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marmalady 09-10-2004 10:22 AM

Christmas Baking Recipe Exchange
Please forgive me if this has been done here already, but since Christmas is fast approaching (eeks!) I thought it might be fun to do a cookie and general 'baking' exchange for Christmas goodies. I'll start off with one of my favorites - all the goodies represent the treasures brought by the Wise Men to the baby Jesus.


½ cup butter
¼ tsp. salt 2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1cup mashed banana
2 eggs
½ cup maraschino cherries
1 can mandarin orange
½ cup chopped dates
1tsp. vanilla
6oz.chocolate chips
1tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup coconut
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and milk and beat till fluffy. Add flour, baking soda and salt alternately with banana. Stir in cup almonds and everything else. Pour into prepared pans and sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake for 60-75 minutes.

chefcyn 09-10-2004 03:17 PM

Maple Walnut Cheesecake
This is a great idea Marmalady!

This excellent cheesecake is definitely for nut-lovers! I made it for Christmas dinner last year, and had to make it twice more that week--it was that good!

Maple Walnut Cheesecake
9" springform pan

1 1/4 c chopped walnuts
1 ½ c graham crumbs
1/3 c + 1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
2# room temp cream cheese
5 eggs
3/4 c heavy cream
1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple flavor
1 jar(5 oz) walnuts in syrup-garnish **
Whipped cream and maple sugar candies(optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 350.

Toast walnuts until lightly browned, 3-4 min. remove from the baking sheet to cool, reduce the oven temp to 325. Place a roasting pan(large enough to hold the cheesecake pan) on the bottom rack and fill halfway with hot water. Wrap the outside of the pan in plastic wrap then sit the pan on a double layer of foil(wide sheets if you can get it)and come well up the sides to keep water out when baking.

Combine crumbs, 1/3 c sugar, butter, cinnamon and ½ c toasted walnuts. Press into the bottom and 1" up the sides of the springform pan.

At medium speed, beat the cream cheese and the remaining sugar until fluffy, about 3 min. Add the eggs one at a time.
Add the cream, maple syrup, flour, vanilla and maple flavor and beat until blended.

Pour half of the batter into the pan, place into the water bath and bake for 40 min, sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and pour the remainder of the batter into the pan. Bake 30 min more or until the center jiggles just slightly when the pan is gently shaken.
Turn the oven off and let the cake stand in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, run a thin sharp knife around the edges to loosen (so the sides won’t stick as it cools and shrinks, causing cracks) and cool completely at room temp. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight, in the pan, covered with plastic wrap.
To serve, garnish with the wet walnuts and whipped cream and maple candies if desired.

** Boil walnuts in maple syrup or half maple syrup and half cornsyrup for about 5-8 min. Keep in the refrigerator until needed--they are great as a topping for ice cream, too!

wasabi woman 09-10-2004 08:50 PM

Love your idea Marmalady!!! What I would especially like to see are cookie recipes that you can bake ahead, so I can get things done between now and Christmas! Here's one for you...

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Drops
Source: BH&G Christmas Cookies 1995

1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c sugar
1 ts baking powder
1/4 ts baking soda
1/4 ts ground cardamon
1/2 c sour cream
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour

Beat butter in a mixing bowl for 30 seconds.
Add sugar, baking powder, soda, and cardamon; beat till combined.
Beat in sour cream till combined.
Beat in as much flour as you can; stir in any remaining flour.
Drop dough by rounded tsps onto cookie sheets lined with waxed paper.
Place sheets in freezer; freeze 45 minutes or till firm.
Transfer mounds to freezer bags or containers.
Freeze up to 6 months. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

To bake:
Place frozen mounds 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in a 350F oven about 12 minutes, till edges begin to brown.
Remove; cool.

Happy Holidays!

marmalady 09-11-2004 07:52 AM

Chefcyn - oooh - maple - swoon! I adore cooking with maple syrup, and have gotten so addicted to the 'grade B' that I don't even buy the 'A' grade anymore - even for pancakes!

WW - I do tons of cookies where I make the dough and freeze it in rolls, then just have a 'slice and bake' baking day. I make a lot of baskets for Christmas presents, and these are so easy to do for sort of 'fillers', even tho they stand on their own taste-wise! Give me a day or two; I'm in the process of transferring recipes to a 'word' file on my 'puter, and the cookies are the next major category!

I love sour cream cookies, too - such a great basic recipe you can 'gussie up' in so many ways!

crewsk 09-11-2004 11:14 AM

I look forward to these every Christmas! I make them at night after supper that way I don't have to worry about having to use the oven until the next day.

Forgotten Cookies

2 egg white, stiffly beaten
1C. chopped nuts
2/3C. sugar
1C. chocolate chips

Gradually add sugar to stiff egg whites & gently fold in nuts & chocolat chips. Put double layer of aluminum foil on cookie sheet(s). Drop mixture by tablespoon fulls onto foil. Have oven preheated to 350 deg, place cookies in heated oven & immediatly turn oven off. Leave cookies in oven overnight. Do not open oven door at all! These do not spread so you can put them pretty close together on the cookie sheet.

You can also use mini M&M's in place of the chocolate chips for some color.

marmalady 09-11-2004 03:52 PM

Crews - How many does your recipe make? Hve you ever doubled it?

wasabi woman 09-11-2004 07:31 PM

wanted to add another one, and try to add picture :D

Frozen Candied Fruit Cookies http://home.att.net/~amie/frozen_can...kies_small.jpg
makes 10 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 whole egg
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup candied pineapple, diced
1 cup candied red cherry or green cherries (or mixture of both)

Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in eggs.
Stir in dry ingredients.
Stir in pecans and fruit.
Form into logs 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Wrap in plastic wrap; place in resealable plastic bag.

to bake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using wet sharp knife, slice into thin slices (1/4 inch thick), and place on greased baking sheet.
Bake 6-8 minutes

*if you like fruitcake, you'll like these!

Lyn 221 09-12-2004 12:33 AM

It is never too early to talk about Christmas cookies!! I have been busy "copying and pasting"!! your recipes to my many favorites. I have a favorite sugar cookie recipe to share also...

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
(Source: Pillsbury Holiday Cookies and Candies 2001)

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups AP flour

Colored sugars, jimmies, decorating icings, if desired

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except flour and colored sugars, jimmies, decorating icings; beat until light and fluffy.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour; mix well. Shape dough into 3 discs. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. On floured surface roll out 1 disc of dough at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated). Cut with lightly floured 2 1/2 inch round or desired shape cookie cutters. Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, decorate with colored sugars or jimmies.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 6 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. If desired, frost and decorate plain cookies when cool.

Enjoy !! Lyn :D

marmalady 09-13-2004 08:12 AM

Okay, finally got some of my recipes copied into my file on the puter, and posted a couple of the 'freezer slice and bake' versions.

I thought I'd share some of the 'tips' I've learned, as I do a ton of baking for the holidays, and usually make up to 20 baskets for gifts.

-If you're planning on making large assortments of cookies, think easy! Plan on one or two spectacular decorated cookies, then 'fill in' the assortment with easier recipes, like the 'slice and bake' freezer cookies, or bar cookies. Bar cookies look great presented in the little mini-muffin paper cups.

-Truffles, fudge, or other 'candies' just top off the baskets!

- Start early buying your supplies - if you see butter on sale, buy it now and freeze it! It's probably the most expensive ingredient you'll use. Same for baskets - keep your eye out for pretty tins/baskets/trays at yard sales and the like - buying them at the last minute when all the Christmas decorations are out, means the prices are much higher! The same with storage tins; buy 'em now on sale.

- I usually start my baking right after Thanksgiving, with all the 'slice and bake' recipes I'm going to do. I just have a 'mixing day', and that's all I do is mix the doughs to freeze them.

-Start saving your cardboard paper towel rolls. They make great protectors for the cookies, so the round cookies don't get a flat bottom; if they're too small for your roll, just cut them open lengthwise and fit them around the dough, then when you place them in the freezer, place the cut side up.

- Use a rectangular plastic container with a lid to freeze your rolls; it'll protect them from getting knocked around in the freezer. Now's a good time to start lobbying for a used second hand fridge/freezer, if you don't already have one! :)

-Store the cookies of a 'like' flavor together, but be sure to store separately any cookies with a lot of spice in them; otherwise, all your cookies will taste like spice!

marmalady 09-13-2004 08:21 AM

These are all 'slice and bakes', meaning they can be mixed up, shaped and put in the freezer for later baking.


These are melt in your mouth!

Makes about 5 dz.

½ lb unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups + 2T sifted AP flour
1 tsp salt
Decorating sugar or sanding sugar (I usually use red, green, and white or gold)

Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed til light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. Add flour and salt, and mix on low til flour is incorporated.

Roll dough into two 1 ½ inch diameter logs; wrap in parchment paper, and chill at least 1 hour til firm, or freeze for later use.

Preheat oven to 350; line cookie sheets with parchment. Roll the logs in the sanding sugars (just do one color at a time, so you won’t intermix the colors). Slice into ¼ inch rounds. Bake 12-15 minutes, til golden brown, and cool on racks.
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Makes about 5 dz.

½ cup sliced almonds
1 ¾ cups AP flour
½ cup sugar
½ T. ground ginger
1 tsp. fine lemon zest
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
¼ cup molasses
½ tsp tsp lemon extract
½ tsp vanilla
2R minced crystallized ginger

Toast the almonds til golden in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, ginger, zest, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add butter, molasses, extracts, and beat on med. Speed til combined. Reduce speed to low, and add in almonds and crystallized ginger.

On a piece of parchment paper, shape the dough into an 8 ½ x 3 inch rectangle, about 1 ½ inches thick. Wrap the parchment around the dough, then wrap in plastic.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or til firm, or freeze.

Preheat oven to 350; line cookie sheets with parchment.

Use a sharp knife, and make slices crosswise, 1/8 inch (yes!) thick or less, if you can. Place on baking sheets 1 inch apart. Bake til just beginning to darken around the edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

These are very thin, crispy cookies, reminiscent of the ‘Dutch Windmill’ cookies.
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These are melt-in-your mouth – you’ll never buy store-bought sandies again! This recipe is very easily doubled.

Makes about 5 dz.

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz. ( 2/3 cup) pecans, finely ground
1 2/3 cups AP flour
Pinch of salt

Beat butter and sugar on med. Speed til light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Mix the pecans with the flour and salt, and add to the butter mixture. Beat on low til just mixed, then on medium for about 1 minute – do not overbeat!

Refrigerate the dough for about an hour, til it’s able to he handled. Divide the dough in half and on a piece of parchment, roll into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap the parchment paper completely around the roll, and either refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment. Unwrap, and slice the cookies ¼ inch thick. Place on baking sheets 1 inch apart. It’s important to keep this dough cold while you’re working with it. Return any unused portion to the fridge until you need to slice some more. Bake 15-20 minutes, til just light brown. Cool on racks.

Variations: After you make the rolls, place some Demarara sugar or white baking sugar on a piece of parchment, and coat the rolls with it. Then wrap the rolls in parchment as above. Or, after the cookies are done, sift some powdered sugar on top.
************************************************** **********

Don’t let the steps to this recipe discourage you. Read the recipe through first, before you begin. These are great cookies, and look wonderful in an assortment; the chocolate is REALLY chocolate!

Makes about 7 dz.

2 lbs unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
7 ½ cups AP flour
½ cup Dutch process cocoa

Place butter, vanilla, sugar, and flour in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on med. Speed till well combined. Divide dough in half; leave half remaining in the mixing bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix til well combined. Shape both doughs into discs, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Divide the chocolate dough into 2/3 and 1/3 pieces. Between parchment paper, roll out the larger piece into a rectangle ½ inch thick, and about 4 inches wide. Note: The first time I did this, it was easier to make two smaller rectangles, and two smaller rolls. Leave the parchment paper on both sides, and slide onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate.
Roll the smaller piece of chocolate dough into a log, about ¾ inch in diameter. Wrap in parchment, and refrigerate.

Repeat the same with the white dough.

After the doughs are chilled, leave the bottom parchment on the dough, and place the rectangle of chocolate dough on work surface; place a roll of white dough in the center. Wrap the rectangle around it, crimping at the edges. Using the bottom piece of parchment, roll the cylinder back and forth to smooth the seam and make a nice circle.

Repeat the above with the white rectangles and chocolate rolls.

You should have parchment paper completely covering the rolls, with some left on the ends; twist the ends tightly. To freeze, wrap the parchment covered dough in plastic wrap and freeze til needed. There’s no need to thaw the dough before cutting.

To bake, chill the dough for at least one hour, or til firm. Preheat oven to 375, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove parchment from logs, and slice in ¼ inch rounds. Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, til the white dough is light golden. Cool on racks.


Divide the two doughs into two equal pieces each. Roll each piece into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Start with a white dough on the bottom, and place a chocolate dough on top. Roll it up lengthwise with your fingers (like you would a sushi roll), making tight circles all the way to the end of the rectangle; crimp the edges to seal. Use the bottom piece of parchment paper to ‘tighten’ the circle, to make sure there are no air holes in the pinwheel. Repeat the same with the other two pieces of dough, this time starting with the chocolate dough on the bottom.

Freeze and bake as above.

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