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Christmas Cookies


Elizabeth_11
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Here are the sugar cookies (No-fail Sugar Cookies) and gingerbread (Martha Stewart's Basic Gingerbread) that I made this year. The photos are not the best, but a vast improvement over my previous efforts.

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I tried 3 years ago to do decorated cookies like these, but could not get the logistics down. I need the kitchen to myself and several blocks of time. I baked and decorated in 3 separate sessions and each time I got more efficient. I can't wait for next year.

Oops, I just noticed the incomplete snowflake :shock:. I had more complicated snowflake and snowmen, but they were eaten at a Xmas party. Also, there is a lot of lavender... I'll work on that. As I posted on another thread, these sugar cookies are great. The gingerbread are very good, with a balanced spice flavor, but next time I'm upping by a 1/4 ts most of the spices.

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For this year, my annual Xmas cookie packages included the following:

gallery_48071_4040_375220.jpg

Pierre Hermé's Sablés Florentines

(Florentin "Sablés")

Sweetened shortcrust

Florentin Mixture

Ghirardelli bittersweet coating

This is a favourite biscuit/cookie of mine to make. It always ends up looking and tasting lovely.

gallery_48071_4040_653913.jpg

Chocolate dipped Pistachio Cardamom cookies

Ghirardelli bittersweet coating

Chopped organic pistachios

Pierre Hermé's Sablés à la Noix de Coco

(Coconut "Sablés")

Coconut "Sablés" Mixture

Chocolate dipped Candied ginger cookie

Ghirardelli bittersweet coating

Organic candied ginger

gallery_48071_4040_262612.jpg

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Apricots, Pears and Coffee

(Inspired by Seattle's Macrina Bakery and Café's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Apricots and Espresso)

Bittersweet Callebaut Chocolate Chunks

Organic dried apricots and pears

Macadamia Kona Coffee

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Biscuits Très Gingembre

(Inspired by Marks and Spencer's Ginger Stem Cookie)

Organic candied ginger

Toasted Oats

Fresh ginger root

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White Chocolate, Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Cookies

And the non-cookie:

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Rich Chocolate Cupcake with Caramelized Hazelnuts Cap

Altogether packaged, they looked like this:

gallery_48071_4040_731305.jpg

gallery_48071_4040_1212196.jpg

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Or like this on a tray:

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(has also Cranberry Pistachio Snowballs)

and

gallery_48071_4040_339068.jpg

:smile:

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I made a few of the standard (spritz, gingerbread angels, etc.), but the real hit on the cookie plate this year was Maida Heatter's "Sour Cream Pecan Dreams." 48 of them went in no time flat, while the rest went slowly.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I spoke with all the loved ones this morning for New Years' felicitations, and those that received cookies from me were pleased with the pecan sandies and the taste, if not appearance, of the macaroons.

Abra and Chefpeon, what did I do wrong? My macs were lovely puffed for a day, then fell in the tins to mooshy sweet globs.... :sad::unsure:

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Abra and Chefpeon, what did I do wrong?  My macs were lovely puffed for a day, then fell in the tins to mooshy sweet globs.... :sad:  :unsure:

You're talking about French macarons, right? It's happened to me as well, and I think it's the humid weather where I live. Might that apply to you as well?

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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My last bunch of Christmas cookies included Macrina Bakery's Angel Thumbprints and Mexican Wedding Balls. I also made their Swedish Overnights (but I didn't include them in this picture). The thumbprints were a hit in our household so I'll probably add them to my annual list next year. The final cookie on the plate is Martha's dark chocolate cookies with sour cherries from her 2001 Holiday Baking issue. They turned out to be very tasty but didn't freeze very well at all.

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For this year, my annual Xmas cookie packages included the following:

gallery_48071_4040_375220.jpg

Pierre Hermé's Sablés Florentines

(Florentin "Sablés")

Sweetened shortcrust

Florentin Mixture

Ghirardelli bittersweet coating

This is a favourite biscuit/cookie of mine to make.  It always ends up looking and tasting lovely.

Florentines are my absolute favourite bar cookie! Is this recipe from one of his books, and if so, which one?

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What a stunning display.

I am an eternal fan of Maida Heatter's Sour Cream Pecan Dreams. The best cookie in the world.

I had a dry baking year, not much enthusiasm or time. My best success was finding a recipe (from epicurious) for my partner's mother, who wanted to make gingerbread. She enjoyed it, and the results were extremely tasty. Recipe is called Gingerbread Snowflakes, of all things. Triple the spices and cut the cooking time.

She cut these out as santa-with-pack, and frosted them, and I couldn't stop eating them.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Here is a list of this year's offerings. I send out about 25 boxes to friends and family around the country each year so copied the packing list below.

Lebkuchen: German/Swiss honey and candied fruit cookies cut into a triangular shape and sandwiched with homemade marzipan. It is topped with a lemon glaze and sprinkled with a blend of lemon zest and blanched almonds I ground after caramelizing them with sugar and Amaretto.

Speculass Sinterklaus: Dutch almond spice cookie pressed into a Saint Nicholas speculaasplank (wood cookie mold) carved by Gene Wilson from Illinois. He is self taught and practices a freehand carving technique with a hand-held router using no templates.

Anise Springerle: using antique molds and molds made by Gene Wilson.

Hungarian Poppy Seed Almond Cookies: Toasted, ground almonds and poppy seeds in a spiced, buttery dough.

Kona Hearts: Butter cookies made with ground coffee beans I have received monthly for 17 years from a small plantation in Hawaii. They are dipped in a ganache made with a blend of 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates.

Viennese Christmas Trees: Made with toasted hazelnuts and almonds and filled with raspberry preserves.

Chocolate Caramel Treasures: Thumbprint cookies made with Guittard chocolate, rolled in toasted hazelnuts then baked, filled with caramel and drizzled with semisweet chocolate. I couldn’t find my usual caramels so watch your teeth, these are hard!

Linzer Cookies: Butter cookies with small cutouts on top sandwiched with raspberry and apricot jams.

Chocolate Nut Squares: Made with Guittard chocolate, pecans, walnuts, almonds and honey from Breaux Bridge, La.

Pecan Squares: Made with Greek honey from Cyprus.

Oatmeal Shortbread Fingers: Glazed with Guittard white chocolate and rolled in blanched almonds I ground after caramelizing them with sugar and Amaretto.

Chocolate Nut Crescents: Made with pecans and a blend of 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates.

Italian Almond Paste and Pignolia Cookies: Made with almond paste and honey from a beekeeper we spent time with in Ikaria, Greece.

Cookie Dough Truffles: Butter, three sugars, flour, German Schokinag semisweet chocolate and Madagascar vanilla were combined, formed into balls, coated first in a blend of German Schokinag and French Valrhona white chocolates then Guittard 52% and 63% chocolate then rolled in English toffee bits.

Peppermint Cookie Brittle: Brittle-like German Schokinag chocolate chip cookie pieces drizzled with Schokinag white chocolate and topped with crushed King Leo peppermint candy.

Pecan Sandies: Pecan butter cookies rolled in confectioner’s sugar.

Rum Balls: Butter shortbread ground with walnuts and mixed with spices and rum then rolled in demerara cane sugar.

Caramel Macciato Truffles: A blend of 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates, homemade caramel, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon and espresso were used to make into a ganache filling. After dipping in melted chocolate, each truffle was rolled in a mixture of French Valrhona cocoa and California Scharffen Berger Cocoa blended with ground single estate Venezuelan coffee beans and demerara cane sugar.

Pistachio Truffles: Pistachios are toasted and ground then blended with almond paste and confectioner’s sugar to form a pistachio marzipan. This is rolled into a long, skinny rectangle. A ganache made from a blend of 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates is piped down the center and rolled into a long tube. Pieces are cut, formed into balls, dipped in a slightly different blend of the same melted chocolates and rolled in ground nuts.

Hazelnut Tuffles: Same method as above using roasted, skinned hazelnuts.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles Made with Schokinag milk chocolate and coated in blended 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates and rolled in chopped peanuts.

Chocolate Truffles: I blended 52% and 63% Guittard chocolates to make into a ganache filling along with Madagascar vanilla. A different balance of the same chocolates was used to coat each truffle before rolling in Italian Cacao Di Pernigotti cocoa powder.

Marzipan Pigs: A traditional holiday treat in many countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. We always eat a marzipan pig on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) as well as on Christmas. Many people eat them on New Year’s Day as a symbol of prosperity for the coming year. That is why they are often seen with a coin in their mouth in candy stores in Europe. I find most marzipan too sweet or artificial tasting (cheaper ones substitute ground apricot kernels for almonds and add almond flavoring in an attempt to mimic the flavor). I begin with almond paste and make my own marzipan, thereby controlling taste and texture.

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For this year, my annual Xmas cookie packages included the following:

gallery_48071_4040_375220.jpg

Pierre Hermé's Sablés Florentines

(Florentin "Sablés")

Sweetened shortcrust

Florentin Mixture

Ghirardelli bittersweet coating

This is a favourite biscuit/cookie of mine to make.  It always ends up looking and tasting lovely.

Florentines are my absolute favourite bar cookie! Is this recipe from one of his books, and if so, which one?

prasantrin, I followed the instructions in La Patisserie of Pierre Hermé. :wub:

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Here are a few cookies I made very late night on the 24th for guests on 25th, I was online looking at all of your cookies and it just inspired me to start baking.

1) My Cinimon Roll Cookies

2) Gourmet magazine Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookie

3) ComeUndone signature cookiew/ walnuts,chocolate and ground espresso

4) Ling's lime meltaways.

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Everything could of been been baked for a min or so less but still turned out great. I was using my mom's new christmas present and havent used a convection oven in a while. It was the first time this oven was being used.

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PS. ComeUndone you probably hear this alot but your awsome :wub: lol; your signature cookies were great.

Edited by D90 (log)
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prasantrin, I followed the instructions in La Patisserie of Pierre Hermé.  :wub:

thanks! Now to search for a copy of the book that costs less than $199, and isn't in German! :biggrin: I think I might be able to browse through one in Kyoto, so I'll have the perfect excuse to visit when i get back to Japan.

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prasantrin, I followed the instructions in La Patisserie of Pierre Hermé.   :wub:

thanks! Now to search for a copy of the book that costs less than $199, and isn't in German! :biggrin: I think I might be able to browse through one in Kyoto, so I'll have the perfect excuse to visit when i get back to Japan.

My copy of La Patisserie de Pierre Hermé is the French/English version... a most wonderful birthday gift I received a couple years ago. :smile:

(not to be greedy as I've already this gem, but I'm awaiting the French/English translation of PH10!)

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For this year, my annual Xmas cookie packages included the following:

...

Altogether packaged, they looked like this:

gallery_48071_4040_731305.jpg

gallery_48071_4040_1212196.jpg

gallery_48071_4040_731175.jpg

Renka,

Your packages are beautiful. Can you tell me more about the sizes and materials of packaging you used?

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Renka,

Your packages are beautiful.  Can you tell me more about the sizes and materials of packaging you used?

Marmish,

Thank you for your kind words. The packaging I used:

For the large tray: a two compartment plastic tray, various sized muffin cup liners (including petite bonbon liners ~1 inch diameter to hold i.e. the cranberry pistachio snowballs; jumbo, large and medium sized liners for the drop cookies; 4 1/2' liners for the square shaped cookies), plastic food safe bags that fit over the entire tray, and organza ribbon. In addition to the trays, I also used some 100% clear boxes with lid closures (not shown).

For the cookie bag: muffin cup liners as mentioned above (some with festive patterns), stiff flat bottom plastic food safe bags, and either organza ribbon or twine.

For the mini-coffee snack packs: muffin cup liners to separate some of the cookie layers, mini-gift boxes with windows (the packages I bought also came with inner plastic food safe liners that had twist tie closures) or clear cellophane wrap (food safe) and curling ribbon.

Much of the packaging material was bought at specialty stores that carry packaging material. If you do get similar material make sure the plastic bags, etc. are food safe. :smile: Other than that, everything else is subject to your imagination. I know I'm eyeing some of the nice packaging ComeUndone had used for her cookies this year.

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portioned it out into beautiful boxes with hinged lids and clear windows

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labeled the boxes with our beautifully funky labels designed by Chefpeon, piled them up, and collapsed at their feet.

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Abra...these are so beautiful! Since I was without power just before Christmas (9 days!), I didn't get a chance to do any baking. I'm doing Valentine's Day carepackages instead...and I just placed my first order with Nashville Wraps. Thanks for the tip!

Question: the box size you have here looks perfect. Do you recall what size box you used? There's the 7" or the 5", square or oblong...

Now, cross my fingers, hopefully I can replicate something almost as lovely as your boxes!

Traca

Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

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  • 9 months later...

A little early but I'll bump this up to make it easy to find. Last year my faves out of everything I made were Tejon's coconut cranberry chews from page 8 of this thread. Anybody got anything new and interesting?

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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A little early but I'll bump this up to make it easy to find. Last year my faves out of everything I made were Tejon's coconut cranberry chews from page 8 of this thread. Anybody got anything new and interesting?

I enthusiastically second the coconut cranberry chews. They were a total success. I had wanted to try Michael M's Cuccidati cookies (page 11 of this thread), but ran out of time. They are at the top of my list for this year.

Can you believe that it's the end of October already?

Yikes!

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Does anyone have cookie recipes other than "biscotti" that can last over a week. I would like to bake cookies for friends and family but it takes about a week or so to get packages to my friends and family. I would really appreciate it if anyone had some good recipes to share.

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Does anyone have cookie recipes other than "biscotti" that can last over a week. I would like to bake cookies for friends and family but it takes about a week or so to get packages to my friends and family. I would really appreciate it if anyone had some good recipes to share.

Fattigmands last forever. But so do a lot of cookies, especially when you freeze them. And I think it may be a rare cookie that can't be successfully frozen.

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