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'Tis the season for cookies

These winter chocolate treats top holiday cookie trays

Posted: December 8, 2009 9:53 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Wintermint WafersMakes 3 dozen cookiesChocolate Cookies:1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1teaspoon peppermint extract 1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups flourChocolate Coating:1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped1 teaspoon peppermint extractCookies:In large bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in peppermint extract followed by salt and cocoa powder; mix. Add flour and mix to incorporate.Divide dough in two pieces and place each on large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into 1/2-inch thick discs, wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes.Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chilled dough, place disc between two sheets of parchment; roll out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut desired shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 to 6 minutes. Remove cookies from oven; cool on pan 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.Coating:Place chocolate in large microwave-safe dish. Microwave 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. To frost cookies, place one cookie on slotted spatula, carefully dip into the chocolate, coating completely; lift cookie out. Hold cookie on spatula, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto wire cooling rack to let chocolate set. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place coated cookies in freezer for 1 hour to set before storing or serving. Store cookies in airtight container for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 weeks. Wintermint WafersMakes 3 dozen cookiesChocolate Cookies:1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1teaspoon peppermint extract 1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups flourChocolate Coating:1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped1 teaspoon peppermint extractCookies:In large bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in peppermint extract followed by salt and cocoa powder; mix. Add flour and mix to incorporate.Divide dough in two pieces and place each on large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into 1/2-inch thick discs, wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes.Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chilled dough, place disc between two sheets of parchment; roll out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut desired shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 to 6 minutes. Remove cookies from oven; cool on pan 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.Coating:Place chocolate in large microwave-safe dish. Microwave 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. To frost cookies, place one cookie on slotted spatula, carefully dip into the chocolate, coating completely; lift cookie out. Hold cookie on spatula, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto wire cooling rack to let chocolate set. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place coated cookies in freezer for 1 hour to set before storing or serving. Store cookies in airtight container for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 weeks.
<strong>Wintermint Wafers</strong><br />Makes 3 dozen cookies<br /><br /><strong>Chocolate Cookies:<br />1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened<br />1 cup confectioners’ sugar <br />1teaspoon peppermint extract <br />1/2 teaspoon salt<br />1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder <br />1 1/2 cups flour</strong><br /><br /><strong>Chocolate Coating:<br />1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped<br />1 teaspoon peppermint extract</strong><br /><br /><strong>Cookies:</strong><br />In large bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in peppermint extract followed by salt and cocoa powder; mix. Add flour and mix to incorporate.<br /><br />Divide dough in two pieces and place each on large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into 1/2-inch thick discs, wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes.<br /><br />Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove chilled dough, place disc between two sheets of parchment; roll out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut desired shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 to 6 minutes. <br /><br />Remove cookies from oven; cool on pan 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.<br /><strong><br />Coating:</strong><br />Place chocolate in large microwave-safe dish. Microwave 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. <br /><br />To frost cookies, place one cookie on slotted spatula, carefully dip into the chocolate, coating completely; lift cookie out. Hold cookie on spatula, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto wire cooling rack to let chocolate set. Repeat with remaining cookies. <br /><br />Place coated cookies in freezer for 1 hour to set before storing or serving. Store cookies in airtight container for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 weeks.<br /><br />
Mount Rainier MacaroonsMakes 3 dozen cookies3 large eggs1/2 cup sugar1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly2&nbsp; 7-ounce bags sweetened coconut flakes1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/4 cup flour12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped1 cup white chocolate chipsWhisk eggs and sugar together in large saucepan until mixture thickens. Add butter slowly, whisking to blend. Gently mix in coconut and vanilla extract with wooden spoon. Sprinkle flour evenly over mixture and blend well.Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl, cover and refrigerate until cool; 3 to 4 hours.Preheat oven to 350&deg;F. Shape about 2 tablespoons of dough into small &ldquo;mountain&rdquo; shapes and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.Melt bittersweet chocolate in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip pointy ends of macaroons in chocolate, leaving small area around the bottom exposed. Place cookies on wax paper and let stand until chocolate is firm. Melt white chocolate over low heat in clean saucepan, stirring constantly. Dip top points of each cookie into white chocolate to add &ldquo;snow cap.&rdquo; Allow white chocolate to set at least 3 hours. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Mount Rainier MacaroonsMakes 3 dozen cookies3 large eggs1/2 cup sugar1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly2&nbsp; 7-ounce bags sweetened coconut flakes1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/4 cup flour12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped1 cup white chocolate chipsWhisk eggs and sugar together in large saucepan until mixture thickens. Add butter slowly, whisking to blend. Gently mix in coconut and vanilla extract with wooden spoon. Sprinkle flour evenly over mixture and blend well.Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl, cover and refrigerate until cool; 3 to 4 hours.Preheat oven to 350&deg;F. Shape about 2 tablespoons of dough into small &ldquo;mountain&rdquo; shapes and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.Melt bittersweet chocolate in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip pointy ends of macaroons in chocolate, leaving small area around the bottom exposed. Place cookies on wax paper and let stand until chocolate is firm. Melt white chocolate over low heat in clean saucepan, stirring constantly. Dip top points of each cookie into white chocolate to add &ldquo;snow cap.&rdquo; Allow white chocolate to set at least 3 hours. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
<strong>Mount Rainier Macaroons</strong><br />Makes 3 dozen cookies<br /><br /><strong>3 large eggs<br />1/2 cup sugar<br />1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly<br />2  7-ounce bags sweetened coconut flakes<br />1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract<br />1/4 cup flour<br />12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped<br />1 cup white chocolate chips</strong><br /><br />Whisk eggs and sugar together in large saucepan until mixture thickens. Add butter slowly, whisking to blend. Gently mix in coconut and vanilla extract with wooden spoon. Sprinkle flour evenly over mixture and blend well.<br /><br />Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl, cover and refrigerate until cool; 3 to 4 hours.<br /><br />Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape about 2 tablespoons of dough into small “mountain” shapes and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.<br /><br />Melt bittersweet chocolate in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip pointy ends of macaroons in chocolate, leaving small area around the bottom exposed. Place cookies on wax paper and let stand until chocolate is firm. Melt white chocolate over low heat in clean saucepan, stirring constantly. <br /><br />Dip top points of each cookie into white chocolate to add “snow cap.” Allow white chocolate to set at least 3 hours. <br /><br />Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.<br /><br />
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From bittersweet and semisweet to white and dark, chocolate is by far one of the most popular baking ingredients, and for good reason. These festive recipes from America’s Dairy Farmers use several different types of chocolate. Look for a good-quality chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa – it will deliver the best flavor and melt better.

Visit ButterIsBest.com for more baking tips and holiday cookie and candy recipes made with real butter. While there, sign up for the daily holiday cookie e-newsletter, “Better Baking with Butter,” available to subscribers through Dec. 24.

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