Now, before we begin, I have to warn you this is kind of a long post. BUT, instead of making you come back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, I have included four incredible cookie recipes. Aren't I nice? And of course there are some pretty tempting photos as well. So there's that.
I've already packaged all of the cookies up and will be delivering them to friends and neighbors tomorrow.
Along with some yummy chocolate covered marshmallows.
You wanna know what's in the tin? Ok, here we go!
~ Cookie #1: Apricot Shortbread Cookies ~
I found the base recipe here. I knew when I saw it, that the author was right - these ARE dangerous, because as she states, there are only four ingredients in the base recipe: butter, sugar, cream cheese and flour.
I know, right?
I had actually been looking for a good shortbread cookie recipe that I could make with apricot jam, because after I tried the ones at Corner Bakery, I couldn't stop thinking about them.
Unfortunately,all of the recipes I found had almond extract, and if you been reading this blog for a while, you know that we are now a NO NUT family. So, when I saw this recipe, I knew that it could work.
The recipe is just a basic one, and calls for add-ins, but I decided to make them thumbprint style instead.
Apricot Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1-8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups flour
Powdered Sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar together; add cream cheese and mix until well incorporated.
3. Add flour (2 cups for a more delicate cookie, 2 1/2 cups for a firmer, chewier cookie)
4. Shape into one inch balls and place on your cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
5. Using the end of a wooden spoon, or your finger, make an indentation about halfway into the dough.
6. Fill the holes with preserves.
7. Bake for around 20 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
8. Remove to wire rack to cool, and dust with powdered sugar.
I think it makes about three or four dozen, but I can't be sure, since Rick ate quite a bit of the dough. Yes, it's THAT good.
This is just a basic recipe, you can experiment with any add-ins you wish - I'm thinking white chocolate chips and cranberries.
Oh, wait, here they are:
To the base recipe I just added one cup of white chocolate chips, and one cup of dried cranberries.
~ Cookie #2: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies ~
I found a recipe last year for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies that I wanted to try. Only, I couldn't find Mexican Hot Chocolate tablets at my local grocery store, and I really didn't feel like dragging my toddler around to Mexican markets to find them.
So instead, I modified the recipe. I added 1/3 cup of cocoa and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1. Stir cocoa powder and 1 tsp cinnamon into melted butter.
2. Add sugar cookie mix and egg and mix well.
3. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon.
5. Shape dough into one inch balls, and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
6. Place 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets, pressing down slightly with the palm of your hand.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, careful not to overbake (I mean really careful. A minute too long and they will be hard as a rock by the next day).
8. Remove to wire rack to cool.
~ Cookie #3: Rich and Creamy Fudge ~
Ok, so it's really not a cookie recipe, but it's a Christmas classic and a must-make at my house. I haven't had much luck with the true candy recipes (mostly because I don't want to buy a candy thermometer), and this recipe gets pretty close, even though it uses marshmallow creme.
Rich & Creamy Fudge
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
(the key here really is to keep stirring the entire time you are bringing it to a a boil and after it boils. And watch for splatters - don't ask me how I know).
3. Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.
(Have I mentioned how happy I am to have my oven working again???)