Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Favorite Holiday Coookies

This is the time of year that I pull out my recipe box looking for the cookie recipes that are our family favorites. Baking cookies is one holiday task that can be done ahead because cookies freeze well and only take a few minutes to defrost at room temperature. Be sure you don't mix strong flavors, like gingerbread, with buttery cut-outs. It's also important to wrap carefully to prevent them drying out or breaking.

I try to bake an assortment that make a festive holiday plate. Variety is the key. In addition to frosted sugar cookie cut-outs, I usually make Pecan Puffs, Kolache Cookies with a cherry jam filling, Pecan Tassies, Chocolate Snowballs, Scottish Shortbread and always "Buckeyes" my family's all time favorite. This is the treat all three of my children chose one year when I tried to simplify baking. I had read that an easy way to save time was to let everyone pick one favorite. Needless to say I did do Buckeyes but still had to make lots of decisions on what else to include.
(Except for Buckeyes the cookies above are in Baking Basics and Beyond.)
A question that comes up a lot is what cookies are the best for shipping. Choose sturdy cookies that keep well. Shortbread is rich and buttery and easy to send. I also recommend candies like fudge (or Buckeyes)or peanut brittle. Bars like brownies are also good gifts.

In case you didn't know-Buckeyes are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. If the top isn't covered with chocolate they look like buckeyes as the peanut butter peaks through. I try to make them last as they are what tempts me the most!

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