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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Procrastinator's Christmas Cookie Roundup

I know you're all probably done your Christmas cookie baking by now being the Uber Marthas that you all are but if you're anything like me (and I do hope for your sake you're not) you might not even have started baking yet. Maybe you just realized that you have only one stick of butter and no eggs and your flour is older than dirt. Maybe you just ran out to the store today to stock up on baking supplies on the off chance that you'll get to bake this weekend or next (heck, Christmas isn't until Sunday right - plenty of time!). And if that's the case and you need some inspiration, here's our Procrastinator's Christmas Cookie Roundup for this season of "oh go ahead and have another..." Enjoy!

Rudolph Sugar Cookies
(via Randomosityblog.com)


(photo courtesy Randomosityblog)

Ingredients
1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
36 pretzel twists
36 semisweet chocolate mini morsels
18 red cinnamon candies

Preparation
1. Freeze dough 15 minutes.
2. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut dough with a 3-inch round cutter, and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using thumb and forefinger, pinch opposite sides of each slice about two-thirds of the way down to shape face.
3. Break curved sides away from center of each pretzel twist to form antlers. Press bottom of 1 set of antlers on each side at top of each reindeer face.
4. Bake at 350° according to package directions or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; press in 2 chocolate mini morsels for eyes and 1 red cinnamon candy for nose. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool 20 minutes or until completely cool.

Variation
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies: Omit pretzels, chocolate mini morsels, and cinnamon candies. Freeze dough 15 minutes. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface, and cut with a 3-inch Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° according to package directions or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, and cool as directed. Frost tops of cookies with ready-to-spread vanilla frosting, and sprinkle with red and green colored sugars and sprinkles.

phillyfun4kids notes
Made these today with DD and they were so super easy and required no mixing or fresh ingredients whatsoever. Couldn't find red hots at the grocery store, so bought several bags of m&ms and was going to use the red ones for the noses. Ended up using red Easter cookie decorations which worked fine, too. My reindeer heads didn't come out "quite" like the picture above - probably because I couldn't have been bothered with freezing the store bought sugar cookie dough for a whole eternal 15 minutes when DD kept yelling "Can we bake cookies NOWWW?" I'm sure you will follow steps 1 and 2 and yours will come out *much* better.

Gino's Vinegar Cookies
(Adapted from All Recipes)


Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
fine sugar sprinkles

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
Cream butter or margarine and sugar. Add other ingredients. Drop by teaspoon on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Sprinkle some fine sugar sprinkles on top after they come out of the oven. Heaven...

phillyfun4kids notes
My friend started bringing these Vinegar Cookies into the office a long time ago. Her dad Gino made them every year and oh my were they delicious. Crazy thing is... they really do have vinegar in them! And, look how stinking simple this recipe is. Like, even *I* can make these and they come out great.

Jam Thumbprints
(via Cooks.Com)


Ingredients
2/3 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. strawberry jam

Preparation
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla, salt. Beat. Gradually add flour. Shape into 3/4 inch balls. Place 1 inches apart on greased sheet. Moisten thumb with water and gently press in middle; add 1/4 teaspoon jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

phillyfun4kids notesI'm going back old school here. These were the cookies that I remember most making with my mother. I always feel a need to make them every year. Some years I haven't been able to but I'm always a little bummed when we don't get to make them because they just make me think of Christmases of my youth. I sometimes use other types of jam like apricot preserves or even blackberry. They are always yummy (to me at least) no matter what jam filling is used. Tribute, Mom!!

Christmas Tree Brownies
(via Betty Crocker.Com)

(photo courtesy Betty Crocker)

Ingredients
1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) brownie mix (and ingredients called for in your mix of choice)
2 or 3 drops green food color
2/3 cups vanilla frosting (from 16 oz container)
Decorating Decors red and green candy sprinkles or miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits
Miniature candy canes (2 inch), unwrapped

Preparation
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Grease bottom only of foil with cooking spray or shortening. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove brownie from pan by lifting foil; peel foil away. To cut brownie into triangles, cut into 3 rows. Cut each row into 5 triangles, see diagram. Save smaller pieces for snacking. Stir food color into frosting. Spoon frosting into small resealable food-storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with decors. Break off curved end of candy cane; insert straight piece into bottoms of triangles to make tree trunks.

phillyfun4kids notes: Ok so true story... yesterday was my DD's christmas pageant at school. She and all the other 3.5 year olds did their sweet songs and holiday performances of falling snowflakes and prancing reindeer. Then less than 10 minutes later it was over and we all rushed over to the treats tables where all the moms had sent in cookies or brownies. I, myself, had sent in brownies which DD and I were more than happy to make together. They're weren't real fancy but they were chocolate and I fulfilled my duty of sending in a sweet treat. Well, lo and behold - look what another overachiever mom sent it - these crazy ass jazzed up holiday brownies with candy cane trunks and icing and sprinkles. If they weren't so adorable (and yummy) I would have been really pissed at her. ;)

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(Courtesy of Martha Stewart.Com)

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, about 15 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

phillyfun4kids notes
A friend brought these for us during a visit one year and they were gobbled up by everyone. I made them for a holiday cookie swap party that year and everyone gobbled them up there too. Not much more to say besides a perfect cookie for a chocoholic!

Michael's Mom's Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
(courtesy of Michael's Mom!)

(photo courtesy Morgan's Moore)

Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teasoon salt
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla, and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

phillyfun4kids notes
These cookies were brought in to the aforementioned preschool post-performance holiday party by my daughter's classmate's mom. She had talked about her whole wheat chocolcate chip cookies but I didn't think they could be THIS good AND good for you, too!
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