Expand your cookie repertoire this Christmas

This holiday season, add a few new cookies to the tray you set out for Santa or bring out for guests

    There are few things that say Christmas more than a plate of homemade cookies. After all, who hasn’t brought out a tray of cookies for guests or put out a few tasty treats for Santa before heading to bed on Christmas Eve?
    Cookies can be simple or elaborate, decorated or plain, but the act of melding butter, flour, sugar, eggs and other ingredients together and baking them gives a house its soul.
    Just smelling some freshly baked cookies is more than enough to entice even a serious dieter to cheat a little, and a platter filled with a variety of these treats can tempt almost anyone.
    Baking cookies is a tradition passed on from parent to child. It’s a lot of fun and helps to create memories that will last a lifetime.
    While Christmas often finds families breaking out the recipes for such favorites as cut-out sugar cookies, thumbprints and chocolate chip cookies, there are plenty of other festive bites out there.
    Here are a few tips for baking cookies:
     Use the best quality ingredients to produce the tastiest cookies.
     Always use large eggs, unsalted butter and nuts and pure extracts.
     Successful baking relies on the correct ratio of ingredients, so be sure to measure accurately.
     For the best results, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Do not sift unless the recipe says to do so.
     Unless you are baking with non-stick pans and cookie sheets, use parchment paper for stick-free baking and easy clean-up
     Chill the dough for cut-out cookies, then soften it at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out.
     Leave at least two inches of space between cookies so they don’t spread into each other.
     Adjust baking times to achieve the cookie texture you crave. A little less time produces chewier cookies while a little more time makes them crispy.
    Following are a few recipes from delish.com.

 

    delish.com

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
Red food coloring
Sprinkles

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat until incorporated, then add extract. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
    Divide dough in half, keeping one half in the mixing bowl. Add red food coloring and mix until desired color is reached. Shape each dough into a square that is roughly 1/2-inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes, until firm.
    Place red dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a rectangle that’s about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with white dough.
    Take top sheet of parchment paper off doughs. Place red dough on top of white dough, dough sides facing each other. Gently press on top of dough to seal together.
    Remove top parchment paper and trim sides so they match evenly. Starting on a long side, use the bottom parchment paper to help roll dough tightly into a log. Roll log on the counter a few times to help seal the edge. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate from one to 24 hours, until firm.
    Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place sprinkles on a medium plate. Using a sharp knife, slice cookies 1/2-inch thick, then roll edges in sprinkles. Place two inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, until edges are set and just starting to turn golden.
    Makes two dozen cookies.

 

Santa’s Trash Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup crushed potato chips
3/4 cup crushed pretzels
1-1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup red and green sprinkles
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

    In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars for three to four minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
    In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
    Gently fold in most of the potato chips, pretzels, chocolate chips and sprinkles, reserve some for pressing on tops of cookies.
    Using a medium cookie scoop, place balls of dough (about two tablespoons each) onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down lightly on each cookie to flatten, then press remaining potato chips, pretzels, chocolate chips and sprinkles on top. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 14 minutes, until edges are just starting to turn golden.
    Remove from oven and let cool two to three minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
    Makes 20 cookies.

 

Peppermint Pattie-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
14 mini peppermint pattie
Sprinkles

    In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until fully combined.
    Using your hands, form small balls of dough. Flatten a ball, then place a peppermint patty in the center. Fold dough over to completely cover. Transfer to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough.
    Top cookies with sprinkles and bake in a 350-degree oven for eight to 10 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
    Makes 14 cookies.

 

Peanut Butter Snowballs

2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup graham crackers crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups white chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Sprinkles, for garnish

    In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, graham cracker crumbs, maple syrup and salt. Using a whisk or hand mixer, mix ingredients until smooth and fully incorporated.
    Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into balls and place on a medium baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    In a medium bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls in white chocolate and place on cooling rack.
    Top with sprinkles, then refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
    Makes two dozen cookies.

 

 

Flourless Fudge Cookies

2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cold large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
    
    In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir in egg whites and vanilla, then add chocolate chips.
    For shinier cookies, rest dough at room temperature for 20 minutes.
    Scoop tablespoon-size mounds onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper that’s coated lightly with cooking spray. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until set.
    Let cool for about five minutes on baking sheet then carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack with a spatula to cool completely.
    Makes two dozen cookies.

 

Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches

For cookies:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
For frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
Water
Pinch of kosher salt
Red gel icing color
12 mini candy canes, crushed

    In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat sugar and butter just until smooth. Add egg and milk and mix until well combined.
    In a separate bowl, whisk together baking powder, flour and cocoa, then add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
    Drop level tablespoons of cookie dough onto a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 375-degree oven for six to eight minutes, until edges are set and centers look mostly done. Let cool on cookie sheet for two to three minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
    To make frosting, beat butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth, then add vanilla and peppermint extracts, two tablespoons water and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth.
    Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If frosting feels too thick, add one tablespoon water. Add red gel color to frosting.
    Spread or pipe frosting onto one cookie, then add second cookie. Place crushed candy canes on a plate and roll sandwiches so candy canes stick to frosting.
    Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for as long as three days.
    Makes two dozen cookies.

 

 

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies

For cookies:
2-3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For filling:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Caramel

    In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside.
    In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, then add flour mixture, beating on low until combined.
    Roll dough into one-inch balls. Place two inches apart on baking sheet, then use your thumb to press a small divot into each ball. Freeze 20 minutes.
    In a small saucepan, combine butter, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir and remove from heat. Fold in pecans. Set aside.
    Remove cookies from freezer, spoon filling into each one and bake in 350-degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool.
    Drizzle with caramel before serving.
    Makes two dozen cookies.

 

 

Caramel Gingerbread Cookie Bars

For cookie bars:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons molasses
2-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons caramel
Sprinkles

    Cream butter and sugar three to four minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until well combined.
    In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt, then add to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
    Evenly spread dough into a nine-inch square pan that’s been lined with foil across the bottom and up the sides.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. When completely cool, remove from pan.
    For frosting, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth, then add caramel and mix until smooth.
    Spread frosting onto bars and top with sprinkles. Cut into squares and serve.
    Store in an airtight container as long as four days.
    Makes 9 to 12 cookies.

 

Twix Thumbprint Cookies

2-3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups caramel
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

    In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, then add flour mixture and mix until completely combined.
    Scoop and roll dough into one-inch balls. Place balls about two inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a teaspoon or your thumb to press a small divot into each ball. Freeze 30 minutes.
Remove cookies from freezer and bake in a 350-degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until golden. Let cool.
    Fill each cooled cookie cup with one teaspoon caramel and lightly drizzle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate 15 minutes, then serve.
    Makes 18 to 20 cookies.

 

Death By Chocolate Cookies

2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
    In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in one cup semisweet chips and dark chocolate chips.
    Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes, until centers are set. Let cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then place on cooling rack to cool completely.
    Place remaining semisweet chocolate chips in a bowl. In small saucepan, heat heavy cream over low and bring to a gentle boil. Pour cream over chocolate chips and let sit five minutes, then stir until smooth.
    Dip cookies halfway into ganache and sprinkle dipped side with flaky salt. Let harden before serving.
    Makes three dozen cookies.

Category:

Feedback:

Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

CONNECT


User login