Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookies

When the holidays come around, I go a bit crazy with the baking. I love to have a huge variety on the plates that I take around. This year, I made eight different things. I would just love to blog every last one of them, but that might take me forever! I have decided to do this: If you see one that you want the recipe for, let me know. I will post the actual recipes as they are requested. These are all great recipes. There is definitely something for everyone of this plate, unless you have a Grinch on a diet that won't even eat Christmas cookies. If you know someone under that category, throw a carrot stick on the plate. :) I'll name each cookie under the picture and a brief description. Let me know what you want!

Toffee: This came out crunchy and very buttery. The toffee is made of only butter, sugar, and water! It really is easy to make, even without a candy thermometer. My brother made a different toffee recipe the same day as mine, and I liked that one a little better. I will be posting that when I make it. :)

source: Taste of Home The Cookbook
1 1/2 t plus 1 c butter, divided
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c milk chocolate chips
1 c sugar
3 T water
2 c coarsely chopped almonds, divided

Spread 1 1/2 t of butter on a cookie sheet; set aside. Combine the chocolate chips in a bowl and reserve for later.

In a heavy saucepan, add the sugar, water, and remaining butter. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 290 degrees. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can drop a small amount of the mixture in ice cold water. Let it sit in there for a few seconds. When you take it out, it should separate into strands that are hard but not brittle. I cooked mine for about 15 minutes. The color will also start to turn an amber color.

Once it's ready, stir in 1 c of the chopped almonds and pour it onto the prepared cookie sheet. It will spread all by itself. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let them sit for about 15-20 seconds then spread them with a knife. They will melt from the heat of the toffee. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds. Let it sit for about 1 hour. Break it into pieces.

Chocolate Snowballs and Pecan Meltaways: The Chocolate Snowballs are soft, chewy chocolate cookies that are dusted with powdered sugar. The Pecan Meltaways are crunchy, but the texture is awesome. When you take a bite, they seem to melt away in your mouth!

Pecan Caramels: These are chewy caramels studded with pecans. They are fairly easy to make, but then you get to cut them and individually wrap them in wax paper. That takes some time, but I think they are well worth it!

Peanut Butter Balls: I actually found and made this recipe last year, and it is wonderful. Everyone that tries them, just loves them. The center is peanut butter, powdered sugar, rice krispies, and butter. You roll them into balls and dip them in chocolate. Yum!

source: Taste of Home holiday November 2009

2 c creamy PB
1/2 c butter, softened
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 c rice Krispies
4 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c plus 1 t shortening, divided
1/3 white chips

Beat the PB and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the cereal. Roll into 1 inch balls. Keep in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips and 1/4 c shortening on high in the microwave until it is melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the balls in chocolate and place on a wax paper-lined plate.

If you'd like to do a white chocolate drizzle, melt the white chocolate and 1 t shortening until smooth and drizzle over the PB balls.

Pointer- I found that dipping the PB balls in the chocolate was a pain in the behind. I put them on a cookie rack and poured the chocolate over them. For the most part, they got covered.

Mom's Sugar Cookies: This is the recipe my mom has used for years. I have made other sugar cookie recipe thinking that I will somehow find a better one, and I have yet to find one with a better texture. These cookies are so soft! The icing is delicious, too. I think it is one of the best sugar cookies I have ever had.

I rest my case.

source: The Mom

Cream together:
2 c shortening
2 c sugar
4 eggs
4 t vanilla

Add the following alternately with the milk:
7 c flour
8 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 c milk

Roll out on a floured cloth to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.

1/4 c butter, 3 c powdered sugar, 1 t almond or vanilla extract, 2-4 T hot water.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar. Add the extract and hot water.

Triple Layer bars: All you need to know about these is that they are delicious. I want to know where this recipe has been all my life. It is so wonderful. The bottom has chocolate, coconut, Nilla wafer crumbs, and butter. The middle is powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla pudding. The top layer is chocolate. I'm telling you- These are scrumdidilyumptious.

source: Taste of Home Holiday November 2010
1/2 c butter, cubed
1/3 c cocoa
1/4 c sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 c crushed Nilla wafers
1 c coconut
1 t vanilla

3 T cold milk
3 T instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T butter

In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and sugar. Cook until butter is melted. Put a small amount of that mixture in the the beaten egg. Stir it and add it back in with the mixture in the saucepan. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wafer crumbs, coconut, and vanilla. Press into an 8x8 pan. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the 3 T milk and 3 T vanilla pudding mix and whisk to combine. Mix for two minutes. While that is sitting, cream the butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in the pudding. Spread it over the crust. Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Let it cool a little bit and spread it over the top of everything. Keep it in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.

As an added trick when you want to slice it, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. if the chocolate is till too hard, you can dip a sharp knife in hot water before cutting.

Caramel Pecan Shortbread: I think these just might be my new favorite this year. They take some time to put together, but trust me... they are so wonderful. The shortbread cookie is soft and melts in your mouth. The homemade caramel is chewy, and you can never go wrong with chocolate and pecans. My husband came home from work yesterday and said, "Wait a minute... What are these little morsels over here?" He took one bite and I think he actually went up to heaven for a minute.


Above is the link to the Taste of Home website with all the instructions for these cookies. They really are wonderful.

Those are my cookies! I hope you see one that you like. I'll be checking for recipe requests often, so you still might have time to make them for Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


  1. Sugar cookie recipe & triple layer bar recipe, please.

  2. I'd like the Peanut Butter balls as well as the Triple Layer Bars. Thanks : )

  3. I want the Peanut Butter Balls and toffee recipe. YUM!! Email me. mandiroth@me.com Hope your doing well!

  4. Caramel Pecan Shortbread is the first one I would like to have. They all look yummy. rayspools@aol.com

  5. This is the best sugar cookie recipe ever, by the way. I am still astonished at how soft & perfect these tasted.

    For the triple layer bars, your photo looks like the Nilla wafers were in small chunks. Do the bars taste better with roughly crushed or finely crushed wafers in the crust? (I'm making these Friday :) -woohoo)

  6. Thanks, Beth! I think they are the best, too.
    When I did the Nilla Wafers, I put them in a bag and smashed them with a soft-sided meat tenderizer. I think they would be good either way, but they might stick together better with the finely crushed Nilla wafer crumbs. Let me know if you like them!

  7. Callie, when you get some free time (yeah right, what is that?) could you post the shortbread & carmels recipes too?! I just love all these