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Day 6 … Pecan Tassies

We’ve always been a big cookie baking family and the holidays had a very specific list. Cream cheese spritz for sure, with an abundance of sprinkles and those mercury loaded silver balls. Windowpane cookies which to the delight of the kids and the horror of my mother, we’d crush hard candies with hammers to sprinkle inside the cutouts. Candy bits scattered everywhere. And how much easier would it have been if we’d had silicone baking mats back then?? Kolacky. Twisty peppermint candy canes. And pecan tassies, little miniature pecan pies. So today for Day 6 of the 12 Days of Cookies, a holiday classic … Pecan Tassies. We’re at the halfway mark folks!

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Can you do a bang up Christmas Cookie platter without something peppermint? Well, I would say yes because I think a lot of peppermint recipes make everything in the dang box taste minty so you’ve got to approach the flavor with caution. Let me amend that … you’ve got to approach peppermint extract with caution as it tends to overpower everything. Pack those cookies separately if you can. (Note I did a peppermint cookie in 2016 but skipped the flavor in 2017 for this reason.) That all said, I think I’ve found a way around this conundrum. For Day 5 of the 12 Days of Cookies, may I present Peppermint Brownie Bars. Oh you bet. Continue Reading »

I do love a cookie with raspberry jam. The first year there were thumbprints, last year were linzers, and this year jam tarts. The best. It’s funny – the basic dough and the raspberry jam is the same in all the recipes but a few different ingredients in each batch yields completely different cookies. That’s the cool trick about this whole thing. Maybe you should think about doing nothing but raspberry jam cookies this year. I’d be good with that. So, given my fondness of raspberry jam, I threw another one in this round, one that was more raspberry focused and with almonds, because that is the best combination. Today for Day 4, we have Almond Raspberry Strips.   Continue Reading »

Today for Day 3 of these festive 12 Days of Cookies, I went with something a little different and one that sort of caught me by surprise. Not long ago, I stopped in a Chinatown bakery for a few cookies. On a whim I threw a sesame cookie into the mix, which is odd because I’m not the biggest fan of sesame seeds. Turns out it was pretty good and it spawned an idea and a flavor I haven’t really explored for this whole one dough/many cookies thing. I like to mix things up so let’s give Orange Sesame Crisps a whirl, shall we?

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For Day 2 we’re getting a little fancy. Pinwheels will always make people ooh and aah; these are the pretty cookies you put on top of the box to show off. For this one, I took half of the dough and added some baking spices – cinnamon, cloves, allspice and a touch of salt – and made a pretty light brown spiral. Pinwheels are not all that difficult but they do require some attention to detail. For the best results, you need to dig out that ruler from the junk drawer. If you want to be really precise, use your scale too. This is a tough one to eyeball.

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Have you thought about how you’re going to attack your holiday cookie plan this year? Do you have your basic dough made? If not, don’t worry. I haven’t either. While I’ve made all 12 of this year’s recipes, I only did that because I had to photograph the collective group for the last post. Seriously. I muscled my way through them all the day before Thanksgiving so while I wouldn’t recommend it, it is possible. I still have a few to tweak but thankfully those won’t post toward the end. As it is, I am writing this post a mere half hour before it goes up and haven’t started writing numbers 2-12. I suspect they’ll get done on the wire too. That’s just how I roll during the holidays. And I haven’t started my regular cookie baking. Oh well. It’ll all get done. It always does. The postman might not deliver those cookies until New Year’s but so be it. I refuse to have a meltdown this year (she says now.) Commence meltdown. What the hell … let’s go!

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And here we are again. In the midst of parties, shopping, wrapping and whatnot, we routinely decide to bake ungodly amounts of cookies in those two free hours that one Tuesday night. Why do we do this to ourselves? I know why; we all know why, so let’s make this easy on ourselves. For the third year, I’ve got the solution to your holiday baking stress: twelve completely different cookies from one basic butter cookie dough. Make a batch, or two, divide it up and flavor it a bunch of different ways. In the weeks that follow, I’ll give you twelve new recipes or you can use any of the twelve from last year or the twelve from the year before (listed below). By the end of December, that will be 36 possible variations to this basic recipe. Not too shabby! For most recipes, I’ll give you the option of making a big batch (from half the dough), a medium batch (from ¼ of the dough) or a small batch (from 1/8 of the dough). Pick and choose as you see fit.

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