Cherry Chocolate Kisses

The peanut butter blossoms are the cookies I always thought of when using chocolate kisses. It was only a couple of weeks ago I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and realized this would be so much better (and prettier) for my Christmas cookie boxes. The idea of a cherry flavored cookie with a little bit of chocolate on top sounded very new and exciting to me. It led me to look up even more variations of this type of cookie, but I ultimately decided on trying this one and saving the others for another time.

They were very simple to make. I made the mistake of putting them down on parchment paper instead of just the cookie sheet when the recipe clearly said “ungreased cookie sheet”. This caused my cookies to spread out a little more than they should have, but they still looked very nice, especially when they were all in a big pile of chocolatey cherry goodness. I had to give one a try before sticking them in the freezer. If you like maraschino cherries and you like chocolate, this is such a good combo. You can roll them in red colored sugar instead of regular granulated white sugar to make them look even more festive!

Rating 5/5

 

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

Oven Temp: 350°F

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp maraschino cherry liquid

1/4 tsp almond extract

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

white sugar for rolling

48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and salt; combine. Beat in cherry juice and almond extract, scraping the sides of the bowl.

Slowly beat in flour until just combined. Stir in chopped cherries. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, shape dough into 1-inch balls, rolling them in white granulated sugar to coat. Place each ball of dough about 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie while they are still hot. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool and chocolate to set overnight (or place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to speed up the hardening of the chocolate). Store in an airtight container.

Found the recipe here.

Enjoy.

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Tropical Chewies & Gingerbread Boys

Two very good cookie recipes I am sharing with you today. The tropical chewies are a new one for me. I received the recipe from a friend a year or two ago in a clipping from a food network magazine and never had the chance to try them. Just looking at the ingredient list made me think of tasting a little bit of paradise.

The gingerbread boys recipe is very special to me. It was given to me by my grandma who has been making them for Christmas for over 50 years. She made them when my dad was very young and I remember going over to her house when I was little to bake them with both of my grandparents. Now it is my turn to continue making these cookies every Christmas. Even the cookie cutter I used is special! It is also over 50 years old and it’s still being used for the same cookies today. My grandma got it for free in a bag of flour way back in the day. To decorate these cookies, I recruited my sisters to help me out.

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1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup shredded coconut

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. Add vanilla extract and eggs; stir until combined.

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In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, almonds, and shredded coconut. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.

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Scoop dough into 1-inch balls, placing on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart, and sprinkle with coconut; bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Move to wire rack to cool completely.

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1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup light molasses

2 tbsp vinegar

5 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly cream shortening and sugar together. Stir in eggs, molasses and vinegar; beat well.

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In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir into molasses mixture. Chill overnight.

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On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick, cut with gingerbread cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Decorate with candies and sprinkles.

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Bake for 6 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Finish decorating with icing if preferred.

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The chewies were, well, chewy, and very delicious. The gingerbread cookies brought back a lot of memories and tasted just how I remembered. Everyone in my family was after the cookies like sharks!

Enjoy.

Spiced Chocolate Cookies & Saltine Chocolate Almond Toffee

Round three for the Christmas Cookie Challenge. So far I have been loving how the recipes have turned out. I’ve barely eaten any of the cookies I’ve made but it will make them that much better during Christmas time.

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35 soda crackers

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup blanched slivered almonds

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a sided cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Line with the crackers.
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Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan, constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers completely.

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Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Slide out cookie sheet from oven or rest on the open oven door. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot toffee. Once chips begin to soften, spread completely over toffee with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle slivered almonds on melted chocolate.
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Chill in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Break into pieces and freeze or serve.

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For the cookie:

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts

For the glaze:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Slowly mix the dry mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Hand mix the walnuts into the dough.

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Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk. Once cookies are completely cooled, cover each cookie with a teaspoon of glaze. Add sprinkles if desired.

The saltine chocolate almond toffee sounded so delicious and I was surprised at how easy it was to make. I ended up making a second batch later in the day to use more of the leftover ingredients. Who doesn’t like toffee and chocolate???

The spiced chocolate cookies reminded my father of gingerbread cookies but they were something a little different. I loved the idea to add sprinkles to add more color to the whole cookie bunch. These two recipes were definitely winners.

Recipes found on allrecipes.com.

Neapolitan Cookies & Shortbread Wedges

I have officially started the Christmas cookie challenge that I have been so determined to do for a couple of years. I started out by baking two batches of cookies that I felt would survive longest in the freezer. Neapolitan cookies and shortbread wedges are dry and don’t involve any type of outside decorations. This makes them very easy to keep in large freezer bags and store in the freezer. They turned out so well.

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp almond extract

5 drops red food coloring

1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture.

Divide the dough into three separate bowls. To the first bowl, add food coloring and almond extract. To the second bowl, add chopped walnuts. To the third bowl, add melted chocolate. Combine ingredients into the separate dough.

Line a 9×5-inch baking pan with wax paper. Press almond dough evenly to bottom of pan. Press the walnut dough over the almond dough. Finish off by pressing the chocolate dough over the walnut dough and cover with more wax paper. Chill for four hours.

Turn the chilled dough out onto a cutting board. Remove wax paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms turn golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

10 tbsp butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl sift together flour and cornstarch. In a separate mixing bowl cream butter until fluffy. Stir in powdered sugar, white sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.

Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until dough forms. On a floured surface, form dough into a ball. Separate into two dough balls. Pat each ball into a 6-inch round disk. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slice the disks into wedges, keeping them in their disk shape. Prick with a fork to create a design.

Bake for 25 minutes and remove immediately to cool on a wire rack.

The neapolitan cookies are so pretty and the combination of flavors is unique. The shortbread is crumbly and buttery. I may dip the shortbread in chocolate closer to Christmas. I will see how the whole collection of cookies looks when it comes together. Only eight more batches to go!

Enjoy.

 

Recipes found here and here.