Category Archives: Christmas

Gingerbread Blossom Cookies

I know, I know. It’s very last minute to share this holiday cookie recipe with you. After all we’ve already lit the last Hanukkah candle, and Christmas Eve is upon us. But just in case you’re still looking for a delicious treat to enjoy this holiday season, I figured I’d still share these tasty Gingerbread Blossom Cookies. I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while, but somehow 6 Hanukkah events plus 3 traditional holiday parties plus seemingly hundreds of potato latkes, a toddler, and a job got in between me and my blog. But anyhow, gingerbread is so good you can enjoy it well after the holiday season passes.

gingerbread blossom 1

I was lucky enough to receive a bag of Hershey’s Kisses from Influenster and I knew I wanted to bake something with them, though I have to say, I was tempted to unwrap one of those shiny little Kisses and dig in as soon as I opened my box from Influenster. I spent some time researching Hershey’s Kiss recipes. And believe me, there are tons out there on the internet. I know the Peanut Butter Blossom cookies are somewhat traditional this time of year, and even showed up in my Hershey’s cookbook, but since I really love the flavors in gingerbread, I figured I’d veer slightly off the peanut butter path (though chocolate and peanut butter in combination are pretty darn delicious too) to the gingerbread world.

gingerbread blossom 2

The final product is amazing. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside ginger cookies, complete with a smooth chocolate-y Kisses perched on top. I hope you enjoy a wonderful and sweet holiday season with your friends and family and I’m looking forward to sharing more recipes on The Dinner Pages in the coming year.

gingerbread blossom 3(I’ll make sure to come back and share my yummy Pistachio Blossom cookie recipe one day soon!)

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Gingerbread Blossom Cookies (adapted from Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice)

Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup turbinado (or granulated)

48-60 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients on low speed until fully mixed. Remove from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, coat all over in turbinado sugar, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. The edges of cookies will just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and immediately press an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie.
  6. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Here’s another yummy ginger cookie recipe from The Dinner Pages!

 

What's Baking Badge

 

I received Hershey’s Kisses complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes but all opinions are my own.

Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Whipped Cream

Wait, can I give you one more gingerbread recipe for the year? These tasty waffles make a nice festive breakfast with delicious gingerbread aromas topped with lightly eggnog flavored whipped cream. The kitchen smelled like I had just baked gingerbread cookies after putting my waffle iron to work, and I didn’t even have to turn on the oven or get out my cookie cutters.

Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Whipped Cream

I started out by whisking together the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, and the yummy gingerbread spices. To that I added the wet ingredients which included applesauce (could sub in pumpkin as well), eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, and a bit of molasses to really give it that gingerbread cookie touch. I cooked them on my waffle iron until the appliance signaled to me that it was ready and after a few rounds, we were good to go. Overall, very quick. No need to refrigerate the batter or anything like that. I’m pretty sure the batter would have been great for pancakes too and I plan to try that later as well–I’ll certainly update when I do.

Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Whipped Cream

I’ve been meaning to meld gingerbread and eggnog flavors since I went to the holiday lunch at the cafeteria at work and I got a gingerbread cookie but for dunking my choices were Coke Zero or eggnog. So I chose the eggnog (probably the only situation in my life where eggnog > Coke Zero) and dunked the cookie and really enjoyed the combo. So I brought it back for this recipe. For the whipped cream I combined 3 parts heavy whipping cream to 1 part eggnog, added in a little bit of sugar, as well as some ground nutmeg to give it that authentic eggnog spice and beat the mixture in my mixer until there were relatively stiff peaks formed. The eggnog flavor was definitely there but not overwhelming by any means and the flavored whipped cream negated the need for syrup on these waffles. Now go, enjoy your breakfast.

Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Whipped Cream______________________________
Gingerbread Waffles with Eggnog Whipped Cream (adapted from Gingerbread)

Yield: depends on your waffle iron. I made 12 square waffles with mine, serves 3-4

For the waffles:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup eggnog

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the waffle iron on the highest setting.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.

3. To the dry ingredients, add the applesauce, eggs, milk, butter, molasses, and vanilla. Stir together until just combined. The batter might still be slightly lumpy.

4. Pour onto waffle iron to cook. The amount varies by iron, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter at a time.

5. Cook until the iron signals it is ready, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove the waffle from the iron.

6. For the whipped cream, combine the whipping cream and eggnog in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium to high heat until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar and nutmeg and continuing beating until there are stiff peaks.

7. Top the waffles with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve with eggnog whipped cream.

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White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies

I love cookies exchanges and don’t really know why they just happen around the holidays. I’d be just as happy to swap cookies in July as December, but I guess just being part of the food blogger community I’m swapping ideas and recipes year round, right?

This weekend I attended a cookie swap at my neighbor’s house. It was wonderful. There were more than a dozen varieties of cookies and holiday sweets to sample and great people to socialize with. I left with a whole bunch of cookies to share and some new plans for recipes to try in the future. My contribution were these White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies.

White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies

As you know, I spend a fair amount of time checking out cookbooks and the internet for recipe ideas. This time of year so many food blogs have posts dedicated to holiday cookies and I just bookmarked and pinned everything that looked good. This one stood out.

I’ve always loved spice cookies this time of year. Don’t tell anyone but I prefer them to chocolate. The slightly tangy flavor of the combination of these spices is one I really enjoy. I liked these cookies for the exchange because not only were they fitting for the season, but they looked like they would hold up well to be transported to my neighbor’s home then exchanged with the other guests. The recipe makes enough to share (and then some) so I didn’t need to worry about doubling it in order to have enough. Not to mention they just look so pretty after being dipped in white chocolate. The cookies are soft but not crumbly and the white chocolate adds the perfect amount of sweetness and is a nice contrast to the spices. Is it okay to admit I took a few of my own cookies home from the cookie swap?

White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies

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White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies (adapted with minimal modifications from Brandy’s Baking)

Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies

2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for rolling

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

3 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 packages (each with 10-12 ounces) white chocolate chips

1/4 cup shortening

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and oil. Then beat in each egg followed by the molasses.

3. Combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, then add gradually to the bowl of the mixer with the wet ingredients and mix well.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (though I used silpats) and bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown in color and the cookie springs back when lightly touched. Cool on wire racks.

5. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and shortening. Stop after every 30 seconds to stir the mixture and ensure it doesn’t burn. It should take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to be smooth and melted.

6. Dip the cookies halfway into the melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place the cookies on waxed paper or on silpats until the chocolate is set.

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Chocolate Mint Cookie Bites

I’ve been scoping out recipes for the holiday cookie season for a while and this one definitely caught my eye. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Yippee! These little chocolate-y cups looked so appetizing to bring to my potluck luncheon at work. I modified the original recipe just a little bit to make them more festive by adding hints of mint to each stage of the baking process.

Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

First I made the dough, which had 2 types of chocolate, both unsweetened cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips, which added moistness and extra rich chocolate flavor when they were baked. The mint here was from a half teaspoon of peppermint extract. After chilling the dough, I divided it into 48 portions and rolled each one into a ball, which I placed in a mini muffin tin.

Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

After baking the cookies for 11 minutes, I let them cool in the pan briefly, then carefully removed them to cool further. A slight indentation for the topping started to form during cooling.

Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

Once cooled, I topped the cookies with a little bit of minty frosting (could add an extra festive touch with a drop of green food coloring) and decorated with the mint M&Ms. The frosting helped the M&Ms to stick better, since I had to transport the cookies to work.

Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

The recipe makes a whole bunch of cookies so it’s also great for a cookie exchange. These cookie cups are super rich and cake-like and were well enjoyed by the crew at work.

Chocolate Mint Cookie Cups

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Chocolate Mint Cookie Bites (adapted from Alida’s Kitchen and Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009)

Yield: 48 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided

2 eggs

1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

nonstick cooking spray

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

mint chocolate M&M candies

Directions:

1. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter and the granulated and brown sugars until fluffy. Then add in the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Add in the eggs one at a time, and beat after each addition.

3. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the the mixing bowl, beating on low until just combined. The dough will be thick. Add in the mini chocolate chips.

4. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a mini-muffin pan with nonstick spray.

6. Divide the dough into 48 pieces and roll into balls. Place one ball into each muffin cup.

7. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies are cooked through. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before carefully removing from the muffin tin.

8. While they are cooling prepare the frosting by combining the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and the milk in a small bowl.

9. Once the cookie cups are cooled, spread with frosting and decorate with M&Ms.

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Eggnog Muffins

This time of year eggnog starts gracing the shelves in the dairy case at the store. I like the flavor of eggnog but generally don’t drink a whole lot of it since it’s so rich and heavy. I’ve never used it for baking before but decided to try it out. My original plan was just to replace the milk or cream in regular muffins with eggnog but then I found this recipe for eggnog muffins and decided to give them a whirl. Success!

Eggnog Muffins

These muffins are really quick to throw together for a weekend breakfast or brunch and were so light and fluffy, and quite moist too with lovely hints of eggnog and nutmeg. My son was a huge fan as well..but no, I’m not going to start putting eggnog in his cups instead of milk though based on this, he’d probably like it if I did! While these muffins weren’t overly sweet to serve for breakfast, if you topped them with some kind of frosting, perhaps a spiced cream cheese frosting, or maybe even something with rum extract if you want to get really creative, you could probably get away with serving these as cupcakes at a holiday party.

Eggnog Muffins

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Eggnog Cupcakes (adapted with minimal modifications from Oberweis.com)

nonstick cooking spray

1 1/4 cup eggnog

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if available

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place 12 muffin cups into a muffin pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Whisk in the eggnog, butter, egg, and nutmeg. The batter should be mostly smooth, though may have a few lumps.

4. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

We’ve moved from pumpkin to peppermint around here, folks, and here’s a quick and easy recipe for a yummy dessert to share with friends or bring to a holiday party (or heck, enjoy for yourself). I previously shared a delicious blondie recipe in my Brownie Blondie Swirl post and decided to modify it slightly to fit the flavors of the current season. The great thing about this recipe is it basically uses one bowl, I don’t need to break out the Kitchen Aid mixer (hence fewer dishes to wash), and I was able to easily get it prepared after my son’s bedtime, leaving me more time for sleep watching Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music. I love the original Sound of Music. I could (and do) watch it at least once a year on TV even though I own the DVD. But I digress…

White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

This recipe is really a keeper. What a great use for White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s! These blondies are thin and soft, chewy and buttery, with crisp M&Ms in each bite. Plus they look quite festive with the bright red and white candies dispersed throughout. I made them to give away but I’ll tell you, fresh out of the oven they were so good I halfway contemplated staying up even later to make another batch right away…thankfully I’ve got another bag of the M&Ms at the ready!

White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

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White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies (modified slightly from Averie Cooks)

nonstick cooking spray

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 large egg

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

9.9 ounce bag white chocolate peppermint M&M’s, divided

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter, egg, sugar, vanilla, and peppermint with a fork. Then stir in the flour until just combined. Add in 1 cup of the M&M’s.

3. Pour the batter in the pan, evening out the top with a spatula. Press the remaining M&M’s on top of the batter.

4. Bake for 23 minutes. They will still be soft and moist. Let cool in pan before slicing.

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