05 December 2014

Christmas Cookies

Today is all about Christmas cookies! Last year I devoted one Saturday in December to a marathon cookie baking session while we had Christmas movies playing in the background. It was glorious. Our previously mentioned December travels mean that this weekend is my one shot at cookie baking, and I plan to take advantage of it. Last year I got a little carried away and became a bit of a cookie pusher, trying to force cookies on unsuspecting family, friends, and coworkers. So I'm going to try to cut back this year, and halve recipes where I can.  The three cookie recipes that I will DEFINITELY be making this weekend:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Iowa Girl Eats)
I stick with the classic peanut butter instead of her suggested use of cookie butter. These are M's favorite cookies and I will definitely NOT halve this recipe. These little guys are so, so good.

Christmas Cherries (Pioneer Woman)
 Ummm...yeah, I might double this recipe. These are my faaaaaavorite Christmas cookies. They are addictive. The citrus flavor is so refreshing, it almost makes you forget about the amount of butter involved. Also those little candied cherries remind me of the garnish my mom used to put on her homemade cream cheese braids, so there's a good deal of childhood nostalgia going for these.

Fruitcake Cookies (Ina Garten)
There are two types of people in the world: people who like fruitcake and people who don't. I fall into the former category. But I think even fruitcake detractors could be swayed by these cookies. A few of these cookies with a cup of vanilla-cinnamon tea after dinner and I am in heaven. This recipe makes a ton of cookies, but it's an easy recipe to halve. You could also make the full recipe and just freeze one of the logs instead of baking it, which is what I did last year.

Those are our three traditional Christmas cookies (or as traditional as something can be after only 4 years of being a household). I like to try new recipes every year to audition new members of our exclusive cookie club. Last year I made pepparkakor and honestly? The dough was better than the cookies. The cookies were actually delicious, but they were kind of overshadowed by all of the other offerings. I also made Dinner: A Love Story's Mexican chocolate cookies (the recipe is in her first cookbook). I overbaked them but they were still awesome, especially with a cup of hot chocolate. That said, not sure they really felt like Christmas cookies to me. So here are the newbies I want to try this year:

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Jenny Steffens Hobick)
Like many people, I grew up making cut-out cookies with my mom and sister for Christmas. We had so much fun decorating them and picking out the prettiest ones to leave for Santa. I am terrified to make them as an adult, mainly because I'm a perfectionist and I'm pretty certain that since my cookie decorating skills haven't advanced much since the 3rd grade, I'm going to be wildly disappointed in the outcome.
Pignoli Cookies (Anne Burrell)
I am a sucker for anything with pine nuts and since M is half-Italian, this seems like a fun nod to his heritage.

Buckeyes (Southern Living)
We made these every year growing up and I've just never made them as an adult. No hang-ups about them the way I do with cookies...I've just never done it. I don't know why; they're actually REALLY easy to  make. Maybe this will be the year!

Bourbon Balls (Garden and Gun)
I mean...chocolate + cookies + bourbon. I usually make hot cocoa mix and/or cheese straws to give as gifts to friends and coworkers and I feel like I can make room in the line-up for these babies. YUM.


MCW said...

My Italian friends make Pignoli cookies all the time. I'm not a huge fan...

Give me an iced sugar cookie any day of the week. And the Reeses ones? Yum!!!