Christmas music is playing. The tree is up and the lights are glowing. There is snow on the ground and everything is sparkling outside. Brette is in the kitchen making Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Caramels.
Can life get any better?
Maybe with some hot tea and a cookie?
Yes, yes that’s better.
As you saw from my last post, Cookie Day occurred this last weekend and it was as successful as ever.
We made a LOT of cookies. We were exhausted.
My neighbors and friends will be very happy.
I’m going to share a few favorite cookie recipes (and more scenes from cookie day 2009) throughout this week in honor of all the work we put it in ONE day.
But first, meet the bakers:
My mother, making her sick (and favorite) daughter a poached egg on toast for breakfast. Why does she do that a zillion times better than I do?
Sister #1: She’s working so hard, you can’t even see the rolling pin! (isn’t she cute with her gingerbread t-shirt?)
Sister #2: The Christmas Kook Cook – so excited!
Sister #3: Ready Santa!
There is not a single shot of just me which is probably good – I was looking a little rough around the edges. Stupid colds.
I tried a new recipe this year: Espresso Balls. I wanted to make them because they required me to buy chocolate covered espresso beans and they involved chocolate and hazelnuts. Need I say more?
They were deemed a winner after taste tests by my fellow bakers. My cold caused me to have non-existent taste buds.
These would be adorable on a cookie platter or wrapped up in a box for a gift. They are perfect for the coffee lover in your life and they’d be perfect with a cup of coffee!
from Better Homes and Garden’s “Christmas Cookies”
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and ground (spread in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 10-15 min or until nuts are slightly golden. Cool completely and grind)
1/4 c. chocolate covered coffee beans, ground
Chocolate-covered coffee beans
Preheat oven to 325.
Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer on med-high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Beat in coffee liqueur and vanilla. Beat in flour ( you may have to do some of this by hand if it gets to thick). Stir in 1/2 c. of the hazelnuts and the ground coffee beans.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in remaining ground hazelnuts. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 13-15 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned. Lightly press a whole chocolate-covered coffee bean on the top of each cookie. Cool on cookie sheets for 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. Freezes well.
I better go check on Brette. He’s been stirring a butter/cream/corn syrup/vanilla bean concoction for some time now. I’ve only had to go in there twice. He may need moral support. Hopefully, I will be able to post about the caramels he is making and how wonderful they are. Stay tuned….