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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Baking

I have two staples when it comes to Christmas Cookies...
Well, three if you count Sugar Cookies, which really everyone should. I hope everyone has good memories of baking and decorating sugar cookies when they were little. I've always loved sugar cookies... in theory. In reality, as an adult, I've never really enjoyed them. They're sticky and messy to make, and I've never found just the right cookie... most are either too crispy or too chewy. I have to say that PW herself has turned the whole sugar cookie experience around for me. If you don't know who I'm talking about, you should meet her here.
And then try her sugar cookies here. Awe. Some. Seriously one of the best cookies I've ever tasted. Hurry, make some before Christmas is over!!


Another really fun thing to do with sugar cookies... my kids had a blast making these for our neighbors last year: cut out graduated-sized star cookies, frost with green frosting and stack them to make a tree.
I made ours last year with the Pillsbury Funfetti Holiday Cake Mix, using the directions on the box for the cookies. Talk about simple cookies!! I had many people ask for that recipe saying they were the yummiest they'd ever tasted!! They couldn't believe it when I had to tell them it was from a cake mix!





Alright. On to my never-fail-to-put-me-in-the-Christmas-mood-must-haves...

Chocolate Crinkles
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.
These are so yummy... like soft little brownies with just the tiniest bit of crunch on the outside with the delightful "snowy" sugar sweetness around them.
Tips: The dough is sticky. Be sure you refrigerate or freeze long enough to firm it up. I use a little scooper to drop the balls of dough right into the bowl of powdered sugar.












Then in the sugar, you can roll it easily and not ever have to deal with the stickiness.










Also, be sure and use parchment or a silpat as the powdered sugar will stick and burn to the bare pan.










Ta-da!!








Peppermint Bark
INGREDIENTS
white baking chocolate or almond bark
crushed candy canes or starlight mints

Simply melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then stir in crushed peppermint.










Spread the chocolate and peppermint thinly on a cookie sheet lined with foil.










Refrigerate for an hour and then remove from cookie sheet and break or cut into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temp.

You can also swirl white and dark/milk chocolate, or layer them by refrigerating just to set first layer and then adding a second layer.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Yummo! I can almost taste 'em ! For some reson I just can't get in the mood for baking.('Cuz I know I would do the eating!)Wish you could save me some:)XOX