Virtually deliciousPublished 9:49pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012
In the grand old Christmas tradition of cookie exchanges, we bring you today the first half of the Suffolk News-Herald Newsroom Virtual Cookie Exchange.
Here’s the way this works: Today, we’re including the recipes for some of our favorite Christmas cookies, along with brief descriptions of what makes them special to us. Unfortunately, we can’t share the cookies themselves, because someone who can’t be named (but he’s the editor of this paper) ate virtually all of them. That’s what makes this a “virtual” cookie exchange.
We hope you’ll participate by sending your favorite cookie recipe to share on this page next week, thereby completing the exchange. If you’d like to take part, just send an email to email@example.com. Include your name, the recipe and a photo of yourself. We’ll choose our favorites to publish on the Food Page next Wednesday.
Thanks in advance. And Merry Christmas!
OK, right off the bat, these recipes are all from my mother. Mom makes cookies — lots of them — at Christmas, and my wife makes candy. I am the taste tester, quality control department, packing inspector and chief evaluator for both operations. It’s clear from my photo that I should, perhaps, begin delegating some of those assignments.
Have a Merry Christmas, Suffolk, and a wonderful holiday season!
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp. Cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and nuts.
3. Drop by teaspoonful on foil-lined cookie sheets. Place in preheated oven and turn off heat immediately. Do not open the oven for at least eight hours.
Carefully remove cookies from cookie sheet.
Yield: 50-60 cookies
1 Duncan Hines butter yellow cake mix
2 cups Razzle-Dazzle Krispies or Fruity Pebbles
¾ cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together and drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheet.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for five to 10 minutes. Let cookies set for two to three minutes before removing from baking sheet.
White Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
2 cups chopped stick pretzels
1 cup golden raisins
1 lb. white chocolate
1 cup chopped nuts
1. Melt chocolate in microwave for one minute and stir. Continue heating at 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted.
2. Add all other ingredients, stirring until well mixed.
3. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Let cookies remain on baking sheets until firm. Place cookies in a tightly covered container.
Matthew A. Ward
These sweet and slightly chewy cookies are named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which was formed between the two nations and operated during World War I, including in the Battle of Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey. The biscuits keep well, and wives and mothers would ship them off to husbands and sons on the front. They’re good with a hot cup of black tea.
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of dried coconut
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoons of molasses (the recipe actually calls for golden syrup, which does have a distinct flavor; but good luck finding it!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of boiling water
1. Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut.
2. Melt butter a little in the microwave, add the molasses (or golden syrup), and then melt both a little more.
3. Mix soda with boiling water, add to butter mixture and then add to dry ingredients and combine.
Place tablespoonfuls of mixture on lightly greased oven trays, allowing room for spreading.
Cook in a slow oven at 320 degrees, for 20 minutes. They will come out soft and harden while cooling.
Every time my mom and I visit her mom’s house near Greensboro, N.C., for the holidays, I always know a tub of these chocolate chip cookies will be waiting.
I always thought it was a family recipe, but I was fooled. When I called to get the recipe for this feature, she told me, “It’s the one on the Tollhouse bag.”
So here it is, friends. I pray you have a joyous Christmas season celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
3. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Beth Beck Land
Christmas was often preceded in my house by daylong cookie-making adventures that ended with far too many of them — at least to my childhood self — being boxed up as gifts for teachers, family and my mother’s coworkers.
Trying to pick just a favorite from the dozens and dozens of cookies my mother, sister and I baked as a family is all but impossible. But when I think about the smells that make me think of Christmas, I always go back to the cinnamon-spiked warmth that infuses the kitchen while a batch of snickerdoodles is baked.
Suffolk has given me many gifts, from a job to a favorite coffee shop. Hopefully the gift of my mother’s snickerdoodle recipe will be a fitting thank you. Merry Christmas, Suffolk!
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. Chill the dough for an hour.
3. Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining ¼-cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
4. Bake until the cookies are set in the center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes.
5. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. They can be stored in an airtight container up to one week.
Yield: About three dozen 3- to 4-inch cookies.
Peanut butter balls
My mom has made this recipe as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember standing on a stool to help in the dipping process and then later sneaking into the fridge to grab a few from the Christmas tin. Once I was older she enlisted my brother and me to help roll the balls. We now have a tradition of getting together every year to make the treats to give away to family and friends.
Two sticks of margarine (softened)
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1.5 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate candy coating
1. Cream the margarine and peanut butter together. Then add sugar a little bit at a time until it is mixed well.
2. Roll mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
3. Melt chocolate coating on low heat, stirring frequently.
4. Once coating is melted, dip balls into chocolate and lay onto wax paper.
5. Once the balls have hardened, store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
This recipe is new to my family. It was first discovered at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party. My husband and I loved them so much — and couldn’t stop eating them. Before we left, we made sure to get the recipe. Since then, it has been my go-to recipe for Christmas goodies. Last year, my mom started making them too, and we experimented with mint Oreos. They were a success.
One bag of regular or mint Oreos
8 oz. of cream cheese (1/3 fat cream cheese can be substituted)
Almond bark white chocolate coating
1 tbsp. of vegetable or canola oil
1. Finely crush Oreos by hand or with a food processor.
2. Mix well with cream cheese. Roll into balls and refrigerate.
3. Melt white chocolate on a low temperature, stirring frequently. Add 1 tbsp. of oil and mix well.
4. Dip balls in coating and place on wax paper to harden.
5. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
In honor of the greatest Gift that was given to mankind approximately two thousand years ago in a town called Bethlehem, it is only appropriate that the exchanging of gifts is encouraged during the Christmas season.
In this instance, I would like to share something that has long been near and dear to my taste buds. The following recipe is a favorite of mine because, when followed, it brings into existence my grandma’s mouthwatering cookies, which I have enjoyed on a regular basis for many years.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Maxine Harman
¾ cup of Crisco
1¼ cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1¾ cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
¾ teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of chocolate chips
(Optional) 1 cup of nuts
1. Mix sugar, Crisco, milk, vanilla and egg together.
2. Mix flour, salt, baking soda in a separate bowl.
3. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients a third at a time until fully combined.
4. Fold in chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).
5. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes and then check for doneness.