Annual Christmas Cookie-Baking Marathon

Winter Storm Albert may have forced us to modify our tradition, but it couldn’t stop the production of some impressive holiday cookies!  Traditionally, we gather at my sister-in-law Linda’s house for an annual 12-hour cookie-baking event.  I bring along my KitchenAid, baking pans, recipes, ingredients and enthusiasm and, together, we crank out hundreds of delectable little bites.  Some years we fly solo; many years we are blessed to have our daughters and others join in the chaos.  But never before had we spent this day apart.  The dreaded weather forecast forced us to reevaluate our plans, and we decided to “make lemonade” and bake via teleconference.

Linda was on her own, but I was fortunate to have Little A (who is so creative :o) at my side!  We worked from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m, and what a great time we had (we played Beatles Rock Band between batches!).   We tried some new recipes and were thrilled with the results.

1) Snowflake cutouts.  2) Butter Crisp spritz.  3) Molasses sugar cookies.  4) Italian Christmas Cookies.  5) Nutella Sandwiches.  6)  Almond Macaroons.  7)  Cappucino Crinkles.  8) Almond Drop.  9) Cranberry, White Chocolate, Pistachio Biscotti.  10) Almond Crescent Cookies.  11) Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars.

Where to get the recipes:  Snowflake cutouts – check out my earlier post.  Butter Crisp Spritz – recipe below.  Molasses sugar cookies – this is from allrecipes.com, click hereItalian Christmas Cookies – recipe previously posted.  Nutella sandwiches – recipe previously posted.  Almond MacaroonsMartha Stewart’s CookiesCappucino Crinklesclick hereAlmond Drop – recipe below.  Cranberry, White Chocolate, Pistachio biscotti – this was Alyssa’s wildly delicious creation.  She used the “Pecan Mandelbrot” recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cookies, eliminated the pecans, and tossed in about 1 cup white chips, 1 cup Craisins, and 1/2 cup chopped pistachios.  Delish!  Almond Crescent Cookies – recipe below.  Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars Epicurious.

BUTTER CRISP SPRITZ

1 cup butter

3 oz. cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and cream cheese; gradually add sugar and continue beating until blended.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.  Sift together flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Fill cookie press, and press cookies onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 12 – 15 minutes, until set.  Remove to wire rack to cool.

ALMOND DROPS

2 sticks butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until light.  Add oil, eggs and almond.  Mix well.  Add flour and baking powder.  Dough should be soft, but not too sticky.  If necessary, sprinkle additional flour sparingly.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 10 – 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool completely and frost with Confectioner’s frosting.

Confectioners’ Frosting

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer, or by hand.  Beat until smooth.  Dip tops of cookies into frosting.  Leave plain or add colored sprinkles.  Let dry completely on cooling rack.

ALMOND CRESCENT COOKIES

1 lb. butter, softened

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 cups lightly toasted and chopped almonds

Mix butter, flour and sugar.  Stir in almonds.  Roll by hand and form into crescents.  Bake at 350 degrees until set.  Dip tops of warm cookies into confectionery or fine granulated sugar.  Note:  this recipe is easily halved.

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Linda and I swapped cookies today, and she totally outdid herself!  She added Raspberry Thumbprints, Frosted Cranberry Cookies, Raspberry White Chocolate Bars, the Better Homes and Gardens Spritz cookies, and an Andes Mint cookie that was a free recipe with the candies.

As truly grateful as I was to be in my kitchen sharing this year’s cookie extravaganza with Alyssa, I missed my cherished tradition.  If the weather is bad next year, I’ll pack an overnight bag and go…because it’s not easy being Lucy without Ethel.

“A”

You would think I’ve had about enough cookie baking for a season, right?  So why am I thinking that I still need a cookie with coconut, and some lemon bars???

2 thoughts on “Annual Christmas Cookie-Baking Marathon

    • I LOVED your cookie post! (who’s that adorable little girl?) Maybe next year your White Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies will make it to our tray. In the meantime, if you’d like to taste any of this year’s cookies, I’d make a call to one Little A. Quickly.

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