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Christmas Cookies

Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 9:33am
Kathleen Fellinger

Christmas Cookies

 

Pre-heat the oven, load up the Christmas carols on your playlist and get out the cookie cutters.  We are baking for the holidays and here at KinderBuzz, we love our cookies - gingerbread, chocolate chip, sugar, jam-jams, lintzer, biscotti, and so much more.  Baking this time of year is a great way to get the whole family involved and into the Christmas spirit.  Whether it's your family tradition to do Christmas baking each year, or you are hosting a cookie exchange with your playdate group, or you are preparing for your holiday company, nothing evokes that festive feeling more than cookies decorated with red and green.  Here are some of our Christmas favourites you can try baking this season.  Some are classics and very simple to whip up.  Merry Christmas & happy baking.

 

 

 

 

Classic Sugar CookiesCLASSIC SUGAR COOKIES

Prep Time:  40 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  10 minutes/batch + time to cool
Makes:  ~10 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

2-¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 sticks (8oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ - in. pieces
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS: 

1.)   Blend flour, ¾ cup of sugar and salt using either a hand mixer (which will take a little longer) or stand mixer.   Add butter and mix on low until butter is broken into tiny pieces (about 2-3 minutes).  Turn the mixer to medium-low and blend until the mixture forms small clumps about the size of peas - about 2 – 3 minutes.

2.)   In a separate small bowl whisk egg yolks and vanilla.  Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and blend on medium-low until the dough comes together to form several large clumps.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead several times.

3.)   Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a ball then flatten into a disk.  Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2-1/2 hours.

4.)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.)   Lightly flour working area and take out chilled dough.  Roll one portion of dough to an 1/8 of an inch.  Cut with a floured cookie cutter (stars, reindeer, Santa, snowflakes).  Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking/cookie sheet.  Repeat until all the dough is used.

6.)    Sprinkle the cookies on each baking sheet with some of the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar (use as much or as little as you like) just before you pop them in the oven.

7.)   Position cookies in the centre of the oven on rack.  Bake cookies for approximately 10 – 12 mins or until edges are light brown.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack.  When they are cool, decorate and ice them.
 

 

MRS. CLAUS'S YUMMY CHOCOLATE CHIP SHORT BREAD

Prep Time:  45 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  15 minutes/batch + time to cool
Makes:  ~ 4 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter softened
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup of chocolate chips (for a richer flavour, use dark chocoate chips)

DIRECTIONS:

1.)   Preheat over to 325 degrees.  Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and flour into an electric mixing bowl or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer.  Mix until it forms a large dough ball.

2.)   Add chocolate chips and work into the dough.  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Arrange on an ungreased baking/cookie sheet, about 2 in. apart.  Bake in oven for about 10 - 15 mins. or until edges are firm.

3.)   Let stand on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack.  

 

 

HOLIDAY GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Prep Time:  40 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  10 minutes/batch + time to cool
Makes:  2-1/2 – 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup molasses
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Let the kids choose decorations to make unique cookie creations:  icing, m&ms, smarties, gum drops.  Don’t forget you will also need a gingerbread boy/girl shaped cookie cutter.

DIRECTIONS: 

1.)   Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and molasses.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; slowly add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2.)   On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut with a floured 3-1/2 inch gingerbread boy cookie cutter and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking or cookie sheet.  Repeat until you have used all the dough.

3.)   Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 6 – 8 minutes or until edges are firm.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack.  When they are cool, decorate and ice them.

NOTE:   For a unique spin on our classic gingerbread recipe, add 2-1/2 tbsp. of cocoa powder for chocolate gingerbread cookies.

 

FRUITCAKE COOKIES

Prep Time:  60 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  10 minutes/batch + time to cool
Makes:  ~ 5 dozen small cookies

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound dried figs
¼ pound raisins
¼ pound candied cherries, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces chopped walnuts
salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 extra large egg
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

1.)   Using scissors or a small pairing knife, snip off hard stems of the figs and coarsely chop the figs.  In a small bowl, combine figs, raisins, cherries, honey, lemon juice, walnuts and a pinch of salt.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.

2.)   With either a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream butter, cloves, superfine sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth (about 3 minutes).  With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and mix until incorporated.  With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour and ¼ tsp. salt and mix until combined.  Don’t over mix.  Add fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl.

3.)   Divide dough in half.  Place each piece on a 12x18 inch piece of wax/parchment paper.  Roll each half into a log, 1-1/2 to 13/4 inches thick, making an 18-inch long roll.  Refrigerate the dough for up to 5 hours or until it is firm.

4.)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.)   With a small knife, cut the logs into ½ - inch thick slices.  Place the slices ½ inches apart on ungreased baking/cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

 

 



FESTIVE CRANBERRY ORANGE COOKIES

Prep Time:  60 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  ~ 15 minutes/batch + time to cool
Makes:  ~ 3 ½ dozen cookies

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 extra large egg
1 -½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 cup butter softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. concentrated orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
½ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1- ¼ cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ salt

DIRECTIONS:

1.)   Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Add egg, vanilla, orange juice concentrate and zest and beat until smooth.

2.)   In a separate small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt - blend.  Add butter mixture, mixing well until no dry flour remains (you can add flour mixture in smaller amounts and then keep adding if it makes it easier to blend).  Add rolled oats, cranberries and walnuts (optional).  Mix well.

3.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a greased baking/cookie sheet, scoop about 1 Tbsp. for each cookie and place about 2 inches apart.

4.)   Bake in over for 8 - 10 mins. or until golden brown.  Let stand and cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Note:  You can drizzle the cookies with icing or orange glaze to finish off.

 

 

SNOWBALL COOKIE

Prep Time:  60 mins. + time to chill
Bake Time:  No baking required.  Let cookies stand for 5 mins.
Makes:  ~ 12 cookies

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup Rice Krispies cereal
~ 6 - 7 whole natural, unsalted almonds cut in half
½  cup finely shredded coconut
½ cup white candy melting wafers
½ tsp. coconut extract
1 Tbsp. of almond extract (or liqueur)
3 - ½ oz. very good white chocolate bar, chopped up

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

1.)   Melt white chocolate in a mircowave safe bowl on medium heat.  Every microwave is different, use caution (stir every 10 - 15 seconds to make sure the chocolate isn't overheated).  Add almond extract (or liquer) and stir until smooth.  Add cereal, stirring well.  When it is the right smooth consistency, scoop about 2 tsp. and roll into a ball.

2.)   Push half an almond into centre of each ball.  Roll balls again to make sure almond is secure in the middle.  Arrange on a cookie/baking sheet lined with parchment/wax paper.

3.)  Now put candy wafers into a small microwave safe cup.  Microwave, uncovered on medium heat stirring every 10-15 seconds, until melted.  Stir well.

4.)   Put shredded coconut into a small shallow dish and using a fork or a skewer, dip the ball into the chocolate until completely coated, let any excess chocolate drip back into cup, then roll in the shredded coconut until it is completely coated.  Place back onto the lined cookie/baking sheet.  Repeat until all snowballs are done.  Let stand in the fridge for 5 minutes until the chocolate is set. Enjoy!

 

 

Do you have a favourite Christmas cookie recipe that you would like to share?  Email us at 'editorial at kinderbuzz.com' and we will share it.  Happy Baking!

KinderBuzz Publishing