If you have known me for a little while.. then you know I like cookies. You’ll also know that I (and Mike) bake Christmas cookies. It’s pretty much the only time I make homemade cookies.. and we have been known to go a little cookie crazy.
We did not make cookies last year- we simply didn’t have the time or resources. (Saving for the wedding.) But we did bring the fabulous Berger cookie to christmas with us. (Berger cookies are a Baltimore specialty.. think soft buttery cookie topped with the thickest, most chocolaty fudge you’ve ever had. You only need one of those suckers.. or maybe half.)
Anyways.. this year I made a few batches, but not nearly on the scale as in the past. I didn’t count them either. I bought some cylinder canisters from the dollar store and was able to put one of each cookie in them. These will go in my gift bags for everyone. I have a bunch extra.. but the disadvantage of making them almost two weeks out from Christmas is that your husband (ok, ok, and maybe you) will eat a bunch of them. I wanted to bring the extras with us to set out at dinner when we go to NY for Christmas this year.. but sadly the numbers a diminishing. Today I consolidated them into 1 tin and put them away so they are not hanging around. Out of sight out of mind, as they say.
I always like trying new recipes and cookies are no exception. I have made anything from the standard chocolate chip cookie, to the amazing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookies, to chocolate covered cherry cookies. This year, I found a few recipes on Pinterest (of course) that I wanted to try out.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Bites
These were from Inspired Dreamer. They were pretty easy to do, and I was excited to use my new mini muffin pan. The cookie was a little harder than I would have guessed, but melded quite well with the Reese’s cup. They also rose more than in the blog picture, looked more like a cookie muffin- but didn’t affect taste any. The dough made a lot too.. since the cookies were more or less portioned out. I loved that they were all the same size.
Since I had a coupon at BJ’s for a jumbo sized Hershey kiss bag, I made a variation of this recipe with Hershey Kisses. This time, I wanted to test out my new silicone baking mats, so I prepared them on a baking sheet. These came out a little harder than the Reese’s version, but not too hard and didn’t crumble too bad. The mats were really awesome by the way. I got them from Amazon. I do have to say, they are larger than your typical cookie sheets, so I went and bought commercial grade ones with the proper measurements. (Also from Amazon.)
Famous M&M Christmas Cookies
From The Loveless Cafe. These were pretty good, and my husband said it was his favorite. Not much different from making regular chocolate chip cookies, only you mix in M&M’s and white chocolate chips. This recipe calls for the dough to be divided and colored red/green, with putting the opposite color M&M’s in them. (the red dough with green M&M’s, the Green dough with red.) But by the time I went to divided it, it seemed like such a little amount. So I made one whole batch red, and one whole batch green. I also used mini M&M’s, and did not separate the colors. I would have to say, the color fades when you bake them, so make the dough a strong green and a strong red. Otherwise.. they’re pretty good, and very festive.
From Dessert For Two. These used cake mix instead of adding the dry ingredients individually. I have heard of using cake mix for cookies before, but this was the first time I had tried it. I picked a white cake mix vs a yellow, thinking it would give me a generic vanilla flavor. I love that you add a little eggnog and the flavor is quite sufficient. I find I love adding eggnog to things to enhance flavor. (I’ve been putting it in my oatmeal for a little while, with a little bit of protein powder.. it’s fantastic.) Eggnog tends to be very sweet and concentrated, but it’s perfect for baking. I used light eggnog for this, but I imagine the regular stuff works just fine if not better. The cookies came out.. well, cakey. A little surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be. I didn’t make the frosting to go on top.. simply because I was afraid it wouldn’t solidify and therefore, wouldn’t travel well. I think the cookies are fine on their own, but that’s just my opinion. Another note- I tripled this recipe, only because it was originally meant to only make 8 cookies. I found the cake mix was about 3 cups in the box, so I multiplied everything by 3.
Peppermint Kiss Cookies
From The Recipe Critic. I love peppermint flavored baked goods. I love candy cane Kisses. This cookie looked so good and cute, I had to try it. Mine didn’t quite turn out like the beautiful picture on the blog.. but I think they tasted pretty good. I got my crushed peppermint/candy canes from the bulk foods section in Wegman’s. They were red and green and white, instead of just red and white, which, I thought made it more Christmassy. Eh, it was quick, easy and cheap.. so I went with it. I incorporated it into the dough and baked it that way. I also baked the kiss on the cookie instead of adding it out of the oven. My cookies spread out more than the ones in the picture.. and I noticed the kisses got a little singed. They were probably not the best looking cookie.. but they tasted pretty good. Guess that’s what counts.
I had planned on making my wonderful Reese’s cup cookies (basically smashed mini Reese’s cups mixed into chocolate chip cookie dough and baked) and oatmeal raisin (my dad’s favorite!) but I was wiped out from these, and I was kind of full from eating the dough 😉 I still have the Reese’s cups and the raisins.. so maybe after the holidays when I’m going through sugar withdrawal.