Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peppermint Bark Cookies

It's only two days left until Christmas, and my son is beside himself with excitement.  He is hoping for an Ipad for Christmas (unfortunately, Santa is going to disappoint him in that regard).  I am excited for Christmas, but I love the preparations leading up Christmas too.  I love baking Christmas cookies.  This year, I’ve tried some new cookie recipes.  The Clove Snaps were a hit at my  dinner party on Sunday.  I baked these Peppermint Bark Cookies last night to serve on Christmas Eve. 

I am excited about these cookies.  I love the toffee-like cookie bar paired with the semi-sweet chocolate and the peppermint.  These cookies are perfect Christmas cookies, and the recipe makes enough to share!

Peppermint Bark Cookies
Printable Recipe
3 sticks (1 ½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups light-brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
12 peppermint candy canes, coarsely crushed

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Butter the foil generously, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until well combined.  Add the flour all at once, and beat at low speed until just combined.

Spread dough on prepared baking sheet.  Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until the edges are brown and the top is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Spread chocolate chips over the cookie while it is still hot.  Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top.  Sprinkle coarsely crushed candy canes over the melted chocolate.  Let the cookie stand until the chocolate has firmed up, and cut into bars.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

I am writing this blog post between shopping, baking and car repair (just my seat heater, luckily), so I have to be quick, but I wanted to share this recipe for Cranberry Salsa with you.  A co-worker brought Cranberry Salsa for our holiday potluck, and I couldn’t get enough.   I made it for a dinner party I had on Sunday night, and my guests couldn't get enough, so I knew I needed to share it with you. 

The Cranberry Salsa is tangy, sweet and spicy.  The combination of green onion and cilantro works great with the cranberries giving the tart cranberries a surprising freshness that is missing in traditional sauce.  Cranberry Salsa will make a great appetizer for your holiday get together.

If you are interested:  I served  Simply Recipes' Chili Verdi (great recipe!) with rice and beans and cilantro slaw for my dinner party on Sunday. 

Cranberry Salsa

Printable Recipe
 Adapted from
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked through for soft or bruised fruit.
¼ cup minced green onions
2 small jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

Place cranberries in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (stop before the cranberries turn mushy.)  In a large bowl mix together the cranberries, green onions, jalapeno, sugar, cilantro, ginger and lemon juice.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

Arrange the cream cheese on a serving platter and cover with the salsa.  Serve with crackers.


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