Holiday Baking

12.14.2009

Yesterday was the day that I wanted to put a dent in our holiday baking "to do" list. I already have made several dozen Peanut Butter Blossom cookies (see later on in this post where I share the yummy recipe) and wanted to try to make at least two more kinds before taking on the cut-outs and the gingerbread men. I wanted to try at least one new cookie this year and that ended up being the chocolate mint cookies below. They are my new favorite cookie! They are absolutely amazing and they are fun to make too!

Holiday Baking

Andes Mint Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
36 chocolate Andes Mint candies (cut them in half)

In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted and remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (I put parchment paper on my cookie sheets). Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half by cutting. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie by using the tip of a fork prong to swirl.

A favorite that I've been making for a couple years now are the classic Snickerdoodle cookies. They aren't all that fancy but they are moist and taste great and are perfect for those that aren't too keen on going crazy with all the chocolate that seems to be around during the holidays. They are also a favorite of my father-in-law's so I always try to make some especially for him.

Holiday Baking

Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400ºF. Start by mixing the 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat evenly. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.


I of course had my special helper working away with me (her part for the Snickerdoodle's was rolling the cookie balls in the cinnamon and sugar).

Holiday Baking

And something kind of funny...when we were about an hour and a half into our baking spree we heard something bang on our window and looked up to see this little guy looking in at us.

Holiday Baking - He wanted to come in and have some cookies!

Zoey was jumping up and down squealing and laughing saying that he wanted to come in and have some cookies with us! I was freaked out because I couldn't figure out just how exactly a squirrel was able to get on this teeny tiny ledge that is actually a window above our real window which is about at least a good 25+ feet above the ground. I have no idea how he got there but he managed to jump up onto our roof and was able to get away safely and sadly for him, with no cookies! =) Ah, the excitement of baking! You just never know...

As promised, here is the recipe for our family favorite of Peanut Butter Blossom cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/3 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar for rolling
1 bag chocolate stars (or kisses)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat in peanut butter until smooth. Add egg and mix until well blended. Combine flour, salt and baking soda and add the dry mixture to the wet until just mixed. Pinch off teaspoons of dough and roll into a ball, rolling into sugar to coat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-13 minutes and remove from oven. Immediately place a chocolate star on top of cookie and press down gently. Let cookies cool completely.

Well, three down and at least two more to go! Happy baking!

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Linda Beeson said...

Yum! I used to make Snickerdoodles all of the time, I need to pull that recipe out again, love that stuff and YUM on the mint ones too.

Diana said...

thanks for the recipes! I'm off to make some fudge myself! That squirrel...how funny! My dogs would've gone CRAZY!!

Patty S said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
your little visitor made the baking adventures even more fun!
:-)