Friday, December 23, 2011

My Christmas Cookie Swap Recipes

On Sunday, I hosted the "2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Swap" at casa de Mudd. The premise of my cookie exchange is for each guest to bake and bring 4 dozen cookies - one dozen to taste/eat at the party and three dozen to share. Each guest shows up with four dozen cookies and each guest should go home with roughly three donzen cookies of all varieties. 

I knew that I wanted to bake something new.  It is always risky to try anything new when you're inviting guests over, but I trusted my baking skills and decided to try two Pinterest recipes.  (um, did you expect anything less than a Pinterest idea).

Both recipes turned out fabulous! It was definitely worth the risk. Now for the details...

White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
I absolutely love the taste of gingerbread, but I'm not a huge fan of the hard texture of traditional gingerbread cookies (like the gingerbread men cookies).  These cookies were the perfect balance of taste and texture. Recipe Link.
 The players: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Egg, Unsalted Butter, Baking Soda, Salt, AP Flour, Molasses, Vanilla.
 This is a great little cooking tip: When a recipe calls for tightly packed brown sugar, use a gallon sized zip-lock bag - place the brown sugar and a measuring cup into the bag, then pack the brown sugar using the bag as a barrier between your hand and sugar.
 Dark Karo Syrup would work just as well as Molasses
 It looked and smelled like gingerbread!
 Shape into large "dome" and place in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
 Roll cookie balls in sugar before baking.
Place Hugs Kisses into the center of the cookies immediately after removing from the oven. I baked these on parchment paper, and then just slid the paper/cookies off the baking sheet, then I added the Kisses. This was great because I didn't have worry about the excess heat from the baking sheet melting the Kisses too quickly.

Apple Cider Carmel Cookies
These were super easy and quick. One side note: it is best to zap these in the microwave for a few seconds before eating, as the caramels hidden inside do get a bit hard (especially if you're enjoying a few days after baking). Recipe Link.
The players: Apple Cider Drink Mix Packets, Kraft Caramels, Vanilla, Eggs, Melted Butter, Sugar, Baking Powder & Soda, Flour.
You do have to unwrap all 10 individual drink packets - the drink mix gets added in with the flour, sugar and baking powder & soda.
 One by one everything ends up in the mixer.
 Scoop into balls, and then press and small "bowl" into the middle of the cookie ball.
Add an entire Kraft Caramel and seal the cookie dough completely around the caramel
(and yes, you have to unwrap each individual caramel).
This is a picture of my last batch, which I made JUMBO sized, because I was running out of caramels. The recipe makes enough dough for about 60ish regular sized cookies, but one bag of Kraft Caramels only contains 50 candy pieces.  I would suggest buying two bags of caramel if you would like the cookies to be uniformed in size...or I guess you could just make all the cookies a little bigger :)

Both recipes turned out fabulous, and were super easy & fun to make. I will definitely be adding these to my traditional holiday baking list. The apple cider cookies would actually be a great Thanksgiving treat too! The cookie swap was a great success once again; stay turned for a post about my White Christmas Sangria and Cheddar Sausage Balls that made their debut at the party as well.

Merry Baking!

Kelly Anne 

No comments: