December 10, 2016

Bake it Merry: Fun, flavorful and festive Christmas cookie recipe ideas for the holidays

cooki1The holidays aren’t only the most wonderful time of the year because of pretty decorations, presents, and parties. If you’re anything like us, one of the things you’ve been looking forward to the most are the endless goodies and treats you get to enjoy guilt-free, well… because it’s the holidays!  Baking holiday cookies is an essential part of getting in the holiday spirit. They are an easy dessert to enjoy at family gatherings, a way to add a festive touch at tea time and they are great for giving as delicious gifts to your friends. And remember, if you have little ones don’t forget that you’ll need some cookies to leave out for a particular cookie aficionado on Christmas Eve!

This season, why not get festive by baking a favorite holiday cookie with a twist.  Here we will share with you a few recipe ideas that have fun, colorful and tasty spins on festive classics that will be sure to please your loved ones year after year.

One thing we can promise, these cookies will make a tasty surprise and have everyone feeling the joy of the holiday season!

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Let the baking begin!


Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

The irresistible buttery taste of melt in your mouth shortbread cookies are a holiday baking staple. This delectable spin on a classic shortbread brings out the best in the most festive fruits; cranberry and oranges. The tang of citrus and touch of bitter-sweet berries will bring your enjoyment of this charming holiday classic to the next level.

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Recipe adapted from: momontimeout.com Photo credit: Trish Rosenquist

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons of orange zest, grated
  • 1- 2 tablespoon of fresh orange juice (optional)
  • 1 cup additional sugar to coat cookies before baking (optional)

Preparation

  1. Line the thinkkitchen Granulated Cookie Pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar in the thinkkitchen Easy- Chop Food Chopper. Processes until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour and remaining ½ cup of sugar in a deep mixing bowl (5L).
  4. Use our thinkkitchen dough blender (available in store only) to cut in butter.
  5. Stir in the almond extract, cranberry-sugar mixture, orange zest and orange juice.
  6. Use your hands to knead the dough until it is smooth and holds its shape.
  7. Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  9. Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inches thick.
  10. Place half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar (optional).
  11. Place cookies on the cookie pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  12. Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack.

Caramel Stuffed Soft Gingerbread cookies

Give your cookie lovers a surprise when they bite into your mouth-wateringly warm caramel stuffed soft gingerbread cookies. This chewy new take on the molasses and ginger holiday tradition will leave your loved ones speechless, while they munch on the caramel-filled delight. Add this recipe to your Christmas cookie platter and watch them disappear.

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Recipe adapted from thebellevieblog.com Photo credits: Alaina Doyle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 24 Kraft caramels

Preparation

  1. In the bowl of your thinkkitchen Promix Stand Mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the molasses and mix thoroughly.
  3. Crack in the eggs, mixing in one at a time, scraping down the sides as you go with our thinkkitchen red spatula.
  4. Mix in the vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  5. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and mix until combined.
  6. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line three thinkkitchen granulated cookie pans with parchment paper.
  8. Taking about 1/2-1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball.
  9. Place two balls of dough on either side of a caramel, press them together and pinch the edges firmly to cover the caramel completely, and then roll into a ball. Repeat.
  10. Set balls of dough on cookie pan 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until flattened, but puffy.
  12. Allow to cool for 5 min on the baking sheet before removing, to avoid having the caramels melt through the bottom on the cooling racks.
  13. Serve while the cookies are still warm to be sure the caramel does not harden, or warm in the microwave before serving.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are the official cookie of merry cut-outs and festive frosting. Give this authentic holiday cookie a taste of excitement by adding crushed peppermint candy to the equation. Crunching into this enticing take on a sweet classic will bring a burst of flavor into the season of giving.
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Ingredients

  • 3¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup finely ground candy canes or round peppermint candies
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Preparation

  1. Mix together flour and salt in a deep mixing bowl (5L).
  2. Using thinkkitchen Easy-Chop Food Chopper grind peppermint candy to fine sugar consistency.
  3. In a separate bowl, using the 10 speed thinkkitchen Hand Mixer, beat butter, sugar, and ground peppermint together until blended.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract, use hand mixer to mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the flour and salt mixture gradually to the combined butter, sugar and ground peppermint.
  6. Separate into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic and let chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a thinkkitchen Granulated Cookie Pan with parchment paper.
  8. Spread flour on your work surface, and roll dough with our thinkkitchen non-stick rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness.
  9. Flour your cookie cutters before cutting shapes from dough.
  10. Place on cookie pan and bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  11. Let cool completely before decorating.

Once your Christmas cottage cookie tray is filled and your cookies are ready to be gobbled up, brew yourself a hot cocoa or tea, and use our milk frother to make it extra special. Your warm drink will be extra jolly in our Christmas cottage mug!

Helping you make sure you and your loved ones enjoy every bite of the holiday season this year,

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