I made a ton of cookies for the exchange. I actually ran out of time to make them all, thanks to not reading a new recipe through before baking. I got to the refrigerate for several hours or all night and almost lost it. Sadly this is a post without pictures because I was total crap at taking any. Please visit the respective sites where I got the recipes to see how wonderful they look though.
I made my regular M&M cookies with my current favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I've posted the recipe before so I won't do it here again.
I also made my usual fudge and spiced pecans.
I tried this recipe early on to see how it tasted. It was a HUGE hit at home and especially at work. They sound so weird but they are SO GOOD. An important note on the directions - use parchment paper or a baking mat for these. I seriously never thought that mattered, but with these cookies it did. I ran out of parchment and just greased the pan, the cookies spread out and were one big pancake type mess on the pan. With the parchment, they baked up into perfect round cookies.
Salted Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Yield: about 24 cookies (I made a double batch for the exchange)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Combine the 8 ounces chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, and heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, heat in the microwave in 25-second intervals, stirring in between.) In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture, blending until incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are just slightly soft in the center and crackly on top, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and let cool on the baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
The next cookie is a Ginger Crinkle. My sister in law cannot find the recipe she uses so I had to turn to the Google to find one. In the end I decided to use Betty's. The only thing I would change (and have in the recipe below) is to decrease the amount of ginger. 1 Tbsp was just too much for me. I would halve it.
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1 cup sugar and the butter with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until soft and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients except 3 tablespoons sugar until well blended.
Place 3 tablespoons sugar in small bowl. Shape dough by tablespoonfuls into balls; roll in sugar. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
The cookie that didn't get made for the exchange, but did for Christmas and the one that I absolutely fell in love with is this final one. When they are hot from the oven they are amazing. It's like a peppermint mocha in cookie form. I seriously could have eaten the entire batch.
Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
Yields 2 dozen cookies
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spooned and leveled bleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 3/4 cups sugar, divide
1/4 cup of canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm, not hot
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons of peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, beat together well the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50 percent power for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 15 seconds more and stir; set aside.
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together 2 1/2 cups of the sugar, the oil, butter and corn syrup to blend. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and peppermint extract. Then on low, beat in the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture and beat in on low speed. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line bakesheet with parchment. Take out about one-quarter of the dough at a time to shape. Roll the dough into 3 inch balls. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar into one bowl and the confectioners’ sugar in another bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball lightly in granulated sugar first, then very heavily in confectioners’ sugar. (By rolling in plain sugar first, the confectioners’ sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better).
Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on the foil. For crisp cookies, bake 12 to 14 minutes. For a chewier cookie, bake 10-12 minutes. Bake one sheet at a time.
Happy Baking if you're not baked out already!