Cookies for Santa #3

Week 3 of our recipe helps for Christmas eve .. best cookies to leave for Santa:  iced cookies, but with a twist – instead of a basic sugar cookie, make it chocolate!  We know Santa loves chocolate as much as we do.

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies (Decorated)

350° oven, ungreased baking sheets, 6-8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 bars (8 oz. box) semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2-2/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 6 T butter, softened
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • ½ C light or dark corn syrup
  • ¼ C water
  • Decorator icing (colored icing in tubes work well), sugar sprinkles, and candy decorations of your choice.

Instructions:

  1. Microwave baking bars in medium-size bowl on high for 1 minute; stir.  Microwave for additional 10 to 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth; cool to room temperature.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a second medium-size bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in small mixer bowl until creamy; beat in syrup and chocolate.  Alternately beat in flour mixture and water.  Divide and shape into 2 round discs; wrap in plastic wrap; chill just until firm.
  3. Roll each disc 10 1/4-inch thickness between sheets of waxed paper; cut with [cookie cutters (may we suggest something like this)]; place on ungreased baking sheets.  Chill again if dough becomes too soft while you’re rolling and cutting.
  4. Bake for six to eight minutes or until set; let stand for two minutes before removing to wire racks to completely cool.
  5. Decorate with colored icing and candy sprinkles as desired.

C = Cup; T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon

I don’t think I’ve ever been served a decorated chocolate cookie – and seeing how simple this recipe is, I really wonder why?  Personally, I would flavor my icing – orange, raspberry, peppermint – or sprinkle the icing with crushed candy canes!  Yeah, that would be great!  If you decide to try this one, send us your results – and suggestions for personal flavor flair.  Santa will love them any way you bake them.  Oh – and how about serving them on an awesome Santa plates – it looks .. Scandinavian to me, don’t you agree?  I think it will hold all three dozen cookies you’ve just baked.

Santa Serving Platter

You’ll call 1-800-445-3396, ext. 192, to order this platter – #335-333, $29.99.

Keep the yummy spirit of Christmas alive in the kitchen with us this holiday season!  Back with another cookie recipe soon.

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S. We’re approaching one of our busiest weekends here at the store – this Saturday, we have FOUR signing events – details to come – but we’re looking forward to seeing Ralph McDonald, Karen Didion, Anja from The Christmas Wish storybooks, and the creators of Ginger Cottages.  Do you have plans for November 19th?  We can help…

Cookies for Santa!

I have long been a recipe collector – I don’t bake or cook a lot, but I love collecting and reading recipes.  I’m guessing I am not alone in this pastime.  It paid off this week, when I pulled out a folder to begin my search for a good cookie recipe to share – the first packet I turned to is titled “100 Cookies for Christmas.”  Meant to be!

Remember, when you’re working with chocolate, water is not your friend.  Keep your work area and tools dry, especially when chopping or shaving the chocolate – dry knife and cutting board.

#5 Black Forest Cookies

400° Oven; large cookie sheets, greased; bake 10 to 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 8-oz. package semisweet chocolate squares
  • 1 16-oz. can pitted dark sweet cherries in light syrup
  • 2¼ C all-purpose flour
  • shortening
  • ¾ C sugar
  • ¾ C milk
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t almond extract

Instructions

About 3 hours before serving, or up to 3 days ahead:

  1. Grease cookie sheets.  In heavy small saucepan over low heat, heat 2 squares semisweet chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  Remove saucepan from heat.  With knife, coarsely chop 4 squares of chocolate; set aside.
  2. Drain cherries, reserving ¼ C cherry liquid; coarsely chop cherries.  Pat cherries dry with paper towel.
  3. Into large bowl, measure melted chocolate, reserved cherry liquid, flour, ½ C shortening, and remaining ingredients.  With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until blended, occasionally scraping bowl.  Stir in cherries and chopped chocolate.
  4. Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls, as many as possible, about 2 inches apart, on cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. When cookies are cooled, in small saucepan over low heat, heat 1 teaspoon shortening and remaining 2 squares chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  With spoon, drizzle chocolate mixture over cookies.  Let chocolate drizzle dry about 30 minutes or until firm.
  6. Store cookies in tightly covered container in refrigerator to use within three days (as if they will be around that long!).  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Cookies as rich and grand as these deserve an equally fabulous cookie plate – I think they would contrast quite nicely with this fabulous Reindeer Cookie Plate!  You’ll have to call us at 1-800-445-3396, ext. 192, to order item 104490, $29.99.  We’ll be happy to ship one to you for the Big Night!

Reindeer Cookie Plate

General knowledge I have gained about working with chocolate:  do not store it in the refrigerator; room temperature is fine.  White patches, called “bloom,” are generally not a problem – perhaps a little moisture was in the package, but it should not degrade the taste or usefulness of the chocolate.  M&Ms will go stale if left forgotten in the back of a drawer for a year.  Do not let this happen to your M&Ms.

Find more cookie-themed items on our website [here].  Then gather the family together and have a baking night for Santa – guaranteed fun and memory-making, no matter the skill of the chefs or the outcome of your endeavors!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  IT’S FINALLY HERE!  Department 56 signing weekend and retirements have been announced!  Come meet Scott Enter, North Pole Village designer, and Bill Sheldon, landscape designer – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 5th.  Door prizes, too!

Two for Tuesday

Christmas ornaments, how much variety there is at Incredible Christmas Place!  We could never limit ourselves to only traditional colors and styles, that would be no fun for you or for us.  We’re always going to show what’s new, different, and fun for your Christmas tree.

My first favorite today is a [taupe fur poinsettia] with gold glitter balls and a touch of gold glitter on the petals.  (I know, the glitter is a surprise…not.  It’s me.)  It’s mounted on a spring with a clip at the end, so easy to clip into your tree for a subtle sparkle.

Taupe Fur & Glitter Poinsettia

In our never-ending quest to offer every [bird ornament] that was ever conceived by a Christmas designer, here’s a cutie!  [Iced white cardinal], sort of bristle-y but with tail feathers, and such a sweet look.  Warning: he’s just a little bit shed-y on everything.  He’s also on a clip, so you can attach him to the perfect branch with ease and convenience.

Iced Cardinal

Here’s a peak at the tree on which we used that taupe poinsettia, our 2016 Misty Lake theme.  I have more pictures coming, because we have the most beautiful ornaments working on this tree, too, along with that amazing, 4′ strand of 480 lights.  You remember that gorgeous bunny, too – see him right there in the middle?  There’s a deer head at the top, if you can distinguish it.  So much going on with this tree!  Do you like a natural look for your Christmas tree?

2016 Christmas Tree - Misty Lake

Take a moment and find two things to love about your Tuesday, too!

~Janet @ The Incredible Christmas Place

P.S.  Exciting weekend!  It’s finally here, our [Department 56] artist signing weekend.  Saturday, November 5th, from 2 to 5 p.m., both an artist and a village designer will be here, so come and claim your signed house, and take home some new design ideas for your own 2016 village display.