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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Cookies’

Kolacky plated

In my soon-to-be-released holiday romance, The Christmas Calamity, the heroine of the story is of Polish descent.

The Christmas Calamity Cover

Alex the Amazing is a prestidigitator who knows her way around the kitchen, when she needs to cook.

She bakes a batch of cookies from a recipe her grandmother shared with her. The hero of the tale, Arlan, falls for her cookies almost as much as he does her.

Since the cookies were important in the story, I decided I better bake a batch of Kolacky.

Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, Kolacky are especially popular for Christmas.

Oh, my gracious! These are so, so good. I had to practically beat Captain Cavedweller off with a stick so I could have a few.

Give them a whirl. They weren’t hard to make and are incredibly yummy! Here’s a modern version of a delicious recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

 

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Kolacky

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (3oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup strawberry jam (any flavor works)

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat until fluffy.  Add flour then mix well. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Traditionally, the pastry is cut into squares, but you can use a round biscuit cutter or glass if that’s what you have on hand.

Place pastries two-inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Spoon 1/4 tsp. jam onto each cookie. Fold opposite sides together. If you have trouble getting the sides to stick, dampen the edge with a drop of milk or water.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks and sprinkle liberally with confectioner’s sugar. It is nearly impossible to eat just one!

Yield about 2 dozen.

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If you only make one type of cookie for the holidays, make sure it is sugar cookies. These are so, so yummy!

Most everyone has a favorite cookie recipe and this is one of mine. I make this for Christmas every year and have been seen I was about 17.

I loved to bake when I was a kid and received my first Easy Bake oven when I was 5. That was a great Christmas. I remember whipping up something to give to my grandma who had come to stay with us for the holiday.

Experimenting with recipes was something I did, and still do, enjoy. It was this love of experimenting that led me on a quest for  the best sugar cookie when I was in my early teens. It had to be soft and moist, light and flavorful. After many, many trials and errors, I came up with this recipe that never fails to deliver soft, delicious cookies.

In fact, when I made them last night, Captain Cavedweller wandered in as I was pulling the last tray from the oven. Before I knew what had happened, he inhaled eight of  them, some before they were even frosted. For someone who rarely eats sweets, he was really going to town on them. I had to stand guard over the rest just to get them frosted!

Give them a try and let me know what you think. And hopefully you can get most of them frosted and decorated before they disappear!

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies

Cream butter and sugars.

Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice.

Mix together dry ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture.

Chill dough, once mixed, for about an hour.

When you are ready to roll out the dough, make sure your surface is adequately floured. The dough can be a bit sticky.

Cut out your favorite shapes. Mine would be snowflakes!

Pop into the oven and bake until just set – about 6-8 minutes.

Let cookies rest in the pan when you remove from the oven for just a minute before moving to a wire rack to completely cool.

Frost and…

Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of lemon juice

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups flour

Frosting

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix dry ingredients together and gradually add into creamed mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Generously flour a flat surface and your rolling pin. Scoop out half the dough and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. You want to work fairly quickly at this point because the warmer the dough gets the stickier it becomes and you don’t want to add more flour. Cut into shapes and bake about 6-8 minutes or until cookies are just set. You do not want them to get brown at all. Cool in pan for one minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate then watch them disappear.

You can use a royal icing if you are of a mind to stir up a batch or, if you are a lazy slug like me, I whip out a can of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and frost away. I also like to use decorator gels, especially the sparkly variety, along with sprinkles!

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The other day I was wandering around the grocery store trying to find what I can’t at this moment remember, but I came across a beautiful bag of peppermint marshmallows.

I had to have them. No clue what I was going to do with them, but had to have them.

So I mulled over some ideas of what to make with the sweet little puffs of peppermint and came up with the following.

These are super easy and pretty yummy, if I say so myself!

Ingredients

If the cookie dough looks too thick, slice it into thinner pieces. I cut these into thirds.

While the cookies are baking, crush the dickens out of a candy cane or peppermint stick.

A great stress reliever...

When the cookies are almost done but still gooey in the middle, remove from oven and top with marshmallows.

While the marshmallows are turning into molten pools of bliss, warm the frosting in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, until thin and pourable.

Remove from oven when marshmallows start to melt.

Pour over frosting

Then sprinkle with crushed candy. I am hoping you aren't quite as messy as I am in the frosting stage of this production. If you are, line your pan with parchment to cut down on the mess and stress.

Peppermint Pillows

1 bag peppermint marshmallows

1 package chocolate cookie dough

1 can chocolate frosting

Candy cane or peppermint stick

Bake cookies according to package directions.(You could also make your own cookies from scratch. I cut the purchased cookie dough into thirds because I didn’t want the cookie to be too thick).

Just before they are done, while the insides are still gooey, place a marshmallow on top and return for oven until marshmallow starts to melt. While the marshmallows are turning molten, put frosting into a microwave safe pitcher and nuke for about 15 seconds or until thin. Do not over cook or it will taste scorched and believe me – that is a horridly nasty flavor.

It will only take a minute or two for the marshmallows to be ready to take out of the oven. When they are, pour on the frosting and sprinkle with crushed candy cane or peppermint. Let cool then roll your eyes in bliss as you take a bite. Enjoy!

She Who Loves Peppermint

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I was standing in my kitchen the other day contemplating what kind of cookie I was willing to invest the time and effort in making six dozen. Got to tell you up front, it was not going to be decorated sugar cookies!

Invited to a cookie exchange party (that I can hardly wait to attend!),  I needed to come up with six dozen cookies that weren’t going to be a time-consuming venture.

Finally, I remembered my super easy recipe for cake mix cookies. I love this recipe because you can use any flavor cake mix and any add-ins that tickle your fancy.

Since I have a thing for chocolate, I decided to use a chocolate fudge mix. A natural flavor to blend (at least for me) is peppermint. These are so fast and easy, you’ll have time to sip a cup of hot chocolate and sing a few “Fa La La La La’s” before you move on to your next frenzied activity.

Ingredients

Melt butter, then blend in eggs.

After you add the cake mix, the dough will be thick.

Drop onto a baking sheet.

Top with Kisses (the candy kind!)

Dust with sugar once cookies are cool, if you can wait that long to try one!

Chocolate Fudge and Mint Cookies

1 Chocolate Fudge cake mix (18.25 ounce)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 bag Hershey’s peppermint kisses

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together eggs and butter. Add vanilla then mix in cake mix. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto a baking sheet. Place an unwrapped kiss in the center of each cookie.

Bake about 6-8 minutes until cookies are just set but not cooked through. Remove from oven and leave on pan until cool. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

As I mentioned, you can use any cake mix and add-in combination. You could do spice cake with nuts, yellow cake with candied cherries, vanilla with a dollop of jam, chocolate with sweetened cream cheese and mini chips. You get the idea.

This recipe will make 72 mini cookies or about 30 regular-sized cookies.

Happy Holiday Entertaining!

The Chocoholic

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