I'm 5 days away from hosting our first Christmas Party of the season. Like the over-achieving, type A, can't say no, idiot that I am we (and by that I mean 'me') are throwing 3 parties this month. Insane, I know. To top it off my house looks like a tornado hit it at the moment. Our tree is up and all the outside lights are strung, but wreaths are currently hanging from only half of our windows, greenery is EV.ERY.WHERE, and there are 8 large bins of indoor Christmas decor strewn all about our home. And in the midst of all this chaos I was prepping & baking up a storm this weekend. Between the parties we're hosting and some parties we're attending, including a cookie swap, plus family functions, my silpats will be working overtime the next few weeks! So for this week's Mangia Monday post I thought I'd share with y'all my top 10 tried & true Christmas cookie favorites I'll be baking:
Triple Threat Chocolate Cookies - Like the name implies, this little darling is full of melted chocolate, chocolate chips, and chocolate ganache. These put anything labeled 'death by chocolate" to shame. Seriously, they're that good. And the little shot of espresso powder sends them over the top. Each time I've made these, the only disappointment is that there are never any leftovers. Stash a few for yourself girls, these suckers go quick!
Rugelach - (pronounced: rug-a-lah) One of my childhood favorites. Rugelach is a delicious Jewish pastry made with a cream cheese dough with fruit & nut filling. The recipe calls for a mix of cinnamon, chopped nuts, and an apricot spread. But you can find so many varieties from cranberry-pecan to my favorite version, chocolate rugelach. Also there are 2 different ways to shape rugelach, the crescent form seen at right or my preferred way, the strudel cut. Either way, these are easy to make and so incredibly delicious!
Candy Cane Biscotti - Aren't these pretty?! I made these biscotti last year for one of my Mom's Christmas parties and got 40+ requests for the recipe. I ended up making them again for my Mother-in-law's Christmas Eve party and again for neighbor treat bags. Each time, people raved about them. The best part is these are so easy to make. I kid you not - they're a cinch! And take it from me, candy cane biscotti tastes even better alongside a bowl of peppermint ice cream...
Zand Gebak - Alright, the name looks a little intimidating, but the recipe totally is not. It's just a simple Dutch shortbread cookie topped with mocha butter, a drop of chocolate and a pecan. And Lord have mercy, these dainty cookies are melt in your mouth divine. Perfect for a brunch, or after dinner with a cup of coffee. Just a warning though, try to resist the urge to schmear the leftover mocha butter on cinnamon toast or a warm croissant or even the back of your finger....
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies - These cuties first appeared in last December's Southern Living magazine and I knew immediately I had to try them. I ended up making 5 batches before the season was over and one recipe makes a ton! The icing is to die for - it's a cream cheese base with just a hint of peppermint. A few tips to note: after rolling the dough logs, you can freeze it for later and be sure to use plastic gloves when kneading in the food coloring paste (or gel). These are seriously the perfect Christmas cookie!
Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps - My husband eats these like potato chips. A simple, traditional Christmas cookie, but timeless great flavor & look. For those of you that are novice bakers or just don't have tons of time to make cookies this Christmas, these babies are a perfect choice for you. So easy that you just can't mess them up!
Amadeus Cookies - A pretty & sophisticated Christmas cookie, not only in flavor but in presentation as well. And how can you resist the combination of chocolate, shortbread cookie, almond, cherry liqueur, & pistachio? Oh how I love these. Granted they're not the cheapest pastry you'll make, but they are certainly one of the most impressive. These amadeus cookies will be gracing the silver trays at my party this weekend and hopefully my tummy as well. This is yet another Christmas sweet that will empty out quick!
Peanut Butter Toffee Turtle Cookies - I'll confess I haven't actually baked these myself yet, but I've eaten my fair share the last few Christmases. My Mom bakes these, much to my delight, and I'll be baking my first batch for a Cookie Swap this Sunday. They're so chewy & gooey, you can't help but eat a handful! As Southern Living so eloquently put it "These turtle cookies have every indulgent flavor we could pack in a recipe: chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and toffee. You’re already baking a batch, aren’t you?" I'm on it!
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies - Well no Southern Christmas is complete without a little red velvet. While I won't be making a red velvet cake this year, I will certainly be making these beauties. Similar to the Espresso Snowcaps above, these easy cookies are rolled in powdered sugar and pop when baked. And even though they crackle apart, the center of the cookie is incredibly gooey, just like the name implies. Another simple but scrumptious sweet treat!
Candy Cane Thumbprints - If you're ever looking for superb Christmas cookie recipes & ideas, Better Homes and Gardens has an amazing list. It's where I found this cookie recipe last year. A twist on the classic thumbprint cookie, this one includes a divine candy cane buttercream icing / filling. And the cookie dough is just a light sugar cookie that's really soft and buttery. Just a pretty, classic, dreamy Christmas cookie that your friends & family will surely love!
So tell me y'all, which Christmas cookies are you making this season and which of these are you bookmarking for later? Let me know in the comments so we can swap recipes :) Mangia Mangia y'all!