Christmas Cookies

I love to bake. If I haven’t said that on this blog yet I’ll say it again: I love to bake. I grew up looking forward to the holiday season as a chance to make cakes, cookies, and candy for friends and family. I loved sharing the kitchen with my mom helping her prep all the dessert for family get-togethers and baking them in her antique oven.

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So last year I was super excited to have my own kitchen and beautiful blue kitchen-aid mixer to bake my own holiday goodies with .But as I mentioned last week (see Tis the Season) I had very few events/people to bake for. This year I feel like I am making up for that. The cooking baking started extra early for our post-Christmas parade event (see Post-Parade Cookies and Cocoa).

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I bought dollar store tins and filled them up with cookies for friends and family. I have also brought cookies to our small group, to Luke’s work, and for a cookie competition at Luke’s work. To add to the list I have supplied several christmas parties and get togethers with an assortment of baked treats, and bagged up goodies for our neighbors, mailperson, and waste disposal workers.

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Let me share with you my top  Christmas cookies from the  baking list this year.

Easy Favorites: The Drop Cookies

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1. Christmas themed funfetti cheesecake cookies: I first made these cookies for Luke’s work to for the 4th of July and they were a big hit. (see 4th of July Funfetti cookies). These colorful, soft, and chewy cookies taste like birthday cake batter meets cheesecake with a cookie twist.

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They are easy to make using  a holiday themed cake mix, white chocolate chips, cheesecake pudding mix and decorations like sprinkles and/or food dye.  For Christmas I split the batter into two:half dyed red and the other green.  If you want to make them extra festive you can add some praline sprinkles on top before they bake.

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2. Baker’s Chocolate Sugar Cookies: I have been making these basic chocolate cookies since I found the recipe in college. They are simple to make, not too sweet, and are perfect for those chocolate lovers in the group. To me they are like a good thick brownie, meets a sugar cookie. They require some extra fridge time to get a good consistency but using baker’s chocolate, butter (not margarine), and sugar as your base they make a perfect twist on a sugar cookie.

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3. M and M pudding cookies: This is my Christmas version of the basic chocolate chip cookie. They are not the fanciest goodies I’ve made but I’ve probably eaten the most of this kind so far . This is because they have perfect soft centers, those red and green M and M’s you grew up eating, and a little extra salt  (that’s what makes them so addicting.) Plus I add in vanilla pudding mix. It is a wonderful “secret” weapon for any cookie recipe making my cookies so wonderful chewy and soft in the center .

New Experiments: 

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1. Eggnog Chai Cookies: I got this recipe from my mom from I believe Betty Crocker.  My husband is a huge eggnog fan and my newest sister-in-law is a lover of chai so I thought I’d give these a try. Eggnog Chai cookies require a little more TLC but the batter is easy using a base sugar cookie mix/recipe. The recipe included vanilla pudding mix, eggnog, and half the contents of a chai tea bag (yup you put the spices/leaves directly into the batter!)

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The cookies are flattened with cinnamon-sugar coated glass before baking. (If you leave the cookies like this they would be a great holiday twist on a snickerdoodle.) I did change the icing recipe slightly using a cream cheese based (which makes them easier to stack if they stay cold). Although I’m not a huge eggnog fan these cookies tasted like a creamy mild spice cake with just enough Christmas flavor.

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2. White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies: So I actually don’t prefer using a box mix for making cake, cookies etc, the only reason I do around the holidays is that it tends to save on time. This cookie was a completely new experiment, not from a book, not from pintrest, nowhere. I made them from scratch not really sure how they would turn out. Using my base recipe for the baker’s chocolate sugar cookies I melted 4 oz. of baker’s white chocolate with butter and white sugar. I then added the dry ingredients and Andes peppermint crunch pieces.

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White chocolate can be extremely finicky so I had to be cautious in melting the chocolate and not over cooking the cookies. But they are worth it. These cookies have a perfect creamy texture, with the right hint of peppermint. So I have submitted them to Luke’s work cookie competition and we shall see what feedback I’ll have for another year.

What are your favorite holiday sweets and treats?

 

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