Baking Lady Locks Cookies

Baking Lady Locks Cookies

We’ve talked about it before…. the Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table.

As we say around here, “It’s a ‘Burgh Thing.”

And no respectable wedding cookie table would be without Lady Locks.

As much as I love baking cookies, I have never truly mastered the esteemed Lady Lock.

But one of my best buddies has….

She baked them for my first son’s wedding, and she baked them for my second son’s wedding.  So when I offered to help bake some cookies for my oldest daughter-in-law’s sister’s upcoming wedding, I asked Tracy if I could pay her to bake some Lady Locks.

Her reply…

“How about I teach you?”

When I told my daughter-in-law we were going to make them this past Sunday, she was so excited.  She had been googling the recipe to give them a try, but was a bit hesitant to tackle these, so she wanted to join in the lady lock baking lesson too.

Now my grandma made these every year for Christmas and for special occassions like family weddings.  I tried her cryptic recipe a few times years ago, but they never came out quite right.  At one point in time I had her special lady lock pins, but somehow they are nowhere to be found.  (I likely tossed them out of frustration after trying several times!)

Fortunately, Tracy still has her grandma’s, which were handed down to her mom and then her.  I found a local store in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, In the Kitchen, that carries them and sells them online for anyone interested in purchasing (which I did).  It’s important you get the correct kind.  Expert old-time bakers were able to make these on clothespins (and some people still call them clothespin cookies), but I can’t even imagine!

Baking these are not for the light of heart or spirit.  Though they are made from just a few simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry, these tasty little buggers are a bit tedious to make.  (Especially when you double the recipe and have a 1-1/2 year-old helping!)

Tracy generously allowed me to share her Mom’s recipe here, which was a COMPLETE success!  (Probably because she did most of the hard work….. after all…. my granddaughter did need to take a few breaks to swing and play in the pool and eat lunch and join Pap Pap for a tractor ride during the 5-hour bake-a-thon!).  Colleen, her mommy, was a trooper rolling and tapping and filling the whole time – even while 8 3/4 months pregnant (this girl never ceases to amaze me!).

We filled half of our 200 lady locks with pink-tinted vanilla filling and the other half with white almond-flavored filling.  They both are melt-in-your-mouth divine.

Here is the recipe.  The best ever, full-proof success lady locks recipe.  Thanks Tracy!

Lady Locks Cookies

  • Servings: approximately 100
  • Print

Cookie Shell Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 cup water

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Crisco
  • 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned Evaporated Milk
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix flour and butter with pastry blender like when making pie crust to form crumbly mixture.  Stir in water until dough forms.  Shape dough into 2 balls, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the Lady Locks Pins by rubbing your hands with Crisco and then rolling the pins in your hands to grease them.  (You only have to do this for the first batch – they will be greased enough after that from each subsequent baking.)

Roll out dough to 1/8″ thick on floured surface.  Cut dough into 2″ x 1-1/2″ rectangles.  Wrap each rectangle of dough around Lady Locks Pin pinching edges well to seal.  To do this is a bit tricky.  You must pinch the dough together, then roll it in your hands and/or on a lightly flour-dusted counter (or both!) to get them smooth and even. Then take a butter knife and cut through the center of the dough on the pin to create two evenly-sized pieces – pushing  them apart about 1/8″.  (You will get two cookies from each pin).

Fill a cookie tray or baking stone with dough-wrapped pins about 1/4 inch apart.  Bake approximately 10 minutes until just lightly browned.

When they come out of the oven, you can allow them to cool a minute or so, then you need to tap the ends of the pin on the counter to loosen the baked dough and slide off the pin on the narrowest tapered side.  (It’s a bit like playing hot potato, but necessary to remove the shells from the pins.  Tracy says if you leave them cool too long on the pin, the will likely stick to them and break in the process of removing.)

Once you have baked all of your shells, and they have cooled, prepare the filling.

With an electric mixer, beat the Crisco.  Add 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, and beat again.  Add 1/4 cup canned milk, and beat again.  Add flour.   Beat again.  Add salt.     Beat again.  Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.  Beat again.  Add 1/2 cup canned milk.  Beat again.  Add vanilla (or almond extract).  Beat again.  If you are going to tint your filling, add food color, and beat one final time until incorporated.

Using a pastry tube or decorator with small tip, fill shells with filling.

These cookies freeze well, and actually taste phenomenal straight out of the freezer.

Do you have another favorite Lady Locks recipe?  I’d love to hear how you make them.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

I may have saved the best for last….

For my last cookie recipe for the Wedding cookie table, who is in the mood for a Cookies ‘n Cream cookie created with coarsely crushed Oreo cookies and creamy white chocolate chips?

Oh…. My…. Yumminess!

These are SERIOUSLY divine!  The photos may not do justice to the ecstasy your taste buds are going to experience.

Here’s the recipe I found at The Recipe Critic.  Hope you will give them a try!

Oreo Cookies 'n Cream Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 5 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups flour
  • 28 Oreo Cookies, coarsely crushed
  • 3 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Slowly beat in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and finally flour just until incorporated.  Gently fold in coarsely-crushed Oreo cookies and white chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until just lightly browned.  Let cool on baking stone/cookie sheet 5 minutes, then completely cool cooling racks.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cookies

For my penultimate wedding cookie table cookie recipe, I present….

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cookies.

I was so excited to find this simple recipe that uses Bisquick baking mix and creates such beautiful and delicious cookies.

Won’t they look pretty next to the Lemon Crinkles?!

Red velvet lovers rejoice!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 3 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp. red food coloring
  • 3 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla, eggs, and food coloring.  Add Bisquick and cocoa just until combined.  Gently stir in white chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Cool on stone/sheet for 5 minutes.  Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

Amidst all the chocolate and peanut butter and pecans and raspberry and apricot, we needed a fresh, bright, citrusy, spring cookie for the wedding cookie table.

This light, delicate Lemon Crinkle Cookie is just the ticket!

A tangy zip of lemon juice and zest in a small little puff rolled in powdered sugar and “crinkled” will make a lovely  contrast in flavor and color.

It’s wedding week, and we are so excited!

Hope you will give this lovely cookie a try.

And while we are talking about cookies…. my friend Sherrie told me a joke this week that I thought would be fun to share given all the cookie recipes I’ve been sharing lately….

Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

……………………………………………………………………………….Because it was feeling crummy! 😝😝😝🍪

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (2 large lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from same 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • A couple drops of yellow food coloring
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 ups flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (to roll cookies in before baking)

Directions:

In the mixing bowl of electric stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth.  Beat in sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and lemon extract, food coloring and salt.  Mix until well combined, light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg yolk and beat for 1-2 minutes on medium until creamy and light.

Gradually add in baking powder and flour on low speed until just incorporated.  Dough will be quite sticky.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1 inch round balls and then roll in powdered sugar.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies puff and crinkle.  Do not overbake.  Cookies should not brown.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Cookies are wonderful when frozen or refrigerated for a “cool” taste. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Buckeye Balls

Buckeye Balls.

Calling all chocolate and peanut butter lovers!  Another must-have “staple” at any Pittsburgh wedding cookie table is the Buckeye Ball!

These delectable little creamy peanut butter delights coated in dark chocolate are called Buckeye Balls because they look like Buckeye nuts and originated in Ohio – the Buckeye state.

Simple, but absolutely delish, this is cookie #9 on my wedding cookie table list.   The freezer is filling up fast, and the wedding date is closing in on us!  Cookie baking continues.

Here’s the recipe.  Hope you will give them a try.

Buckeye Balls

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lb. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Mix peanut butter and butter in a bowl with wooden spoon until creamy.  Blend in vanilla.  Add powdered sugar, and stir until incorporated and a stiff mixture forms.

Roll teaspoon-sized pieces into balls, and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet or cutting board.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Melt chocolate in narrow deep container in microwave for 1 minute and then at 30 second intervals until smooth.  Using a wooden skewer, dip balls into chocolate all but for a bit at top.  Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.  Allow to cool completely and chocolate to harden.  Smooth over hole created by skewer with a small spatula or your clean finger.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Wedding Cookie List Baking so far:

  1. Jodi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Hershey Kiss Brownie Bites
  3. Pecan Tassies
  4. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
  5. Pecan Sandies
  6. Carrot Cake Thumbprints
  7. Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
  8. Apricot Kolaches
  9. Buckeye Balls

 

 

 

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

Is anything more divine than tart, sweet raspberry and velvety, dark chocolate?

Then combine it with a flaky, buttery shortbread cookie?!

Heaven in a bite – right?!

These little gems are the most recent cookie baking project for the wedding cookie table.

I think you might want to make some of these too!

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 16 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy with electric mixer.  Gradually add flour and combine until dough forms.

Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into 3/4″ balls.  Place on baking stone about an inch apart.  Press small indentation in center of dough with your finger.  Place a 1/4 tsp. raspberry jam in indentation.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned on edges.  Let cool 5-10 minutes on baking stone, the remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, melt chocolate and spoon into plastic bag.  Snip corner and drizzle on top of cookies.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies.

Wedding Cookie Table baking continues as we approach the last few weeks until the wedding!

I couldn’t resist trying a Pecan Sandie Shortbread Cookie to add to the selection given that I overbought pecans for the Pecan Tassie recipe.

And Oh How Gloriously Buttery, Nutty Deliciouso these turned out!  Be still my nut-loving shortbread heart!  (Oh Rob – you are going to LOVE these!)

Anyone who loves Keebler’s Pecan Sandies, you are in for SUCH a TREAT with this recipe!  Can I get an Hallelujah?  Can I get an Amen!

Hope you will give this simple, yet extraordinary recipe a try!

Pecan Sandies Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups toasted pecans (Coarsely chop 3 cups and reserve 1/2 cup whole)

Directions:

In a large electric mixer bowl, combine softened butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  Continue beating at high speed until light and fluffy.

Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until combined.  Add four one cup at a time and slowly combine.  Remove from mixer, and fold in 3 cups chopped toasted pecans.

Place dough in Ziploc bag in refrigerator and chill for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll top half of ball with sugar, flatten slightly, and add a pecan half to center.

Place on baking stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Do not overbake.  Remove to cooling rack to cool.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

The wedding cookie table baking continues with another classic.

Most everyone loves a little cookie cup with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in it – right?

So many wonderful little treats you can bake in mini muffin pans!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp. milk or half & half
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 70-80 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Mix in salt and baking soda, and finally flour just until incorporated.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place in ungreased nonstick mini muffin pan.  Bake 7-8 minutes.

Remove from oven, and immediately press a miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup into each ball.  Cool  and carefully remove from pan.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

S’More Cookies Please!

smore cookies

I could barely wait to share this recipe for S’More Cookies that I made on Sunday!

OOOOO  LAAAA  LAAAA!!!

smore broke

It’s like a campfire memory in a cookie!

I was inspired to make these as I began thinking about cookies to bake for Jackie’s Wedding (which is only a month away!!!  Sooooo excited!!!).

untitled

the beautiful bride to be, Jackie, at her bridal shower, with yours truly

For those of you that don’t live in or around Pittsburgh  – aka “Da ”Burgh,” – we have what I’ve come to learn is an unusual tradition at weddings.  (Much like french fries on salads, calling rubber bands “gum bands”, calling groups of people “Yinz,” being the ultimate “Stillers” and “Buccos” sports fans,  calling bologna “Jumbo” and – oh – I could go on and on about our wonderful Pittsburghese – isms! 🙂 )

We have Cookie Tables at weddings.

VERY large cookie tables.

Like where Cookies are APPETIZERS and DESSERT…  AND go with the meal…

cookies

The Cookie Table at Jake and Colleen’s Wedding on July 13, 2013 @ Gable Farms, Lake Latonka, PA

And just to be sure you understand correctly – this does not mean we don’t have wedding cake….  Oh my no – we have BOTH – cookies AND cake!

So when thinking of how to best celebrate our sweet Jackie and what kind of cookies to bake, I thought of S’Mores – which are Jackie’s favorite treat –  and I found this amazing recipe by Jen at CarlsbadCravings.com.

smore 1

I couldn’t think of anything to make it any better, so here is Jen’s recipe exactly as she posted.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing Jen! (Photos are of the ones I baked.)

The only things I changed were that I baked for only 7 minutes on baking stones in my convection oven.  I always under bake slightly and let set on stones to finish.  I also added about an extra 1/4 cup flour, which I often do to cookie recipes to give them more fullness and chewiness.

smore 3

Soft and Chewy S’more Cookies
Author: Jen@CarlsbadCravings.com
Serves: 3 dozen 2″ cookies  (of course I doubled the recipe 🙂 )
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Hershey bars, broken
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
Instructions:
  1. Cream together butter and sugars; mix in egg and vanilla.
  2. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and chocolate chunks until well combined.
  4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove and quickly press marshmallows into cookies. Return to oven and cook until done, about 3-4 minutes

smore 4If you like s’mores, you will love these cookies.

I’ll be making these for Jackie’s wedding – most likely AGAIN – as I’m not sure these will last……

Cheers and Hugs,

Jodi