One of my best childhood memories around this time of year, was piling up in the kitchen with my mom and sister and making an array of Christmas cookies/treats. Every year, mom would make a couple standards Christmas cookies that stick out, like White Trash (known to some as puppy chow), homemade fudge, and these little pecan butter Christmas cookies rolled in powdered sugar. Every once in a while, we’d throw in a few others like the traditional sugar, cut out cookies or gingerbread men, but those three were always our favorites.
In a text thread last week between my family, mom asked if Courtney and I would like to bake Christmas cookies over the weekend. I raised my hand, yes and Court was in too. On Sunday we all met over at my parent’s and each brought ingredients for two items. We didn’t through all of them until we were all spent and ready to kick up our feet fireside, with a glass of wine and girl talk, but we made a few Christmas Cookies that were really delicious that I’m sharing today.
White TrashSERVES about 12-14 PrintDownload
- 9 cups of Rice Chex cereal
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp of butter
- 1 box of confectioners sugar
- Optional: 1 cup of Salted Peanuts and Raisins
- Melt the chocolate, peanut butter and butter over a double boiler. Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let the water continue to simmer. Place a heat safe bowl (preferably glass) over the water and stir the ingredients until they have melted and are smooth.
- In a large bowl, add the Rice Chex cereal, peanuts and raisins if you're using them.
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal, tossing it gently to coat.
- In a large paper bag, empty the entire box of confectioners sugar in and add the chocolate coated cereal. Close the bag up and gently shake it to cover the cereal in sugar.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Chocolate Orange BaklavaSERVES serves 8-10 PrintDownload
- 1 full package (2 rolls) of Phyllo dough
- 1 teaspoon of orange zest
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup of pecans
- 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of orange extract
- Coarsely grind the nuts in a small food processor. Pour into a bowl and add in the chocolate chips, brown sugar and orange zest. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Open a package of the thawed phyllo dough and stretch it out on a cutting board. Slightly dampen a towel to cover the dough. This will prevent it from drying out and cracking.
- Melt the stick of butter.
- Using a small paint brush or pastry brush, brush the melted butter along the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking pan.
- Using about 3 sheets of phyllo, fold it to fit inside the pan and brush the layer with a little more butter. Continue layering between 3 and 6 pieces of phyllo and brushing with butter until it's layered about halfway up the pan.
- Sprinkle a generous layer of the nut mixture over the phyllo and spread it out evenly.
- Continue layering and buttering the phyllo until the dough is almost at the top of the pan.
- Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the baklava into 2 inch squares.
- Lightly cover the baklava with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes. Remove the foil after about 30 minutes and let it continue to cook and brown over the entire top of the dessert.
- While the baklava is cooking, make the sugar syrup by combining the white sugar, orange juice and extract in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute for the sugar to dissolve and then cut the heat off.
- As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven, pour the syrup over the top of the entire dessert. Let it soak for about 6 hours and then serve.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Peanut Butter Blossoms with Chocolate KissesSERVES makes about 3 dozen PrintDownload
- 1/2 cup white sugar, plus an extra cup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 full bag of Hershey Kisses
- In a large bowl, beat together the 1/2 cup of white sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with an electric mixer until it's all combined.
- Next add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough comes together.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the extra sugar. Place them on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are a light golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking, unwrap the Hershey Kisses. When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately press a chocolate piece in the center of each cookie.
- Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and allow them to cool.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks
Christmas Pinwheel CookiesSERVES Makes about 3 dozen PrintDownload
- 2 1/2 sticks butter, cut into tiny pieces
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- red and green food coloring
- red, white and green sprinkles
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugars) to a mixer. Stir it on low until the ingredients are well combined
- Add in the pieces of cold butter. Turn the mixer on low and let it all combine. At this point, add the vanilla and continue mixing. This will take a minute, but eventually the butter will form a ball around the paddle of the mixer.
- Divide the dough in three portions.
- Mix two of the portions with red food coloring and the other with green. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Roll each portion out into a rectangle and layer on top of one another. Gently roll the layers together longways. Roll in the sprinkles. Cover in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes or so.
- Heat the oven up to 350. Cut the chilled dough into slices (not too thick, not too thin) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden around the edges.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week