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Pull Up a Chair: Cookies!

Cookies Cookies Cookies

KISSES Candy Cane Blossoms

It’s not a proper Christmas without the cookies, people.

Cutouts are always fun, but labor intensive. Definitely a day’s play for the kiddies. Half the fun is picking out which cookie cutters to use. Nowadays you’ve got your Ninjabread Men (they are cut out for action) or maybe ABC (Already Been Chewed) Gingerbread Men. H. O. Foose sells a gillion different cutters, or FrankenCutters, they do custom work. Decorating is fun, you can be cbl good with the flow icing technique or a schmearer like me. Indulging in sprinkles and dragées is indulgent, of course Wilton is one source, you can even find Christmas lights sprinkles. Martha’s Cutouts Recipes

Thumbprints for the rest of us! I never cared for peanut butter with chocolate so I always passed on the Thumbprints, but this year I get my own tasties. Pictured above, this version uses Candy Cane Kisses® and a sugar cookie base.  Peering around the web, I see some with a little bit of white sugar instead of the colored sugars, obvs your preference. Candy Cane Blossoms Recipe

And special for you who like to eat the cookie dough, cookie dough brownies. Inspired by an offering at a Maine bakery, Recipe Girl created Cookie Dough Brownies (eggless for safety!). It’s a fudgy brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie-type dough, then chilled before serving. Haven’t tried them yet, but they look sickeningly yummy. Recipe Girl’s Cookie Dough Brownies

I’m a big fan of chocolate chippers, I’m in the Tollhouse camp myself, but it’s a big world and this is a free country so you might disagree (add a splash of water to the dough (shh)). Serious Eats’ Food Lab just published The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Takes you step by step as the cookie bakes: the dough spreads, the edges set, the cookie rises, egg proteins and starches set, the Maillard reaction occurs, and the cookie cools. It’s worth a read to learn how to dial in your cookies. Serious Eats’ Version of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Who among us does not have a vintage cookie press or two in the back of the cupboard? Spritz cookies are a variation of the traditional German/Scandinavian Christmas cookie, Spritzgebäck “made of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. When made correctly, the cookies are crisp, fragile, somewhat dry, and buttery.” I suppose ‘made correctly’ is the operative term, I’ve always struggled getting the dough to come out of the spritzer as a proper wreath, Christmas tree, camel or whatever it is that other plate is supposed to be. Of course, now that I’m smarter about cookie science… Spritz Cookie Recipe

Another favorite here are Chocolate Pixies, they need that dust of powdered sugar to be authentic. Chocolate Pixies and Chocolate Pixies Minted

WikiHow has some tips on converting recipes for dietary preferences or restrictions.

So who has a good recipe for gingerbread? What are your traditional favorites? Are you the baker or the eater?


Photo from Hershey

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