Depending on personal taste, there are limitless kinds of homemade cookies that make great Christmas gifts. Everyone loves holiday sweets, and they’re the perfect presents to show a token of respect without taking too much risk or spending too much money.
– EASY –
“Chocolate Kissed Peanut Butter Cookie”
One of my favorites is an easy “Chocolate Kissed Peanut Butter Cookie”. Prepare your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, or buy some pre-made dough. Place round cookies on sheet and bake until they are a little over 3/4 done. Figure out the timing for your particular recipe.
Unwrap and press a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie, finish baking. The kisses will melt a little, become creamy, then develop a hard outer shell as the cookie cools. YUMMY! Should make about 2 dozen.
“Nutty Nut Balls”
Another simple cookie, this one is perfect for nut lovers. Prepare your favorite sugar cookie recipe, or buy some pre-made dough. Add two tablespoons of warm water to dough. Add 1/4 cup small chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, 1/4 roughly chopped almonds, and 1/4 cup finely chopped cashews.
Add a dash, almost 1/8 of a teaspoon, of almond extract. Mix. Roll into small balls and bake on sheet for time recommended in the recipe. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops lightly with powdered sugar, and let cool. Should make about 3 dozen.
– MEDIUM DIFFICULTY –
“Gourmet Orange Chocolate Cookies”
Prepare your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, one without nuts, and don’t add the chocolate chips. Chop up 1 cup semi-sweet, 1 cup milk chocolate, and 1 cup dark chocolate chips in a bowl until they are small, not dust, and add to dough. This should be roughly 1 cup of chocolate chips more than the typical recipe calls for.
Add two tablespoons of fresh orange juice and one rounded tablespoon of hot fudge syrup. Finely grate three tablespoons of fresh orange rind and add. Drop in a tiny pinch of cinnamon and mix well. Cook for usual time. Remove from oven and add a tiny topping of orange zest while cookies are hot. Let cool. Should make about 3 dozen.
“Delightful Jelly Face Cookies”
Prepare your favorite shortbread cookie recipe. Use a non-stick, greased, or paper-cup lined muffin tin. Shape dough into little cups that fill the bottom and evenly go about half-way up the side of the muffin shape. Do not let sides fall in, if they do, the lower part of the cookie “wall” is too thin. Put cookies in oven and bake for, usually, a little less than recommended time. Make sure cookies are nicely golden. Remove from oven.
Take a yummy berry jam or jelly and evenly fill each cookie about halfway full of jam/jelly. Cut small pieces of fresh fruit to match the jam/jelly used. Create two eyes and a smiling mouth with the fruit. Let cool. Makes about 1 dozen.
– COMPLICATED –
“Jam And Nut Bowl”
Prepare your favorite short bread recipe. Chop up a 1/2 cup of walnuts and 1/2 cup of almonds into small pieces, mix and put in bowl so cookies can be rolled in the topping. Shape dough into medium sized balls and cook until cookies begin to get an overall golden glow. Remove cookies from oven.
While still warm, quickly splash a little water glaze over the ball with a brush, and roll cookie in chopped nuts. Place cookie back on sheet and flatten slightly with your thumb, creating a small bowl. Place cookies back in oven for about five minutes to let nuts toast. Remove cookies from oven, and place a small dollop of jam or jelly in the middle of each one. Sprinkle cookies with any remaining nuts, and let cool. Should make about 2 dozen.
“Fig Pouch Cookies”
Prepare your favorite shortbread recipe. Roll out dough into medium sized triangles, slightly smaller than the palm of an average adult hand, and about 1/2 inch thick. In a separate pot mix
1 cup finely chopped figs,
1/2 cup finely chopped dates,
1/4 cup finely chopped raisins, 1 cup hot water,
1/3 cup apple juice,
1 teaspoon powdered sugar,
1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon,
a pinch of nutmeg,
a pinch of clove,
and a tiny pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and keep mixing well until it thickens up and a “sauce” is made. Remove from heat and cover until cookies are ready.
Bake cookies halfway.
Remove from oven and add a large dollop of fig mixture in the middle of triangle. Carefully fold each point towards the middle and pinch together, covering the filling. Put cookies back in oven and finish cooking. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, let cool. Should make about 2 dozen.
When you really get down to it, any cookies that are homemade will be a great Christmas gift for the lucky recipient. Just the thought, caring, and fresh-baked taste will be enough to ensure happy smiles on everyone’s faces.