As we told you last week, to make 20-30 holiday treats each year it takes quite a bit of planning. Last weekend, Melynn (TDS employee and “Cookie Queen”) got started and measured the ingredients for all her recipes in advance—and we’ve got the photos to prove it:
Not only does she pre-measure the flour and sugar, she also unwraps any candy ingredients as well. She says:
It’s a good way to get the kids involved—sit them at the table with a bowl and a trash bin and have them unwrap all of the Hershey Kisses and Rolos. My daughter loves to help with this and her “payment,” of course, is getting to eat a few along the way!
If you look back at Melynn’s cookie timeline, she’s making 24 different kinds this year. There is logic behind the order of her list, and it’s not all about making the most freezable cookies first:
Although most everything keeps well frozen, I typically do cookies first followed by candies, but I moved a couple of candies up on my schedule this year. Sometimes it just depends on the time involved in making each treat. I’ll do quicker ones on a weeknight, but candy—which might need a lot of melting, dipping, and candy thermometer attention—I’ll do on the weekends. I did keep the few that are best freshest at the bottom of my list, like the fudge and the popcorn brittle.
Note that I have the caramels scheduled for a Friday night. They take time with a candy thermometer but the worst is cutting them (it’s hard on the hands) and wrapping hundreds of them individually! Plus, they have to thoroughly cool before handling so Friday will work well. They can cool overnight and I’ll cut and wrap on Saturday morning.
Even if you don’t have a cookie-making plan like Melynn, you’ve got plenty of time to bake two of her favorites—Spritz, and her Potato Chip Cookies. Here are Melynn’s recipes:
You need a cookie press for Spritz but they are so worth it! This recipe makes LOTS and everyone loves a good butter cookie! Just make sure you mix the dough and “spritz” them right away—they won’t work with chilled dough!
1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
3-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
Red and green food coloring
Beat butter in stand mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, baking powder, and vanilla. Add remaining flour. Divide dough in half and color half with red food coloring and half with green food coloring. Force UNCHILLED dough thorough a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree for 6-7 minutes or till edges are firm but not brown. Cool cookies on wire rack. Makes about 84.
Potato Chip Cookies
A cookie that contains potato chips—what more do I have to say? 🙂 (and it might seem strange, but no, there is no egg in these!)
Potato Chip Cookies
1 cup butter at room temp
½ cup sugar
¾ cup crushed ridged potato chips
½ cup ground pecans
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups flour
In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in potato chips and pecans. Add vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour just until blended. Shape into 1” balls; place 2” apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten with a drinking glass dipped in sugar (I use red, green, white sugar combined for Christmas). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min. or until lightly browned. Makes about 5 dozen.
UPDATE: Part 1 of Melynn’s baking adventure (and includes recipes for Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark)
UPDATE: Part 3 of Melynn’s baking adventure (and includes recipes for Peanut Blossoms, Melting Moments, and Pretzel Turtles)