In the Kitchen: Holiday Cookies

In an attempt to get all my recipes and cooking talk in one place, I’ll be periodically re-posting recipes from my time writing on the Kitchen Mirror here. In some cases I may update pictures & proof-read, but for the most part it will just be a re-posting of what I had there. The posts are not in chronological order – I’m trying to post holiday appropriate recipes near the holidays they go with & fill in others around them.

Originally posted December 14, 2009.

It’s entirely possible I went overboard baking this year for Christmas. I decided that I wanted to bake some, as I often do. I picked up a couple holiday baking magazines to check out new ideas, bookmarking several recipes as I went. I also found a couple interesting recipes online this year and added them to my bookmarks tab.

The short list:

  • 9 types of cookies
  • 1 candy
  • 2 types of quick breads (mini-loaves)
  • 8 previously untested recipes

I went through:

  • 4 pounds of butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup oil
  • 19 eggs
  • 14 cups of sugar
  • 18 3/4 cups of flour
  • 6 bags of chocolate chips (white, semi-sweet, & dark chocolate/mint)
  • 14 teaspoons vanilla (2 1/3 ounces)
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 3 1/2 cups of nuts
  • 7 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1 1/2 cups of raisins

You’ll note that I did not even attempt to make any of these “healthy” cookies. I used shortening AND oil, for the love of arteries. And 4 pounds of REAL butter (although I can’t see that margarine is much better for you in the long run with all the extra saturated fat you get in order to cut down on general fat content. I’ll stick with the real thing, thanks). Oy.

I put together containers for my knit group of 9 people, a container to mail off to a friend in Chicago, and will be putting one together to take to knit night at my LYS on Wednesday and I will STILL have a ton of cookies left.

I tend to go big or go home. I don’t know how to do things small scale. Lucky thing my friend Shannon drew my name in our knit group gift exchange and got me a book teaching me how to bake small batches. There are recipes in there that make all of 2 cookies. I need to know things like that since I don’t need 8 billion cookies sitting around tempting me to eat them.

YIP 222.365 COOKIES!
The cookies – starting just before 12 o’clock & moving clockwise (first time recipes for me in green):

  • Chocolate Chip (classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe)
  • Cowboy Cookies (recipe) – I did not toast the pecans & I used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chunks. Yummy.
  • Jess‘s Lipstick Granola Cruncher Cookies (also known as World’s Best Cookies) – these definitely benefit from the oil, even though it seems like a lot. These cookies are divine. A little crunch, dry and crumbly but moist at the same time. Fabulous.
  • Vanilla Salted Peanut Cookies (see recipe below)
  • Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies (recipe) – These were really good, especially if you know someone who loves spicy foods. They got crispy and had a bit of a kick thanks to the cayenne pepper.
  • Spicy Molasses Cookies (see recipe below)
  • Mint Chocolate Delights (recipe)
  • Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies (recipe) – I had made these a couple years ago & they were drier than I wanted. So this time I added a box of chocolate instant pudding mix and an extra egg. I would definitely do that again, but mix the cake mix & pudding mix together first. I tried to mix in the pudding mix first and it gummed up the dough and my mixer. Ooops.
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (center) (recipe) – My standard recipe for these.

I also made two quick breads: an Eggnog bread & a Coconut Banana Bread. Plus a batch of peppermint bark to give to Mindy as part of her knit group gift. All three things I hadn’t tried before, all three turned out good.

There is not one recipe I tried this year that I wouldn’t make again. They all worked fabulously.

Vanilla Salted Peanut Cookies:
Recipe from Ultimate Cookies magazine

These turned out well, but I made the mistake of using low-sodium dry roasted peanuts, so there’s not enough salty to the sweet. In the future, I will make sure to use full sodium peanuts and maybe cut down a little on the sugar. I also inadvertently chose three recipes with coconut in them, so in this one I decided to omit the coconut.

1/4 cup shortening
2 cups packed brown sugar (I always use dark unless the recipe specifies otherwise)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I used sea salt in all my baking this year and it turned out just fine)
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut (as I discovered, optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In large bowl, beat shortening on high for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt, beating until combined. Beat in eggs & vanilla until mixed, then beat in flour. Stir in oats, raisins, and coconut.
  2. Drop by rounded teaspoon (I used a small cookie scoop – best purchase EVER) about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 7-9 minutes until edges are light brown. Let stand for 2 minutes, remove to wire rack to cool.

Spicy Molasses Cookies
from Ultimate Cookies magazine.

Note: all spices are ground unless specified otherwise.

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup dark molasses (I used black strap molasses)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coarse, raw, or pearl sugar (I used raw sugar).

  1. Mix together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt, & pepper.
  2. In separate bowl, beat butter and shortening together on medium/high for 30 seconds. Add sugars, beating until combined. Beat in egg yolk, molasses, & vanilla until mixed together. Beat in flour mixture slowly. Cover & chill dough for at least an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F. Shape dough into 1 inch balls (I used the cookie scoop here, too), then roll in coarse sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let stand 1 minute, the remove to wire racks to cool.