Monday, December 12, 2016

Cookie Elves to the Rescue

DEBORAH CROMBIE: More on cookies! 

Yesterday's post with our Lucy Burdette's adorable Key West cookies got me all fired up!

I may be a fairly decent scratch cook, but I have never been a baker. So when it comes time for Christmas cookies, I am seriously deficient. In fact, I have to confess that I have NEVER made a batch of Christmas cookies! My mom didn't bake Christmas cookies. And while my grandmother's Snickerdoodles were a family fave, she never made anything special for Christmas.

So when a friend told me last week that she'd already made her four different kinds of Christmas cookies (the same friend who has all her presents bought AND wrapped by Thanksgiving) I thought that maybe, this Christmas seeming slightly less frantic than usual, I should give cookies a try. It would be nice to have little gifts for friends and neighbors. (And even to eat a few!)

But, help! Where to start? The Internet is awash with cookie recipes. Which ones are good? Which ones are easy for a not very proficient baker?

So, REDs, do you make Christmas cookies? If so, what are your tried and true recipes? Please share!

LUCY BURDETTE: Well Debs, you have mine already from yesterday's post--great minds think alike! 

I also really love a recipe from Wendy Watson several years ago on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. These are vanilla shortbread cookies, but you make them in rolls, so you can take them out of the fridge and bake as needed. 

HALLIE EPHRON: My favorites are WALNUT BUTTER CRESCENT. Super easy, from a calendar someone gave me decades ago.

1 cup butter
5 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 T water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely ground walnuts (a few turns in the food processor)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add other ingredients.
Form cookies in crescent shape, about the size of your thumb.
Bake on cookie sheet @350 until slightly browned (10-15 minutes)
ROLL in powdered sugar so they're thoroughly coated.

I also love to make gingerbread cookies. The Betty Crocker mix is terrific. Cut them into Christmas shapes. Then make a lemon juice and powdered sugar icing (those are the ingredients, lemon juice and powdered sugar; mix together into a sludge; it hardens on the cookie), put the icing into a baggie with a corner cut out, and pipe it onto the cookies.

RHYS BOWEN: I've never been a successful cookie baker, partly because baking cookies was not part of the British tradition for Christmas. Our holiday treats were the big Christmas cake, decorated with royal icing, and then little mince pies. I still bake many, many mince pies--they seem to disappear like magic when the family is here, and sausage rolls to eat warm while we open presents on Christmas morning. 

It's a super easy recipe. At its basic you make your favorite pastry dough, cut in circles and place in muffin pan, open a jar of mincemeat and spoon into pastry shells, add a second circle as the lid, crimp shut, brush with egg, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 425 degrees.

If you want to make the deluxe version the dough should be made with half a pound of butter, about three quarters of a pound of flour, and a quarter cup of sugar. Work lightly to rub in the butter or use food processor so that the dough does not become heavy. Chill. Roll out thinly.
I recommend Crosse & Blackwell's mincemeat with brandy. To this you can add more brandy (???) some finely chopped apple, dried apricot.
Bake as above. Always serve warm. Mmmmm.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: First, I must say I am completely delighted and heart-warmed (?) that you think I have a cookie recipe. A cookie recipe!  We used to make holiday sugar cookies with massive amounts of colored sugar on the top. And my sister and I would try to make sunny shapes, and mom would get mad. And what were those little silver balls? I was always afraid they would break my teeth. ANYWAY. I was in despair when you told me you were asking for cooking recipes, and feared I would have to call my chef sister Nancy and cadge one from her.

But then, a Christmas miracle! I gave a talk at the Sandwich Public Library last week, and one attendee brought cookies. And they were completely fabulous. And easy as..well, pie is hard. Listen to this.

Grid pretzels (one per cookie)
M & M's (one per cookie)
Hershey's kisses (one per cookie)

Put kisses in microwave just enough to soften. Put one on each pretzel grid. Smoosh one M into each kiss.

Done. Here's a photo. 

Brilliant! And SO very delicious. Thank you, Sandwich Santa!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I don't bake cookies for Christmas - it's one of those things I took off my list many years ago and have never regretted leaving behind. Which is not to say I don't love EATING Christmas cookies...  I do, however, bake desserts that come in pans, and this gingerbread is the best one I've ever made. It's from RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND by Linda Greenlaw and Martha Greenlaw, and it makes a perfect hostess gift. The cookbook would make a wonderful gift, too.

3 cups flour
2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t ginger (ground)
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t each baking soda, baking powder and salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c dark molasses
2 large eggs
1 c hot water
1/2 c chopped crystallized ginger (this is where the magic happens!)

Pre-heat over to 350 and butter and flour a 9x13 pan. You can halve the recipe and use an 8x8 pan as well.)

Whisk together the flour, spices and baking soda/powder/salt

In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. The book says use an electric mixer, but I do it by hand. Add molasses, eggs and hot water, beat until blended.

Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet, then add chopped ginger.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the traditional toothpick in the center comes out clean.

You can serve it with whipped cream or apple sauce, but this gingerbread doesn't really need any accessorizing. So good!

DEBS: Okay, cookies it is! But, first, I have to make Rhys's non-cookies:-) I ADORE mince pie, especially made with Cross & Blackwell mincemeat, but no one else in the family likes it and I end up with half a pie left over. I'll bet you could make Rhys's little tarts and put some in the freezer...

Julia, your gingerbread sounds amazing, too. I have a good recipe but may have to try yours instead.

READERS, if you'll share your favorite recipes, we'll have a cookie library right here on the blog!

PS: Julia, is that Linda Greenlaw, the deep sea fishing boat captain? I've met her--she's fabulous!



  1. Oooh, so many delicious-sounding recipes --- I don’t know which one I should try first! Thanks for sharing them . . . .

    I enjoy making Christmas cookies . . . I will wait to make some, though, until the grandbabies get here because I really love making cookies with them!

    Debs, I posted the mincemeat cookie recipe yesterday . . . here’s one that’s an adaptation of the traditional Peanut Blossom cookie:

    Dark Chocolate Blossom Bars

    1/2 cup butter
    1/3 cup peanut butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 3/4 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels [omit, if desired, for traditional blossom cookies]
    4 teaspoons demerara sugar
    16 dark chocolate kisses, unwrapped [for traditional cookies, you will need a few more kisses]
    if available, dark chocolate stars may be substituted for the kisses

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars.
    Add egg and vanilla.
    Blend in flour, soda; stir in dark chocolate morsels.
    Press dough into bottom of greased nine-inch square pan [or roll into 1" balls for traditional blossom cookies].
    Sprinkle 2 teaspoons demerara of sugar evenly over bar mixture [or roll each ball in demerara sugar]

    Bake bars for 18-20 minutes [traditional cookies on cookie sheet bake for 8-10 minutes]
    Remove from oven.
    Press 16 dark chocolate kisses into bar cookies 4 rows by 4 rows [or press one dark chocolate kiss into each cookie]
    Return to oven and bake 2-3 more minutes.
    Remove from oven; sprinkle bar cookies with remaining 2 teaspoons demerara sugar; cool in pan; cut into 16 bars
    [or cool cookies on rack].

  2. I make plain old fashioned sugar cookies, the kind you roll out, cut into my favorite shapes and sprinkle with sugar. Sometimes I color the sugar. My favorite cookie cutter, the shape of a mitten, gets the most use along with a large round cutter Steve made when he was a little boy. I won't be doing very many this year, because the family is everywhere from Denmark to Japan. It will be nice though, especially with our favorite music. xo

  3. This is not a good post to read before breakfast! Oh I am craving mincemeat tarts. Hank, the sweet/salt combo in your cookies sounds wonderful. Definitely doable in a flash to solve a cookie craving--provided the kisses last long enough - or the M&Ms.
    Sweet holidays to all.

  4. We usually make sugar cookies very similar to Lucy's. (Of course, ours don't have the cute Key West-themed decorations!) I also often make peanut butter blossom cookies but have never heard of the bars. Must try them. Thanks, Joan!

    Rhys, you have me thinking about sausage rolls now. My ex is from Ireland and I haven't had those for ages. I'd gladly bypass a cookie for a sausage roll!

    And Hank, I am blown away bu the fact that you were practically in my neighborhood at Sandwich Public Library, and I didn't know about it. I really need to pay more attention to the Reds' schedules!

  5. Oh MaryC-- that is too bad! We missed you, and you could've had one of those fabulous cookie things!
    Yes, Kait, the sweet- salt combination is fantastic, it was completely delicious. And how easy are they? So fun.

  6. I've had 2 packages of crystallized ginger sitting in my cabinet for ages, and I LOVE ginger cookies, so guess what I"m making today.


  7. Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

    Holiday Cookies 2010 Dec 8, 2010

    a killer recipe!

    If you like a chewier cookie, underbake them a little. If you like crisp, then bake away.

    The original recipe called for only unsweetened Nutella or hazelnut paste, but we tested it with the widely available, sweetened kind and the cookies tasted great.

    Make Ahead: The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

    Servings: 38 - 42 cookies


    •2 1/3 cups flour (level off in a measuring cup)

    •1 teaspoon baking soda

    •1 teaspoon salt

    •8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    •1 cup granulated sugar

    •1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

    •1/4 cup unsweetened or regular Nutella (may substitute hazelnut paste; see headnote)

    •2 large eggs, at room temperature

    •Scrapings from 1 split vanilla bean (may substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

    •3 cups (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (preferably 60 to 66 percent cacao content), coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces or larger

    •1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (optional)


    Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line 2 or 3 rimmed baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

    Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper.

    Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low, then add the Nutella and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add the vanilla bean scrapings, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.

    Reduce the speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until the dough comes together.

    Stir in the chocolate pieces and, if desired, the nuts.

    Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets, flattening them slightly by hand as needed. (At this point the mounds of dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to a month.)

    Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned (or a few minutes longer for crisp cookies). Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat to use all of the dough.

  8. We make sugar cookies, AKA cut out cookies, mitten, stars, Christmas trees et al. This is a big tradition. I like Martha Stewarts's recipe, which I won't post. Google it.

    Then there is the date nut bread, Julie's mother's recipe, which I make enough of to give everyone in her family a loaf. It's an okay recipe, could do better, but hey, they want it like Mom Used To Make.

    My personal addition to the Rochester menu is little mince pies, just like Rhys makes. I've been doing these since the sixties when my precious English sister, Pauline, first served them to us. People, even if you have a mince meat prejudice, I promise these will fly off the plate. They are amazing.

    And then there are the sausage rolls. These are another Pauline tradition. Nothing could be easier, and people come from miles around when they smell them baking

    1 pound sausage meat. I use mild sage but whatever your taste is will do
    1 package frozen puff pastry

    Thaw pastry and divide into six strips along the perforations in the sheets
    Divide the sausage meat into six portion
    Roll sausage portion each into a long snake the length of the pastry strip.
    Brush pastry edges with water
    Fold pastry over sausage, seal and crimp with a fork along the long side.
    Slice each roll into bite size pieces, then slash each little piece a couple of times
    You could brush with egg wash at some point, but I don't bother.
    Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
    Put slices sitting up (not cut side down) about an inch apart
    Back at 400 F for 15 minutes, until golden brown

    Serve hot, warm or cold with some good mustard. They also freeze well to be reheated in the oven.

    You can use any sausage you like, Italian, whatever. But unless you use sage, they won't taste like mine. Or Pauline's.

    Happy Christmas

  9. Hank, I make a variation on that snack you had at your event.

    The grid pretzel
    One Rolo candy (chocolate and caramel)
    One Walnut

    Just put the Rolo on the pretzel, heat until it is slightly melted and then press the walnut onto the top so the caramel holds the nut in place. Chill until firm again. Delicious.

    I won a baking contest once during Diane Mott Davidson's book tour. We had to bring the treat to the Mysterious Galaxy booksore in San Diego - I was living there at the time - and Diane and the bookstore employee's judged. I made a chocolate and Raspberry crumb bar - which I renamed "A Dark and Seedy Bar" and won. I'm at the office with no access to the recipe at the moment, however.

  10. I also make fruitcake, most years, from a recipe on the back of a Pillsbury QuickBread box from 1974. You say you don't care for fruitcake? Have you ever actually had it? Friends and family members always ask if I have any to spare. If you've ever had the Claxton Bakery version (from Texas), my recipe tastes very similar. However, it's gotten harder and harder to find the right flavor of quickbread any more. This year, I found an acceptable kind, just have not gotten around to making it yet. Recipe on request, but I'm not holding my breath. :-)

    The cookies also known as Blue Woozies by my sister-in-law's family are also made from an old recipe, from the mid-60's. My older female cousins used to whip up a batch after school, and they'd let me lick the spoon. Chocoholic even then, I was. They're really easy, and if you like peanut butter, deadly to have lying around. Totally addictive.

    Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

    1 stick butter or margarine ( ½ cup)
    2 C sugar
    ½ C milk
    4 T cocoa
    ½ C peanut butter
    3 C quick oats
    1 tsp vanilla

    Mix together butter, cocoa, sugar, and milk in saucepan. Bring to a full boil, and then continue to boil for one minute. Do not undercook. Remove from heat.

    Add vanilla, peanut butter, and oats; mix well. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper. Let sit until hard. Remove from paper with spatula.

    Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

  11. Here is my gingersnap recipe - pretty easy if you are not usually a baker or cookie baker.

    1 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup shortening
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 egg
    2 1/4 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Granulated sugar

    1. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    2. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets with shortening or cooking spray, or line with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

    3. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Dip tops into granulated sugar. On cookie sheets, place balls, sugared sides up, about 3 inches apart. If you find the dough getting warm and sticky, put it back in the fridge for a bit.

    4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

    Enjoyable with eggnog, tea, hot chocolate or the adult Christmas beverage of your choice.

  12. Oh, I should say it makes about 4 dozen cookies.

  13. I typically make Spritz cookies. I've been making them since I was in high school. When making for Christmas, I add green food coloring after mixing the butter, sugar and egg. I use the tree design and then sprinkle nonpareils on the trees before baking.

    From Better Homes and Gardens:

    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    Colored sugar (optional)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and, if desired, almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
    Force unchilled dough through a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle cookies with colored sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, drizzle cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing.
    Makes about 84 cookies.

  14. Oh, you all are fabulous!

    Should I say that I have no idea what a Peanut butter blossom is?

    Mary, can you use butter instead of shortening in the gingersnaps?

    And, Ann and Rhys, I think we will make sausage rolls on Christmas morning. How heavenly!

  15. Oh, and what's the difference between a Spritz cookie and a sugar cookie?

    1. Debs, isn't a spritz cookie one you make by forcing the dough through a tube into shapes that are created with different tips much like the ones you might use for decorating a cake? I think regular sugar cookies have a thicker dough you roll out and cut?

  16. So many great recipes to choose from, which is good, since I don't have a go-to holiday cookie recipe. I do love this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog; they are easy to make and delicious. Also, the ingredients are things I generally have on hand, which is great for when a cookie craving strikes!

    Salted Peanut Butter Cookies from
    Barely adapted, just a bunch of extra notes, from the Ovenly cookbook
    Yield 26 to 28 cookies with a 1 2/3 tablespoon or #40 scoop. (I halved the recipe and regret it so much.)

    1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter (see note at end)
    Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated; you shouldn’t be able to see any ribbons of peanut butter. Ovenly says you know the dough is ready when it has the consistency of Play-Doh, but I can tell you as the mom of a Play-Doh fanatic that mine was thinner, softer.

    If you’d like to get those pretty striations across the top of the cookies, chill the dough by freezing it in its bowl for 15 minutes, stirring it once (so the edges don’t freeze first), before scooping it. If you’re not obsessed with these markings, you can scoop it right away. Scoop or spoon the dough into balls. Place on prepared pan.

    Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake smaller cookies for 14 to 15 minutes and larger for 18 to 20. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges. They’ll need to set on the sheet for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling sheet. Trust me, you should let these cool completely before eating so the different textures (crisp outside, soft inside) can set up.

  17. Deb, I don't know. Never tried it. Butter may spread more resulting in a thinner cookie. Shortening also doesn't lend flavor, which butter does, and helps with the shaping.

    I would also not use lard, because lard can affect flavor.

    You can try butter I suppose. Look up online how it translates.

  18. Spritz cookies are made with a cookie press. The dough is squeezed through a cylinder & through something that makes a pattern.
    Search Google for cookie press.

  19. I started making cut out sugar cookies with my girls about 28 years ago. They had a blast decorating them. Now we make them with their girls and the whole family gets in on it. A few years ago I tried this recipe for Kringle's Ginger Cookies and it is wonderful. They roll and cut out easier than the sugar cookies. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1 stick butter, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup molasses, 2 2/3 cups flour, 2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp baking soda., 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp each nutmeg and allspice, 1/4tsp salt. Cream sugar and butter, add egg and molasses. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients, add to butter mixture. Mix by hand. Roll out on well floured surface to less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on sprayed cookie sheets. Bake at 350 10 to 14 minutes.

  20. One of our neighbors had a cookie exchange this year for our little neighborhood. I'd never been to one like this before. In fact I wasn't sure what to expect but what fun! Has anyone else had one of these. It was completely new to me!

  21. I love this post for a Monday morning! Puts me in a Christmas mood ... I think I may be feeling a cheery seasonal impulse to bake some cookies now, or at least the pan gingerbread. :-)

    My mom wasn't a huge baker, as I recall, but I remember that my grandpa was--he was fantastic. Every year he'd send us a plum pudding (from Michigan to California), made the old-fashioned labor-intensive and time-consuming way. My mom would make the sauce--what's it called, with an alcohol in it? Anyhow, delicious. I do miss that.

    Anyone remember "grasshoppers"? A brownie with tons of dyed-green mint frosting on top? Those were a Christmas favorite.

  22. Debs, it is the same Linda Greenlaw, the fishing boat captain and author.Martha is her mother. I have no idea if any of the recipes in their cookbook are actual family treasures, but it's a terrific assortment of recipes for shellfish, fish, traditional New England dishes like baked beans and wonderful old-timey desserts. Oh, and a whole chapter on cooking with blueberries and cranberries!

    Looking through it made me hungry - I'm cooking corn chowder tonight.

  23. INGRID! Yum.

    Lisa, the sauce is..ah, ah, --was it white? Hard sauce!

  24. Kristopher--brilliant. Who'd a thought?

    And the new name is so funny...of course you won!

  25. We'd roll out sugar cookie dough, use the cookie cutters, and decorate when I was a kid. I did that with my son until the year we ODed on dough and I couldn't stand the thought of decorating another cookie until the end of time. So I make other things now. The recipe I posted yesterday is super easy and really yummy. Now I have to make a batch to give to my son's friend as we met her yesterday for the first time and she gave us some See's chocolates. I think I need to make some gingerbread for myself!

  26. Oh, my! So many delicious sounding recipes. And, I didn't have time to respond to the post yesterday with Lucy's adorable cookies. The chickens are my favorite, Lucy. I'm not a cookie baker anymore, so I don't do Christmas cookies, but some of these recipes might make me change my mind. I did use to do a date nut pinwheel cookie at Christmas that was delicious, but I haven't made those in years. But, I've never done the cookies cut into Christmas shapes, and those look like so much fun.

    What has caught my interest most here are the gingerbread cookies and the ginger snaps. I had a taste of some ginger snaps the other day, and they were so good. So, Hallie, I like the idea of the Betty Crocker mix and making them into holiday shapes. Mary, your ginger snap recipe is tempting me mightily, too.

    Now, when we talk about Christmas candy, I do make an easy fudge, found on the jar of Kraft Marshmallow Cream.

  27. Yes, that's it -- hard sauce! Thanks, Hank. :-)

  28. I do love to bake Christmas cookies. I am sad I haven't gotten a chance to start this year. I may ease into it by making confetti cookies from Smitten Kitchen and rolling in holiday sprinkles.

    Other favorite recipes are King Arthur gingerbread cookies:

    Gourmet date-fig swirls:

    Gourmet ginger crisps:

    Peppermint bark from Orangette:

    And the rich rolled sugar cookies from Joy of Cooking.

  29. Hank, I sense that we have similar cooking ambitions...almost non-existent?

  30. Trisha, ALL of those sound fab. Looking up now!

  31. At ABC News in NYC this week, we're having a "Great ABC Bake Off" --inspired by The Great British Bake Off (my favorite show ever) and its American counterpart that's running right now on ABC, with my idol Mary Berry. Anyone who wants to can bring 4 dozen homemade Christmas cookies - and for those who are more into the eating - and who isn't - they buy a $5 ticket to munch away. All the money goes to Meals on Wheels. I'm baking AND eating - a salted peanut butter cookie with chocolate drizzle - sort of my version of a Reeces Pieces. I'll post photos! And pray not to end up with a soggy bottom! Love reading all the recipes here.

    Kim Powers

  32. At ABC News in NYC this week, we're having a "Great ABC Bake Off" --inspired by The Great British Bake Off (my favorite show ever) and its American counterpart that's running right now on ABC, with my idol Mary Berry. Anyone who wants to can bring 4 dozen homemade Christmas cookies - and for those who are more into the eating - and who isn't - they buy a $5 ticket to munch away. All the money goes to Meals on Wheels. I'm baking AND eating - a salted peanut butter cookie with chocolate drizzle - sort of my version of a Reeces Pieces. I'll post photos! And pray not to end up with a soggy bottom! Love reading all the recipes here.

    Kim Powers

  33. At ABC News in NYC this week, we're having a "Great ABC Bake Off" --inspired by The Great British Bake Off (my favorite show ever) and its American counterpart that's running right now on ABC, with my idol Mary Berry. Anyone who wants to can bring 4 dozen homemade Christmas cookies - and for those who are more into the eating - and who isn't - they buy a $5 ticket to munch away. All the money goes to Meals on Wheels. I'm baking AND eating - a salted peanut butter cookie with chocolate drizzle - sort of my version of a Reeces Pieces. I'll post photos! And pray not to end up with a soggy bottom! Love reading all the recipes here.

    Kim Powers

  34. I think I might try those grid pretzel cookies but with Reese's Pieces instead of M&Ms.

    I used to do a lot of cookie baking for the holidays and liked to experiment with recipes. I fell out of the habit in the past few years, mostly due to orthopedic issues(painful to stand in my small kitchen) and now look for simpler solutions, so those grid pretzel cookies look very attractive!
    Deb Romano

  35. Somehow I triple posted! So sorry - didn't mean to!


  36. So many great recipes. I am definitely going to try some of these. And Ann in Rochester, thank you so much for the sausage roll recipe. They do sound pretty easy, which is definitely a consideration for me!

  37. I love making old-fashioned sugar cookies and frosting them, but it requires a child to help:-) I'm thinking my 3 year old granddaughter will be ready next year, or maybe even this one. I replenished the cookie cutter supply, just in case.

    I have a few seasonal cookie recipes so old I no longer know where they came from: Cranberry Orange Drop Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Bars, Giadas Lemon Ricotta Cookies, Francois Payard's Flourless Chocolate Cookies. Here is the easiest. Not fattening. IF you only eat 1 or 2.

    Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Clouds

    whites of 3 large eggs
    1/2t. sale of cream of tartar
    2/3 C sugar
    1/2 t. vanilla
    1/2C mini semi-sweet choc chips
    3 T unsweetened cocoa

    Heat oven to 200. Spray 2 lg cookie sheets with nonstick veg spray.In large bowl, beat at high speed egg whites and salt until foamy; beat in sugar 1T at a time until stiff glossy peaks form. Beat in vanilla; gently but thoroughly fold in chips and cocoa. Drop by heaping teaspoonsful on cookie sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake 2 hour until outsides of cookies are dry and set. Using spatula remove to wire rack to cool Store in airtight containers. Makes 3 dozen