Cookie traditions old and newPublished 9:44pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By Janet Tharpe
It’s cookie swap time again. Along with all of our family’s holiday standards — peanut butter blossoms, sugar cookies, chocolate Christmas wreaths — I simply love tossing in new recipes each year from justapinch.com for an extra pinch of holiday flair.
Color is key for any eye-catching tasting tray. This year I’m surprising my friends by including one of our new discoveries, Chocolate Cherry Beauties. These addictive chocolate cookies were a runner-up in the Just A Pinch Cookie Celebration contest, and I’ve been getting requests for them ever since.
“A delicious show-stopper of a cookie,” says cookie creator Cassandra Nasr. “I make these cookies for Christmas, and more recently had a request for them for a wine-tasting party. My father has proclaimed them to be ‘the most delicious cookie [he has] ever tasted.’ Mission accomplished.”
In fact, these darling bites should come with a warning label, because they are simply dynamite. Think ice cream sundae in cookie form. With their brownie-like cookie base and creamy cherry topper, the Kitchen Crew and I wiped out the first batch in record time. No shame in that, folks. You’ll see what we mean when you give these a try for yourself.
Equally irresistible are Mary Nell Foster’s Lemony Doodles which are, in fact, as fun to eat as they are to say.
“This is a recipe that came about because of my love of all things lemon,” says the Montana home cook. “My kids and grandkids love snickerdoodles, and one night … I decided that I would experiment. This is what I came up with.”
The result is a lightly sweet, lightly lemony cookie that combines the best of soft lemon bars and sugary snickerdoodles. They are so loved by Mary Nell’s family that her brother-in-law refers to her as a “Kitchen Goddess” every time she makes them. Now that’s an endorsement if I’ve ever heard one.
Last year it was a no-bake cookie that really got my engines going. Bekka Newcomb’s Bourbon Balls won us over with not only their obvious “spirit,” but for their sheer deliciousness.
“Made with bourbon, vanilla wafer crumbs, and cocoa, along with pecans and confectioners’ sugar, this easy recipe is a Southern favorite,” says Bekka.
In fact, holiday revelers from all corners will fall for these chocolaty darlings. Form the cookie balls, then add your own festive spin by coating them in any number of wonderful toppings. We like tossing some of the balls in sweetened cocoa and others in colored candy sprinkles. Crushed nuts work well too. Regardless, they are the perfect spirited filler for any cookie tray.
In with the old and in with the new, is what we always say. Family food traditions have to start somewhere, and there are bushels of tasty recipes just waiting to be adopted.
Try a few of these holiday cookie creations for some added cheer this year. And don’t forget to leave some for Santa!