Friday, December 23, 2011

4 Christmas Cookies

My cousin Chris is hosting Christmas on Christmas Eve.  She is a fantastic cook and baker and this year she asked me to make the cookies.  I thought long and hard about what I would make to impress her.  And then, I decided to bake 4 cookies that are perfect for the holidays and simply delicious.  The best part of holiday baking is bringing people together.  Therefore, I am spending the day with my mom and bestie Katie and we are going to make some amazing cookies!

1. Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies.  I've made them before and they are great! The hint of nutmeg and red and white colors make them a fabulous holiday cookie.

2. Inception Cookies.  These have sort of become my signature item, but my family has never had them! I decided to make this oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie, but instead of the usual oreo, I'm using the holiday ones!

3. Now that I have re-made some of my favorites, I am going to introduce a few new cookies on the scene. The first is a Red Velvet Cookie.  I love red velvet in any form.  So, when I found a recipe for a healthier version of a red velvet cookie, I just had to make them!  I got the recipe from AmyBites and I was really excited to try it out!

Red Velvet Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp red food coloring
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Then, add food coloring and beat all together.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flours, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until just combined.
4. Add cream cheese to the bowl and mix until you have a nice swirl.
5. Scoop out tbsp sized balls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

4. To be honest, I was only supposed to make 3 different types of cookies for Christmas, but I have never been good at making decisions and when it comes to cookies they all look so yummy and it makes it hard to decide! Also, my mom really wanted me to make something with mint.  So, I found these: Peppermint Patty Cookie Bars.  The original recipe is from Picky Palate and then I put a little twist on it.  I also love how easy they sounded!

Peppermint Patty Cookie Bars

2 sticks, or 1 cup, unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 oz bag dark chocolate chips
24 oz bag York Peppermint Patties

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 9x13 inch pan with foil.  Spray foil with baking spray.
2. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Slowly add to the wet ingredients until just combined. Then, stir in chocolate chips.
4. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and press down to make even.  Place unwrapped peppermint patties across the batter.  Then pour the rest of the batter and smooth over the top to cover all the patties.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Let cool for at least and hour, then cut and serve!

**Serving Idea: Sprinkle chopped Candy Canes over the top for an extra minty flavor and for a cute holiday theme!

I hope that you have enjoyed my Christmas Cookies and have found some yummy ideas for the holidays!

Enjoy :)

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