Snowball Cookies

You’ll want to have these melt in your mouth, snowy pearls on your holiday cookie tray this Christmas season.  They will disappear quickly, so better make a double batch!

Snowballs

Snowball Cookies

(from 12 Tomatoes)

Makes 48 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioner’s sugar, for rolling cookies

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Gradually add in flour and salt on low speed just until well mixed and dough starts to holds together; stir in pecans. Do not over mix or dough will be tough.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Transfer to cookie sheet and set about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes; cookies should be set but not brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Roll in confectioner’s sugar again. Store in an airtight container.

Snowballs 2

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

Here’s another cute variation on the Peanut Butter Blossom cookie. I adapted the idea from A Spicy Perspective, but used my favorite Betty Crocker blossom cookie recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

You will need:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups Bisquick biscuit mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
24 truffle candies, unwrapped

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

48 small candy eyes (Wilton makes these and Michael’s also has an off-brand in their stores in the fall)

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Place unwrapped truffles in the freezer.
Beat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth.
Add biscuit mix and vanilla; mix well.
Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheets.

Bake for 5 minutes, remove and press a cavity for the truffle in the middle of each cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven, and press in center again if needed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool until almost room temperature. While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate chips in a glass container in the microwave, at 30 second intervals. Stir until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag or squeeze bottle.

Remove truffles from freezer and place into cavity of each cookie. If cookies are too cool and truffle does not stick, you can use a dab of melted chocolate to “glue” the truffle if needed. Pipe 8 spider legs on each cookie, starting at the bottom of the truffle. Pipe a dot of chocolate on the back of each candy eye and “glue” to truffles. Let cool completely until chocolate is set. Store in a covered container.

Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

(Martha Stewart)

When you have that craving for a chocolate chip cookie, but no time for multiple pans and clean up, this is the answer to your chocolate craving prayers. One bowl, one pan, less mess! Serve warm from the skillet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you will be in chocolate chip cookie heaven.

You will need:

A ten inch cast iron skillet

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1/3rd cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. With a wooden spoon, combine butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Add in dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Add in chocolate chips and walnuts. Cookie dough will be thick.

Add dough to your skillet and press in evenly. Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden. Cool for about 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

candy-cane-blossoms-2

This festive, vanilla version of the Candy Cane blossom will be a pretty, pepperminty addition to your cookie tray. Make this little beauty for your next cookie swap.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

adapted from hotbeautyhealth.com

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Candy Cane Kiss candies
  • 1/3 cup sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Unwrap kiss candies and chill in the refrigerator.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts and egg and continue to beat for 2 more minutes.

In a separate bowl, add baking powder, flour, and salt and whisk together. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 1/2 cup intervals and beat until well blended.  I use a 1 1/4 inch cookie scoop to form cookie balls. Roll in sanding sugar, place cookie dough on cookie sheets lined with a silpat or parchment paper.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and press a cold candy cane kiss into center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around edges and kiss will become soft. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before carefully moving to wire rack to completely cool until kiss hardens. Makes about 38 cookies.

candy-cane-blossoms-1

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies

This pressed cookie is a Christmas classic. Beautifully delicate, buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness. Use a variety of disks for an impressive display on your cookie tray.

The following recipe came with my 70’s WearEver Super Shooter cookie gun. How’s that for a blast from the past? That was a fun toy for many years but it is long gone and a traditional cookie press has taken it’s place.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter, gradually adding sugar until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.

Add egg yolks, vanilla and salt and beat well.

Add flour in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition. Dough will be stiff.

Fill cookie press, following manufacturers directions, using desired disk.  Press onto cold, clean cookie sheet. Do not use non stick pans, parchment or a silpat; the dough will not stick.  Space cookies about 2 inches apart.  Decorate with candied fruits, nuts or sprinkles.

Bake 8 minutes or just until edges start to turn a light golden brown. Let cool on pan for several minutes, then carefully remove. Complete cooling on a wire rack.

Makes 6-7 dozen cookies.

Spritz Cookies 2

Candy Cane Blossoms

Candy Cane Blossoms

This variation of the blossom cookie is made super easy with a devil’s food cake mix that’s rolled in powdered sugar for a crinkle effect.

Moist and chewy with that refreshing pop of peppermint, you’ll love this fabulously, festive holiday treat.

Candy Cane Blossoms

adapted from YourCupofCake

You will need:

1 box  Pillsbury devil’s food cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

26 Hershey Candy Cane Kisses

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

To Make:

Unwrap candy cane kisses, place in a single layer on a plate then place in the freezer.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.

Using a hand or stand mixer, combine eggs and oil with cake mix until well blended.

I use a 1 1/4 inch cookie scoop to form cookie balls. Roll balls in confectioners sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for 7 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes then press candy cane kiss into center of cookie.

Move to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an air tight container. Makes 26 cookies.

Candy Cane Blossoms 2

 

Chocolate Mint Blossoms

Chocolate Mint Blossoms

I found these Hershey mint truffle kisses during the Christmas holidays and purchased a few bags with St. Patrick’s day in mind.  The inspiration for the cookie dough comes from the Turtle Thumbprints recipe. I knew it would be perfect for a chocolate blossom cookie, and would work with any flavor Hershey Kiss. The mint truffle, of course, is a great choice for our favorite green holiday.

Chocolate Mint Blossoms

Cookie ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (two sticks) butter brought to room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, separated
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Green sprinkles (optional)
Hershey Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses

Unwrap kisses and refrigerate until ready to add to cookies. You can use regular dark or milk chocolate kisses if you cannot find the mint truffle. The cookie will still have a mint flavor from the peppermint extract.

Sift flour, cocoa and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Using a heavy duty mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time; mix in milk, peppermint and vanilla extracts.  Slowly add flour/cocoa in four parts, mixing just until combined. Chill at least one hour. Dough can be made in advance and chilled for several days. You will need to bring it back to room temperature (4-5 hours) so that it is soft enough to work with.

Prepare baking pans. Line with silpat or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough into small balls, whatever size you prefer. I used a 1 1/4  inch cookie scoop which made 38 cookies. Make a small indentation in the center of the cookie ball.  In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Brush a small amount of the egg white on each cookie. Add sprinkles. (note: egg whites give the cookies a nice shine, so you still want to use even if you do not add the sprinkles.)

If cookie dough has warmed, refrigerate cookies on cookie sheet for 10 minutes to firm up then bake for 12 minutes, just until set. Remove from oven, wait 2 minutes, then gently push mint kisses into the center.  Carefully move to a wire rack and leave undisturbed for a couple of hours until kisses firm up. The kisses will collapse if shaken before cooled.

Chocolate Mint Blossoms 2

 

(Cookie dough recipe adapted from Tastes Better from Scratch, The Kitchen is my Playground, America’s Test Kitchen)

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies 2

You won’t find a more tender, melt in your mouth confection than the Linzer. So delicate and sweet, I especially enjoy making these buttery little beauties for Valentine’s Day.

Linzer Cookies

Ingredients (makes 10-12 cookies)

1 cup Butter

2 cups sifted Cake Flour

1 teaspoon orange extract or orange liqueur

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Raspberry, strawberry or cherry jam

Linzer cookie cutters

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, orange extract and sugar.  Add in 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing well. Remove dough from mixing bowl, shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough at least 2 hours.

Roll out 1/2 of the dough on a floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the bottom cookie using the linzer cutter without the insert. Roll out the remaining  dough and cut the cookie tops with the Linzer cutter with insert.

Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Cool completely. Generously dust tops with powdered sugar. Spread about 2 teaspoons jam on each cookie bottom. Place cookie tops over bottom cookies to create a sandwich cookie. Store in a single layer in covered container.

If you don’t have a linzer cookie cutter you could use a 2 inch fluted cookie cutter and a 3/4 inch cookie cutter to cut out the center of the top cookie.

Linzer 2

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

We can’t let this holiday go by without baking a batch of this Christmas classic. This is such a simple recipe, you’ll have them done in no time.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

(adapted from Betty Crocker recipe)

You will need:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups Bisquick biscuit mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
36 Hershey’s Kisses (Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate)

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Beat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth.
Add biscuit mix and vanilla; mix well.
Roll into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake until lightly browned on bottom, about 6 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.
Remove from oven, press a chocolate kiss into center of each cookie.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe makes 3 dozen cookies.

Turtle Thumbprints

Turtle Thumbprints

This is a fabulously rich, chocolate brownie cookie, rolled in pecans, filled with caramel and drizzled with chocolate.  Now if that doesn’t peak your interest, I don’t know what will.  Chewy, gooey, crunchy and oh my goodness,  so delicious.

Turtle Thumbprints

(adapted from Tastes Better from Scratch, The Kitchen is my Playground, America’s Test Kitchen)

Cookie ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (two sticks) butter

1 and 1/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs, separated

4 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups pecans, finely chopped

Caramel Filling:

1 bag Kraft Caramel bits

1 teaspoon water

Drizzle:

3/4 cup chocolate chips plus 1 teaspoon shortening

Directions:

Sift flour, cocoa and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Using a heavy duty mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time; mix in milk and vanilla.  Slowly add flour/cocoa in four parts, mixing just until combined. Chill at least one hour in an airtight container. Dough can be made in advance and chilled for several days. You will need to bring it back to room temperature so that it is soft enough to work with.

Prepare baking pans. Line with silpat or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough into small balls, whatever size you prefer. I used a cookie scoop 1 and 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch deep, which made 38 cookies.

In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add chopped pecans to a shallow bowl. Roll dough balls in egg whites, then roll in chopped pecans, pressing nuts into dough. Use your thumb or a small spoon (a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon works well) to make a small well in the center of each cookie ball. Refrigerate cookies on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then bake for 12 minutes, just until set. Remove from oven and re-press center. Cookies will appear under cooked, but will firm up when cooled. Do not over bake. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to wire rack to finish cooling.

In microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, microwave caramel bits and water in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. (I separated into 2 batches) Carefully fill center of cookie with caramel. When caramel has set, drizzle with chocolate.

For chocolate drizzle, microwave chips and shortening in thirty second intervals until melted. Stir until smooth. Use a decorating squeeze bottle or fill a plastic sandwich bag and snip the corner, squeezing to drizzle chocolate over cookies.  Let chocolate set before storing in an airtight container.

Turtle cookies 3

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men 2

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without these little guys marching out of my oven. Friends and family look forward to receiving these cookies from me year after year. This recipe produces a chewy cookie. Decorate with Royal Icing or your favorite frosting.

Gingerbread Men

Makes 24  3 1/2 inch gingerbread men.

You will need:

2/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup molasses

1 egg

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Using a heavy duty mixer, combine first 6 ingredients.  Add egg and mix.  Add molasses and continue to mix until creamy.

Add together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Sift.  Slowly add flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until well blended.  Remove from mixing bowl and divide dough into 2 discs. Cover in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. If dough is too sticky, put in freezer for about 20 minutes before rolling it out. It is important to keep the dough cold.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time to 1/8″ thickness or slightly thicker between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper.   Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.

Leave in pan for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool. Decorate when completely cooled.

 

Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies 2

This cookie recipe offers so many delicious variations.  From white chocolate, dried cranberries and pecans to dark chocolate, walnuts and dried cherries or simply made with traditional raisins, these cookies are moist with lots of buttery flavor. A hint of cinnamon puts them over the top.

Oatmeal Cookies

adapted from Joy of Baking

3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins

1 cup white or dark chocolate

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If using nuts, you’ll want to toast them first.  Spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 5-8 minutes. Chop when cooled.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; mix well.

Slowly add flour mixture to butter and sugar and beat until combined. Stir in oats and dried fruit. Add chips and nuts if using.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter per cookie for large cookies and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Bake 12 – 15 minutes just until light golden brown around the edges. Cookies should be soft and a little wet in the middle.

Remove cookies from oven and leave on them on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 20 – 24 large cookies

Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Chocolate Pudding Cookies

These cookies were a big hit with friends and family. The chocolate pudding mix gives this soft and chewy cookie a very subtle, chocolate flavor that marries well with the white chocolate. You’ll want to grab a glass of milk and start dunking.

Chocolate Pudding Cookies – ( Adapted from recipe by Kraft )

1 cup  butter, softened

1 cup  packed brown sugar

1 package (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups  flour

1-1/2 packages (4 oz. each) BAKER’S White Chocolate, chopped or 6 ounces white chocolate chips.

Heat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with a heavy duty mixer; add eggs and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Add in pudding mix and combine until well blended. Gradually add flour and baking soda, mix until well blended. Stir in white chocolate.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, roll dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls and drop 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Bake 10 minutes; cookies will be soft. Cool for a minute on baking sheets, then move to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Lemon Meltaways

Lemon Meltaways 1

You’d better make a double batch because these tender, melt-in-your-mouth morsels will be gone before you can pack them away. Light, lemony and luscious, these little shortbread bites are rolled in powdered sugar while still warm from the oven.

Lemon Meltaways
Southern Living February 2014

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

Using a heavy-duty stand mixer, beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Mix in zest and juice. Slowly add in flour mixture at low speed just until combined. Cover and chill one hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.
Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; be sure cookies are firm then roll in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing.

Lemon Meltaways 2

German’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies

German Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you enjoy an old fashioned German’s chocolate cake, you’ll enjoy these cookies. Sweet German’s chocolate dough filled with toasted coconut, pecans and chocolate chunks, these little gems are a delicious way to satisfy your German’s chocolate cravings.

German’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Recipe from Kraft

Makes about 32 cookies

You will need:

2 packages (4 oz. each) German’s sweet chocolate
1 cup  flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup  (1 stick) butter softened
1/2 cup  firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1 cup sweetened flake coconut, toasted
1 cup  chopped pecan halves, toasted

Pecans and coconut can be toasted in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully so not to burn.

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

Chop 1 of the 4 ounce chocolate bars into small pieces; set aside. Break-up remaining chocolate bar; place in microwaveable bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir until smooth; set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add in melted chocolate. Slowly add flour mixture, beating until well combined. Stir in chopped chocolate, coconut and pecans.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of cookie dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Bake cookies 10-12 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set. Cool on baking sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.