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Christmas Cookies


Elizabeth_11
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First post ever! Forgive me if this comes out wonky.....I'm a chronic lurker type and eGullet is responsible for luring me out of my shell.

This isn't exactly a recipe, but at my work we stencil sable cookies with designs (the boss owns an ill-tempered dachshund named Benny so we stencil our cookies with a little doggie in chocolate tuile paste ......you can use the cigarette paste from Wendy's Jaconde demo) and pipe on the eye, ear and dog collar detail in white tuile paste with a paper cone. The cookies are large (about 4 inches diameter) and have to be chilled in the fridge prior to stencilling in order not to lose their shape. Stencilling is messy work (keep a cloth handy) but since there is nothing to do after decorating except to bake them they are a little less messy than icing and not cloyingly sweet if you don't enjoy iced cookies. We just use discarded lids from sour cream buckets or coffee cans for the stencils, they can be cut to the right size and are the right thickness for the job. I would post a picture if I was a little less technically challenged.

If anybody does do a stencilled Christmas themed cookie, I'd love to see the results!

Teri

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I've already started my Christmas baking, as I was preparing a basket to be auctioned off. I made lemon bars (essentially my favourite shortbread recipe combined with my favourite lemon curd recipe), Chai Tea spice butter balls (very yummy and wintery), Toblerone shortbread and Thomas Haas Chocolate Sparkle Cookies (the recipe is on e-gullet). The Thomas Haas cookies got a lot of press a few years ago (and sell for a small fortune at his lovely bakery in my city). I made them two Christmases ago and thought that they weren't worth all the hype. I made them again this weekend and everyone in my family agreed that they were amazing. Flourless, rich as a chocolate truffle, soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. Outstanding! I did use the Valhrona 70% this time. I don't remember, but probably didn't use it last time. Anyway, I would definitely recommend them. Looking forward to more Christmas cookie ideas.

Andrea

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Welcome to The eGullet Society For Arts & Letters Teri Everitt! If you need any help posting photos please don't hestitate to ask me or my co-hosts for assistance.

I use stencils with cigarette paste making joconde cake, but hadn't thought about using the stencils with tuile batter on x-mas cookes. Thanks for the great suggestion........it's got some really incredible potential.

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pissaladiere..I would love the chai spiced butter ball recipe..or at least the spices you used..if you are willing to share!  Thanks..

I second that request!!!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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pissaladiere..I would love the chai spiced butter ball recipe..or at least the spices you used..if you are willing to share!  Thanks..

Joni,

Here is the recipe. I use a chai spice blend from a specialty store and grind it in a spice grinder. You could use any chai spice as long as you like the flavour of it.

2 1/2 cups ap flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp ground chai spice blend (chai masala or chai spice without tea leaves)

1 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

icing sugar for rolling

preheat oven to 400F

Combine flour, salt and tea. Cream butter and icing sugar, add vanilla and continue creaming until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix only until combined.

Roll into balls. Bake for 10 minutes, until only slightly golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then roll in icing sugar. When fully cooled, roll in icing sugar again.

Andrea

Edited by pissaladiere (log)
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The Godiva biscotti upthread caught my eye, looking not only interesting, but requiring a purchase of a nicer--or at least more expensive!--liqueur than we usually use. (I think we've got DeKuyper's Creme de Cacao in our pantry, but I could be wrong.)

So, with the recipe calling for a grand total of FOUR TEASPOONS of the Godiva, even I'm having trouble convincing myself that buying it is a necessary indulgence. :hmmm: Help me out, please!

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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Welcome to The eGullet Society For Arts & Letters Teri Everitt! If you need any help posting photos please don't hestitate to ask me or my co-hosts for assistance.

I use stencils with cigarette paste making joconde cake, but hadn't thought about using the stencils with tuile batter on x-mas cookes. Thanks for the great suggestion........it's got some really incredible potential.

Thanks Wendy...I am much more of a lurker than a joiner, so this whole "participation" thing is new.

I am familiar with your excellent demos....I actually started using your jaconde recipe for sponge for mousse cakes at work. The recipe the bakery had when I started working there was heavy, eggy and overly moist. There is another recipe for jaconde that I use for Opera cake since it is firmer than the one you use, but the recipe you posted is much better for patterned sponge.

Unfortunately I don't get to stencil on jaconde cake....we use transfer sheets because of a lack of freezer storage (sigh).

Teri

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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The Godiva biscotti upthread caught my eye, looking not only interesting, but requiring a purchase of a nicer--or at least more expensive!--liqueur than we usually use.  (I think we've got DeKuyper's Creme de Cacao in our pantry, but I could be wrong.)

So, with the recipe calling for a grand total of FOUR TEASPOONS of the Godiva, even I'm having trouble convincing myself that buying it is a necessary indulgence.  :hmmm:  Help me out, please!

I don't know anything about this particular biscotti recipe, but I bought a bottle of Godiva liqueur on a whim and it is amazing. My favourite thing to do is to pour it over homemade ice cream. Delicious. It's also great in hot chocolate, coffees etc.

I'd splurge on the bottle.

Andrea

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I probably won't do my annual Christmas cookie assembly line this year since my 9-year-old was diagnosed with diabetes, my best friend will be in Japan, and I have a heavy Dec. 15th work deadline. (In previous years, I'd bake 4 to 6 cookie types over the course of one weekend for a total of 20+ dozen cookies.)

But I can't not do this one: Double Chocolate Crinkles.

The dough needs to be chilled until firm enough to handle—at least 2 hours. I usually make it one day and bake it the next. The better quality the chocolate, the better the cookies.

Double Chocolate Crinkles

Yield: 6-8 dozen

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

confectioners' sugar

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Melt shortening and chocolate together. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Mix in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Chill dough 2 hours or longer.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Scoop or break off bits of dough and roll into 1" balls, dropping them into a dish of confectioners' sugar as you work. Roll in confectioners' sugar to coat completely. Arrange 1" apart on nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes.

Remove to wire racks to cool. The cookies will be soft, but will firm up somewhat upon cooling.

Variation: Bittersweet Orange Chocolate Crinkles—Substitute orange extract for vanilla. Use bittersweet chocolate chips.

Variation: Mint Chocolate Crinkles—Substitute mint extract for vanilla. Use mint chocolate chips.

Variation: Cherry-Chocolate Crinkles—Press a candied cherry half in the center of each cookie before baking.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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So, with the recipe calling for a grand total of FOUR TEASPOONS of the Godiva, even I'm having trouble convincing myself that buying it is a necessary indulgence.  :hmmm:  Help me out, please!

I'd splurge on a bottle too. One of my favourite "after-dinner cocktails" (who am I kidding--I can drink these anytime!!) is made with the Godiva liqueur, Bailey's, half and half, and Kaluha. Dessert in a glass. You can serve them to your guests during the holidays too! :smile:

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But I can't not do this one: Double Chocolate Crinkles.

Suzy, over in the chewy chocolate cookie thread, jgarner53 posted a "crinkle" cookie similar to yours, except that her recipe calls for canola oil instead of shortening, and it's not a "double" chocolate experience -- just the 4 oz of unsweetened.

GMTA! Nothing like packing in more calories, though. :biggrin:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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well, its officially cooking-making season for me, always start the day after thanksgiving. :biggrin: i usually make about 25 different types of cookies. i usually make all the "basic" favorites:

chocolate chip

peanut butter

neimun marcus

white chocolate oatmeal

pecan tassies

mexican wedding

sugar cut-outs

gingerbread

and then i like to try some new ones, i'm gonna have to pick out some recipes from this post and give them a try!

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We have a hard time limiting ourselves just to cookies at Christmas. On this year's list, primarily for giving, we have:

Biscotti - gingerbread, gum drop, mexican chocolate and hazelnut

Shortbread with a cherry glaze

Rum Balls - made from Valrhona brownie crumbs

Brown Butter Cookies

Coconut Marshmallows

Greek Sesame Seed Candy

Sephardic Fruit Pastes

Mom's Caramels

Peanut Brittle

Caramel Corn Clusters

Spiced Nuts

There will also be jars of jam and chutney from the summer, some homemade dulce de leche, homemade croutons, cinnamon buns, almond paste rings and one or two batches of homemade granola.

I'm tired already.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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How do you sell Christmas cookies? I'm planning to sell trays with assorted cookies to friends and co-workers. How do you decide how many to offer? Sell by the pound or by the dozen? I choose the assortment? They choose the assortment?--and from how many options?

I've got a long list of possible cookies to offer, but I think it would be overwhelming for the customer to choose among 20 options. . . . and I'd prefer to commit to make only about ten varieties. Should I have a core list of classics (5 types?) for every platter, plus the customer's choice of one or two others from a limited list of specials?

In addition and as an alternative to the assortment, what do you think about a tray of bar cookies cut into smaller pieces for grazing?

If you've done this yourself, please share what has worked and what hasn't.

Thanks!

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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I have been trying to make time to make tons of cookies for Xmas for the last few years, but only manage to make a few, sadly! I'm thinking of starting a new New Year's Cookie Tradition and make time that way! :biggrin:

Anyway, here is an old family favorite, it's similar to the Fruitcake Cookie, but easy to make and a very good keeper/shipper.

If you don't want the alcohol, you can just soak the raisins in hot cider or hot water--though the baking burns off the actual alcohol, leaving behind the interesting bourbon flavor. If you prefer, you can use rum instead of bourbon, and Marsala might make for an interesting flavor as well.

Whiskey Lizzies

Place 1 1/2 c seedless raisins in a bowl, add 1/4 c bourbon

Mix and let sit for 1 hour.

Mix and sift:

1 1/2 c flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

Mix:

1/2 c butter

1/2 c light brown sugar

Add 2 eggs, beat.

Beat in the flour mixture.

Stir in the Raisins and...

1/2 lb pecans-in halves or large pieces

1/4 c candied citron

1/2 lb candied cherries

Place spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for about 15 min. Makes about 6 1/2 doz.

We've made them with other nuts like Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, and Walnuts, and other candied fruit than the cherries, too, like pineapple and they were good--like bites of fruitcake.

It's not the destination, but the journey!
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One of the easiest to put together Christmas cookies is the chocolate snowflake. Prep time less than five minutes, two hours in the fridge to firm up, and bake for less than 10 minutes. Penzey's Spices has an excellent recipe on its website.

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One of  the easiest to put together Christmas cookies is the chocolate snowflake. Prep time less than five minutes, two hours in the fridge to firm up, and bake for less than 10 minutes. Penzey's Spices has an excellent recipe on its website.

Oops, what am I doing wrong? I just checked the Penzey's website & can't find the chocolate snowflake recipe.

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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How do you sell Christmas cookies?  I'm planning to sell trays with assorted cookies to friends and co-workers.  How do you decide how many to offer?  Sell by the pound or by the dozen?  I choose the assortment?  They choose the assortment?--and from how many options?

I've got a long list of possible cookies to offer, but I think it would be overwhelming for the customer to choose among 20 options. . . . and I'd prefer to commit to make only about ten varieties.  Should I have a core list of classics (5 types?) for every platter, plus the customer's choice of one or two others from a limited list of specials? 

In addition and as an alternative to the assortment, what do you think about a tray of bar cookies cut into smaller pieces for grazing?

If you've done this yourself, please share what has worked and what hasn't.

Thanks!

I don't know anything about pricing or sizes.

From the consumer end I think it would be good to offer several different choices (not too many to make you crazy).

For example:

Tray A: (small or large) cookie assortment (I wouldn't let then choose, I would give example of what the tray may contain)

Tray B: (small or large) Christmas cookies (maybe like decorated sugar cookie cutouts and gingerbread men/women)

Tray C: (small or large) bar assortment

Packaging around the holidays is key, wrap in colorful cellophane w/ribbons and a bow. Maybe include some peppermints or chocolates on the platter.

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I thought I would rekindle this post as it is the season of cookie baking...and I'm in full gear! I bake up a storm throughout the year and frequently bring in my creations to my oh so eager co-workers. They are enthusiastic about whatever I cart in but yesterday they went absolutely BANANAS over Martha's Chocolate Crackles! And I mean crazy about these cookies. I've never received such a response! It's a recipe from her latest Christmas cookie magazine. A definately hit! I didn't even use premium chocolate for my recipe (just plain old Baker's bittersweet). I would post a picture but they're all gone!

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I'm off to a Christmas potluck with some co-workers this evening and my contribution was a fantastic recipe for sweet/spicy glazed nuts I grabbed off Epicurious. I made them last night and already ate about half. Good thing I doubled the recipe :rolleyes: Anyway, they're not cookies but they do make a good addition to a Christmas baking gift box - make up a big batch and package them in individual cellophane bags.

You can find the recipe here. I did a batch of almonds and a batch of pecans, which I kept in the oven for about 10min more on the advice of one of the reviewers, and I also cut the salt by half.

They are obscenely good. I had to lock them in my desk drawer to keep me from eating them all before the party. :biggrin:

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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^could you post the recipe, please?

CHOCOLATE CRACKLES (makes ~5 dozen)

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups AP flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp coarse salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup icing sugar

1. Melt chocolate in heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Set aside and let cool. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy about 2-3 mins. Mix in eggs and vanilla and then the melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm. About 2 hours.

3. Divide each piece into 16 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and then in icing sugar to coat. Space 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until surfaces crack, about 14 minutes. Cookies can be stored at room temp for about 3 days (mine were fine after 4 days!).

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