MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES-MAKING DROP COOKIES

Drop cookies are surely the easiest of all cookies to make. Or maybe bar cookies are a tie.  I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I like drop cookies because I have learned to use different size cookie scoops and can make them all the very same size. And there are so many recipes from which to choose!

Most likely, the very most famous of all drop cookies is the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have been making the recipe printed on the back of the bag of Nestle’s semi Sweet morsels for about fifty years. Years ago, when we were strapped for cash, I made the cookies with margarine or Crisco shortening. In more recent years, I began using only unsalted butter in my cookie recipes. But you really need the semi sweet chocolate chips to get the exact right taste of chocolate chip drop cookie.

To make Toll House chocolate chip cookies you will need:

2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups (or more) semi sweet chocolate chips*

Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside.

Meanwhile beat together the softened butter and sugars. When well blended add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Then gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Then stir in 2 cups or more of chocolate chips. . (At this point you can add a cup of chopped nuts, if you wish. I have a family of purists who don’t want nuts in their chocolate chip cookies).

*For variations of this recipe, I add plain M&Ms, about a cup, OR instead of chocolate chips you can add white chips or a combination of white chips and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven, about 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling. I store all cookies in Rubbermaid Store & Go containers, between sheets of wax paper, to keep them fresh.

FAST & FANCY MACAROONS

To make Fast & Fancy Macaroons you will need:

1 14 oz bag angel flake coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Drop from tsp on well greased baking sheets (I use parchment paper for all my cookies nowadays). Decorate with maraschino cherries and sprinkle with multi colored sprinkles. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove at once using moistened spatula.  Makes 5 dozen.

Can add 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled, or add 1 cup chopped pecans or almonds before baking.  **

My most recent discovery has been recipes using cake mixes to make different kinds of cookies. Actually, it’s not a new concept – I have found cake mix cookies dating back to the 1970s!

Here is my favorite recipe for Easy Chocolate Cookies. To make Easy Chocolate cookies you will need

1 (18.5-oz) box of devil’s food cake mix
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 (6 oz) package of semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine dry cake mix, oil and eggs. Beat with mixer until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets (or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper), about 2 ½ inches apart. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheets 5 minutes, then remove with a thin spatula to wire racks to cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Sandy’s Cooknote: You can change this recipe around – use white chips instead of chocolate chips and you will have a polka-dotted cookie. Drizzle them with a thin white frosting and you can add some colored sprinkles. Use peanut butter chips and you will have chocolate peanut butter cookies. This is a versatile recipe. And it doesn’t have to be devil’s food cake mix – any kind of chocolate cake mix will work. Oops…you are out of cooking oil? Then try this recipe for Quick Chocolate Cookies.

To make Quick Chocolate cookies you will need

1 package chocolate cake mix (18.5 oz)
1 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ cup Miracle Whip dressing
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 350 degres. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, until blended. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets (or parchment paper lined baking sheets). Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Makes 4 dozen.

Sandy’s cooknote: No, I don’t have any stock in a parchment paper company (I wish!)—but you can line your baking sheets and use the same parchment paper over and over again. It’s my favorite kitchen tool. It doesn’t matter if the directions state to grease the cookie sheets – or not. Parchment paper covers all your bases.

One more – Snickerdoodles. I have seen a lot of versions of snickerdoodles. One of the old recipes belonged to my mother and appeared in our family cookbook. HERE is an updated version that you can make with a box of yellow cake mix. To make the 2009 version of snickerdoodles, you will need:

3 TBSP sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 package (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
2 eggs
¼ cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet – or line with parchment paper! Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Combine cake mix, eggs and cooking oil in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Flatten balls with bottom of glass. Bake at 375 for 8 or 9 minutes or until set. Cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I hope you enjoy some of these easy-to-make recipes. Some of them are so simple, you can let a child (or in my case a grandchild) help you in the kitchen. It’s never too soon to let them start learning how to cook (and learning how to measure with measuring cups and spoons is a basic lesson in math. My mother turned me loose in the kitchen when I was about ten years old. It was the greatest gift she gave to me – the freedom to explore and try recipes by myself. She had an Ida Bailey Allen Service cookbook – if you can read, you can learn how to cook. That cookbook of my mother’s is one of my most treasured cookbooks in my collection.

Another favorite drop cookie recipe in our family (since the 1970s, I think) has been M&M party cookies.  To make M&M party cookies you will need:

2 ¼ cups sifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups plain M&Ms

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour mixture and mix well. Stir in M&Ms (you can also add chopped nuts, about a cupful, if you like. But you know my sons won’t eat cookies that have nuts added to them.  Drop cookie batter by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (or greased, instead, if you don’t have parchment paper). Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven about 10 minutes.

I have a confession to make about M&M party cookies – for the past couple of years, I have been mixing up chocolate chip cookie batter, then adding both chocolate chips and M&Ms to the cookie batter. The family loves them this way. It’s your call—.

CRINKLED FUDGE TRUFFLE COOKIES

3 4-OZ bars sweet baking chocolate, chopped

2 TBSP butter flavored Crisco shortening

1 tsp instant coffee granules

3 eggs

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

6 TBSP flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking powder

Nonstick spray coating

Pecan halves (optional)
Powered sugar (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat and stir chocolate and shortening over very low head til chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat. Add coffee granules; stir til smooth. Cool.

Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed til light and lemon colored (3-4 minutes.) Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. On low speed beat in pecans, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt till combined.

Spray cookie sheets with non stick coating (or line with parchment paper!). Drop teaspoons of dough 2” apart on cookie sheets. Place a pecan half atop each cookie, if desired. Bake 350 degrees 8-10 minutes or just set on surface (do not overbake). Cool 1-2 minutes. Transfer to racks. Cool completely. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 54 to 60 cookies.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 cups flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (8 oz)

4 oz white chocolate cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces (I would use half a cup of white chocolate chips)

1 cup macadamia nuts (4 ½ oz) coarsely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, white chocolate and nuts.

Drop the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls 2” apart onto ungreased baking sheets (or baking sheets lined with parchment paper!).

Bake 9-10 minutes until the cookies are just set. Cool cookies 2-3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Sandy’s cooknote: this is a good cookie to drizzle with some white glaze for a more festive Christmas cookie. Add a bit of a sprinkle of multicolored sprinkles before the glaze sets, for an even more festive cookie.

BIG BROWNIE OATMEAL DROPS

To make Big Brownie Oatmeal Drops you will need

1 family size box brownie mix with syrup pouch (22.5 oz) prepared as directed on box, using 2 eggs

1 1/3 cups uncooked oats, regular or quick

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets (or line with parchment paper!)

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Cover and let stand 30 minutes for oats to absorb liquid. Drop rounded tablespoons 1½” apart on baking sheets. Bake 10-1 2minutes until tops look crackled and satiny. Remove with spatula to wire rack to cool.

CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO COOKIES

To make chocolate pistachio cookies you will need

2 cups flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa power

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

¾ cup + 2 TBSP white chocolate chips

¾ cup + 2 TBSP chopped shelled natural pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a larger bowl, at medium speed on electric mixer, beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar until light & fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then vanilla and almond extracts.

Reduce speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the chips and ¾ cup pistachios. Drop cookie dough by tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2” apart. Press remaining chips and shelled pistachios onto cookies. Bake 15-17 minutes or until set around the edges; cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks. Cool completely.  Makes 15 cookies.

 

 

 

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One response to “MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES-MAKING DROP COOKIES

  1. Thank you. Keep them coming – I can never have too many.

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