Monday, December 19, 2011

Our 'Virtual' Christmas Cookie Swap

It is definitely 'Cookie Swap' time of year.  Everyone loves a yummy Christmas cookie and getting new delicious recipes to make for the FAMILY, from the FAMILY is one of my favorite things about cookie swaps.  I was thinking how sad it is that all of us sisters can't get together to do a cookie swap--seeing as how we all live in different states and all.  But, then I this day and age, why not???  Thus came about the 'Virtual' Christmas Cookie Swap.  I am so excited to see what wonderful creation each sister has in store for us and then I can't wait to try them out for myself--YUMMY!!  We are definitely in for a 'TREAT' with this cookie swap.  ENJOY! 

Marcy's Recipe:
Peppermint/Pudding Cookies
4-1/2 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 C butter
1-1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
2 pkgs. white chocolate pudding (3.4 oz)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 C Andes Peppermint chips
1 C oats (rolled or quick)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix flour and baking soda and set aside.  In another bowl, cream together the butter, brown and white sugar.  Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Blend in the flour mixture and oats.  Stir in the peppermint chips.  Bake for 7-9 minutes.  Just watch until edges turn a golden brown.  Super soft, yummy, and festive!

A side-note that I want to mention is that you can make this cookie anytime of the year and just swap out the peppermint chips and pudding for different flavors.  You can mix and match and just have fun with it.  I have tried butterscotch pudding with butterscotch chips and it is DELISH! You could make double chocolate cookies with chocolate pudding and semi-sweet chips--the options are endless. 

Heidi's Recipe:
New Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
 1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
 1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
 3 cups oats, rolled or quick
Preheat oven to 375F.  Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Add egg and vanilla, beating well.   Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together.  Add to the butter mixture.  Add oats; stir well.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375F for 9-11 minutes.  Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove cookies from pan and cool on wire racks.  Spread 1 tablespoon cream filling over bottom side of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, right side up.

Cream Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
 2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbsp whipping cream
*if you don't have whipping cream on hand you can substitute 3-4 tbsp Cool Whip*
 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat ingredients together until combined and light and fluffy.

Tiffany's Recipe:
Soft Ginger Snap Cookies

I make these absolutely every single Christmas (if not more during the year).  My neighbor made these for me 10 years ago and I fell instantly in love because they are soft and the perfect cookie consistency (in my opinion) - oh and did i mention super easy & quick as well?! 


3/4 c. softened butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. mild molasses
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon


Mix together all ingredients and then roll into small balls.  Roll each ball in sugar and then bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Delicious and super easy!

Charissa's Recipe:
Gingersnap Cheesecake Bites
First, a warning:  I’m the worst cookie maker in the world.  The sad thing is…I LOVE cookies—and especially good ones.  But I’m terrible at making good cookies (so I do a lot of cookie dough eating instead because it's harder to ruin).  That being said, here’s my recipe.  It’s pretty exotic for me, and turned out pretty good despite my subpar cookie making skills.
GINGERSNAP RECIPE (you can use 30 oz pkg of Pillsbury Gingerbread Cookie Dough out of the refrigerated section—but I went to 2 stores and couldn’t find it—hence the recipe I’m sharing)
¾ cup margarine                             2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar                           1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup molasses                              1 tsp. ginger

1 egg                                              1 tsp. cloves

                                                      2 tsp. baking soda
Mix wet ingredients on left.  Add dry ones on the right and stir like crazy.  Now you have your cookie dough.

Next step:  Roll cookie dough into little balls and place into mini cupcake pan with liners.  Make an indentation in each ball with flour dipped ‘something’ (my daughter used the bottom of my ice cream scoop, which was the perfect size).
CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE:  (the recipe I used halved these ingredients, but I doubled it and was glad I did.  I had some left over and my kids were grateful…finger licking good!!!)
8 oz. cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla 
Beat room temperature cream cheese with remaining ingredients and scoop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture into cookie dough.  Don’t fill too high—the cookie dough rises as it bakes.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes, or until cookie tested with toothpick comes out almost clean.  I inserted it into the gingerbread cookie, not the cream cheese. 
Yea!  You’re done!  These turned out WAY GOOD.  I was very relieved and gave myself a hearty pat on the back for not ruining them.  You should too, if you try them. 

Andrea's Recipe:
Cookie Truffles

15 mint Oreos
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pkg Andes mints (about 28 of the wrapped ones or 1/2 bag of Andes chocolate chips)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Crush Oreos very fine.  I used my food processor and just ground them to fine crumbs.  Add cream cheese and mix together.  I used my hand mixer and beat them until they were of a dough consistency. This takes a little while.  I then used my melon baller to make small scoops and rolled them into balls. A small cookie scoop would also work here.  Lay them out on wax paper and refrigerate.  When cooled and firm, melt the Andes mints.  I found that they melted best when I heated them one minute at a time on half power in my microwave.  Stir between each minute.  Should only take about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to melt nicely.  Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate and place back on wax paper and refrigerate till set.  If desired, you could then melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzle over the truffles for a sophisticated look.  Drizzling is easiest by spooning the melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag, trim off the teensiest corner of the bag, and then use it to drizzle nice lines over your truffles.  

There are so many variations that can be tried with this recipe that it was kind of fun to see what we could come up with.  Here are a few we tried:

1.  Instead of mint Oreos, use plain ones.  Add crushed up candy canes to mixture and roll into balls.  Instead of dipping in Andes mints, dip in semi-sweet chocolate.  After dipping, sprinkle more crushed candy canes on the top for a festive look.

2.  Use plain Oreos.  Add 1-2 tsp of coconut flavoring to mixture and roll into balls.  Dip in semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkle coconut over top.  These were my personal favorite.

3.  Use 12 Nutter Butter cookies instead of Oreos.  Use 3 oz of cream cheese.  Blend together and roll into balls.  Dip in semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkle chopped up peanuts on the top.  

4.  Use the vanilla Oreos.  Add 1/2 tsp almond extract to mixture and roll into balls.  Dip in white chocolate and sprinkle finely chopped almonds on top.  Drizzle with semi-sweet chocolate.

Have fun trying out your own creations.

Mom's Recipe
Orange Cookies

2/3 C shortening
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 C orange juice
2 tbsp orange rind
2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Make like a cake batter (cream method).  Bake on ungreased sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

1/3 cup butter
 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup orange juice 
 1 ½ tsp vanilla
Orange rind

Mix and spread on warm cookies.

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Charissa said...

Yum! I'm excited. I can attest that Andrea's cookie truffles are Yum-tastic! They were worth the 4 hour drive to go get them.

Kimberly @ The Brown Eyes Have It said...

What a fun thing to do together, virtually. :) I love those store bought oatmeal pies, that really aren't very good. I can't wait to try Heidi's! They look delicious!

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