I have my favorites. I decided not to make a dozen different kinds of cookies this year, but rather to hand-select a few of my favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes to bake for my best of friends and countless under-appreciated teachers. In fact, I narrowed it down a small selection of yumminess. The chosen few—I knew—were sure to please. I would be giddy happy if someone handed me a tiny little, twine-wrapped box of any/all of these:
1. Peppermint Bark. My peppermint bark is one of the most sought-after, ‘googled’ recipes on my blog (especially during the holidays). It is brilliantly easy to make… in fact I was asked to attend a cookie exchange recently, and knew I would be too busy to bake elaborate cookies beforehand. So I planned to make my peppermint bark in the few minutes I had between work and carpool. Sure enough: 6 minutes and they were in my fridge getting firm. Peppermint Bark is easy-to-make, budget friendly and widely adored:
1 package white chocolate chips (I buy them from Trader Joes where they only cost $2.29);
2 tsp peppermint extract, and
20 mini candy canes (about half a package; I buy the mini kind—see picture—because you can crush them, snip them open with a scissors and pour. The large candy canes are a pain to unwrap!).
Put white chocolate chips in heat-proof bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat (microwave another 40 seconds and stir to blend). At this point you may be able to stir the chocolate to a smooth consistency. If not, microwave another 30 seconds and stir to blend (be careful not to burn the chocolate!). Stir in extract, then crushed candy canes. Spread on tray about 1/4 inch thick—I always give the tray a good ‘wham, wham’ on the counter to smooth out the surface of the bark. Pop in the fridge for 20 minutes to help firm; doesn’t need to stay in fridge. For giving: break into pieces, pile in little cellophane bags, wrap with curly ribbon and attach a nice note!
2. Chipolte Candied Pecans. I recently fell in love with these pecans. I made a batch of them, and tucked most of them in parchment lined tins. Though some I kept to chop and top my holiday baked brie [appetizer]! Eat them as-is or add them to salads, sprinkle on ice cream or top your sweet potatoes!
3. Snowball Cookies. Its THE perfect time of year to pull out the powdered sugar and roll your cookie balls in confectionery ‘snow’. Snowball Cookies are a far cry from healthy—so consider them the appropriate holiday treat and indulge!
What do you bake to delight your friends—and thank people—during the holidays? Do you have a favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe?