Welcome to the 2010 12 Cookies of Christmas. Last year, when we began the Friends Food Family Blog, I listed the 12 favorite cookies I have been making and giving to friends for many years. The list was created after years of trying different recipes and realizing that sometimes the pretty cookies (that took hours to make) weren't necessarily the cookies people wanted to eat. What I learned was the more simple and homemade feeling the cookies were, the better the chance of them being eaten. ( Follow the link to see last year's 12 Cookies of Christmas )
This year's list will be a combination of some new cookies which I will be making this month and a few that have become my favorites this year.
I started this morning making two types of cookies. The first being the Cocoa Wedding Cake Cookies and the second were called Sally Anns. Both recipes are from Good Housekeeping's The Great Christmas Christmas Swap Cookbook. I love this cookbook because it doubles all the batches so that you can make plenty for the holidays or a cookie swap. My day started a little bit crazy and my head wasn't into cooking. While I was making the Sally Ann Cookies, I thought the recipe was wrong because there were no eggs in the recipe. But it was right, no eggs. Then as I was making the cocoa wedding cake cookies, I forgot the confectioner's sugar. I tasted the batter as I was putting my second cookie sheet into the oven and almost gagged. YUCK! The dough was horrible and with no sugar it should be.
I was able to salvage the remaining mix and am proud to report, I still had 36 cookies which came out great. The cookies are very delicate and melted in your mouth. They are definitely much better when they are cooled and dipped in confectioner's sugar...twice. The warm ones are delicious, just dry. As they cool they become more firm and your can taste the buttery richness which enhances the chocolate and pecans.
These are a delicious cookie to enjoy with coffee or tea...great for dipping. I could see them as a much enjoyed after Christmas cookie, when you are recuperating from the holidays and aren't as stressed. Actually finding time to sit back and enjoy that delightful warm drink with a perfectly delicious butter cookie.
I served them to my family and so far they are a two thumbs up cookie. My friends will get to try them on Thursday night at the Tri-Town Chamber Holiday Gala. It will be interesting to see what the masses think!
2 cups pecans
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, cold, cut up (no substitutions)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cups semisweet chocolate mini-chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse pecans with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until pecans are finely ground.
Add butter and vanilla and process until smooth, occasionally stopping processor to scrape side with rubber spatula. Add flour and cocoa and pulse until evenly mixed. Add chocolate chips; pulse just until combined.
With floured hands, shape dough by rounded measuring teaspoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
Bake cookies 16 to 18 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool slightly. Sift remaining 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar onto waxed paper. While cookies are still warm, roll in sugar to coat; return to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, gently roll cookies in sugar again. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.