Recipes for Celeste's Favorite Christmas Cookies and Treats

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Submitted by kim
 
 
 
These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, treats and beverages.  Happy holidays!    




Raspberry Ribbons
 
 
Raspberry Ribbons 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
Yields approximately 36 cookies

  • 2 c butter, room temperature
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c raspberry preserves

Glaze

  • 2 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, until well mixed.


Divide the dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a log that is 10 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and about 3/4 inches deep.


Make a 1/4-inch depression down the center of each log. Be sure not to press down too far or the cookies will break in half when picked up. Err on the side of caution with how deep you make the depression. You can always make it deeper later if need be.


Place the logs onto foiled baking sheets 4 inches apart.


Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven (now is when you can make the depressions slightly deeper if needed).


Fill the depressions with jam. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until lightly browned (13.5 minutes in my oven).


Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack with the aid of a spatula.


Cut each log into 3/4-inch slices.


Make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies.


Allow to cool completely. If you do not allow them to completely cool, they will break in half when picked up.


Enjoy!


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Homemade Eggnog

Egg Nog
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 1/2 c milk (I used fat free)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c heavy cream, softly whipped
  • Liquor (brandy, bourbon, rum, whiskey, etc.)

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until thickened and heated to 140 degrees F on a candy thermometer; about 5 minutes.


Strain the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the nutmeg and vanilla.


Cover and refrigerate, until chilled.


When ready to serve, fold in the whipped cream. Serve in a bowl, sprinkle nutmeg over all and serve with alcohol on the side.


Enjoy!


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Peanut Blossoms... with a Twist 
 
PB Blossoms 
 
 
Ingredients:
Yields 24 cookies
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
 
 
Toppings
  • 1/4 c white sugar, for rolling
  • Hershey's chocolate kisses, unwrapped
  • Optional: Raspberry preserves

 
 Plain Blossoms
 
 
Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and white sugar, until smooth.


Beat in the egg. Stir in the milk and vanilla.


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, until well blended.


Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the 1/4 c sugar to coat. Place each dough ball 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.


Bake for 10 to 12 minutes *(see note), or until the bottom edges just begin to brown (11 minutes exactly in my oven).


If making PB&J version, immediately use a spoon to make a shallow, round indentation and add about 1 teaspoon of raspberry reserves. Then, press a Hershey's Kiss on top. Allow to cool completely.


If not making the PB&J version, immediately press in a Hershey's Kiss in the center. Allow to cool completely.


Enjoy!


*NOTE: For a Hershey's Kiss center that will maintain the shape of the kiss but stay soft, bake for 8 to 9 minutes, remove from the oven and immediately press on the toppings, and then bake for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (this is how I always do them). 




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Lemon and Pecan Biscotti Dipped in White Chocolate

Biscotti 
 
 
Ingredients: 
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 c pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 18 oz white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.


Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.


Beat together the sugar and eggs with a hand mixer, until pale yellow; about 3 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest and gradually mix in the flour, until just blended. Stir in the pecans. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.


Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place them on the prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, form 2 (9x3 inch) logs.


Bake for 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.


Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick diagonal slices. Bake cut side down, until golden; about 25 minutes. Cool completely.


Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between). Dip the ends of the biscotti in the white chocolate and allow to cool on a wire rack over parchment paper.


Store in airtight container.


Enjoy!


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Chocolate Truffles
 
Truffles
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c crushed candy canes
  • 1/2 c crushed pistachios
 
 
 
Directions:

Melt the 10 oz of chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, until melted; set aside.


In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and corn syrup over medium heat, until simmering. Remove from heat and pour over the melted chocolate mixture. Let it stand for 2 minutes. Gently stir with a rubber spatula, until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch glass dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Using a melon baller, scoop the chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate another 30 minutes.


Place the cocoa powder, pistachios and crushed candy canes in their own shallow bowl; set aside.


Remove the chocolate truffles from the refrigerator. Roll and shape them in the palms of your hands to form balls.


Place the 8 oz of chocolate in a double boiler, using a candy thermometer, heat and stir until the temperature reaches 90 to 92 degrees. Do not go above 94 degrees. Remove from heat.


Coat the truffles, one at a time, into the melted chocolate using just one hand. Coat each truffle in either the cocoa powder, pistachios or crushed candy canes using your other hand. Leave each truffle in the coating for at least 10 to 15 seconds before removing. This helps the coating set a little.


Place the coated truffles onto a parchment lined baking sheet.


Allow to set in a cool, dry place for at least 1 hour or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


They are best when served at room temperature.


Enjoy!


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Homemade Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 c milk (I use skim and sometimes will substitute in 1/4 c of cream for the milk)
  • 2 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 oz liquor

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat.


Whisk together occasionally until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes thick and creamy.


Add your favorite toppings (whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.)


Enjoy!



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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Sugar Cookies
 
 
Ingredients: 
  • 1 1/2 c butter
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Royal icing
  • 1 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 drop lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • Food color gels
 
 
 
Directions:

Cream together the butter and sugar.


Add in the eggs and yolks one at a time.  Add the vanilla and almond extract.


In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.


Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, until well combined.


Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness over a floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookies on greased baking sheets.


Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the bottoms begin to lightly brown.


Allow to cool completely.


In the meantime, make the icing. Combine all of the icing ingredients in a bowl and add food coloring, to desired color.


Decorate and enjoy!



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Peanut Butter Fudge Puddles
 
 
Fudge Puddles 

 
Ingredients:

Cookie dough
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I always add in a tad more)
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Filling
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c butterscotch chips
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chopped nuts (optional)
 

 
Directions:

Make the cookie dough. In a large bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.


In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.


Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.


Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Remove from fridge and form into 1 1/2-inch balls.


Grease a muffin pan and add one ball to each muffin cup.


Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.


Remove from oven and make an indentation in the center of each ball, big enough to fill middles with fudge filling. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack.

Puddle Cups 
 
 
Make the filling.  In a microwave-safe bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients, except the chopped nuts.  Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until smooth.


Immediately start filling the cookies cups with the filling.  You will need to stir the mixture every now and again to prevent from hardening.


Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Allow to set an hour or so before serving.


Enjoy!


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Pizzelles 

Pizzelles
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 to 2 c flour (I used exactly 1 3/4 c)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
 
 
Directions:

Beat the shortening until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat well.


Add eggs one at a time and the vanilla.


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add it to the creamed mixture. The dough will be sticky and soft.


Place a rounded teaspoonful of batter in the center of each design on the bottom plate of the pizzelle press. Close the top and squeeze the two handles together to flatten the batter. Cook for approximately 30 seconds. Discard the first two Pizzelles, as they have absorbed the excess cooking oil. After this, the Pizzelles can be cooked for 20 to 30 seconds, or timed to your individual preference.


Remove Pizzelles by lifting out with a fork.


Enjoy!


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Double Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate Crackles 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 1 c confectioners' sugar
 
 
Directions:

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted butter and eggs until combined, then stir in the white chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls, then roll in the confectioners' sugar until well coated. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.


Bake until the cookies are puffed and the tops are cracked, about 10 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.


Enjoy!



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Salted Butter Caramels 
 
 
Butter Caramels 
 
 

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Rounded 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 c light corn syrup
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/4 c salted butter, cubed and room temperature; divided
 
 
 
Directions:

Line a 9-inch loaf pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.


Heat the cream, 2 tbsp of the butter, vanilla and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a small saucepan until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm while you cook the syrup.


In a medium, heavy-duty saucepan (4 qts) fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the corn srup with the sugar, stirring gently to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Once the mixture is melted together and the sugar is evenly moistened, only stir as necessary to keep from getting hot spots. Over stirring the sugar will prevent the crystals from forming as easily.


Cook until the syrup reaches 310 degrees F.


Turn off the heat and stir in the warm cream mixture, until smooth.


Turn the heat back on and cook the mixture to 260 degrees F.


Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter cubes, until melted and smooth.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wait 10 minutes and then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt.


Allow to cool completely.


Once cool, lift out the foil with the caramel, peel away the foil and slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife into squares or rectangles.


Wrap individually with waxed paper.


Enjoy!
 
 
Caramel
 
 
 
Celeste is a wife to her best friend, mother to their beautiful daughter and a medical transcriptionist.  She is a self-taught cook who became a passionate foodie in the process.  Her hope is that others will follow along on her journey at CookingCreation.com, have the desire to start cooking more, gain the confidence to try new things, quit dining out so much and remember how important and special it is to sit around the dinner table together as a family.  Oh yeah... and eat good food, too!  
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