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Phillip Black

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Merry Christmas Sweet Thangs
12/16/2010 4:00:29 AM

Hello My Friends,

Christmas is a Happy Time, time for Families & Friends to gather, time to share Laughter and Love, and time to eat some of those wonderful treats that only come our way once a year...

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

I wanted to share a few of my favorite Christmas Cookies with my Dear Friends here at Adland. Please feel free to copy any of these that you would like and please also feel free to share a few of your Favorites as well. Let's have fun and enjoy the Warmth and the Fellowship that only Christmas can provide.

Let's start with an Old Standard. With this versatile recipe, you can make chocolate chip drop cookies, bar cookies, large round cookies, or chocolate drizzled cookies.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick CRISCO® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks*
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
  5. TIP* If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

With just a little imagination, you can turn simple cookies into works of art with a drizzle of caramel sauce or melted chocolate. It makes a great cookie even better. Here's an extremely rich, yet delicious cookie bar. Actually, Walnuts aren't the only nut you can use, so try any of your other favorites like pecans, peanuts or cashews.

Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a 9 x 13 inch pan pour in melted margarine. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the margarine. Next place the chopped nuts over the crumbs, and spread the chocolate and butterscotch chips over the nuts. Add the coconut over all, and pour the milk evenly over the top.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Cool at least 20 minutes then cut into desired sized bars.

Yield: 1 Dozen Cookies

We'll finish up this Evening with a Classic. Filled with the one-of-a-kind taste of SMUCKER'S® preserves or jam, this recipe combines delicious fruit flavor with classic crunch.

Classic Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Crisco® Butter Shortening Stick, cut into slices OR 1 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup Smucker's® Strawberry Preserves, or any Smucker's® Preserves, Jam or Jelly of your choice (Smucker's Sugar Free is sweetened with Splenda)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat 2 cookie sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended.
  3. Beat egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.
  4. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. It may be necessary to create the indentation once again with a spoon. Place about 1 teaspoon preserves into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Yield: 4 Dozen Cookies

Have A Deliciously Happy Christmas My Friends,

Phil


“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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Phillip Black

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RE: Merry Christmas Sweet Thangs
12/16/2010 2:58:16 PM

Hello Friends,

Once more, I'm back to share a few more of my favorite Christmas Cookies with all of you. As I said before, I hope that you'll feel free to share a few of your Favorites, and I hope that you'll be able to use a couple of these recipes to share with your families over the Christmas Holidays.

First off, here's a quick and easy shortbread that will literally melt when you take a bite. Great for Christmas parties with a little bit of decorating.

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don't brown too much. Cool on wire racks
Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies
Next, here's some Holiday cookies shaped like candy canes and then decorated with crushed peppermint candy. You should make one complete cookie at a time, because if the dough of one color is shaped first, then the little rolls become too dry to twist.
Candy Cane Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint hard candies
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla extract. beat until smooth. Mix in flour and salt.
  3. Roll into 4 inch strips, place on baking sheet. Curve top down to form handle of cane.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 9 to 10 minutes. While still warm, remove from pan and sprinkle with candy and sugar mixture.

Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies

Finally, one of my personal favorites. I made these for the first time last Christmas and they have become my family's new favorite cookie. The white chocolate gives a rich taste to these cookies. I guarantee you will love them.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Dreams

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vanilla baking chips
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl set aside flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cream together white sugar, light brown sugar and butter (do not use shortening). Add slightly beaten eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture until just mixed. Stir in vanilla chips, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place on ungreased cookie sheet by small scoop or rounded teaspoon. Bake for 10 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven and let cool. Cookies will sink slightly.
  5. Variations: To make chocolate cookies - omit 1/2 cup flour and replace with 1/2 cup cocoa. To make refrigerator cookies - Roll dough into 2 rolls, wrap with plastic wrap and chill or freeze. (If you freeze the dough - thaw for at least 1/2 hr). Slice 1 inch slices - cut into 4 and place on baking sheet point up. For fancier cookies: Drizzle melted white chocolate on chocolate cookies and melted dark chocolate on the white cookie.

Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

Have A Sweet & Wonderful Christmas,

Phil

“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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Phillip Black

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RE: Merry Christmas Sweet Thangs
12/17/2010 11:23:01 PM

Hi Folks,

Well, I sincerely hope that there's still someone out there. There's just entirely too much Sweet Stuff here for me to eat all by myself.

Here's a little something different. This recipe was originally from my great grandmother. These are from her Russian heritage and these days, we use them for a Christmas treat. You can make sour milk by combining 1/2 cup of milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar and allow to set 10 minutes.

Orange Drop Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together 3 teaspoons baking powder and 3 1/4 cups flour.
  3. Beat together brown sugar and shortening then add eggs, orange rind and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, alternating the flour mixture and sour milk until all is blended. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes. Let cool and frost cookies.
  5. To Make Frosting: Mix together powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon butter and enough orange juice mixed in to make it able to spread over cooled cookies.

Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

These next Cookies have been a Christmas family favorite for over 20 years. Flaky and buttery, they are well worth the effort. Almonds can be substituted for hazelnuts.

Viennese Crescent Holiday Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, nuts, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla. Hand mix until thoroughly blended. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, place sugar in a bowl or small container. With sharp chef's knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds, and mix them into the sugar. Cut pod into 2 inch pieces and mix into sugar.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into a small roll, 3 inches long. Place rolls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet, and bend each one to make a crescent shape.
  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set but not brown.
  6. Let stand 1 minute, then remove from cookie sheets. Place hot cookies on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with prepared sugar mixture. Turn gently to coat on both sides. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, coat with more vanilla flavored sugar.

\Yield 4 Dozen Cookies

We'll finish this evening with a festive sandwich style cookie. These are excellent for either your Christmas or your New Years' celebrations.

Christmas Stars

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1/4 cup green decorator sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Refrigerate dough for three hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease several cookie sheets.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out 1/2 of the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough into star shapes using a 3 to 4 inch star cookie cutter. Using a 1 to 2 inch star cookie cutter, cut a star into the center of half of the big stars. Sprinkle colored sugar on the cookies with the center cut out if desired. Put onto prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. After cookies cool completely, spread 1 teaspoon of preserves in the center of each cookie that does not have a star cut out in the middle. Place a cookie with a cut-out on top of the layer of preserves. Pack cookies in a covered tin to preserve freshness.

Yield 2 Dozen Cookies

By this time, you may be getting a little bit thirsty, so since it's Christmas, how about some Egg Nog? This eggnog recipe uses cooked eggs for safety, and you can use more or less rum to taste. It's a bit of work to make, but well worth it. You'll never buy store-bought eggnog again!

Amazingly Good Eggnog

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups light rum
  • 4 cups light cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    Directions

    1. Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
    2. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
    3. Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

    Serves 12

  • Have A Bright & Happy Holiday,

    Phil

    “There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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    Phillip Black

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    RE: Merry Christmas Sweet Thangs
    12/19/2010 11:42:01 PM

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you'll find a Cookie or two that you like.

    Have A Wonderful Christmas My Friends,

    Phil

    “There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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    Phillip Black

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    RE: Merry Christmas Sweet Thangs
    12/20/2010 2:52:27 AM

    Hello Friends,

    This Evening, we'll add another of the Old Standards at my house, back when I was growing up. Cocoa powder and chocolate chips bring double-chocolate goodness to these sugar-coated crackled cookies.

    Chocolate Crackled Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1 stick Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
    • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    1. Beat brown sugar, shortening and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; beat well.
    2. Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill 3 hours.
    3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar to coat completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

    Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

    Here's yet another favorite around my house. These cookies have a sweet peanut butter cup center.

    Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1-1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    • 7/8 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon and 2-1/2 teaspoons milk
    • 36 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
    2. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

    Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

    Finally, it really wouldn't be Christmas without these. This is the BEST recipe for gingerbread cookies I have ever tasted. It looks complicated, but isn't. I have used this recipe for many years and always get compliments on it.

    Gingerbread Men Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 6 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly
    • 1 cup molasses
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
    4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of your choice.

    Yield: 6 Dozen Cookies

    Have A Wonderful Family Christmas My Friends,

    Phil

    “There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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