What's your Favorite Christmas Cookie that you give as a Gift?
It's early, but I'm getting a jump on my shopping list for my holiday gift bags, and I'd like your list of your favorite cookies that you give as gifts.
I usually give traditional cookies, but I'd like to branch out this year!
Here's my list:
Oatmeal raisin walnut
peanut peanut butter
traditional decorated sugar cookies
Thanks for expanding my cookie horizons!
In past years I have made a variety of differently flavored shortbread rounds. I sized the rounds to fit tins. I sliced the shortbread eight ways (like a pizza) and individually packaged a couple of "slices", in those crisp Wilton bags, tied them closed and labeled them. I reassembled the round using all the different varities. It makes a pretty dramatic presentation when the tin is opened, but it's less work using just one basic dough.
I always make Hermits, which in our house were always Christmas cookies - though the recent thread on Hermits made me realize that is not generally the case!
white chocolate chip w/ cranberries and brandy
lemon poppy glazed shortbread
angel fingers (similar to russian tea cakes)
oatmeal w/butterscotch chips
I almost always make these: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... They are far and away my favorite cookie I've *ever* made and everyone loves them! I just made circles, usually scalloped, at Christmas time, because the shape of the cookie doesn't hold very well with more complicated shapes, i.e. a Christmas tree or whatever. I usually use raspberry jam, but have used others as well... raspberry is the most festive!
And not cookies, but this toffee recipe is fabulous and I intend to have it in my regular rotation! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
I've been having trouble with their links timing out lately, so I just paraphrased it.
Cream Cookie Sandwich Hearts
Makes 36 cookie sandwiches.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups pink sanding sugar, for rolling (I just use regular granulated sugar)
3/4 cup red-currant jelly (I've used all kinds of red jams or jellies- red raspberry has been a favorite)
Mix together flour, butter, cream, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Make 2 flat disks of the dough and chill, wrapped in plastic. Chill for 2 to 3 hours. Instead of flouring your work surface, sugar your work surface. Roll out the dough using one disk at a time to about an 1/8" thickness. Sugar your work surface and your cookies often to prevent sticking. The dough does soften quickly, so try to work quickly. Cut out in desired shapes- the original recipe uses hearts obviously. For some reason, intricate cookie cutters to do not work well, so I usually use just circles at Christmas time. Place cookies on a silpat-lined or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Chill cookies on cookie sheet again until firm. Bake cookies at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir jelly or jam until smooth and spoon about a 1/2 teaspoon on one half of cookies, and sandwich with the other half.
I've had luck with rolling the dough into balls, rolling in sugar, and then flattening with the bottom of the glass instead of going through the process of rolling them out. They don't seem to turn out quite as flaky, but works in a pinch.
I've also made them with Splenda- it's a little harder to roll them out without sticking, but works well enough. I just used sugar free jam in that case.
I've been making a very rich butter-cream cheese cookie topped with half a marascino cherry for about 30+ years. The cookbook from which I got the recipe called them "Cherry Crowns (and they were topped with candied cherries); someone many many years ago christened them "Boob Cookies" instead, and so they have remained in my family.
I also love to make some kind of pinwheel cookie - I've had a couple of recipes for raspberry or cherry and pistachio pinwheels, which are a festive and seasonal pink and green. I tried one recipe that was a 3-way pinwheel with chocolate, but found that the chocolate flavor overwhelmed the balance.
The past couple of years I've also made a Christmasy biscotti recipe, with pistachios and almonds and dried cranberries and cherries.
I make a very rich butter and cream cheese cookie that gets dipped in pink glaze and sprinkled with red sugar. These were dubbed "Santa Balls" by my friends and that's what we still call them.
In the past few years the pretzel logs I dip in homemade caramel, roll in chopped nuts and drizzle with chocolate have been getting more requests than cookies. My best friend calls these "kitty litter sticks" because I used to roll them in a mixture of chopped chocolate and peanut butter chips. They taste way better than they look.