Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Whatever Your Holiday, Holiday Cookie

** It is almost sundown and you have nothing to usher in the festival of lights?
** Santa’s sleigh bells are a’ jingling and you forgot to make cookies to put out?
** Your doorperson is leering at you because you forgot the holiday gift?
** Your kids ate all your cookies before company arrived?

No fear, the easiest All-Purpose and Holiday cookie is here (pictured above in religious harmony). Delicious, chocolaty cookie base and a sweet holiday appropriate topping. Six ingredients you can probably dig up in the house make up the cookie. The holiday additions are your choice be it a powdered sugar frosting with food coloring, pre-bought icing, a sprinkle of pecans, or a dust of edible gold. Quick, sweet, and mouth-watering scrumptious to eat. Without delay, after all; you are in a rush!

Prep Time= 10 min Cook time= 11 min. Makes about 25 cookies.
1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
½ cup dark chocolate, broken into pieces (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350F. In an electric blender, beat sugar and butter until blended. Beat in egg.
2) Add flour, cocoa, and salt; beat until blended.
3) Break apart the chocolate bar and pulse into the batter so it forms smaller pieces.
4) Refrigerate 1 hour (I neglected this step and they turned out fine).
5) Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls. Place balls on baking sheets (you will probably need 2), spacing about 2 inches apart.
6) Using the bottom of a glass or palm of your hand, flatten each ball to 2-inch rounds (edges will crack).
7) Bake 11 minutes (do not overbake). Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely.
NOTE: I snagged the cookie recipe from (the chocolate bar is my addition). The cookie base is the Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie from their December 2005 holiday cookie issue.

I used pre-made icing from the grocery and crushed up peppermints in the electric mixer to form a peppermint dusting. I would have loved some edible gold flakes (“gelt”) to put on the Hannukah cookies but I did not have any. Some crushed pecans would have worked well, but I also had none. The Hannukah cookies are blue and white icing. The Christmas cookies are green or white icing with a sprinkle of peppermint dust.
For Christmas Cookies:
1) Place about 8 peppermint circles (or 1 candy cane) into an electric mixer and pulse to a chunky powder.
2) Squeeze a small dollop of green or white icing onto the center of the cookie. Add a pinch or two of the peppermint and push down to allow the peppermint to stick to the icing.

For Hannukah Cookies:

1) Place a small dollop of blue icing in the center of the cookie. Place a smaller dollop of white (or yellow) on top of the blue to act as a crown.
Other options:
1) White frosting with edible gold flakes sprinkled would have looked amazing for Christmas or Hannukah cookies.
2) Before baking, crushed pecans pressed lightly into the dough would be lovely.
3) A powdered sugar frosting, with or without food coloring would be nice to spread on top: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbl water, 1 tsp vanilla (or peppermint or rum flavoring) and 3-4 drops food coloring. Stir with fork. If too thick, add more water; too thin more powdered sugar.

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