Saturday, December 11, 2010

Seeking Christmas Cookie Help

I've got a big week ahead. I made it through dead week fine, but now the prospect of my looming finals is seriously stressing me out. And I don't get stressed easily, so that's saying something.

Luckily, I've got you guys (and food) to keep me going until Thursday, when I will finally be finished with this first semester.

Anyway, for the past few weeks - who am I kidding, months - I've been slowly accumulating Christmas cookie recipes in my bookmarks folder. I'm planning on baking when I get home next Thursday (it's a nice de-stresser) and then again on Friday before the family gift exchange and subsequent cookie swap. Mom said two kinds of cookies would be enough. But I'm the girl who made four desserts at Thanksgiving. How are we supposed to choose only two types of cookies?!

Here are some of the candidates:

Of the sandwich variety:
For some reason the concept of sandwich cookies is very big in the food world these days. From whoopie pies to homemade spins on Oreos, there are lots of different sandwich cookies popping up all over the place. I particularly like a cappuccino-chocolate flavor at Martha Stewart. I've also been wanting to make Linzer cookies for years (ever since I saw them in Barefoot Contessa). I love Martha's take on them. The cut out is a Christmas tree. And I like that you could fill them with all kinds of jams. We even have a cranberry one at home that would be particularly seasonal. Plus they're just so pretty. Finally, Joy the Baker has a recipe for chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies that looks delicious.

Of the biscotti variety:
I really love biscotti. A part of me says that I should make the gingerbread biscotti from last year that were soo good. Another part of me wants to change it up a little bit. Recently I've been intrigued by biscotti recipes that are traditional and contain only eggs instead of eggs and oil/butter, which most recipes do. I find that the final product in the eggs-only version is a lot crisper (likely due to the absence of fat's tenderizing qualities), which I enjoy. The only question then is what flavor to go with. There are these almond-ginger biscotti, but I'm also intrigued by recipes that adds spices like cinnamon and cardamom for a seasonal touch.

Of the bar variety:
The cranberry bliss bars last years were also a hit. Once again though, my baking ADD is keeping me from baking them again this year. However, I've found a few enticing bar cookies. These cranberry crumb bars satisfy my curiosity for baking any kind of crumb bar. These crumb bars also feature cranberry, but they've got a bit more going on with additions of orange and warm spices. But maybe cranberries are too Thanksgiving? Indecision. And then there are these pear, pistachio, and ginger blondies that are decidedly more sophisticated. I love that they are cut into wedges instead of squares like regular blondies. Then it's like you're eating a scone instead of what blondies really are: chocolate chip cookie batter baked in the shape of a square.

Other contenders:
These cookies don't necessarily all fit into one category, but I still want to make them. I love all things almond and these almond macaroons look both delicious and exciting to make, as I've never tackled an egg white-based cookie before. But one pound of almond paste? That stuff's expensive! Keeping in the nut category, these walnut acorn cookies are just about the cutest things I've ever seen. They sort of remind me of the toffee squares we used to make with their combination of nut, shortbread, and chocolate. These pumpkin truffles also look yummy. I love anything with pumpkin in it, but, as with the cranberries, I'm wondering if they're too autumn-y to have around at Christmastime.

Of course, they are also all the reliable cookies we've been making for years, like the cranberry oatmeal cookies, the toffee squares, and the peppermint bark.

But what do you guys think? Maybe there is something else out there that I've missed. I'm really torn over what to make. There are just so many options! Help (desperately) wanted.

1 comment:

  1. um yummmmm... I definitely think cranberry is christmas - and pumpkin not so much. love cardamom and ginger, too. there's a cardamom orange sugar cookie in our "book" that's from martha. I also definitely think we need a sandwich cookie and a biscotti and those walnut shortbreads! for biscotti, how about the pistachio, cherry and white chocolate ones (only 2T oil and 3 eggs - I think that's a good compromise - I like mine a bit less crunchy!) that we made back in 2006? ...ummm... to say I'm excited about having you baking in the kitchen in just 4 days is an understatement! LOVE you - keep up the good, hard work, and we'll celebrate with some kitchen time! xxoo - m.