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What cookies are you baking for Christmas this year?

I just bought the America's Test Kitchen Christmas Holiday Cookies magazine (as if I need more cookie recipes!) and I got to wondering wondering what everyone is baking this year. Are you going back to old favorites, or has something new caught you eye? It would also be nice to share your recipes and/or the source of your recipes with the CH cookie-baking brigade!

I declare these games officially open: Let the baking begin!

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  1. Chocolate/Raspberry bars
    Pie filling squares
    Chocolate thumb print cookies
    Snickerdoodles
    Marshmallow cream nut bars
    Gum drop cookies
    Scandinavian almond bars
    Kongo bars
    Lemon bars
    Polka daters
    Walnut caramel triangles
    Toasted hazelnut bars
    Persimmon cookies
    Looks like a lot of baking for just the two of us but plates of cookies make nice gifts for friends and neighbors and when you love to cook the experience is soulfully satisfying.

    6 Replies
    1. re: todao

      That's quite an impressive list, todao. How do you approach it? Do you bake and freeze or just commit to a frenzy right before Christmas? And are these all time-honored cookies, or are there some newer cookies mixed in?

      1. re: roxlet

        Except for the marshmallow cream nut bars, a recipe that I developed earlier this year, these are time-honored cookie recipes that we've collected throughout the years. We have perhaps a hundred favorites in our collection but these are the "best of the best" and my wife and I have a great deal of fun sharing the kitchen and preparing these each year. We will bake them over a period of two or three days and yes we do freeze them. But we try to do all the baking (even the famous fruit cake - but it's not the dog food variety) on the three days prior to Christmas so, although they might be frozen, the cookies remain in good condition. This year we'll present modest gifts of plated cookies along with an assortment of tea. Can't wait to get started.

        1. re: todao

          Very nice! Reminds me of the frenzy my mom and I used to whip ourselves up into. Would you be willing to share recipes for any of your special favorites?

          1. re: buttertart

            Yes! The walnut caramel triangles sound divine!

            1. re: roxlet

              That's my wife's recipe and if I gave it away she would divorce me. After 52 years I'm not sure I can get along without her. However, this one:
              http://www.recipecenter.com/Recipe.as...
              comes pretty close to what she makes and I think it'll produce something you will enjoy greatly.

          2. re: todao

            i was happy to read that your fruitcake wasn't the "dog food variety". LOL! What fun that you get to enjoy the kitchen TOGETHER! It's a wonderful place to be after 52 years! Congrats on that!

      2. Do no-bake cookies count? We can't go a holiday season without making a double batch of bourbon balls..... mashed up Nilla Wafers, with Karo, nuts, powdered sugar, some chocolate, a few (hic!) splashes of bourbon, and all mixed and rolled up into balls and drenched (again!) in powdered sugar. They're even better after sitting for a few days. :o)

        3 Replies
          1. re: stomsf

            Really want to try this with Rum...would love to get input and a more precise recipe. Can you help?

            1. re: Boonowuno

              I haven't made these in years, but here's a recipe (paraphrased) from The Williamsburg Cookbook. The proportions in the original recipe calls for 2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons corn syrup and 1/4 cup bourbon. Mix the dry ingredients well then add the wet ingredients. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll them in 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar. Makes 36-42 balls.

              I have amounts penciled in and I'm guessing that I changed the proportions to suit my taste. I combined 3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (approximately 90 cookies), 2-1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup finely chopped or grated pecans, 1/2 tablespoons white corn syrup, 1/2 cup bourbon, rum or brandy.

              Because I prefer the cookies less sweet, I dust the balls rather than rolling them with confectioner's sugar. I also prefer them to be a bit more "boozy", so I use Wild Turkey 101 for the added kick. Haven't tried this with rum, but I would suggest using a good dark rum for flavor.

              The original recipe calls for storing them in a tin box or other metal container for at least 12 hours before serving. It is important that they sit before eating because the cookie will change from a grainy to a smoother texture.

          2. I've volunteered at a local senior center since the early 80's. In those days, we served about 125 on Xmas; now we deliver about 250 - 275 to shut ins and serve another 125 - 150 in the center. We ask people to donate cookies for the Xmas meal. The deliveries get packaged before the in-center service, and cookies are portioned into zipper lock bags. At the start of Xmas morning, before a lot of volunteers arrive, the cookies are "boughten"--Oreos, Chips Ahoy, etc. Those are perfectly good cookies but it broke my heart that shut-in seniors would be getting commercial cookies with their Xmas meals. So a few year ago, I made it my goal to provide at least two home made cookies per meal, or at least 600 cookies total.

            Since then, I've been on the prowl for cookies that can be made in mass quantities--no roll-and-cuts or fussy icings. In the past, I've done simple slice and bakes that I partially dipped in melted chocolate and then into colored sugar and sprinkles; spritz, with lots of colored sugar and sprinkles (do you seem a theme?); snickerdoodles; and Sally Anns (my current faves, I make them 3" diam and tint the icing various colors, and of course also use colored sugar and sprinkles). Bar cookies also work well but I tend to avoid ones with lots of nuts, as many seniors have tooth and gum issues. I also tend to avoid "cookie jar" cookies such as oatmeal or choco chip, as they don't seem special enough.

            Any suggestions from 'hounds would be much appreciated!

            ps. Cookies for my own use this year include bendy ginger cookies, with and without lemon filling (I think my house would be vandalized if I didn't make them); boozy figgy thingies (ground figs, dates, almonds, and coconut, bound with a boiled caramel that's heavily spiked with dark rum); sweetmeats (brown sugar custard with lots of walnuts and coconut, on a shortbread crust); and a couple of new, gluten-free recipes because a friend was recently diagnosed as celiac.

            24 Replies
            1. re: Erika L

              I think a ginger cookie is always festive and usually appreciated by everyone. The ones I make use shortening, and can be easily portioned with a small ice cream scoop. I find that this gives you a lot of smaller uniform sized cookies. Maybe those are like your 'bendy ginger cookies.'

              1. re: roxlet

                I'm all over cookie scoops--I resisted for years and now have four diff sizes! I've thought about using the scoop method on ginger cookies and also chocolate crinkles--that's what I did to portion snickerdoodles, then I "rounded" them in my palms and dunked in cinnamon sugar. It's the only way to make dozens and dozens of individually shaped cookies with any speed. Scooping with two teaspoons or a melon baller takes all day, I know from personal experience. Thanks!

              2. re: Erika L

                i'd go gingersnap. will seem more festive than "oatmeal raisin" ;-)

                1. re: Erika L

                  Erika, what a great thing you're doing. Here is the simplest recipe in my repertoire. It's an old family recipe, and it doesn't look like much, but i get so many complements and requests for the recipe. And they look like Christmas cookies.

                  Danish Cookies
                  1 C. salted butter, softened
                  1/2 C. light brown sugar
                  2 c. flour
                  maraschino cherries, halved

                  Cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in flour. Form heaping teaspoonfuls into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and use two fingers to flatten each cookie slightly, leaving a slight ridge running down the middle. Press a cherry half into the center.

                  Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

                  1. re: CathleenH

                    These do look easy and sound delicious. What is the yield on the recipe?

                    1. re: masha

                      No yield given in the recipe -- This is from an ancient, hand-lettered index card. I'd say not very many. I usually scale it up at least 3 times to include them in the numerous boxed assortments I give away.

                      And to buttertart: These don't come out as crunchy/crumbly as shortbread. They should be slightly soft. I'm not fond of shortbread, but I do like these. The brown sugar also makes a big difference.

                      1. re: CathleenH

                        Cathleen, I just made these cookies (2d batch in the oven right now) and I have a question: Should the cookies be browned when they are ready? My oven is a tad slow but typically works fine if I add about 2 minutes to a cookie recipe. I left the first batch in for 13 minutes, and they were just starting to brown on the bottom and still a bit soft. It's also possible that I made them a bit larger than "1 heaping tsp-ful," which might account for longer cooking time. In other words, aside from the clock, how can I visually tell that the cookies are done?

                        And for those who are curious as to yield -- I'd asked just to gauge the amount of cherries that I'd need -- I got 25 cookies from the basic recipe given by Cathleen.

                        1. re: masha

                          Sorry for the delayed response -- And I can only be vague. I haven't made these in 2 years and I just don't remember what they look like when it's time to pull them out. Just slightly brown on the bottom? Maybe dry looking on top?

                          The key is not to overbake them. You probably got it right if they were soft when cooled. You don't want them to be crunchy. If you overbake them a little, they may soften up after a couple of days in a tin.

                          1. re: CathleenH

                            Thanks Cathleen. I did figure this out on my own. The recipe is a real "keeper." I made 4 or 5 batches of it over the last 2 weeks, as it is so easy and tastes great.

                            And to answer the broader question on this post, in addition to Cathleen's Danish cookies, the other cookies that I made this year are:

                            Martha Stewart's rolled sugar cookies (in holiday shapes, decorated with frosting).
                            Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips
                            Spritz cookies dipped in chocolate, with sprinkles
                            Oatmeal raisin, chocolate chips
                            Russian snowballs
                            Shortbread bars spread with semi-sweet chocolate & almonds
                            Maida Heatter's Viennese Chocolate Walnut bar recipe posted by Butter Tart below (which I probably will not do again as the yield is pretty low for the amount of work, and they were too "crumbly" to travel well)

                            Finally finished last night, with the last batches for people that I work with. All of the tins that get shipped out of town went out by UPS over the weekend!

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Apparently also known as Russian Tea Cakes, I got the recipe from last years New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...

                                I probably will not make them again. I thought that they were too sweet, with the dusting of confectioners sugar. I was looking for something to make that was fast and did not involve a lot of ingredients yesterday morning to fill out some of the tins that I needed to ship (I'd run out of brown sugar by then).

                                1. re: masha

                                  Thanks. They look a little like Mexican Wedding Cakes.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    The recipes I've looked at for Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cakes are pretty much identical, except for varying choices in using walnuts and pecans.

                              2. re: masha

                                Just an addendum on my comments as to the Vienneese Chocolate Walnut bar recipe that Buttertart had posted:

                                Although the yield was low for the amount of work, and they are too crumbly for shipping. I probably will make these again afterall just for ourselves, as my son really liked them (he had not yet come home when my comments of 12/20 were posted). However, I probably would use a bit more apricot preserves than the 1/4 cup as it was spread so thin that you could not taste the apricot at all. The chocolate flavor and richness is great.

                      2. re: CathleenH

                        That's my mother's formula for shortbread, but with granulated sugar. 4 c flour: 2 c butter: 1 c sugar. She got it from a Scottish lady friend in the 1950's. You can mold it into any number of shapes.

                        1. re: CathleenH

                          These look great, and 8 minutes in the oven will make for an efficient assembly line--thanks!

                        2. re: Erika L

                          This is a fabulous thing you are doing. I have a friend who worked at a senior center and see if I can donate.
                          Rather than ginger cookies why don't you try Hermits. Baked as a bar cookie with raisins I think they would fit your parameters.

                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                            I was thinking bar cookies would be the easiest to make a large quantity. I remember Dommy gave away a bunch of bar cookies for the holidays one year, and they all looked great. Here's her post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3571... In fact, I just made two bars last night: Banana Bars and Chocolate Chip Blondies... not very Thanksgiving-ish, but just what sounded good!

                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                              Thanks--I found a recipe for hermits in an issue of Cook's Country and was going to test drive it.

                            2. re: Erika L

                              I think what you are doing is admirable. I have made these Chocolate Mint Cookies from Epicurious before, they taste like a Thin Mint and are a definite crowd pleaser. The cookies are very easy to make, you just prepare the dough, roll into a log and slice.

                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                              1. re: lizzy

                                These are now on the list for this year. Thank you!

                                1. re: lizzy

                                  There seemed to have been a lot of comments on this recipe that they are dry. Have you found this to be so, and have you adjusted the recipe at all?

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    The only change I have made is increasing the peppermint extract to just over 1 teaspoon. I personally don't find the cookies dry, and I think if others do they might have cut the cookies too thin or baked them too long. If you're worried about them being dry, you could cut the cookies a little thicker or bake them for 10-12 minutes instead of 15 minutes.

                                2. re: Erika L

                                  Would you post recipes for "cookies for my own use" ? They sound so good and unique, not the run of the meal. I like to try different and new recipes. Sounds like you got it. Thanks for sharing.

                                3. Peanut butter blossoms
                                  Oatmeal raisin with cranberries
                                  Chocolate chip
                                  Gingerbread
                                  Snickerdoodles
                                  Thin Mint Brownie Bites
                                  Lemon snaps

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: attran99

                                    Are the peanut butter blossoms the ones with the Hershey's kisses in the middle?

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        My MIL's been making these sunce the dawn of time. V v good.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          I roll the peanut butter cookie base in sugar before baking...gives it a nice textural element.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              I love these cookies.. I also roll in sugar before baking. So simple, and kids love to help with these!

                                      2. re: attran99

                                        MMM. A well thought out list. A little bit of everything including lemon which always gets short shrifted during the holidays.

                                        Pray tell - what is a peanut butter blossom?

                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                          it's a soft peanut butter cookie (sometimes rolled in granulated sugar) with a hershey's kiss in the center. I used to make them as a kid all the time!

                                      3. There's a reason why chocolate chip cookies are so popular...I've tried other cookie recipes but none as good as classic chocoalate chip cookies...

                                        1. Our family doesn't think holiday cookies should be chocolate, but for anyone who's looking for a suitable one, I recently made a nice one from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies from the 1970's - "Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars" - a dark brown sugar pastry base (1 stick butter, 1/4 c dark brown sugar, 1 1/4 c sifted flour - I didn't, just went a bit light on it), supposed to be made in the mixer, creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the flour until it comes together, I did it in the FP, baked in an ungreased 9x9 in pan (I would definitely grease it mext time) 10 mins at 375, then topped with 1/4 c apricot preserves (a very scant layer), then a layer of 6 oz finely-chopped walnuts, 3/4 c dark brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 TB cocoa, 1/4 tsp salt (did the filling in the FP too, you are supposed to do the walnuts in the blender or a nut grinder, beat the eggs and sugar together until thickened, then beat again 2-3 mins withe the cocoa, then add the other ingredients - I ground the walnuts with the sugar in the FP and bunged everything else in, and let 'er rip for a couple of mins) baked on top of the crust for 25 mins, to be let cool and topped with an icing of 6 oz chocolate chips (I used a mixture of TJ's chips, TJ's pound plus 72%, and a scrap of another dark chocolate I had - would use chocolate chips in future, the high cocoa content made the topping a bit overfirm) 2 Tb light corn syrup, 2 tsp rum, 2 tsp boiling water, and 2 oz walnuts cut medium fine strewn over and pressed slightly into the icing while still wet. Allow to set until the icing is firm then cut into bars.
                                          They are really delicious - the firm chocolate topping with nuts, the soft nut and chocolate filling, and the crisp crust add up to a beautiful cookie.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            PS they're dangerous - I had 3 yesterday - I usually only ever eat 2 of whatever I bake and my husband eats the rest...

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              How did I miss this? It sounds so decadent! I think I have this recipe.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                They are some good. I hadn't ever made them before despite having the book since it came out.

                                            2. re: buttertart

                                              Buttertart - thanks for the recipe -do these freeze?
                                              Also - what's the yield? Can you double the recipe or make twice?

                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                I didn't freeze them, I'd think you could, though. They keep for at least a week in an airtight tin.
                                                The recipe makes a 9x9 pan, I don't think doubling it would be detrimental.

                                            3. Rugelach! All kinds, all fillings. Let the trumpets sing!
                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3478...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                I love me some rugelach! Have you ever tried ground almond and cream cheese filling? Or choco cream cheese walnut? I did apricot and prune fillings forever and then one day I decided to venture off the porch. I still love the traditionals tho. Lucky Hill pals.

                                                The dough freezes well by the way.

                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                  Sal V, so many combos, so little time! But yes I've baked my way through dozens of filling variations. I love the traditional horn style the best but a platter of twelve diff variations and shapes (horns, swirls and crescents) will be on my holiday table this year. Happy baking!

                                              2. I'm definitely making springerle, lebkuchen, and gingerbread boys. But not soft gingerbread, lovely thin crisp gingerboys. I always have trouble rolling out the springerle dough thin enough. But my springerle rolling pin is finally well oiled and "broken in" so it doesn't stick to the dough any more. Yea! that's the downside of not inheriting a springerle pin or molds. I will probably also do snickerdoodles and those chewy chocolate crunch cookies

                                                1. Macaron--I already have my almond meal and paste at the ready.

                                                  Macaron with raspberry filling
                                                  Macaron with pistacio filling
                                                  Macaron with chocolate ganache filling
                                                  Macaron with almond filling
                                                  Macaron with vanilla filling

                                                  Biscotti

                                                  Sugar cookies in Christmas-y shapes!

                                                  Navettes

                                                  Other baking besides cookies: Buche de Noel and for the first time a nice Crocembuche (bad spelling).

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: jarona

                                                    That's pretty amazing! Aren't macarons hard to make? I salute you and wish that I was a lucky person receiving those lovely treats.

                                                    1. re: attran99

                                                      They are not hard to make. They are....at best....tedious I would say. The basic macaron recipe I use is www.alacuisine.org/alacuisine/2004/.....
                                                      I don't use the filling recipes though. I have my own. Anyway, what I find important about making macaron are these little tips: Line your baking pans with parchment paper first. Get the top of a Tylenol bottle and trace around the top making a circle on the parchment..this is the perfect size. Also whip the egg whites for SEVEN to EIGHT minutes.
                                                      You also have to know your oven as well. I make these about once every two months and for family requests. This Christmas everyone wants the macaron.
                                                      If you try the recipe, I am positive you will find yourself pleasantly suprised at how wonderful the home-made macaron are compared to those in shops! They are much better when they are home made!

                                                  2. Snickerdoodles
                                                    Chocolate-dipped peanut butter
                                                    Butterscotch Oatmeal
                                                    Chocolate Chocolate Chip

                                                    1. Found something really appealing in Dede Wilson's Unforgettable Desserts (to which I was tipped by JaneEYB) - Florentine-batter (nuts and candied orange peel)-topped shortbread with chocolate drizzle...think I'll be making these to send to family.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        Sounds delicious. One of the most loved cookies I've given at the holidays is a fruited Florentine that has dried cranberries and golden raisins in addition to almonds, and is drizzled with chocolate. I need to make those again, but not sure it's in the cards for this year.

                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          I love those cookies, we used to buy them from a very nice bakery in Toronto. I've never made the real thing, this sounds quite manageable. Will post recipe.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Hi buttertart, since I'm still here in Toronto . . . what bakery was it? I'd love to pick some up!

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              Jeepers, this was a million years ago - it was on the west side of Yonge just north of Dundas, I think. Haven't been in downtown Toronto for about 8 years and don't think it was still there then. A little bakery that sold their own chocolates and had a nice little café in the back (soups and sandwiches). I think Swiss-run.

                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                          That sounds really good (for me to make for myself). I am gonna have to hunt that one down if I cannot improvise. Reading it made my mouth water. It just so happens I am intending on candying some peel anyway in order to dip into chocolate (for hubbykins).

                                                        3. Gingerbread men
                                                          Cut out sugar cookies
                                                          Cranberry coconut cookies
                                                          Pfefferneusse
                                                          Shortbread
                                                          Chocolate chip cookies
                                                          Chocolate-covered pretzels
                                                          Sea salt caramels (from the December food network magazine)

                                                          More if I end up with more time than I think I'll have. Happy baking everyone!

                                                          1. I keep saying I'm not going to go overboard with holiday cookies ... and yet somehow the list always grows, lol. So far, though, I'm making:

                                                            Cranberry streusel shortbread
                                                            Biscotti (not sure what kind yet)
                                                            Cocoa blocks (not a cookie, but ... will make cocoa when stirred into hot milk)
                                                            Almond buttercrunch (also not a cookie, but part of the collection)
                                                            Triple peanut butter cookies
                                                            Chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons
                                                            Gingersnaps of some sort

                                                            1. Just wrote out my list and then saw this. The last two or three I'm not sure yet, but we're having a simple Christmas Eve and Day this year so I can really concentrate on my cookies for a change.

                                                              Must make every year no matter what:
                                                              World Peace Cookies
                                                              Lemon Stars
                                                              some kind of ginger, either Ginger Chocolate or Skibo Castle
                                                              Bakery Cookies (you know the ones with jam and chocolate and sprinkles on one end)
                                                              Linzertarts
                                                              Bourbon Balls
                                                              "Halloween" cookies that I make with leftover Snickers bars and Nutella/peanut butter
                                                              Rainbow cookies

                                                              New recipes I collected this year, mostly from here:
                                                              Apricot Foldovers or Rugelach type cookie
                                                              Pecan Tassies (for the first time)
                                                              Smitten Kitchen's Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbreads
                                                              Buttered Rum Sandwiches

                                                              Up in the air (doubt I'll have time)
                                                              Pignolia (I have a lot to use up)
                                                              Basler Brunsli
                                                              Champagnebrod

                                                              15 Replies
                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                Hi Coll... I rarely log on, but when I saw you mention the Skibo Castle cookies I had to! I made them for the first time from this recipe: http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabo...
                                                                I cut it in half and used an 8x8... and it tasted wonderful. But it was so delicate and fragile, it ended up breaking apart into small pieces. Which meant that I couldn't give them away... I had to, er, eat them.
                                                                Not ideal around Christmas! I wonder if you've baked them before, and had any success? I let it cool in the fridge for an hour... wonder if I should have stuck them in the freezer before cutting??

                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                  No and I'm glad you told me, I decided to make the crunchy/crackly Epicurious gingersnaps which I had made before, they come out gorgeous and delicious and obviously there is no time at this point for mistakes! The Skibo might be better for company who will be at your house, maybe in conjunction with ice cream? Mine get shipped all over the country so they have to hold up, although I usually have no problem on that front luckily.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    They are really delicious, but I can't think that they would be good to ship! I will experiment more after the holiday are over... they are truly addictive though! I have to try that Epicurious recipe... I'm not mailing any this year, but I am bring some baking on a plane to my family...

                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                      They used to ship fine, but now the chocolate breaks apart so they don't look so great. Taste just as good though! I send them in blocks of 6 or 10 which helps.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        I just checked an epicurious review thread, and many reviewers noted that the Skibo Castle Crunch is quite fragile! Two recommendations were to cut the bars while they are still cooling, or to bake the whole recipe in an 8 x 8 pan for a thicker, sturdier bar...

                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                          A weird thing, I just went to BJs to get some pecans for my cookies, and saw the Gourmet Cookie book for half price. I never buy books there (hardly) but had to get it. They have a full page picture of the Skibo cookies, and even in the picture, half of them are actually broken up! So I guess it's not a secret.
                                                                          PS It's not the picture I see on all the websites, where they're a little broken up in a pile. These are laid out in rows and half of them are broken.

                                                                        2. re: coll

                                                                          Well I think I solved my cracking chocolate problem, the rainbow cookies came out perfect this year. I switched to Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, but also (I think more importantly) melted them in a double boiler. I feel like I may have been cheating and microwaving the chocolate the last few years.

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            Hmm...what are rainbow cookies? I've never heard of them....

                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                              They're a must have in the NYC area, here's a picture. Maybe you know them as Neopolitan cookies, or tri-colors (aka tricorders according to my husband, the Star Trek fan).
                                                                              http://gothamist.com/2003/06/09/gotha...

                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                    The Smittenkitchen espresso shortbreads were not that great, I already threw the recipe out. Then again, even the World Peace cookies didn't come out as good as usual. I have a sneaking suspicion that the grocery store butter I'm using is not up to par. As in, I think it does not have as much fat as it should, like they're trying to save money even though they're getting top dollar right now. When I sauteed something with it, it looked like boiling water. What a bummer. But too late to turn back now.

                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                      Coll... we seem to like baking the same things! I have had great success with the espresso shortbreads... I didn't think that they were anything special at first, but they were a big hit at work... and like many of Dorie's cookies, they aren't showstoppers, but oddly addictive!
                                                                      I'm quite jealous that you got the Gourmet Cookie cookbook half-price, but then I remembered that I had it on my Christmas list....

                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                        Have you tried the espresso shortbread from Fine Cooking? I've made it a couple of times, and it's been very good. Of course, dipping the cookies in chocolate doesn't hurt ... lol.

                                                                        http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/-c...

                                                                        I made these as trees, decorated with tiny red candies, last year and as hearts the previous year.

                                                                        http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                          Ahhh, dipping the ends in chocolate! Wonder if I could work some Kahlua in there too? Maybe in the cookie itself, with the espresso. OK I might give them another try and cut them in shapes too next time.

                                                                        2. re: rstuart

                                                                          You know, they taste better today, maybe I should pull the recipe back up on the Internet. I'm planning on mostly giving them to my family, the coffee addicts; I have a feeling they will love them. I didn't realize they were Dorie cookies, now I have to give them a second chance.

                                                                          That book was the only cookbook I would have bought at this point, I didn't even realize it was out. I've been using the recipes they had on their website and got so many new favorite recipes, after years of stagnation. Don't remember if the website had more than this though, just the best of each year?

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            I think that I remember reading somewhere that there are more in the cookbook than there was on the website? Not sure... in any case, glad the cookies taste better today.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        That's the west coast Canadian iconic sweet (as is the butter tart for Ontario) - someone here used to post as nanaimobar and I always felt a kind of sisterly fondness for her. They're all over Canada now and not just at Christmas.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          I see you sweet posting a lot buttertart. Have you seen this website: http://joyofbaking.com/

                                                                          it is where I discovered Nanaimo bars.

                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                            No, I don't think so - thanks, it's great. Bookmarked it.

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            Only time I make nanaimo bars is at Christmas and a friend from Toronto taught me a few variations. We house swap once a year and she often leaves a batch with maple syrup in the kitchen for us.

                                                                            I was just drooling over these:
                                                                            http://www.madewithpink.com/2010/12/n...

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              That's a classic recipe. They may have been invented in the 1950's but they were little-known in Ontario until the late 70's (at least as far as my mom was concerned).

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Nanaimo's are definitely a Canadian tradition and lots of variations have ensued. I used to make these in University and sell them to a restaurant in Toronto until I couldn't keep up with demand!

                                                                                One of my personal favourite variations is Reverse Nanaimo Bars with a delicious chocolatey filling and a white top w chocolate drizzle. The first place I saw this recipe was a special Holiday Issue of Canadian Living Magazine. The recipe is on their website and I only wish they had a photo so you could see how lovely they are:

                                                                                http://www.canadianliving.com/food/re...

                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  Is there a story behind the color scheme or layers or nanaimo bars?

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    I don't think so - but wanted to point out you can use instant vanilla pudding powder instead of the custard powder. If you must.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      I have custard powder; not much of a instant vanilla pudding fan. I have used powdered milk as well.

                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                      Definitely no story around the colours but the layers, especially the ingredients in the centre are always up for debate. Everyone has their favourites from a mocha centre to mint. The reverse recipe that I posted was the first one I'd seen that had a white top.

                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        Interesting, and my next baking project to "nail down" is this no bake bar treat! It took me a year to work through a rugelach challenge. Nanaimo bars should be fun!

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          Sounds like a delicious project HillJ!!! Please keep us informed of your adventures!

                                                                          3. One year I baked Hamentaschen for Purim in my office. I bake the little ones with LOTS of different fillings. One of my colleagues (non-Jewish) asked for the recipe. At Christmas time, her husband asked her to make the "JEWISH CHRISTMAS COOKIES". He was obviously referring to these............. Actually, they make pretty good cookies for ANY holiday!! :-)

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: rjlebed

                                                                              I feel the same way about rugelach, fjlebed!

                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                I TOTALLY agree HillJ! In fact, I have found the best rugelach at a bakery in Las Vegas of all places!! Freed's. I order them every year and put them in my freezer. I may be the only one who goes to Vegas with a bakery on the list of must see places............

                                                                                1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                  I'm with you there! I'll travel anywhere for a great rugelach! Do check out the link above for a few homemade tips. The CH's really came through for me a few years back.

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    Thanks HillJ. I just checked out that link! The Nancy Berry that lists a recipe is actually my sister!!! This is the first time that i have actually seen her write down the recipe!!! I just printed it....... :-)

                                                                                    1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                      How cool is that, small world!

                                                                            2. I'm gettnig lots of good ideas from this post . In addition, I always like to make cardamom butter squares around the holidays.
                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: colfaxBee

                                                                                  I made those one year, probably after someone (was it you?) mentioned them on this board. They were good! And very pretty.

                                                                                2. This year the cookie list includes:
                                                                                  Chocolate Chippers
                                                                                  Cranberry Lemon Bars
                                                                                  Oatmeal Lace Cookies
                                                                                  Speculaas
                                                                                  Chocolate and Vanilla Pinwheel Cookies in Espresso Sugar

                                                                                  1. I am not sure yet. I think I will bake some "booze balls"! At least some rum balls and bourbon balls. I feel a "retro" Christmas comin' on!

                                                                                    1. For sure, the chocolate caramel slice thingies from the Sarabeth book. They are amazing.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                        Tell me more! I haven't seen the book yet, and you said the magic word --- caramel!

                                                                                      2. The usual. If I don't, I get disowned LOL!

                                                                                        Pizzelle - as cookies and cannoli shells
                                                                                        Orange and almond biscotti
                                                                                        Anisette toast
                                                                                        Biscotti Regina
                                                                                        Struffoli - not cookies, but enjoyed as much!
                                                                                        Lemon top cookies

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Novelli

                                                                                          I make struffoli every year too. I like your idea of using pizzelle as cannoli shells.

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            http://www.pizzellecookies.com/recipe...
                                                                                            Take a look at these! With homemade pizzelles and the various cannoli cream you could make a delicious assortment!

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              Looks great. Now all I need is a pizzelle iron :-)

                                                                                        2. Gesine Bullock-Prado's lovely blog is featuring "Cookiemas", with a different cookie recipe daily. http://confectionsofamasterbaker.blog...

                                                                                          1. I have seen a lot of cookies listed that I don't consider 'Christmas' cookies (chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, peanutbutter, etc) and nobody has yet mentioned the classic Christmas cookie the spritz/

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              Agreed - lots of excellent recipes mentioned here, but a Christmas cookie needs at least one of the following: winter/Christmas shapes (spritz, cookie cutter, or iron), peppermint, decorative holiday color sugar sprinkles and/or icing. Chocolate in Christmas cookies?...not so much, unless it's white.

                                                                                              But I acknowledge that people have their ethnic cookie traditions, too. My German-born mother enjoyed pfefferneusse and lebkuchen (I didn't), but only had them at Christmas. Holiday cookies should, IM(northern hemisphere)O, be special in some way, so that it would not seem right to have them other than during winter.

                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                I've noticed that too - in our (English Canadian) house it was always 4:2:1 flour:butter:sugar shortbread, some w candied cherry decorations, some w/o, a recipe from my mom's Scottish friend; thumbprint cookies rolled in walnuts and filled with red jam; a pecan brown sugar cookie my dad loved and my mom ONLY made at Christmas; chocolate chip and candied cherry meringues (from a recipe in the newspaper magazine which I just found again, the joy); and sometimes Mexican Mice (aka Snowballs/Wedding Cookies). These were all relatively expensive to make - butter, nuts, candied fruit. Regular cookies like choc chip, oatmeal, etc were not considered special enough (my mom thought chocolate had no place in Christmas cookies, the meringues were a concession to me).
                                                                                                And this year I see this from one of my favo(u)rite baking recipe sources, Canadian Living Magazine - http://www.canadianliving.com/food/ho...
                                                                                                Not in my part of Canada...the ingredients (molasses, spices etc) sound very Maritimes to me.
                                                                                                To each his own...

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  I remember once when I was a kid and was making Spritz with my mother, she pressed them out and my brother and I sprinkled the sugar, I said something to the effect that they were so good we should make them more often than just at Christmas. Of course her response was then they wouldn't be so special and we've never made them any time other than December.

                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                    I'm with your mom, some things just aren't right.

                                                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                                                Point taken. Our holiday baking started out far more traditional and making spritz cookies were my children's fav because of the delivery gun/gadget. Sprinkles would be everywhere and we had alot of laughs. But as they got older and our family grew and our baking skills became more of a group effort the recipes we selected became broader and represent our favorites more than a holiday specific selection. I think the fun now is in creating the cookies we all enjoy and sharing them during the holidays with the people we enjoy.

                                                                                              3. Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies
                                                                                                Chocolate Crunch Cookies
                                                                                                Chocolate Covered Jerry Cookies (supposed to be "cherry" but they are my husband Jerry's favorite so I renamed them)
                                                                                                White Chocolate Cranberry Bars
                                                                                                Word of Mouth Lemon Coconut Bars
                                                                                                Soft Iced Lemon Cookies
                                                                                                I'm also considering making mini Gingerbread Whoopie Pies.
                                                                                                I don't make sugar cookies because my mother in law brings those to the party and she does an awesome job.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                  What's a word of mouth lemon coconut bar?? I love all things lemon!

                                                                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                    Here's the recipe. I believe the name came from a bakery somewhere called Word of Mouth. But that's all I know about this bar cookie. Fans of lemon, coconut, and pecan pie will love this one.

                                                                                                    Word of Mouth Lemon Coconut Bars

                                                                                                    Crust:
                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups flour
                                                                                                    3 tablespoons white sugar
                                                                                                    1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

                                                                                                    Filling
                                                                                                    3 eggs
                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
                                                                                                    3/4 cup pecan
                                                                                                    3/4 cup coconut
                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

                                                                                                    Glaze:
                                                                                                    2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
                                                                                                    4 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                    Grated zest of 3 lemons or to taste

                                                                                                    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                                                                                                    2. Make crust: In a medium bowl combine flour , white sugar, and salt . Process the butter into this mixture using a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Pat the mixture into an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 pan (lining bottom with parchment, while not necessary, makes for easier removal.). Bake 15 minutes. Take out to cool.

                                                                                                    3. Make filling: In a mixing bowl beat eggs and brown sugar till frothy. Stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla. Pour mixture onto the crust and and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until firm. (You do not want a soggy middle.)

                                                                                                    4. After, baking remove from oven. While still slightly warm make glaze: In a small bowl combine confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and zest and pour on top of slightly warm bars.

                                                                                                    5. Let cool completely and cut into 1 x 1 inch bars.

                                                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                      This sound fabulous, TrishUntrapped. And they sound as if it is quite a large batch.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        That does sound good - similar to an Ontario thing, Dream Cake, which has jam on the crust before the filling goes in, is made w walnuts, and has a vanilla glaze. This way sounds even better.

                                                                                                      2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                        yum. thanks! I have all the ingredient, may give it a try this week!

                                                                                                  2. I split between ones that I make every year;
                                                                                                    apricot foldovers
                                                                                                    Lemons Stars
                                                                                                    Macadamia Lime Cookes (from Nick Maglieri)
                                                                                                    Champagnebrod (pressed butter cookie filled with apricot jam)
                                                                                                    cranberry pistachio biscotti

                                                                                                    and new ones that change each year. So for this year I am adding:
                                                                                                    Chocolate Chip and Pecan Meringues
                                                                                                    Double Dark Chocolate Thumbprints from Fine Cooking.

                                                                                                    I also make candies:
                                                                                                    candied fruit rinds
                                                                                                    almond buttercrunch
                                                                                                    caramel corn
                                                                                                    white chocolate craisin pistachio bark

                                                                                                    i only give these things for gifts so don't spend time at the mall or shopping.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                      That looks lovely! I love your cookie/candy choices. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                        Wow, what a lovely and festive assortment . . . pity I can't reach in and pick one!!

                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          Thanks for the compliments. I added two new cookies this year: peppermint chocolate chip meringues and chocolate thumbprint cookies rolled in toasted pecans and filled with chocolate raspberry jam. I made a recipe from the Martha Stewart cookie magazine for Pecan Chews which seriously bombed. What a waste of expensive pecans and bourbon!!!

                                                                                                      2. We have our favorites here and since I make cookies for my dad, my mom, my aunt and her two kids, and some for me I try to make 1 favorite cookies each. My dad's is Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, my mom and my aunts favorite are Mexican Wedding Cookies, and my favorite are Walnut Pillow cookies. I used to do a bunch of Rolled Sugar Cookies but I hate all that rolling out and all the time it takes. I want to do a Ginger/Spice Cookie maybe rolled in raw sugar. And maybe one more maybe a bar cookie I need ideas for that though. Then I always make a bunch of Peppermint Bark and buy fancy cellophane bags with snowflakes or candy canes on them and pop the bark in them ad the rest of the cookies for my aunt goes in nice cookie tins lined with wax paper. And the Mexican wedding cookies go in bigger bags they have a festive holiday theme also but are more like paper bags that each person can have their own and keeps the powdered sugar at bay.

                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LEsherick2008

                                                                                                          If you are looking for a recipe, these ginger spice cookies are really, really terrific. Personally, I always use all butter (no shortening), reduce the brown sugar to 3/4 cup, and roll in raw/turbinado sugar instead of granulated. Everyone loves these, and the raw sugar makes them very pretty.

                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Those ginger cookies are the best! There is also a recipe there for chocolate ginger cookies that is second best, in my book anyway.

                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                              I make them just like you do, Caitlin, and I even converted them to gluten free when I had to give up gluten. They are the best, best ginger cookies! Sometimes I slip a little homemade apple or pear butter in, too.

                                                                                                            2. re: LEsherick2008

                                                                                                              Could you share your recipe for the Walnut Pillow ones? There are not enough walnut anythings in the world to satisfy my husband.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Perhaps I should hunt up the recipe for a walnut torte my mother used to make for you - two layers of walnut cake with a cooked walnut filling between.

                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                  Yes, yes! Hunt it down. It sounds amazing.

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    I'll look for it, and post it in the what are you baking thread when I can, so as not to derail this cookie thread. It's a rich cake - probably has a pound of nuts between the cake and filling!

                                                                                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    Absolutely. He will swoon. Thanks very much in advance.

                                                                                                              2. Apricot roll overs
                                                                                                                Orange, coconut snowballs
                                                                                                                Ginger chunk
                                                                                                                Chocolate chip, Carmel
                                                                                                                Chocolate peppermint sandwich
                                                                                                                Lemon sugar cookie
                                                                                                                Ina's fruit cake cookie
                                                                                                                Honey spice cut outs

                                                                                                                I can't wait!

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: birdmonkey

                                                                                                                  Oooh. I think I need a recipe for chocolate peppermint sandwiches! Will you share?

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    I make them every year. Here is the linkhttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views...

                                                                                                                    They are pretty delicious! Enjoy.

                                                                                                                2. I haven't narrowed it down yet, but these are the ones in consideration. A couple old favorite, but mainly all new. I don't like to repeat

                                                                                                                  Choc Mint
                                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                  Choc Mint Sandwich
                                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                  Choc w/peanut butter filling
                                                                                                                  http://www.cookies-in-motion.com/Choc...

                                                                                                                  Brown sugar Ginger
                                                                                                                  http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/1980s/...

                                                                                                                  Lime Melt Aways
                                                                                                                  http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/l...

                                                                                                                  Green tea Shortbreads
                                                                                                                  http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/g...

                                                                                                                  Mint Meringue
                                                                                                                  http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pepp...

                                                                                                                  World Peace
                                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                  Strawberry/Raspberry thumb print
                                                                                                                  http://www.ivillage.com/aunt-sis-s-st...

                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                    I have the brown sugar Ginger dough in the freezer, really good cookie! I also have lime melt away dough in the freezer( by way of smitten kitten) haven't tried them yet. And I'm a fan of world peace cookies, although i didn't make them this year. Looks like a good list.

                                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                      What a lovely assortment!
                                                                                                                      This year I've made:
                                                                                                                      Whipped Shortbread
                                                                                                                      7-Layer cookies (aka Hello Dollies)
                                                                                                                      English Toffee Bars
                                                                                                                      Sugar and Spice Pecans
                                                                                                                      Hungarian Raspberry Shortbread
                                                                                                                      Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
                                                                                                                      Also made
                                                                                                                      Peppermint Bark
                                                                                                                      Toffee Pretzel Bark.

                                                                                                                      I'd like to try a small batch of roll-out cookies... but haven't gotten around to it! I also wanted to try making some sort of caramel... maybe fleur de sel. However, for mental health reasons (and my pesky need for sleep) I may not get to those...

                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                        That's quite a list! I also considered making caramel, but I decided to stop before I drove myself nuts. My list is relatively short this year, though the list in my head kept growing by 2-3 kinds of cookies/candies every day, lol.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                          Yes, I always go overboard, and then find myself unloading the dishwasher at one AM covered in crumbs. Generally I run out of tins and tupperware at some point...which is usually my cue to stop!

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            I usually stop when I run out of butter lol, but I think there's even some left down in the freezer. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                              Sounds like my life this week. I'm just running out of hours in the week, though. There's the school potluck tomorrow night and the neighbor's party on Saturday, etc., etc. Every one requires something different in the way of baked goods. if I'm not careful, someone's going to end up with chocolate-dipped Black Pearl knishes.

                                                                                                                      2. Mom always made these. With Dad's family heritage we leaned towards the German cookies. We had others like Russian Tea cakes, rum balls, marzipan, cut outs, etc, but we always had these.

                                                                                                                        Springerle- Dad carved the rolling pins. Unfortunately I didn't get one that he made, so I will have to carve my own. Dad carved images that pertained to each of my brother's families. His were far more detailed than any store bought ones. I guess I didn't get one because I never got married. I should have asked for one, but never thought of it. No biggie since Dad was the one that taught me how to carve wood.

                                                                                                                        Pefferneusse-What can I say but YUMMMMMM!

                                                                                                                        Spritz- I have 3 vintage Mirro screw presses now including Mom's 1950's original still in the original box complete with recipe book.

                                                                                                                        Pepper Nuts- We knicknamed them Kibbles
                                                                                                                        1Cup butter, or margarine
                                                                                                                        4 Cups brown sugar
                                                                                                                        4 beaten eggs
                                                                                                                        7 Cups of flour
                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon soda in 1/3 cup hot water
                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon each of ; cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons of anise seeds crushed fine
                                                                                                                        3 cups of finely chopped nuts

                                                                                                                        Mix all ingredients.
                                                                                                                        Let stand overnight.
                                                                                                                        Roll into 3/8" cylinders, and slice about 3/16" thick.
                                                                                                                        (This will vary depending on how big you want them.)
                                                                                                                        Bake @ 350 for 10 minutes, or so.

                                                                                                                        This recipe makes gallons of cookies, and they go fast.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com/201...
                                                                                                                          Avocado cream cheese cookies! Works with a spritz cookie "gun" super simple.

                                                                                                                          We oven-tested these today and boy what a delicious surprise! So these last-minute replacement cookies just made the list!

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              I finally broke down and bought a cookie shooter, because the recipe for the buttered rum cookies called for it, even though I'm sure I could have improvised. I'm curious if it will save time on other cookies too. If I can get some nice avocados, like the ones I have right now, I might just give this recipe a try!

                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                The cookie shooter is such a time saver on big batches and btwn bakings I keep the gun loaded in the frig!

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                  Thanks, that's what I'm hoping to find. I'm starting next weekend, maybe I'll be done a little early for a change, or have time for a couple extra like the avocado.

                                                                                                                            2. Still a work in progress, but so far:

                                                                                                                              sugar cookie linzers
                                                                                                                              rainbow cookies
                                                                                                                              a panettone-ish flavored biscotti
                                                                                                                              matcha shortbread
                                                                                                                              maple bacon fudge

                                                                                                                              I still need something chocolate, although my daughter is pushing for mudslide cookies with crushed peppermints, and another candy for the Jewish recipients. And at least two more varieties, just for good measure.

                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                is the maple bacon fudge the recipe from the NPR story?

                                                                                                                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                                                                  Yes. My daughter made it a few months ago and everyone who tried it went crazy over it. So easy to make and so awfully, awfully addictive.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                    Is that a cookie or a candy? I'm sure it's delicious, though I have to admit that I can't quite get my head wrapped around the concept...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      It's candy - regular old fudge with a bit of a different twist on the flavoring. Most everybody has your same reaction until they taste it. Then they want more.

                                                                                                                                      Here is the link to the NPR story. The recipe is near the bottom of the page.
                                                                                                                                      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                        I just read the NPR story and something doesn't look right with the Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Fudge recipe. The only mix in appears to be bacon but the photo looks like there are nuts in it. Is the photo how the fudge comes out?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                          You're right - the photo does look like the fudge has nuts in it. There aren't any in the recipe and I wouldn't add any anyhow as I don't like nuts in my fudge, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't add them if you wanted to.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                            I've decided to make a batch for my office Christmas party- no nuts, don't want to distract from the bacon.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                              I made it...super easy and it all went at the holiday party I went to....tasty!

                                                                                                                                              I did not add nuts.....Used the bacon fat for "dog cookies."

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                                                                is it easy to find maple extract? any other uses for it?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pamd

                                                                                                                                                  I bought it ages ago for some cake on Epicurious, I can't even remember what anymore. Mine is from McCormick so I wouldn't think it should be too hard to find.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pamd

                                                                                                                                                    pamd, I had to go to several grocery stores to find maple extract, but I finally found it at one of the bigger chains.
                                                                                                                                                    I use it to flavor homemade pancake syrup that I make with demerara sugar.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                        I made this for a party last night and it was the hit of the party! I replaced tblsps of the butter with the fat I drained off from the cooked bacon and also added a pinch of salt and omitted the maple flavoring. I'm trying to restrain myself from eating the little I have left. Thanks for posting!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                                                                          wow- bacon fat as a sub- I really need to try these! I'll look a little for the maple extract & if I cant find I'll just omit too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pamd

                                                                                                                                            I checked my bottle at home and realized it was Durkee, not McCormick., however McCormick does show it on their website.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                      I "think" this is the final list:

                                                                                                                                      Rainbow cookies
                                                                                                                                      Panettone biscotti
                                                                                                                                      Matcha shortbread
                                                                                                                                      Apricot foldovers
                                                                                                                                      Mamoul
                                                                                                                                      Espresso chocolate shortbreads
                                                                                                                                      Peanut butter filled chocolate cookies
                                                                                                                                      Maple bacon fudge

                                                                                                                                      Does thinking really hard about the list count as making the cookies? Cuz I'm nearly burnt out just putting all of this together.

                                                                                                                                    3. Traditional sugar cookies
                                                                                                                                      Brown sugar cookies
                                                                                                                                      Tutti Frutti
                                                                                                                                      Janhangels
                                                                                                                                      Florentines
                                                                                                                                      Rainbow cookies (the tri level sliced mini cakes)
                                                                                                                                      Lime coconut tassies
                                                                                                                                      Spritz
                                                                                                                                      Springerle
                                                                                                                                      Anizeplatschen
                                                                                                                                      Linzer cookies (raspberry filled)
                                                                                                                                      Vanilla walnut crescents
                                                                                                                                      Earl Grey cookies

                                                                                                                                      As one can see it's a cookie platter based on traditional cookies. I always shape the cookies as small as possible so they can be consumed in one-two bites. I agree with the sentiment that chocolate based cookies or bar cookies aren't traditional Christmas fare so I avoid those. But each to its own.

                                                                                                                                      1. http://www.sweetbakingsupply.com/
                                                                                                                                        With all of this deliciously helpful talk about holiday baking, I thought you might enjoy this baking supply house (even for next year).

                                                                                                                                        1. Since I will be baking for two parties of school aged children, I'll be focusing on cutout, iced and/or sprinkled cookies. A chocolate reindeer with a red icing nose and other Christmas cutouts in a vanilla sugar cookie.
                                                                                                                                          Recently made rugelach and refrigerator pistachio cookies. Will probably make chocolate chip cookies before too long. Too many yummy choices this time of year.

                                                                                                                                          1. I just saw these on Smitten Kitchen, and these are definitely going on my Christmas cookie list. A cookie that tastes like roasted chestnuts? I'm there!

                                                                                                                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/12/roa...

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                  Make these make these make these, they are great. Would be nice for New Year's!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    I haven't gotten out to the store since the snowstorm since my car is the only one that works in the snow and the DH has been running around doing NY's Day shopping, but thanks for reminding me. I will try to get these made soon -- maybe for Saturday --if I can get some chestnuts.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      Can't the DH pick some up on one of his forays?

                                                                                                                                            1. I disagree that chocolate is not associated with a Christmas cookie. As a child, my family always gave us kids a box of goodies along with our presents, it included chocolate coated raisins and peanuts and chocolate sugar cookies. So, any cookie is a Christmas cookie if it's what you think of as a Christmas cookie or if it's tradition for you. So, in my family, chocolate is given & eaten at Christmas.

                                                                                                                                              I'm making: Decorated chocolate sugar cookies, Walnut Mexican wedding cookies, Honey chews, Apricot spice cookies, Brandy cones, Norweigen orange currant cookies, Molasses crescents and a few more I haven't decided on yet.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                I was wondering why everyone was saying that too. I'd say half of my cookies involve chocolate and I've never had any complaints.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                  It was my mother's dogma. Chocolate there was in abundance at Christmas in the form of chocolates, the huge boxes from the drugstore and the good ones from Laura Secord's (like See's here). Maybe she just didn't like to repeat flavors! Whatever people want or like is fine with me of course, no wrong or right, we're all products of our upbringing.

                                                                                                                                                2. I have my complete list of what I am baking now and I include candy in this list.
                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate Chunk with Pecan Cookies
                                                                                                                                                  Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cutouts
                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Wedding Cookies
                                                                                                                                                  Walnut Pillows
                                                                                                                                                  Lime Meltaways
                                                                                                                                                  Peanut Butter Surprise with Chocolate Kisses
                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate Crinkles
                                                                                                                                                  Peanut Butter Fudge
                                                                                                                                                  Peppermint Bark 2/3 has chocolate on the bottom and white on top and 1/3 just white chocolate
                                                                                                                                                  White Chocolate Covered Peppermint Sticks
                                                                                                                                                  and Possibly White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

                                                                                                                                                  I have only made the Chocolate Chunk with Pecans and Sugar Cookie Cutouts but need to make Royal Icing and Decorate them

                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LEsherick2008

                                                                                                                                                    What are walnut pillows, and where can I find a recipe for Lime Meltaways? These all sound fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/201...
                                                                                                                                                      Kevin can help out w/the meltaways; his recipes are always reliable.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                        I've been making Martha Stewart's with great results. Here's a link to her recipe roxlet:

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/l...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            Do you use the full tablespoon on vanilla that the recipe calls for?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                              I do viperlush, I think that's what really makes this recipe unique and, ultra-rich tasting.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the response. When I baked them I only used 1 teaspoon because I just assumed 1 table was a typo and I am running low on vanilla. The cookies weren't bad, but they weren't good. At least I know to give them another shot.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes I used Martha Stewart's recipe. They are very tasty but crumble and fall apart very easy and I had to roll the in the Powdered sugar instead of tossing them around in a bag.
                                                                                                                                                                  I was going to use this recipe for Walnut pillows
                                                                                                                                                                  http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/walnut-...

                                                                                                                                                                  But decided to make Walnut Horns
                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.annsgoodies.com/Filled_Coo...

                                                                                                                                                    2. Definitely traditional Shortbread from Baking Illustrated... they're time consuming but oh so divine.
                                                                                                                                                      Snappy gingerbread from Baking Illustrated
                                                                                                                                                      Brown Butter toffee blondies from Martha Stewart's website
                                                                                                                                                      Hazelnut cookies from the Joy of Baking
                                                                                                                                                      Ginger- Chile caramel cookies from Leite Culinaria
                                                                                                                                                      Chocolate peppermint pinwheels a la Alton Brown

                                                                                                                                                      Mmmm festive cookies for such a joyous occasion :)

                                                                                                                                                      http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                          Sugarcube - do you mind sharing the snappy gingerbread recipe? LOVE your blog - thanks

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sallyt

                                                                                                                                                            @roxlet: yes it is. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            @sallyt: sure thing (I just call them snappy because I like to say snappy.lol)

                                                                                                                                                            p.s. To make these thin and crispy, read the notes for "thin, crisp, gingerbread cookies". you will still be using the same recipe, but the baking temperature and times, as well as the thickness of the rolled dough is different.

                                                                                                                                                            Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
                                                                                                                                                            This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. It makes about 18 large or 30 small gingerbread cookies.

                                                                                                                                                            3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                            ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                            ¾ teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon ground cloves (totally optional – I leave it out as I hate cloves)
                                                                                                                                                            ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                            12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
                                                                                                                                                            ¾ cup fancy (not cooking) molasses
                                                                                                                                                            2 tablespoons milk

                                                                                                                                                            1. In a food processor, process the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon,
                                                                                                                                                            ginger, cloves and salt until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter
                                                                                                                                                            pieces over the flour mixture and process until the mixture is sandy and
                                                                                                                                                            resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds.
                                                                                                                                                            2. With the machine running, gradually add the molasses and milk. Process until
                                                                                                                                                            the dough is evenly moistened and forms a soft mass, about 10 seconds.
                                                                                                                                                            3. Scrape dough out onto a work surface and divide it half. Working with one piece
                                                                                                                                                            at a time, roll the dough, ¼ inch thick, between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
                                                                                                                                                            Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment layers, stack on a baking
                                                                                                                                                            sheet and freeze until firm, 15-20 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                            4. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven
                                                                                                                                                            to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
                                                                                                                                                            5. Remove 1 dough sheet from the freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top
                                                                                                                                                            parchment sheet and gently lay it back in place. Flip the dough over; peel off and
                                                                                                                                                            discard second parchment layer.
                                                                                                                                                            6. Cut the dough using cookie cutters of your choice. Transfer shapes to prepared
                                                                                                                                                            baking sheets, using a wide metal spatula, spacing them ¾ inches apart. Set
                                                                                                                                                            scraps aside. Repeat with remaining dough until baking sheets are full.
                                                                                                                                                            7. Bake the cookies for 8 – 11 minutes, until they are set in the centers and the
                                                                                                                                                            dough barely retains an imprint when touched very gently with a fingertip. The
                                                                                                                                                            baking sheets should be rotated from front to back and switching positions top to
                                                                                                                                                            bottom, halfway through the baking time. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on the
                                                                                                                                                            sheets for 2 minutes, then remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula to a wire
                                                                                                                                                            rack to cool completely.
                                                                                                                                                            8. Gather the scraps; repeat rolling, cutting and baking.

                                                                                                                                                            THIN, CRISP GINGERBREAD COOKIES

                                                                                                                                                            For 2 1/2 to 3 dozen gingerbread people
                                                                                                                                                            or 4 to 5 dozen cookies

                                                                                                                                                            These gingersnap-like cookies are sturdy and therefore suitable for making ornaments. If you wish to thread the cookies, snip wooden skewers to 1/2-inch lengths and press them into the cookies just before they go into the oven; remove skewers immediately after baking. Or, use a drinking straw to punch holes in the cookies when they're just out of the oven and still soft. Store in an airtight container. In dry climates, the cookies should keep about a month.

                                                                                                                                                            Follow recipe for Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies, quartering rather than halving the dough, rolling each dough quarter 1/8-inch thick, reducing oven temperature to 325 degrees, and baking cookies until slightly darkened and firm in center when pressed with finger, about 15 to 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                            Happy Baking!
                                                                                                                                                            http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                              These look good. I've been searching for a small, tasty batch roll-out cookie recipe, because I frankly make so many cookies I don't want another big batch! However, I got some adorable cookie cutters at Ikea this summer that I desperately want to use.
                                                                                                                                                              Do these taste good enough on their own without icing or glaze? I can never be bothered with decorating...
                                                                                                                                                              Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Oatmeal cranberry walnut cookies and a spice molasses cookie that gets better as it ripens.

                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm keeping it a little lower-key than usual this holiday season, but baking will commence shortly, as in right after breakfast tomorrow, it will involve a couple friends, and end in a cookie swap. We all seem to be going a bit more traditional this year: I'm doing apricot/almond rugelach, fast macaroons, fudge nut bars, raspberry crumble bars, and Viennese crescents, and my alltime favorite cookie: sunflower-coconut crisps. Not sure what the others are doing yet, but I'll find out. They can hold down the kitchen fort while I go into work for a few hours, because it is time to start planning Birfday day and figure out what's at work that I can make something out of, because "Big Shopping and Meal-Planning" was out of the question this past week.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                              I made some good cookies last week from an on-line recipe. They were just sugar cookie-type dough rolled out into rectangles, spread with a paste made of ground up dried figs, chopped walnuts and orange juice and zest. After rolling, they're cut into slices and baked. These were very, but the dough didn't have any sugar in it and, even though the fig filling was quite sweet, the cooked dough was not that great. I'm going to make them again and add some sugar to the dough this time.

                                                                                                                                                              We don't do any holiday cookies. My sister and I used to make them with our mother - pecan balls, fatigman (sp? - Swedish cookies) and a number of others. So now I make them and hub takes them to work so that we will be able to fit through the front door.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                                Those sound right up my alley, oakjoan. Was the reason the dough wasn't right the sweetness only, or was it just not tender enough? When you make them again I'd like to hear what you think and what improvements you made.
                                                                                                                                                                Baking day was a success. I now have a literal gross of 12 types of cookies available, with one more day planned, but the next day will be a day off from work and involve a few more things including candy and candied nuts for gifts.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Here's my final list:

                                                                                                                                                              triple peanut butter cookies (pb, peanuts, holiday pb m&ms)
                                                                                                                                                              chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons
                                                                                                                                                              gingersnaps
                                                                                                                                                              almond buttercrunch
                                                                                                                                                              pecan divines (like a choc chip, but chewy and with more pecans than chips)

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                Is the almond buttercrunch the toffee-chocolate English toffee thing, or something else? If the latter, could you possibly post the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  It's the toffee-chocolate thing, though I've seen about a million recipes for it. I use sliced almonds on the inside, dark chocolate on top and toasted pecans on top of that.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Still hoping to get baking - mostly family favorites on demand - hoping also to crack and use a 5 lb can of almond paste bought ambitiously last year and some almond flour in my freezer"
                                                                                                                                                                mrs. ofstie's ginger cookies
                                                                                                                                                                apricot bars (see correction in thread below to recipe)
                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/288103
                                                                                                                                                                pecan balls (family recipe
                                                                                                                                                                )Maida Heatter's pecan bars americana, palm beach brownies, swedish almond cookies, currant cookies with mace
                                                                                                                                                                david liederman zimisterne and/or a somewhat similar swiss almond flour/choc spice recipe posted here the other day
                                                                                                                                                                peanut brittle
                                                                                                                                                                ??? something new

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                  Jen, I'll recommend a cookie using almond paste. This is a cookie my family has been making for Christmas since the '70s. I think it might have come from Sunset magazine, but not sure. We also make a chocolate version by replacing some of the flour with cocoa, but the original is my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                  Marzipan Shortbread (Makes 3 dozen)

                                                                                                                                                                  8 ounces butter
                                                                                                                                                                  8 ounces almond paste
                                                                                                                                                                  3/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                  1 large egg
                                                                                                                                                                  3 cups flour

                                                                                                                                                                  Preheat oven to 325F. Cream butter, almond paste, and sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, then gradually add flour until it's completely incorporated. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and press flat (to about 2-inches across) with floured shortbread stamps or the bottom of a glass. Bake on ungreased baking sheets for about 10 minutes, until just beginning to color. Store cookies in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Dough keeps well in refrigerator if well wrapped.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                    thanks a million,Caitlin! In addition to the almond paste, I have some nice cookie stamps that I have never used (just looking into that drawer, with all the unused cutters and other specialty cooking items accumulated over the years can be a little daunting) but i did find a six pointed start for the zimisterne, as well as other wonderful shapes.. It will be great to pull those stamps and cutters out and use them.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds like cookie heaven to me, Caitlin...must make. As close to Danish kransekage as it's possible to get in a cookie cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                      RATS! I figured Palm Beach Brownies (from Maida Heatter Cookies) was the same recipe I have been making for a zillion years from her first book. Not so - but I found out after melting 8 oz of chocolate and butter hwereas the original recipe only has 5 or so of each. A lot of adjusting of all the ingredients on the fly and use of different pans ensued. The result was pretty good but not the best ever. Look out, even tho it has almond, coffee and a similar long-beating technique as the original "Brownies" the Palm Beach brownies are not the same. Maybe I should have continued to see if I liked them better but thats not what I wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. I need to bake for gifts, but have various constraints this year, time and otherwise, so need to do simple things. I decided to just make several varieties of icebox cookies. They won't look fancy, but they'll taste good, and I'll make and freeze the doughs this week and slice and bake them next week and the week after, for my two waves of gift giving.

                                                                                                                                                                      I've settled on these:

                                                                                                                                                                      saffron pistachio
                                                                                                                                                                      rosemary Meyer lemon
                                                                                                                                                                      Earl Grey
                                                                                                                                                                      chocolate black pepper (Wienerstube)
                                                                                                                                                                      brown sugar pecan

                                                                                                                                                                      1. My favorite Christmas cookies that my mom always made were Cherry Balls. Basically a Russian Tea Cake or Mexican Wedding Cookie dough wrapped around a candied cherry (some green, some red). After baking, she would dip in red and green tinted confectioner's sugar icing.

                                                                                                                                                                        One Christmas I sent tins of these and homemade fudge to all my brothers' and sisters' families. Some years later we met at my brother's house after my mother had died and I was going through her recipe box and pulling out the recipes I wanted. My sister-in-law started dissing my mom's food and said, "Oh, those awful cherry cookies she sent us a few years ago! Yuck!" It was on the tip of my tongue to tell her "I was the one who sent you those cookies!" But I held my tongue. She is now my ex-sister-in-law--and that's good enough for me. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Birmingham

                                                                                                                                                                          @ Birmingham -Ouch! and thanks for sharing! Hold on to the happy memories!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Birmingham

                                                                                                                                                                            I tried to do a correction to my post above but it didn't seem to come through. If anyone wanted to make the above, I just looked up the recipe and there are no nuts in it like Mex. wedding cookies and Russian tea cakes. It's a conf. sugar/butter/flour dough that is pressed around a maraschino or candied cherry.

                                                                                                                                                                            I think the reason I thought of Mexican wedding cookies/Russian tea cakes is because my other favorite Christmas cookie that we only ever had at Christmas-time were Crescent Cookies that tasted the same as the above-mentioned cookies. I don't think my mom ever made these but my aunt always brought them to us from a bakery in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Coconut macaroons, ginger lemon bars, meringues, pistachio and cranberry oatmeal, mint-chocolate brownies

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: saraeanderson

                                                                                                                                                                              Tell me about the ginger lemon bars, please. Are they like typical lemon bars with ginger added, or are they something else?

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Today we made peppermint chocolate brownies, some graham cracker/almond/chocolate wafery things, and some killer 'Scandanavian Almond Cookies'.
                                                                                                                                                                              We found out one important piece of information. It is a good idea to make these almond cookies the same day as the chocolate ones because you have to wait FOREVER for the chocolate on top to set up, so you can't eat them till later. But the almond ones are ready to eat RIGHT NOW. We are using up all the milk and coffee we can drink to go with the cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                              Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I see a lot of mention of 'apricot foldovers' - could someone please provide a recipe or link?

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. Made 17 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange: two roll and slice types. coconut, toffee chips, and mini-chocolate chips in a vanilla/butter dough, and a chocolate variety with coffee powder, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and mini-chocolate chips. (Got some even better ones in return, most notably some meringues made with grated Toblerone bars--yum!)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My go-to cookies are the Linzer Macaroon Sandwich Cookies that are on Epicurious. They're super chewy and sweet, and are always a huge hit at parties. But their recipe is a little screwy - the cooking time is way too long. So I made some adjustments and they came out great! Here's my adapted recipe, below. The picture came out pretty cool, too: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

                                                                                                                                                                                    Linzer Macaroon Sandwiches

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 2/3 cups blanched slivered almonds
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/3 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 large egg whites
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon almond extract (I like half almond, half vanilla, but if you love almond flavor, go for all almond
                                                                                                                                                                                    )1/3 cup sliced almonds
                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup raspberry preserves
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon water (see note above for alternate suggestion)
                                                                                                                                                                                    Powdered sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                    Put the jam and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes, then cool completely (place in the refrigerator if necessary – the filling should not be too runny.)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the slivered almonds and the sugar in a food processor and grind well. Add the egg whites and extract(s) and process until very well blended. Dampen your hands and form teaspoons of dough into balls and place them on the sheets an inch apart, flattening just slightly so that the diameter is about 1 1/4″.( Be sure to rinse your hands with warm water between every couple of cookies so the dough is easy to handle.) Press a couple of sliced almonds onto the top of each cookie. Bake until just barely golden, about 13-14 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off the baking sheets and cool. Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies to a work surface, arranging them flat side up. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto one cookie, then top with another. Repeat until finished. Sift powdered sugar over completed cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cathyeats

                                                                                                                                                                                      These look lovely, cathyeats. Nice blog, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cathyeats

                                                                                                                                                                                          just an FYI - I watched a taped episode of a foodnetwork show this morning where Wolfgang Puck gave his explanation of the differences between macaron and macaroon. I believe the sandwich type delicacies are macarons - yours look lovely - I attempted them one day, probably won't again for a long time!, but mine didn't have the footings and the tops came out cracked. The other macaroons are the coconut cookies. The recipe I had used was from David Lebovitz.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                                            This thread probably has more info than you want on macarons vs. macaroons: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/688480

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Trader Joe's sugar cookie kit, which WAS $3.99, has been reduced to 99 cents, worth buying just for the colored sugars and the three cookie cutters, even if the cookie mix and prepared icing are nothing special.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. For Christmas this year I have made spritz cookies with my son (the Wilton recipe, which was mentioned on one of the threads, was excellent), rugelach from Medrich's recipe, almond sable also from Medrich, chocolate dipped shortbread from Walters, struffoli and ginger cookies. I will bake a whole new batch of cookies for New Year's Day next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              Almond sable from the new book? I am so bad, I haven't baked one single cookie for Christmas this year! What is the world coming to.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, it's the only Medrich I have. For some reason, I have baked a lot of plain, crispy cookies this year. New Year's Day may be different...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hmm. There are some gorgeous recipes in that book, must get going on a few. (Caramel pecan bars look vv good.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I make Pecan Tassies for NY's Day, so I am not looking for another pecan cookie. So far I am doing the tassies, coconut pyramids, Maida Heatter's Charlie Brown peanut cookies, maybe a lemon bar (we have a load of Meyer lemons I would like to use), Medrich's ginger cookies and cheesecake. I think it's going to be small-ish this year since a lot of people are away until Sunday. Any other suggestions? Tomorrow I will make sauce for my lasagna, and I will mix most of the cookie dough for baking on Friday, though the coconut pyramids keep well and I made them today. I will assemble my lasagna Friday, while the DH starts his cassoulet, makes his sausage, etc. Friday night I mix up rosemary rolls to serve with the smoked turkey... Yikes! It's only Wednesday, but I feel behind already!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Help! You do go all the way when you get into something! I think the chestnut ones would go well in this mix.