Well, another one has been and gone and already I’m wishing Christmas was here again! With the exception of listening endlessly to Bing Crosby whining about a Christmas guaranteed to bring on frostbite, I love everything about this Holiday Season.
My friend, Ann, and I made our annual pilgrimage to a Wholesale Groceries-R-Us type of place to buy copious amounts of flour, sugar and anything else we think might be tasty inside of a Christmas Cookie. We have been making and selling Christmas Cookie Platters for about 6 years now. It’s totally exhausting fun – and every year we SWEAR to each other it will be our last. But about the middle of October we start batting new cookie ideas back and forth – both of us smiling, knowing that the previous year certainly was NOT our last.
I scour the Internet casually during the summer for new recipes to try out to see if these new ones will be able to stand up to our fierce (HA!) standards of cookie excellence. OK, let’s face it – they’re cookies and someone is bound to love ’em, no matter what!
The Holiday is spent – the cookies have been delivered and eaten and the punch has gone cold for yet another year. Is it time to start baking again? Ann has threatened to shoot me if I mention cookies to her again before Easter. Ah! Easter baskets full of cookies! I can hardly wait!
Here’s one of our favorite drop cookies of all time: (with FULL credit to the wonderful people at CHALLENGE BUTTER!!!)
COCONUT CRANBERRY CHEWS
* About 1½ cups (¾ lb.) Challenge Butter, at room temperature
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 large egg
* 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 1½ cups dried cranberries
* 1½ cups sweetened flaked dried coconut
1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1½ cups Challenge Butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg, until well blended.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low-speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes (see notes). Mix in cranberries and coconut.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12″ x 15″ baking sheets.
4. Bake in a 350°F regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 11 to 15 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.
Yield: About 6 dozen cookies PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour NOTES: The mixture may look dry until it comes together as a dough. If it’s too crumbly to form into balls, the dough need to be mixed longer; it should be a smooth homogeneous mass.Per cookie: 92 cal., 45% (41 cal.) from fat; 0.7 g protein; 4.5 g fat (2.8 g sat); 12 g carbo (0.4 g fiber); 58 mg sodium; 13 mg chol.Source: Recipe developed by Sunset Magazine Test Kitchens for Baking with Challenge Butter.
These are the tastiest little darlings on the planet and all of our “Cookie Clients” love them! I have doubled and tripled this recipe and still get perfect results. Enjoy, Dear Reader, enjoy!!