I think we have a great selection of christmas cookies in rotation (shortbread, chocolate mint ones, rum balls, sugar cookies, pecan sandies, date filled, etc). However, there’s always the chance that you could be missing out on the greatest cookie ever, so one needs to experiment. This year I made some chocolate chip pretzel cookies, which were kind of ‘meh’. They could be good, they were certainly ok, but not worthy for christmas rotation.
And so I found these. They ARE worthy. Very worthy. You should try them!! Even if you’re a crappy decorator like me, folks will love them! I think the next batch I will up the spices a tad. I like the royal icing with lime on them. Didn’t try the chocolate or fennel seeds, etc.
3 cups all purpose flour, plus for dusting
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup molasses
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat on medium-high speed until the butter is smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and ginger; continue to beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg until fully incorporated. Add the molasses and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour and dry ingredients in 2 batches and mix on low until combined and forms a sticky dough.
Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and pat into 2 (1/2-inch thick) rectangles. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the bottom and top half of the oven.
Line baking sheets with silpat. Lightly dust work surface with flour. Roll each portion of the dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle (if the dough becomes soft, chill for a bit in the refrigerator). Cut the dough with 3-inch cookie cutters, lay on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Decorate, as desired, with Chocolate Glaze or Royal Icing.
Garnish with toasted fennel seeds, dried rose petals, or silver dragees.
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
Combine all the ingredients and cook until the chocolate melts, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir to smooth out and combine.
1 egg white
2 cups powdered sugar
juice from one half lime
water to get consistency right (if needed)
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer over medium-high speed until it forms thick and glossy peaks, about 6 minutes.
Around these parts we don’t make cookies too often. I just don’t like the scoop and bake and scoop and bake routine. I prefer to make a vat or pan of something and then be done with it. So imagine my surprise when I found the perfect recipe for cookies–They make only one pan! They’re easy! No eggs! They’re chocolately! They’re interesting–with steel cut oatmeal in them. And they are so good that around here I was once led to exclaim in fake scottish accent (because of the oatmeal) –holy crapper, now that’s a fine cookie! Alas, the holy crapper cookie was born. They are SO good! I add a bit more oatmeal than prescribed typically–up to 4 Tbsp. steel cut oats.
Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 12. (I usually make them a bit smaller so maybe 16 or so).
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Beat in mixer. Add in oats. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough is firm! Sometimes it just looks like crumbly bits, but if you press and mix the butter will start to make it ball up. I may have been known to add a Tbsp of water to speed things along. That’s probably not the best idea, but oh well. It still works! Shape dough into Tbsp sized balls (or smaller) and flatten with a sugar coated juice glass (wet glass bottom and press into plate of sugar). It really works best if you flatten them this way. Space about an inch apart. They don’t spread much. Bake about 14 minutes. Enjoy!
The Anne recipe for rum balls. My fav. as a kid, and now, the kids fav as kids. It’s tested and approved. And… easy..
2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs crushed fine
1 cup finely chopped coconut (ok so i don’t chop it)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp white corn syrup
1/3 cup rum. apparently you could also use brandy cointreau or whisky. But i haven’t tried those!
Mix everything in a bowl. and then shape and roll into firm small balls. roll in confectioner’s sugar. store tightly covered. yum!
A box of nilla wafers 15 oz, makes 3 cups of crumbs.
So to use the whole box you’d use:
3 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs
1.5 cup of chopped coconut
1.5 cup of confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tsbp white corn syrup
1/2 cup rum