When you want some Christmas cookies

Christmas baking-17

When Christmas is coming to the farm, there’s no such thing as too many goodies. When you set out to bake them, you must think of the numbers, the quantity of choices, and the always empty tummies of the grandkids! Our family has grown quite large, and Christmas is one of those times when we all sit around the table chatting. SO we bake three different kinds of goodies rather than just one. Below, we’ll share two of them with you.

There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as being able to gather some of your girls to help make the Christmas cookies that they all deem the best – even if one of them breaks the cookie press from pressing too hard 😉 (or maybe its just that my daughters are stronger than they think from all those years of doing chores.)

So we met one afternoon, four of us girls, three of my children missing as two live in different cities and one is working in town. Lots of laughter, messy kitchen, and good conversation ensued – what could be better?

It’s one of my favourite things that my girls like spending time together with me. Here are the two different recipes for your enjoyment.

-Gwen


Candy Bar Cushions: (these taste delicious, but you’ll need a cookie press )

Christmas baking-8

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

9 5/8 ounce milk chocolate bars (I use caramilk)


Instructions: 

Cream butter and sugar til fluffy.

Christmas baking-4Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Place half of the dough in cookie press.

Christmas baking-5

Break candy bars into squares. Place chocolate 1/2 inch apart, on top of the dough strips.

Christmas baking-1-2Force remaining dough through press into strips over chocolate.

Bake at 375º for 12-13 minutes. Immediately cut into cookies.

Christmas baking-9


Chocolate Pretzels:

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled.

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt


Mocha glaze (topping for above cookie)

Christmas baking-161 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 tsp light corn syrup

1 tsp shortening

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

4/5 tablespoons hot coffee

2 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, melted.


Instructions:

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg, chocolate and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until firm. Divide dough into fourths; form each portion into a 6” log. Divide each log into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 9” rope. (or eyeball it like the girls did)

Form into pretzel shapes, and space two inches apart on cooking sheet. Bake at 400 for 5-7 minutes or until firm. Cool before removing to wire racks.


Of course for all this baking you also need taste testers!

Christmas baking-6

Taste testers come in all shapes and sizes… and ages!

Christmas baking-12

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