Posts tagged Christmas

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Flourless chocolate cookie with bite pic

Holiday cookie time. Who’s ready to start baking? I wanted to make the richest, darkest cookies I could find. I aimed for a recipe like flourless cake that left all the flavor to the chocolate. This IS it. WARNING: These are dangerously chocolatey. You can roll the dough balls in powdered sugar for a hint of sweetness. For more of a truffle taste, roll the cookie balls in unsweetened cocoa–the darker, the better.

 

Recipe

Servings: 18 cookies

 

Ingredients:Stack of flourless chocolate cookies pic

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/2 cup

3 egg whites, room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. espresso or black onyx powder (optional, but soooo good)

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat baking pans with cooking spray.
  2. Melt 1 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth; allow to cool. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until they start to form soft peaks. Add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat until it becomes thick and creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder, black onyx powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients into the egg white cream at low speed until combined. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg-white mixture.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Batter will be stiff and thick.
  7. Roll batter into balls. Next, roll balls in either powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
  8. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until cool.

Tweaked from a recipe from Culinary Couture.

 

Powdered sugar fudge cookie pic

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Christmas cookies for Santa

We made cookies for Santa over the weekend. Here’s the recipe for Chocolate Nutella Orange Pinwheels that Santa will be munching on tonight.

As far as the mix for the “raindeer” I have no idea what my youngest tucked in the bag of “healthy treats” for Rudolph and company.

"Dear Santa, Please bring this to the raindeer it is healthy for them too."

You'll notice a strongman, Perry the Platypus, a volcano, and a squid among our Santa cookies

Santa is going to love these cookies!

Chocolate Nutella Orange Pinwheel Cookies

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Spiced chocolate gingerbread cookies

Someone snagging the last cookie

Sure gingerbread cookies are tasty, but why not add chocolate chips? Oh yeah. Digging around online, I found a recipe on Rachael Ray that tweaked a Joy the Baker recipe to do just that–marry chocolate and chewy gingerbread cookies.

I put my own spin on these cookies by ditching the traditional dip in sugar and upping the spiciness. Intrigued?

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes + baking

Servings: I think 3 dozen my kids kept eating them before I could count


Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsps. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsps. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne powder (opt.)

1 tsp. dark cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar (dark preferred)

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a baking bowl, except for the brown sugar.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until well combined. Add the molasses, then the egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed butter. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll the cookie batter into 1 – 1 1/2″ balls.
  6. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 9 minutes.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 3 minutes before removing.

*These are better on day 2!

Directions

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10 Minute Holiday Cookie Recipe

A few weeks ago I was able to visit with Jenny Harper, the Chief Cookie Officer for Nestle Kitchens for a story I was working on. Does that sound like a dream job or what? Jenny is the one who comes up with the recipes on the back of Nestle Toll House morsels and other Nestle baking products.

So when I needed to make a quick treat for an event I was going to I thought of Jenny and turned to the back of a bag of Nestle’s Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels for inspiration. The recipe for “Magic Mint Chocolate Bark” was simple and fun to make with my kids. I doubled the recipe to make sure we had extras. (Use a 11 x 9″ brownie pan and half of the morsels to make the standard batch.)

Mint Chocolate Bark

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 18

Ingredients

2 10-ounce bags Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels (I did one bag of the mint morsels and another bag of dark chocolate)

3/4 cup chopped roasted almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×13″ cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Dump the chocolate chips onto the lined pan. Spread out the chips so they fill the pan.
  4. Bake the chips for 4 minutes; they’ll be shiny when you remove them from the oven and won’t appear to be melted.
  5. Use a kitchen knife to swirl the chocolate together (you won’t see any more of the green color).
  6. Top with chopped almonds, or pretzels, potato chip pieces, or dried fruit.
  7. Here’s the fun part: to help the toppings sink into the chocolate hold that pan about 3 inches above the counter (I put a large cutting board down for this) and then drop the pan.
  8. Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour and then break apart the pieces.

Hanging out with Nestle's Chief Cookie Officer

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Holiday sweets round-up

From simple cookies to rich cakes, here are some ideas to make your holidays a little sweeter.

Cookies

Viennese cookie

Viennese Cookies

For all of the flavor of Linzer cookies without the work, try check out this version I came up with for Wandering Educators.

10-minute Fancy Cookies

Make these beautiful cookies in minutes to give away to neighbors–or to eat with your kids.

Chocolate Nutella cookies

Loaded with hazelnut flavor, Nutella is one of my favorite holiday ingredients (okay, I use it all year, but around Christmas I buy it in bulk.)

Pretzel S’mores

Last minute school party that you need to take treats to? These whip up in minutes and kids love ‘em.

Brownies and Bars

Mudgie's Brownie Waffle

Mudgie’s Deli Brownie Waffles

These dessert waffles are great with berry sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

Make a pan of these sweets to serve at your next holiday party.

Mini Cheesecakes

These little treats pack big, creamy flavor!


Cakes

Mmmm...cheesecake

Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

This is a Christmas tradition around our house.

Chocolate Upside Down Cake

You literally throw the ingredients together for this dessert that tastes like German Chocolate cake.

Easy Chocolate Cake

Add mint chips to the batter to make this cake even tastier.

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Holiday Wassail

Christmas past: My kids with Santa

I’d always wondered what the holiday song meant, “Here we come a-wasailling/ among the leaves so green.” That is, until my mother-in-law offered me a mug of wassail years ago. The spicy, tart drink reminded me of a punchier apple cider. And the simmering wassail on the stovetop made the whole house smell like Christmas (no wonder, it has a full tablespoon of allspice in the mix).

When I tried to hunt down a recipe for wassail online I was surprised by all the entries. Wassail has some history! Apparently, wassail dates back to Medieval times. (Possibly even farther. Scratching your head at just when ‘Medieval‘ would be? Try 5th to the 15th century. Still scratching? Me too. Think: Monty Python and the Holy Grail :) . The word ‘wassail’ comes from a combination of ‘was hail’ which is how the Saxons would greet each other–and say good-bye. I guess a modern day equilvalent might be, “Whassup?”

But it seems there’s even more to the story. I’m no historian, but doing a little Google digging led me to entries about how wassailing, which is now also a term for ‘caroling’, may date back to a feudal custom practiced during the winter solstice. There was a tradition for the feudal lords (think: land owners) to offer food and drink in exchange to blessings from the pheasants who lived on their land. The whole idea in “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” of “Now bring me some figgy pudding” makes more sense when you have this in mind (I’d always wondered about that line).

While I find the history of wassail intriguing, what I like is the whole idea of inviting over friends to go Christmas caroling, then coming back for mugs of warm citrusy cider. I think I’ll try that this year, but as far as the figgy pudding, I’ll pass.

Have you ever tried wassail? Did you like it? What about going a-wassailing?

Here’s Mama G’s recipe for Wassail

Recipe

Servings: 10+

Prep time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 quarts water

1 c. sugar

6 sticks cinnamon

10 cloves

1 T. Whole allspice

2, 12 oz. cans frozen orange juice

1, 12 oz can frozen lemonade

1 gallon apple cider

Directions

  1. In a large cooking pot bring the water, sugar, and spices to a boil (the mixture will become syrupy). Boil for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to a simmer for half an hour.
  2. Remove the cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Add the concentrated juices and cider into the spiced syrup.
  4. Heat together. Serve warm.
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