Home
 
Writing Soap and Lotion Making Cookie Molds Smart Housekeeping Photography Miscellany Contact

 

My Cookie Books!

Baking with Cookie Molds
Secrets and Recipes for Making Amazing Handcrafted Cookies

 

 

Cookie Molds Around the Year

An Almanac of Molds, Cookies, and Other Treats for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Other Holidays, and Every Season

 

Around the Year with Cookie Molds

November

 

 

November Issue Contents

Late Fall--An Appreciation of the Season
Recipe: Pumpkin or Apple Cookie Tartlets
Technique: Shaping Cookie Tartlets
Recipe: Cinnamon Chestnut Cookies
Recipe: Cranberry Pecan Layered Cookies
Technique: Layered Cookies
Tip: Using a Butter Mold as a Cookie Mold
November Cookie Molds
Return to Main Magazine Page

 

 

Late Fall--An Appreciation of the Season

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The sudden change in sunlight, from clear to golden, a new scent in the wind, a new school year. Fall has always seemed to me to be a season of beginnings, not endings.

Here on San Juan Island, fall is everywhere. Leaves turn to yellow, brown, and orange, swirl from hill to hill. Garden tools retreat from the aisles of the hardware store, replaced by fireplace logs and road salt. Old pear orchards, untended for years, bear heavily among tall weeds. The pears are harvested only by deer and raccoons. Pumpkins are piled outside the market, and the new crop of apples dazzles us.

And the windstorms begin. I'm told I live on the windy side of the island, and I believe it. Some November nights, the south-west wind sounds like a freight train. I grew up in hurricane country, and I've never heard winds quite like this.

Surprisingly, though, there has never been any damage--aside from losing the seat cushion from a lawn chair when we first moved here. We looked and looked, but never found it. I imagine that seat cushion sailing through the night air like a Frisbee, maybe sailing out to sea. Neptune may be sitting on it this minute, for all I know. We're wiser now--when wind is in the forecast, we bring the chairs in.

Here at the 49th parallel, fall is over by the end of November. Winter doesn't start officially until the solstice, December 21, but the year itself knows no such rule. Late November in the islands is cold. We close our windows at night now, and our footsteps crackle on frost in the early morning. Often, we have snow around Thanksgiving. It's a good time to celebrate houses, brightly lit and welcoming--our own, or our friends' --a good time to be home, or to entertain. The scent of baking cookies fills the kitchen. We hear the storms outside and count our blessings.

It's time to pause and feel thankful for all we have. And many cultures do this at harvest time, whenever it occurs. Traditional harvest celebrations include Sukkot, Harvest Home, Festival of the Autumn Moon, Martinmas, Thanksgiving, and many more.

This month, let's look at cookies to celebrate the earth's bounty. November's recipes feature the flavors I associate with autumn--nuts, cranberries, apples, pumpkin, and warm spices.

Back to Table of Contents


 

Recipe: Pumpkin or Apple Cookie Tartlets

These require a special mold--usually called a "pineapple tart mold." It's intended for an Indonesian specialty, but these molds make wonderful cookies as well, and are very easy to use. I like the apple jelly for apple pies and the honey for the pumpkin pies.

1 cup (225 grams) butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) apple jelly or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup or 100 grams sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 4 cups (585 grams) all-purpose flour

1. Melt the butter. Set aside.
2. Beat the egg in a large bowl.
3. Mix the honey or jelly, vanilla extract, and milk. Add to the egg.
4. Mix the sugar and salt. Add to the egg mixture.
5. Add the butter slowly to the egg mixture and beat well.
6. Add flour slowly until the mixture is solid enough to knead. If you are using an electric mixer, stop the mixer once or twice as you add flour, and scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the flour mixed in.
7. Transfer the dough to a counter or breadboard and knead in more flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
8. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
9. Roll and form the dough according to the directions for your mold.10. Chill the cookies while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
11. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges.

Fill with commercial pumpkin pie or apple pie filling, pumpkin or apple butter, or with your own pre-cooked pumpkin or apple pie filling. It's best to add the filling just before serving.

 

You may also like this recipe for other molded cookies. Here's one I made with the apple jelly version of this recipe to go with this mold, which shows a scene of picking apples:

Back to Table of Contents


Technique:Shaping Cookie Tartlets

This is just an extra-easy way of doing something that was simple to begin with. I'm showing this technique with the cookie tart mold, but it would work just as well with cookie stamps or small springerle molds. The basic idea is to roll a sheet of dough, remove a small strip to create two or more rows, and then press with the mold, cut, and trim off the scraps. This saves handling and re-rolling, both of which toughen your dough.

Here, I've rolled and trimmed a sheet of dough for cookie tarts. Notice that I've rolled it on a sheet of nonstick foil. This is important, because it makes it possible to cut and bake the cookies without handling any of them.

 

When you have your sheet rolled and trimmed, set your mold on it and decide how many lines of cookies you can make. Then cut a channel to separate the lines.

 

 

Now press and cut your cookies. If you're using tart molds, assemble the mold and place it on the dough. Press down on the center piece, then on the outer cutter. Then lift the cutter off the doug--remove the center piece first, then the outer cutter.. Press the center piece down lightly with your forefinger to help separate them,

 

 

Tip the center piece to remove it without lifting the cookie from the foil.

 

Now cut the dough, remove the scraps, and continue to the next cookie.

 

Here's my sheet with three cookies cut out. I'll keep shaping and cutting them until all the dough has been used.Note that I haven't touched the cookies themselves, just removed the scraps from around them.

Transfer the aluminum foil sheet to a baking sheet for baking.

Other small molds and cookie stamps would be used in a similar way, but instead of working with the built-in cutter piece, you'd use a cookie cutter after you'd pressed the image with the mold.

 

Back to Table of Contents


 

Recipe: Cinnamon Chestnut Cookies


These cookies are crisp, on account of the high percentage of nuts. Make them thin for best results.

1 cup (225 grams) butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup (160 grams) sweetened chestnut paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
About 1 1/4 (165 grams) all purpose flour

1. Tear the chestnut paste into marble sized bits.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Combine the warm butter and the chestnut paste and beat well until smooth.See note.
4. Beat together the egg, vanilla extract, and cream and add to the butter mixture.
5. Combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and add to the butter mixture
6. Add flour slowly until the mixture is solid enough to knead
7. Transfer to a work surface and knead in more flour to make a dough the consistency of children's modeling clay.
8. Roll and form the dough per the instructions for your cookie molds or the directions in my book, "Baking with Cookie Molds".
9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees Celsius).
10. Bake one test cookie for approximately 15 minutes. Adjust time and temperature as needed, and bake the remainder of the cookies.

 

 

 

 

Back to Table of Contents


 

Recipe: Cranberry Pecan Layered Cookies

Use a mold that will look good with a tweedy, flecked cookie. See directions for layer cookies in Baking with Cookie Molds.

1 cup (225 grams) butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) honey
1/2 cup (98 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (80 grams) finely ground pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 3-3/4cups (515 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (170 grams) finely chopped dried cranberries

1. Melt the butter. Set aside.
2. Beat the egg in a large bowl.
3. Add the honey to the egg mixture.
4. Mix the sugar, ground nuts, and salt. Add to the egg mixture.
5. Add the butter slowly and beat well.
6. Add flour slowly until the mixture is solid enough to knead. If you are using an electric mixer, stop the mixer once or twice as you add flour, and scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the flour mixed in.
7. Follow the instructions in the following section to make the layers.
8. Roll with a springerle pin or form with cookie molds, using the manufacturer's directions or the directions in my book, "Baking with Cookie Molds." The plain dough faces the mold. If you use a springerle pin, separate the cookies after chilling and before baking.
9. Chill the cookies while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
10. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges.

Back to Table of Contents


Technique—Layered Cookies

Layering dough creates an opportunity to add ingredients that don’t mold well. The basic idea is to create a laminated sheet of rolled dough with plain dough on the top—the side that contacts the cookie mold—and dough with tasty tidbits such as dried cranberries or miniature chocolate chips in the bottom layer.

It’s a great idea for adding variety to molded cookies, but it has one tricky moment and one real disadvantage, which I’ll explain as we go along.

Here’s how to make layered cookies for molding:

1. Divide the dough into two balls, one about twice the size of the other.

2. Set the smaller ball of dough aside.

3. Knead tasty tidbits such as chopped fruit or nuts or miniature chocolate chips into the larger ball of dough.

4. Roll out each ball or dough separately on sheets of nonstick aluminum foil. Make them into fairly even rectangles, about equal in width and length. This means the rolled-out dough from the larger ball of dough will be about twice as thick as the rolled out dough from the smaller ball.

5. Fair warning—this is the tricky step. Slip a sheet of something fairly solid under each sheet of foil. I use two of those almost-paper-thin plastic cutting mats, but you could use cardboard, flat cookie sheets, or almost any other semi-rigid or rigid flat object. When you have a secure backing of this kind beneath each sheet of rolled out dough, line them up and press them together, rather like closing a book. They won’t line up perfectly, but you can improve them a little in the next steps.

6. Set aside the cutting mats, or whatever you used as solid sheets in step 5. You’re through with them. Now you have a “sandwich” consisting of a layer of foil, a layer of cookie dough with tidbits, a plain cookie dough layer, and another layer of foil on top. Remove the foil from the plain cookie dough layer and lay the dough down on the counter.

7. Lightly roll the two layers together. This is your chance to piece and straighten a little at the edges to get a double layer in places where the match wasn’t perfect. Trim the edges.

8. Now you have a layered sheet of dough. The disadvantage of this technique is that you only have one chance to mold it. You can’t re-roll scraps without losing the layering. So either cut it carefully into pieces about the size of your molds, or use a springerle rolling pin. In any case, minimize the scraps.

(Of course you can still make cookies, and they’ll be good, but they’re not layered cookies. I don’t even try to mold my layering scraps, just cut them with a cookie cutter. No one has refused to eat them yet.)

9. Mold and bake the cookies just as you would any other dough.

 

Back to Table of Contents


Tip—Using a Butter Mold for a Cookie Mold

“Can you use a butter mold to make molded cookies?”

I sometimes get asked that. It’s one of those questions that gets a roundabout answer. Basically, it depends on the butter mold.

Here’s one I use for cookies. As you can see, it’s a flat plate. It does have another piece, a jointed top section that fits over this part. The top section forms the sides of the butter pat—it’s a bit like a little fence. I haven’t made molded butter, but I suppose butter is molded soft, and the mold is removed when the butter is hardened. The molding piece would then be pried or off.

The holes you see in this mold are used to fasten the top piece onto it with removable dowels. I have the top piece, and it’s certainly interesting, though not of any use in cookie molding. Generally, any mold you find that shows holes like this is intended for something besides cookies—sometimes butter, sometimes chocolate or marzipan.

But many of them work well for cookies. The multi-part mold is likely to, especially if the part that forms the design is pretty shallow, as this one is.

Molds that have two or more pieces like this often are shallow, but molds that are deeper than the depth of a cookie should be avoided. There just is no good way to get the cookie out. So if your shaped piece is more than about a quarter of an inch deep, and the sides don’t come off, I wouldn’t recommend it.

You may notice that this mold is cracked. This makes no difference when you’re using honey cookie recipes such as mine, because you don’t have to tap or strike the mold to release the cookie. Honey recipes are also good for porcelain cookie molds, or other fragile molds.

Very tender shortbread dough often molds better in butter molds than in many cookie molds.

Back to Table of Contents


 

 

November Cookie Molds

Listed below in Order of Use

 

 

 

 

Cookie Tartlet Mold available from Biodiversity Herbs.

 

"Apple Harvest" from Springerle Joy

 

"Wheat Sheaves" available from My Cookie Mold

 

 

 

"Bountiful Harvest" available from House on the Hill.

 

"Springerle Press #19, Autumn Acorns" by HOBI Cookie Molds.

 

Turkey cookie mold made by Brown Bag. No longer made, but available at Internet auction sites.

 

Antique Butter Mold

Back to Table of Contents

 


Coming in the December Issue

December Holidays
Recipe: Cinnamon Almond Treats
Tip: How to Tell When Cookies are Done
Recipe: Honey Cream Cookies
Technique: Getting a Good Print with an Extra-Large Mold
Recipe: Maple Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Tartlets
Recipe: Pecan Cookies
Tip: Trimming Cookies
Tip: Molded Cookies as Christmas Ornaments
December Cookie Molds

Return to Main Magazine Page

 

 


Home
 
Writing Soap and Lotion Making Cookie Molds Smart Housekeeping Photography Miscellany Contact