It’s that time of year again! It’s time to bake Christmas treats. I’m so excited about my Christmas baking this year that I’m using Christmas Cookies as the theme for our Christmas tree at the Friends of Caroline Hospice Festival of Trees. Don’t you just love
the way your house smells at Christmastime? I remember coming home from school on
cold December afternoons. Mama always had something freshly baked waiting on the
kitchen table for my brother and me. The aroma was so welcoming and the goodies
were always tasty! These are some of my favorite cookie recipes. Baking can be a bit
trickier than cooking. Be sure to measure your ingredients exactly and always bake
cookies in a preheated oven. For best results, bake only one pan of cookies at a time,
placing the pan in the center of the oven. Never bake cookies with one pan directly
over another pan. One batch will invariably have tops that are too dark, while the other
batch will have the opposite problem. Cookies are often difficult to test for doneness.
That’s why most recipes give a range in baking times. If you prefer soft and chewy
cookies, take them out of the oven at the lower end of the time. Leave cookies in 1 or 2
minutes longer if you like them crispy. Always remove cookies from baking sheets
after removal from the oven. If you leave them on the baking sheets the residual heat
will cause them to continue to cook. Place cookies on wire racks, with a spatula, to cool.
Let cookies cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Merry baking!
p.s. Please support Friends of Caroline Hospice Festival of Trees. Trees may be viewed from Tuesday, December 9 through Saturday, December 13. I’ll be there Tuesday through Friday serving lunch a la carte from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Bring a friend and join us!
6 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
2 (1-ounce) unsweetened chocolate baking squares, chopped
1/3 cup butter
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Combine first three ingredients in a heavy saucepan; cook, stirring often, over low heat
until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Beat eggs and sugar at medium
speed with an electric mixer until smooth; add chocolate, beating well. Combine flour,
baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are
moistened. Fold in chocolate morsels, pecans and walnuts. Drop batter by
tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees
for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 1 minute. Remove to wire racks;
cool. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.
1-1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients; stir well. Drop by level teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes; cool on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raisins
Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer until
light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; add water and vanilla, mixing well. Combine
flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Stir in oats, pecans and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking
sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly
on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 8 dozen.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups regular oats, uncooked
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain M&Ms
1 (6-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
Cream butter; gradually add sugars. Beat well at medium speed of an electric mixer.
Add eggs, peanut butter, syrup and vanilla; beat well. Add oats, baking soda and salt;
stir well. Stir in remaining ingredients. (Mixture will be stiff.) Pack dough into a 1/4-
cup measuring cup. Drop dough 4 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Lightly press each cookie into a 3-1/2-inch circle with fingertips. Bake at 350 degrees
for 12 to 15 minutes (center of cookies will be slightly soft). Cool slightly on baking
sheets; remove to wire racks and cool completely. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen big cookies.
The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of the cookbook, Dining Under the Carolina Moon. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at email@example.com.