Tag Archives: christmas cookie recipes

Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies

Sometimes, it’s my pantry that inspires an adaption of a recipe or a new combination of tastes. This cookie was inspired while exploring my pantry. I was looking at what candy and chocolate was still lingering from Christmas. Every Christmas we receive a gift of toffee  with almonds and there was still quite a bit still left over , as well as various chocolate bars received as gifts in food baskets or left from the holiday cookie baking. I decided to bake cookies using the leftover sweets. The cookie dough recipe is a favorite of mine from Ina Garten, which results in a cookie that is soft inside but crispy on the edges. I tossed the toffee into a resealable plastic bag and smashed it with a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin would have worked just as well. I created essentially toffee rubble. Along with the toffee, I chopped up the chocolate into pieces the size of large chocolate chips. I like using bittersweet chocolate but any chocolate would work and the proportions could shift and change based on what sweet left overs you have around as long as you have 1 1/2 cups in total to add to the cookie batter. You can get creative with what you want to add, it could be dried fruit and chocolate or chopped nuts and chocolate instead of the toffee. Make this cookie your own, based on what you like to eat! Happy Baking!

From by the bay wishing you , sweet baking food memories!
Maryann

blog double choco cookie

Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten, “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” published in 2001
Makes 20 to 24 Cookies

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ( 1 stick)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup toffee, chopped

Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter and sugars. Use an electric mixer and beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla  and the then egg and beat in well. Add cocoa and mix well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add in the chopped chocolate and toffee and combine. Drop dough in rounded teaspoons of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. The cookie will appear soft, let cool on the pan a few minutes and it will then take shape. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti

a CHOCO BISCOTTI

With Thanksgiving over, the shift to Christmas happens immediately! We all know that it also mean’s that Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa loves himself some cookies and this one is a perfect match – big on taste and flavor. These chocolate biscotti cookies are made with almonds and dried cherries and then dipped in dark chocolate to make a delicious cookie perfect for dipping into your coffee or hot chocolate. So get your cookie trays ready because remember the the big fat man is coming……….real soon !

From by the bay, waiting to make food memories for the big fat man!
Maryann

Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Biscotti

24 cookies

1 cup dried cherries

½ cup almond slivers

½ cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)

3 eggs

1 cup fine sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 oz good quality bittersweet dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl add dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix and keep to the side. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and shortening until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Add vanilla until blended. Add dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix well until the dough is smooth. Using a spoon and  mix in the dried cherries and almonds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Shape each half of the dough into a log approximately 2 inch high x 12 inches long.  Place the logs on to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack. Place on a cutting board and using a serrated knife slice each log on the diagonal into 12 pieces approximately 1 inch thick. Place the pieces back on to the baking sheet and bake 8-10  minutes, turn the slices to the other side and bake another 8-10  minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Fill medium pot 1/3 with water and simmer. Add to the top of the pot a glass bowl that sits on the top of the pot to create a bain du marie. Add the chocolate and melt over the simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the glass bowl. Once the chocolate is melted use an offset spatula to cover the end of each cookie. Place chocolate on approximately 1/3 of the cookie on all sides. Allow to set at room temperature on a wire rack . You may also set in the refrigerator for a ½ hour to hasten the process.  Store cookies in an air tight container.

 

Orange Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love to walk into my pantry and come out with an idea for cooking based on the ingredients sitting on my shelves. Some of my favorite ingredients are never out of stock – along with my staples, so it wasn’t too hard to walk into that pantry one afternoon and come out with the ingredients to make this twist on the chocolate chip cookie. I love dark chocolate so grabbed a bar off the shelf to cut up into small shards of richness. The dried cranberries will add a little sweet with a slightly tart flavor. I still have a few oranges left from the holidays and love mixing chocolate with orange rind. These were a big hit – you’ll love them! Try them this weekend.


From  by the bay wishing you the darkest chocolate chip cookies!
Maryann

blog orange cookie
Orange Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 Dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour, plus two tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the butter, sugars and vanilla. Use an electric mixer and beat ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the egg , orange rind and juice and beat in well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly and mix at a low speed. Next add the chopped chocolate and dried cranberries and combine. Drop in rounded teaspoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on bottom. Remove and cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.

Spritz Cookies

 

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Definition: Spritz Cookies are make with a cookie press. A cookie press allows the baker to shape dough into uniform shapes quickly. Cookie presses come in a variety of shapes but this is especially wonderful for Christmas entertaining. Cookies can be made into wreaths, trees, stars etc. These butter cookies are really a holiday staple.

 

My fondest Christmas cooking memory is making cookies with my mother. When I was a little girl, our Christmas tradition was making these wonderful little spritz butter cookies and decorating them. We made them only  at Christmas and we would enjoy them through out the holidays. An equally wonderful memory was when my mother handed over to me the official role of baking these cookies for the holidays along with her cookie press. She came over to my house and taught me exactly what to do. I was not so great at making the shapes when we first started so don’t get discouraged when you first attempt these little cookies. If you don’t like how they look just grab up that dough and throw it back into the cookie press and try again. I had to do that a few times before I finally got the hang of it. I was under close supervision by my mother when she taught me how to make these cookies. The way I knew that I had succeeded in my baking was at the end of the afternoon, mom said to me, why don’t I leave the cookie press here with you now.  You’ll love these cookies and will want to make it part of your Christmas traditions!

 

Come back for more Christmas food ideas!

 
From by the bay wishing you the warmest Christmas food memories!

Maryann

 

 

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Spritz Sugar Cookies

5 dozen cookies

1 lb unsalted butter

1 ½ cup fine sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

5 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Optional: sprinkles, colored sugar, candied cherries, chocolate to decorate

Requires : cookie press or spritz

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. In a bowl add dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix and keep to the side. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter until fluffy. Add sugar gradually and beat well. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Add vanilla until blended. Add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well until the dough is smooth. Using a spoon put dough into cookie press. Press shaped cookies onto an non stick baking sheet. You can decorate the cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles or candied cherries depending on the shape. Bake in oven for 7 minutes. If using two trays, after 3 minutes rotate baking sheets on oven rack and then bake another 4 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies start to brown. Store cookies in an air tight container.

Holiday decorating

Wreaths: decorate before baking with candied cherry pieces and green sugar.

Trees : with multicolor chocolate sprinkles.

Stars: pressed into a long log and cut into 2 inch pieces. Dip the ends in melted chocolate and then dip into sprinkles

 

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

I like to indulge in the occasional cookie and I can’t think of a better way to indulge than with shortbread. I’ve made shortbread the traditional way, where it’s super crumbly and that’s great, but during a trip to London, I fell in love with shortbread cookies that were rolled out and cut into various shapes and sizes. I love this variation of shortbread especially since you can dip your shapes into chocolate – delicious! I experimented with dulce blond chocolate from Whole Foods for a lovely dulce de leche taste, a major success. This is a perfect cookie for any holiday, you can try hearts for Valentine’s Day, Trees for Christmas or Bunnies for Easter to name just a few ideas.
From by the bay, wishing you buttery shortbread food memories!
Maryann
blog choc shortbread
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened ( 2 sticks), plus 1 -2 tablespoons
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate ( semi- sweet, bittersweet or dulce blond)
2 teaspoons shortening
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer to beat together  1 cup butter, sugar and vanilla. On low speed slowly add the flour to combine. If the dough is crumbly add the additional tablespoons of butter. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Roll dough in one direction to keep the dough smooth. Cut into small rounds using a floured 1 1/2 inch cutter. Place on non stick cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set and the bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from oven and place onto wire rack to cool, about 30 minutes. In a small microwavable bowl add the chocolate and shortening. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove from oven and stir briskly. Repeat process until chocolate is smooth and melted. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate is set.
Alternate ideas: skip the chocolate and add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest or chopped finely rosemary or finely chopped crystalized ginger. Also, you can cut into other shapes, I like to cut into little mini shapes for a delicate treat.