The holidays are here, which means many of you are baking up Christmas cookies for friends and family or Christmas cookie exchanges. Favorite holiday recipes usually include the standards: sugar, butter and chocolate chip, but why not try a new twist on these Christmas cookie classics with some zest, sweet and mint instead.
Lemon-Ginger Sugar Cookies
Servings: Around 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
· 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
· 2 cups of baker’s sugar
· 2 eggs
· 3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
· 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
· 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
· 4 cups of flour
· 1/2 teaspoon of salt
· 1 teaspoon of baking powder
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the two eggs, lemon juice, ginger and vanilla extract. Beat for another few minutes until combined. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until a thick dough forms. Split the dough in half and form into two balls. Unwrap plastic wrap, and flatten each bowl into disks and wrap each disk into separate plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and take out your dough to warm up. Sprinkle flour on a board or table and roll out the dough using a floured-rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut, as desired. The remaining scraps can be formed into a ball and rolled out again, until all of the dough has been used. Place the cut cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely before decorating with icing.
Chocolate-Dipped Butter Cookies
Servings: Around 2 dozen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
· 1 cup butter, softened
· 1 cup of baker’s sugar
· 1 egg
· 2 tablespoons of orange juice
· 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
· 2-1/2 cups of flour
· 1 teaspoon of baking powder
· Melted chocolate (light cocoa, mint or dark chocolate)
In large bowl, beat the butter with sugar until creamy. Add the egg, orange juice, and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture. Mix until a dough forms.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a small spoon and dish out small balls of the dough, bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 7 minutes until very lightly brown.
When cookies have cooled, melt your favorite chocolate and dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and let cool on wax paper. Can also add sprinkles to chocolate before it hardens.
Mint Chocolate-Covered Pretzels and Candy Canes
· 1 12-ounce package Wilton’s mint chocolate melts
· Pretzels – rods, minis
· Candy canes
· Assorted holiday sprinkles
Melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl for 30-second intervals until melted completely, stir after each interval. Dip pretzels in chocolate and set on wax paper to harden, you can also add your favorite holiday sprinkles to them as well. Do the same with unwrapped candy canes, but only dip top half.