Cookie Palooza – No Bake Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week of cookies. I’m ending Cookie Palooza 2017 with an easy no bake cookie that only requires three ingredients, four if you count the sprinkles… Peppermint Chocolate Wafers.

First ingredient… Melted semi-sweet chocolate. I melted the chocolate using a double-boiler. You could melt the chocolate in the microwave (which was always my preferred method,) but I find melting the chocolate in a double boiler minimizes the chance of scorching the chocolate and you can keep it warm while you’re working so it will stay smooth and thin. Whereas when you melt it in the microwave after a few minutes the chocolate begins to thicken. Creating a double boiler is quite simple… fill a medium saucepan about a little less than halfway with water – you don’t want to fill it too much because then when you place the bowl in the water it will spill over. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat so the water is simmering. Place a heatproof bowl in the water, add chopped chocolate and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Once the chocolate has melted, reduce the flame to low to keep the chocolate warm and add in the peppermint extract (the second ingredient), stir to mix in.

Dip the Nilla Wafers (third ingredient) in the chocolate and flip them over to get them fully covered. The process will go much easier if you have candy dipping tools, but if not a fork will work well. Once cookies are covered lift the cookies out of the chocolate and let the excess drip and then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with festive sprinkles or crushed peppermint candy/candy canes (fourth ingredient.)

 

Once you are done dipping the cookies place them in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes so the chocolate can harden.

And that’s it! A simple cookie that’s perfect for the season and best of all, doesn’t require you to turn on your oven.

Happy Holidays!!!

Peppermint Chocolate Dipped Cookies

Ingredients:

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped*

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

30 – 36 Nilla Wafer cookies

Sprinkles, optional

Directions:

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler on medium to medium low heat. Once the chocolate has melted add the peppermint extract and stir well to combine. Keep the heat on low for the double boiler so that the chocolate will remain smooth and thin.

Dip the wafers in the chocolate one at a time, making sure to coat the entire cookie. Remove from the chocolate and let the excess drip off before placing on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.

Sprinkle with sprinkles or crushed peppermint candy. Or let the chocolate set for a few minutes and then drizzle with the left-over melted chocolate. Place in the refrigerator so the chocolate can harden. Store in an airtight container.

*You could also use chocolate chips

**The ratio of peppermint extract to chocolate I used was 1/4 teaspoon per 4 oz.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

There are some recipes you see that you know that you must instantly try… As was the case when I got a recipe in my inbox last week from Land O’ Lakes for a Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookie. I pretty much love any pastry / baked item that involves almonds and then when you throw raspberry into the mix you are definitely in for something pretty delicious. Best of all, not only are these cookies amazing, but, they are simple to make and add a festive to look to your holiday cookie platters.

I began by making the dough (obviously… LOL!)… I combined butter, sugar and almond extract in the bowl of my stand mixer and beat it at medium speed until it was well combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. On low speed I added in flour and continued beat the mixture until it was well combined. Once the dough had come together I covered and refrigerated it for an hour or until the dough was firm.

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Once it was firm, I rolled dough into 1-inch sized balls – I used approximately 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each ball.

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Then using the back of a 1/4 teaspoon (you could simply use your thumb as well, hence the name of the cookie) I made a small indentation into the center of each cookie and then filled them with raspberry jam.

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After refrigerating the cookies for about 10 minutes I baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 12-14 minutes, until the edges just began to brown. You don’t have to refrigerate the cookies prior to baking, but, I did so so that the dough could firm up again a bit so the cookies wouldn’t spread as much while baking. My cookies did spread some so I probably could have left them in the refrigerator a bit longer. After removing them from the oven I let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once the cookies cooled I drizzled a glaze of water, confectioners’ sugar and almond extract over them.

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One word for these cookies… YUM!

 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

  • Servings: 36-42 cookies
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Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup raspberry jam

 

For the Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

 

Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar and almond extract in a bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Switch to low speed and add in the flour, beating well until all the ingredients have been combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F and cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls; approximately 1/2 tablespoon of dough. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Make a small indentation in the center of each of the cookies and fill with a 1/4 teaspoon of the raspberry jam.

You could place the cookies back in the refrigerator for a few minutes for the dough to firm up again, or place them directly in the oven for about 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Let stand on the cookie sheets for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and then drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Recipe from Land O’ Lakes

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

How is your holiday baking going? I’ve been squeezing it in while trying to finish up Christmas cards, Christmas shopping and Christmas gift crafting (i.e. knitting and crocheting.) I think I am on track to get it all done; if not there will be some late nights in my near future.

Today I am bringing you super simple and delicious Vanilla Spritz Cookies. So customarily when you make spritz cookies you pipe them through a cookie press, well, I tried that once and the results were horrible. So for these cookies I decided to pipe them using a pastry bag and a large star tip instead and the end result was great!

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To make the dough I began by beating butter in my stand mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Next I added in sugar and baking powder. Once those ingredients were well combined I added in an egg and vanilla bean paste. And finally flour.

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Next I transferred the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and made simple piped drop cookies which I then sprinkled with festive colored sugar and sprinkles. Now, I went simple and just did simple drop cookies, but, you could get creative and pipe wreaths or different swirl designs.

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After baking them in a 375 F preheated oven for 8 minutes I removed them from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. Now, these cookies are of the dangerous variety… On the smaller side and super yummy. Which means you could grab a decent handful and munch away on them absentmindedly. But, since it’s the Holidays it’s okay!

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Vanilla Spritz Cookies

  • Servings: 72 cookies
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***Please note that I halved the recipe. Below is the original recipe with the original measurements. If you would like to make a smaller batch of cookies, i.e. 36, follow the measurements in the parenthesis. To get the 2 tablespoons of egg, whisk the egg and then measure it out. You might be tempted to use the entire egg, but, that would make the dough to watery and prevent you from being able to pipe or form the dough.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3/4 cup / 12 tablespoons)

1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoons)

1 egg (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste* (1/2 tablespoon)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cup)

Sprinkles and Sugar Crystals to decorate

*If you do not have vanilla bean paste you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and baking powder, continue beating until well combined then add in the egg and vanilla bean paste. And finally the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary during the mixing.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe drop cookies onto prepared cookies sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with decorative sugar and/or sprinkles.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are firm but just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Recipe slightly modified from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Cookies Magazine