Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun night of Holiday Cookie Baking!

Last night my friend Britney took me out for my Christmas gift surprise! She had been building up the suspense for a few weeks and I couldn't wait to find out what it was! So after spending an entire day working on Christmas presents I headed over to her house all excited to find out what my surprise was! First we went to the Dollar Store - that in itself is awesome! Then we went to dinner and then to the community college in Sterling, Colorado. That's where I found out that she was taking me to a Holiday Cookie Baking Class! How fun is that! As we entered the room I got even more excited! We were going to bake Gingerbread Cookies and Sugar Cookies. The instructor, who is a Pastry Chef, told us all about the history of the cookie. Fascinating! Did you know that are 7 categories of cookies?

- Drop cookies are made from a relatively soft dough that is dropped by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. During baking, the mounds of dough spread and flatten. Chocolate chip cookies (Toll House cookies), oatmeal (or oatmeal raisin) cookies and rock cakes are popular examples of drop cookies.

- Refrigerator cookies are made from a stiff dough that is refrigerated to become even stiffer. The dough is typically shaped into cylinders which are sliced into round cookies before baking.

- Molded cookies are also made from a stiffer dough that is molded into balls or cookie shapes by hand before baking. Snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies are examples of molded cookies.

- Rolled cookies are made from a stiffer dough that is rolled out and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Gingerbread men are an example.

- Pressed cookies are made from a soft dough that is extruded from a cookie press into various decorative shapes before baking. Spritzgeb├Ąck are an example of a pressed cookie.

- Bar cookies consist of batter or other ingredients that are poured or pressed into a pan (sometimes in multiple layers), and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking. Brownies are an example of a batter-type bar cookie, while Rice Krispie treats are a bar cookie that doesn't require baking, perhaps similar to a cereal bar. In British English, bar cookies are known as "tray bakes".

- Sandwich cookies are rolled or pressed cookies that are assembled as a sandwich with a sweet filling. Fillings may be with marshmallow, jam, or icing. The Oreo cookie, made of two chocolate cookies with a vanilla icing filling is an example.

We were then set up at our station where our group made Sugar Thumbprint Cookies with Candied Cherries. I have to say, our cookies turned out the best :) So pretty and uniform on the baking sheet, lots of color, and baked just slightly underdone so they were soft and chewy and melted in your mouth!

The other 3 groups made:
- Sugar Coated Sugar Cookies
- Ginger Bread Cookies with Toffee and Chocolate toppings
- Sugar Coated Ginger Bread Cookies

We got to take home a sampling of everyone's cookies! It was such a fun night and the best part is I got to do it with my BFF!

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