December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookie Lineup & WINNER!

I'm excited to announce, the WINNER of the Bosch Tassimo T20 Coffee Brewer is:

 Comment 150, AKA High Plains Drifters! (Generated by Random.org)

Congratulations HPD! Email me right away with you shipping information.


This last Saturday was my final baking day before Christmas. I spent eleven hours baking and baking, until I had enough cookies to fill a plate for many of our close friends--and then some! It was very tiring, but I always enjoy the process of creating homemade gifts. It feels like you're offering your loved ones a little piece of yourself!

Here are the cookies we gave out this season. I always like to include a few personal favorites, a couple new recipes I've collected from friends and/or magazines, and some NEW experimental recipes--just to mix things up! Due to the length of the cookie list, I opted not to follow my usual step-by-step photo method. Please forgive--this would have been a never-ending post!

Hopefully one of these will become YOUR new favorite!

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to ALL!
Sommer

*If the recipe was already on my blog or another site, I simply provided a link! 






Rosemary Walnut Shortbread from Angie's Recipes








Chai Latte Sandwich Cookies (a new creation and new FAVORITE!)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar + extra for rolling
1/2 cup instant chai latte powder
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla

Recipe for Spiced Frosting
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Baking your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter, sugar, and instant chai together until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, mix well. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add it to the sugar mixture until beaten smooth.

Add 1/4 cup of sugar to a small bowl. Roll tiny 1/2 inch balls of dough and place them in the sugar. Roll them around to coat and move them to a baking sheet, about an inch apart.

Using the bottom of a glass, press the dough balls until they are slightly flattened out, but not thin.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes.

Once cooled, pipe a small mound of spiced frosting onto half of the cookies (bottom-side-up). Top each cookie with another cookie. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Makes 30-40 sandwiches.



Coconut Ginger Macaroons with Chocolate Drizzle

28 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
2 -14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1 Tb. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites

1 cup chopped chocolate
1/2 crystalized ginger, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Whip the egg white with an electric mixer until firm peeks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Scoop small 1-2 teaspoon scoops onto the parchment paper. You can put them close together--they don't spread.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly golden.

Cool, then melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir after each. Once smooth, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies with a spoon. The sprinkle with crystalized ginger.

Makes around 90-100 cookies



Iced Lemon Cut-out Cookies

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg +1 yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for rolling

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 a lemon, juiced
water
food coloring

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the lemon zest, salt, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour.

Once combined, separate the dough into 3-4 disks. Wrap them in plastic and place them in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Once chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one piece of dough at a time. Place it on a floured board and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out the cookies as closely together as possible. Gather the remaining dough and re-roll. Repeat with the rest of the chilled dough.

Bake for 6-8 minutes until JUST done. Cool on the parchment paper. Then whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add one teaspoon of water at a time until the icing is the consistency of school glue. Add the food coloring of choice and mix well.

Carefully dip the face of each cookie into the icing. Let the excess drip off, turn over and decorate or allow to dry.

Makes about 90 2-3 inch cookies.



Kickin' Caramel Corn

3/4 lb. unsalted butter
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
3/4 corn syrup (or a mix of corn syrup and maple syrup)
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

8 quarts (32 cups) of POPPED corn

Note~Using maple syrup adds flavor, but makes the coating less glossy and a little crumbly. I recommend using mostly corn syrup.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the popped corn in a large roasting pan and put it in the oven to keep it dry.

Add all the ingredients, minus the popped corn, to a large pot. Heat the pot over high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and allow it to boil another 15-25 minutes--STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until it changes from a foamy mixture to a deeper-colored syrupy mixture.

Pour the mixture over the popped corn. Mix well, leaving NO puddles in the bottom of the roasting pan. Return the pan to the oven and allow it to dry for about 45 minutes. Stir 2-3 times in the drying process. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool and dry the rest of the way. Break apart and serve!



38 comments:

  1. Wow, I can't believe you made all these cookies! I wish I was one of the lucky recipients. I thought I did a lot of baking with just a few cookies and a couple brownies. :)

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  2. wow what a cookie baking marathon you just did. i bet your house smelled heavenly all throughout the day! my fave would be Chai Latte Sandwich Cookie! what a surprise it would be if ill get that in the mail tomorrow haha..
    merry christmas!
    malou

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  3. So many beautiful and yummy treats!!
    Merry Christmas!!

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  4. I really do not know which one to choose. They all look fantastic. Especially the double chocolate and the stars are beautiful.

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  5. I gained 5 pounds looking at the pix!

    And thanks so much for picking me!!

    Just sent my address.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas.

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  6. What a line up! I don't know which one to eat first.

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  7. Lots of varied recipes, and they all look great! I made those chocolate peppermint cookies this past weekend- TO DIE FOR! Have a lovely holiday!

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  8. Thanks for sharing such a diverse and delicious looking line up of Christmas cookies. I enjoyed it immensely! Merry Christmas:-)

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  9. That's quite a line-up and a marathon! You do have stamina. I love those coconut ginger macaroons. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Sommer.

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  10. Excellent lineup! I'll have one of each, please! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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  11. Hi Sommer, I did get your message and I left mine under your Coffee Machine Giveaway.

    (Angie's Recipes said... Sommer, thanks for the message! I am so glad to know that you enjoyed the cookies too. I actually baked some more today as the first two batches were all gone. And sure you can use the cookie photos from my blog. :-)) Thanks again.
    Just tweeted your giveaway :-))
    December 20, 2010 12:03 PM )

    THANK YOU, Sommer!
    Angie

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  12. All of those cookies look so delicious. If you need any last minute ideas, you should check out the fun creations I've been making this week. The Nutella with sea salt sounds particularly delicious to me this morning. Mmmm. I love sea salt, it makes just about anything better!

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  13. What a line up with great cookies for Christmas! Now, what will I make,...I wonder,...!!

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  14. I would die for those dulce de leche and nutella thumbprints! Or, I would move close to you so I could get some. Happy holidays Sommer!

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  15. Argh, I so wanted that coffee maker! Ah well, I shall survive. I'd be happy with one or two (or ten) of your cookies!

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  16. What lovely treats. They all look beautiful and sound delicious. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...MAry

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  17. congrats to the winner
    delicious cookies happy holidays

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  18. The rosemary walnut shortbread sounds delicious!

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  19. We do the same cookie baking marathon approach...I guess I feel like as long as we are making a mess in the kitchen, we may as well make a really big mess all at once. Besides, that way you have all of your favorite cookies on one plate to sample the week before Christmas.
    I love the cayenne in the caramel corn!
    Merry Christmas~

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  20. All the cookies look fantastic, but the doggie ones still are what put the biggest smile on my face. :)

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  21. Great recipes- yum!
    If you happen to have time to respond to this- do you have a good brining recipe? You're the only person I know that brines. I am thinking of attempting that for Christmas- yikes. :)
    First step- thawing the bird. Wish me luck.
    -Christine

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  22. Hey Christine~ Could you email me what you're planning to brine? I use different mixtures depending on what's getting a soak! ;)

    babyhummers (at) gmail (dot) com

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  23. Dear Summer,
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.
    All of your cookies look wonderful. Who eats all of them?
    Greetings from Colorado.
    Kirsten

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  24. Hi Sommer
    what an incredible assortment of cookies!! And the caramel corn is calling to me!!
    Congrats to the winner of your giveaway.
    Have a very Merry Christmas my friend!
    Dennis

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  25. Hey Sommer, this all looks so good, especially since my stomach is empty;-)! Probably shouldn't look at the cookies too long. Those stars are calling out to me...
    Hope you have a relaxing and happy holiday, Sommer!

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  26. great cookies, I love them all and I am sure anyone receivieng such treats will be thrilled!!

    sweetlife
    happyholidays!!

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  27. Holy Christmas Cookies Sommer! I'm sure you've made some people very happy baking those gems! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  28. wow amazing cookies so talented

    Merry Christmas Summer

    hugs Rebecca

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  29. wonderful roundup sommers ! wishing u a very merry christmas ! Hope u have a great year ahead !!

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  30. "Chai Latte Sandwich Cookies"....[Daffy Duck] DROOL, DRRRROOOOL!!![/Daffy Duck]

    I am making those!

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  31. Such delicious holiday treats! I am going to be sad when the cookie season is officially over. I hope you and your family have a bright and joyful Christmas. I’m thankful that I found you…your recipes, words and sweet comments bring me so much joy. Many blessings!

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  32. Oh my word I'm in cookie heaven just looking at all of your delicious and beautiful cookies! The Chai Latte Sandwiches Cookies are calling my name and so are the Coconut Ginger Macaroons. I MUST make both of these cookies!

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas! :)

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  33. I'm going to need to get on your holiday gift list next year :) Happy & merry!

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  34. You definitely look like you've been busy baking! And I thought I baked a ton!

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  35. WHat delicious and delectable fun! I so wanted to participate - and I have many many posts with my gorgeous Christmas cookies - but didn't make ONE or anything this year. I haven't been well - the first year, ever!!!
    And, there is always next year!
    I have so many more to post, and I love this idea!!!
    :)
    Valerie

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  36. What an at array of lovely cookies out there.Missed out the post and could not bake these for Christmas. Shall do it for the new year.

    Happy 2011 to you!

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  37. The Chai Tea Latte cookies are the absolute best!!! I love watching Sommer cook she does so effortlessly, you can tell she really loves it!!
    Thanks Sommer and Dan....Jodi

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