Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Heirloom Recipes 2010: Christmas Cookies

Holidays are often realized through time with family that is focused on food, with many families repeating the same recipes year after year, generation to generation.  This year I thought I'd share some "cookie" recipes from our family.

To inspire our selection this year, I searched through my grandmother's recipe box for the holiday treats I cherished as a child.  I also spent some time thinking about my favorites from my Mom's Christmas cookie repertoire.  Finally, I added a few recent finds.   Here's what we made:
A must have for many of these recipes is a stainless steel cookie scoop ~ makes life *much* easier. 

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Orange
Makes 4 1/2 dozen

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
zest of one orange
2 large eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% cacao or higher)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Mix the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange zest and orange extract in a larger bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment-covered baking sheets.

Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown.

While researching I found a few good sites worth passing along:
Another family favorite, this time an appetizer, is "pink dip", posted last Thanksgiving.  Sounds unusual, but it is well worth a try!  Great with anything salty, like pretzels or potato chips.

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