Friday, December 11, 2009

More Christmas Cookies and Treats

When my sister was here visiting a couple weeks ago, I asked her what cookies she wanted me to make and send her for Christmas. I gave her some Holiday Baking Magazines and told her to pick as many as she wanted.
She folded down lots and lots of pages and then I narrowed it down to 6. I chose things that I could make all in the same day and then threw in a couple more treats at the end.

First up is Peppermint Bark. This is a Christmas goodie that my mom has made for quite a few years and she uses Martha Stewarts recipe. I actually like it better when you use almond bark instead of white chocolate, so that is what I did. I like to sprinkle some of the chopped candy canes on top, as well as mixing them into the melted white stuff. My hubby really likes this and so do my kids. Great gift.
Recipe for Peppermint Bark
My sister requested a molasses cookie and I decided I would make Dorie's recipe, because I knew it was a crowd pleaser. This time I didn't flatten my balls of dough, so I had smaller, chewier cookies. This recipe is so great that it really deserves a repeat.
I sent some of the last batch to my family, so they will be super excited to get more of them in the mail.

Recipe for Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies
I saw this cookie in a Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie issue and was intrigued by the combination of cornmeal and dried fruit in a cookie. I knew sending this cookie to someone else would be great, since most members of my family do not like cornmeal. The recipe originally called for dried cherries, but I subbed in dried cranberries because that is what I had in the pantry.
These also have orange zest and they aren't overly sweet. Great cookie.
Recipe for Cornmeal-Cranberry Cookies

I saw this cookie in a couple of different Martha Stewart mags and remembered that Tracey made them a couple weeks ago. I figured bars are great for sending and these have all types of mix-ins, so they were added into the bunch.
I subbed in peanut butter chips for the butterscotch chips, toffee bits for the white chocolate and then, on top of that, these have chocolate chips, cut up caramels, and marshmallows.
What a combination. I think I will have to make these again. My son was upset that he didn't get to sample one.
Recipe for Rocky Ledge Bars
My sister wanted these peanut butter bars. They were supposed to have Hershey's Kisses on top, but I thought they would send better if they didn't have those on top. They are a play on Peanut Butter Kisses, but easier to make because they are a bar. I used creamy peanut butter in these, instead of chunky.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Bars

My sister chose these bars and I thought they were a great choice because they have green and red in them naturally. They have a basic butter, flour, brown sugar crust, which you prebake for a few minutes and then the cranberry-pistachio topping is added and they are put back in the oven to finish baking.
Great way to use fresh cranberries.
Recipe for Cranberry Pistachio Bars
My sister also chose these pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies. They are just like an oatmeal raisin cookie, but with pumpkin puree added to the batter. I made these into bars, simply because I was trying to bake 8 different things all in one day and it made it easier for me.
I wasn't too excited about these, but I did taste a small square and they really were good. Definitely more tasty then they might seem.
So, these are all the items that made it into my treat box. I sent a few of most of these cookies to my Secret Baker.
I also made a batch of Spiced Pecans and the upcoming cookie for Tuesdays with Dorie got thrown into the mix too.
Needless to say, after this day of baking, packaging and mailing, I was wiped out. It was worth it though.
I also threw in a picture of the Cake Pops I made last weekend for a birthday party. These are a fun little treat for a Christmas or Holiday get-together, if you need a fun idea.
How-to for Cake Pops
Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies from Woman's Day Holiday Cookies 2009
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts (I omitted these)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins.
4. Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe for Peppermint Bark

Recipe for Cornmeal-Cranberry Cookies

Recipe for Rocky Ledge Bars

Recipe for Peanut Butter Bars

Recipe for Cranberry Pistachio Bars

Recipe for Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Cake Pops


Alexa said...

Your sister is so lucky and I am sure she'll enjoy every bite. My sister and I trade recipes all the time and we love cooking together. Beautiful pictures Mary Ann!

Sarah said...

What a lot of yummy treats - definitely a couple I'm going to have to try out! Lucky sister!

TeaLady said...

Would you like another sister? Those look wonderful.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Love this post....I just did cookies too...(LOL)!

Healthy Diaries said...

Everything looks soo yuummy!

We're obessed with Christmas Baking!

On our blog, we are on Day 2 of our "12 days of Christmas Baking."

So much fun!

You have a great blog!

Jessica said...

All of the treats looks wonderful, but I think that the cranberry pistachio might be my favorite!

Amy said...

My favorite kind of post! They look so yummy! I can't wait to try them! I Love your photos too!

~~louise~~ said...

Please don't make me choose. Just send one of each. I'll be your very best friend. Oh, okay, you can send two of the Cranberry Pistachio Bars. They look so darn festive!!!

Thanks for sharing, Mary Ann.

April said...

I think I just gained 5 lbs just looking over all of this! It all looks wonderful!

Teanna said...

I love the cookie roundup and the cake pops are adorable! I am actually making some of those for a catering thing next week - it's nice to see yours for some inspiration!

Kerstin said...

What a great list - thank you! I want to make them all :)

Prudy said...

What an amazing post!!! Yumma yumma. Thanks for all the great ideas and gorgeous photos. Which one should I try first???? I'm leaning towards that cranberry cornmeal.

Unknown said...

Wow, you've been baking up a storm! Everything looks wonderful :) I saw those cornmeal cookies and have been meaning to make them too so glad to hear they're yummy.

Deana Sidney said...

Pistachio cranberry??? I have to make these... great pics!

The Proverbs 31 Woman said...

Happy Holidays! I pray that your year was full of joy and success, and that 2010 will bring favor and prosperity.

Di said...

Mmm, that's a yummy assortment of holiday treats!

Pamela said...

Gosh, Mare! Everything looks so good. I just love all of the baking options at Christmas time. You can try so much and share it all. Great for everyone, and even better for my hips!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a fantastic array of cookies/bars. I'm AMAZED that you got all these baked in one day! Lucky sister!! And you are brilliant to post them all in one fab post. Lots of great ideas, here, thanks!

Bella Baker said...

You are unreal!! How did you make all of that!?!? Your sister must have been sooooo happy! Everything looks incredible. I am drooling over those rocky ledge bars!!