I’m always looking for good neighbor gifts, and was delighted when I found this on ~ yep, you guessed it ~ Chef Tess Bakeress’s blog. I love the idea of cookie mixes, since we all get inundated with way too many sweets this time of year, and this way you can hang on to the mix and make up some cookies when you’re more in the mood for them. I used the basic recipe, which I am listing here, but there are more baking options once you have the mix, which you can find on the website.
Tess’s Extra Moist Buttermilk Cookie Mix
source: chef tess bakeresse
9 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat works, but be sure it is soft wheat or pastry flour)
1½ cups buttermilk powder (instant milk is okay too)
1½ cups Homemade Instant Pudding Mix
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla or LorAnn Princess emulsion
2 cups butter or shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
3 cups sugar (you can use splenda spoonable instead)
Soften butter in a very large bowl, electric mixers are amazing for making mixes, I highly recommend using one. Add the sugar and vanilla (I also love brandy, rum, nut flavors...) and cream well. In a separate large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. If done correctly it will look like a course cornmeal.
This mix will make 20 cups of cookie mix. I use 2 cups of mix per gourmet mix. Most often I will put 2 cup portions in storage size zip bags. This mix will make 10 bags of plain sugar cookie mix.
I started by making a big batch of Tess’s homemade pudding mix (find it here). I also had a can of powdered butter and decided to use that instead of regular butter. (I found a #10 can at Wal-Mart, but can’t find it online anywhere. They also sell it at Kitchen Kneads.) I threw everything in my Kitchen Aid and mixed it all up. Be aware that your mixer bowl will be VERY full, especially when using powdered butter, so use the pouring shield if you have one. I then put 2 cups each into holiday Ziploc bags.
Only I didn’t get 10 bags full. I only got 8. Hmm. I decided I’d better bake up a batch and sample them. So I mixed it all up and used the drop method, and got the funniest cookies I’ve ever seen. They looked like biscuits. They tasted like biscuits. They tasted like biscuits because I forgot to put the sugar in. Ug. So I dumped all the bag contents back into a large bowl, added a little less than 2 cups of sugar, stirred it all up and bagged it all again. Then I used the leftovers (about 1¼ cups that didn’t go into the bags) to make up another batch. This time they turned out great. Very yummy. They would probably have been even better with a little butter cream frosting on top, but they were gone before I could find out. This is the best picture I was able to get before little fingers had grabbed them all up.
After I had them all in bags, I made up a few of these,
used my Xyron to make the labels into stickers, stuck them onto the bag and
plopped placed them carefully into these cute little treat holders I got from Current several years ago. Fit perfectly, and made a great neighbor gift. (I even made a second batch of the mix, more to give away and some to keep for myself.)
What did you give for neighbor gifts this year? Did you stick with a tried-and-true or did you make something new this year?