Thursday, December 21, 2017

Favorite Christmas Cookies

Yesterday was Phase 2 of the great Christmas cookie bake off, where I baked cookies for neighbors, the mail person, local friends, etc.

More cookies!
I wanted to share some of my favorite, perennial Christmas cookie recipes that I've made over-and-over through the years. They're not particularly festive or colorful, but they taste out of this world!

So, if you want to bake some last-minute cookies this holiday season, give these a try! They won't disappoint!

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies
Recipe from: Annie from the Cooking Forum
Makes approximately 5-dozen

Note: This makes A LOT of cookie dough, enough for 5-dozen (at least, depending on size) cookies

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup finely chopped candied ginger
Coarse or turbinado sugar for rolling

Cream shortening, butter, and both sugars. Add the eggs and molasses and mix until well combined. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices and mix until well combined (I don't bother sifting). Add the chopped candied ginger and mix till incorporated. Chill the dough for at least one hour.

After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of the dough in the coarse or turbinado sugar. Place dough balls an inch apart on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake approximately 10-14 minutes.

The cookies will puff-up and crack when baking. The cookies are done when the cracks should still look a little wet, but the outside looks dry. They'll "fall" as they cool. Don't over bake or they will be crunchy...but still good, though!

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies
White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Recipe from: Me!
Makes 3 dozen

Note: These are BEST if made with Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. Don't let the other impostors, such as Ghirardelli and Hershey's fool you...I've tried them all. So, if you see these in the store, grab-em! Grab a lot and stash them away, cause they're hard to find!

If you see these in the store, buy them ALL!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 white, granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugars together. Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing for about 1 minute, then add the vanilla extract. Mix in well.

Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour (I don't sift) on low speed until combined. Add peppermint crunch and white chocolate chips and mix in until incorporated. If dough is too thick, add a little bit of milk (by tablespoon) to make it easier to handle.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes until sides slightly begin to brown. If making larger cookies, drop by 1/4 cup scoops and bake for approximately 18 minutes (that's how long mine take).

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch cookies...very yummy and festive!

Recipe from: King Arthur Flour
Makes about 90 cookies

Note: If you love Snickerdoodles, then you will be hopelessly in LOVE with Superdoodles! Superdoodles are Snickerdoodles that have been elevated to angelic status through the addition of Hershey's Cinnamon Baking Chips. Again, if you see these in the store, BUY THEM ALL and stash them away - they're hard to find.
If you see these too...BUY THEM ALL
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups flour
2 cups Hershey's Cinnamon Baking Chips
Ground cinnamon

Cream shortening and sugar together. Mix in eggs until well incorporated, then add vanilla extract. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour (I don't sift) and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the chips once the flour mixture is mixed in.

Preheat oven to 400°. In a shallow bowl, add about 1/4 cup sugar and about 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon, then mix with a fork to make cinnamon sugar. If you'd like a stronger cinnamon-to-sugar ratio, then add 1 full tablespoon of cinnamon.

Drop dough by tablespoons and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and slightly flatten with either your hand or the bottom of a glass. Bake cookies about 10-11 minutes, just until they start to turn golden. After removing from oven, lightly dust cookies with ground cinnamon (I don't bother). Try not to eat them all!

Post note: These make crunchy, rather than chewy Superdoodles. If you like chewy Snickerdoodles, try  substituting half or all of the shortening with butter. I haven't tried this yet, but someday I will.

Super Superdoodles...a new favorite!

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