Tag Archives: Christmas Cookies

Spiced Sugar Cookies

  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, fluff the flour together the flour and spices. Set the spiced flour aside.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In the bowl of your mixer, whip the butter and sugar until the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes on medium high). Beat in the egg and vanilla until the butter mixture is fluffy and light lemon colored. Work the spiced flour in. Push about 1/3 of the flour in, let it incorporate into the butter and repeat until all the flour is fully absorbed into the dough.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer. The dough can be refrigerated over  night or frozen until you are ready  to bake. If you choose to freeze the dough it is convenient to divide it into 4 parts, wrap each part in plastic and freeze. The smaller dough balls will thaw and be ready to shape quicker than a whole ball of dough.

Preheat your oven to 375. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on a greased cookie sheet. You can re-roll left over bits of dough into the next round of dough.

Bake for  8 to 10 minutes until golden. When the cookies come out of the oven let them sit on the cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets to a cooling rack to throughly cool.

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons milk or half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 to 4 drops of food dye (optional)

Whisk all the glaze ingredients together. If the glaze seems too thin add up to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. If the glaze is too thick (the humidity in the air can be a problem) add a tablespoon at a time of milk or cream. You can divide up the glaze into small bowls before you add the dye if you think you might like more than one color.

To glaze the cooled cookies, hold them gently by the edges and dip into the glaze, giving the cookie a twist as you remove the cookie from the glaze. You could also spoon and spread the glaze on the cookies. Set the cookies, glaze side up, on a cooling rack with paper towels under the rack to catch the drips. The cookies should air dry about 40 minutes. Before the glaze dries you can sprinkle on colored sugar or christmas sprinkles.

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Chitty Cookies

Chitty Cookies

I cleaned up the name a bit. These cookies come from my brother Dan and his wife Sheri. They are very simple and go fast. The original name is meant to turn people off, in the hope that they last a little longer on the platter.

The simple ingredients: A package of Ritz Crackers, a jar of Jif peanut butter, a package of chocolate Almond Bark and an optional jar of Christmas Sprinkles

Melt the almond bark according to package directions. I do mine in the microwave.

Meanwhile, spread peanut butter on Ritz Crackers, top with a second cracker to make little peanut-butter-cracker sandwiches.

Press a Peanut-butter cracker sandwich into melted chocolate Almond Bark

Use a fork or tongs to flip the crackers to coat the flip side with chocolate

Place the chocolate coated cracker (now a cookie) on wax paper. While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle with optional Christmas sprinkles. Try to leave the cookies alone while the chocolate hardens.

The ragged edges can be trimmed with a warm table knife after the chocolate hardens. Extra chocolate can be remelted for whatever use  you have…. like more Chitty Cookies. Do not store these in the refrigerator. The cold will bring the cocoa butters to the surface and give the cookie a gray sheen. Safe to eat but less appetizing to look at…. on the other hand, that attribute will go well with the original name.

Enjoy the entire Christmas Cookie Collection for 2010.

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Triple-layered Mint Brownie Squares

Triple-layered Mint Brownie

It just seems right to include something with mint for the winter holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (I like Ghirardelli 100% Cacao)
  • 3/4 cup (1  1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup broken (very coarsely chopped) pecans

Center layer (frosting)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • 2 to 3 Tbs whipping cream

Place 1 oz of the chocolate and 4 Tbs butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until melted.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg and granulated sugar, then gradually beat in the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Stir in the flour and pecans. Spread the batter evenly in a lightly greased 9-inch square baking pan; bake in a 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes or until brownie feels dry on top. Let cool completely in pan on a rack.

For the 2nd layer: Place 4 Tbs softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and mint in bowl of electric mixer with wire whip attachment. Beat together than drizzle in the cream and continue to beat until a smooth, airy frosting layer is developed.

Center layer.

For the third layer: combine remaining 1 oz chocolate (I use half unsweetened and half semi-sweet instead of all unsweetened) and 4 Tbs butter in the top of double boiler. Stir until melted. Drizzle over the frosting layer, tilting pan until a thin layer of chocolate covers the frosting layer.

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the chocolate layer. Cut into 2  1/4 inch squares. store in the refrigerator. yield about 16 brownies.

See the complete Christmas Cookies 2010 here.

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Finnish Ribbon Cakes

 
Finnish Ribbon Cakes
Ray is a man of tradition. When I put out a platter of Christmas cookies he wants to find his Mother’s Russian Tea Balls or Cindy’s Thumbprint Kisses. I like to find something new. Trying new cookies, even at Christmas is how I discovered my favorite Christmas cookie, Orange-Chocolate Biscotti. The new cookie on the platter this year are Finnish Ribbon Cakes.

Ingredients

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2  1/2 cups flour

For the glaze whisk 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 Tbs water.

 

Cream butter and sugar Shape dough (about 1/4 of recipe).

 
 
 
 In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy; beat in egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest and salt. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, blending throughly until soft dough forms.
 
Shape dough into ropes about 3/4 inch in diameter and as long as your baking sheets; place them about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (I line mine with parchment). With the side of your little finger, press a long groove down the center of each rope (don’t press all the way down to the baking sheets). Bake cookies in a 375 F oven for 10 minutes.
 
Remove cookies from oven and spoon jam into the grooves. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until cookies are firm to touch and light golden brown. While cookies are hot, drizzle them with powdered sugar glaze. Then cut at a 45 degree angle into 1-inch lengths. Let cool briefly on baking sheets; transfer to racks and let cool completely. Store air tight. Makes about 4 dozen.

Shape dough (about 1/4 of recipe).

Press a long groove in each rope with your little finger. Do not go too deep.

Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Fill the groove with jam and return cookies to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Glaze the cookies, cool slightly, giving the glaze time to set. Cut the logs at a 45 degree angle about 1 inch thick. Move cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Go to Christmas Cookies 2010 for the complete list this years sweets.

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Holiday Biscotti

Red and Green Holiday Biscotti

Red crasions and green pistachios combine for holiday color in these yummy biscotti.

Orange-Chocolate, Gingerbread, and Holiday Biscotti
On the right, red and green Holiday Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pistachios
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 oz white chocolate
  • Red and Green sugar crystals, for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
  3. Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4 inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
  5. Stir the broken chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

Store biscotti in an airtight container up to 4 days or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.

Go to the Christmas Cookie Collection 2010 for the list.

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread Biscotti

Gather together:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2  1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1  1/2 Tbs ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
  3. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie sheet.place rolls on cookie sheet, pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
  5. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.
  6. Glaze with lemon glaze.
Lemon Glaze

Lemon Glaze for Gingerbread Biscotti

Lemon Glaze: Combine the following in a small bowl and whisk until smooth

  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs half & half
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest

Dip the biscotti into the glaze. Set on a rack to air dry. About 2 hours.

This is one of the 2010 collection. Go to Christmas Cookies 2010 for the complete list

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Chocolate-Orange Biscotti

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti

Ingredients
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick–4 oz.–113g) butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped.

Instructions

 

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs one  at time, then Grand Marnier and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in toasted pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half.

Preparing for the first bake

Form dough logs that are about 14 inches long, 2 and 1/2 inches wide. I work them in plastic wrap until they are the shape that I want. Set the plastic wrapped log in the freezer for about 20 minutes. At this point the dough logs can be left in the freezer for a few days until you are ready to bake.

 Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 F (180 C). Unwrap logs onto prepared (parchment lined) baking sheet. Allow 2 inches between logs. Bake to a light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer the log on its parchment to a cooling rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce teh oven temperature to 300 F (150 C).

Getting ready for the 2nd bake

Place 1 log on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut log on diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay slices on baking sheet. (Repeat with remaining log.

Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 , minutes. Cool completely on rack.

Biscotti can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container.

About 3 dozen

Bon Appetite, August 2003 (Diana’s Desserts – www.dianasdesserts.com

Grand Marnier Glaze

  • 4 oz (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Grand Marnier
  • 1  1/2 Tbs heavy cream; more as needed
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • pinch of salt

In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, Grand Marnier, cream, zest, and salt. Mix until well blended and smooth. If necessary, add more cream a few drops at a time for a thin, spreadable consistency. Biscotti can be dipped into glaze or spooned on and spread with the back of the spoon. Let the glaze dry at room temperature until set.

Fine Cooking, December 2010

This is one of the 2010 collection. Go to Christmas Cookies 2010 for the complete list

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