Day 10 – Peppermint Tingalings

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Day 10 – Peppermint Tingalings

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 6 ounce package of chocolate chips

1 – 6 ounce package of butterscotch chips

1 – 3 oz package chow mein noodles (about 300 grams)

1 cup baking peanuts

1/2  cup Skor bits

2 crushed candy canes (remember to crush before melting chocolate)

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DIRECTIONS:

Melt both packages of chips over low heat (150 degrees) or over a double boiler of hot water, so as not to heat too quickly and burn.  Stir until smooth. Turn off heat and add peanuts and Skor bits.  Fold in chow mein noodles and stir until completely covered with chocolate.

Place waxed paper on cookie sheets and drop spoonfuls of chocolate “haystacks” on the waxed paper. Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces on top.

Refrigerate before stacking.

Day 9 – Walnut Cream Cheese Cookies

 

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Day 9 – Walnut Cream Cheese 

Cream cheese gives this Martha Stewart cookie recipe it’s smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture, but what I really love about it is I can make a batch and freeze the logs ahead of time. Handy when you need a quick last-minute plate of fresh cookies.

Makes about 4 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/4 teaspoons salt

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups walnut halves (1-1/2 cups toasted and coarsely chopped and 1 cup finely chopped)

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together flour and salt  in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined (do not overmix). Mix in toasted walnuts.

Transfer dough to a work surface. Divide in half; shape each half into an 8 1/2-inch long log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 2 weeks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Unwrap 1 log, and roll in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, coating completely. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until golden around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Repeat with remaining log and remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Day 8 – Ambrosia Macaroons

We thought we’d give Jenn the weekend off from her 12-day Christmas cookie countdown, and so I’m chiming in with two of my standbys.

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Day 8 – Ambrosia Macaroons 

This new take on a classic macaroon has become my new favourite, with it’s Christmas flavours of orange and chocolate, and simply for the fact it’s so visually pretty on a plate of Christmas cookies.

Makes about 4 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tsp. finely grated orange peel

3 large eggs

24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about six cups firmly packed)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS:

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat to 350°F.

Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment.

Beat butter in a large mixer until smooth. Add sugar and salt and blend. Beat in orange peels, then eggs, one at a time. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by a large tablespoon, spacing about an inch apart.

Bake one sheet at a time, until golden on the bottom and browned in spots, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely.

In the meantime, melt your chocolate (I use a double pot, boiling water in the bottom pot).

When cookies are cooled completely and before you remove them from the parchment paper, using a fork, drizzle the chocolate in lines across the tops. Cool or chill another 30 minutes and then store.

Day 7 – Sour Cream Cookies

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Day 7 – Sour Cream Cookies

So colorfully festive!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream (or 1/2 c sour cream and 1/2  cup vanilla yogurt)
3 eggs
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:
In large mixing bow, combine sugar, sour cream, eggs and butter. Beat with mixer until light and fluffy.

DRY INGREDIENTS:
5 – 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to first mixture of ingredients and beat at low speed until dough is mixed. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours until firm.

MORE DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 – 1/3 inch thickness.

Cut with cookie cutters into Christmas characters or shapes.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Frost and decorate!!

Sugar Cookie Frosting
1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond or peppermint extract
4 cups icing sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or evaporated milk
Food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Mix all ingredients except sugar and sugar at medium speed in electric mixer until creamy.

Add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating at medium speed until well blended. Add milk. Beat until fluffy and then add food coloring, one drop at a time until desired color is obtained.

Decorate and enjoy!

Day 6 – Cream Cheese Whoopies

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Day 6 – Cream Cheese Whoopies

Despite the pre-packaged ingredients, this cookie is a sinfully decadent whoopie that won’t last long in your house!

INGREDIENTS:

1  pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2  cup sugar
1 container (1 lb) cream cheese frosting

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir sugar cookie mix, butter, egg and cream of tartar until soft dough forms.

In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Coat balls with the cinnamon-sugar mixture; place on cookie sheet.

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or just until cookies are just set. Watch them closely! You don’t want them crispy, browned, and over baked. Hotter ovens may actually require slightly less time.

Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

For each sandwich cookie, spread frosting on bottom of 1 cooled cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; gently press cookies together.

Day 5 – Spiced Holiday Nuts

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Day 6 – Spiced Holiday Nuts

So they’re not a cookie, but after the last few days of sugar don’t ya think it’s time for something salty?
INGREDIENTS:
4 Cups mixed nuts (no peanuts)
4 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix melted butter and nuts in a bowl. Stir until the nuts are covered.

Put on large cookie sheet or 2 smaller ones. Bake in oven for 7  minutes and then remove to stir. Bake another 7 minutes and stir again. Bake 5 more minutes and remove from oven.

Coating:

2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Seasoning salt
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper depending on taste

Sprinkle the soy sauce and seasonings over the top of hot nuts. Stir well. Cool nuts before storing. Makes 4 cups – but you will wish you had made more!!

Day 4 – Whipped Eggnog Shortbread

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Welcome to Day 4 – Whipped Eggnog Shortbread
(Oh yeah. This Mommy is gonna be a little chubbier after this blog!)
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb. butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1-1/2 cups icing sugar
2 – 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp. eggnog (or cream)

DIRECTIONS:
Cream butter with mixer, adding first sugar and then cornstarch, mixing thoroughly before adding flour a half cup at a time. Add eggnog and vanilla, and beat until it resembles whipped cream.

Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly sprayed or buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. May be topped with gumdrops, cherries, or candy sprinkles for a festive look!

Approximate yield – 80 cookies.

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Day 3 – Chocolate Gingerbread

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Day 3 of our Christmas cookies– a new spin on an old favorite. Chocolate Gingerbread

INGREDIENTS:

2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened Baker’s Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

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DIRECTIONS:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, spices and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, molasses, egg and vanilla and beat until well-blended. Add the flour mixture beating at low speed until the dough is soft. You may have to mix it with your hands if it gets too bulky for the mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 to 3 hours, or until firm enough to roll.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and divide the dough in quarters. It is easier to roll the dough in smaller portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough to 1/4 of an inch thickness. Cut into gingerbread men and ladies, or any shape, using 3 or 4 inch cookie cutters.

Place gingerbread men approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet to prevent the dough from baking together. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until gingerbread men are lightly “tanned”. Cool completely before frosting. Decorate before the frosting sets!

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Day 2 – Peanut Butter Reindeer

Reindeers-WEB Day 2 of our Christmas Cookies – Peanut Butter Reindeer

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup Peanut Butter
1-1/4 firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or shortening
2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

DECORATIONS:
Chocolate covered mini pretzels
Miniature brown M & M’s or brown Smarties
Red Hot round cinnamon candies or red M & M’s

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until just blended.

Form one inch balls. Shape the ball by pinching the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then flatten gently with your hand, making a reindeer shaped face. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown. Do not over-bake.

Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for antlers. Press two mini brown M & M’s or Smarties in for eyes, and one Red Hot or red M&M in for the nose (of course, they don’t all have to be Rudolph!)

Allow to cool on the baking sheet before transferring. Makes a herd of about 40 reindeer.