Monday, December 19, 2016

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

"Tis the Season.  Make up boxes of cookies, candies, chocolate dipped pretzels, etc.  Have these on hand the week before Christmas to spread a little joy and love with your friends, family, and neighbors.


Here are a couple very common recipes to start out with.

Our favorite is right off the bag of Nestle's ® Chocolate Chip Bag


Nestle’s® Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen

2 ¼ Cups          Flour
1 tsp                Baking Soda
1 tsp                Salt
1 Cup               Butter softened
¾ Cup              Sugar – White Granulated
¾ Cup              Brown Sugar Packed
1 tsp                Vanilla
2                      Eggs
2 Cups             Nestle's ® Chocolate Chips
1 Cup               Nuts Chopped (Optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine Flour, Baking Soda, and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Then add eggs one at a time beating well after adding each egg.

Gradually beat the Flour mixture into the creamy butter mixture.

Stir/Fold in the Chocolate Chips and Nuts.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.   

For cookie bars:  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease 15x10 Jelly Roll Pan

Spread prepared cookie dough into the prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on rack.  Once cooled, cut and remove from pan.

(A Pizza wheeled rolling cutter works great for cutting the bars)

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Cookie Press Christmas Cookies
Decorate with Icing and Sprinkles

Plain/Vanilla Spritz Cookie Press Cookies
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 375°F. In large mixer bowl combine sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes. Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Chocolate Spritz Cookie Press Cookies
Makes about 60
1-1/4 cups butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 large eggs
3 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars, and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Shape dough into a log and place in your cookie press. Press cookies out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Layered Vanilla and chocolate Cookies

Used press with wide saw toothed die and lay out a long strip.
On top layer a long strip of white/vanilla

Variation use crushed candy, (Crushed candy canes work good) between the layers.
Cut the strips in bite sizes and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.

Decorate with white or colored icing and sprinkles.


To make pinwheels
Roll a Layer of the Vanilla dough out on wax paper.  On a second piece of wax paper roll out a thin lay of the Chocolate dough.  Flip the chocolate layer over on top of the white.  Press dough together slightly.  Peel off the top layer of wax paper.  Roll the double layer of white and chocolate into a log removing the bottom wax paper.  Cover the dough log with wax paper.  Then cover in foil and chill in the fridge for about an hour.  Then remove foil and wax paper, and slice disks off the log about 1/4 inch thick.  Arrange on cookie sheet and bake as directed above.

        
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Chocolate Dipping Sauce 
for Pretzels, Ritz Crackers, Oreo Cookies, etc

For every 8 oz of  Chips (Chocolate, White, etc) add 2 Tbsp. of Crisco Shortening
In the microwave or double boiler heat and stir until silky smooth

Dip your items in the melted chocolate and lay out on wax paper.  You can speed this up by using chilled cookie sheets.

Dipping a second time after the first dip has cooled will make a thicker layer of chocolate.  Either way, before chocolate has hardened you can drizzles with sprinkles or colored sugar.

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