Christmas Cookies

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas baking!

It’s the beginning of December and my thoughts have turned to Christmas baking. Here’s a couple of my favorites, and a new one I’m hoping will become a favorite. Enjoy!

Rum Balls

My oldest daughter is gluten free, so I wanted to find a recipe that didn’t use wheat flour. Full disclosure: the first time I made these, I misread the instructions, and instead of pouring ¼ cup of rum into the almond mixture, I poured 1/3 cup. It was definitely rummy! But honestly, I liked my rummy version even better than the low alcohol one!

1 cup (250 ml.) icing sugar

1 cup (250 ml.) ground almonds

3 oz. (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, grated

1/3 cup (75 ml.) dark rum

1 tsp. (5 ml.) vanilla

½ (125 ml.) chocolate sprinkles

Line trays with waxed paper; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk icing sugar, almonds and bittersweet chocolate. Stir in ¼ cup (50 ml.) of the rum and vanilla until solid moist mass forms; press together. Chill until firm enough to roll, about 15 minutes.

Roll by rounded teaspoonfuls (5 ml.) into balls, moistening and wiping hands with damp cloth as needed. Place on prepared trays.

Pour remaining rum into shallow bowl. Pour chocolate sprinkles into separate shallow bowl. Roll balls in rum then in chocolate, pressing lightly to adhere. Let dray on tray, 1 hour. Refrigerate until firm. Can freeze for up to 1 month.

 

Chocolate Crack

The name of this cookie comes from the fact that you “crack” the final slab into irregular chunks, but the taste is almost as addictive as the other stuff! The boiling time and stirring is important for the success of this cookie, so pay attention. For variation you can sprinkle the warm chocolate with nuts, marshmallows or crushed candy canes.

Approximately 200-250 grams whole graham wafer (about ½ of a small box)

250 ml. (1 cup) salted butter

250 ml. (1 cup) brown sugar

500 ml. (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Line a 25 x 38 cm. (10 x 15 inch) jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or grease well with butter or margarine. Line the pan completely with a single layer of graham wafers, breaking wafers up, if necessary, to make them fit. Set aside.

Combine the butter and brown in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for exactly 5 minutes, stirring constantly. You might need to adjust the heat; if the mixture sputters too much, reduce the heat. If it stops boiling increase the heat; a bull boil will have breaking bubbles all over the surface.

Pour the mixture over the graham wafers as evenly as you can. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let the chips melt for a minute or two and then spread them as evenly as you can with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon. Let cool to room temperature and then place pan in the fridge to chill. When the pan is chilled, peel the foil from the wafers and break the slab into random pieces.

 

Spiced Flax Cookies

Okay, I have to admit I’ve never actually made these cookies before, even though I’ve had this recipe for a long time. But I’m definitely going to bake them this Christmas. I have to include something that’s sort of/kinda healthy. Don’t I?

125 ml. (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar

80 ml. (1/3 cup) butter, softened

1 egg

80 ml. (1/3 cup) corn syrup

5 ml. (1 tsp.) pure vanilla

30 ml. (2 tbsp.) milk

250 ml. (1 cup) all-purpose flour

175 ml. (3/4 cup) ground flaxseed

2.5 ml. (1/2 tsp.) baking soda

2.5 ml. (1/2 tsp.) baking powder

2.5 ml. (1/2 tsp.) each cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg

175 ml. (3/4 cup) each dried cranberries and raisins

60 ml. (1/4 cup) whole flaxseed

Yield: 30 cookies

In a large bowl, using electric mixer, beat brown sugar with butter until mixed.

Beat in egg, corn syrup, vanilla, and milk and mix until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, ground flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; stir in cranberries, raisins and whole flaxseed.

Stir dry mixture into butter mixture, mixing well.

Drop by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches (5 cm.) apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets – flatten tops with back of spoon.

Bake in 180 C (350 F) oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Store in airtight container for 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

According to the lady from the newspaper (that’s where I got the recipe), you can use only 175 ml. (3/4 cup) of dried cranberries OR raisins if you prefer a less fruit-filled cookie. She also said she found the cookie required the full 10 minutes of baking time.

Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

 

Looking for some Christmas reading? The ebook versions of FLAWLESS and HOME FIRES will be on sale at all major ebook retailers from December 4 to 17th, 2015. Happy reading!