Recipe Files: Christmas Goodies

xmas goodies

Top left: Chocolate chip cookies, top right: ginger spice cookies, bottom right: 5-layer bars, bottom middle: fudge, bottom left: choco-peppermint crispies

 

These are a few of the sweets that I make for Christmas this year.   Most are incredibly simple to make and all were enjoyable to eat, ha!  Here are the recipes for these great treats.

Jenn’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

To begin, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 2 and 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 and 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. (rounded) cinnamon
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 3 to 3 and 1/2 c. chocolate chips (i usually use half semisweet, half milk chocolate)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the butter, both sugars, vanilla, and lemon until moistened.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat with a mixer until fluffy (but be careful not to overmix).  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in small batches.  Mix well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  To work the dough, I usually use two spoons to scoop out the dough and shape it into ball form as I’m putting it on the baking sheet.  On a large sheet, I will fit about 9 cookies.  This recipe will give you over 2 dozen.  Bake each cookie sheet of cookies about 15 minutes, until browned.  Let sit on rack to firm for about 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  These cookies stay soft and chewy and always get great reviews!

*adapted from an Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe

Ginger Spice Cookies

To begin, you’ll need:

  • 2 and 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 3/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 t. ginger
  • 3/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 T. orange juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with a nonstick cooking spray.  Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In another bowl, combine the butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.  Beat in the egg and then the molasses and OJ.  Gradually add the sifted ingredients.  Once everything has been mixed together, place a few tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl for rolling.  Spray a little nonstick cooking spray onto your hands so that the dough won’t stick and begin rolling the dough into balls using your hands.  Roll each ball in the sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes then allow to cool for another 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet and transferring to a wire rack.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies which stay moist and soft and are a delicious hit around here during the holidays!

*adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Big-Soft-Ginger-Cookies/Detail.aspx

Fantasy Fudge  — a Kraft Christmas classic

To begin, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 pkg.  (12 squares)  Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed
Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently until smooth.  Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes.  Continue stirring to avoid any burning on the bottom.  The mixture will be ready when a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees.  Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate.  Stir until incorporated.  Next, add in the marshmallow creme  and vanilla and stir.  Spread in either a 9 inch square baking dish (for thicker) or a 9×11 inch baking dish (for thinner).  Let cool and set for several hours.  The thins fudge will set in a shorter amount of time, but the thicker can take over a day, sometimes.  To make this fudge a little more festive, I ended by adding some crushed candy canes on top. 
Paula Deen’s Five Layer Bars
 
To begin, you will need:
  • 1 and 1/2 c. graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips
  • 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. pecans
  • 1 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 small can sweetened condensed milk

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing a 9×11 baking dish.  Mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a bowl, then press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish.  Sprinkle with the butterscotch chips.  Next, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the butterscotch.  Add the pecans and then sprinkle the coconut over everything.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire dish, just drizzle it over everything.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden bubbly.  And enjoy!

Choco-Peppermint Crispies

To begin, you’ll need:

  • 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 and 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 7 ounce dark chocolate bar, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t. vegetable oil
  • 5-6 candy canes, crushed

Start by mixing the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Then beat in the egg.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and salt.  Add this mixture to the butter compound in batches.  Continue mixing until everything is incorporated.  Place the dough on top of a cutting/rolling board.  Gently roll the dough into a 12-inch cylinder.  Wrap it with parchment paper or plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Take out the log, reshape, and wrap again, tightly.  Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet lightly with nonstick spray.  Remove your dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it.  Using a sharp knife, cut the log into rounds about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Place the rounds on the cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Bake for 18 minutes then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. 

In a small bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and vegetable oil.  Microwave, at 20 second intervals, until melted.  Stir until smooth.  Spread a spoonful of chocolate onto each cookie and then sprinkle with the crushed candy canes.  Let the cookies stand for about 2 hours to set.  These turned out pretty tasty, but way crunchier than I had imagined.  I’m not sure if cutting back on the baking time would help that, but feel free to give it a try!

*adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray, Dec/Jan 2009

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chocolate chip cookie dough truffles

These are a great summer dessert, although I had to make some for Christmas for my husband’s little brother! They are light and tasty and simple to make.

To start, you will need:

  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 c. of semi-sweet chocolate chips PLUS 24 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 T. crisco

Begin by creaming the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, milk, and vanilla. mix well. stir in the 1/2 c. of chocolate chips. Roll the dough into 1 to 2 inch balls and place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Once, you have rolled all of the dough, places the balls in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. 

After refrigeration, combine the 24 oz. of chocolate chips and crisco in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Be careful to not let the burner get too hot and remember to stir frequently. If you have a double broiler, then you could use that instead. Once the chips have melted, use a spoon to drop each ball into the chocolate mix. Roll around to coat then place back onto the cookie sheet. After dipping all of the balls, place the cookie sheet back into the refrigerator. The shell should harden in about 30 minutes. Then enjoy!