Monday, December 14, 2015

New Christmas Cookies of 2015

This year I made several new cookies. 

The first is Santa's Favorite Cookies.  These cookies came out well!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box (3.4 ounces) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (not sugar free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red and green sprinkles (or any colors)
  • 3/4 cup Christmas M&Ms (or any color of M&M)


  1. Note: This dough requires chilling.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer.) Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth. Add pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Mix in flour, then stir in sprinkles and M&Ms.
  3. Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat baking mat. There’s no need to space them out, you’re going to chill them. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Place chilled cookie dough balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to one month.

The second was Somoa Thumprint Cookies.

These probably were one of the best cookies I've tasted in a LONG time.  I really loved these.  I used the chocolate and caramel recipe from the cashew caramels for this in order to not have to make several different batches of these.


  • 2 cups toasted coconut
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour

Caramel Filling

  • 14 ounces Peter's caramel (it comes in a block at kitchen specialty stores) or Kraft Caramel Cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk

Remaining Ingredients

  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix both the toasted and sweetened coconuts together, reserving ¼ cup to garnish, on a large plate and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl place the slightly beaten eggs and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream together. Add vanilla and beat again. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and salt and beat until just combined.
  5. Roll dough into 1¼ inch balls, then roll them in the egg mixture and then roll them in the coconut mixture and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Make an indentation with your thumb or a round spoon in the center of each ball and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and once again press spoon into the cookies and return to the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on cooling racks.
  7. While cookies are cooling place caramel and evaporated milk in a microwaveable bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir and repeat in 30 second increments until it is smooth, stirring in between each increment.
  8. Fill the cookies with enough caramel to fill the indention.
  9. In another small microwavable bowl combine chocolate and cream. Heat for 1 minute and stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until chocolate is smooth, stirring between each increment. Pour into a ziplock bag and snip off the end and drizzle chocolate over the cookies and sprinkle reserved toasted coconut over the top.

The third new cookie was brookies.  The family really loved them.

Brookie Cookies

 Makes 36 large cookies


Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • 1 (18 oz) box brownie mix
  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
For chocolate chip cookie portion:
  1. Cream butter and both sugars together for 2 minutes until fluffy and light.
  2. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Mix in baking soda and salt. Then add flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Set aside.
  1. In a large bowl combine brownie mix and flour. Whisk together.
  2. Stir in eggs and oil until combined. Dough will be thick.
  1. Form chocolate chip cookie dough into 1 inch balls. Scoop an equal size of the brownie mixture and squish it together with the cookie portion.
  2. Place on baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 9-10 minutes until edges are golden and cookies are just set.
  4. Allow to cool 3-4 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
And finally, Carmel Cashew Clusters
Caramel Cashew Clusters
Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes


30 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped {about 8 ounces}
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup
salted cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine caramels and cream. While stirring constantly, heat mixture until caramels are fully melted. Remove pan from heat.
3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla and cashews until they are thoroughly mixed into the melted caramels.
4. Spray a small or medium cookie scoop with non-stick cooking spray and scoop the caramel-cashew mixture 2 inches apart onto the prepared pan. If you prefer a more symmetrically shaped cluster, use your fingers to mold this caramel. Repeat with rest of mixture.
5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and shortening until smooth stirring every 30 seconds or so.
6. Drizzle melted chocolate over clusters. See recipe notes for storage information.

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