Monday, December 14, 2009

Hazelnut Kiss Cookies

Another cookie I associate with Christmas are peanut-butter kiss cookies. The dough would be spiked with peanut butter, then a Kiss would be placed in the center after they had baked. The recipe I decided to use this year was a bit different. First off, chocolate hazelnut spread is used instead of peanut butter. And once you shape the cookies they're rolled in sprinkles for a little extra color and sweetness. The cookies are also baked for a few minutes with the Kiss so it melts slightly.

I asked Dennis for his impressions (after he ate two right before dinner), and he said his recommendation is to eat them warm when the Kiss is slightly melted. All in all, they look very festive and I think they'd be enjoyed at any holiday get-together.

Hazelnut Kiss Cookies
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • 1 (9-ounce) package of chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped (I used dark chocolate, of course)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, place the chocolate hazelnut spread, butter, and both sugars. Using a hand mixer, cream the ingredients together, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and blend until incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.

Shape the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls. Rolls the balls in the orange sprinkles or orange sugar, pressing to adhere. Place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Quickly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Makes around 36 cookies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brown Edge Cookies

I've always associated Christmas with Christmas cookies. My Mom and I used to make batches of all different kinds of cookies, a tradition I continued when I went to college and once I moved out on my own.

This recipe is by far the most requested. It's not hard to see why everyone loves them - how can you go wrong with a cookie that basically consists of sugar and butter?

When I made them this time I used pure cane sugar which made them a bit crunchier. So if you're looking for that extra crunch, that would be fine. Otherwise plain old sugar is what we traditionally used. To top the cookies you can throw some red and green sprinkles on top, leave them plain, or cut maraschino cherries into quarters and put them on top before placing in the oven. It doesn't really matter how you decorate them - I guarantee people will love them!

Great-Grandma's Brown Edge Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and gradually add sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla.
Drop very small portions from teaspoon onto buttered sheet 2 inches apart.
Spread with knife dipped in water. Bake 8-12 minutes (until the edges brown).
Cool less than 1 minute and remove to cooling trays.

Make about 5 dozen.