Red Velvet Cookies with Peppermint Kisses

Red Velvet Cookies

  I thought I was done with recipe posts for 2013, but last night my brother came over for dinner. He is moving a few states away (sob!) in a couple of weeks, so I suggested we have a cookie making night. Since we both love anything red velvet, we ended up making red velvet cookies with a peppermint kiss on top!  We were inspired by this recipe, but made some changes to suit our needs. I can't wait to add these to my tray of Christmas … [Read more...]

DIY Gifts: Chocolate Bark with Toffee and Coconut

Chocolate Toffee BArk

There's nothing like an edible gift. First, you can tailor it to the recipient's tastes. Second, it doesn't clutter up your house. And finally, if you don't like it, someone else will ALWAYS take it. I had the pleasure last week of helping my husband polish off a box of Caramel Delites Girl Scout cookies (if you're old like me, you remember them as Samoas). That yummy candy crunch paired with rich coconut and sweet chocolate was my … [Read more...]

My 12 Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes!

Christmas Cookie Recipes

I'm kind of sad that we're done making all these yummy cookies.  While I did, in fact, bake every single recipe, I must confess that I only have 5 or 6 batches in the freezer awaiting Christmas morning.  My goal was a double batch of all 12 recipes and then heaping cornucopias of cookies on Christmas day. Are you done laughing yet? I'm not sure why I thought all those cookies would last in my house, freezer or not. I even put some in the … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Cookies, Day 12: Raspberry Pinwheels

Raspberry Pinwheels

The final installment of the Twelve Days of Cookies is Raspberry Pinwheels. Impressive to look at, but fairly easy (though time-consuming) to make, these will make a great addition to your holiday cookie tray. Raspberry Pinwheels (adapted from Real Simple Magazine) 3/4 cup room temperature butter 1 8-oz bar room temperature cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups flour (plus more for rolling) 1 cup seedless raspberry … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Cookies: Day 11: Spritz Cookies

Spritz

Spritz Cookies are one of those family favorites that I only ever make at Christmas-time.  I don't know why either, because they're not prohibitively difficult to make.  A cross between shortbread and a sugar cookie, I love Spritz flavored with a little extra almond extract. Spritz Cookies (Can be doubled, Makes 2 doz) 1 cup butter 2/3 cup sugar 3 beaten egg yolks (save the whites for tomorrow's omelet) 2 1/2 cup flour + 1/8 tsp … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Cookies, Day 10: Grandma’s Favorite Cut-Outs

Gretchen's Sugar Cookies

There is just something about traditional cut-outs that say Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Solstice, for that matter).  I know I rarely make them outside the month of December, so there is something special about eating cut-outs that just make me want to dunk them in my steaming Hot Toddy. The recipe I use -- the only recipe I will use -- for cut-outs is one that has been in my family for generations. It is for a single batch, but trust me, you're … [Read more...]

The 12 Days of Cookies: Day 9: Mint Chocolate Crackles

Mint Chocolate Crackles

I'll be honest -- I'm not a huge Martha fan. There, I said it. Scandalized? I'm enough of a perfectionist on my own without having to try to live up to some crazy WWMD? mentality. In fact, this recipe (of course it would be a baked good!) is the only Martha Stewart recipe I have every made. And of course, it is amazing. Delectable.  Exquisite. And, of course, I have tweaked it. :) Mint Chocolate Crackles  (adapted from Martha Stewart … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies, Day 8: Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Wait, you say! Snickerdoodles aren't a traditional holiday cookie! Well, for many New England families, snickerdoodles are traditional.  And either way, does it matter? They're delicious! The recipe I use was "stolen" from the family I babysat for in college.  The two girls I watched loved making cookies, and this was one of their family's favorite recipes. Snickerdoodles (makes 2-3 dozen) 1 cup butter 1 1/2 cup white sugar 2 tbsp … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies, Day 7: Springerle

Traditional Springerle

If you have heard of or tasted Springerle cookies, you probably have a relative or a friend from the Old World -- specifically, Bavaria, Austria, or Germany. Here's a little history lesson: Springerle comes from an old German word meaning "jumping horse." In pagan times,  germanic tribes would hold a midwinter festival that included animal sacrifice to the gods for prosperity in the coming months. Families that couldn't afford to sacrifice … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies: Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimsterne)

Cinnamon Stars

Growing up, this recipe for Cinnamon Star Cookies  was always the one I looked forward the most at Christmastime.  My grandmother was the only one in the family who made them -- because, as you'll see, they're just a teeny bit complicated to make.   When step 1 is "Make a chocolate cake" you know you're in for the long haul with this recipe. But their uniquely chewy, chocolate-y texture is completely unlike any other cookie I've ever … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies Day 5: Blondies in a Jar

Blondies in a Mason Jar

Today's recipe just may be my favorite so far of all the 12 days of Christmas cookies.  They're versatile, giftable, and best of all, delicious. I love Butterscotch Blondies, but I think they're even more fun when you mix up the dry ingredients and put them in an adorable mason jar as a gift. Just add directions! Blondies in a Jar 2 cups brown sugar 2 cups flour 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips 1/2 cup toasted walnuts 1/2 tsp salt 1. … [Read more...]

The Twelve Days of Cookies: Day 4 Peanut Butter Kisses

Peanut butter kisses

Since it was my husband's birthday last week, I made him his favorite Peanut Butter Kisses, which he actually asked for instead of cake.  Everyone (well, unless they have a peanut allergy) loves these. And they're a good project  for the whole family: I put my kids in charge of opening all of the Hershey's Kisses, which was actually a really good way to keep them occupied while I mixed everything up.Except sometimes some of the kisses … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies: Day 3! Chocolate Orange Truffles

Orange Chocolate Truffles

Ok, I know -- a truffle isn't a cookie. But these truffles are so delicious that you will forgive me the minute you sink your teeth into this chocolate-y, rich little ball of goodness.  And these would are perfect peppered on a cookie tray or on their own in a mason jar. Chocolate Orange Truffles (makes 1 dozen balls) 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used half and half) 1/4 cup butter 8 oz chocolate chips OR chocolate kisses 1 tsp orange … [Read more...]

12 Days of Cookies! Day Two: Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Yesterday we made lemon-coconut bars, so today I thought we'd continue with the bar cookie theme and make chocolate oat bars!  Instead of flour, these cookies use 2 cups of oats, making them quite a bit healthier than the average cookie.  Well, except for the entire stick of butter they also contain.  I suppose you could use margarine or some disgusting "butter-flavored spread," but really, why would you? Chocolate-Oat Bars (makes about 2 … [Read more...]