thegingerchef

Recipes from My Kitchen

Christmas Cookies – Part II

Whew!  After about 13 hours over two days, and 686 cookies (yes, I counted every one :-)) I am finally done.  In fact, half of them are already handed out!  The cookies for mine and Tony’s offices will be handed out Monday and Tuesday.

The first part of the morning I made the Gingerbread dough for the Christmas Trees.  I made these a few years ago and they were so cute that I couldn’t resist.  It takes about 10 cookies for each tree – 3 large, 3 medium, and 3 small stars for the tree, and one small star for the top.  I made a simple icing (milk, confectioner’s sugar) to use as a paste to hold them together, and then colored it for the star.

 I found out the last time I made these the easiest way to attach the star was toothpicks; but you have to insert the toothpick in as soon as they come out of the oven, so they’re still soft and pliable.  If you wait until assembly, the cookies are more apt to break apart.

Here are my finished trees!!

Then I finished the Cranberry Oat cookies I made the day before.  This recipe I got out of one of Mom’s Southern Living (or something) magazines – It’s one of my favorites 🙂  I melted the chocolates and dipped them in about halfway – they cool pretty fast and look very festive for Christmas.

Another new recipe I tried this year was a Red Velvet Cookie – since I didn’t have a lot of color in my mix, I didn’t want to do the traditional peanut butter/Hershey kiss cookie, so I tried this one instead.  I got the recipe from Betty Crocker (http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/red-velvet-rich-and-creamy-cookies/815f4270-d7b5-4d25-a2e1-dabb498d4b85) – but this isn’t the real recipe:  I saw it in a book in the check-out line at the grocery store (which is where I get a lot of good ideas) but didn’t want to buy the book. So I searched and this is as close as I could get.  (The Red Velvet is made by using Cocoa and red food coloring – I think this recipe calls for too much cocoa and the cookies are darker than I would have liked 😦 )

The last thing I tried were meringues – I wanted to make these really pretty snowflakes I saw, but I never could get it fluffy/stiff enough to make the shape I wanted.  So I just spooned it onto a pan and put sprinkles and edible silver stars on them 🙂  They didn’t turn out too badly, and definitely pepped up the plates a little!!

I love making food for other people to enjoy (I have only eaten one santa hat, one bite of an m&m cookie, and one spoonful of icing …so far ;-)) – and this is a tradition I get from my Mama – she always hands out cookies to friends and family at Christmas time.  Hopefully, at this time next year, my kitchen will be twice the size…maybe my cookie list will be, too!!!

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Christmas Cookies – Part I

I am carrying on my mom’s tradition of making large amounts of cookies and giving them out to people.  I did this a couple of years ago and completely skipped last year.  So  trying again this year and am pleased with the results thus far!!  I’m not posting step-by-steps of what I’m making, but I will try to share the links and am happy to answer questions.  I baked for about 8 or 9 hours today – a lot of that was waiting on the oven though, or waiting on stuff to chill/shape/mix/facebook/etc.  Tomorrow shouldn’t take nearly as long and I will post pictures of the final trays.  So, without further ado, here are my Christmas Cookies, Part I!!

What chef is complete without their chef’s pants!! (Or, in my case, my WVU jammies 🙂 )  I figured I should be comfortable while spending 8 hours in the kitchen.

The first thing I made were mints – they were a lot easier to make after I re-read the directions and figured out what 3 oz of cream cheese really was :-p  I ended up making them about 195 of them out of one turn; I made them bite-sized so had a few more than the recipe called for.  I found them on Pinterest, but I have had the recipe in my collection for a while.
http://kitchentrialanderror.blogspot.com/2011/05/creamy-mints.html

 

The next thing I made I *definitely* found on Pinterest – and it’s so simple and easy, and they turned out so cute!!
http://www.freefunchristmas.com/christmas-recipes/christmas-santa-hat-pretzels/

I used about half a bag of melting chocolates and made about 70 of these, and had chocolate left over.

 

 

This is another new recipe that I tried – and of all the things I made, I have yet to eat any of them (well, I had one bite of one cookie, because I wasn’t sure how it turned out – which wasn’t bad – but that’s probably all I’ll have).  This is another Martha Stewart recipe (love me some Martha!) and other than the melty chocolate being a mess, they were really easy to make.
http://marzipanmom.blogspot.com/2009/12/2-days-till-christmas-chocolate-crackle.html

Tony wanted some m&m cookies – I tried two different recipes, and he prefers one over the other, but I’m not super-thrilled with how they turned out.  One, it was hard to find the Christmas m&ms – so I used Cadbury chocolates which were much bigger and more awkward.  But since Tony ate them, and he doesn’t like sweets, then I guess they are a win 🙂


The last thing I made today is an old family recipe – cherry-filled bon-bons!  I am not a fan (cherries, and all), but they do give the plate a lot of color 🙂  I’m not too sure I’m going to give this recipe out 😉

 

 

 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the cookie goodness!!!

 

 

 

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