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Christmas Cookies: My “Gift”

Christmas Cookies

December 2006

This year I participated in a fellowship with the National Center for Leadership. For Christmas we had a party for our mentors and other friends of the Center where we each shared a “gift” from our personal store of talents. Clearly I chose baking! Here is a tray of my holiday favorites from 2006.

Peanut Butter Dough Wrapped Snickers Cookies (my downfall!)
Polenta & Lemon Cookies
Rum Balls (with dark Caribbean coconut spiced rum)
Eggnog Spritz Cookies

Here are a few of the recipes:

Polenta & Lemon Cookies- from Martha Stewart . com

Ingredients (Makes about 2 1/2 dozen)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Italian polenta, or yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest, (1 lemon)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees;. Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Add egg and egg yolk, 1 at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a -inch star tip (such as Ateco #825).

3. Pipe S shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake cookies until edges are golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to wire racks; let cool about 10 minutes. Remove cookies from parchment, and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Dough Wrapped Snickers Cookies

These are totally Suzanne’s fault. But sometimes I cheat and use sugar cookie dough from the store. At the holidays there is usually a fresh batch in the fridge or freezer.

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 13-ounce package Snickers Miniatures (about 60 candies) Note: You will use 1 bag and approximately half the other bag.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combinethe butter, peanut butter and sugars using a mixer on a medium to low speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Then mix in flour, salt and baking soda. Cover and chill dough for 2 to 3 hours.

Unwrap all Snickers. Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape about 1 tablespoon of dough around each candy. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Caution: Lock these up so you don’t eat them all before the party. They are that good.

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