Tis’ the Season for Holiday Baking!

5 Dec

It’s that time of year again… time to turn the house into a festive winter wonderland, shop for the perfect gifts, and prepare the holiday sweets and treats! This year, we at Elmira, are sharing with you some of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes to spread the holiday cheer!

#1- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 packages devil’s food cake mix (regular size)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red and/or green food coloring, optional

Directions

  • In a bowl, beat cake mixes, eggs and oil (batter will be very stiff). Roll into 1-in. balls; place on ungreased baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until a slight indentation remains when lightly touched. Cool.
  • In another bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Add sugar and vanilla; mix until smooth. If desired, tint with food coloring. Spread on bottom of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Yield: 4 dozen.

For more information, check out this great recipe from Taste of Home!

#2- Peanut Butter Bark

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (4 ounces each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bats, broken into pieces
  • 1 ½ cups (10-ounce package) Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine or oil)
  • ½ cup roasted peanut or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Directions

  • Cover tray with wax paper.
  • Place chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium for 1 minute, stir. Heat until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.
  • Immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening in second microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium 1 minute, stir. Heat until chips are melted and smooth when stirred; stir in peanuts.
  • Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl with knife for marbled effect. Cover, refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces.

#3- Classic Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  •  Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
  • Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
  • Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

For more information, check out this great recipe from Food Network!

#4- Maple Snow Taffy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup maple syrup (ours is B-grade amber-cheaper and darker-and we love it)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • Clean snow (or, need be, ice cream)

Directions

  • In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, heat the syrup and butter together until the mixture reaches 220ºF-235ºF on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, time it for about 5 minutes after it comes to a boil, and then pour a little onto a plate that’s been waiting in the fridge: when the syrup is ready, it should thicken up into a soft taffy on the plate; if it doesn’t, then cook it a minute or two longer.
  • Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes, then pour it by the spoonful over bowls of clean snow (or ice cream) where it will harden into a sweet lump of maple insanity.

For more information on this recipe, visit http://family.go.com/food/recipe-780690-maple-snow-taffy-t/.

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