Clapping On The Down Beat

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Tis the Season December 8, 2011

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 9:43 PM

My culinary class has come to an end for now.  After the midterm, I knew what to expect so the final went really well.  I am looking forward to register for the advanced class in the spring!

I am trying to fit in a lot of holiday activites before my surgery next week (tonsilectomy, remember that horrible picture in september?).  This weekend I am hosting a cookie exchange (one of my favorite things about the holidays), taking the kids to see the lights displays and a Christmas party.  I thought I would deviate from a meal plan and post cookie recipes instead.  Next week I will be posting some delicious holiday meal plans!  Are you cooking for a crowd?  Very traditional?  Have a special family meal every year?  Lookign for something different to try?  Let me know.


Saltine crackers (about 1.5 sleeves for a 9×13)

1 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped almonds/pecans/walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.

3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F  for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.



1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (option use lemon extract)

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended.  Chill 1 hour. Roll into 1” balls and roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 1” apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.



6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon teaspoon baking powder

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 large eggs

1 cup unsulfured molasses


. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl.

. Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Divide dough into thirds, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking mats. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies in desired shapes using cookie cutters, and transfer to baking sheets.

. Bake until crisp, but not dark, about 15-17 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.

Optional- frost or decorate




2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups chocolate chips


. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.

. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, and roll each in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers again.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool.

. In a zip lock bag melt chocolate chips.  Cut tip off bag and pipe into center of cookies.  Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.
  3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.



  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates or use reeses pb miniture cups
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar
  1. 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. 2 Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. 3 Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. (Or place balls in a mini muffin tin and press reeses miniture cups into center and bake)
  4. 4 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
    cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
    About 4 dozen cookies.



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  2. Mix all the ingredients together with a mixer until well blended. Roll dough into round small balls.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Cool completely then roll in additional confectionary sugar.

One Response to “Tis the Season”

  1. Pamela Milogradov Says:

    I need something for Christmas Eve!!! Dazzle me with your delights 🙂

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