25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 20

Happy Friday!  You might be thinking this post is a little late today, but that is because we kicked off Christmas today with our first of four Christmas parties we will need to attend this year, yup you heard me four! Since most of our family lives within traveling distance, it is nice to get to spend the holidays with them all.  The Christmas party we went to tonight had some relatives visiting from the fine state of Louisiana. They have a son and he really likes elephants, so Mr. Pea found the cutest most cuddly elephant I ever did see (I even had a hard time giving him up he was so cute). And I have got to tell you the reaction on his face when he opened up that gift was priceless! I am telling you he screamed with joy he was so excited, it warmed my heart to know we had got him a gift he really liked. Have you ever got a gift you were so excited for you screamed with joy, oh to be a kid again. I thought it would be fitting to share this next cookie with you, because they are called Pralines, no they are not the Southern kind of praline, but these are simple pralines. They are a thin crispy cookie spread wit h a thin layer of chocolate. Enjoy!

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Pralines

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1-1/4 cup uncooked oats (quick)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350o.

Mix oats, sugar, baking powder and pecans together in large bowl.

Add butter, egg and vanilla to oatmeal mixture. Mix well.

Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets and flatten each cookie, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake until edges turn golden, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Let rest on sheets for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Cool completely.

Spread melted chocolate on back side of cookie.

 

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 19

 So this next cookie, we mae a little different from years past. We usually make these KARO Icebox Christmas Cookies with cinnamon chips, but since we were out of cinnamon chips we made them with peppermint chips instead. I think one year we even made them with heath bar chips as a substitute.  The best part about this cookie is that they are very easy to make, you just need to make the dough, chill the dough, cut the cookies and bake them hence they call it the icebox cookie. This means you can make the dough way ahead of time and then bake them at a moments notice. These are also very easy to decorate, just drizzle with some melted white chocolate.  These are definitely an old stand by cookie, that everyone seems to love.

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KARO Icebox Christmas Cookies

Ingredients:

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup butter

3/4 cup light KARO Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup mini cinnamon chips or peppermint chips

White chocolate

Preheat oven to 400o. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add KARO Syrup and sugar. Add sifted dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly until stiff dough is formed. Mix in cinnamon chips. Shape into 3 rolls. Wrap in wax paper, chill in refrigerator 3 or 4 hours, or until firm enough to slice. Slice about ¼ inch thick. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes.

Cool. Drizzle with white chocolate.

NOTE:  Recipe has several variations, such as adding coconut or chopped fruit. We add mini cinnamon chips and a white chocolate drizzle most years, but this year we were out of the cinnamon chips so we used peppermint chips intead.

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 18

There are some flavors that are just made for each other, and peanut butter and chocolate is one of them! This next cookie is a pretty easy cookie to make, but I think they are cute and if you like that chocolate and peanut butter combo you are in for a treat.  I have another peanut butter cookie recipe that  is a more crunchy cookie, that I like to use when I am just making peanut butter cookies, but the evaporated milk in this recipe make the peanut butter cookie very soft and fluffy. Mr. Pea is a fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combo, needless to say these are one of his favorite cookies of our lengthy Christmas cookie list. Some of you may wonder what we do with all of these cookies. Well, the first year I wasn't quite sure what to do with the mass quantities of cookies, but now Mr. Pea and I take some to work and we give most away as gifts for other people to enjoy.

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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 (14-oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)

3/4 to 1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups biscuit baking mix

Chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350o.

In large mixer bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Add biscuit mix; mix well.

Chill at least 1 hour.

Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned (do not overbake!). Cool.

Melt chocolate chips.

Partially dip each cookie into chocolate.

Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets.

Let stand or chill until firm.

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 17

This next cookie is a a new one to the mix and boy am I sure glad it is.  These Ginger Cookies have everything there is to love about a Gingerbread cookie, but better- trust me. These cookies taste like the cousin of a gingerbread cookie, but the cinnamon, cloves and ginger give it its own unique flavor. Gingerbread cookies always take so much time to decorate each one so that they look like little Gingerbread Men. With these cookies you get the taste of a gingerbread cookie, but don't need to spend that much time decorating them, since you simply dip them in melted white chocolate.  The white chocolate pairs very nicely with the spices in this cookie, it adds a creamy richness that doesn't overpower the spices. Pretty and delicious, this one is my new favorite cookie. I know, I know I said that before, but really this one is a cookie that should be on everyones Christmas cookie platter. Enjoy!

 

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Ginger Cookies

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 Cup granulated sugar, plus additional for coating

1/4 cup of molasses

1 egg

2 Cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

8 ounces of white chocolate, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar.

Add molasses and egg, and  mix well.

In a seperate bowl, combine flour, salt baking soda and spices, blend into creamed mixture.

Shape teaspoonfuls of douch into balls, coat with sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Dip half of each cookie in chocolate, place upon waxed paper to set chocolate.

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 16

There are some cookies on this list that are tradition to do, one of those cookies happens to be Pecan Fingers. This cookie has a lot of history, as I believe it has been a cookie that has been on the list for the last 30 years, before I even became part of this tradition. I even think that this cookie goes back beyond the 30 years when Sean's mother, "The Duchess" as they like to call her, made them. I think it is nice to have traditions, growing up my family didn't have too many holiday traditions and I think that traditions are what makes your family stronger and brings people together, and afterall isn't that what the holidays are all about?  Maybe it is just me,  or the fact that I work at a retail company, but I think that the holidays have become a little too much about the stuff. You know what I am talking about, the gifts and all the money people spend on buying things for the holidays. I wish it could be more simple and really more about family, because that is what lis important in life.  Alright enough, I went off on a tagent, let's get back to the cookies. All those pecan lovers out there, you have to try these! I feel it is very appropriate that I post about these cookies today, because it is snowing outside right now and  these always remind me of little cookies dusted with snow. Enjoy!

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Pecan Fingers

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbls water

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups finely chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250o.

Cream butter and add sugar, vanilla and water.

Add flour, salt and nuts, blend thoroughly. Chill for 1 hour.

Form into small rolls (about size of finger).

Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 1 hour.

Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

After cooled, roll or sprinkle with powdered sugar again.

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 15

There are some cookies on this cookie list that a lot of love goes into them, one of them happens to be this lemon spritz cookie. This cookie is is packed full of lemon flavor. As tempting as it may be to use pre-squeezed lemon juice, always squeeze it fresh – it is worth the effort, trust me. Chocolate is one of those flavors that just goes good together with pretty much any flavor and pairing chocolate with citrus is no different. Every year for Christmas, it is tradition that we get the ladies in our lives chocolate covered orange peel from Kehr's Candies, a confectioner that combines their talents with the finest ingredients to create hand-dipped chocolates and other confections. If you have never had chocolate orange peel, then go out and find yourself some chocolate orange peel (Kehr's will ship anywhere in the United States), you will be glad you did! Enjoy!

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Lemon Spritz
 

Ingredients:
Rind of 1 small lemon, removed with vegetable peeler
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbls sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pats
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash salt
6 ounces German’s sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use the metal blade of a food processor to process the lemon rind and sugar for about 1-1/2 minutes or until the rind is finely chopped.  Reserve 2 Tbls of the lemon sugar.  Add the butter to the workbowl and process until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Add the lemon juice, egg, and vanilla and process for 5 seconds.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse 8 to 10 times until well mixed, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
 
Transfer the dough to a cookie press equipped with a 1-1/2 inch wide ridged disc.  On a lightly floured surface press out strips 12 inches long.  With a sharp knife cut into 1-1/2 inch squares and use a spatula to transfer to ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 1-1/2 inches between them.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
 
Place cookies on wire rack to cool.  Melt the chocolate gently in a 1 quart saucepan.  Dip the cookies diagonally into the melted chocolate and sprinkle the chocolate with the reserved lemon sugar.  Return to rack until chocolate hardens.  Makes about 9 dozen.
 
NOTE: Momma Lee does the "low tech" version of this recipe – using a mixer instead of a food processor. If you do this, remove the lemon rind with a grater (finest part), rather than a vegetable peeler.