Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Halfway there

I've made six batches of cookies, which means I'm only halfway through my holiday baking.  Seriously, the amount of butter I go through this time of year is obscene.  Cookies make great gifts for neighbors, co-workers and friends, so I like to bake enough to cover everyone, and hopefully have some left over for my family. 

Most of my recipes are coming from these books:

I made Martha's snickerdoodles as found in the Cookies book.  This year, I kicked the flavor up a notch by adding cardamom, ginger and ground cloves to the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Delicious!

I also tackled Martha's Chocolate Crackles.  I've wanted to do these cookies for a long time and I'm so glad I finally did it:  these are so good and rich!  Perfect for a chocolate lover such as myself.

They didn't turn out quite like Martha's, I think because the balls were too big and therefore spread out too much upon baking, which messes with the crackle appearance.  I was worried that as the name states, these would be really hard cookies but instead they are so soft and chewy. Yum!

The next two recipes came from my latest cookbook acquisition:  Hershey's Recipe Collection.  I took the recipe for Double Chocolate Mini-Kisses Cookies and made it my own by adding peppermint extract instead of vanilla, and peppermint baking bits instead of chocolate chips.  I omitted the nuts entirely.

I bake some version of this cookie every year, and I've been searching for a solid recipe to stick with.  I'm not sure if this is it, but it was darn good.  Peppermint and chocolate has to be my favorite flavor combination for the entire month of December. 

Also from the Hershey's Recipe Collection was Oatmeal Scotchies.  Of course, the Hershey's company calls them "Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies" but that sounds boring to me. 

For my next round of baking, I'll take a few cookies from the Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies.  Have you seen the Baker's Field Guide collection?  These books, all about Christmas cookies, candy, chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes, are wonderful.  All cookbooks should be this easy to follow

For my next round of Christmas baking, I'm thinking of cardamom wafers, toffee bars/cookies and perhaps some more peppermint.  Isn't Christmas time wonderful?  And tasty?  It's a wonderfully tasty time.

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