My last Christmas cookie batch will be coming up soon. For your viewing and trying pleasure: chocolate-Grand Marnier truffles! They’re not really cookies but who cares, especially after the Grand Marnier kicks in!
These send me straight to heaven. The recipe comes from The New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas. Turns out she’s also Polish-American, so a lot of her recipes are variations on some very familiar themes. These macaroons show up on my in-laws Passover table, too!
5 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups ground, blanched almonds (12 oz or 2 cups whole almonds)
2 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
Grated zest of one lemon
6 – 7 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use Callebaut)
Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature. Beat them with the cream of tartar until they just start to hold a stiff shape. Add the powdered sugar and almond extract and beat again until smooth. Mix in the ground almonds, coconut and lemon zest. You’ll have a thick, sticky batter.
Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto the parchment, nudging it into a nice shape with the spoon as you go along. Bake the macaroons in a 300 F degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Allow them to cool on wire racks.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or on top of a double-boiler. Dip the macaroons into the chocolate, coating one half and leaving the other half plain. Lay them on wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden.
Have a look:
Enjoy – they’re fabulous!
So, the odyssey begins! I picked up some rather nice, and not cheap, ingredients for Christmas cookies. I’ll mail some home to the family and save the rest for friends in Boston.
I cheaped out on chocolate last year and paid for it in terms of taste. This year, in the middle of all the shopping, the hubby and I stopped into a place that carried Callebeaut chocolate. It’s from Belgium and is absolutely incredible in baked goods. I’ve got a chocolate-heavy cookie regimen coming up, so the best chocolate had to go into the shopping cart. It did!
I just finished a batch of peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies. The peanut butter came from Trader Joe’s and the chocolate…well, you know about the chocolate.
I also splurged for a scoop, something that will lay out the cookie dough in equal, easy-to-release, dollops. It was just the thing! My cookie dough came out neat and equal:
The recipe calls for chocolate chips and whole, shelled peanuts, in addition to the peanut butter. It makes this an absolutely delectable cookie.
Oh…here’s the recipe:
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies, from The Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies (Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper or greased aluminum foil. using an electric mixer, beat until light:
14 tbs (7 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (14 oz) white sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
Beat in, one at a time:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (16 oz) creamy peanut butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
Stir in until just combined:
2 1/4 cups (11.25 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Add and stir until mixed:
1 cup (5 oz) coarsely chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (I use Callebaut)
3/4 cup shelled, unsalted peanuts
Drop dough by teaspoon-full 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake on middle oven rack for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool.
When you’re done, the cookies will look like this:
Think I made enough?
Nom! Next we’re going to do chocolate-dipped coconut-almond macaroons. Stay tuned!
Now that I'm back on my feet and well fed, it's time to return to my Christmas Cookie baking. Yesterday and today were chocolate-dipped coconut almond macaroons and pecan tassies (which look and taste like miniature pecan pies). I've still got to finish the chocolate Grand Marnier truffles, but hopefully will do that tomorrow.
Still have to wrap presents!
I started my Christmas baking with this recipe. It's fabulous. If you want to check out the original, pick up a copy of the Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies by Irma Rombauer, et al.
- 14 tbs (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup unsalted shelled peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until light.
- Add eggs gradually, one at a time.
- Add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
- Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer. Add chocolate and peanuts by hand and stir until well combined.
- Drop rounded teaspoons of dough 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake between 15 – 18 minutes, checking after 15 minutes.
- Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool.
And just in time for Passover! I've made these for my husband's family for a few years now. They're relatively easy to make (the batter's a little sticky, that's all) and the taste is absolutely out of this world. Since they're flour-less, they're perfect for Passover – assuming you can fit anything in after a Hollman Seder!
- 5 large egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/4 cups blanched almonds (about 12 oz, or 2 cups whole almonds)
- 2 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 6 – 7 oz bittersweet or sweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature, then beat them with the cream of tartar until they just begin to hold a stiff shape. Add powdered sugar and almond extract and beat again until smooth. Mix in ground almonds, coconut and lemon zest. You'll have a thick, sticky batter.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto the parchment, nudging it into a nice shape with the tip of a spoon or your fingers.
- Bake in oven about 40 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate. As it begins to cool, dip the macaroons into it, leaving one side plain and the other side coated with chocolate. Lay them on waxed paper to allow the chocolate to harden.