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Christmas Cookie Count

CookiM0nster's picture

I finished baking the last Christmas cookies of the season yesterday. Phew! And I'm curious, what has everyone else made this year? I know Adele has posted a (partial?) list. I know there are others. What did you make? What were you especially fond of? and what would you give a pass to next year?

My old-standby favorites are still the cramberry lemon iced drops, the chocolate-covered cherry cookies, and vanillekipferl.

My favorite new cookie of the year is the cardamon butter cookie with espresso and chocolate icing from the current Gourmet.

In the nice, but not special category I'd put the chocolate hazelnut cookies fron the Holiday Baking issue (sorry FC!), and the almond bars from the current Gourmet.

And in the category of cookies I really wish I could have found the time to make are the pecan sandwich cookies from In the Sweet Kitchen. I love those.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63376, reply #40 of 91)

"Oh, Christmas Cookies! I felt like there was SOMETHING I'd forgotten--I knew I bought all that flour for a reason. . ."

LOL. I was going to suggest making tracy's toffee and calling it a day, but that won't help you with your flour situation. I know, make the toffee and a batch of pain a l'ancien (note: spelling is only approximate) and call it a day.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #63376, reply #72 of 91)

Pain l'ancienne--that's the ticket! I can take it to Christmas dinner at my MIL's, if the roads clear up for the drive up into the hills.


Perfect day for baking here--trapped in the house by icy streets, cold weather, great excuse for heating up the kitchen.


And, because I love lemon and cranberries, and happen to have both around, your famous cookies are on the agenda, too.


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
RuthWells's picture

(post #63376, reply #74 of 91)

Hey, Leigh, now that your appetite is returning <g>, if you like popcorn, try the caramel corn from the current Holiday Baking issue.  Very quick, lots of fun, and I bet the twins would love it.  I increased the butter to 5Tbs with great success.  Have a fun baking day!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Aberwacky's picture

(post #63376, reply #75 of 91)

now that your appetite is returning (g)


Talk about understatement. This is the first time I've EVER worried about having enough food in the house when we're snowed/iced in, says the woman with two refrigerators, a 24 cubic foot freezer and pantries stuffed to the gills.  I had to get up in the middle of the night to have another meal to quiet my raging stomach!


Thanks for the reminder about the caramel corn--that will be a good one to make with the boys.  Assuming they would get to eat any of it!


Leigh


 

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
RuthWells's picture

(post #63376, reply #77 of 91)

I had to get up in the middle of the night to have another meal to quiet my raging stomach!


Sounds familiar -- while pregnant, I got into the habit of a bedtime snack (while in bed, of course) at around 10:30 or so to stave off the 2AM hungries.  As the pregnancies progressed, the snack started evolving into a 4th mini-meal of the day.  I love eating in bed!  ; )


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63376, reply #78 of 91)

"I had to get up in the middle of the night to have another meal to quiet my raging stomach!"

That sure brings back memories.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #63376, reply #84 of 91)

Just wanted to thank you for the pain l'ancienne suggestion.  It was a huge hit at my MIL's Christmas dinner, and the leftovers made terrific crostini.


It also meant I got to christen my Bread Baker's Apprentice book!


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63376, reply #87 of 91)

My pleasure. I adore that bread.

tcurda's picture

(post #63376, reply #79 of 91)

"says the woman with two refrigerators, a 24 cubic foot freezer and pantries stuffed to the gills."

Good grief, I wish I had the room for that much storage. :-/ *sigh...*

I'm glad you'fe feeling better.

Tom

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.


Tom aka tomcatt

Live today like there's no tomorrow.

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.
RuthWells's picture

(post #63376, reply #47 of 91)

I've not done a lot of cookies this year, but thought I'd chime in with what I *have* been making <g!>.


I don't think I've reported on my baking activities since before Thanksgiving (!), so I will post my review of the lemon tart recipe in the first Holiday Baking Issue, which I attempted in November.  Oh dear, oh dear.  The crust was just awful -- I ended up throwing it out and using a basic flaky pie crust.  The filling was good, and raspberry sauce was the perfect accompaniment.  But I just couldn't get the crust to work, and unfortunately, can't remember now what the problem was.  What I do remember is that the proportions of flour, sugar and fat were indicative of a pate sucre (I think -- or maybe a pate brisee? -- d@mn memory!), but that the method of mixing was all wrong -- creaming the butter instead of cutting it in, or vice versa -- rendering the dough utterly unmanageable.  I'm curious whether anyone else has had success with this tart, with the crust as originally written.


My low-carb Thanksgiving dessert (in honor of my diabetic dad) was an adaptation of Jacques Torres' individual raspberry souffles.  I used strawberries instead of raz, reduced the sweetening accordingly (and added a squirt of lemon juice), and used 1/2 Splenda, 1/2 granulated fructose (which is slower-acting than sucrose) to sweeten the fruit puree.  The souffles actually held for a few hours in the freezer prior to baking, which impressed me all to heck.  They didn't puff quite as high after freezing, but they were perfectly acceptable.  If anyone would like the recipe, I'd be happy to post.


My third Thanksgiving offering was the orange cake featured in the Fine Cooking "Dinner with Friends" special issue.  I can safely say that the best thing about this cake was the burnt orange caramel buttercream that I substituted for the 10x sugar icing that the recipe called for, lol!  The cake itself was gluey and uninspired, and the orange curd that is used to fill the cake was too soft and runny.  Very disappointing, and reconfirmed my commitment to "Whimsical Bakehouse" for standard buttercake recipes.


Lest this post turn into a litany of disappointments, some of the more recent excursions have been much more rewarding!  For our holiday open house this past weekend, I made the chocolate mousse cake from the first Holiday Baking issue, complete with dark chocolate band and white chocolate curls.  Great recipe, fabulous instructions, gorgeous presentation.  I had never had success with chocolate curls before, but I've finally cracked the code!  (It all comes down to temperature.)  I tried a little trick which might be helpful to others, so I'll share it.  You really need a sizeable block of chocolate to make curls, as the thin baking bars just don't have enough heft.  So I melted down 2 thin white chocolate bars and poured it into a small, plastic-wrap-lined aluminum bowl (about the size of a 6-oz ramekin).  After the chocolate hardened, it popped right out and was the perfect size to hold in one hand and make curls with.  Anyhoo, the cake was a poem (if difficult to slice cleanly) and was instantly devoured (once people got over their intimidation of cutting into it!).


The other hit of the open house was from "Bittersweet" -- the Gateau Diane, which is essentially walnut dacquoise discs sandwiched with whipped chocolate ganache.  The color photo of this cake thoroughly seduced me, so imagine my alarm when, half-way through prep, I realized that though the photo shows 3 layers of dacquoise, the recipe is written to yield only 2 layers.  After contemplating starting all over (grrrrr), I realized that I could spread another layer of ganache on top of the 2nd dacquoise disc and use the small dacquoise "cookies" that I had piped with the extra egg whites to make a ring of decorative circles around the top -- not *quite* three layers of dacquoise, but close.  This got devoured even more quickly than the mousse cake. 


Other sweets offered at the party included mini vacherins from Gail Gand's "Just a Bite" -- light, crisp white meringues piped into tiny cylinders, filled with a dollop of whipped cream and one perfect raspberry.  TDF!!  Very addictive.  The ever-popular TracyK's butter toffee, made with silvered almonds (and twice as many as her recipe calls for, just because).  Gawd, that stuff is good.  I had to move a dish of it so that my cheating-on-his-diet diabetic father wouldn't eat himself into a coma (no self-control at all!).  Rose Levey Beranbaum's Cinnamon Crunchies, which were -- good, but not amazing, and not what I expected from her description and the photo.  RLB's mini cheesecakes, some topped with lemon curd and some with cranberry topping, which are always a huge hit and one of the first things to run out.  And my darling mother decided to chip in and made beautiful butter cookies with cut-outs sandwiched with strawberry jam, pecan cookies, and glazed star butter cookies.  Bless her.


As we head into the gastronomic home stretch, I'm easing off a bit.  I made the caramel corn from the current Holiday Baking issue last night, increasing the butter from 3 Tbs to 5 Tbs, based on comments posted here.  It is FABULOUS stuff.  I managed to form about half of the batch into balls before it got too cool, and the popcorn balls are going to go into candy boxes along with TracyK's toffee and peppermints (if this evening's experiment is successful) as gifts for the kids' teachers and for some of my colleagues.  I'm planning the orange-ricotta tart for Christmas Night dessert, and maybe a batch of cookies if I get the cards in the mail and the rest of the presents wrapped........


: )


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #50 of 91)

"I don't think I've reported on my baking activities since before Thanksgiving (!), so I will post my review of the lemon tart recipe in the first Holiday Baking Issue, which I attempted in November.  Oh dear, oh dear.  The crust was just awful -- I ended up throwing it out and using a basic flaky pie crust.  The filling was good, and raspberry sauce was the perfect accompaniment.  But I just couldn't get the crust to work, and unfortunately, can't remember now what the problem was. What I do remember is that the proportions of flour, sugar and fat were indicative of a pate sucre (I think -- or maybe a pate brisee? -- d@mn memory!), but that the method of mixing was all wrong -- creaming the butter instead of cutting it in, or vice versa -- rendering the dough utterly unmanageable.  I'm curious whether anyone else has had success with this tart, with the crust as originally written."


I had a lot of trouble with the crust also - thought it was me, since I'm pastry dough-challenged. The butter was cut in via pulsing in the food processor. It was a PITA to work with, so I ended up rolling it out the best I could, and then just patted it into the pan. It came out great, with an excellent texture. Glenys had a good tip about freezing the dough, then grating it into the pan, but I haven't tried that yet.  



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

RuthWells's picture

(post #63376, reply #58 of 91)

Yeah, I'm usually pretty good with pastry (can roll a very flaky, fragile dough without breaking a sweat) but this one brought me low.  Just not worth the trouble!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #60 of 91)

It's too bad it didn't work out for you, because it's really an excellent crust. Oh well, at least the filling worked out!


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Nobody's picture

(post #63376, reply #48 of 91)

Made 200 Gingerbread people and some Russian Tea Cakes.

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #49 of 91)

I made more cookies than I should have, since they're basically just for my husband and I. We don't have any real family to speak of, (two very long, depressing stories), which actually makes this a very sad time of year for both of us - we're like two lonely orphans. Anyone want to adopt us? :(


All of the following are fantastic, except for the Pinwheels, with their disastrous gooey cream cheese dough, impossible to roll, and a PITA. In the end, they tasted good, because I overbaked them to get them crispy, BUT they had a totally distorted shape, like I was on drugs when I rolled them up.


Ina Garten's Jam Thumbprints (rolled in coconut) 


Cinnamon Cookies


Mocha Truffle Cookies


Pinwheel Cookies



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63376, reply #51 of 91)

Hey Meryl, we'll adopt you! I don't have much in the way of family either, and DH's, though they're lovely in-laws, all live in Europe.

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #52 of 91)

Aw, CM, you're such a sweetheart.  A Very Happy Holiday To You And Yours!


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

KarenP's picture

(post #63376, reply #54 of 91)

Anyone want to adopt us? :(


Hand up!  We'll take you!  You'll get a village..but then, thats the idea.

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #55 of 91)

Okay, we're all yours! You and CM can have joint custody. When should we start packing? ;)  


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst


Edited 12/22/2004 8:58 pm ET by Meryl

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

BillHartmann's picture

(post #63376, reply #56 of 91)

I don't do much baking.

But I got my Springerlies done.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
KarenP's picture

(post #63376, reply #63 of 91)

But I got my Springerlies done.

Congrats Bill!  MadMom and a few others became the experts a few months ago.  Some nice pictures around here somewhere. 

KarenP's picture

(post #63376, reply #62 of 91)

 When should we start packing?


 No time like the present Meryl...just give us time to shop, ahh heck with it, shop along!

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #65 of 91)

Hey Karen, where are you located anyway?! Are you in the U.S? Are you in Canada? (that would be even better :-))    


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

KarenP's picture

(post #63376, reply #73 of 91)

Hey Karen, where are you located anyway?! Are you in the U.S? Are you in Canada? (that would be even better :-))    


Right now I'm orphaned in northern California but I've been accused of having a near Canadian accent if thats any help.

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #81 of 91)

I love California - used to live in San Francisco. I'll be right over! :-)


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

RuthWells's picture

(post #63376, reply #57 of 91)

Add us as another virtual adopted family, Meryl!  (See, now you're going to have trouble splitting the holidays between us all, and will end up wishing you could just stay home, lol!) 


And, oh poo, I never posted the pinwheel recipe for you that I promised.  Still want it?  I'll bring it to work tomorrow in case you say yes.


: )


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Meryl's picture

(post #63376, reply #59 of 91)

Hi Ruth,


Wow, earlier today I had NO family, now I have 3!


Don't sweat it on the pinwheel recipe - post it whenever you have a chance. I won't be doing any more cookies this year, the more I make, the more I eat!



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

KyleW's picture

(post #63376, reply #70 of 91)

Here's my list for the last two weeks. It's not all cookies but mostly so. Tonight I'm going to try making spritz cookies for the first time. Any tips? Hints? Recipes?


Monster Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


Cinnamon Raisin Twists


Killer Kitchen Sink Cookies


Spice Cookies


Olive & Thyme Sourdough


Extravagant Espresso Cookies (From last years FC Holiday Baking)


Sweetheart Shortbreads (From last years FC Holiday Baking)


Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies


Shortbread Cookies


Chocolate Chip


Chocolate dipped biscotti


Rugelach


Mocha Shortbreads


Apple Spice Bread


 


 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63376, reply #71 of 91)

What did you throw in the kitchen sink cookies? I haven't thought about these in a long, long time.

KyleW's picture

(post #63376, reply #76 of 91)

It's a recipe I "stole" from Moomie, of Moomie's Buns fame. They've got rolled oats, coconut, raisins, pecans, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.