Here we are post Christmas and I would like to give a rundown of my favorite cookie treats from this year’s holiday.
Everyone did a great job and I’ve rating these based on their inventiveness, so it is not to say I did not enjoy stuffing my face with all of the tasty cookies this season.
TOP 5 COOKIES
I’m not trying to toot my own horn on this one, but I did get a lot of compliments for the coffee meringues I made this year.
And it was my first time so I hope you feel I deserved the compliments then.
I really just randomly decided on meringues because I made spritz cookies and had lots of egg whites that needed to be used.
I found the recipe from food network:
Apparently, meringues can be quite touchy and not cook all the way through. But as you can see from this recipe, they recommend that you cook meringues for 250 degrees for 2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for at least one more hour. I also put my meringues in cupcake holders so they would sit stiffly.
4.) BAR COOKIES AND MINCEMEAT
If there’s one thing that is comforting about Christmas cookies, then its the jam ones from grandparents.
They usually keep to the standard raspberry or apricot jam and these are more welcoming because they are less intense than the decadent chocolate caramel times. From different grandmothers this year I received raspberry bar cookies and apricot squares, the ones with the crumbly buttery topping.
I also received mincemeat cookies which is like baking your favorite pie into a buttery cookie.
I know mince meat is not for everyone, but think of the work that goes into making the complex flavor. I only trust Saveur to share a great mincemeat recipe because they are so great about making things buttery. They have even updated this recipe for modern convenience:
3.) TRADER JOES MULTIFLAVOR JOE JOE’S (pictured above)
These were a gift to myself, to snack on at work, or to indulge in with some wine and a Bollywood movie. For those of you who don’t know, Joe joes are Trader joes variation of the Oreo. But all of these joe joes are as they say on the box, “enrobed in chocolate” and sometimes more than one kind, because there can be chocolate drizzles too.
These joe joes have different fillings depending on the which of the four varieties they are. The only one that wasn’t my favorite was the ginger joe joe. This one was a white chocolate covered ginger sandwich cookie with vanilla filling and ginger cookie crumbs sprinkled on top. This wasn’t a bad cookie, I just am not a big fan of white chocolate and I wanted more ginger flavors to come through.
But there was one that was enrobed in dark chocolate and had peppermint filling. And another covered with milk chocolate that had a peanut butter filling. I liked the double chocolate a lot, which had a chocolate filling covered with dark chocolate and a milk chocolate drizzle.
2.) PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES FROM BEER
My college friend has moved back into town and gave me my first batch of sweets at the start of the season.
They were the classic peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s kiss pressed into them. But there was a small and tasty difference in this classic cookie.
My friend has become a homebrewer of late, and he used a flour with spent grains in them. The spent grains were made by steeping malted barley and extracting sugars for the beer, then drying and grinding them into a flour.
This flour made the cookies taste more robust and slightly malty and nutty.
They also replaced my usual dark chocolate bar at work one afternoon.
1.) MY F3’S PIZZELLE
My F3 not only provided me with a seven course Italian dinner this year, he also made several kinds of cookies.
I ate a number of pizzoles (marzipan pine nut cookies) but my favorites that I ate constantly throughout Christmas day were pizzelles.
I also do not currently own a pizzelle press so this was a great time to treat myself.
He made three kinds: anise, chocolate and durian. For those of you who don’t know, durian is an asian fruit that tastes better than it smells.
The flavor is kind of like a custardy melon.
The durian and the chocolate were the ones I ate the most of. The durian added a slightly moister texture compared to the others and added a sweet sort of squash or cantaloupe flavor to the cookie. This subtle texture and flavor addition was enjoyable because the cookie still maintained the same pizzelle form.
To continue with the pizzelle obsession, he also made faux cannoli with candied orange peel. Yes, I ate all of that and my stomach was full til the next afternoon. Now I am contemplating buying my own press for an inventive pizzelle time.