Philadelphia (CW Philly) — While delicious, the traditional holiday cookie tray piled high with chocolate chip, sugar, and butter cookies is a little basic. Step up your dessert game this season with with tasty, non-traditional holiday cookies.
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PEPPERMINT MOCHA BLOSSOMS
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 34 HERSHEY’S KISSES Candy Cane Flavored Candies, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and espresso powder on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
- Roll tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls and coat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Place onto baking sheet and bake until outside is crackly, but center is still moist, about 9-10 minutes
- Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 minutes before topping with a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Credit: Damn Delicious
CHOCOLATY MELTING SNOWMEN
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating, coarsely chopped
20 bite-size chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped
- Brown and orange sprinkles or other candies and/or tinted frosting
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in the cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
- Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are just firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place cooled cookies on prepared baking sheet. In a medium microwave-safe bowl microwave candy coating on 50% power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Spoon melted coating over each cookie to cover cookie and resemble melted snow. While coating is still tacky, add a peanut butter cup for a top hat and decorate with sprinkles or other candies to resemble snowman faces (If using frosting to make snowman faces, add it when the candy coating is dry.) Let stand until set.
Credit: Better Homes & Gardens
CANDY CANE COOKIES
Makes 2 dozen cookies*
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer until they look soft and frosting-like. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix in the egg, vanilla, and peppermint. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour and salt just until no more visible flour remains.
- Use a stiff spatula to mix the dough a few times by hand to work in any last bits of flour. Divide the dough and set one piece aside. Add 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring to the remaining dough and work the dye into the dough with the spatula, kneading by hand, or in the mixer on low, whichever method seems easiest to you. Add additional food coloring as needed until the dough is a bright, vibrant red.
- Pat both pieces of dough into 1-inch thick circles, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. This will make the cookies easier to roll out and shape.
- When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place one rack in the top third and another rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking mats.
- Remove both pieces of dough from the fridge and unwrap. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough (roughly 2 tablespoons) and roll each into a thick rope about 6 inches long. Pinch the two ropes together at the top and gently twist them together. Transfer the twisted ropes to the baking sheet and gently “hook” the top to create a candy cane shape.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. If the dough starts to break as you roll it or become hard to work with, put it back in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. When all the cookies have been shaped, chill both sheets of cookies for 15 minutes before baking — this helps the cookies hold their shape during baking.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottom edges and the tips of the cookies are just barely starting to turn golden. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to cooling racks to finish cooling completely.
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If you’re daring enough to switch it up from the Christmas classics this year, please let us know which non-traditional cookies you decide to bake!