20 December 2011

Chocolate Cookies - Yum! Yum! Yum!

2 remarks

I'm pretty set in my ways when it comes to the cookies I bake for the holidays.  For years, our cookie boxes consisted of the chewy, snickerdoodles, and spritz.  Not a big variety, but some of tastiest cookies I make. 

Last year, Valerie found a chocolate cookie recipe that she wanted to try.  She wanted to make them for Christmas, to boot.  Skeptical, I agreed to include them, and we made a batch.  The cookies turned out delicious and they become a welcome addition to our Christmas cookie lineup.

The best way I can describe these cookies are as a chocolate snickerdoodle.  They are moist and chewy on the inside with slightly crispy edges.  We make them the same size as our snickerdoodles and roll them in sugar before baking.  They have a really nice chocolate flavor, too.  Kind of like a brownie cookie.  Yum!

Top Secret Chocolate Cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and cream together with a hand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the creamed mixture and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated. Roll the dough into walnut size balls, roll in sugar and place on wax paper lined baking sheet.  Rrefrigerate for 2 hours.

Once thoroughly chilled, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

11 December 2011

Gingerbread House

0 remarks

Gumdrops, candy canes, marshmallows and more!  Valerie was determined to make a gingerbread house with the kids this year, and I think we came up with a delightful little candy clad cottage.

Gingerbread house kits abound at the stores these days, but to me that feels like cheating.  It's just my nature to try to make things from scratch; especially things that are edible, so I figured a gingerbread house should be no different.

I modeled the gingerbread house design from the Santa houses that Nonna and Grandpa used to make.  I measured the dimensions of the Santa house and cut templates out of construction paper.  I found a recipe online for the gingerbread and got to work.

I rolled out the dough, put the templates down, and cut around the templates.  I baked the gingerbread and then cut around the templates again after it came out of the oven.  I whipped up some royal icing and waited for the pieces of the house to cool before assembly.

It was nerve wracking working with those pieces of gingerbread, knowing that one could snap if I made one wrong move.  Thankfully, the pieces held together and the house went up without any issues.  The house was ready for decorations, and the kids were all too ready to help.

I was also nervous watching Ari and Emilie's little hands as they put the decorations on.  There was one mishap early, but it was easy to fix, and they were otherwise very delicate and careful with the way they worked.  I am delighted with the way our gingerbread house turned out; it has just the right amount of character and charm.


Related Posts with Thumbnails