Saturday, December 25

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 25!!


   Merry Christmas Everyone! I felt that the best way to close this year's '25 Days of Christmas in Cookies' would be with an original recipe. Throughout this month, I have used my own recipes as well as the creative recipes of others (and I gave due credit). Since this is a new tradition (I hope) of my own, it seemed more appropriate to close with an original recipe too. 
   I like the idea of making desserts into other forms; such as S'mores Cupcakes, Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, Kyleigh's 4th of July S'mores Pie, Carrot Cupcakes, etc. So this recipe I am perfecting is making Red Velvet Cake into cookies! While it is my goal to determine the science behind the cocoa reacting with the acid to make a reddish-hue (as it was originally done, without a bottle of red food coloring), I will be using red food coloring initially. These are by no means perfect and are a work in progress, so bear with me. :)








Christmas Red Velvet Cookies

      1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      1/4 tsp baking soda
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process
      1/2 cup butter, room temperature
      2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
      1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain
      1/3 cup buttermilk
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      1 oz red food coloring

   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
   In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the brown sugar and Greek yogurt. 
   After scraping down the sides of the bowl, slowly beat in the buttermilk alternately with the flour mixture. Once the buttermilk and all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, beat in the vanilla extract and food coloring.
   Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. 
   Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Let stand on the sheets for a minute or so then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.


     While the cookies are cooling, it is time to whip up the frosting! Yay frosting!
      1 cup milk
      1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
      3/4 cup butter
      1 tsp vanilla extract

   In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and flour. Stir constantly until thick, resembling a white sauce. Set aside to cool.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and cooled cream sauce. Beat until the icing becomes stiff, about 10 to 15 minutes.
   Put a generous amount of frosting in a Ziplock bag and snip off a corner. In a swirling motion, pipe the frosting on each of the cooled cookies.
   Yumm!! Enjoy!


Friday, December 24

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 24: Melting Moments
      Recipe from Wonderful Ways to Prepare Cakes & Cookies




   It's Christmas Eve! I can hardly believe it is upon us! I believe, when one is surrounded by loved ones, that moments happen that just melt our hearts. Especially during the holidays. With my two girls getting bigger with each passing day, I find those moments seem to occur more often. This year my baby is 18 months old--old enough to enjoy the spirit of the season, even if she doesn't fully understand what is actually going on. Today's cookies are in honor of these melting moments, and it is my wish that you all have plenty of melting moments this year. Yes, actually moments as well as the cookies. :)




     1 cup butter, room temp
     2/3 cup granulated sugar
     1 large egg
     1/4 tsp vanilla extract
     2 cup cake flour
     confectioners' sugar


   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Either grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
   Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
   Add the flour and beat until a stiff dough is formed.
   Make small balls of dough and place on prepared cookie sheets.
   Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes per batch.
   Once out of the oven and while still warm, though be careful not to burn yourself, roll in the confectioners' sugar.
   Yumm!! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 23: Sandwich Cookies
      Found on the blog Twelve 22


   for the shortbread cookies
     1 cup cold, unsalted butter
     1/2 cup granulated sugar
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup rice flour
     pinch of salt
     cinnamon sugar for dusting

   Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
   In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the vanilla. Mix in the two flours and the salt and stir or beat until combined. It will be dry-ish and crumbly, but you should be able to clump it together in your hand. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it a bit until it comes together and is well blended.
   Making sure the surface is very well floured, roll the dough out until it is just less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies and place them on prepared baking sheets. Let the cookies chill on the trays in the refrigerator for an hour.
   Heat the oven to 325 degrees F and bake the cookies for 10 minutes, larger cookies will take longer. Cookies are done when they've started to turn golden brown at the edges. While still warm, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar overtop.

     While the cookies are cooling, it is time to make the filling!
      1/4 cup butter, room temp.
      1/4 cup vegetable shortening
      2 cup powdered sugar
      1 Tbsp milk
      1 tsp maple extract or 
          1/4 tsp concentrated apple flavor + pinch of cinnamon

   In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Beat in the shortening until combined. Add the powdered sugar, a half-cup at a time and mix until the frosting is smooth. Add in the milk very slowly. Lastly, beat in the flavoring of your choice.
   Place the frosting into a plastic Ziplock bag with one corner snipped off (or a pastry bag would also be convenient). 
    Once the cookies have cooled completely, make yo' self some cookies! 
   Yumm!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 22: Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies
      Recipe found in Favorite Brand Name Baking






     1/2 cup shortening
     3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
     1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
     3 Tbsp milk
     1 Tbsp vanilla extract
     1 egg
     1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     3/4 tsp baking soda
     3/4 tsp salt
     1 8oz package Heath Bits, divided


   Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
   Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla until well blended.  
   Gradually beat the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture.
   Stir in 1 cup of the Heath bits and reserve the rest for topping.
   Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Top each with the reserved bits. 
   Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not over-bake these cookies. Cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
   Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 21: Mint Chocolate Thumbprints
      Another recipe from the blog of The Spiced Life






     2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
     1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
     1 cup confectioners' sugar
     1 Tbsp vanilla extract
     1/2 tsp salt
     broken up pieces of Andes mints


   In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until a ball of dough forms. It will be too soft to work with so put it into a Ziplock bag and chill for at least an hour, or until it is firm enough to work with. If it chills for a long time, you will need to let it soften a bit at room temperature before it can be worked with it.
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Lightly flour your thumb and use it to press down into the center of each dough ball to create a deep well.
   Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes, until the tops look dry. While the cookies are cooling on the sheet, drop pieces of the broken up pieces of the mints into the middles of each of the cookies. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a total of about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
   Enjoy!!

Monday, December 20

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 20: Peanut Butter Candy Cups
      Recipe found on the blog of The Spiced Life




    Yep, another peanut butter cookie recipe. My father-in-law loves peanut butter, remember? :)




     1 cup shortening
     1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
     1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
     2 large eggs
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     1 cup smooth peanut butter
     1 cup white wheat flour
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     2 tsp baking soda
     1/2 tsp salt


   Whisk together both flours, the baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
   In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the shortening and then beat in the peanut butter. When it is smooth and evenly blended, add the sugars and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. 
   Stir in the flour mixture. Chill the dough for 30 minutes, or until it is firm enough to roll into balls.


   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the mini muffin tins, or line with mini paper cups. 
   Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place in the prepared mini muffin tins.
   Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add the chocolate candy pieces or chocolate and peanut butter chips. Return to the oven for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookie cups are lightly browned.
   Remove from the oven and sprinkle the insides of the cups with M&Ms, Reece's Pieces, or mini marshmallows.
   Let cool in the muffin pans.
   Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 19

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 19: Danish Almond Cakes
      Recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook




   So throughout this project, I have shared recipes with you all that have been passed down to me from my maternal grandmother as well as sharing some other favorites for my in-laws and my step-father. I figured it was time to pay some tribute to my step-mom, whose family is from Denmark. 




     1 2/3 cups all-purpose  flour
     1/2 cup sugar
     1/2 cup diced toasted almonds
     1/2 cup butter, softened
     1/2 cup shortening
      1  egg
     1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
     1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
     1/2 tsp ground cardamom
      1  egg yolk, beaten
     1 Tbsp water
     blanched almonds, halved


   Into a large bowl, measure all the ingredients except the egg yolk, water and blanched almonds. With the mixer at medium speed, beat ingredients until well mixed, occasionally scraping bowl with a rubber spatula. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours.
  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  Using your hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Cover the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass with a damp cloth and use to flatten slightly each ball of dough. 
  In a cup, blend the remaining egg yolk with water. Brush the egg yolk glaze on to the tops of the cookies and then top each with an almond half.
  Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until golden. Upon removing the sheets from the oven, immediately remove cookies to wire racks and allow to cool. Store in a tightly covered container.
  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 18

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 18: Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
      Recipe found on the blog of Sweet Pea's Kitchen




     2 1/2 cups (16oz) bittersweet chocolate chips (no more than 61% cacao), divided
     1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
     1 tsp baking powder
     1 tsp instant espresso powder
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
     1 cup granulated sugar
     1 tsp vanilla extract
     1 tsp peppermint extract
     2 large eggs
     4 regular-sized candy canes, or  16 hard peppermint candies, either way they need to be coarsely crushed


  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir. If any unmelted pieces remain, continue microwaving and stirring in 10-second intervals until it is all melted. Measure 2/3 cup of the melted chocolate; transfer to a small metal bowl to reserve for drizzling.
  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and both extracts; beat until smooth. Add the eggs; beat to blend. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the dry ingredients and beat just to blend. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  Roll tablespoons of dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Space the dough balls about 2-inches apart.
  Bake the cookies at 375 degrees F until they are cracked all over, about 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks to finish cooling completely.
  Rewarm the reserved 2/3 cup of chocolate in the microwave on high for 10 second intervals until smooth. Place the melted chocolate in a Ziplock bag and snip off the very tip of the bag, making a make-shift pastry bag. Gently squeeze chocolate drizzles all over the cookies and sprinkle with the crushed candy pieces. Chill just until the chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. 
  Enjoy!

Friday, December 17

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 17: Dark Chocolate M&M Cookies
      Found on the blog of The Nesting Project




     2 cups self-rising flour
     2 large eggs
     1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks)
     2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
     1 cup packed dark brown sugar
     1 cup granulated sugar
     1 cup dark chocolate M&Ms

  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper; set aside.

  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs. Add the cocoa until fully incorporate and then add the 2 cups of flour.  
  Stop mixer and by hand fold in the M&Ms. 
  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets so that you get roughly 28. 
  To help the cookies bake evenly, they will need to be smooshed down a bit. Using a fork and a glass of water, make a cross-hatch pattern on each dough ball so that they are all roughly the same height. Wet the fork before each use.
  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes.
  Cool a minute or two on the cookie sheets then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 16: Nutmeg Butterballs
      Recipe from Wonderful Ways to Prepare Cakes & Cookies




     1 cup butter
     1/2 cup granulated sugar
     1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
     2 cup sifted flour
     pinch of salt
     1 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
     1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
     2 1/2 tsp nutmeg


  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the vanilla.
  Add the flour, salt and almonds. Blend thoroughly.
  Shape into one-inch balls and chill.
  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line sheets with parchment paper.
  Place dough balls on prepared cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
  While still warm, roll cookies in a mixture of confectioners' sugar and nutmeg.
  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 15: Cardamom Kissie Cups
      Adapted from the recipe found in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook




    When I decided to do the 25 Days of Christmas in Cookies, I had to search to fill in the gaps in my days. While I was doing my searching, I wanted to do some cookies that were different from what I usually do. Before this month, I had never used, let alone bought, any cardamom. I found recipes including cardamom and was excited to give them a try, but this recipe was all about the cardamom. So let's give it a try!
    While at the grocery store getting more flour and sugar, Kyleigh found some Milk Duds in the checkout line. I told her we could get them (to this agreement she was pretty astounded) if we baked them in cookies. We rolled all the Milk Duds up in the dough balls, but I'm afraid the baking time is too much for the caramel because it becomes crunchy and gets stuck in the teeth too easily. After I realized what was happening, we switched it up. The switch is where the name comes from and what is shown in the recipe and pictures. My favorite is the mint truffle kisses. The peanut butter cups are pretty good too. Of course, though, my husband loved all of them and will probably be taking them to work to finish them off. :)




      3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      2 cup butter, softened
      1 1/2 tsp almond extract
      1 tsp ground cardamom
      1/8 tsp salt
      1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar




  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.




  In a large mixing bowl, pour 
in all of the ingredients. Knead by 
hands to combine the ingredients. Knead until well blended.

















  Shape the dough into about a 1-inch ball, then flatten into a disk and place the kisses and peanut butter cups in the center. 





  Roll the dough around the kisses so that nothing shows except the top point of them. For the disks with the peanut butter cups, about a fourth of it will show above the formed dough. 
  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 17 minutes.




The tip tops of the kisses will still show a bit.
The cookies with the upside down peanut butter cups.

 Yumm!! Enjoy!




Tuesday, December 14

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 14: Peanut Butter Cookie Bars with Nutella Glaze
      From the blog of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.






    Let me begin by saying that my father(-in-law) loves peanut butter. Anything peanut butter. So when I find a peanut butter recipe, I have to give it a try...and give some to him of course. This recipe combines what he loves, and what I love too. I mean, c'mon. Peanut butter and chocolate together!
  
    With my girls all nestled snug in their beds, or at least in their rooms resting their heads. With no sign of the hubby who is still at work, I pulled on some pajamas and in the kitchen I lurk. When an idea arose of cookies to bake, the promise of deliciousness to much to take.


    Okay, so I have charmed you with my humor. Yes it would be very impressive if I were to continue with the entire poem, but I'm having a hard time concentrating on it (because I'm watching some tv while I write this haha). So yes, I did do some baking in the pajamas after I put my girls to bed. A girl has GOT to be comfy.




     1 1/2 cup flour
     1/2 cup oatmeal
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/2 tsp baking soda
     1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
     1 cup packed light brown sugar
     1/3 cup granulated sugar
     1/2 cup butter, softened
     1/2 cup peanut butter
     3 eggs
     1 tsp vanilla


  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter/grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside.



  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.










  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Once the butter is soft and fluffy, beat in the peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.






















  Beat well.














  Add the eggs and vanilla; mix well.















Add the dry ingredients.




Spread into a greased 9x13-inch pan.










Bake at 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until done; it will still be slightly soft in the middle. 




  And now, it is time to make the Nutella Glaze while the bar cookies cool.
     1/3 cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
     5 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
     1/4 cup milk, to thin to desired consistency


  Mix the sugar and hazelnut spread until smooth. 
  Add the milk, slowly until it becomes more of a glaze than a frosting.
  Pour over cooled bars, either before or after being cut.




Don't forget your glass of milk!! Yumm!

Monday, December 13

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 13: Cinnamony Maple Oatmeal Cookies
      Recipe from Hot Polka Dot





    Am I the only one who justifies the eating of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by saying that since it has oatmeal and raisins it is a pretty healthy cookie? Yes I realize that "healthy cookie" is probably an oxymoron like "swiss cheese" (haha only NewsRadio fans will get that joke) but c'mon, oatmeal is good for heart health and raisins are good for you too! Anyway, I actually still had about a cup left of the cinnamon chips my mother-in-law brought back for me and I thought it would be a perfect use for them. The cinnamon makes completes the cookie and the hint of maple makes the cookies irresistible! 






       makes about 31 cookies
     1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     1 tsp baking soda
     1 tsp ground cinnamon
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
     1/2 cup granulated sugar
     1/2 cup maple syrup
     1 egg
     2 cup old-fashioned oats
     1 cup cinnamon chips


  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.



  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the sugar and blend well. 






















Then beat in the maple 
syrup and the egg.




























 Beat in as much of the flour as possible and stir in any remaining flour mixture. Stir until well combined.
































  Stir in the oats and cinnamon chips

 to form a stiff dough.



























  Drop by the rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.








  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes; until the edges are a light golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!







Sunday, December 12

25 Days of Christmas in Cookies

Day 12: Black Forest Crinkle Cookies...sort of
      Original recipe found on the blog Sweet Pea's Kitchen.


    This is a good recipe to involve the kiddos with. There is no mixing with the mixer. It is a simple measure-and-pour recipe. Just do some melting in the microwave, and mix away! And the aromas that come wafting up from the bowl--well, let's just say it takes a lot of restraint to keep going to bake them in the oven. You will definitely enjoy these. I know we did.






     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup granulated sugar
     1/2 tsp baking powder
     1/2 tsp salt
     2 Tbsp unsalted butter
     1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
     1 egg
     2 1/2 Tbsp brewed coffee, cooled
     1/4 tsp vanilla extract
     1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
     powdered sugar


  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the baking sheet and set aside.




  Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 














  In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter; about 15 seconds.
  Whisk together the cocoa and melted butter until smooth. 









Whisk in the egg; fully blend in. 
Whisk in the cooled coffee; fully 
blend in. Whisk in the vanilla 
extract; fully blend in. If at any 
point, the chocolate looks like 
it is separating and not blending 
well, put the bowl back into the microwave for about 20 seconds 
and whisk until smooth. 
















  Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa the cocoa mixture. 













Stir in the chocolate chips.

























  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Sift powdered sugar over the mounds of cookie dough until they are well covered.







  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a minute on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  Enjoy!


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