Monday, December 12, 2011

T'is the Season - For my Cookie Challenge!

 I know. I should be focusing on exercising more, counting calories, lowering carbs. But not this month!
I've decided to set a challenge for myself: Bake a Holiday dessert each day. Not gigantic batches. Just enough to try them out and see how they are.  In years past, I'd host my Cookie exchange,  trying out new recipes on my party-goers. Some were great, some were flops. But it was a stressful way to do it! Since I put out my Cookie Exchange date so late in the season,  I've had too many RSVP's saying they can't come; I'm canceling for this year. Instead, I'm going to treat my family to their own assortment of cookies over the holidays. (I might host a last minute cookie exchange the night before Christmas Eve, but I think I'm just going to see how things go.)

Day 1: Bourbon Balls

First up, Bourbon Balls! Normally I start with my grandmother's favorite, Rum Balls.  She used to limit us to 2 Rum balls. I always thought it was just her way of rationing out desserts; but since the alcohol isn't cooked out of these tasty morsels, perhaps Mimi knew best!   For some reason I ran across this recipe with bourbon instead. And since Michael stocked the house before he left this summer with an excessive amount of various liquors, I have enough to make both!

Next, I wanted to make a cookie that kept showing up in my email as one of "The Best Cookie Exchange Cookies: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies." Bakers sometimes made them with Chocolate and sometimes with Chocolate and Peppermint. So I decided to make both. I simply halved the dough and put the peppermint in the second half only. I'm not sure what went wrong. The cookies were supposed to be more rounded in shape, like these on the right.
Mine were not. They taste great but they aren't shaped like I thought they would be. If any bakers have ideas as to why this might have happened, let me know!
Why so thin & spread out?
Day 2: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies 
Next I moved to gingerbread cookies. Using cookie cutters are much more fun with kids than they are when you do it by yourself. So I decided to forgo the frosting decoration for the same reason. Instead, I just sprinkled the cookies with Turbinado sugar. I'll pull out the cookie cutters and colored frostings again when Katie gets home from NYC and Alyssa has a day off from school.
These were still really tasty!
Day 3: Gingerbread Cookies

 Tomorrow....Carrie Pilon's Famous Faux Toffee! Thanks to Diane for saving the recipe all these years!

Want to join me on my Cookie Challenge? Bake some holiday goodie every day from now until ...whenever you want to stop - Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa! Then post a picture on your blog or Facebook page, so we can see what you made!

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