Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Baking: Two New Recipes

“We don’t sell holiday trees; we sell Christmas trees. We don’t sell holiday gifts; we sell Christmas gifts.” She was on a roll and her voice tightened. “We don’t eat holiday dinner; we eat Christmas dinner. People don’t put out manger scenes because the holiday child was born. It’s not just a holiday that brings people into this store every year at this time. It’s Christmas. No one looks at their calendar in December and says, ‘Oh, holiday is coming up on the twenty-fifth. They say Christmas. So ‘Merry Christmas’ is what I will say."

-The Christmas Secret, by Donna VanLiere


And we don't do holiday baking...we do Christmas baking. My little pumpkins brothers are home from college for their break. Earlier this week, they visited for some classic Christmas cookie-making (and taste-testing?).

I tried these new recipes from a Taste of Home magazine and LOVED them. The 'Quick Cookie Mix' is the main recipe-- it makes 4 different cookie recipes. *Note* I cut it in half and only made two of the four recipes, which are posted below.

If you are looking for an impressive yet easy recipe-- these are it!! Perfect for gifts if you don't eat them first. I especially liked the Butter Almond cookies--it doesn't get much better than cream cheese mixed into the dough...have I convinced you yet?

Quick Cookie Mix**

1 ½ cups butter
3 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
6 cups flour

Beat the first three ingredients together; gradually add flour just until crumbly. Store in fridge in airtight container for up to one month. Yield: 8 cups. Use to make the following recipes.
***Note: If you are only making the two recipes below, you will want to cut all above ingredient amounts in half...however, the recipes below are yummy enough, you just might want to double it!

Toffee Triangles

2 cups Quick Cookie Mix
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup mixed nuts, chopped

1. In a large bowl, beat the cookie mix, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until coarse crumbs. Add egg and mix well.
2. Spread in greased 9 x 13. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand for 5 minutes. Spread chocolate over bars. Sprinkle with nuts. Let stand until chocolate set. Cut into squares, then cut each in half to form triangles. Yield: 5 dozen.

Butter Almond Cookies

6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 TBS butter, softened, divided
1 egg, separated
2 cups Quick Cookie Mix
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract
¼ cup sliced almonds

1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 5 TBS butter, and egg yolk until smooth. Add cookie mix and mix well.
2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 15-20 times or until smooth. Roll into a 12 inch square. Spread remaining butter to within ½ inch of edges.
3. Combine sugar and extract. Sprinkle over half of dough. Fold dough over sugar mixture and pinch edges to seal. Lightly beat egg white; brush over top of dough. Sprinkle with almonds.
4. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
5. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut widthwise with serrated knife into ½ in slices; cut eat slice in half lengthwise. Yield: 4 dozen

No comments:

Post a Comment