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Double Chocolate Cherry Expresso Drops

Our Staff’s Favorite Christmas Treat Recipes!

Have you checked our Holy Nativity Advent calendar lately?

Our Holy Nativity Advent calendar message for December 9th is about favorite Christmas treats!

What are your favorite treats? Share in our Facebook group!

Here are some of our staff member’s favorite treats and the recipes!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls – Pastor Ashley

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough Balls

2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Dipping Chocolate

12 ounces dark chocolate wafers or semisweet chocolate chips
6 blocks chocolate-almond bark, such as CandyQuik

  1. For the cookie dough balls: In an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla together until smooth. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together, and with the mixer running, slowly add to the butter mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips. Scoop out the batter using a mini ice cream scoop and roll it into balls. Place the dough balls about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and transfer them to the freezer for 30 minutes to let the dough set up.
  2. For the dipping chocolate: While the dough is chilling, melt the chocolate wafers and chocolate-almond bark together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the chilled dough balls from the freezer. Using two spoons, dip the balls one at a time in the melted chocolate, rolling them to coat fully. Returned the dough balls to the wax paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-balls-2310238

Melting Moments cookies – Linda Lien, Congregational Care Coordinator

One of my family favorite cookie recipes for Christmas!

2 cups melting butter
1-1/2 cups cornstarch
2/3 cups powered sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and roll into 1” balls.  Place on cookie sheet and bake 11 minutes in 350 oven.

Cool and frost with:

3 oz cream cheese
1 cup powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together.  I usually add green food coloring to make it holiday festive.  Makes plenty so no need to skimp when frosting.

Strawberry Cookies – Iver Hubert, Director of Music & Worship

Ingredients

– Sweetened Condensed Milk (14-15oz Can)
– Tbsp Sugar
– 1/4 pound almonds
– 1 pound fine coconut
– 1 1/2 Strawberry Jell-O (large boxes)
– 1 tsp almond extract
– red sugar

Grind the almonds into a fine powder.
Mix all of the ingredients together EXCEPT the red sugar together. (you can add red food coloring if you want a darker red).
Form into “strawberries” or balls.
Roll in the red sugar.
Enjoy!

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies – Kara Holt, Financial Coordinator

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

The colorful bite of cool peppermint. Recipe from 2013 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest Finalist Michelle Mazzara of Eagan.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

For cookies:
• 2 1/2 c. flour
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 1/4 c. sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. peppermint extract
• 1 c. (about 6 oz.) crushed candy canes or peppermint hard candies

For icing:
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 tsp. peppermint extract
• 2 c. powdered sugar
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 2 drops red food coloring

To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and peppermint extract, and beat until well incorporated.
Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in candy pieces.
Drop tablespoon-sized cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, and bake until tops are cracked and lightly browned, about 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare icing: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, combine butter, cream cheese and peppermint extract, and beat until creamy. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar and salt, and mix until creamy. Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, to reach desired color. Drizzle or spread icing on cookies.

Double Chocolate-Cherry Espresso Drops

Double Chocolate Cherry Expresso Drops

A simple drop cookie boasts a complex flavor profile. Recipe from 2008 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest Winner Faith Ford of Big Lake, Minnesota

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 cup flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped dried cherries
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
White chocolate for decoration, optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix instant espresso powder and water, and reserve. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and reserve.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add dark brown sugar and beat until thoroughly combined. Add egg and beat until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla extract and reserved espresso mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Using a 1-inch scoop, drop cookie dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; because cookie is very dark, it’s difficult to tell if they are overbaked. Watch center of cookies; when they lose their gooey quality, they are done. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, melt white chocolate in a microwave oven or using a double boiler over gently simmering water, and lightly drizzle over cookies.
Happy Baking!

Mom’s Sugar Cookies – Kristen Chamberlain, Sunday School Director

Cream together:
1 c butter
½ c sugar
½ c powdered sugar

Then add:
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
2 ¾ c flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Divide dough into balls.

Chill at least 2 hours.

Roll and cut.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Toffee Butter Crunch (Kari’s English Toffee) – Kari Johnson, Choristers Director

1 batch 2 batches Ingredient/Description
1 cup 2 cups Butter (salted)
1 1/3 cups 2 2/3 cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
3 Tablespoons 6 Tablespoons Water
1 cup 2 cups Coarsely chopped blanched almonds
12 oz 24 oz Milk Choc. Bars Melted (I find 18 oz is enough for a double batch)
1 cup 2 cups Finely chopped blanched almonds
  • Melt butter in large sauce-like pan.
  • Add Sugar, Corn Syrup, and Water
  • Cook over medium heat (stirring now and then) until you get to “Hard Crack” stage on a candy thermometer (it’s just above 300 degrees – watch carefully after it reaches 280 – it goes quickly)
  • Remove from heat and immediately stir in the Coarsely Chopped Almonds.
  • Pour/spread into 9×13 pan (2-9×13 pans for a double batch) – quickly, before it starts to set
  • Cool completely
  • *Note: I spray Pam into the pans – it helps greatly when removing it from the pan
  • After it’s cooled turn onto wax paper
  • Spread top half with Melted Chocolate and sprinkle with the Finely Chopped Almonds
  • Turn over and do the same thing on the other side (I cover it with wax paper and lightly pat the nuts and cover with another baking sheet and turn it over)
  • Cool completely (chilling it is best – I put it in the porch!). Break into pieces.