“Rudolph's Favorite” vs. “Santa's Favorite” Christmas Cookies

“Rudolph's Favorite Christmas Cookies”: Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Maraschino Cherry Nose, and Pretzel Stick Antlers

(Makes about 34 cookies)

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temp
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
10 ounces semi-sweet (or milk) chocolate, chopped into chunks
34 pretzel sticks, broken in half (or enough for however many cookies you are making)
34 maraschino cherries (no stems), drained of liquid and well-dried with paper towel (or enough for however many cookies you are making)
• Icing “Glue” (recipe below)

Preparation:

-Preheat the oven to 375, and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

-Add the flour, the cocoa powder, the baking soda and salt into a medium-size bowl, and whisk the dry ingredients together; set aside for a moment.

-Next, into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and the brown and granulated sugars, and cream them together until light and fluffy; next, add in the eggs and continue to mix, followed by the vanilla and then the chocolate syrup; once those are incorporated, reduce the speed of the mixer to low, and slowly begin adding in the dry (flour) ingredients a little at a time; once those are added and incorporated (be careful not to over mix the dough), add in the chocolate chunks, and mix just until those are incorporated.

-Place the dough into the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes (you can leave it in the mixing bowl), and prepare the Icing “Glue” (below) in the mean time; once the dough has chilled, scoop heaping tablespoon-sized portions of the dough out and place onto the baking sheet, and bake the cookies for about 13 minutes.

-Once cookies are baked, allow them to cool for just a moment or two, but just slightly; next, begin putting the “antlers” into the cookies by gently pushing one half of a pretzel stick into the top of each cookie (they will set as the cookie cools), and then allow the cookies to cool completely before adding the maraschino cherry “noses”.

-Once cookies are completely cooled, dip each dried-off maraschino cherry just partly into the Icing “Glue”, and place the cherry “nose” onto the center of each cookie; once all noses are in place, allow the Icing “Glue” to firm up and dry before serving the cookies, as to not lose your noses!

Icing “Glue” ingredients:

½ cup powdered sugar
1tablespoon water

Preparation:

-Add ingredients to a small bowl, and mix together well to form a thick “paste”; use immediately, or cover the surface with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use (do not refrigerate, as it will harden.)

“Santa's Favorite Christmas Cookies”: Vanilla-Peppermint Sugar Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks, Drizzled with White Chocolate and Topped with Crushed Peppermint Candies

(Makes about  34-36 cookies)

Ingredients:

2 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
• Pinch salt
1 cup butter, room temp
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, whisked
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
¼ cup buttermilk
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks, plus 4 ounces for melting and drizzling decoratively
15 peppermint candies, crushed finely

Preparation:

-Preheat the oven to 375, and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

-Add the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder and the pinch of salt into a medium-size bowl, and whisk the dry ingredients together; set aside for a moment.

-Next, into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and the granulated sugar, and cream them together until light and fluffy; next, add in the egg and continue to mix, followed by the vanilla and the peppermint extract; once those are incorporated, reduce the speed of the mixer to low, and slowly begin adding in the dry (flour) ingredients a little at a time; once those are added and incorporated (be careful not to over mix the dough), add in the buttermilk, and then the white chocolate chunks, and mix just until those are incorporated.

-Place the dough into the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes (you can leave it in the mixing bowl); once the dough has chilled, scoop heaping tablespoon-sized portions of the dough out and place onto the baking sheet, and bake the cookies for about 12-14 minutes, until pale but baked through.

-Once cookies are baked, allow them to cool completely; once cooled, place the remaining 4 ounces of white chocolate into a microwave-safe dish, and melt until completely smooth, a couple of minutes; to decorate the cookies, drizzle just a little of the melted white chocolate over the cookies (work on about 5 cookies at a time), and sprinkle over top of them some of the crushed peppermint candies; repeat the process until all of the cookies and coated decoratively.