Break out the bake ware! The holidays are coming and that means Christmas cookies and goodies galore. Here are some favorite recipes to warm your hearts and bellies during this festive time of year.
Graham Cracker Toffee Bars: This Christmas cookie requires very little baking time and is a must-have for your holiday gift baskets!
1 package Graham crackers 1 package Chocolate Chips 1 package chopped walnuts 2 sticks butter 2 cups brown sugar
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Place about 12 graham crackers closely together on the tin foil. In a saucepan, melt two sticks of butter. Add 2 cups of brown sugar and stir until bubbly. Pour over the crackers and place in the oven at 375 until it bubbles. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pat the chocolate until it melts and is smooth. Finally, sprinkle with crushed walnuts and refrigerate. It usually takes several hours for it to set. Then just break into pieces and devour!
Candy Cane Cookies: Fresh, festive and a favorite Christmas cookie for all!
1 cup butter 1 egg 1 cup powdered sugar 1 ½ teaspoon almond flavoring 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 2 ½ cups flour 1 teaspoon salt
For your topping:
½ cup sugar ½ cup crushed candy canes Red or green food coloring to create colored dough
Mix your ingredients together until doughy. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour. Separate the dough, so you can add red food coloring to it until it turns red. Cut dough into strips, twisting the red and plain dough together into “candy canes.” Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove and promptly sprinkle the candy mixture on the cookie.
Martha Stewart’s Honey Gingerbread Men: This traditional Christmas cookie is also a fun way to enjoy the season with your kids while they decorate their treats with icing, licorice or gum drops!
5 ½ cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 4 teaspoons ground ginger 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temp) 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 1 cup honey ½ cup unsulfured molasses Gingerbread men cookie cutters Optional: icing, gum drops, icing, M&M’s licorice or any other decorative candy.
Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy; add eggs, one at a time. Beat in honey and molasses. Gradually add flour mixture. Once your dough is completely mixed, divide into 3 sections and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll your dough on a floured piece of parchment paper, once you reach ¼ inch thick, you are ready to cut your gingerbread men! Freeze them for 15 minutes. Finally, cook your gingerbread men for 15 minutes (6 minutes on each side). Frost, decorate and enjoy! (Makes about 6 dozen little men!)
Low Fat Pumpkin Cookies: Pumpkin, it’s not just for Turkey day anymore! Although not as cute as the gingerbread men, these Christmas cookies are festive and feel right for the season. Enjoy!
1 cup canned pumpkin puree 1 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons apple sauce ½ cup low-fat, plain yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups cake flour, sifted ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips (optional, but so tasty!)
Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, yogurt, apple sauce and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients and then add the pumpkin mix until blended. Add chocolate chips.
Using a spoon, drop your cookies onto a greased baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Leave space between cookies as they expand when cooking! Makes about 3 dozen.