Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
I love cookies. I mean LOVE cookies (and cupcakes, and brownies and fudge...okay, any dessert, LOL). I try not to make cookies the rest of the year, because then I'll EAT them, but at the holidays, I go on a baking spree :-) This week, I made White Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints, Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars, and Melted Snowmen cookies.

First up was the Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars, a request from a friend after I saw it on Pinterest. They were delicious, and really easy! I bought the Peanut Butter Pretzels at Meijer--there was a plastic jar of them on the potato chip aisle, by the pretzels. I used Nestle's Chocolate Chip Cookie dough. I ate all the crumbs :-)

Next up is my White Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints, which is one of my own recipes (and is featured in Sugar and Spice). It's a favorite with my whole family, and an annually requested recipe. The kids have already eaten all the extras :-) They freeze super well, and are quick and easy. See below for the recipe.

Then I made my Melted Snowman cookies. They weren't as pretty as last year's, and that's because I used the canned Betty Crocker frosting instead of buying the pro tips at the candy and cake decorating store. I almost always forget I've got those metal cake decorating tips in the sink and grind one or more up in the garbage disposal, LOL.

Melted Snowman Cookies

These ones are pretty easy. I use the recipe from The Somewhat Simple blog. I use Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (I find that works better than the refrigerated, already made kind), Then I buy the Royal Icing mix, add enough water to make it at "flood" stage, and do the decorating on top of waxed paper.

I bought the Betty Crocker black, green, orange and red icing cans this year, but would definitely recommend pro decorating  tips if you can get them. It takes a little practice, but overall, the decorating is pretty easy, especially for non-crafter like me :-)

I assembled them all on a tray for a party I'm going to tomorrow night. I was going to decorate the tray, then figured the cookies were enough decoration :-)

White Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints
(from Sugar and Spice)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I always use real vanilla)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup white chocolate chips
Red sugar sprinkles
http://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Spice-Fern-Michaels/dp/0821780476/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1355882451&sr=8-3&keywords=sugar+and+spice+bookTrust me, these ones are so good, you won’t have any left for guests (and whoever invented that rule about sharing your cookies, anyhow? It’s Christmas, indulge yourself a little). In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and the shortening with an electric mixer (or use a stand mixer and let the machine do the work), then add the sugar, powdered sugar, baking soda, cream of tarter, and the salt. Beat just until combined.

Add the egg and vanilla, then mix in the flour gradually. Cover the dough and refrigerate for three hours. I know, it’s a long wait, but it’ll be worth it later. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. With your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, press a circular indentation into the center of each cookie. Drop a 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each thumbprint. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour yourself a glass of milk and get into serious cookie-eating mode. Skip lunch if you have to-there’s no way a tuna on rye can compete.

Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring each time, until the chips are melted. Pour the white chocolate into a resealable plastic bag and snip off a tiny bit of one corner. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies. Sprinkle cookies with red sugar to add that festive flair.

Now you’re ready to indulge-don’t worry about the calories until January 1st. Makes three dozen, just enough for you and a friend!
Did you catch my post on the cupcakes and the Salted Caramel Shortbread I made the other week? Tell me, what cookies are you making this year? Which ones are your MUST HAVE cookies for the holidays?

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