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  1. #1
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    Question Christmas Cookie Baskets?

    This is my first year trying to cook anything as a gift. I wanted to create cookie baskets to give to each family. As usual, I am over-analyzing the whole project and would like some advice from some of you more experienced ladies out there.

    Here are my questions:

    1. I planned on making different size baskets based on family size, is this a normal type of thing? Basically I was trying to figure out how many cookies each person should receive and the multiply based on family size. (I was also not able to find identical baskets and thought that this would be a good way to cover for that.)

    2. How many different types of cookies should I make? I've got a whole day dedicated to making cookies, but I don't want to do too much or too little.

    3. How do I store/display said cookies. I have a few holiday treat bags, and I've heard of covering them in foil wrapping paper. Are there any suggestions as to keep them fresh and make them pretty.

    4. I have 2 family members who have food allergies. One is allergic to chocolate (I planned on add other types of cookies to their basket, but having some type of chocolate for the other members) and the other is allergic to gluten (I planned on giving her a cookie in a jar type basket, so that there is no cross contamination from the other cooking) Does this sound reasonable?

    5. I am including a jar of hot chocolate mix to the basket. Does this sound okay? Is it too much with the cookies? Should I do a hot chocolate and a coffee mix?

    6. I also wanted to make some cookies for co-workers, but not do a basket/hot chocolate thing due to cost. How many varieties should I have for them?


    7. Does anyone have any tried and true holiday cookie recipes? I bought a magazine that is only cookies, but it is true from scratch. I can see myself being very frustrated with the cookies not being right and not knowing where I went wrong. I saw a few recipes online that called for pre-made cookie dough as the base, which I felt much more comfortable trying. I know that my son wants cut out cookies that he can decorate and his father wants pinwheel cookies. I would like some sort of chocolate type cookie. Beyond that, I'd like to do a little bit of a traditional cookie and one that is different and shows off that I learned how to cook Suggestions guys??

    Thanks for the help.

    Shannon

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  3. #2
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    For your friends at work, you could do just 2 or 3 types of cookies (maybe a 2 of each kind), wrap them in cellophane & tie with a green or red ribbon with a little tag attached. Your plan sounds wonderful! I think your family will love their baskets (especially the special consideration that you are taking with your relatives with allergies.) I think hot cocoa mix in the basket is a great ideaas well. They can make some cocoa & eat your cookies! (That's what I'd do! )

    Here are a few cookie recipe suggestions:

    1.) Glorified Graham Crackers (I got this recipe from a friend. Its so easy, it deceptive! You won't believe how good it is until you try it!!! )
    1 stick butter
    1 stick margarine
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 cup finely chopped pecans
    1 box honey graham crackers

    A.) Line cookie sheet with crackers.
    B.) Melt butter & margarine in saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar & stir until it dissolves. Then add pecans & stir together.
    Pour over crackers & spread with spatula.
    C.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut when warm.
    D.) Let cool before serving or storing.

    2.) Chocolate Mint Snow-top Cookies
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups mint semi-sweet chocolate chips
    6 Tbs butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs
    confectioner's sugar

    A.) In bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt; set aside.
    B.) Melt 1 cup mint morsels over hot water, stir until smooth.
    C.) In bowl, beat butter & sugar until creamy. Add melted chocolate & vanilla. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in rest of chocolate chips. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; freeze until firm.
    D.) Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Coat with confectioner's sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
    E.) Bake 10-12 minutes, until tops appear cracked. Let stand 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cool completely.

    3.) Chocolate Snowball Cookies:
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs butter
    2 Tbs cocoa
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup evaporated milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    3/4 cup flour
    1 cup walnuts

    A.) Mix 1 cup powdered sugar & 1 tsp vanilla & set aside.
    B.) Cream butter until fluffy. Beat in evaporated milk & 1 tsp vanilla.
    C.) Add dry ingredients & nuts. Shape into 1 inch balls.
    D.) Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
    E.) Roll immediately in vanilla & powdered sugar mixture.

    4.) Christmas Wreaths:

    1 large box Cornflakes
    1 bag Red Hots (If you're like me you'd need to buy 2 bags because 1 will get eaten while you work! )
    1 1/2 to 2 bags marshmallows
    6 to 8 drops green food coloring

    A.) Melt marshmallows as you would for Rice Krispies Treats. Add food coloring until desirable shade. Pour cornflakes into bowl. Carefully pour warm marshmallows over cornflakes ans, using hands & spatula, mix until all are coated.
    B.) Form into wreaths. Top with red hots. Let cool. Enjoy!

    5.) Reindeer Cookies:

    1 pkg white chocolate coating
    1 pkg Nutter Butter cookies
    pretzels
    mini chocolate chips
    mini red M&M's

    A.) Melt white chocolate coating in double boiler or microwave.
    B.) Dip 1 Nutter Butter in coating. Rest cookie on wax paper.
    C.) Carefully add eyes (chocolate chips) & nose (red M&M's).
    D.) Break apart pretzel & face broken pieces outward for ears. Voila! You have Rudolf!
    Last edited by rtebalt; 12-08-2008 at 11:03 AM.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks so much.

    I've decided to have a test run of the cookies recipes. On my days off I'll cook one, then take the excess to work. This way they can try the cookies and I won't gain a ton of weight.

    I think I'll still do the 2 cookie gift set for them, just to thank them for working so hard this holiday season (The Joys of Retail)

    Tomorrow is my next day off, so I think I try those Christmas Wreaths first. I have everything but the cereal and Red Hots.

    I'm so excited!

    Shannon

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  7. #4
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    Shannon, let us know how it goes. I think you will be amazed and how well you will do making cookies.

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  9. #5
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    I am going to make those recipes too!! Just look so yummy to have here to have everyone munch on -thanks!! Shannon, I hope your basket goes well, sounds like your are getting things organized well!!
    Tragedy, sadness, loneliness and despair taught me that life is really a beautiful thing; if it wasn't I wouldn't be able to recognize that anything was wrong - Lynn in Virginia

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  11. #6
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    Oh my, what great Christmas cookie recipes. snowball, wreaths, reindeers. Sound just as much fun to make as to give and eat. Lucky recipients!!!

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  13. #7
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    I did a cookie bowl for each family member with kids this year. I bought the big red bowls from walmart, made a sugar cookie mix, all the have to do is add butter, vanilla, and an egg. I put cookie cutters, frosting, sprinkles, candy, kitchen towels, and wooden spoons inside the bowl. It was a lot of fun to make, and not to mention easy!
    I have sought your face with all my heart, be gracious to me according to your promise Psalm 119:58

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  15. #8
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    That sounds like a really good idea. I'll definantly do that for my friends and the other young families that I know.

    I haven't baked a thing yet My days off have been so busy with cleaning, that by the time I'm done I'm too pooped to try and bake.

    Still have 2 weeks, so 4 days off. I think I'll try the harder recipes, as they are the ones that I need to practice.

    Shannon

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