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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advent Blog: Day 11~ Cookies

Cookies and Christmas just seem to go together... Cookie swaps... baking cookies for Santa... or in the case of Blue Artichoke, baking 500 cookies in 3 days, or some craziness...

So I decided to share some cookie recipes that I like... First up are Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I got this recipe from Blue Artichoke-- this is what I took to the cookie swap last year-- HUGE hit... I made them SO many times last year, I am pretty sure I STILL smell like peppermint. Anyway, these are TOPS on my holiday cookie list:

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa1 bag Andes Peppermint Crunch (*I also use the Creme de menthe chips)

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and mint extract.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, beating until blended.
Fold in peppermint crunch; drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 3 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 12 to 14 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2-1/2 dozen
Adapted from Southern Living, DECEMBER 1997
Next up-- well, I have never made these... but they look YUMMY! And I am thinking of making them for my cookie swap THIS year:

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies-->
•1 (19.5 oz.) package Pillsbury® Classic Traditional Fudge Brownie
•1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
•4 ounces cream cheese, softened
•1 large egg
•1 cup powdered sugar
•1 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
•1/2 can Pillsbury® Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1.HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat brownie mix, melted butter, cream cheese and egg in medium bowl 50 strokes with spoon until well blended (dough will be sticky).

2.DROP dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets to make 24 cookies; smooth edge of each to form round cookie.

3.MIX powdered sugar and peanut butter in small bowl with spoon until mixture forms a ball. With hands, roll rounded teaspoonfuls peanut butter mixture into 24 balls. Lightly press 1 ball into center of each ball of dough.

4.BAKE 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheets at least 30 minutes.

5.SPREAD thin layer of frosting over peanut butter portion of each cooled cookie.

High Altitude (above 3500 ft.):
1.FLATTEN cookies slightly before baking. Bake at 350° F for 11 to 15 minutes.
Yield: 24 cookies
And finally... these are maybe not *technically* a cookie... but they are MADE from cookies... so close enough!

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.
DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

These are SUPER easy... and everyone LOVES them...

So there you are-- some ideas... or inspiration... if I am out for snow tomorrow... I think I will make some cookies... COME ON SNOW!!

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