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What cookies are you baking for Christmas this year? 2011 Edition

This year I am starting off with King Arthur's Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies, as well as their lemon wedding cookies which will be my new additions. Medrich's ginger cookes, spritz cookies and sugar cookies will hold down the traditions. I will make struffoli as we get closer to Christmas, and am debating on making Casadetti, which are a Sicilian tradition and which a friend of mine aptly renamed cannoli ravioli.

What are you baking this year?

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  1. So far I have done three chip chocolate chip cookies, two batches of snickerdoodles, and oatmeal raisin. Next weekend I will make fruit cake cookies, sugar cookies, cherry winks, and will do chocolate pecan pie bars for a co-worker.

    3 Replies
    1. re: vafarmwife

      I've done chocolate chip. Dh will make Mexican wedding cookies. Other than that, I do candy. That's my big thing.

      1. re: vafarmwife

        would luv the recipe for choc pecan bars.

        1. re: drewb123

          Crust

          1 3/4 cups flour

          1/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

          3/4 teaspoon salt

          3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

          1-2 Tablespoons cold water

          Filling

          3 eggs

          3/4 cup packed brown sugar

          1/2 cup light corn syrup

          2 teaspoons vanilla

          2 Tablespoons butter, melted

          1/2 teaspoon salt

          2 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped

          3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

          Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom and sides of a 9"x13" baking pan with aluminum foil.

          (For the crust) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter, brown sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Add flour, and beat until coarse crumbs form. While the mixer is running, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water, as needed to help form dough. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Prick the dough with a fork several times, randomly around the pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.

          (For the filling) In a large bowl, mix eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, melted butter, bourbon and salt with a whisk until well blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour filling into baked crust. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and filling is set. Cool completely before cutting.

      2. My annual dessert open house is a week away. Not just cookies, but here's this years list:

        Mini Brownies with White Chocolate Ganache
        Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
        Rice Krispie Treats on a Stick
        Seven Layer Bars
        Butter Cookies
        Cherry Pistachio Biscotti
        Spice Cake Trifle
        The Kings Cupcakes (Elvis not the other one) Banana cake with Peanut Butter Frosting & Bacon Sprinkles
        Warm Apple Crumble
        Black Bottom Caramel Budino
        Carrot Cake Cookies
        Cranberry Tarts

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jennalynn

          What a great line up! I just added this cookie to my plans:
          http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
          They are supposed to taste just like cinnamon buns!

          1. re: roxlet

            That looks great! I might sprinkle the top with sanding sugar for some sparkle.

            It says to freeze for an hour. Do you think you could freeze for a few days? I might add this to my Sunday mix.

            1. re: Jennalynn

              I was definitely thinking of freezing it for a couple of weeks. I'm sure it would be fine.

          2. re: Jennalynn

            Hi! Do you have a link for the red velvet whoopie pie you could share? Thanks!

          3. Somehow I always end up getting roped in to making cookies for our holiday festivities at work. This year's mix includes:

            -toffee bars
            -candy cane cookies
            -cake mix cookies (the only time I ever use cake mix...and the Christmas Funfetti mix is fun!)
            -creme de menthe bars
            -dark chocolate orange cookies
            -maple cream cookies
            -sugar cookies (already baked and in the freezer, ready to be iced and decorated next week)

            I'm also planning on trying to make Smitten Kitchen's fig and walnut biscotti. If I get too lazy though I'll just substitute some of those peanut butter kiss cookies with the bag of caramel Kisses I already have :)

            4 Replies
            1. re: mse924

              Toffee bars? Please tell me how you make those!!

              1. re: roxlet

                Super easy! "Toffee" might be a misnomer, but it's what our family always called them growing up. I have a hand-copied recipe from my mom so I'm not sure where she got it from...

                1 c. softened butter
                1 c. packed brown sugar
                1 egg yolk
                1 tsp vanilla extract
                2 c. flour
                6 Hershey bars, broken into squares
                chopped nuts

                -Cream together butter and sugar
                -Blend in egg yolk and vanilla
                -Mix in flour to form a smooth dough
                -Press dough into a large rectangle baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375*
                -Immediately after removing from oven, place chocolate over top of dough and spread to form a thick layer
                -Sprinkle top of bars with nuts

                I love these because they're easy to mess around with and change up. Different flavored chocolate bars, subbing almond or maple extract for the vanilla, etc.

                1. re: mse924

                  I don't know where your mom got her copy, but mine is from the newsletter P G & E (our power company here in the SF Bay area) used to put in everyone's bill. Mine dates to about 1980 or thereabouts.

                  1. re: nami54

                    Mine is handed down from my mother too, but it uses semi-sweet choc chips, not hershey's bars and white, not brown, sugar. Don't know where she got hers. I did see the recipe on a bag of nuts that I bought last year; can't recall what brand -- probably Fisher.

            2. I'm baking for overseas visitors at my office this week, so made a half sheet pan worth of Malgieri's supernatural brownies and this dreadfully appealing thing -- http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201... - haven't cut into it yet for fear of the consequences. Taking a fruitcake too.
              Will have to make shortbread (without which it just isn't Christmas) and am thinking about Florentines for me and the Beast (they have romantic associations dating back to the early days of us).

               
               
              4 Replies
              1. re: buttertart

                I would love a report on that evil peanut thing!

                1. re: roxlet

                  It is evil. It is great. It has too much topping for my taste but it is worth trying and then some. Fun to make. Suggest halving it and making it in an 8x8. Then packing it up and giving to the neighbors just to get it the hell out of the house.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Baker's remorse - I took this to work and it seems it was a bit weird for the German visitors...not so for me...I must have eaten a dozen pieces by now. (Don't usually eat much of what I bake.) Sweet and salty and ohmygoodness. Beware.

              2. I made Kelsey's Essentials Carmelitas. Basically a crust of oatmeal, flour and butter that's blind baked and topped with chocolate, nuts and caramel sauce. Finally, it's topped with more crumb and baked again.
                Terrific, but you have to watch the caramel as the recipe calls for it to be cooked to dark amber and that's way to long. It got burned and bitter, so I started over again and took it to a light amber and that was the ticket.

                2 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  Can you post the exact recipe for these. I adore caramels!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    The recipe is from Kelsey's Essentials. Here it is:

                    http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                    Although they turned out great, there are a couple essential changes I made and would strongly suggest.
                    1. The first bake of the crust takes more like 20 minutes than 10
                    2. I lined the baking dish with tin foil (I always use extra long, heavy duty) and sprayed with Pam to make getting them out of the pan and slicing easier.
                    3. The recipe calls for the caramel to be deep amber, which is WAY OVERCOOKED!. Burned even. You're caramel will be bitter. I wound up throwing out the first batch and making a second, which I took to light amber before removing it from the heat. If your cream seizes up on your whisk, just put the caramel over low heat (and go ahead and add the butter) and continue to stir until the cream loosens up and all will be fine.

                    eta: the crust/topping needs does not need 2 1/2 sticks of butter. I used 2 and it was plenty