Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookie- Fog... help!

I am fumbling out of Cookie/Sugar- fog. I've been baking and baking and making Christmas Cookies for the last few days. Now I am on a sugar-low.

Every year- I make an assortment for my husbands office. (I have tried in the past to host a cookie exchange to get an assortment.. but my friends and neighbors think chocolate chip cookies count as a "Christmas Cookie" and don't see what the big deal is to exchange cookies and have 12 dozen chocolate chip.... in the end. I am sure-- you understand the point of a cookie exchange.. so I won't try to explain it.) Anyway- I've given up. I just make an assortment.
Here are my basics:

Chocolate Chip Blondie's
Makes about 24
2/3 cup butter
2-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan and set aside. In the microwave, melt the butter. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar. Slowly beat in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until batter is smooth. On low speed, gradually mix in the flour mixture. Batter will be very stiff. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spread the batter in the baking pan, smoothing it into the corners. Bake 25 minutes or until the Blondie's begin pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

(Bar cookies/Brownies are GREAT!) They are a quick way to get an assortment and these two recipes are different enough- I don't feel like half my cookies are "brownies".

Rocky-Road Brownies
Dress up a regular batch of brownies- for a quick, yet fancier brownie.
Make Brownies as usual.
While brownies cool- add marsh mellows and chocolate chips. Let them melt onto brownies.
Cool then cut.
(SUPER EASY- and again.. help with the feel of an assortment.)

Peanut butter Kiss Cookies
1 bag (8oz) Hershey's Kisses
1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt additional granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375F. Remove candy wrappers. In large bowl, beat shortening and peanut butter until well blended. Add the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and all of the brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the additional granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place kiss on top of each cookie, pressing down so cookie cracks around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

This last cookie is a family favorite. It's a staple- and look festive.
Tomorrow I'll add more recipes... I made three other kinds... one was a cranberry flop. I won't pass that one along. ONE was a new recipe with a gingersnap cookie and dipped in white chocolate.. that was a HUGE hit- everyone loved that one. I was surprised. (NO chocolate! and people still loved it!)

I'm off to bed.
Night- night.


Kristina P. said...

I've wondered where you've been! And seriously, just hop a plane next year, and you can come to my cookie exchange. Chocolate chip cookies. Hmph.

I like to test out the cookies I am thinking of for the next year by making them early in the year, and taking them to work. My coworkers love me. For many reasons. :)

SWIRL said...

You are the cookie queen!
I've been in a slump.. need to blog more- obviously!

Martha said...

What are you talking about!! Our cookie exchange last year was awesome. Remember we only had 4 people in it?

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