Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Baking Extravaganza Part I

I set out to bake lots of cookies and bark today and got about half way through the recipes I picked this year. The results so far were very yummy. I think we are on a sugar high from all the taste testing! The peppermint bark recipe is my favorite. I make it every year and its always a hit. The dark chocolate smoked almond sea salt was a new recipe and will probably become a regular. The combination of the dark chocolate with the salt and smoky almonds is delicious. As for the cookies, the Angeletti are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie that I started making a few years back. I highly recommend using the anise extract versus plain vanilla. These cookies puff up and are almost biscuit like. The chocolate peanut blossoms were a new recipe for me. They were easy to make and turned out well. I made half with milk chocolate kisses and half with dark chocolate. The dark chocolate kisses melted a little more than the milk chocolate. Stay tuned for Part II of the Baking Extravaganza coming soon.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Recipe Courtesy of

cup C & H® Pure Cane Sugar
cup firmly packed C & H® Golden Brown Sugar
cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
cup peanut butter
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon salt
1 3/4
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
cup sugar
milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.) Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes about 6 dozen
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or anise extract
  • 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for decorating
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until incorporated. With mixer on, gradually add flour mixture; beat until dough comes together.
  3. Scoop dough into tablespoon-size balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a nonstick baking mat. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water. Place wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Once cookies have cooled, top with icing. Sprinkle with sugar, and let stand until icing is firm.

Peppermint Bark
Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes 2 1/4 pounds or one 11-by-17-inch sheet

  • 2 pounds white chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 large candy canes
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
  1. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment, and set aside.
  2. In the top of a double boiler, melt white chocolate, stirring constantly.
  3. With a chef’s knife or meat tenderizer, cut or pound candy canes into 1/4-inch pieces.
  4. Stir pieces of candy canes and peppermint oil into the melted chocolate. Remove from heat, and pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; spread evenly. Chill until firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Break into pieces, and serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Sea Salted Smoky Almond Chocolate Bark

Recipe Courtesy of Nestle

LINE 8-inch baking pan with wax paper.

MICROWAVE small chocolate pieces in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; STIR. If pieces retain some of their original shape, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted. Stir in 1/4 cup almonds.

POUR into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Tap pan several times to spread chocolate and settle nuts. Sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

1 comment:

MrsPresley said...

everything looks great! i had no idea what angeletti was until reading your blog :