I have visions – visions of Santa sending me my very own elf to help me with all the holiday baking that I take on every year (and very much enjoy). We all know that Santa is too busy for that, though, so I like to prepare myself far in advance for my holiday baking adventures.
I search grocery store ads for sales starting in about October, and calculate everything I will need to have a successful holiday baking season. I would go broke if I tried to buy all my ingredients in one shopping trip instead of over a couple of months. I make a list of what I plan to bake and arrange it so I can plan my time.
I have a range of cookie and bar recipes that I like to make every year. They vary from simple to a little more time consuming, so my holiday baking is usually spread out between a few weekends to make it a little easier and even more enjoyable.
I’ll be honest – and I am not afraid to admit this at all – I started some holiday baking before Thanksgiving this year. Maybe I get a little overly excited about the holidays and baking, but I love to bake, so bake I shall!
This last weekend, I spent my Saturday baking a good chunk of the cookies I wanted to get done. I even tried a couple of new cookies. Though I really don’t need to add to my baking collection, I will and do anyway, of course.
I am sharing a couple of recipes with you that you might want to try this holiday season. One is a new recipe I just tried, and I am in love with it: chocolate-covered cherry cookies. These might require a little extra effort, but they are worth it. The recipe calls for 48 cherries, but I actually got a couple extra cookies out of it.
The second recipe is for chocolate mint cookies. This is a favorite holiday cookie recipe for me that I got from my grandmother. The mint swirled on top of this chocolate cookie just melts in your mouth with goodness. You can use either milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe. I have done both and they are delicious either way.
I hope everyone enjoys these cookies during this special season, just like I do.
Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
48 maraschino cherries, blotted dry
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 to 3 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture (batter will be very firm). Shape into 48 balls, about 1-inch round, and place on ungreased baking sheets. Push one cherry halfway into each ball.
For frosting, melt chocolate chips in milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; add cherry juice and stir until smooth. Spoon 1 teaspoon of frosting over each cherry (the frosting will spread over cookie during baking).
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Chocolate Mint Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Andes mints (2 boxes)
Beat butter, brown sugar, and water in a saucepan until the butter melts. Add chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Cool 10 minutes.
In mixer, add eggs to chocolate mixture. Mix well. Add flour, soda, salt and beat until just blended. Chill for 30 minutes.
Roll into 1-inch balls and bake 12-13 minutes at 350 degrees. Unwrap mints. Remove cookies to cooling rack, place mint on top and swirl when it melts. Let cool.