Champagne & Cookies Christmas Party

by byn on December 28, 2010

in Cookies

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To celebrate the holidays, I had a little party the weekend before Christmas, and spent the month of December obsessed with my Cookie List, and which recipes would make the cut.  This was extremely difficult as all the food blogs kept posting new recipes I wanted to try. I also had some favourites from last year I wanted to make again, plus my new Baked Explorations. In the end I had to have a consultation with Danielle on Google Chat so she could help me make my final decisions; we take our holiday baking very seriously.

In an effort to narrow down the lengthy list of cookies I wanted to make, I also polled my friends to see what their favourite Christmas Cookies are. Shortbread? Gingerbread? Nope. All anyone wanted was those Pretzel M&M cookies! I figured I could easily make them Christmas-y by only using the red, green and brown M&Ms. In the end, I made 10 different types of treats, and if I had more time, you just know there would have been even more. In an idea I ripped off of someone on Twitter, the theme was Champagne & Cookies. Here’s what made it to the party:

#1-3: Christmas Classics: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Nanaimo Bars

Yes, I’m a dork. This was my Christmas Classics platter with Shortbread, Gingerbread and Danielle’s Nanaimo Bars. My first attempt at shortbread was this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but it turned out to be way too crunchy, and had none of the melt-in-your-mouth factor. I had to call Mom for her recipe, which I’ll include at the end of the post. Also, after 3+ hours chilling in the fridge, this gingerbread recipe was still too soft to roll out (I had visions of gingerbread snowflakes dancing in my head) so I ended up just rolling it into balls. The flavour was great though, and they were really chewy, not crispy, which is what I feel gingerbread should be like.

#4-6: Gluten-Free Treats: Peppermint Bark, Chocolate Dipped Meringues, Coffee Toffee

I love Williams-Sonoma as much as the next foodie, but seriously, who wants to pay $32 for a tin of Peppermint Bark that you can easily make at home? Plus, you get to work out all of your holiday aggression by smashing up candy canes! My meringues would have been better if my red gel food colouring hadn’t turned into one big blob, but you can see the candy cane stripes I was going for better in this photo prior to baking:

 

They totally deflated after coming out of the oven though. Finally, for my gluten-free friends at the party, some more Coffee Toffee. This is my favourite treat of all :)

#7: Chocolate Mint Thumbprints

This time with festive green centres!

#8: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 

I thought these were appropriately festive as well :)

#9: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

These were tasty, but annoying, because they were so messy to cut.

#10: Pretzel M&M Cookies

As requested by the people.

We had so much fun sipping on champers and eating cookies, toasting the holidays. Even Ethan dressed up and tried a few cookies:

There were so many leftovers, so everyone got to fill up a goody bag of treats to take home. I also make a kick ass cookie tray to bring to Ethan’s 1st Birthday Party the next day, and I dropped off a huge bag of leftover treats to Leianne since she couldn’t make it to the party.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Mom’s Whipped Shortbread

Source: Mom

Ingredients

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

Directions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together with electric mixer, and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and cornstarch gradually while constantly beating. Beat until light.
  3. Roll into balls, and press with a fork (flour the fork so it doesn’t stick). At this point I chilled the balls for about 15-20 minutes so they wouldn’t spread too much in the oven. I would also suggest making the balls on the smaller side; my first batch was way too big. Aim for about 30-40 cookies from this batch.
  4. Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes until you can see the bottoms start to get golden brown.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tatiana January 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

These look incredible! Wow!!
Also, I printed out the Chocolate Tart w/Pretzel Crust ingredients; hoping to get them all at the Kitchen Table over lunch

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Byn January 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm

you’ll love it! just make sure to make it the day before to give the filling plenty of time to set!

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Leianne January 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm

thanks so much again for bringing by so many treats for me! the coffee toffee was definitely a favourite of mine. i really appreciated how soft and scrumptious the shortbread and gingerbread were too… like you, i’m not into the crunchy/crispy kind. everything was perfect and my parents/bro thank you too!

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Kristine January 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm

loved it all.. especially the cheesecake, red velvet whoopie pies… coffee toffee bark… i was on a sugar over load!

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