Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Goodies

Christmas baking has been a tradition in my family since I can remember. I have fond memories of taking an extra week off school over the Christmas season just to have time to bake dozens of cookies and candies to give away to neighbors, friends, family, and of course to eat. Since getting married, I have never done quite the variety of baking that we used to do, but I usually do three or four different types of goodies. This year however, I decided I wasn't going to bake anything at all. I have pretty much gone without normal dessert type foods for the past several months and just didn't feel like coming up with low/no sugar cookies for Christmas. But then I went to a mom's night out for my mops group and saw the pretty cookies. The next day I talked to my sister on the phone and she was mixing up a batch of fun traditional Christmas goodies and I got the baking itch bad. So, I will not go so far as to say that my collection of goodies for this year was healthy, but they were (yes were) certainly delicious. Unfortunately I think I may have to make another batch of chocolate covered nut cookies to have on hand this weekend. So, for our goodies, we had chocolate covered coconut macaroons, almond shortbread cookies, and my all time favorite, chocolate covered nut cookies. I wasn't super thrilled with the macaroons. They were a bit to chewy for my taste. But the shortbread and the cookies are definitely going to become traditional Christmas cookies for this little family.

My little chocolate lover had to make sure that none of the chocolate dip got wasted

I found the recipe for the shortbread cookies online and I didn't tweak it much at all, so I won't share the recipe on here, but you can find it here. It's the sugar free spicy star recipe. I did use almond extract instead of allspice though and it was delicious.
But as for the nut cookies, please let me share this yummy and I must say addictive recipe with you.

Chocolate Covered Nut Cookies - adapted from Joy of Cooking's flourless nut balls
1 c. almonds, chopped super fine in a food processor
1/2 c pecans, also chopped super fine. You can do both nuts at the same time.
2 egg whites beaten well
1 1/2 t. butter, melted
2 T palm sugar, or you can just use regular brown sugar if you like.

Mix all ingredients together and stir over medium heat just until warm. Use a teaspoon to measure out the dough into balls. A level teaspoon is just the right size as you don't want them to be too big. Place the balls on a well greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until browned on the tops and sides. Cool completely. Makes about 40 cookies

For the dip:
Combine 1/2 T butter, 1/2 T coconut oil, 1 1/2 squares unsweetened bakers chocolate, and 1/2 to 1 T honey in a glass dish and melt it all together. We like a very dark chocolate flavor, so 1/2 T was enough for us, but taste it and see what you need. Dip one half of each cookie in your chocolate dip and place it on wax paper. Place cookie sheet in the freezer to harden the chocolate and the store cookies in a cool place. I love them straight out of the freezer. Happy Christmas baking!!

1 comment:

Julia & Company said...

Your cookies look great, but sound way to healthy. I have been baking a lot of old family recipes this year. Old style baking isn't healthy, but it sure tastes good. Hope you all have a great Christmas. We enjoyed your card and letter. Hope to see you in Indiana soon. :)