Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas cookies

Here are some of the tried and true Christmas cookie recipes I've used over the years. I'll be adding more soon.

I always use real unsalted butter in my cookies (unless a recipe calls for margarine or butter flavored Crisco). I also only use pure extracts (never use imitation vanilla if you want a good quality baked item). I prefer King Arthur flour most of the year but at Christmas, when I am doing a lot of baking, I will also use Gold Medal flour with excellent results.


Jewel Cookies

2 Cups flour
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 Cup white sugar
2 Large egg yolks

Filling: Cherry or Apricot preserves (can also use nuts, Hershey's kiss, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks just until blended. Add flour, again just until blended. Break off walnut size piece and roll into a ball. Flatten each ball with thumb in middle, making an indentation. Fill with preserves.

Bake on greased cookie sheet 20 to 25 minutes.


Butterballs (from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

1 Stick butter, room temp
3 T. honey
1 Cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vanilla extract
1 Cup pecans, chopped somewhat fine
3/4 Cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease cookie sheets.

Cream butter, beat in honey. Gradually mix in flour and salt, then vanilla...add pecans. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Form balls by hand, the size of a quarter. Place 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven, as soon as cool to the touch, roll in conf. sugar. Cool completely and roll in conf. sugar again.


Chocolate Chip Brickle Bars (From Christmas-Cookies.com)

1/2 Cup (one stick) butter, room temp
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
14 oz. Can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. almond brickle chips (like Skors)
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Cup chopped nuts (sometimes I use coconut instead)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in 9 x 13" dish in the preheated oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter, pour condensed milk over the crumbs. Sprinkle brickle chips, chocolate chips and nuts (I like to put nuts on half the mixture, coconut on the other half to please both guys in my family). Press down firmly.

Bake until lightly browned, 20 - 25 minutes. Let cool. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Cherry/Chocolate/Toffee Chip Cookies (from Martha Stewart's TV show)

1 1/2 Cup flour
1 t. baking soda
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 Cups sugar
3/4 Cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 Cup quick oats

1 Cup EACH: Dried Cherries, Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Chunks, Skor's Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour and soda (sift if you have a sifter), set aside. Cream butter and both sugars until fluffy. Then add egg and vanilla. Combine with flour. Add oatmeal and then the dried cherries, chocolate and toffee.

The original recipe called for dough to be divided into 3 logs, rolled in plastic wrap, chilled and then sliced and baked. I still do this if I'm going to freeze the dough but I found that time consuming and the dough tended to crumble when I cut it (which it doesn't do when frozen).

However, I have had great success with dropping dough by teaspoons (I actually use a little cookie scoop purchased from Target) onto baking sheet and baked 8 - 10 minutes.

Everyone I give these cookies to love them.

Rasberry Truffle Brownies (From Country Woman magazine)

1/2 Cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 Cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 t. instant coffee
2 T. water
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 Cup flour

Filling
1 Cup chocolate chips
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese - room temp
1/4 Cup confectioners sugar
1/3 Cup seedless rasberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over low heat. Cool.

In large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar. Dissolve coffee crystals in water and add to egg mixture with the melted chocolate. Mix well.

Combine baking powder and flour, stir into chocolate mixture. Pour into 9" well greased square dish and bake 30-35 minutes. Cool.

For filling: Melt chocolate chips and cool. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add conf. sugar and jam. Stir in cooled melted chocolate chips. Spread over cooled brownies.

Chill very well before cutting for filling to get firm. Store in the refrigerator.

This is amazing...rich but amazing.


9 comments:

Heather said...

I love the look! Wonderful - you are an artist in beta! I love your recipes too - the cowboy cookies are terrific! I am also planning a cookie baking day for Christmas - December 1st I have 12 children and their mom's coming over to bake cookies too!

Brenda said...

I would love to see what your kitchen looks like on that day! :)

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