Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Holiday Cookies

I had way too many sweets left over from the gingerbread house building session. I wanted to use them up (even though the holidays are over), especially the caramels and the peppermint Hershey's kisses, since I don't like how they taste alone. What could one possibly make with these?

Thumbprint cookies are generally the answer, since they can work with any variety of sweet filling. If you make chocolate cookie dough and chop up some walnuts...

...You can made dough balls. Roll the dough balls in the walnuts (actually, dip in egg whites first before rolling to help the walnuts stick better). Or not roll, since they're fine plain as well. Make an impression in the dough with your thumb for the candy filling...

...And while the cookies are baking, the caramels can be made into a caramel ganache. 

When done baking, fill all the cookies! Do this while they're still warm. And then drizzle with chocolate ganache.

In addition to those cookies, I couldn't help but remake Blue Bottle's saffron vanilla snickerdoodles. And wow, this was a whole different animal, as it tasted worlds better when following directions properly than my biscuits. I spiced up half of them by rolling in vanilla sugar before baking. This added a fantastic crunchy lightness to a cookie that was otherwise dense and chewy in the middle.

I added white chocolate chips to the other half of the dough. And this was even more wonderful, as in some of the best cookies I've ever tasted. White chocolate complements saffron well, surprisingly. I am especially pleased with these.

Would I make them again? Snickerdoodles: YES. The others: only on occasions when I have too much leftover candy. 

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