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Spread holiday cheer with homemade cookies

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Holidays mean time off from school spent lounging by the television and gorging on sweets. In this guide, you will find the recipes for gingerbread cookies and frosted peppermint brownie cookies.

First, the classic gingerbread cookies. Use either cookie cutouts to form gingerbread men and women or form the dough into simple, round cookies.

You will need:

  • 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

First combine the flour, baking soda and spices in a large bowl. Set it aside.

Next, soften the butter with an electric mixer, add in the sugar and beat until fluffy. Then, beat in the eggs and the molasses. Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating at a low speed. Once it is all combined, divide dough into three separate sections, wrapping each in plastic wrap. Chill overnight. The next day, pull out the dough and let sit for five to 10 minutes or until it reaches room temperature.

Roll out the dough onto a cutting board, flouring the board beforehand so the dough does not stick. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. If you want to use cookies cutters, cut the dough into desired shapes. If not, simply roll the dough into little balls.

Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Then, remove the cookies and let sit for few minutes before transferring them to a drying rack. Decorate as you see fit.

The next recipe is one of my favorites— frosted peppermint brownie cookies.

You will need two sets of ingredients, one for the cookie and one for the frosting.

Frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Crushed candy canes for the topping

Cookie:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Start by combining chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate and butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for about 20 seconds, then stir. Keep doing this until it is completely melted and smooth.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat together egg, egg yolk, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy. Next, mix in the peppermint and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Next, add in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Once it is all combined, cover with plastic wrap and let cool for about 45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop the mix with a spoon to create a ball shape. Place onto greased baking sheets and bake for eight to 10 minutes. Take out and let cool for five minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

For the frosting, combine cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in peppermint extract and powdered sugar. Mix until fluffy.

Frost the cookies once they are cool, add on crushed candy cane if you so choose.

You now have two cookies to make for your family or friends or just for yourself. Enjoy!

Madeline Merlic can be reached at [email protected] or @MMerlic on Twitter.

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Spread holiday cheer with homemade cookies