Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 4: Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

These were a little bit of a pain to make, but so worth it.

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 teaspoons instant espresso
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners' sugar, for coating
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners' sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings. Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 3: Nutella Cookies

Nutella Cookies

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted & skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.
Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 2: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup
2 pounds chocolate-Whatever kind you like.
Peppermint flavorings, optional (i did not do this step)

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 1: Thumbprint Kiss Cookies

Hershey's Kiss Cookies
1/4 c  Brown sugar, packed
1/4 c Margarine; softened
1/4 c Shortening
1 Egg; separated
1/2 ts Vanilla
1 c All-purpose flour
1/4 ts Salt
3/4 c Finely chopped nuts
3 Hershey's kisses

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix brown sugar, shortening,
margarine, egg
yolk, and vanilla. Mix in flour and salt untl dough holds together. Shape
dough into 1 inch balls. Beat egg whites lightly. Dip each ball into egg
white; roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Press thumb deeply in center of each.
Bake until light brown, about 8 to 9 minutes. Immediately remove from
cookie sheet. Place a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie.
Kiss will melt slightly from warmth of cookie. Let them
cool thoroughly and the Kiss harden again before storing. Makes
about 3 dozen cookies.If you prefer, you can make
peanut butter cookies instead with the thumbprint and Hershey Kiss.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tomorrow starts the baking spree!

I have decided to make a different cookies for the next 12 days, which brings me to Christmas Eve.

Stay tuned for new recipes!