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Posts Tagged ‘holiday baking’

Today, for our second cracker of this bunch, I’ve got that classic fruit and cheese combination: a little blue cheese, a little fig. Now, I need to explain something before we get too far into this. These are subtle. There is not an overwhelming flavor of blue cheese in this cracker. It’s rather dainty, comes through on the back end and this makes it an excellent cracker to add to the cheese board/charcuterie platter to top with other delicious things. This is good news if you’re not a big fan of the blue. There’s just enough savoriness to make it interesting but isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a blue cheese fan expecting a big blue cheese hit, this may not do it for you but put a few fresh crumbles on top you’ve got one outstanding bite. So you do you. (more…)

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Ok, here we go! The first of the bunch of our 3 dough, 12 crackers for all your holiday snacking needs and we’re starting off with the four cheese varieties. First up is a good one – Cheddar Old Bay Crackers. Sort of like a zipped up Cheez It. To start, make the Cheese Base Cracker Dough I posted the other day, divide it into four even pieces and use one for this recipe. Refrigerate or freeze the rest – we’ll get to it. (This works best if you make the base dough and flavor right away but I realize that’s not always possible. If the dough is frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. If it’s cold and hard, let it sit on the counter for a good 10-15 minutes so it’s cool but pliable.) This round is sort of like pie dough, you want to keep the butter kind of chunky, or as best as you can as it’s going to get worked over a few times, both in the initial mix and in the flavoring mix.

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It’s that time of year again, my friends. Time to bake cookies until ingredient lists invade your dreams and you mumble recipes in your sleep. Or is it? For the last three years I’ve tried to ease the burden of cooking, baking and gifting by using a favorite trick of mine – take one basic butter cookie dough, add various ingredients and turn it into a bunch of different types of cookies. Great, right? You turn out amazing cookie platters, no one is the wiser and you maintain a semblance of sanity. Twelve varieties each year has yielded 36 different cookies, of all flavors, colors, and textures from just one basic dough. This year, I find myself burnt out on cookies, even a year later. I’m just not feeling it and any new ideas I came up with were not sparking joy. I’m taped out this year. Instead I came up with something that excited me, something similar but different. Why not savory?  What if I came up with 12 savory crackers from one dough?

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Here we are; the final day of The 12 Days of Cookies. And a Merry Christmas to you too! I saved this one for last because they are the essence of Christmas. Literally. They’re peppermint. If Christmas doesn’t smell like peppermint, then I don’t know what does. Today the final cookie to cap off my series of “one dough, many cookies” are Peppermint Crisps. Or Peppermint Candy Canes. Really depends on what you want to do and how much time you want to spend doing it.

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The finish line is in sight on this little 12 Days of Cookies project. So far we’ve taken a basic butter cookie dough and made a bunch of different cookies: Jam Thumbprints, Mexican Chocolate Crinkles, Butter Rum Bars, Cranberry Pistachio Coins, Candied Ginger Spice Buttons, Russian Teacakes, Apricot Rosemary Shortbread, Chocolate Hazelnut Buttons, Dark Chocolate Mocha Sandwich Cookies and Coconut Lime Sticks. All from one dough. A pretty good mix if I do say so. Today’s cookie, for Day 11, is a simple but delicious one. Pecan Triangles.

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I know … you put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up. I’d drink that so I understand why they wrote a whole song about it. Sounds wonderful, belly ache or not. Lime and coconut are a delicious combination and one I especially like in just about anything. In fact, last year around this time I made chewy Chile Lime Macaroons so it’s not like I haven’t explored this territory before. So for Day 10 of this 12 day cookie adventure, I did something a little different; buttery, crumbly yet tender. Today it’s Coconut Lime Sticks.

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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. If you’re making a holiday cookie platter, it has to have something chocolate. It’s a rule. So far this month, I’ve done two chocolate cookies – one a spicy Mexican chocolate number and the other, in the last post, a delightful combo with hazelnuts. Both are very good but this one, oh this one is chocolate x100. Most of the cookies so far have been fairly simple, pushed into a pan for bars or rolled into balls. These take it up a notch – there’s rolling and cutting and filling. Yes folks, today I’m challenging you. Today we’ve got sandwich cookies; Dark Chocolate Mocha Sandwich Cookies.

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Hazelnuts and chocolate. It’s a lovely combination, isn’t it? For the eighth day of this cookie extravaganza, I wanted to do a nut/chocolate combo but peanut/chocolate didn’t seem special enough and I’d already used pistachios. Pecans were in the last cookie and while I like them very much, they’re not my first choice to pair with chocolate and chocolate is what I was after. Honestly, a chocolate-hazelnut pairing is hard to top. Just ask the Italians. None have embraced this combination quite like the Italians. Where would they be without their Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Baci candies and can we talk about gianduja? Oh my lord. So the cookie of the day today, obviously, is a Chocolate Hazelnut Button.

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We are deep in the thick of things now. Christmas is next week. Gah! Right now, I’m staring at a pile of presents that somehow have to wrapped and shipped very very soon. I spent 6 hours this weekend packing up 58 cookie boxes to gift to friends and family. It is the single most despised thing I do over the holiday season, but it has to be done. Where are those Keebler elves when you really need them? Slackers. Additionally, I still have a few Christmas parties on the horizon that need hostess gifts. Bet you can guess what those will be. Cookies! As I put together my latest assortment, pulled from these 12 Days of Cookie doughs I have stashed in the freezer (a godsend if every there was one) I give thanks to another holiday classic: shortbread. How can you have a holiday cookie platter without a shortbread type of thing? You cannot.

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Today marks the halfway point in this little project, The 12 Days of Cookies. For Day 6, I have a classic for you, the crowd pleaser, and the one that typically disappears before the others. Some call them Mexican Wedding Cookies; others refer to them as Viennese Crescents or Nut Horns. I call them Russian Tea Cakes and they are delicious.

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