I have a slight obsession this time of year.
Slight might be a bit of an understatement. I start planning my Christmas cookie list as soon as the turkey is off the table (well…maybe a smidge sooner, shh). There are a few recipes that I stick to making each year-family recipes that simply remind me of the holidays. Then there are a few newbies that I like to try out, just for fun. This year I baked up twelve batches of pure deliciousness.
I told you I have a problem.
I must say, however, that I am not alone. My aunt baked ten batches of cookies herself. It’s a family affair. Who is to blame for this cookie baking obsession? I solely blame one person. Grandma. That’s right. Grandma. She’s been a cookie baker and lover for as long as I can remember. I give her full credit for our Christmas cookie baking addiction. Hey, it’s not like it is a bad thing…
Here’s a glimpse of last year’s Christmas dinner table. Would you like….a ummm, cookie?!
(Stay tuned later this week for a picture of all the cookies piled up and ready to go to work with Matt)
Here is this year’s Christmas cookie list:
1. Kolache (2 kinds: nut and chocolate)
2. 7 Layer Italian Rainbow Cookies
3. Scandinavian Nut Cookies
4. Peanut Butter Fudge (I know…it’s not a cookie, but it’s so darn good!)
5. Grasshopper Cups
6. Turtle Thumbprints
7. Ginger Snaps
8. Peanut Clusters
9. Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
10. Peanut Butter Blossoms
12. Snowballs (Russian Teacakes)
I honestly don’t know which one is my favorite. But one thing is for sure. This new recipe ranks high on my list of Christmas cookie favorites.
They are chocolatey and caramelly. And downright scrumptious.
Oh…and they look awful perty, too!
This cookie is definitely a keeper on my Christmas cookie list.
*Makes about 30 cookies-making a double batch is highly recommended!
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2/3 cup sugar (reserve whites)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla)
2 cups chopped pecans
14 caramel candies
touch of vanilla bean paste (optional)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolk (reserve egg whites in separate bowl), milk, and vanilla.
Mix until incorporated.
Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Refrigerate dough until firm, about one hour.
Whisk egg whites until frothy.
Place chopped pecans in another bowl.
Rolled chilled dough into balls, about one inch.
Dip into egg whites, then roll in pecans.
Place balls on baking sheet, and indent each one with your thumb.
Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12-14 minutes.
Once you remove from the oven you will need to indent cookies again, as they puff slightly when they bake. Leave cookies on baking sheet while you prepare caramel filling.
Microwave caramels, vanilla bean paste, and cream together in a bowl, about one minute. Stir until smooth.
Using a spoon, fill each cookie with caramel filling. Let cookies cool on the pan for an additional ten minutes.
When cookies are cool, drizzle with chocolate (which has been microwaved with shortening at a low setting).
Afterthought…a little sprinkle of sea salt would be just a fabulous addition!
*Recipe slightly adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground
Happy Holidays! I hope you enjoy!
Needed to lighten up the workouts. Daily walks and light lifting a few times a week is where it’s at!