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?
Oh, I think there must already be at least one Christmas cookie thread started for this year by now- if you look back over the years, you'll find they usually begin in October/November!
I bumped this one because I had a direct question regarding roxlet's recipe above... Thank you and happy baking!
Roxlet, I am so tempted to make these (we call them Cassatelle) because one of our most favorite things to eat on the entire island of Sicily (which we spend a decent amount of time) are the cassatelle. You have to go eat the ones made by that specific bar (Italian-style coffee bar/pasticceria, of course) in Castellamare -the name escapes me at the moment- where they are served piping hot all day and evening and the line at the bar is a steady stream of customers who could support the business and turn a tidy profit purchasing that one product alone.
If you are interested, let me know and I will hunt down the name for you.
Anyway, my concern is that they won't be much good after day 1. When they are fresh and warm is when they are best, and I have managed to wait long enough to try them fresh and room temp :), and they were still very good. But I've never tried them the next day. Is the ricotta filling still creamy or does it dry out? If you couldn't eat them until day 2 or 3, would they still be worth making? Thanks in advance.
You have GOT to try these! Oh my gosh, I could eat these every day for the rest of my life and be a VERY happy girl!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup quick cooking oats
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Eat a spoonful of Nutella.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Eat a spoonful of Nutella.
Add flour, salt, baking powder, and oats. Mix until combined. Eat a spoonful of Nutella.
Using a measuring spoon, drop 1 teaspoon of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 ½ inches apart (the dough will spread a lot). Eat a spoonful of Nutella.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 9 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the edges start to brown. Keep in mind that these can overbake very quickly. Eat a spoonful of Nutella.
Do not remove from the parchment paper until completely cooled.
Spread Nutella on half of the cookies, topping them with the rest of the cookies to create sandwiches.
This year I made triple peanut cookies (2x), ginger spice cookies (2x ... Epi recipe), reverse choc. chip cookies (2x), Bittman's macaroons dipped in dark choc. (2x), avalanche bars (2x), caramelitas (salty caramel oat bars, from Kelsey on the Cooking Channel), and almond buttercrunch (3x). Plus a batch of pb oatmeal dog biscuits for the dogs.
It's a different take on a rice krispie treat. You mix melted white chocolate and peanut butter together, stir in rice krispies, and then add in mini choc. chips and mini marshmallows. Pour it all into a pan, press the mixture down, sprinkle a few more mini chips on top, and you're done. They're very yummy.
I made Rosemary walnut butter cookies, homemade thin mints, and oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry.
I think my sister is doing chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodles and gingersnaps. We are in charge of the Christmas eve cookie platter.
The tough part is not eating them all before Saturday.
Think that I'm pretty much done for year.. have distributed the bags to my friends and brought in the tins for work .
Austrian Raspberry shortbread
7-layer cookies (aka Hello Dollies)
English Toffee Bars
Sugar and Spice Pecans
Oreo truffles (with peppermint oreos)
Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Bark
Nutmeg Maple Butter cookies (mostly so I could use my Ikea winter animal cookie cutter set.. sadly the legs of the moose cookies never made it off the cookie sheet, so I had to eat those right away!)
Also made cranberry bliss bars for some work potlucks.
I meant to add a ginger cookie/bar this year, but didn't get around to it! Next year...
Tonight I'll be making my biscotti. My daughter will be making Momofuko's (sp) Compost Cookies. I've already made Pum;kin Roulade cake truffles. Toward the week's end I'll be making my Buche de Noel. On wednesday night I will leave the egg whites out overnight so I can make my macaron on Thursday--I've already made the fillings: Pistachio, Raspberry cream; almond cream, and Mocha Nutella. That's it for this year.
Thanks for the reminder about the Compost Cookie! I *just* finished dissecting pretzels to make antlers for my rudolph cookies, am left with a bag of pretzel bits and was thinking that I vaguely recalled a cookie recipe with crushed pretzels but could not put my finger on it :)
My first cookies are JanHagels from Carol Walter's book, Great Cookies. These ARE great, and my son said that they are his new favorite cookie, only problem is that the yield is not fabulous, so I am making another batch today. Good news is, that they last and don't go stale quickly. Basically, it's a very short almond scented dough pressed into a jelly roll pan, brushed with egg white, covered with sliced almonds and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
I think I will also make the lemon wedding cookies today.
So far, I've made:
Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips
Chocolate toffee bars
Oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip cookies
Danish butter cookies
I still have a couple batches to go. Not sure but am leaning towards making:
more chocolate cookies with white choc chips (super easy & DH keeps eating them before I can fill my gift tins)
Maida Haiter's Viennese Chocolate walnut bars
Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies
Chocolate Crunch Cookies
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Raspberry Jam Splits (Got the recipe here on CHOW)
Mini Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream
Word of Mouth Lemon Coconut Bars
These cookies are an example of where the sum is equal to more than the parts. The only ingredients are three kinds of chocolate and corn flakes. Also on the plus side, they are non-bake and one recipe makes a ton if you make them small. People always ask for the recipe and are shocked when they find out what's in them. They ship well too.
Chocolate Crunch Cookies
16 ounces milk chocolate (I tend to use Ghirardelli bars, some folks use Hershey, whatever you like)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (or bittersweet or special dark)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
10 cups cornflakes
1. In a large metal pot (don't use non-stick it effects the chocolate and can make it seize) break up the chocolate and melt them over very low heat stirring gently just until melted and glossy. Don't overheat. Can also melt in a double boiler.
2. Remove from heat and add the cornflakes, gently stirring until they are all coated (will take a few minutes), careful not to crush them.
3. Drop by spoonfuls (I make mine small) on waxed/parchment paper. Cool at room temperature to set for two to three hours. Yield 9 - 11 dozen depending on size. Store at room temperature. Don't refrigerate.
After reading your post, I was reminded of Jaques Pepin's rocher recipe. He makes rochers with just chocolate and corn flakes (or Rice Krispies) and there is another variation with chocolate, corn flakes and hazelnuts. Sounded easy and delicious. http://www.kqed.org/w/morefastfoodmyw...
I have friends over every Tuesday and I usually make cookies for them. This week my oven was broken but you posted this recipe. So I made them. The ladies loved them! And my husband thought they were (note the past-tense, and it is a big batch) "awesome". So funny! Anyway, thank you for a very timely recipe.
This year I'm making a bunch of different cookies to donate to our local homeless shelter and as well as some for myself. Heres what i've made so far/plan on making:
Cucidati (italian filled cookies)
Chocolate cherry thumbprints
Dutch boterspeculaasjes (dutch spice cookies)
Peanutbutter marshmallow squares
I have done Cranberry Bliss Bars and Grandma's "shortbread" from the side of the old Canadian Cornstarch box - more of a melting moment recipe than a true shortbread. I always add dark chocolate chips and orange peel to these. They didn't turn out so hot this year, I think I overbaked them (was trying to get them to brown a bit, but at 300 not sure that can happen). I also used Chipits special dark chips instead of my usual Ghirardelli 60%, because they were on sale and I do find the Ghirardelli chips a little big for a small cookie. That was a mistake flavour-wise and I will go back to Ghirardelli next time, maybe do tiny cookies with one chip in the middle.
I still want to do slice and bake eggnog cookies with red & green cherry holly decoration and a rolled cut-out cookie, maybe stained glass gingerbread. Also intrigued by the peanut butter Rudolph cookies, of course my kids would love them, but I'm not convinced by the instructions to put the pretzels, smarties etc on AFTER baking, seems like they would fall off.
Besides maybe hand-decorated sugar cookies, I do not plan on baking much else (otherwise, I will eat too many cookies and not be able to enjoy sweets on the actual holiday because I'll be sick of sweet things...) BUT: if I do venture into trying a new one... it would be these really REALLY easy ones..
Friends and family get chocolates, so I don't have to shop. Flavors to be decided this weekend when I make them :)
The restaurant gives cookies to the hotel concierges that send us lots of business, so concierges are getting:
milk chocolate salted almond bars
orange-cardamom-pecan mexican wedding cakes
lemon pretzel cookies (we have pretzels as a bar snack, though sweet ones would be fun)
gingerbread cookies w/icing
vanilla sugar cookies (some maybe sandwiched with raspberry jam)
macarons (unless I decide I have too much already)
...and maybe brownies if I have some leftover from a catering, or chocolate peppermint crinkles
It may take some time to dig the recipe out, but here's the outline. Basically you make a very short pastry dough (my father used to use lard in his). Roll it out and make ravioli of any size you like by filling with cannoli cream. Seal well, and fry. When the pastries are nicely browned, remove from the oil, drain and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. They may be one of the most delicious things there is. I will dig out the old recipe file. It's time I put it into a word document anyway!
OK, here is the recipe I have, written on a yellowing index card.
Casatedi (note that there are so many variations on the spelling of this!)
2 lbs of flour
10 oz. leaf lard
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of water
2 lbs fine, fresh ricotta, drained overnight in cheesecloth
11/2 cups of sugar
mini chocolate chips
glaced fruits (very optional -- I never use them)
Mix these together for the filling
Cut lard (or butter/crisco combo when I can't get good lard) into flour and sugar. Lightly beat the egg with the water, and mix into the flour (start with 1/2 cup of water mixed with the egg. Add additional water to make the dough pliable but not wet). Mix throughly, and let rest for 2 hours.
Roll the dough out, and form into any ravioli shape you like. (Usually half moons, but I once made these in a small ravioli pan and served three on a plate with an additional dollop of the ricotta mixture sprinkled with a small amount of cocoa). Make sure that the casadetti are completely sealed, and don't over-fill. Use a little water and the tines of a fork to assure that they are sealed. Fry until golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. It's hard to resist these warm (I had some almost hot from a bakery in Sicily), but I think they taste best room temperature. If not serving the same day, forgo the cinnamon sugar, refrigerate, and when ready to serve, put them in a warm oven to crisp up a bit. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and serve. These actually keep very well.
This year, I made:
Chocolate chip (by popular demand, not because I consider them Christmas cookies!)
Chocolate-covered cherry cookies
On a normal year (crazy schedule this year) I would have also made Peanut Butter Blossoms, Krumkake, and Snickerdoodles.
Might still make my mom's Chiffon Walnut Bars and Doodlebugs (those chow mein noodle and chocolate abominations that my husband loves)
I have NO idea where this came from -- I remember her making these in the early 70s -- but they're awesome. The recipe reads a little strangely, but it's her handwritten recipe.
Chiffon Nut Bars
makes 16 bars - bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
1C brown sugar
14 tsp salt
1C coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 C salad oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C sifted flour
1) Beat eggs until thick and lemon color
2.) Add sugar
3) stir in salt, salad oil, and vanilla
4) Add flour
5) Add 3/4 C walnuts
6) Spread in pan and add rest of nuts on top. bake.
i'm doing all my usual suspects, but the newer ones to this year's line-up:
White Balsamic Velvet Balls - kind of like a white balsamic melting moment
Key Lime White Chocolate w/ Garam Masala
Rugelach - new variation with a sort of vanilla cheesy filling
Chewy Custard Bars - came from a challenge i did earlier this fall
Persimmon Thyme Shortbread
Rice Krispie Treats - had some fun with wacky flavors of marshmallow i snagged at the 99 cent store
reading all these posts is making me hungry!
re: Caitlin McGrath
i'm doing several "test versions" with different variations and only using fuyus (as these are my favorite)... the incorporations i'm considering:
-dried persimmon bits
-cooked and cooled persimmon puree - in a creamed variation of shortbread, cream the butter then add in the puree. add sugar, etc etc.
-persimmon glaze - perhaps infused with the thyme (in this case, may or may not add thyme to shortbread itself)
worst case scenario - i'll do a thyme shortbread sandwiched with persimmon butter.
Key lime white chocolate with garam masala sounds wonderful. Do you mind sharing the recipe? Is it a cookie? I love experiemnting with different garam masalas and creating my own mixtures depending on the food. Currently I have one made up that has more anise and cinnamon notes that I would love to use in a dessert.
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.
The recipe is from Kelsey's Essentials. Here it is:
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
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).
Somehow I always end up getting roped in to making cookies for our holiday festivities at work. This year's mix includes:
-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 :)
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
-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.
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
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
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
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.