Christmas is just a few days away... Wow, that was fast! If you haven't been whipping up goodies in the kitchen yet, my guess is you're about to get very busy.
Do you have a friend who you turn to for recipes when you're in a pinch? Who - rain or shine... or snow and more snow - never fails to provide a fail-proof recommendation? My gal pals Victoria Whiting, Colleen Arturi and Lisa Barr are certified pros in the sweets department, and today they are sharing tried-and-true Christmas treats.
So, no stressing. They have us covered.
I don't get to see these three ladies in person nearly as often as I'd like - and I even live in the same town as Lisa!! - but I have been spending time with their sweet families all December long via Christmas cards in my window...
So for fun, I'm introducing each lovely lady with her holiday card! Here are 3 favorite recipes to add a little sweetness to your Christmas celebrations:
Recipe #1: For the Dessert Table
From Victoria Whiting (and family)
The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 8 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar (use raw cane sugar for a coarser texture)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus a little extra)
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (try a combination of chocolate chips and chocolate chunks)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
Roll the dough into 12 large balls (or 9 for HUGELY awesome cookies) and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden. Warning, friends: DO NOT OVERBAKE. This advice is probably written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but this is essential for keeping the cookies soft. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet (see picture in the post). They’ll be pale and puffy.
Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so (I mean, okay, eat four or five but then let the rest of them cool). They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that are the best in all the land. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. I also like to freeze them.
Recipe #2: For the Snack Bowl
From Colleen Arturi (and family)
Rosemary Roasted Cashews
- 1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.
Recipe #3: For Christmas Morning
From Lisa Barr (and family)
Butterscotch Pull-Apart Bread
- About 20 frozen Rhodes Bake N Serve dinner rolls
- 1 (3 ounce) package of butterscotch cook and serve pudding mix
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
Thoroughly butter or spray a bundt pan and add the frozen dinner rolls in the bottom. Sprinkle with the pudding mix. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle on top of the frozen rolls. Sprinkle top with the pecans and pour melted butter all over the top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for about 7 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Loosen around the edges of the pan and the center tube and let rest a few minutes; turn out onto a large plate. Let cool slightly and serve warm.
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If you try one of these recipes, please share how it fit into your holiday celebration!
And, most importantly... Merry Christmas!
Connecting with you here has been one of my year's greatest blessings!