Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Baking Extravaganza (Share please!!)
& a Christmas RAK

I am about to go full-throttle into my Christmas baking, so I thought I'd share my treat plans with all of you...and ask you to return the favor and share your favorite Christmas treat recipes with me (and the rest of us who visit here!).

In fact, I still want one more recipe to try, so maybe you can give me some ideas!

My FAVORITE Christmas cookie is the Mexican Wedding Cookie...aka Russian Tea Cake...aka (in my family) the simply-put Pecan Ball. I will be making these and taking them to the rounds of Christmas gatherings (unless Gary and I eat them all first--which is a distinct possibility!).

Pecan Balls

1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped nuts (or to taste)
additional sifted confectionery sugar

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stin in vanilla. Combine flour, salt, and nuts, then gradually add to the creamed micture. Chill dough at least thirty minutes (the chilling is very important!). Shape into small balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from cookies sheet, then roll in additional sugar while still slightly warm. Cool on wire racks and then roll in sugar again. (This makes 4 dozen.) Guaranteed yumminess!!

No Bake Chocolate Cookies

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix sugar, cocoa, margarine and milk in saucepan. Boil for one minute and then remove from heat. Immediately add vanilla, oatmeal, and peanut butter (some recipes also add in coconut or nuts, but I prefer just the oats and pb). Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper. Cool completely and serve (unless, of course, you eat them all first!).

Ginger Crinkles

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Mix oil and sugar thoroughly, then add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Add flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and still well. Dropby teasponfulls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar, then move to wire rack. (This makes a ton--about 5 dozen.)

Easiest-Ever Peanut Butter Blossoms

There's no need to even put together an ingredient list and recipe. It's TOO easy! Just buy the refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough, and bake as directed. As soon as you take out of the oven, push a chocolate kiss into the middle of the cookie. Easy...and yummy!!! (little kids especially love these!) your challenge is to send me YOUR favorite Christmas treats ideas and recipes. I want to try something new!!!!

AND....because it's the season of giving and all that, I am going to host a Christmas RAK!!! YAY!!!

Post a comment now (and often!) and I will print out all the comments from now through Christmas Day. I will draw a name the night of Christmas Day and post the winner the following day. Not sure what the surprise will be, but I will try and gear it toward the winner's personality and interests...and it will be good, I promise!

So, send me your Christmas treat ideas and leave a comment!!!!


Adrienne said...

I'm doing the Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. CAN'T WAIT to try these. I normally bake a lot, just not feeling like it this year. I hope I feel better before next week lol....

Makes about 3 dozen

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 pound good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt 4 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.
2. Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (cookies should be soft). Let cool on parchment on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Jeff said...

I don't think I should have read this while I'm having lunch because I have nothing for desert that comes anywhere close to things you have described here!

Ryan said...

Forgotten Cookies are one of our faves:


2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. little chocolate bits (chips, I guess this was written by a Brit. Also, you can put chopped pecans in them. --Ryan)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick enough to stand in stiff peaks. Add vanilla and bits. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Place in oven, close door and turn heat off. They may be "forgotten" overnight, or at least 6 hours. Makes 36 large or 48 small cookies.

Dettao said...

I always bake the sugar cookie recipe straight out of the Betty Crocker cookbook I got as a wedding shower gift 30 years ago. I cut them in stars, and bells and trees and my family sits around the table and decorates as many as we eat. My favorite part of the week of Christmas. The first thing Allison asked when she got home on Monday was "have you baked the cookies, yet?"

Cheryl Wray said...

Adrienne--Yumm-o!!!! If it's Martha Stewart, it's gotta be good!!


Ryan--You know, I've seen this recipe many times but have just never tried it. May have to this year!

Detta--What a wonderful tradition and memory! I always loved making decorated cookies with my Mom too!

~gkw said...

What time are they coming out of the oven??? I need to be home by then to get a chance of eating any... You REALLY expect them to make it to the Christmas gatherings???? LOL

Gin said...

These all look so good. I think you should ship them all of to the winner of your rak.

Josie said...

Yummy...we love no bak peanut butter cookies...I love to eat them when there mixture is all hot and ooey gooey..mmmmm

Have you tried Oreo truffles, they are a new holiday favorite of mine.
I posted a pick on my blog:

45 Oreo cookies, divided (1 package)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages semisweet baking chocolate, melted

Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor; reserve for later use. (This can also be done in a resealable bag with a rolling pin.).
Crush the remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs and place in a medium bowl.
Add the cream cheese and mix until well blended.
Roll cookie mixture into balls, about 1" in diameter.
Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet.
Sprinkle the tops of the truffles with the reserved cookie crumbs or holiday sprinkles.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Store leftover truffles, covered, in the refrigerator

jessi said...

hey cheryl!!! those look sooooooooooo yummy!! and we call the no bake chocolate cookies...haystacks...but aren't they yummy no matter what they are called

those pecan balls i am gonna have to try!!! asked about my oreo cookie recipe...they are so i will email you the recipe after i get back from picking up my son at school!!

have a warm and happy holiday filled with love!!

Kimberly said...

All those recipes sound so good. I am not much of a baker...but might have to try those recipes. Hope you have a great christmas.

Dawn Bibbs said...

Hey Cheryl. What a cool post. Those cookies look YUMMY!!!

I went to a cookie exchange this past Monday with my scrapping buddies and we had TONS of tasty treats. But here's what I made...and won 3rd place with :-D.

Chco-Coco Pecan Crisps

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut (optional)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (2 cups if you plan to roll dough in nuts)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. cream brown sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, pecans, cocoa & baking soda in small bowl until well blended. Add to creamed mixture, blending until stiff dough is formed.

NOTE: this next part can be done with an additional cup of pecans OR the coconut. I made mine both ways.
2. Sprinkle coconut (or pecans) on work surface. Divide dough into 4 parts. Shape each part into log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, roll in coconut (or pecans) until thickly coated. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks. (For longer storage, freeze up to 6 weeks)
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut rolls into 1/8 thick slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 - 13 minutes or until firm, but not overly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

(Call me if you're confused about the extra nuts)

NY KAT said...


My fav recipe is...have my grandmothers make some of their famous cookies, candy and fudge! =)

Lynilu said...

Well, now I have to go find something to eat! Gee, thanks!! :)

Sharmaine said...

OH YUM!!! and now I want something yummy and sweet! Thanks Cheryl lol

Kelly said...

I love the pecan balls (aka Mexican wedding cookies) and peanut butter fudge. I'll have to send recipes...

Kathy said...

I want to try Oreo Truffles this year! BUT I want to make them with mint oreos! Here is one of the recipes I found.

Oreo Truffle Recipe

1 pkg Oreo cookies, crushed (set 6 aside for topping)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
3 T powdered sugar
1 package -24 oz-Almond Bark-(white) or other dipping chocolate
Miniature liners (foil or paper)
Combine first three ingredients. Refrigerate until dough is firm. Roll into 1 inch balls (use a melon baller for accuracy). Set balls on wax-paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for an hour. Melt white chocolate using a double boiler or microwave. Dip each ball into white chocolate (use a Wilton dipping spoon for professional results.) Tap off extra white chocolate. Set truffles on wax paper. Garnish with crushed Oreo pieces. If dough gets too soft for dipping simply return to the refrigerator for a few minutes. Once truffles are set up, slip each into a miniature liner. Yield: about 3 dozen

Oh, here's a handy little tip: I find it easier to dip the truffles if you freeze, rather than refrigerate, them after you roll them into balls

Another family favorite is Gooey Butter Cookies! If you like Gooey Butter Cake you will LOVE LOVE LOVE these!

Gooey Butter Cookies
Makes about 24

8 ounces cream cheese (1 package)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 18.5-ounce package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Roll into 1" balls and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Cheryl Wray said...

Gary--Ha ha! I know!! i actually agree that the pecan balls probably won't make it very far. But I'm going to use as much willpower as possible to save some for friends and family! :-)

Gin--Good idea!!

Josie--Okay, i can't believe how much I am hearing about Oreo truffles. I guess I will have to try them! They sound SO rich!!!!

Jessi--I LOVE those no-bake cookies. I can eat a pan of them all by myself!!!

Kimberly--I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!

Dawn--Those sound YUMmY!! And I wanted so bad to go to a cookie swap this year and I didn't get to.

NyKat--You're right; that's the BEST way to bake!! (I can't wait to eat some of my Grandma's divinity. it's the best!!)

Cheryl Wray said...

Lynilu--You're welcome! :-)

Sharmaine--You're welcome too! lol

Kelly---Mmmm...peanut butter fudge!!!!!

Kathy--I cannot IMAGiNe how rich those Oreo truffles must be. But I think I'll have to try them to find out. LOL And the Gooey Bars...yumm!! is yours the Paula Deen recipe? Love those things!!!

Susie Q said...

We make the tea cakes/pecan alls and the no bakes too. The sugar cookies I make are on the blog with my house tour thingee...Grace just loves to decorate them. LOTS of frosting and sprinkles and what not!
OOh..those truffles sound decedent!


ikkinlala said...

My family's favourite cookies are Crescents, which are similar to your Pecan Balls but with less flour, coarsely chopped nuts, and chocolate chips (and shaped into crescents rather than balls). I also make shortbread, but I promised my grandma when she taught me that I wouldn't share the recipe, and spice cookies, which I've lent out the recipe for but could post later if anyone especially wants it.

Some of our favourite non-cookie holiday treats are various types of spiced nuts. We don't have a favourite recipe, but we usually do a sweet and a couple of kinds of savoury depending on what kinds of nuts we have available.

~Telah said...

We make sugar cookies every year and decorate them with frosting (Santa loves these!) I'm also making chex mixes this year, "Puppy Chow" and Caramel Popcorn. You really need to try the caramel popcorn (got the recipe from Jolene last year) is so easy to make and tastes wonderful. Great to give away as gifts! Try this website for more ideas:

Paul-ene said...

Yummy, those pecan cookies look so tasty!

I don't have a recipe to share but have alot of Cookie "eye candy" on my blog right now. I make mostly easy basic sugar cookies-spritz and cut-outs with lots of sprinkles and icings.

Merry Christmas!!!

Rock'nmama said...

wait, do I need to post a cookie recipe? brb!

Rock'nmama said...

Okay, found these on another blog and I am so going to make and eat them!

Peppermint cookies

1 C. butter
4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp, soda
2 eggs
1 C. crushed peppermint candy (candy canes work great)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 T. oil
1 tsp. salt

Blend butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt; add flour and soda. Then add crushed candy and oil. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Frost cooled cookies with butter cream frosting (mixed with red food coloring) and sprinkle with peppermint candy dust.

Loreluca said...

Oh, Cheryl!!! I can't bake to save my life! How embarrassing, but it's true. I quit trying to bake the day my son had to ask for a serrated knife to eat the birthday cake I baked for him! I can cook, though! I'll share with you my ever so yummy salmon recipe:

4 pieces of salmon
4 teaspoons of garlic
4 1/2 teaspoons of butter
seasoned salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Place a piece of salmon (I like the transversal cuts better than the fillets for this) in the center of a piece of aluminum foil. Spread one garlic teaspoon on top (I use more than just one teaspoon!). Sprinkle with seasoned salt (you can also use other seasonings or herbs!). Top it with 1/2 a teaspoon of butter. Wrap the aluminum foil around the salmon and place in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Enjoy!!! (it's REALLY yummy!)

Cheryl Wray said...

Susie--The more frosting and sprinkles the better!!! That's my girls' philosophy as well. :-)

Ikkinala--The different nuts sound wonderful!!!! yummm...and so does your cookie!!! (I'm loving hearing about all these treats!)

Telah--Yumm...I love the Puppy Chow recipe. I can eat an entire bowl of that stuff!

Paulene--You know, I've never done the shaped or spritz cookies. I'm coming to check out your blog!

Rocknmama--Mmmm. don't those look GOOD?

Loreluca--That's too funny about the serrated knife. The salmon sounds WONDERFUL!!!!

ellen said...

Mrs keh's cookies.
these are a tradition on our family AND you paint them!

2 c sugar
1/2 lb REAL butter
3 eggs
dash salt
1 tps baking soda
1tbls vinegar
4 cups + flour

Cream butter, add sugar. Add eggs using lowest speed of mixer.

Mix together (in a separate bwol) 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tbls vinegar and add to butter mixture using lowest speed.

Add 4 cups flower gradually BY HAND. you can add more flower if need be. Do not refrig ahead of time.

Roll out dough and use your favorite cookie cutters then paint with egg yolks and food coloring! add sprinkles and have fun!

patti_cake said...

Mmmm it all looks so yummy. Can you believe I have never baked Christmas cookies? Well I haven't. maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

Boy, these look great! I especially love those no-bake ones. And I think I have to try an oreo truffle. Great post Cheryl

Cheryl said...

I kind of made this recipe up because I had to come up with something really quick to carry to school to my daughters Christmas parties (I had to do a total of 4 in about two weeks). I just opened a can (10 bisquits) of Hungry Jack bisquits (I used those for my dough). Peeled off layers to the first five bisquits and filled the bottom of a buttered glass baking dish. Stir together in a seperate bowl, 1 8oz cream cheese with about one cup of sugar until smooth. I spread melted butter on top of the bisquits and then spread the cheese/sugar mixture on top and then add 1 can of apple pie filling on top of the cheese/sugar mix. I lightly sprinkled cinnamon/sugar mix over the pie filling. Take the other five bisquits and layer them off until I have enough to cover the top of all of the apple pie filling. I then spread melted butter over those bisquits and I add more cinn/sugar on top. Bake for about 45 minutes on 350. The bisquits are used instead of dough but when they have plenty of butter on them they taste very good. The layers have to be peeled off kind of thin so they will cook good.
I loved your recipes. The pecan balls looked so good. Thanks and hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Nina Diane said...

Hey Cheryl
we do the Russian Tea cookies, peppermint bark, haystacks, buckeyes and sugared pecans!
don't forget.....Cowboys play Saturday night. We'll be at the TSO show so root for our boys!

Cheryl Wray said...

Ellen--Oh boy...the painting of these cookies would be SO fun! My girls would love that!!!

Patti---It's never too late to try it!!! Go can do it!! (or, you can go to the bakery and buy cookies. That always works too! lol)

Anon--I can't wait tomake the no-bake cookies. I mayhave to do those tomorrow. Yumm

Cheryl--That is such a creative idea. I bet it was good!!

Nina--Mmmm on the haystacks.I LOVE those too! And, oh yeah. I'll be watching the Cowboys. I hope they do better than last week! Have fun at the TSO; I can't wait to hear about it!!!

Cheryl Wray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charin said...

Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog! :) Those treats look *so* good! One of my favorite things to make this time of year is some hot cocoa with candy cane crushed up in it and a dollop of whipped cream. Yummy :)

Mandy said...

These cookies are a staple around our house during Christmas time.


1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. red candied cherries
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
1 c. flaked coconut

Beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla, beat well. Stir in flour, then cherries and pecans. Shape into 7 inch long rolls. Roll dough in coconut to coat outside. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill thoroughly (overnight is best). Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 minutes (or until golden brown on edges) at 325 degree oven.

Linda said...

I totally love the pecan balls (and I call them that too), and the no bakes, I make those....I love ginger Crinkles but my husband hates what is wrong with that guy. Me. I won't be doing too much baking this oven just isn't doing happy things right now...but I will definitely be making some apple pies with yummy crumbly caramel topping......

Anonymous said...

Such great ideas! I think my baking this year is going to consist of 1)open box. 2) dump contents in bowl. 3) add 1 cup water. You get the idea! Or Safeway may be my personal pastry chef this year, LOL!! Have a great Holiday everyone!

Cheryl Wray said...

Charin--Oh, boy, that hot cocoa idea sounds HEAVENLY!! I am going to have to try that!!

Mandy--Those are some cookies I've never tried (and, believe me, I've tried a lot!! lol). They sound yummy!!!

Linda--Mmmm mmmm on the apple pie!

Heather--Sometimes that's just how you gotta do it. Besides, Safeway (or Publix around here) makes some delicious goodies!!!

Anonymous said...

our new favorite holiday candy is taking a square prezel, topping it with a hershey kiss and putting it in the oven at 350 for about 3 minutes. Then when they come out top them with a m&m. Then I put them in the freezer for a little while to help the chocolate set back up. They are so good. I don't know why we only make them at the holidays!! Maybe that will change.