Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 12: Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti and Chocolate Mallow Cookie Sandwiches

*Tear* This will be the last 12 Days of Christmas Cookies post. Josh and I, along with all my co-workers, have really enjoyed the cookies along the way. :)

I actually have 2 recipes left, so I'm posting both of them today. Both of these recipes are from Betty Crocker, courtesy of a cookie party that I hosted. I invited some ladies over, and we transformed Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix into these treats. I'm not opposed to using box mixes every now and then. And with the recipes they provided - you would never guess these started from a mix. There are quite a few ingredients required, so don't be fooled - these treats are much more than what you would expect from a cookie mix.

Both of these turned out quite well. The mallow cookie pies were very yummy: cake-like cookies with a sweet fluffy filling in the middle. I had been wanting to make a biscotti recipe, and while there are a lot of other ones out there I still want to try, pistachio-cranberry sounded interesting to me. I really liked the flavor combination, and I didn't find the pistachio overwhelming (though the green color from the pudding mix was a tad odd to me).

Chocolate-Mallow Cookie Pies
from Betty Crocker
yield: 18 cookie pies

1 pouch Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
1/3 c. unsweetened baking cocoa
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sour cream
1/4 c. butter softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

2/3 c. marshmallow creme
1/3 c. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. powdered sugar

Topping: (optional)
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. unsweetened baking cocoa

Heat oven to 350 deg F. In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix, cocoa, and flour. Add sour cream, butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and the egg; stir until stiff dough forms.

Shape dough into 36 1-inch balls. (The dough will be sticky!) On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2-inches apart. Press each ball to flatten slightly (use floured bottom of a drinking glass).

Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until set (do not overbake). Cool 2 minutes; move to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

In small bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer until light and fluffy. For each cookie pie, spread about 2 teaspoons filling on bottom of 1 cooled cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; gently press cookies together.

In small bowl, stir together topping ingredients; sprinkle over tops of cookie pies. Roll edges in colored sugar if desired. Store between sheets of wax paper in tightly sealed container.

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti
from Betty Crocker
yield: ~40 cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 box (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding mix
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 c. dry-roasted salted pistachio nuts, finely chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Mix together cookie mix, pudding mix and flour. Add melted butter and eggs; blend. Stir in pistachios and cranberries. Divide dough in half, shape each half of dough into 15x2-inch log. Place each log on ungreased cookie sheet.Bake at 375 deg F for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets 20 minutes. Place logs on cutting board, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch slices. Place slices cut side down on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 250 deg F for 40 minutes, turning once. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar over tops of cookie (optional).

As I said, these were both surprisingly tasty. It might be worth cruising around the BC website to find other ways to dress up these simple mixes. I found the mix really only substituted the flour, sugar, and baking soda/powder from standard recipes. It was cool to see how each recipe started with a sugar cookie mix but transformed to something totally different.

*Note: Betty Crocker did send 2 pouches of mix to use with these recipes. All opinions are my own.*

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