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Cookie Time

Well it’s that time of year again. Time to start baking cookies, eating way too much, drinking more than you ever thought possible and telling yourself that diet is going to start on New Year’s Day. Well today I’m going to help with one of those things because if you know you’re going to do this you might as well do it right. So this week I’m going to share a few family recipes for some Xmas Cookies.

One of our favorite things to do around the holidays is get together, bake cookies, listen to some classic carols (and some not so classic ones) and drink some hot cocoa (possibly with a little booze in there). This year I won’t be home for the holidays at all so I’ve had to bake cookies out here in London and then proceed to eat them all. It’s fun and delicious but not the same. So hopefully you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!

 

Coconut Macaroons – I’m a big fan of all things coconut

14 ounces shredded coconut

1 can condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 egg whites

Pinch of salt

Chocolate Chips and/or Nutella

 

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Whisk 2 egg whites with the pinch of salt. Add coconut condensed milk, vanilla and almond extracts together with the eggs in a bowl and mix.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or rub with butter. Scoop tablespoon sized balls of the mixture onto the sheet. Bake for 23-25 minutes.

Let them cool for at least 15-20 minutes before adding either nutella or melted chocolate to the tops of the finished product.

*I also highly suggest storing them in tupperware or an airtight container. When they come out of the oven they may be crispy but storing them properly will remoisten them. The other option is to add a touch of water to the tops of them before applying the topping to achieve the same texture*

 

Hello Dolly Bars – this was a recipe from my great Aunt Ann and are also known as 7 Layer bars

1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 stick of melted butter

1 package chocolate chips

1/2 package butterscotch chips

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 can condensed milk

 

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together. Spray 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray or rub with butter and press the mixture into the pan so it is even and flat.

Add, in order, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, chopped pecans. Evenly pour the condensed milk over it all.

Bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool for 20-30 minutes before you cut and serve.

Buckeyes – While I hate Ohio State I love these cookies

1 jar peanut butter (I recommend creamy for this recipe)

3 cups powdered sugar

3 1/2 cups rice krispies cereal

1 stick melted butter

Dark chocolate

 

Combine and mix peanut butter. powdered sugar, rice krispies and melted butter in a large bowl. Shape into tablespoon sized balls.

You can either make your own dark chocolate or melt dark chocolate chips.

Dip the balls into the chocolate completely covering them. Place the finished balls on a tray covered with wax paper and put in the fridge until cool and hardened.

 

Coffee and Spice Cookies – this was my favorite cookie from my nana growing up

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon strong, cold coffee (you will split this into 1/2 cup for cookies and 1 tablespoon for glaze)

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup powdered sugar

 

Mix butter, brown sugar and eggs together in a bowl and beat well. Add 1/2 cup cold coffee to the mixture and stir.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the raisins and mix. Add the wet and dry mixtures together into the large bowl and mix.

Cover and chill this mixture for 1 hour in the fridge.

To prepare the glaze mix powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of cold coffee (aka the rest of it) together and beat well until smooth. (You can add more powdered sugar if it’s too thin/watery or more coffee if it’s too thick/lumpy)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or rub with butter. Add tablespoon balls of the mixture to the sheet and flatten them a bit. Make sure the flattened sides are 2″ apart from the next closest as they will spread.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 minutes then add the glaze while they are still warm. You can either cover them carefully (so you don’t pull the glaze off) or throw them back in the fridge to harden the glaze quicker.

*Most important note for this one is don’t use shitty coffee, do yourself a favor*

 

Peppermint Bark – this makes regular peppermint bark taste like shit; warning it’s also as addictive as crack

*Okay I’ll put my disclaimer at the beginning for this one. It’ll either be the easiest or the hardest “cookie” you’ll make depending on if you have a double boiler or not since that is the trick. Pretty much it comes down to melting chocolate and adding peppermint oil & candy but there are a number of ways to do it. Here’s the proper way. Also the amount can be varied based on how much you want so I’ll let you decide that*

Equal parts dark (or milk) chocolate and white chocolate

A few drops of peppermint oil

Candy canes to your liking

 

Using a double boiler melt the dark (or milk) chocolate down. Place 2 drops of peppermint oil into the melted mix and stir. Place the mix into a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge (or freezer).

Let the chocolate set before continuing. Proceed to do the same thing with the white chocolate, meting it down and adding 2 drops of peppermint oil. Place the white chocolate on top of the hardened dark (or milk) chocolate. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the white chocolate and place back in the fridge (or freezer).

Once both are set and solid break it up with a knife into smaller, bite-size pieces.

 

Well that’s all I’m going to share for now, that should keep you busy and give you a nice mix of cookie choices for the holidays this year … or that day in mid-January when you have the winter blues and decided the diet isn’t working.

– Beard

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