This year the Bandits are celebrating our first holiday season as a blog group. We talked in private how we could celebrate with you, our guests and readers. We decided to share some of our favorite traditions or foods with you. So starting today and ending with Boxing Day, December 26th, we'll have some of those favorite recipes for you to try, some great memories and stories to share with you, as well as some fabulous guests.
Every year after Thanksgiving I begin baking for the Christmas season. It's a tradition with my family that Mom is baking a new cookie or treat almost daily. Last year I'd injured my shoulder moving a patient and my husband realized that the stirring motion needed to make cookie dough was now impeded. So he bought me a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer..."so the kids can have their Christmas Cookies." Yeah right. Anyway, he saved the holiday season.
Here's the list that fluctuates depending on my mood and schedule:
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Coconut Jam Thumbprints
Mexican Wedding Cakes (for hubby)
M and M Cookies made with green and red M and Ms
Peanut Butter Blossoms with Hershey Kisses
White Chocolate and Cranberry cookies
Raspberry Filled Pastries
and Cookie Cutter Sugar cookies my daughter ices with butter cream frosting.
The following recipe is one I actually make twice over the holidays. It's my kids' favorite, as well as several of their friends. The first batch always disappears quickly. My gift to all of you!
CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES
I received this recipe while working at THE Ohio State University’s L&D unit. It became an instant hit with my family and a staple of every Christmas celebration from that time on.
¾ cup butter
1 ½ cups firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
2 TBS. Water
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
Green chocolate mint wafers, (Andes). About 1 pound.
Heat butter, sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips, stirring until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large mixer bowl and let stand about 10 minutes until slightly cool.
With mixer at medium speed, beat eggs in one at a time. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating just until blended. Refrigerate at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil. Roll tsp of dough into balls, place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear soft. DO NOT COOK ANY LONGER.
Remove from oven and immediately place mint on each hot cookie. Let soften, then swirl mint over cookies to frost. (You can use the tip of a spoon or a toothpick.) Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU!
So is there a favorite food you have to have for the holidays or your celebration won't be the same?