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!

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