‘Tis the season of….cookies! Jewish or not, I love a time of year that embraces cookie baking, cookie decorating and cookie consumption. And you don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy celebrating cookies.
Each year I put together a platter of assorted cookies for my husband’s office. Last year I baked the classic Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, snowflake butter cookies with blue and white icing, chewy ginger cookies and chocolate chocolate chunk cookies.
For our own Hanukkah-holiday party that featured a meat menu I also made a batch of pareve, star-shaped “butter” cookies that I decorated with icing, sprinkles, dark chocolate and crushed candy canes. How can you recreate these cute pareve treats?
Make a batch of pareve “butter” cookie dough. Roll out onto a floured surface and cut desired shapes. Bake for 9-10 minutes in 350 degree oven. Allow to cool completely before icing.
To make cookie icing: mix 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsps almond or soy milk and 1 tsp light corn syrup. Add food coloring. Using icing bag or the back of spoon, spread icing on cookie and cover with sprinkles. Allow to dry completely.
For chocolate dipped stars: Melt 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds, then stir, then another 30 seconds, stirring again; repeat until until completely melted. Dip cookies in dark chocolate, removing excess chocolate as you work. Place on wire rack and sprinkle with crushed candy canes, sprinkles or chopped nuts. Allow to cool completely before moving.
This year I’ve been trying out some new cookie varieties to include in my holiday cookie platter, and I finally settled upon Chai Spiced Cookies, Salted Fudge Brownies and my newest creation: Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe for Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies. These salty-sweet cookies have great crunch from the peanuts, and just enough sweetness from the peanut butter chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped, salted peanuts
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add in eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add dry ingredients into butter mixture until well combined. Stir in peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and peanuts.
Scoop small balls of dough onto baking sheets and top with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
Bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.