Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookies 2010

Last year I baked and baked and baked. Then we delivered and delivered and delivered...and only had one neighbor turn down the plate of baked goodness. Seriously, he refused to open his door. Maybe it's because it was dark, or really, really cold, or maybe he's Jewish. I don't know. Needless to say we won't be trying to deliver Christmas cookies to that house again.

But, it's time for Christmas cookies again. Which means more baking, more delivering and more neighbors and friends who hopefully appreciate buttery & sugary goodness.

This year on the list? We're going retro, or traditional if you will. We're bringing out the Thumbprint Cookies and the Chocolate Crackle Cookies. We might throw on some of my Grandma's famous fudge, my mom's Melt-aways and some of my mother-in-law's pretzel/rolo/pecan snacks. Like I said, we're going traditional.


1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter shortening
3 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup jam, jelly or preserves of your choice

Preheat oven to 350°. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat 2 cookie sheets lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with mixer for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl,. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, (because they are called 'thumbprint cookies'...) make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. It may be necessary to make the indentation again with a spoon. Place about 1 tsp. jam/preserves into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 - 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.


1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Beat brown sugar, shortening and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat well.

Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375°. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar to coat completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

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