Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Classic Christmas Cookies

I feel so behind this Christmas season. I've made my list (and checked it twice), but now I need to get to work!

Yesterday I made yummy cookies with my boys. Christmas baking is hardly a chore, in my opinion. I love filling my freezer with tasty sweets, and giving them away as gifts or serving them to guests. Baking is one of my favourite parts of the holidays.

We made two recipes yesterday. I always enjoy making classic, comforting recipes. Both of these turned out perfectly. I found them in FamilyFun's Cookies for Christmas.

Molasses Cookies

14 tbsp. butter
2 C. sugar, divided
1/3 C. molasses
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the sugar along with the molasses. Cool for 15 minutes, or until tepid.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Beat the egg into the butter mixture in the saucepan, then gradually add the flour mixture and stir until well combined (the dough will be soft).

Pour the remaining sugar into a small bowl. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in the sugar. Place the balls on the foil-covered baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies have flattened. Makes approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Peanut Butter Sealed with a Kiss

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1, 9 oz. package chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together. Combine with peanut butter mixture.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll them in the extra white sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from the oven, and press a chocolate kiss into the centre of each cookie. Return to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 40 to 50 cookies.

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