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12.16.2009

Cookie Care Packages: Peppermint Chocolate Divinity Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Triple Chocolate brownie cookies and MORE!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Two posts ago I shared a tradition I grew up with. I continued my baking this past week by making 6 different types of cookies. I was saddened that I was not going to be able to share them with family back home, but I figured that next year, with more planning, I could bake in batches and send them to family back in Texas. This year I decided to bake for new friends either from church, our neighbors, down to graduate students from MSU.

I started around 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and baked until 9pm. I bought fun and festive bags and filled each bag with a sampling of each cookie along with a packet or two of instant coffee. I also added a note describing every tasty treat included in the care package. At the end of the night I was wiped. I think I remembered baking over 2 to 3 days when I lived with my mother but a busy schedule for a musician leaves little time for baking! I was crunched for time and the oven begged to be used. It took a whole day after to regain my strength back, but after I received compliments, I knew it was worth all the work.

How did I choose the 6 types of cookies you might ask? Two of the recipes I picked were traditional cookies made over the years and two others were new recipes. One recipe was vegan and another was a family recipe from my mother-in-law's kitchen. Over all, it was a perfect combination of cookies to keep the palate asking for more. My husband was my taste tester since most of the people I gave cookies to are NOT vegan. There were no complaints from my hubby though.

For all you VEGANS out there. I DID make one cookie that IS vegan and SUPER delicious. Scroll down to the TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE COOKIE. It really is decadent without the animals products and my hubby agreed too! Enjoy!
Today marks my 42nd day being a vegan. I have lost another 5 lbs. That makes 13 pounds in 42 days! Thank you God!

Peppermint-Chocolate Divinity Cookiesmakes 2 1/2 dozen

adapted from my mother-in-law's recipe

1 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 cup chocolate chunks, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
1 candy cane, ground

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease.

Beat egg whites until stiff, adding sugar.

Fold in other ingredients. Drop 1 tsp to 1.5 tsp on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Cookiesadapted from Martine Noel's fan page
3/4 cup safflower oil
2 cups of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all wet ingredients until creamy and smooth. Add vanilla last.

In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients.

Incorporate all ingredients into one bowl and mix well. If the mixture gets too thick, use your hands. The dough should be thick and stiff. Add the vegan chocolate chips.

Make small 1" balls and bake on a cookie sheet or in a muffin tray for 10 minutes at 350°. Even though they don't look completely ready they are because these are soft and chewy cookies (brownie-like). Do not overbake them! Make sure too cool them before serving.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
makes 54 cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Milk chocolate kisses (About 1 bag)

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds.

Add the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat until all combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms lightly brown. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie's center. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
Teatime Gingersnaps

from Southern Living

makes 4 dozen

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well.

Add egg; beat well. Add molasses; beat until smooth.

Combine Flour and next 5 ingredients; add shortening mixture, beating well.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscottimakes 2 logs or about 45 small biscotti

2 cups of flour
½ cup of cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts
¾ stick of butter
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1 teaspoon salt

Beat butter, sugar and eggs together. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt) .



Pour dry in to wet, mixing as you go. Add chips and nuts into dough. Dust a cookie sheet with flour, and form dough into two logs.


Cook the logs at 375°F for about 30 mins or until the tops crack. Remove from oven and let cool, (about 15 min) cut into diagonal slices about one inch thick. and back for 10 more minutes.
Pecan Sandies

from Southern Living

Makes 4 dozen

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add flour, sugar, and vanilla beating until well blended. Stir in pecans. Shape into 1-inch balls, and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire racks and cool slightly. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar, and cool completely on wire racks.

16 comments:

Shirley said...

Great cookie tray you've got there!

Angie's Recipes said...

What a great tray of cookies!

Shelly said...

Wow, the receivers of your gift pkg are soooo lucky!

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free said...

I love your tradition...and that you now have new people in your life to share them with. Your pics are great - I'm sure that your friends are all going to be so grateful.

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, look at all those scrumptious cookies! Wonderful!

Vegetable Matter said...

Those are some gorgeous cookies. I'm impressed that you were able to do such a variety of cookies so quickly. Feel free to add us to your care package mailing list for next year. Maybe a barter for some vegetables???

NOELLE said...

@Shirley and @ Angie- Thanks!

@Shelly-Ha ha I know right? I felt so bad because my huby took to his class and another student brought in store-bought cookies for everyone and noone touched them! I was mortified!

@Amy-Traditions are wonderful!

@5 Star Foodie-Thanks!

@Vegetable Matter- I think we have a major deal! I am coming to Houston. I can pack it up for my way back! :)

ncl117 said...

I have to add the peppermint and the vegan cookie to my repertoire! Everything looks so delicious! I did the same thing but made tins :) It's always the best kind of present!

Mr. P said...

You have officially got your bake on!
Must be exhausted!

My Little Space said...

Noelle, don't forget to send me a package of these cookies too! You're awesome! I'm just so busy scrolling up & down for the recipes. haha.... Have fun!

The Chickenless Chick said...

These cookies all look amazing! How thoughtful of you to bake so many different types.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

These all look amazing! And congrats on your additional weight loss.

lululu said...

Please help me pick one! I have serious problem here!

corrine @ keep your diet real said...

Hi Noelle! Congrats on the weight loss. that's a lot of weight to have lost! By the way...those chocolate brownie cookies look outstanding!

NOELLE said...

@NCL117-It is fun to make cookies and give them as gifts.

@Mr.P-I needed a whole 24 hours to recover!

@My Little Space-Right! Thanks.

@The Chickenless Chick-It was fun to have a variety!

@Tasty Eats at Home-Thanks Alta!

@lululu-It is all about the chocolate!

@Corrine-Thanks! It is a true blessing.

Kayla Paulk said...

Noelle!

I am just now seeing your blog and want to thank you for sharing these yummy cookies with us. We really enjoyed them! The chocolate biscotti is something Jason's Mom, Terri, enjoyed with her coffee while visiting us. We enjoyed everything else before she arrived. :-)

Love,

Kayla

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