Christmas Cookies 2012: New Recruits

Another year, another successful cookie binge.  I can’t make one more.  OK, I could, but I can’t, I’m so done, I’m sugar-coated.

This year rounded up the usual suspects, my tried-and-true friends:

Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate Gingerbread

Spice Stars

Lemon Poppyseed

And then we had some rookie cookies join the lineup, some good, some great, some neither.

cassiscrispsLet’s start with Cassis Crisps, which looked like they would be good but turned out to be thoroughly OK.  They are a basic roll-and-cut cookie, the dough is flavored with creme de cassis – a currant flavored liqueur – and sprinkled with sanding sugar.  The original recipe has you hand-cut them into squares, but I got really ambitious and cut mine with a swan-shaped cutter, and figured I could really get my Martha on by making a paper stencil to sand just the wings.  Seven swans a sanding.  Har har.  This was an epic fail after six swans, and I got mad and just pelted the rest whichever way.  In the end the cookies just didn’t taste like anything interesting.  So here is the recipe, have at it, maybe you can make bourbon crisps or peppermint schnaps crisps or something.

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IMG_5766Next were chocolate-orange-espresso thins which taste amazing, and the kids surprised me by totally mauling them.  The flavor is really terrific, my only complaint was that they’re the kind of cookie where you  make the dough into a log, chill it, and then cut it into rounds.  For some reason, I suck at this.  It totally stresses me out.  So I made a batch that way, rolling the dough log in sanding sugar before I sliced it so the cookies were edged, and they were great; but then I adapted another recipe for a roll-and-cut method, cut stars and sprinkled them with the sanding sugar.  In my opinion, they came out even better, and the cook was less stressed.  In the link I give you both methods, you can decide.

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orangehazelnutLast is orange-hazelnut shortbread which is knock-it-0ut-of-the-park, punch-the-wall AWESOME.  Panda gets credit, she picked it out of the magazine and I first I went eh? because of the labor-intensiveness of roasting hazelnuts and zesting oranges.  Don’t listen to me.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  This was my lunch today.

So that’s the cookie lineup for 2012.  Tomorrow is the last day before break so tonight we were busy bagging and boxing them up for teachers and aides.  By the way, whoever introduced decorative Chinese food containers into the market, thank you, what a lifesaver.

Happy Holidays!

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