Christmas Cookies (December 15, 2007)

Gingerbread – traditional recipe
Oatmeal toffee – again, I just used the recipe from the red and white Better Homes and Garden cookbook and added toffee bits
Peanut Butter Kisses – Better Homes and Gardens recipe plus Hershey Kisses…we even found them already unwrapped!

Cookies from Cake Mix
1 cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together. Drop on to cookie sheets, by spoonful. They spread out a bit. I used chocolate cake mix and added some festive white chocolate chips.

Chocolate Candy Canes
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Baker’s White baking chocolate (we got white chocolate chips, because I couldn’t find Baker’s)
12 hard peppermint candies, crushed (I used candy canes that I already had)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla, in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Blend in semi-sweet chocolate.

Shape tablespoons of dough into 52 balls. Roll each ball into 3-inch-long rope. Place 2-inches apart, on baking sheet, bending top of each slightly to resemble a candy cane.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until slightly browned; cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Microwave white chocolate as directed (we melted the chips on the stove). Drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Let stand until white chocolate is firm. (I know that Sarah and I rolled out a few more than 52, may be close to 60. They puff up a bit, but do not really spread out. These were good and David commented that he liked the peppermint added to the cane.)

Chocolate-Dipped Snowballs
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. jet-puffed marshmallows
5 c honey bunches of oats (I used rice crispies, mostly because I couldn’t find honey bunches of oats)
1 container (7 oz.) Baker’s Real Dark Semi-Sweet Dipping Chocolate (We used the rest of the Baker’s chocolate, plus part of a second package)

Melt butter in large saucepan on low heat. Add marshmallows; cook five minutes or until marshmallows are melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal. Cool slightly

Shape into 24 balls with moistened hands (I used vegetable oil on my hands). Place on wax paper covered  baking sheet; cool completely.

Heat dipping chocolate as directed (We melted the baker’s chocolate in a small saucepan). Dip top of each ball in chocolate; return, dipped side up, to baking sheet. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Again, I think that this made many more than 24. I like “bite-sized” so the balls were maybe smaller than the recipie suggests.

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