Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bonkers for Cookies

Here is the annual post on what I baked for Christmas.
I went a little nuts this year.  For some reason, I had it in my head that I had to make a whole bunch of cookies.  I wanted to make a few deliveries.  This year, I attempted toffee and it was fabulous.  I also made three different batches of peanut butter fudge.  I am totally hooked on candy-making.
Here is the list:
1. Chocolate Crinkles - my childhood favorite Christmas cookie.  This recipe comes from the original Betty Crocker Cooky Book from the 1960s.  They were indeed as good as I remembered.  The cookie batter is even better.
2. Almond Meltaways - this was a pinterest find.  I give them a meh.  They were kind of boring.
3. Oatmeal Carmelitas - I got this recipe from a college acquaintance.  They are another favorite of mine. (I use walnuts and instead of caramel candies, I use a jar of caramel topping mixed with a couple tablespoons of flour.)
4. Russian Teacakes - Also an old favorite.
5. Gingerbread Cookies - Every Christmas, I like exactly one gingerbread cookie.  So I made a batch that required a ton of flour.  This pretty much describes my unexplained insanity this year.  Be warned that this recipe makes A LOT of dough - it is easily halfed.
6. Peppermint cookies - I modified a recipe I found on pinterest and I LOVED them.  I am posting it here so that I can make it again next year.
7. Peanutbutter Fudge - As mentioned above, I made quite a few batches of this in an attempt to try to perfect the recipe.  I figured it out and it is FABULOUS.  Love it.
8. Toffee - It does require a candy thermometer, but aside from that, it is SO easy.  The one problem I had was that I couldn't get the chocolate to stay on top of the toffee.  I must research this.

And here are the recipes:

Peanut Butter Fudge
(This makes a 9x13 pan of fudge.  This is A LOT of fudge.)
Chocolate Layer:
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
18 large marshmallows
16 oz. chocolate (I used a big ol' block of Trader Joe's dark chocolate)

Peanut Butter Layer:
1/2 cup butter
4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
18 large marshmallows
12 oz. bag of peanut butter chips
4 oz. chocolate chips
A big scoop of your favorite peanut butter
1/2 cup finely crushed salted peanuts

For both layers, follow these directions.
1. In a saucepan, heat butter, sugar and milk to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil on medium for 8 minutes.  (If it starts to brown before 8 minutes, get it off the heat FAST.) Remove from heat, add vanilla, marshmallows, stir fast to melt.  Add chocolate (or chips and peanut butter) and again stir to melt.   
2. Make chocolate layer first, after combined, pour quickly into a greased 9x13 pan.  Touch it as little as possible.
3. Make peanut butter layer second, and pour on top of chocolate layer.  Again, touch as little as possible, but smooth it out.  Press peanuts into the top. 
4. Let cool completely and cut into approximate 1" squares.

Peppermint Cookies
(HERE is the original recipe)
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
red food coloring (optional)
1 bag of Andes' candy cane chips
Crushed candy canes (optional)
Preheat to 350.
Combine butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and again stir until fluffy.  Add food coloring if you feel like it.  Add flour and salt and stir until combined.  Chill dough for 15-30 minutes.  Remove dough from fridge, and roll into a big log with about a 2" diameter.  Slice into about 1/4" thick discs.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.
In a double boiler, melt entire bag of candy cane chips until smooth and fairly runny.  Gently frost cookies with melted chips.  Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.  Let frosting cool and harden.


1 comment:

  1. The peppermint cookies look really good, maybe I will try them next year. Hopefully I have a little more motivation next year than I did this year!