2012 Christmas Cookies! (Year, not Amount)

cookieplate1 Now that I’m doing it for fun and family, I am enjoying making Christmas cookies again this year.  I’ve already made several kind, some of which are gone!  Here are some I’ve made this year:

Peppermint sugar cookies — Okay, I used a tube for this.  I did this to kick-start my baking — don’t judge me.  The huge Pillbury ones were on sale with a $1 peelie coupon, so I got just one for less than $1.50.  It made three dozen giant cookies!  I dipped one-half of about a dozen in melted semi-sweet chocolate (they were the first to go).  Hit!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies — More help from the semi-homemade baking aisle.  Another coupon deal on Betty Crocker mix (1.30), so I got the variety I wouldn’t have ingredients to make at home.  I made these small, and they are lasting a good long while.  Acceptable.

Chewy Brownie Cookies — These are always awesome and perfect for my chocoholic family.  I got Pillsbury dark chocolate brownie mix 1.38 – .50 = .88!  Some got drizzled with melted white baking chips, some sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies.  The best ones are plain, imho.  A tip on the recipe:  go light on the oil and water so the mix is thicker; makes a pudgier cookie (and a pudgier me!).  Big hit!

Pumpkin drop cookies — I tried a new recipe for this, and did.not.like.it.  I made these right around Thanksgiving, and some are still in the freezer.  I would try another pumpkin cookie next year, but not this one.  Fail.

Chocolate Reindeer cookies — This dough is easy to put together, but has to sit in the fridge at least 2 hours to firm up enough to cut out.  The results are great!  Used leftover candy hearts instead of red hots for the noses, and piped edges with Cookie Icing/Frosting That Hardens.  Hit, but hard; will soften in freezer.

snowmancookies1Melted Snowman Cookies — Found these surfing FB sites.  Awesome!  I used Roll-Out Cookies and Cookie Icing/Frosting That Hardens for these.  Now, see, not everything is semi-homemade here at Chez CT.  I got new gels this season, which helped with decorating.  Huge, HUGE hit!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies — I still use the uber-easy recipe Dawn sent me a couple of years ago.  This time I used Super Chunky Skippy for extra crunch.  These were a hit, and I will make again this way.  Hit.

Some of CT’s Christmas cookie tips:

Plan!  Go shopping in your pantry before heading to the store.  Use the freshest ingredients available — especially marshmallows.  Bake a batch or two on days when you’ll be using your oven for dinner.  Put out part of your cookies, and freeze the rest to bring out later so you have variety through the season.  Find an easy roll-out cookie recipe you love and stick with it.  You can freeze blank cookies and decorate later when you have time.

I love these containers (available at some Kohl’s) and use them often, but a simple gallon freezer bag works, too.  I like rigid containers b/c they keep the cookies from getting crushed, and I have put 6 dozen cookies in one 2-layer container (12 dozen in a set), which is a space-saver in my freezer.

What I’m finding:  My family likes BIG cookies.  Guy-sized, slightly chewy, and chocolatey.  The little, cutesy, fun-decorated ones will get eaten, make no mistake, but the ones with muscle are preferred by the guys.  Psst: they’re easier to make, too!

Tell us what cookies you’re making this year — leave us a comment, please.

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