Monday, December 20, 2010

Countdown to Christmas - Day 20 (Make Christmas Treats)

We continue to make more cookies and try recipes that we've wanted to make. This is a good time of year to try new recipes because we can share the cookies with others, and keep some to enjoy for ourselves.

Today, Sophia, Olivia, and I made two different cookies, but each used the same dough. Sophia made the Stained Glass Cookies and Olivia made Snowball Surprises. The recipes came from Cooking with Kids magazine (Holiday 2004 edition).

Butter Cookie Dough
(Makes 12-18 cookies, depending on size)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used dairy-free butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl. Set aside. Put the butter and sugar in another bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat one minute more. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until smooth. Turn off mixer.

Shape the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour or up to three days. Freeze up to three months.

Stained Glass Cookies

Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies with cutters. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the middle of each cookie. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place 3/4 cup assorted color LIfesavers or Jolly Rancher candies in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Crush with a rolling pin.

(Side note here: Sophia divided the Jolly Rancher candies by color/flavor and put them into small baggies. She used a hammer to crush them.)

Sprinkle the crushed candies into the cutout of each cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on parchment. Remove with spatula.

Here's what the finished cookies looked like (they are translucent, like stained glass, in the center):

Stained Glass Cookies

While Sophia was making the Stained Glass Cookies, Olivia was making the Snowball Surprises.

Here's the recipe for Snowball Surprises:

Surround each of 18 unwrapped Hershey's Kisses or large chocolate chunks with 1 tablespoon of the dough. (Note: Olivia used Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses.)

Gently pinch to close at the top. Roll each ball in a bowl filled with 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut to coat entire surface of ball.

Place snowballs on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until coconut just begins to brown. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Here's a picture of Olivia's cookies - with and without coconut (since she doesn't like coconut):
Snowball Surprise Cookies - With and Without Coconut

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