryl

  12. I used to love making cookies. elainehroberson(at)

  13. Oh goodness we were making choc chip cookies and we were to cream the butter and sugar well the bowl was way too small and butter was flying all over the kitchen my daughter was laughing so hard she couldn't turn it off so i did and what a mess we had as we were doubling the

    1. PT - that's a funny image. Yes, size matters when it comes to bowls. ~ Daryl

  14. I just love reading all the flop stories. Now I don't feel so bad. Way back when, I always wanted to make shrimp gumbo. Found a recipe in a mag,and gave it a try. It was sooo bad, even the dog wouldn't eat it! Lol Happy Holidays!!

    1. I was just thinking the same thing. I don't feel so bad knowing we've all had some mishaps! ~ Daryl

  15. I already have the books too -- I just wanted to say thank you for the recipe and Merry Christmas!

  16. Thanks for the chance to win and for making me hungry!
    nerdsrgood AT msn DOT com

    1. P.S. I don't cook or bake but love to eat. That's my mess! Dishes. lol

    2. Sally, you are welcome. We have a lot of foodie "voyeurs." :) ~ Daryl

  17. I made a Xmas cookie called snowballs that you roll in powdered sugar. I made several batches to give to a local family. My kitchen counters and floors took forever to clean up. It was everywhere . My kitchen looked like it snowed !!! Thank you for the chance.