Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Baking 2009

This weekend included my annual baking day (it actually took 2 days). The recepients this year were mostly Seth's coworkers & it was fun creating some yummy treats for them to enjoy. Each container included:

Sugar Cookies with a Hershey's Kiss
(I used Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix)
White Peppermint Snowballs
Magic Mint Chocolate Bark
Carmel Filled Chocolate Cookies
Cranberry Bars
Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (made with M&M's instead of chips)

Everything was delicious and hopefully everyone will enjoy their little sampling :)

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze (recipe follows)

oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips or white vanilla chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup pecan halves

Combine cracker crumbs and butter; press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; mix well. Gently spread over crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

The graham cracker layer will be very thin and that's good :) Also, we're not huge coconut fans, so I just left it out.

Carmel Filled Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, divided (optional)
1 (13 ounce) package Rolo candies
4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, melted

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Shape a tablespoonful of dough around each candy, forming a ball.

Optional: In a small bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon of sugar and pecans; dip each cookie halfway. Place nut side up 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 7-10 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Cool for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Magic Mint Chocolate Bark

1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels
1/3 cup coarsely chopped oven roasted or toasted almonds

oven to 325° F. Line small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

POUR morsels onto prepared baking sheet. Arrange morsels so they are touching each other in a single layer (roughly an 11 x 9-inch rectangle).

BAKE for 1 to 3 minutes or until morsels are shiny. Remove from oven to wire rack. With tip of butter knife or wooden pick, immediately swirl morsels to create a swirled pattern.

SPRINKLE with nuts. Hold baking sheet 3 inches above counter and drop to settle nuts into melted morsels. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

VARIATION: Substitute broken pretzel pieces or another nut of choice for the almonds.

White Peppermint Snowballs

from Sandra Lee via

1 package (18-ounce) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies, plus more for garnishing
1 cup powdered sugar, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the cookie dough into 8 pieces. In bowl of electric mixer, on medium speed thoroughly combine the dough pieces, peppermint extract, 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies, and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.

Roll the dough into 1-inch diameter balls. Arrange, 2 inches apart, on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake until set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on cooling racks.

Add 1/2 cup of the remaining powdered sugar to a small bowl. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the sugar. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies and serve.

As the cookies cool, they will flatten slightly.

I actually used the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Cookie Mix (prepared as directed) instead of refrigerated dough and they were awesome!


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