Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cookies: Part 2

Powdered sugar seemed to be the theme of this year's Christmas cookies, because it's also the star ingredient for today's Snowballs and Chocolate Crinkles.  There is just something about biting into a sweet cookie that is covered in sugary snow.  Betty Crocker does it right and if she's not in your kitchen giving you a helping hand with these cookies, then it isn't quite Christmas yet. 

What you'll need:  Snowballs

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly.  Stir flour and salt together, blend in.  Mix in nuts.  Roll dough in 1 in. balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart.  Bake for 10-12 mins. in a 400 degrees oven.  Try not to let them brown.  While still slightly warm, shake the cookies in a bag filled with powdered sugar until fully coated.  Makes about 4 dozen.  Let cool and pop these puppies right into your mouth. We usually use walnuts but this year we tried the pecans and we're really happy with the change.  It makes the cookies slightly more moist and sweet.  But, hey, use whatever you'd like!

Chocolate Crinkles... a brownie in cookie form.  Chewy, chocolatey and sweet all in one bite.  These are fun to make but get ready for messy hands after rolling this dough.  You might want to use gloves.  

What you'll need:  Chocolate Crinkles

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 sq. unsweetened chocolate (4 oz.) melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Mix oil, chocolate and granulated sugar.  Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed.  Add vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt into oil mixture.  Chill several hours or overnight because the dough will be sticky otherwise.  Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into the powdered sugar and roll until they form balls and are well coated.  Place about 2 in. apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 mins in a 350 degrees oven and watch them spread!  Don't overbake!  You want these soft.  Makes about 6 dozen. 

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