Es gibt Tage, an denen ich mich hochmotiviert und beschwingt in die Küche stelle, den Kochlöffel schwinge, mit Zutaten um mich schmeiße und versuche, etwas ohne Fertigprodukte zu zaubern. Wobei die Betonung auf versuchen liegt. Wirklich lecker ist das Ergebnis nämlich leider nicht immer – nicht wegen meiner fehlenden Kochkünste, sondern wegen des launischen Gasofens, logisch.Trotzdem gebe ich mir (und meinem Ofen) jedes Jahr, genauer gesagt immer pünktlich zur Weihnachtszeit, noch mal eine Chance. Und werde – natürlich – enttäuscht. Plätzchen, die unten schwarz und in der Mitte noch roh sind, sind leider nicht so richtig der Bringer. Aber in diesem Jahr wird alles anders. In diesem Jahr wird es in meiner Küche nicht nach Verzweiflung riechen, sondern nach Schokolade und guter Laune. Wie ich das schaffe? Mit den folgenden sechs Rezepten.Und falls du jetzt schon den Finger erhoben hast und „Aber, aber …“ schreist: Ja, mit echtem Backen haben die meisten Rezepte nicht viel zu tun. Na und? Ganz viel Liebe steckt trotzdem drin. Und das ist doch die Hauptsache. Es ist schließlich Weihnachten, for fuck’s sake!Chocolate Chip Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup CookiesErgibt: 24 CookiesKaren Lininger: „Kinderleicht und superlecker: Das sind die einfachsten Cookies ever! “Zutaten1 Packung Fertigteig (Trendtipp: Kennst du schon den Keksteig Spooning? Den kannst du roh essen oder zum Backen verwenden!)1 Packung Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (manchmal auch bei Real, Rewe, Karstadt und Galeria Kaufhof erhältlich)Achtung: Du brauchst eine Minimuffinform für dieses RezeptZubereitung1. Heize den Ofen auf 180° Celsius vor2. Fette die Form ein 3. Gib den Teig in die Formen und backe ihn für 9 bis 11 Minuten4. Nehme währenddessen die Schokocups aus der Verpackung.5. Nimm die Muffinform aus dem Ofen und drücke je ein Peanut Butter Cup in die Cookies. Nach dem Auskühlen kannst du sie vorsichtig aus der Form nehmen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Deez BallsErgibt: etwa 24 BälleNina Wolpow: „Meine Mitbewohnerinnen und ich hatten einen Monat lang kein Gas also mussten wir kreativ werden. Wir erfanden diese genialen Bällchen aka. Deez Balls. Sie müssen nicht gebacken werden und auch bei Abmessungen kommt es nicht aufs Gramm an. Easy-peasy.“Zutaten1/2 Tasse Agavendicksaft1/4 Tasse Mandelmilch1/4 Tasse Kokosöl 1/4 Tasse Erdnussbutter 2 Tassen Haferflocken1/3 Tasse geröstete Kokosflocken (am besten ungesüßt)1/2 Teelöffel Vanilleextrakt 1 Prise Meersalz1 Tasse Chocolate Chips 1 Tasse getrocknete Kirschen (Cranberrys oder Rosinen funktionieren bestimmt auch)Zubereitung1. Mische Agavendicksaft, Mandelmilch, Kokosnussöl, Erdnussbutter und Haferflocken.2. Gib anschließend die Kokosflocken, den Vanilleextrakt, eine Prise Salz, die Chocolate Chips und die getrockneten Kirschen dazu und verrühre alles.3. Forme mit deinen Händen (oder einem Löffel) kleine Bälle, lege sie auf Backpapier und lass sie abkühlen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Lazy Girl DunkaroosErgibt: So viel, dass du anschließend von der Küche aufs Sofa rollen musstVanessa Golembewski: „Schnapp dir deine Lieblingskekse, tunke sie in die Glasur und tu so als ob du wieder 8 Jahre alt wärst. Besonders zu empfehlen, wenn du an einem Punkt angekommen bist, an dem dir alles scheißegal ist.“ ZutatenLeibniz Zoo Kekse Original (oder irgendeine andere Sorte Kekse)PuderzuckerWasser/Saft/Marmelade/ObstlerZubereitung1. Verrühre Puderzucker und eine Flüssigkeit deiner Wahl zu einer glatten Masse2. Nimm einen Keks aus der Verpackung und tunke ihn ein. 3. Lass ihn trocknen (oder iss ihn sofort).Tipp: Du kannst ihn auch in fertige Glasur oder Kuvertüre eintauchen. Oder in Erdnussbutter. Ach was soll’s: Nimm dir einfach direkt ein Glas Nutella.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Erin’s Ultimate Ritz CookiesErgibt: So viele, wie du willstErin Donnelly: „Meine Schwester ist die Backgöttin der Familie. Eine Spezialität von ihr ist dieses Rezept. Es ist der Grund dafür, wieso ich immer fünf Kilo zunehme, wenn ich sie besuche.“ZutatenRitz Crackers (Tuc geht auch) Erdnussbutter Kuvertüre/SchokoladeZubereitung1. Mach ein Sandwich, in dem du einen Cracker nimmst, Erdnussbutter draufschmierst und einen zweiten Cracker drauflegst2. Erwärme die Schokolade und tunke das Sandwich anschließend ein3. Lass es auf Backpapier abkühlen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Magnifi-mintsErgibt: Kommt drauf an, wie groß du die Stücke machst.Lauren Newton: „Meine Mutter ist bekannt für ihre superleckeren Hello Dollies – die ganze Familie liebt sie. Irgendwann hatte ich mal eine Phase, in der ich ÜBERALL Pfefferminze reingetan habe, also beschloss ich, ihr Rezept etwas abzuändern. Ich tauschte die Schokostückchen und die zerbröselten Kekse mit Minzschokolade und Oreos. Eigentlich ist meine Mama die Backkönigin unter uns, aber mit dieser Kreation mach ich ihr definitiv Konkurrenz.“Zutaten115 g Butter1 Tasse zerbröselte Oreo Cookies1 Tasse gesüßte Kokosraspeln Minzschokolade, gehackt (oder falls du sie findest: Drops)1 Tasse gehackte Walnüsse1 kleine Dose KondensmilchZubereitung1. Heize den Ofen auf 180 ° Celsius vor.2. Fette deine eckige Backform mit der Butter ein3. Verteile die Oreo-Brösel gleichmäßig in der Form, sodass sie den kompletten Boden bedecken4. Gib die anderen Zutaten schichtweise auf die Kekskrümel (die Reihenfolge ist egal, wobei ich meist erst die Minzschokolade, dann die Kokosraspel und als letztes die Walnüsse in die Form gebe). 5. Gieße die Kondensmilch gleichmäßig über alles.6. Backe das Ganze für etwa 20-25 Minuten bis die oberste Schicht goldbraun ist 7. Lass alles gut abkühlen, bevor du es in kleine Stücke schneidest. Guten Hunger!Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Tante Cynthia’s PfefferminzriegelFür ungefähr 36 RiegelElettra Wiedemann (Moi!): “Die Weihnachtsstimmung kommt definitiv nicht auf, wenn es die Pfefferminzriegel meiner Tante Cynthia gibt. Sie musste anfangen, uns einzeln verpackte und deutlich gekennzeichnete Behälter für jedes Familienmitglied zu geben, um die Spannung über ‘faire Anteile’ dieser erstaunlichen weihnachtlichen Leckereien abzubauen.”Zutaten 1/4 Tasse Wasser 2 Esslöffel gemahlene Kaffeebohnen 1 Tasse Butter 1 1/2 Tassen halbsüße Schokoladenstückchen 1 1/2 Tassen Zucker 4 Eier, leicht verquirlt 1 Teelöffel Vanille 2 Tassen Mehl 1/2 gehackte Walnüsse oder Pekannüsse 1/2 Teelöffel SalzZubereitung 1. Heize den Ofen auf 350ºF vor. Fette eine 15 x 10 x 1 Backform ein.2. In einem großen Kochtopf 1/4 Tasse Wasser und gemahlene Kaffeebohnen vermengen. Die Butter und die Schokoladenstückchen hinzufügen.4. Bei schwacher Hitze erwärmen und ständig umrühren, bis die Butter und die Schokolade schmelzen und gut vermischt sind.4. Den Zucker, die Eier und die Vanille hinzufügen. Die Mischung leicht schlagen, bis sie gut vermischt ist.5. Das Mehl, die Nüsse und das Salz einrühren. Verteil den Teig gleichmäßig in der Pfanne.6. 20 Minuten lang backen. In der Pfanne auf einem Drahtgitter abkühlen lassen.7. Zum Zuckerguss Peppermint Candy Frosting (unten) gleichmäßig auf den abgekühlten Brownies verteilen. Mit zusätzlichen grob gehackten Pfefferminzstückchen und gemahlener Pfefferminze garnieren. Pfefferminz-Bonbon-GlasurZutaten2 Teelöffel Pfefferminzpulver (2 bis 3 Stück Pfefferminzbonbons in der Küchenmaschine zerkleinert)3 Tassen Puderzucker1/4 Tasse weiche Butter2 Esslöffel kochendes Wasser1/2 Teelöffel VanilleZubereitung1. Alle Zutaten mit einem elektrischen Mixer auf niedriger Stufe schlagen, bis sie sich verbinden.2. Zum Verteilen kleine Mengen kochendes Wasser hinzufügen, bis die gewünschte Konsistenz erreicht ist, etwa einen zusätzlichen Esslöffel, und eine Minute auf mittlerer Stufe schlagen. Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Aww! Schon wieder alle? Keine Angst: Wir updaten die Slideshow spätestens im nächsten Herbst mit neuen Rezepten.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Ricotta CookiesYield: Approximately 60 cookiesMaria del Russo: “My mother makes hundreds of cookies for our big Christmas day party. (We host nearly 40 family members.) And no Italian cookie platter is complete without some ricotta cookies. These are the favorite amongst the dozens of other cookies on the tray.”Ingredients2 cups white sugar1 cups butter, softened15 oz ricotta cheese2 tsp vanilla extract2 eggs4 cups all-purpose flour2 tbsp baking powder1 tsp salt1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar3 tbsp milkSmall rainbow sprinklesInstructions1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. Beat sugar and butter in a mixer until combined.3. Increase mixer speed and beat in eggs until light and fluffy.4. Decrease speed again and beat in ricotta, vanilla, and eggs.5. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until dough forms.6. Drop dough by tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about one inch apart.7 Bake for about 15 minutes. Cookies should be lightly golden and soft.8. As cookies cool, prepare the icing with the confectioner’s sugar and milk. When cool, dip the top of the cookies in icing and sprinkle with sprinkles.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Grandma Sylvia’s Kamish BreadYield: 4 dozenZoe Bain: “It sounds deceiving, but kamish bread or mandel bread is actually a crunchy cookie, sort of similar to biscotti. This was originally my great-grandma’s recipe, but my grandma Sylvia (a woman after my own heart) perfected it by adding chocolate chips. Grandma Sylvia had one special cookie jar that was JUST for kamish bread when my dad and his brothers were growing up, and they always ate them with a light spread of peanut butter over top.”Ingredients1 cup sugar3 eggs3/4 cup oil2 tsp vanilla3 cups flour2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp salt1 cup nuts, chopped6 oz Nestle Toll House Morsels (mini)Instructions1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.2. Combine eggs and sugar; mix well. Add vanilla and oil; mix until smooth.3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. The mixture should be fairly thick. If it is not, add a bit more flour until it is easier to handle.4. Spoon batter onto greased cookie sheets, forming “logs” on each sheet, approximately 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. (The logs will spread, so don’t crowd the cookie sheet.) Dip your fingers into a little oil and smooth the logs.5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, cut each log into diagonal slices about 1/2 inche wide. Return the slices back to the oven and toast about 7 to 8 minutes. Watch the end pieces — they can burn!6. Turn the slices over to the other side and toast for another few minutes. (Use caution when working with the warm slices; the melted chocolate chips get very hot.)7. Remove slices from cookie sheet and cool.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Linzer Tart Cookies Yield: Approximately 36 cookiesAlex Marino: “I grew up eating linzer tart cookies — my grandmother, mom, and sister are obsessed — and I decided I was going to start making my own for them. It’s a decently long process, so I make them tops once a year, but they’re SO good and also a really pretty cookie.” Ingredients 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened2/3 cup white sugar2 cups sifted all purpose flour1 3/4 cups ground almonds or pecans (If I can find them, I like to buy cinnamon-coated almonds or pecans, it takes the cookie to another level)1 tbsp ground cinnamon (if you don’t get cinnamon-covered nuts)1 small jar of seedless raspberry jam1/3 cup confectioner’s sugarInstructions 1. Beat butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.2. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, the ground almonds, and cinnamon.3. Mix in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture becomes a slightly stiff dough.4. Shape the dough into a ball, divide it in half. Wrap both halves in wax paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour.5. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.6. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough into a sheet 1/8 inch thick. With a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut as many circles from the sheet as you can. Knead the leftover scraps of dough into a ball and roll it out again into a 1/8 inch sheet. Cut out more circles.7. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Refrigerate while working with remaining dough.8. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the other half of the dough. After placing the second batch on the baking sheet, cut out the center of each circle with a 1/2 inch cookie cutter.9. Bake cookies in preheated oven until light brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.10. Spread a thin coating of jam on each of the cookie rounds. Set a cut-out cookie on top of each, pressing the two together so they make a sandwich. Spoon a dab of jam into the opening of each tart and sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar before serving.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Double Chocolate CrinkleYield: 48 cookiesGabrielle Laub: “I remember making these with my Nana for Hanukkah when I was younger, but I only remember helping her by licking the spoon. So they’re really easy!”Ingredients4 oz unsweetened chocolate1/2 cup shortening2 cups sugar2 tsp vanilla extract4 eggs2 cups all purpose flour2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp salt1 (6 oz) package of chocolate chips1 cup sifted powdered sugarInstructions1. Melt the chocolate and shortening together in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.2. Stir in the sugar and place mix in a bowl to cool. Once cooled slightly, beat until well blended.3. Add in the vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.4. In another bowl, sift the flour, and add the baking soda and salt.5. Stir flour mix into the chocolate mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.6. Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight.7. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease baking sheets and set aside.8. Break off small pieces of chilled dough and form into 1-inch balls.9. Roll cookies in powdered sugar10.Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.11. Cookies will be very soft, but will firm as they cool.12. Immediately place on racks to cool. These may be frozen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Megan’s Mint SurpriseYield: 5 dozen cookiesMegan Madden: “It’s my father’s favorite cookie, so much so that he literally hides them when we have family guests over for the holidays because he doesn’t want to share.”Ingredients1 cup sugar1 cup firmly packed brown sugar2 sticks of softened butter1 cup shortening2 tsp vanilla extract2 eggs4 cups all purpose flour2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 package of Andes Candies Mints, snapped in halfSprinklesInstructions1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. Mix ingredients together, form cookie shapes and hide half mint inside center of dough.3. Before placing on cookie sheet, dip one side of each cookie in sprinkles.4. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about one inch apart, and bake for 15 minutes.5. Allow to cool and enjoy.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Tea CakesYields about 36 cookiesDavid Kopach: “Each Christmas, my aunt Maureen hosts our enormous family and each year she has 10 to 15 types of cookies on display. She and her friends have been having a cookie swap for decades and these tea cakes are some of my favorites.”Ingredients1 cup butter1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, divided into 1/2 cup and 1 cup1 tbsp water1 tsp vanilla extract2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour3/4 cup pecans, finely choppedInstructions1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.2. In a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add water and vanilla.3. Gradually add flour and nuts, beating until well mixed.4. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (or crescent moon shape using 1-inch balls of dough).6. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown on the bottom.7. Cool on wire racks about 10 minutes. Then roll in remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. When completely cool, roll again in remaining confectioners’ sugar.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Pineapple CookiesYield: Approximately 5 dozen cookiesMegan McIntyre: “When my mom first made these, I was, to put it nicely, skeptical. I recall making exaggerated gagging noises as she dumped the canned pineapples into the batter. But, cookie junkie that I am, I grabbed one and after one bite of the cookie I was a goner. These cookies are juicy and soft, with just a hint of tart to cut through the sweetness. It’s kind of like a piña colada cookie, but way less gross. Now, every time I go home, I beg my mom to make me a batch so that I can snarf it down furtively at night, crouched over the tin like a feral animal. Mmmmmm, cookies.”Ingredients2 eggs, well beaten1 cup brown sugar1 cup white sugar1 cup shortening1 whole can of crushed pineapple1 tsp vanilla1/2 tsp salt1 tsp baking soda4 cups flourInstructions1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.2. Beat the eggs, and then add in the white and brown sugar, shortening, and pineapple. Mix well then add vanilla.3. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then slowly add to wet mixture. Your mixture should be a consistency that is easily dropped by spoonfuls, not overly runny. If it is runny, gradually add more flour.4. Drop cookies by the teaspoonful onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms of cookie are a nice light brown. (You can always tap the top of the cookie to see if it springs back to test.) Remove from oven and place on a cookie rack to cool.5. Enjoy!Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup CookiesYield: Approximately 18 large cookiesMelissa Lee: “This recipe has been tweaked a couple of time since its debut but has become somewhat of a holiday staple. It can keep for up to a week, but they will hardly last that long.”Ingredients3/4 cup all-purpose flour1 tsp baking powder3/4 lb semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped1/2 cup (4-5 oz) creamy peanut butter2 oz salted butter1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar4 large eggs at room temperature1 tbsp vanilla extract2 cups Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cupsInstructions1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, and set aside.2. In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, the peanut butter, and the butter, and microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted and smooth. Stir after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.3. Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of a large stand mixer, and beat with a whisk attachment until thick and foamy, about 5 minutes.4. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla, and mix them in until they’re incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, as the chocolate has a tendency to sink to the bottom.5. Stir in the flour mixture, and when that’s incorporated, chill for 20-30 min. Add the miniature peanut butter cups. Chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.6. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a large 1/4-cup scoop to scoop large portions onto the baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Jane’s Chocolate Coca Cola CakeYields: 1 (9-inch round) cakeGabrielle Laub: “THIS right here is why I was overweight (to put it lightly) when I was younger. Pro tip: The microwave does wonders for these babies the next day.”Ingredients For the cake:2 cups of all purpose flour2 cups of sugar4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa1 pinch of salt1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, unsalted1 cup of regular Coca Cola1/2 cup of buttermilk2 large eggs1 tsp baking soda1 tsp vanillaFor the frosting:1 stick of butter1/3 cup of Coca Cola1 tsp of instant coffee2 tbsp water1 lbs of powdered sugar, sifted5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa1 1/2 cups mini marshmallowsInstructionsFor the cake: 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.3. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and Coca Cola until boiling.4. Mix together dry and wet ingredients until well combined.5. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.6. Add buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla to the eggs. Whisk until blended.7. Add to batter and stir until well combined (batter will be thin).8. Place in a 9-inch cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.9. Meanwhile, make your frosting: bring the butter, Coca-Cola, coffee, and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir to combine.10. In a separate bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and cocoa. Then, pour the hot butter and Coca Cola mix over. Stir until well combined.11. Fold in marshmallows.12. Pour frosting over the top of the hot cake and spread evenly.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Sweet & Salty Holiday Toffee Yields: 1 (9 x 13) pan of toffee, broken into piecesKelsey Miller: “This is my family’s toffee recipe. It’s more of a bark than a cookie, but it is better than any cookie I’ve ever made. I make about 20 batches around the holidays because it’s so easy, quick, and cheap — and everyone loves it.”Ingredients1 1/4 cup brown sugar1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter2 tbsp water1 box Graham crackers (Original — none of that honey nonsense!)1 (11 1/2 oz) bag good-quality milk chocolate chips 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted1-1 1/2 tbsp Maldon sea salt (coarse kosher salt works, too)Instructions1. Line a 9 x 13 dish with aluminum foil sprayed with Pam and lay Graham crackers along the bottom. Break them into smaller pieces to fill in any gaps, as needed (a little overlap is fine).2. Fill a glass with COLD water, and keep it on the counter next to you.3. Over medium-high heat, melt butter, water, and sugar together in a non-stick pot, stirring until the butter is melted and everything is well mixed. Let the mixture bubble, over a medium to medium-high heat, for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s reached the soft-ball stage (240ºF on a candy thermometer).Note: Soft ball stage is when the mixture forms a little tiny ball when dropped into cold water — that’s where the glass of cold water comes in! Just dip a knife in the mixture and let a little drip off into your glass of cold water. If you have a candy thermometer, this is even easier. You want the toffee to reach 185ºF. Then, immediately remove from the heat. Your kitchen should smell like caramel, but not burned caramel.4. Pour toffee over graham crackers and spread it evenly with a spatula or large spoon.5. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee. Let it sit for about a minute, letting the chips soften. Then, spread over the toffee with the spatula as they melt.6. Finish by sprinkling with almonds and sea salt, cover with foil, and press down very gently to smooth slightly. Then, pop the pan into the freezer.7. Hang out. Have a drink, why don’t you? After 45 minutes, or once the toffee-chocolate awesomeness has hardened, remove and peel off the foil. Break the toffee into cookie-sized chunks, throw ‘em in a tin, head out the door to impress everyone, or just keep for yo’self.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Grandma Egerton’s Chocolate JumbosYield: Approximately 56 cookiesBrandon Schleuter: “We (my sisters and cousins) always used to look forward to going to Grammie’s during the holidays and getting our chocolate jumbos. Our parents liked them, too — and had opinions about how they should be made — but we usually got to them first.”IngredientsFor cookies:8 oz. baking chocolate1 cup butter, softened1 cup sugar1 1/2 cup dark molasses3 eggs1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp ground cloves1 tsp allspice1 tsp saltFlour to handle (about 5 cups)For frosting:2 sticks softened butter2 lbs powdered sugar2 tsp vanillaMilk, to right consistency (add small amounts slowly)Instructions1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. Mix together the baking chocolate, butter, sugar, dark molasses, eggs, dissolved baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, salt.3. Gradually add in the flour until a dough-like consistency. Roll dough on a well floured surface. Cut with donut cutter. Bake about 5-10 minutes, should still be soft to touch — do not overbake.4. Meanwhile, make your frosting by combining all the ingredients. Add in milk a teaspoon at a time, until you have a frosting-like consistency.5. Cool cookies and turn over to frost.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Milana’s CookiesYield: Approximately 42 cookiesMilana Baker: “Here’s my cookie recipe. I’m really into elevating store bought things, and I’m also pretty sure that I might have stolen this recipe from one of my RAs in college — but it’s mine now.”IngredientsBetty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix, make according to package instructions1/2-1 cup butterscotch chips1/2-1 cup dark chocolate chipsInstructions1. Follow the instructions for the oatmeal cookie mix.2. Add in the butterscotch chips and dark chocolate chips3. Follow the oatmeal cookie mix instructions for baking (Usually about 10-12 minutes at 375ºF.)4. COOKIES! (They should be crispy on the outside & chewy on the inside)Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Grandpa’s CookiesYield: Approximately 100 cookiesMaria del Russo: “My family has actually forgotten the real name for these cookies, because they’re so closely linked to my grandfather — they were his favorites! They’re perfect dunked in coffee. I tend to sneak some in the days leading up to Christmas day and eat them for breakfast.”Ingredients3 1/2 lbs flour1 lb sugar1 small can (6 oz) baking powder1/2 lb butter (room temperature)1 pound Crisco6 eggs (room temperature)1 cup waterInstructions1. Pile flour onto a flat surface. Add sugar and baking powder. Mix well.2. Make a well in the center of the mixed pile. Add butter and Crisco. Mix well until it makes pea-sized pieces.3. Make a well in the center of that mixed pile. Add eggs and water. Bring together and mix/roll very well until it makes a big, fluffy dough.4. Take one piece at a time and roll it into circles, small S’s, and any other shape your heart desires.5. Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook at 350ºF until bottoms are golden brown.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Janice’s No-Bake CookiesYield: Approximately 36 cookiesMegan McIntyre: “I’m a sucker for oatmeal raisin cookies, but not too big on actually cooking them — I’m scared of my oven. I’m pretty sure it’s hatching nefarious plans to facilitate my demise. So, these no-bake cookies my mom introduced me to are a perfect solution; they’ve got the oats, plus chocolate, and the best part is I don’t need to even look at my oven. They look a little gross when you spoon them out on the parchment paper, but believe me, these homely cookies are not only delicious, they’re idiot-proof. Take it from me.”Ingredients2 cups sugar1 stick of margarine4 tbsp cocoa1/2 cup milk3 cups oatmeal1 tsp vanilla1/2 to 1 cup peanut butterInstructions1. Boil the sugar, margarine, cocoa, and milk together for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not cook more than 4 minutes!2. Remove from heat and add in your oatmeal, vanilla, and peanut butter. You’ll have to be quick when you add these three ingredients, because as the mixture cools down, it starts to harden. So get those ingredients mixed in quick and scoop with a spoon onto parchment.3. Scoop cookies onto a piece of parchment to set (should set in about 30 minutes).4. Store in the fridge to keep them from getting melty if you have a warm kitchen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Maria’s MacaroonsYields: 36 macaroonsMaria del Russo: “These coconut macaroons are seriously addictive — probably because they’re dunked in melted chocolate. We only ever eat them at Christmas, which is why I grab them first when dessert is served.”Ingredients1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour2 1/2 cup shredded coconut1/8 tsp salt2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk1 tsp vanilla extract1 cup of Ghiradelli chocolate, meltedInstructions1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.2. Mix flour, coconut, and salt in a bowl. Pour in condensed milk and vanilla. Stir well to make a thick batter.3. Drop the batter by the spoonful onto a well-greased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.4. Cool on rack for approximately 15 minutes. While cookies are cooling, melt your chocolate. Once cookies are cooled, dip half the cookie in melted chocolate.5. Allow to cool and solidify on a rack.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Rugelach CookiesYield: 48 cookiesMegan Madden: “For 20 years my mom has baked these homemade cookies to give out to her customers at her christmas tree shop. Although they’re free, she’s noticed families and older couples strategically come into her store one at a time to get the most cookies for themselves instead of all together as a unit. She’s never minded, though, she just loves the tradition!”IngredientsFor the pastry: 2 sticks unsalted butter8 oz cream cheese softened1/4 tsp salt2 cups all-purpose flourFor the filling:1 1/2 cup walnuts1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar2 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 stick of unsalted butter melted/cooled1 cup of mini chocolate chipsFor the topping:1/4 cup granulated sugar3/4 tsp ground cinnamon1 egg white beaten with 1 tbsp of waterInstructions1. To make the pastry: In a large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and salt until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add flour and mix just until dough forms.2. Turn out dough onto floured work surface. Using floured hands, form dough into log. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap separately in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or as long as overnight, until firm.3. Preheat oven to 375ºF.4. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.5. Meanwhile, make your filling: In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, and walnuts.6. Flour one dough disk and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll into 1/8 inch thick round about 10 inches in diameter. Remove top sheet of parchment and brush dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of filling mixture.7. Using a knife or pizza slicer, cut dough into 48 triangles and roll the triangles from the wide side in to the narrow side.8. Before putting in the oven, lightly coat cookies in egg white and water mix, and sprinkle with toppings spices.9. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Jennifer’s Chocolate Chip CookiesYield: Approximately 36 cookiesJennifer Calloway: “Since most holiday cookies taste distinctly of the season, with lots mint, ginger, and nutty flavors, I like to also include some year-round favorites in my holiday baking to avoid holiday-flavor overload. I love a classic chocolate chip cookie, because you can still incorporate holiday themes into the base recipe if you want, by mixing in seasonal colored chocolate candies, dried fruit, or anything that seems festive to you!”Ingredients3 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar1 1/2 cup brown sugar2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softened to room temperature2 eggs1 tsp vanilla extract1 tsp baking soda1 tsp salt1 1/2 – 2 cups chocolate chips of choice (I usually use half milk chocolate chips, half semi-sweet chocolate chunks)Instructions1. Cream the butter, sugars, and eggs together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and salt. Add the baking soda, and slowly stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until it is just combined.2. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (to prevent too much spreading during baking) but preferably 3-12 hours to let the flavors from the vanilla and brown sugar fully develop.3. Once the dough has been chilled, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Shape the dough into slightly flattened balls of your preferred size (I do about the size of a golf ball), and bake on parchment paper-lined baking sheets for 10-11 minutes. Be sure to take them out when the edges are just starting to get golden brown, do NOT wait for the centers to look done.4. Leave them on the hot cookie sheet to cool for at least 10 minutes, they will continue to cook on the sheet and will end up soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Janice’s No Bake CookiesYield: Approximately 36 cookiesMegan McIntyre: “I’m a sucker for oatmeal raisin cookies but not too big on actually cooking them – I’m scared of my oven. I’m pretty sure it’s hatching nefarious plans to facilitate my demise. So, these no-bake cookies my mom introduced me to are a perfect solution — they’ve got the oats, plus chocolate and the best part is I don’t need to even look at my oven. They look a little grow when you spoon them out on the parchment paper, but believe me, these homely cookies are not only delicious — they’re idiot proof. Take it from me.”Ingredients2 cup sugar1 stick of margarine4 tbsp cocoa1/2 cup of milk3 cups of oatmeal1 tsp vanilla1/2-1 cup peanut butterInstructions1. Boil the sugar, margarine, cocoa, and milk together for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not cook more than 4 minutes!2. Remove from heat and add in your oatmeal, vanilla, and peanut butter. You’ll have to be quick when you add these three ingredients because as the mixture cools down, it starts to harden so get those ingredients mixed in quick, and then scoop each cookie onto some parchment paper on a baking dish quickly with a spoon.3. Scoop cookies on a piece of parchment to set (should set in about 30 minutes).4. Store in the fridge to keep them from getting melty if you have a warm kitchen.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Chocolate Chip Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup CookiesYield: 24 cookiesKaren Lininger: “Chocolate chip reese’s peanut butter cup cookies AKA the easiest cookies ever… you just bake chunks of storebought ccc dough in a mini muffin tin then shove Reeses cups into the cookies when they come out of the oven. MAGICAL FOOLPROOF GOODNESS.”Ingredients1 package (16.5 oz) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (the ones shaped like a log)1 bag of 24 miniature Reese’s peanut butter cupsInstructions1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray, set aside.3. Slice cookie dough log into 1 inch thick slices, then into quarters. Place one quarter into each cup of the mini muffin pan, and bake for 9-11 minutes.4. While baking, remove peanut butter cups from their foil wrappers & paper liners.5. After removing the cookies from the oven, while the dough is still warm, push a peanut butter cup into each muffin cup and let cool in the pan. Once the cookies are cool, use a spoon or knife to release them from the pan.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Grandma’s Chocolate Cake With CoffeeYield: 1 cakeGabrielle Laub: “Confession, I have never made this. My Nana is good at everything ,though, obviously, because she’s queen in my book. Have you ever been disappointed when coffee and cake get together to make sweet dessert-love? Didn’t think so.”Ingredients1 cup of sugar4 egg yolks1 cup sifted flour1 tbsp baking powder4 egg whites1/2 cup cocoa powder1/2 cup hot coffeeInstructions1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.2. Mix cocoa powder with hot coffee.3. Beat the sugar and egg yolks until smooth.4. Add chocolate and coffee mixture.5. Add sifted flour and baking powder.6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into rest of mixture.7. Bake in a tube pan for approximately 30 minutes.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Grandma Bertha’s BiscottiYield: 3 dozenErica Gannett: “Grandma Bertha is the matriarch of our family. She is truly the most maternal women I have ever met. Even at the ripe age of 92, she makes her famous biscotti for every single family function. They are delicious and taste just like home.”Ingredients1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter3/4 cup sugar2 eggs2 tsp vanilla extract2 1/4 cups all purpose flour1-1/2 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp salt3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries, soaked in hot water and drained1 cup shelled walnutsInstructions1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.3. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder ,and salt.4. Mix until blended, stir in cranberries and walnuts.5. Line cookie sheet with tinfoil. Put a little oil on it so that biscotti do not stick.6. Divide dough into 3 loaves.7. Mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top.8. Bake for 25 minutes.9. Remove from oven and slice into slices diagonally. Put back in the oven until barely golden. Turn over and put back in oven again for another 10 minutes, don’t let them get too dark.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Elizabeth’s Christmas CookiesAdapted from this NYT recipeYield: About 5 dozenElizabeth Kiefer: “Every year, my girlfriends have a holiday cookie decorating party in Brooklyn and vote on our favorite recipe from the afternoon (based on ample taste testing, obviously). This one has yet to be knocked out of the top spot!”IngredientsFor the cookies:1 cup sugar 12 tbsp butter1/2 tsp salt1 egg1 1/2 cup flour1 tsp extract — baker’s choice! Sometimes I use vanilla or almond, or if I’m feeling crazy I might even go with orange.For the chocolate coating:Everyone please acquire a double boiler like an adult and don’t try and put one pan in another pan full of boiling water (learn from my Cookie Debacle of 2012. It was no bueno.)2 (8 oz) bars of baking chocolate2 tbsp coconut oil (melted down, but go easy on the oil)Instructions1. Cream sugar and butter in a food processor.2. Add in the salt, egg, and flour. Mix well to combine. If the dough cracks, you can add up to 1 tablespoon of water, but consider what your radiator is up to, because if it’s super dry in your apartment, who knows, you might need more.3. Roll out the dough until it is very thin on parchment-lined cookie sheets and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (and up to 1-2 days).4. Once dough is chilled and set, use a circular cookie cutter to make cookie shapes. Set aside on parchment-lined baking sheet, about one inch apart.5. Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes.6. Meanwhile, make your chocolate coating: Melt the chocolate. When cookies are done baking and cooled, dip the cookies about halfway. (Skip the sprinkles, keep it classy. Bon chance!)Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Jugoslavian Christmas CookiesYield: Depends on size of squares you decide to cut from 10×15” baking panGabrielle Laub: “We make these during Hanukkah because they’re easy and delicious. And it was my great-grandmothers recipe… points for family history. These three-layered treats look fancy, but aren’t that tough to make! Just focus on one layer at a time.”Ingredients 1 cup of sweet butter1 1/2 cups sugar divided (half cup for layer #1 full cup for layer #3)1 egg yolk4 egg whites1/2 tsp salt2 1/2 cups sifted flour3/4 cup ground walnuts1 tsp lemon extract1 cup of blackberry jellyInstructionsFirst layer:1. Cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar.2. Stir in the egg yolk.3. In a separate bowl, sift flour and add salt.4. Stir the flour with the butter mixture.5. Pat the dough into a thin layer in the bottom of a 10 x 15 baking panSecond layer:1. Spread jelly over the dough.Third layer: 1. Beat the four egg whites until stiff.2. Add in a cup of sugar and beat until all stands in stiff peaks.3. Fold in ground nuts and lemon extract4. Spread meringue over top of jelly.5. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled. Enjoy!Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Edna’s HermitsYields: 18, 2 1/2 x 3” pieces.Caroline Stanley: “My daughter Penelope’s great-grandmother Edna is 87, and people have been flipping out over her hermit bars for decades. Now that P is finally old enough to eat real people food, I can’t wait for her to try one (or 5!) over the holidays.”Ingredients3/4 cup shortening1 cup sugar1 egg1/4 cup molasses2 1/4 cup flour1/4 tsp salt2 tsp soda3/4 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp ginger1/2 tsp cloves1/2 cup raisinsInstructions1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.2. Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses in a bowl.3. Stir in other ingredients except raisins. Mix well and then add raisins.4. Divide and spread in two rows, about 3/4 inch thick and 3 1/2 inch wide. Sprinkle with sugar.5. Bake in a 9-by-12 inch pan for 15 to 18 minutes.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesYield: 5 dozen cookies”Every Christmas, my Polish grandmother baked enormous batches of these cookies — each made in the shape of a Hershey’s kiss. When I bake them with my siblings over the holidays, it feels like we are still getting her kisses for Christmas!”Ingredients1 cup peanut butter (I like Smuckers Natural)1 cup butter3/4 cup white sugar3/4 cup brown sugar3 eggs1 tsp vanilla3 cup flour1 tsp baking soda1 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chipsInstructions1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.2. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, beat to combine.3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; mix thoroughly.4. Mix dry ingredients gradually into the first bowl. Once evenly mixed, add chips.5. Scoop onto cookie sheet with a teaspoon, space cookies about one inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.Photographed by Ted Cavanaugh; Food Styling by Claudia Ficca.Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesYield: 5 dozen cookies Cedric Gore: From my baby mama.”Every Christmas, my Polish grandmother baked enormous batches of these cookies – each made in the shape of a Hershey’s kiss. When I bake them with my siblings over the holidays, it feels like we are still getting her kisses for Christmas!”Ingredients1 cup peanut butter (Smuckers Natural is best)1 cup butter3/4 cup white sugar3/4 cup brown sugar3 eggs1 tsp vanilla3 cup flour1 tsp baking soda1 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips Instructions1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.2. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, beat to combine. 3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl – mixthoroughly. 4. Mix dry ingredients gradually into the first bowl. Once evenly mixed, add chips.5. Scoop onto cookie sheet with a teaspoon, space cookies about one inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?12 neue Kakaorezepte für den WinterWeihnachtsgeschenke mit kleinem Budget: 6 TippsDiese Filme bringen dich in Weihnachtsstimmung
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