Holiday Cookie Extravaganza

by Kelly on December 26, 2008

This post comes a little late, but hopefully will be helpful for those who are already stockpiling cookie recipes for next year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Mine was starting to seem like it wasn’t meant to be. After 28 cumulative hours in airplanes or in airports, 3 glasses of wine and two cancelled flights I finally made it home, 3 days late. It’s hard to complain too much though as I know countless other travelers were having the same experience as wintery weather hit the US.

When I finally did make it home my mother, aunt and I got together to bake Christmas cookies. This is a special tradition for me because it was something we did often when I was a child, but have not been able to do lately since I have been out in Boston. It brought back wonderful memories of a night where I had to go to bed before the cookies were ready and proceeded to sneak back down from my bedroom because as I said in my young voice at the time, “I hear fun!”

This year’s cookies were a mix of old favorites and new discoveries. In total we made Cherry Blossoms, Cream Wafers, Pecan Cups, Cream Cheese Lemon Bars, Egg Nog Cookies, and Double Chocolate Biscotti. All were quite good and I should know as I have eaten an embarrassing amount of cookies. I have a feeling I will be needing my New Year’s Resolution to workout harder and eat better after this holiday season.

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

-1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-3 large eggs
-1 (7.2-ounce) package dry lemon frosting mix
-1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg. Stir until moist. Press into a 13×9-inch greased baking pan.

In a medium bowl beat dry lemon frosting mix and softened cream cheese with an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Add 2 eggs to the remaining frosting mixture. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes until thoroughly combined. Spread on top of crust.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool. Frost with the reserved frosting mixture. Cut into bars.

Cream Wafers

Ingredients:

-1 cup butter
-1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
-2 cups flour
-Sugar

Filling:
-1/4 cup soft butter
-3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-Food coloring, for tinting

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix butter, flour, and cream thoroughly. Chill 1 hour. Roll dough 1/8″ thick on floured board. Cut 1 1/2 inch rounds. Transfer to sugar and coat each side. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick in 4 places with a fork. Bake 7 to 9 minutes until bottom side is light brown. After cookies have cooled. Put two cookies together to form a sandwich with the filling in the middle.

For the filling, blend together butter, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Thin with whipping cream as necessary. Tint with food coloring as desired.

Cherry Blossoms

Ingredients:

-1 cup powdered sugar
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
-2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
-Few drops red food coloring
-2 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
-48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice, almond extract and food coloring; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour and salt. Add cherries and mix well.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. Immediately top each cookie with a chocolate kiss.

Remove from the cookie sheets and cool.

Egg Nog Cookies

Ingredients:

-1 cup butter, softened
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 cup Egg Nog (I used the reduced fat egg nog)
-3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Icing:
-1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
-3 tablespoons egg nog
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and egg nog. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden. Allow cookies to cool completely.

To prepare icing, put the confectioners’ sugar and nutmeg into a small bowl. Stir in the remaining egg nog one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Spread onto cooled cookies. Decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar, if desired.

Double-Chocolate Biscotti
Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 large eggs
-1 egg white
-Cooking spray

Method:

Preheated oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine vanilla, eggs, and egg white in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir until well blended. Divide dough in half. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. With floured hands, shape each dough half into a 12-inch-long roll; pat into 1/2-inch thickness.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 18 (1/2-inch) slices. Carefully stand slices upright on baking sheet. Bake biscotti an additional 15 minutes or until almost film (biscotti will be slightly soft in the center, but will harden as they cool). Remove biscotti from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack.

Pecan Cups

Ingredients:

Crust:
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 egg, separated
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
-3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
-1/4 cup dark corn syrup
-1 tablespoon butter, softened
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 egg
-Reserved egg yolk from crust recipe
-24 pecan halves
Method:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 24 miniature muffin cups or 1 1/2-inch tartlette tins. To make the crust, in a small bowl cream butter and sugar. Blend in egg white (reserving egg yolk for the filling) and vanilla. On low speed, blend in the flour just until dough forms a ball. Place about 2 teaspoons dough in each prepared muffin cup; press dough into bottom and up sides to form shells.

Spoon 1 teaspoon chopped pecans into each unbaked shell. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except pecan halves. Spoon 1 tablespoon brown sugar mixture into each shell, over chopped pecans. Place pecan half over center of each filled shell. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

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December 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

flower December 26, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I like the idea of egg nog cookies

Reply

Kelly December 27, 2008 at 1:39 am

Thanks. They turned out really well. I’m thinking of trying a vegan version with soy nog. Same thing with the cherry cookies, there is no eggs so I’m hoping if I can get vegan kisses it will be easy to adapt the recipe.

Reply

VeggieGirl December 27, 2008 at 2:50 am

LOOK AT ALL THOSE GOODIES!!! I’m overwhelmed – but in the most delicious way possible, of course ;-)

Reply

havecakewilltravel.com December 27, 2008 at 9:51 am

egg nog cookies! brilliant.

Reply

Sara December 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

These cookies look great – I don’t think there’s any reason to wait until next holidays season!

Reply

River December 27, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Better late than never when it comes to yummy Christmas cookies! I’m so glad you got to relive a Christmas tradition with your mom and aunt!

Reply

Kelly December 27, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Veggiegirl – Hehe. Thanks.

Havecakewilltravel- I know. I’m hoping they will turn out well when veganized.

Sara and River – Thanks!

Reply

HangryPants December 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I can never have enough cookie recipes! Thanks for sharing. :D

Reply

Teresa Cordero Cordell December 28, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Kelly, all the cookie recipes sound so delicious. I will be adding them to my cookie list, but I won’t wait until next Christmas to make them. I’m the cookie monster in this family! You asked about getting published. A site I definitely recommend reading is Gloria Chadwick’s Cookbook Cuisine.
She has an excellent and inexpensive book for sale that outlines every step of the way in getting published. She’s a lovely and knowledgeable lady. I hope you get a chance to check her out. Let me know wht you think of my cookbook and if you get a chance to prepare any of the recipes. Thank you love. May you have a most wonderful (and safe) New Year filled with much health, happiness, and prosperity. Big hugs.

Reply

Kelly December 29, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Hangrypants – Me either.

Reply

Kelly December 29, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Teresa – Thanks for the kind comments. I will certainly let you know how your recipes turn out for me. :-)

Reply

Joanna December 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm

geez, girl. you definitely made a lot of cookies!!! baking always helps me de-stress. at least you are finally home!!!

Reply

happyherbivore.com December 30, 2008 at 11:10 pm

droooooooooooool

Reply

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