Thursday, July 26, 2007

Homemade Christmas

This year will be a “homemade” Christmas. Yes, my dh & kids will be getting some store-bought gifts, but mostly everyone else will be getting “homemade” gifts. And couples and the individual families (my brothers’ families, my brother-in-laws’ families) will count as one this year. In years past, we’ve spent way too much on Christmas gifts. This has got to stop. If it truly the thought that counts, then this year it should mean that much more, because we’ll be thinking about it the whole time we are making them.

I will buy the Pampered Chef Season’s Best cookbooks ($1) and ornaments (Terry’s Village or Oriental Trade), though to go along with the gifts.

My ideas are:

Adults and Couples (Friends or Family that has no family living with them):
o Homemade or food gifts
o PC cookbook
o Ornament (tied to outside of gift)

Kids (friends’ kids that we exchange gifts with):
o Homemade gift
o Craft supplies (Oriental Trade) to make a project
o Ornament

Families:
o Gift basket
o Movie
§ Microwave popcorn
§ Gift-in-a-jar popcorn seasoning
§ 1-2 movies (for the kids)
o Ice Cream
§ Ice cream sundae dishes
§ Gift-in-a-jar ice cream topping
§ Gift certificate for our local dairy for ice cream
o games
§ Gift-in-a-jar snack
§ 1-2 games (for the kids)


Homemade gift ideas:
Adults
Cookbook
Apron
Rice bags
Gifts-in-a-jar
Baked gifts (cookies, breads, cakes, pies)
Kids
Kids Cookbook
Apron
Flannel pj bottoms
Pillow cases

Here are a “few” cookie recipes that will get you started. Well…okay, it’s 19. I’ll post more later.

Next week we will begin our cookie baking (at least 2 recipes/week until end of November—36 recipes)

Almond Brickle Sugar Cookies
Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Butter Cookies
Butterscotch Drop Cookies
Butterscotch Haystacks
Candy Cane Cookies
Candy Cookies
Caramel Cookies
Cashew Shortbread
Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Chewy Pecan Cookies
Chocolate Chip Melt Aways
Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Cinnamon Cookies
Coconut Clouds
Cranberry Brown Sugar Cookies
Cranberry-Coconut Cookies
Crisp Oatmeal Cookies
Crunchy Chocolate Chipsters


Almond Brickle Sugar Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter -- softened, no substitutes
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces toffee chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In large mixer bowl combine all ingredients except toffee chips. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2-3 minutes).

By hand, stir in brickle bits. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls; flatten slightly. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serving Size : 72
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups unsalted butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups walnuts -- chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Yield:
"6 dozen"
Butter Cookies

Serving Size : 24
1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla together; add flour, mixing by hand.

Spoon mixture into a cookie press; press onto an ungreased baking sheet using the desired discs.

Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Yield:
"4 dozen"
NOTES : Add green dye, use the tree disc and put a tiny red cinnamon candy at top of the tree for Christmas trees.

For reindeer: use deer disc & use red cinnamon candy for nose.

Butterscotch Drop Cookies
Serving Size : 42
12 ounces butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter -- creamy or chunky
2 cups corn flakes

Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter in top of double boiler; stir to blend. Remove from heat and gently stir in Corn Flakes to coat. Drop by tea­spoon on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill until set.

Yield:
"3 1/2 dozen"

Butterscotch Haystacks
Serving Size : 18
12 ounces butterscotch chips
1 cup peanuts
3 ounces chow mein noodles

Melt butterscotch chips in a double boiler; stir in peanuts and noodles.

Remove from heat; drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.

Set aside to cool until firm.

Serving Ideas : Sandwich ice cream between these for a crunchy treat.

Candy Cane Cookies
Serving Size : 36
1 cup unsalted butter -- softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
red food coloring

Cream butter and sugars together; add egg yolks. Stir in extracts and set aside.

Combine salt and flour well; mix into dough.

Divide dough in 2 equal portions and tint one portion red. Chill dough in separate bowls, covered, for one hour. Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove 1 Tablespoon of dough from each bowl. On a very lightly floured surface, shape each Tablespoon of dough by rolling under both hands to form a rope. Place the 2 ropes side-by-side and gently twist together. Carefully bend the top to form a candy cane; continue with remaining dough in each bowl.

Place candy canes on an ungreased baking sheet, about 1" apart; bake for 8 minutes. Do not brown.

Yield:
"3 dozen"

Candy Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter -- softened
1 large egg
1 cup candy bar chunks -- Reese's peanut butter cups, Butterfinger bars, white or milk chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed, making sure all brown sugar lumps are crushed.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the egg and continue beating until the egg is combined.

Add the dry ingredients and blend on low just until the cookie mix is incorporated.

Form the cookies into 1-1/2 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden on the edges. Remove from oven, and cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Caramel Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
30 Werther's Original Hard Candies -- crushed, can grind in food processor, coffee grinder or blender
1 cup nuts -- chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream butter, then add egg and brown sugar.

Stir in dry ingredients and blend until mixed.

Blend in crushed candies.

Drop teaspoonfuls of mixture 2" apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until done, approximately 12-15 minutes.

Remove paper with cookies and cool for 15 minutes.

NOTES : Need:
food processor, coffee grinder or blender
parchment paper


Cashew Shortbread

Serving Size : 48
2 cups cake flour -- sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter -- 1 cup
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup cashews -- salted and chopped

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Cream butter until soft, then work in sugar with your hands until smooth. Stir in flour and, last of all, the cashews.

Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°. Divide dough in half and roll one portion at a time about 1/3 inch thick on a lightly floured board. Refrigerate other half until needed. Work fast.

Cut into 1-1/2 inch squares and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Yield:
"4 dozen"

Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Serving Size : 32
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Preheat oven to 300°.

In a bowl, toss together the coconut, flour and salt. Stir in condensed milk and extract until blended. Mixture will be thick and sticky.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 3" apart on baking sheets lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Yield:
"32 cookies"

Chewy Pecan Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup corn flakes -- crushed
1 1/2 cups pecans -- chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Roll into 2 inch balls bake for about 9-11 minutes.

NOTES : These do not spread out very much, they pretty much stay in a ball shape.

Chocolate Chip Melt Aways
Serving Size : 96
1 cup unsalted butter -- softened
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar -- sifted
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
sugar

Preheat oven to 395°.

Combine butter, oil, sugars and eggs in a large bowl. Beat until smooth.

Combine flour, soda, creams of tartar, and salt. Add to butter mixture. Beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips.

Shape mixture into 1" balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Put 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Can wrap well and freeze.

Yield:
"8 dozen"

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Serving Size : 30
60 Hershey's Chocolate Truffles Kisses wrapped in dark chocolate -- unwrapped
1 package supreme brownie mix with syrup pouch
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
powdered sugar

Place unwrapped truffles in freezer several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

Stir brownie mix, syrup pouch, cocoa, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Drop by scant teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 8 minutes or until set. Cool 3-4 minutes; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Immediately press frozen truffle into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield:
"5 dozen"

Cinnamon Cookies
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together shortening, butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.

Gradually add flour and remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll through additional sugar.

Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Coconut Clouds
Serving Size : 20
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups coconut flakes
2 egg whites -- beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine ingredients together; blend until soft peaks form.

Drop by Tablespoonfuls, 1" apart, on a greased baking sheet; bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container.

Serving Ideas : For extra sparkle, top with a candied cherry and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

Cranberry Brown Sugar Cookies
Serving Size : 60
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter -- 2 sticks, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
5 ounces dried cranberries -- 1 cup
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease cookie sheets (or line with parchment paper).

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream; beat until creamy. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in small bowl. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until well mixed. Stir in cranberries and raisins.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks; cool.

Yield:
"5 dozen"

Cranberry-Coconut Cookies
Serving Size : 24
1 cup cranberries -- fresh or frozen
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cranberry juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons coconut -- shredded
2 Tablespoons almonds -- sliced
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 each lemon peel -- finely shredded
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
16 ounces vanilla frosting

For filling, in saucepan combine cranberries, sugar, cranberry juice, cornstarch, coconut, almonds, butter, lemon peel and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook 5-7 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat; cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cookie mix as directed according to package directions except stir in the 1/2 cup flour. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut with 2" round cookie cutter. Place half of the cookie rounds on ungreased baking sheet; dot with 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling. Top with remaining cookies; seal edges with fork.

Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies from cookie sheet; cool on wire rack. Frost cookies with vanilla frosting.

Yield:
"2 dozen"

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies
Serving Size : 60
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies®

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs, blending well, then vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; mixing well. Stir in the oats, coconut and cereal.

Drop by teaspoons about 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets and cool on racks.

Yield:
"5 dozen"


Crunchy Chocolate Chipsters

1/2 cup shortening -- or Crisco sticks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups Rice Krispies®
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

Cream shortening, sugars and milk in bowl at medium speed of mixer until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix until blended. Stir in cereal and chips.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 9 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

3 comments:

Heart4MyHome said...

Love the gift basket ideas. That is what we usually do for extended family and friends each year.

knicksgrl0917 said...
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knicksgrl0917 said...
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