Tuesday, December 22, 2009

christmas cookie tins

Every year, I decide to make all the cookies that I have bookmarked, dog-eared, etc, and make them for Christmas cookie tins.  This way, I get to make all of the recipes that I have been wanting to try and all of Mike's co-workers benefit!  I make a single batch of about 8 recipes, wrap them, and pack 'em into little tins. 
This year, I made seven recipes:  toasted coconut cookies, white chocolate peppermint bark, peanut butter cookies, toffee, chocolate toffee cookies, walnut fudge, and chocolate whiskey truffles!  Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut Cookies
Makes about 18.
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat your oven to 300*.
Spread the coconut onto a large baking sheet.  Toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once to prevent burning.  Watch it very carefully....it will burn quickly!  Set aside to cool and raise the oven temperature to 350*.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy, about a minute.  Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until blended.  On low, add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Fold in the toasted coconut.
Divide the dough into 2 portions.  Roll out with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of parchment paper until about 1/4" thick.  Peel off top layer of parchment and cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter.
Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes until very lightly browned.
Remove to cool and enjoy!

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Makes about 20 pieces.
16 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
2 boxes candy canes, crushed

Melt about 3/4 of the chocolate in a large mixing bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  If you still have a few chunks, keep microwaving for 10 seconds at a time until completely smooth.  Really watch it....it'll burn easily.
Stir the rest of the chopped chocolate in and set aside to melt through.
When all is melted, pour onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and spread to about 8x11".  Sprinkle crushed peppermint and press lightly to adhere.
Set aside to harden for about 2 hours.  Break apart into large pieces and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 60.
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350*.  Line four baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, the brown sugar, and the baking soda until well blended, about a minute.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds.
Scoop dough with an 1" ice cream scoop and drop onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake until just cracked on top but still moist-looking, about 11 minutes.  Cool on sheets and enjoy!

Makes about 40 pieces.
2 cups sugar
4 sticks margarine
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Hershey's bars (plain milk chocolate)

Combine sugar, margarine, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.  Cook till an instant-read thermometer reads 305*.
Remove from heat and add the chopped walnuts and the vanilla.  Stir to combine and pour onto a 24x24" pan, lined with parchment paper.  (I used a roasting pan)
Place Hershey's bars on top and let them melt slightly.  Spread with a rubber spatula over the top.
Let cool and break into pieces.

Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Makes about 20.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 stick butter
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 1.4 ounce chocolate covered English toffee bars, (Heath) coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.  Set aside.
Stir chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth.  Remove from over water and cool to lukewarm.
Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes.  Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture and then toffee.  Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350*.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Drop batter by spoonfuls onto sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart.  Bake until the tops are just cracked but are still soft to the touch, about 12 - 15 minutes.  Cool completely on sheets.

Walnut Fudge
Makes about 16 pieces.
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick margarine
5 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Line a 9x9" baking pan with foil, with about 2 inches overhang.  Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, margarine, evaporated milk and marshmallow creme.  Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and chocolate.  Stir until all the chocolate is melted.  Stir in nuts and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool for about 2 hours, until set.  Cut into bite-size cubes and enjoy!

Chocolate Whiskey Truffles
Makes about 20 truffles.
10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup good quality whiskey
1/2 cup cocoa

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Microwave for another 30 seconds and remove to stir.  Set aside.
Heat the heavy cream and the light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Remove from heat and pour over the melted chocolate mixture.  Let stand for 2 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, stir gently, starting from the middle.  Stir until all the chocolate is melted.  Gently stir in the whiskey.  Pour mixture in an 8x8" square baking pan and refrigerate until completely firm.  When ready to form the truffles, remove pan from the fridge and set at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Using a melon baller, scoop the chocolate mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  You might have to use your hands to form.  Return to the fridge for 30 minutes.  Once firm, roll in the cocoa and enjoy!


  1. The chocolate toffee cookies are the best!

  2. Wow woman! You go! I only made 4 kinds of cookies and some white chocolate "trash." I feel like such a slacker :)

  3. Haha, this is what I love!! :) Merry Christmas!!

  4. If you use real butter instead of the margarine the toffee is twice as good.

  5. I've used both and it turns out great either way :)


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