A cooking and baking journal

Project Cookie

12/17/09 to 12/20/09: Christmas Cookies Galore

During the four days (from the 17th to the 20th) my sister Catherine and I baked our way through our list of Christmas cookies. At first it seemed like mission impossible, but because we both have black belts in the world of cookie baking, we dropped, rolled, and powdered sugar our way to mission success. :) A high five to ya sis! Couldn't have done it without you!

The Fruits of Our Labor:

Here is all of the cookies we baked along with a description, recipe source, and picture of each:

Cookie Dough Truffles

Description: A soft dough made of brown sugar, condensed milk, flour, and more is chilled, rolled into balls, then dipped into chocolate coating. This is my favorite cookie!
Recipe source: Recipe has been passed down and I've forgotten where this came from. But here is the recipe anyway:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 1/2 lbs semisweet chocolate candy coating, chopped (also goes by the name of almond bark)
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
Melt candy coating in double boiler. Shape into 1 inch balls and dip into candy coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Notes for Rebekah: We did 1 and 1/2 times the recipe and it made 1 large tin.

Peanut Butter Squares

Description: A soft bar that has intense peanut butter and chocolate flavor.
Recipe source: Click here for the recipe.
Notes for Rebekah: Made one 13x9 pan. Filled one large tin.

Rocky Road Fudge

Description: A very easy and fast fudge to make that has a slightly chewy, yet soft texture.
Recipe Source: Came from Betty Crocker. Click here to view recipe.
Notes for Rebekah: Did one recipe. Used Baker's Semisweet Chocolate--very good choice.


Description: A Czech pastry that is typically topped with cheese filling or fruit preserves.
Recipe Source: Came from allrecipes.com. See here for dough recipe and here for cheese filling.
Notes to Rebekah: Made 1 recipe. Was able to fill 1 large and 1 small tin. One cheese filling recipe makes the perfect amount of filling.

Cherry Surprise Balls

Description: A shortbread-like cookie that has a maraschino cherry inside. It is also dusted with powdered sugar for additional sweetness.
Recipe Source: Came from an old church newspaper. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup shortening, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) maraschino cherries without stems, drained and halved
  • Additional powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar; gradually add flour. Chill dough for one hour. Shape a tablespoon of dough around each cherry, forming a ball. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325F for 18-20 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Cool on wire racks. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.

Notes for Rebekah: Took longer to bake than expected. Took about 28 minutes. Did 1-1/2 times the recipe and made enough for 2/3 of a large tin.

Holiday Snowball Cookies

Description: A shortbread-like cookie with mini chocolate chips and a sprinkling of powdered sugar to create that "snowball" appearance.
Recipe Source: Not sure where this came from. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (10 oz.) of mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 sprinkle of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375F.
Beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour; stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle additional powdered sugar, if desired.

Notes for Rebekah: Will spread in oven if left at room temperature for too long. Made 1 1/2 times the recipe. Made about 1 large tin.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies + M&M's!

Description: Made two types of oatmeal cookies -- one with raisins, the other with one of my favorite candies: M&M's. I got a whole bag of these for Christmas, Santa knows me well!
Recipe sources: This is the famous Quaker Oats recipe, you can always find this recipe on the back of the lid of a Quaker container. If you don't have it on hand, click here to view the recipe.
Notes for Rebekah: Did three times the recipe. Made enough for 1 large and 1 small tin.

Lemon Snowdrops

Description: A delightful light flavored cookie with lemony goodness.
Recipe source: Came from Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, copyright 1950. Here is the recipe:

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • Powdered sugar
Mix together shortening, butter, egg, lemon juice, and water. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir into wet ingredients. Mix in grated lemon rind. Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and bake at 400F for 12 to 15 minutes. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Notes for Rebekah: Did 1 1/2 times the recipe and filled one small tin.

Gingerbread Men

Description: Slightly spicy and crunchy. Not overly crunchy like some gingerbread recipes, though!
Recipe source: This recipe is kind of special because these cookies who pictured on the front page of Family Circle Magazine, November 2009. Click here to view the cookie recipe. See below for the royal icing recipe:

Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered egg white (or meringue powder)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine powdered sugar, powdered egg whites and 3 tablespoons water. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to blend, then increase speed to high and beat 5 minutes until thick and shiny. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, or a resealable plastic bag; snip small corner off bag. Pipe icing over cookies. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Notes for Rebekah: 1 recipe makes 1 large tin.

Rum Balls

Description: These cookies are soft and have a flavor punch! They should be stored at room temperature and shouldn't be eaten until they have aged for one week. The rum needs some time for itself, ya know!
Recipe source: Came from Cooks.com. See here for the recipe.
Notes to Rebekah: 1 recipe makes 1 small tin.

Glazed Butter Cookies

Description: My sister and I made rolled sugar cookies before years ago and we had a crumbly mess! So when we decided on a roll-out cookie for this year we said a little prayer before we tied on our aprons. Our angel cookie cutter must have sent our message because these turned out beautifully! They were not hard to roll out and they were tender and sweet. Very delicious!
Recipe source: Found this recipe on a blog but the author adapted it from Cook's Illustrated. See here for the recipe.
Notes for Rebekah: 2 1/2 times the recipe makes 1 large and 1 small tin. Added water to dough to make it roll out easier.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (aka O' Faithful)

Description: My sister and I tried many Chocolate Chip Cookies (CCC) in our time and it is funny to note that during the past 2 or 3 years, we've been returning to this recipe again and again. We consider it thee best chocolate chip and this is a great example of the old proverb, "If it ain't broke, don't fix."
You may notice that one of the cookies in the photo has chocolate stripes. My sister wanted to have some fun and stir in chocolate shavings rather than chips into the dough. The cookie turned out to be chocolatier (is that a word?) and delicious!
Recipe source: Back of any Nestle chip package. Also found here.
Notes for Rebekah: Made 2 times the recipe. Yield: 1 large tin.

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