Peppermint Crunch Cookies

It’s pretty clear I love mint.  Especially in the winter time.  If you need a reference, check out the Andes Mint Cookies recipe I posted a couple years ago.  My mom’s mint brownies are the only thing on my must-have list over Christmas every year.

When I saw both Brach’s chocolate-covered peppermint chips and Andes peppermint crunch chips, I knew I had to find a way to implement them into my baking this winter.  After perusing the interweb for a little bit of time, I came across this recipe on the A Kitchen Addiction blog and knew I had to try it.

Tastewise, it’s not significantly different from the Andes Mint Cookies, but if you want to make something with no extra work at the end, this recipe is pretty great.

peppermint crunch cookies.jpg

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Jan’s Ginger Cookies

One of the items I collect is cookbooks, which I think I’ve mentioned before.  In fact, in order to cook through some of these books, or Cook the Book, as some bloggers say, one plan for 2016 is to cook at least one new recipe from a cookbook each week, meaning that you will hopefully see some increased honest reviews of food in the new year as I start to do this more frequently.

In addition to cookbooks, I love the Brady Bunch.  So, you know I have a Brady Bunch cookbook.  How could I not have one?  We used it for a Progressive Potluck when I was an undergraduate student and opening a new student center.  See lyrics below:

1st Annual Couer de Catherine Progressive Potluck

(Sing to the tune of the Brady Bunch theme song)

 Here’s a story of a brand new building
That was erected at CSC
It holds many offices and departments
Including activities

 The new director suggested a party
So everyone could see all of the space
Looking at the calendar, her workers thought
of August 6, a Wednesday

 We’d like to do a progressive potluck
And use the theme of the Brady Bunch
You may wish to consult Alice’s cookbook
To help make us the Katie Bunch
The Katie Bunch.

 That’s the way we’ll become the Katie Bunch!

That being said, as we went into the holiday season this year, I was thumbing through the cookbook and came across Jan’s Ginger Cookies, which seemed appropriately holiday-inspired.  So, I thought I’d bake them for a little treat to take a break from all of the chocolate.  The ginger is pretty subtle…there’s just a hint of it there.

Jan's Ginger Cookies

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Candy Cookies

The final installment of last year’s Christmas cookies, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Candy Cookie.  A standard drop cookie, it’s full of peanut butter and candy goodness.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Candy Cookie

¾ c chunky peanut butter

½ c butter, softened

1 c light brown sugar

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 ¼ c flour

2 c quartered miniature peanut butter cups

1/3 c milk chocolate chips

Beat peanut butter and butter in mixing bowl and medium speed.  Beat in brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda until blended.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.  Beat in flour at low speed until just mixed.  Stir in peanut butter cups.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drop cookie onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Place chocolate chips into small resealable plastic food storage bag; seal bag.  Microwave at medium (50% power) 1 minute.  Turn bag over; microwave at medium 1 minute or until melted.  Knead bag until chocolate is smooth.  Cut off a tiny corner of bag; pipe chocolate decoratively onto cookies.  Let stand until chocolate is set.

Date Pinwheel Cookies

My mom made Date Pinwheels for the first time in history.  I don’t know why she hasn’t made them before, but they’ve never been at the top of our list of favorites.  However, the first thing my dad said when he saw them was that his brother Denny loved date pinwheels.  He shared that his mom baked them for Denny when he was in the seminary.  I might not love them, but I think that makes it worth writing it down and sharing it with the world.

 

Date Pinwheels

½ c solid vegetable shortening

½ c brown sugar

½ c sugar

½ c smooth peanut butter

1 egg

2 c flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

Chocolate Filling:

1 pkg chocolate chips (6 ounces)

1 Tbsp butter

Date Filling:

½ lb pitted dates, cut into fourths

1/3 c water

¼ c sugar

¼ c chopped nuts

In a mixing bowl, combine shortening, brown sugar, sugar, and peanut butter.  Add egg; beat until light and fluffy.  Sift flour with salt and baking soda.  Add to shortening mixture; blend well.

Roll dough into an oblong shape ¼ in thick.  Cover dough with waxed paper or clean towel while preparing either the chocolate or date filling.

To make chocolate filling: Melt chocolate chips over hot water.  Mix butter with melted chocolate.  Let cool slightly.

To make date filling: Cook dates, water and sugar until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add nuts.  Let cool slightly.

Spread chocolate and date fillings on dough.

Chill at least 2 hours.  Roll, cut and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Peanut Blossoms

I’m pretty sure everyone has a peanut blossom recipe.  They are one of those fan favorites that shows up on just about every plate of cookies at the holidays.  Some folks insist on the standard Hershey kiss, while others prefer the generic, not smooth chocolate kiss.  We’ve always been a smooth kiss family.  I’ve never known which recipe my mom used, but this one tasted good this year on her tray of goodies, so I insisted on copying down the recipe.  Here we are:

Peanut Blossoms

Cream together:

1/3 c peanut butter

½ c margarine

½ c white sugar

½ c brown sugar

Add:

1 egg

Mix well and add:

1 tsp soda

1 ¾ c flour

2 Tbsp milk

Chill at least 2 hours.  Shape into balls, roll in sugar.

Bake on a greased sheet at 350-375 degrees for 8 minutes

Remove from oven and top immediately with a chocolate kiss.

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

The next in the Christmas cookie series…

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

1 c margarine

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 ½ c flour

¾ c cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1 package Rolo Caramels

1 c chopped pecans divided

1 Tbsp sugar

Almond bark

Combine flour, cocoa & soda; set aside.  Cream margarine and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well.  Stir in ½ pecans.  Chill dough 1 hour for easier handling.  Meanwhile, remove wrappers from rolos; set aside.  Combine 1 Tbsp sugar and remaining pecans; set aside.  Turn dough on waxed paper and form into 4 sections.  Divide each section into 12 balls.  Enclose a Rolo in center of each covering well.  Dip the top of each cookie into nut and sugar mixture.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Do not overbake. Cool on baking sheet a couple of minutes then remove to cooling rack.

Melt almond bark and drizzle over cookies.

Yield: 4 dozen

Cranberry-Cashew Drop Cookies

The next in the Christmas cookie series

Cranberry-Cashew Drop Cookies

1 c butter, softened

1 c packed brown sugar

½ c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ c flour (sometimes use up to 1 1/3 c

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 pkg white chocolate baking chips

1 c chopped cashews

1 c dried cranberries

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in the chips, cashews and cranberries.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 4 ½ dozen