22 Holiday Desserts | Living the Country Life
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22 Holiday Desserts

Sweet treats make the holidays even better! Add some festive flair to this season's dessert table with these recipes.
  • Bourbon Cranberry Chippers

    Prep 30 minutes

    Stand 1 hour 20 minutes

    Bake 8 minutes at 375°F

    Cool 2 minutes

    1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

    1/4 cup bourbon

    1 cup butter, softened

    1 cup packed brown sugar

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    1 egg

    1 tsp. vanilla

    21/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 cup regular rolled oats

    1 tsp. baking soda

    8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

    1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

    1 recipe Bouron Ganache

    Flaked or coarse sea salt (optional)

    1. Place cranberries and bourbon in a small bowl; cover and let stand 1 hour (do not drain). 

    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour, oats, and baking soda; beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate, nuts, and cranberry mixture. Shape into 1/2-inch balls and arrange 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Using your thumb, make an indent in center of each ball. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookie sheet to wire rack. Use the rounded side of a teaspoon measure to repress indents and carefully press in edges, if necessary, to reshape cookies. Cool 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. 

    3. Fill each cookie center with Bourbon Ganache. Let stand until slightly firm or chill 10 to 15 minutes until firm. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Makes 46 servings. 

    Bourbon Ganache Place 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces in a small heatproof bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan bring 1 cup heavy cream just to simmering. Pour over chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1 Tbsp. bourbon and stir to combine. Let stand 15 minutes to thicken slightly.

    Per serving: 176 cal., 10 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 22 mg hol, 64 mg sodium, 21 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

     

     

     

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Tropical Thumbprints

    Prep 25 minutes

    Chill 1 hour

    Bake 10 minutes at 375°F

    2/3 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    1 egg

    1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring

    1 tsp. lime zest

    11/2 cups all-purpose flour 

    1 cup macadamia nuts (optional)

    1/2 cup lemon curd

    Shredded coconut, toasted (optional)

    Finely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

    1. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, coconut flavoring, and lime zest until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill 1 hour or until easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease cookie sheets; set aside. Shape dough into about thirty 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each ball. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with rounded side of a teaspoon measure. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Just before serving, fill centers with lemon curd. If desired, sprinkle with oconut and/or finely chopped nuts. Makes 30 servings.

    Per serving: 93 cal., 5 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 21 mg chol., 44 mg sodium, 12 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g pro. 

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Cranberry-Fig Tassies

    Prep 30 minutes

    Chill 1 hour 

    Bake 30 minutes at 325°F

    Cool 5 minutes

    1/2 cup butter, softened 

    1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened 

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

    1 tsp. orange zest

    1/2 cup orange juice

    1/3 cup finely chopped dried Calimyrna figs

    1 egg

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar 

    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Dash salt

    1/4 cup finely chopped cranberries

    Sweetened whipped cream* or powdered sugar (optional)

    1. In a large bowl beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Stir in flour and pecans. Cover and chill dough 1 hour or until easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Shape dough into 24 balls. Press each ball into bottoms and up the sides of 24 ungreased 13/4-inch muffin cups. Set aside. 

    3. In a small saucepan combine orange juice and figs. Bring just to boiling; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes to soften figs. Drain well; set figs aside. 

    4. In a medium bowl beat the egg with a fork. Stir in orange zest, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir in drained figs and cranberries. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the fig mixture into each dough-lined muffin cup. Do not overfill. 

    5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Carefully transfer tassies to a wire rack to cool. If desired, top cooled tassies with sweetened whipped cream or sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 24 servings.

    *For sweetened whipped cream, in a medium bowl beat 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla with a mixer on medium just until soft peaks form (tips curl). 

    Per serving: 114 cal, 6 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 23 mg chol., 50 mg sodium, 14 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Chocolate Cannoli

    Prep 1 hour 30 minutes

    Chill 1 hour 30 minutes

    Cook 1 minute

    2 15-oz. cartons ricotta cheese

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

    2 tsp. vanilla

    1 tsp. orange zest

    1/2 cup finely chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate

    1 recipe Homemade Chocolate Cannoli or 18 purchased cannoli shells

    Powdered sugar (optional)

    1. For filling, in a medium bowl combine first five ingredients (through orange zest) until nearly smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, prepare Homemade Chocolate Cannoli.

    3. Spoon filling into a decorating bag fitted with a large open star or round tip. Pipe filling into cannoli shells. Cover and chill up to 1 hour. If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 18 servings.

    Homemade Chocolate Cannoli

    In a medium bowl stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/4 cup shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl combine 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 2 Tbsp. honey. Stir into flour mixture just until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. Grease metal cannoli cylinders. Lightly beat one egg white. On a lightly floured pastry cloth or work surface, role one portion of dough at a time into a 12-inch square. Cut square into nine 4-inch squares. Lightly wrap each diagonally around a prepared cylinder. Brush corner of dough with egg white; press to seal. Fry cannoli shells, a few at a time, in deep, hot vegetable oil (350°F) about 1 inute or until golden brown. Using tongs, carefully remove shells, draining any oil inside cylinders. Drain shells on paper towels; cool. Makes 18 cannoli. 

    Per serving: 300 cal, 17 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 45 mg chol., 70 mg sodium, 30 g carb., 2 g fiber, 9 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Cherry-Almond Spritz Sandwich Cookies

    Prep 20 minutes

    Bake 6 minutes at 350°F

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1/3 cup almond paste, crumbled

    3/4 cup butter, softened

    3/4 cup shortening

    4 egg whites

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1/4 tsp. salt

    Red paste food coloring

    4 cups all-purpose flour

    Sanding sugar

    1 recipe Cherry-Almond filling

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat granulated sugar and almond paste with a mixer on medium to high until smooth. Add butter and shortening. Beat until fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg whites, vanilla, and salt until combined. Gradually beat in enough food coloring until dough reaches desired shade of red. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

    2. Pack unchilled dough into a cookie press fitted with a ribbon plate. Force dough through cookie press into 2-inch-strips onto an ungreased cookie sheet, cutting dough from press with a small knife or metal spatula and spacing strips about 1 inch apart (about 104 strips). 

    3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

    4. Spread Almond-Cherry Filling on bottoms of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies, bottom sides together. Makes 52 servings. 

    Cherry-Almond Filling

    Drain 1/4 cup finely chopped marschino cherries on paper towels; pat dry to remove any excess liquid. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl beat 1 cup softened butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar until combined. Beat in 1 tsp. cherry liqueur and 1/4 tsp. almond extract. Gently stir in maraschino cherries. Makes 2 cups. 

    Per serving: 163 cal., 10 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 16 mg chol., 71 mg sodium, 18 g carb., 0 g fiber, 1 g pro.

     

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

    Prep 50 minutes

    Bake 9 minutes at 350°F

    1/2 cup shortening

    1/2 cup peanut butter

    1/2 granulated sugar

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tsp. baking powder

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1/8 tsp. baking soda

    1 egg

    3 Tbsp. milk

    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    11/2 cups all-purpose flour

    16 oz. vanilla-flavor candy coating, coarsely chopped

    20 bite-size chocolate-covered peanut butter cups

    Miniature chocolate chips and orange sprinkles

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat shortening and peanut butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in flour.

    2. Shape dough into 20 balls; place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

    3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or just until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Remove; cool on a wire rack.

    4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl heat candy coating on medium 21/2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. 

    5. For snowmen, spoon melted coating onto cookies to resemble melting snow. While coating is tacky, add peanut butter cups for top hats, mini chocolate chips for eyes, and orange sprinkles for noses. Makes 20 servings.

    Per serving: 315 cal., 17 g fat (9 g sat. fat), 10 mg chol., 101 mg sodium, 38 g carb., 1 g fiber, 3 g pro

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Espresso Balls

    Prep 25 minutes

    Bake 15 minutes at 325°F

    Cool 3 minutes

    1 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur

    1 tsp. vanilla

    13/4 cups all-purpose flour

    11/2 cups hazelnuts (filberts), toasted and ground*

    1/4 cup chocolate-covered coffee beans, ground

    Whole chocolate-covered coffee beans

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medim to high 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder; beat until combined. Beat in coffee liqueur and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, 1/2 cup of the ground hazelnuts, and ground coffee beans.

    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining ground hazelnuts. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 

    3. Bake 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Lightly press a whole coffee bean onto top of each cookie. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool. Makes 54 serving.

    *Tip: Spread hazelnuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring once or twice; cool completely. Remove papery skins by rubbing with a clean dish towel. Pulse nuts in a food processor until ground. Be careful not to overprocess. 

    Per serving: 79 cal., 6 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 28 mg sodium, 6 g carb, 1 g pro

     

     

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Peppermint Snowballs

    Prep 20 minutes

    Bake 9 minutes at 350°F

    Cool 6 minutes

    1 cup butter, softened

    2/3 cup powdered sugar

    1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 20)

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1/2 tsp. salt

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 cup powdered sugar

    Very finely crushed peppermint candies (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add the 2/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies, vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined, scarping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are set and bottoms are light golden. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Roll warm cookies in 1 cup powdered sugar again. If desired, lightly dust cookies with very finely crushed peppermint candies. Makes 36 servings. 

    Make Ahead: Dough may be shaped into balls, then frozen on parchment- or foil-lined cookie sheets. Transfer frozen balls to an airtight container; cover. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, arrange frozen balls on cookie sheets. Let stand at room temperature while oven preheats. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set and light golden on bottoms. 

    Per serving: 103 cal, 5 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 14 mg chol., 79 mg sodium, 14 g carb., 1 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Coconut-Pecan Sandies

    Prep 45 minutes

    Chill 30 minutes

    Bake 15 minutes at 325°F

    1 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1 Tbsp. water

    1 tsp. vanilla

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted 

    3/4 cup finely chopped coconut

    3/4 cup powdered sugar

    1. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the water and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, pecans, and coconut. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Shape dough into about 36 1-inch balls or 2-inch logs. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. 

    3. Place the 3/4 cup powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Add cooled cookies, a few at a time, shaking gentlly to coat. Makes 36 servings. 

    Per serving: 99 cal., 7 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 12 mg chol., 45 mg sodium, 10 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Macadamia Moons with Browned Butter Glaze

    Prep 50 minutes

    Bake 10 minutes at 350°F

    1 cup butter, softened

    2/3 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 tsp. ground ginger

    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    21/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

    1/4 cup butter

    2 cups powdered sugar

    1 to 3 Tbsp. milk

    1/4 tsp. ground ginger

    1/2 cup finely chopped macadami nuts

    Grated whole nutmeg (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat the 1 cup butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, the 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the 1 cup macadamia nuts.

    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. For moons, roll balls into short logs with tapered ends. Place logs 1 inch apart on uncreased cookie sheet. Curve logs slightly into crescents. Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until set but not brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

    3. For browned butter, in a small heavy saucepan stir the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat until melted. Continue cooking 6 to 9 minutes or until butter turns golden, stirring frequently. Cool slightly. 

    4. For glaze, in a bowl stir together browned butter, powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. of the milk, and the 1/4 tsp. ground ginger. Stir in enough remaining milk, 1 tsp. at a time, to reach drizzling consistency. 

    5. Drizzle cookies with glae. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup macadamia nuts and, if desired, grated nutmeg. Makes 48 servings.

    Per serving: 125 cal., 8 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 43 mg sodium, 13 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Chocolate Palmiers

    Prep 40 minutes

    Chill 4 hours

    Bake 8 minutes at 375°F

    1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 

    2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

    2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur or brewed coffee

    1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans or hazelnuts (filberts) (optional)

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    1/2 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1 egg

    3 Tbsp. milk

    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    23/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1. For filling, in a bowl beat the first five ingredients (through liqueur) with a mixer on low to medium until smooth. If desired, stir in nuts. Cover and set aside. 

    2. In a large bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough 30 minutes or until easy to handle. 

    3. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling over dough rectangle to within 1/2 inch of each long edge. Roll long edges toward center scroll fashion. Brush water on seam where ough spirals meet; lightly press together. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Chill 4 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice. 

    4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large cookie sheet; set aside. Using a sharp thin-blade knife, cut each roll into about 36  1/4-inch slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Makes 36 servings.

    Quick Puff Pastry Palmiers Cut a few steps by swapping homemade dough for two sheets thawed frozen puff pastry. Roll each sheet of pastry into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Fill, roll, chill, and slice as directed. Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 400°F or until edges are browned and crisp.

    Per serving: 117 cal., 5 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 19 mg chol., 70 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 2 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Sour Cream and Cherry Pinwheels

    Prep 40 minutes

    Chill 2 hours

    Bake 8 minutes at 375°F

    Cool 3 minutes

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 tsp. baking powder

    1/4 tsp. baking soda

    Dash salt

    1 egg

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1 tsp. lemon zest

    1 tsp. vanilla

    23/4 cups all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup cherry preserves

    1 cup powdered sugar

    3 to 4 tsp. milk

    1/4 tsp. almond extract

    1. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough into four portions. Cover and chill 2 hours or until easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time into a 7.5-inch square. Using a straight or fluted pastry wheel, cut each dough square into about nine 2.5-inch squares. (Keep remaining dough chilled until needed. If dough becomes too soft, return it to refrigerator for a few minutes.)

    3. Place squares 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using the pastry wheel, cut 1-inch slits from corners toward center of each square. Snip any large pieces of fruit in preserves. Spoon 1 level tsp. preserves into center of each square. Fold every other tip (one from each corner) into the center of each square to form a pinwheel shape. Press dough gently in center to seal tips to filling. 

    4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or just until edges begin to brown. Cool on cookie sheet 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

    5. For icing, in a bowl stir together powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. of the milk, and almond extract. If necessary, stir in enough remaining milk to reach drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing. Let stand until icing is set. Makes 36 servings. 

    Per serving: 118 cal., 3 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 52 mg sodium, 21 g carb., 0 g fiber, 1 g pro.

     

     

     

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Lemony Snowflake Sandwiches

    Prep 45 minutes

    Chill 2 hours

    Bake 7 minutes at 375°F

    Cool 1 minute

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1/2 cup butter-flavor shortening

    1 cup granulated sugar

    2 tsp. lemon zest

    3/4 tsp. baking powder

    1/4 tsp. baking soda

    Dash salt

    1 egg

    1/3 cup sour cream

    1 tsp. vanilla 

    23/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 recipe Creamy Lemon Filling

    Powdered Sugar

    1. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 2 hours or until easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 21/2- to 3-inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter, cut out dough. Using a 1-inch diamond- or circle-shape cookie cutter, cut and remove a shape from center half of the cookies. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

    3. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edge are firm and bottoms are very light brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minutes. Remove; cool on a wire rack. 

    4. Spread Creamy Lemon Filling on bottoms of cookies without cutout centers. Top with cookies with cutout centers, bottom sides down. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Makes 40 servings. 

    Creamy Lemon Filling: In a small bowl beat 1/3 cup marscarpone cheese or 3 oz. softened cream cheese and 1 Tbsp. softened butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Beat in 1/4 cup lemon curd. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. 

    Per serving: 129 cal., 7 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 17 mg chol., 47 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 0 g fiber, 2 g pro.

    To Store: Layer unfilled cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months. To serve, thaw cookies if frozen and fill as directed. 

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti

    Prep 35 minutes

    Bake 20 minutes at 375°F + 15 minutes at 325°F

    Cool 1 hour

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    2/3 cup sugar

    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    2 tsp. baking powder 

    2 eggs

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

    1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

    1 cup powdered sugar

    3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

    1/4 tsp. vanilla

    1 tsp. milk

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer 30 seconds. Add sugar, the 1/3 cup cocoa powder, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in chocolate pieces and dried cranberries.

    2. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls 5 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet; flatten to about 2 inches wide.

    3. Bake 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet 1 hour. (For easy slicing, wrap cooled rolls in plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.)

    4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Use a serrated knife to diagonally cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices (about 28 slices). Place slices, cut sides down, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Turn slices over and bake 7 to 9 minutes or until dry and crisp. (If baking slices after cooling logs only 1 hour, increase bake time 1 to 2 minutes per side.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

    5. For drizzle, in a bowl stir together powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and vanilla. Stir in milk, 1/2 tsp. at a time, until icing is drizzling consistency. Makes 28 servings.

    Per serving: 109 cal., 5 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 24 mg chol., 55 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Sugar Cookie Cutouts

    Prep 40 minutes

    Chill 30 minutes

    Bake 7 minutes at 375°F

    1 cup butter, softened

    11/4 cups granulated sugar

    11/2 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 tsp. salt

    2 eggs

    2 tsp. vanilla

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (optional)

    Assorted decorations (optional)

    1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes or until easy to handle. 

    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 21/2-inch cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    3. Bake 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very light brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. If desired, frost with Creamy White Frosting or Powdered Sugar Icing and decorate. Makes about 52 servings.

    Per serving: 80 cal., 4 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 17 mg chol, 63 mg sodiu, 10 g carb., 0 g fiber, 1 g pro.

    Powdered Sugar Icing: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until spreading consistency. 

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Scandinavian Brownies

    Prep 20 minutes

    Bake 30 minutes at 350°F

    Nonstick cooking spray

    4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

    2/3 cup butter, cut in pieces

    3 Tbsp. water

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar

    3 eggs

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and ground*

    1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

    1/4 tsp. salt

    Powdered sugar (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil 1 inch over edges. Coat with cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate, butter, and the water. Microwave, uncovered, on high 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth. 

    2. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; stir to combine. Add eggs and vanilla; stir to combine. Stir in flour, ground almonds, cardamom, and salt until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

    3. Bake 30 minutes or until edges are set and start to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift from pan; remove foil. If desired, lay a snowflake stencil on top. Sift powdered sugar over stencil. Cut into bars. Makes 16 servings.

    *Tip: Place nuts in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350°F oven 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once or twice. Cool. In a food processor, pulse nuts until ground; be careful not to overprocess.

    Per serving: 175 cal., 10 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 37 mg chol., 82 mg sodium, 20 g carb., 1 g fiber, 3 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Gingerbread Stars

    Prep 40 minutes

    Chill 3 hours

    Bake 5 minutes at 375°F

    Stand 1 hour

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 tsp. ground ginger

    1 tsp. baking soda

    1/2 tsp. salt

    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. ground cloves

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1/4 cup shortening

    3/4 cup sugar

    1/2 cup molasses

    1 egg

    1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing

    Silver and gold coarse sugars

    1. In a medium bowl stir together the first six ingredients (through cloves). Set aside.

    2. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add sugar and molasses; beat until combined. Add egg; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat on low just until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 3 hours or until easy to handle.

    3. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a well-floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3- to 4-inch star-shape cookie cutters, cut shapes. Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. 

    4. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Remove cookies and cool completely on a wire rack. 

    5. Spread Powdered Sugar Icing on cookies and decorate as desired with silver and gold sugars. Let stand 1 hour or until icing is set. Makes 26 servings.

    Per serving: 176 cal., 6 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 17 mg chol., 130 mg sodium, 29 g carb., 2 g pro.

    Powdered Sugar Icing: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until spreading consistency.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Lemon Blondies

    Prep 30 minutes

    Bake 30 minutes at 325°F

    11/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 tsp. baking powder

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    3/4 packed brown sugar

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    2 eggs

    2 tsp. vanilla

    1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted 

    1 10-oz. jar lemon curd

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil; set pan aside. 

    2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beat on low until combined. Stir in 1/3 cup of the macadamia nuts. 

    3. Spread one-third of the batter in prepared baking pan. Drop large spoonfuls of lemon curd onto batter at 1-inch intervals. Top with remaining batter. Gently swirl a knife through batter and lemon curd layers to marble. Sprinkle with remaining macadamia nuts. 

    4. Bake 30 minutes or until golden and set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using edges of foil, lift out of pan. Cut into bars. Makes 20 servings.

    Per serving: 204 cal., 8 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 41 mg chol, 122 mg sodium, 32 g carb., 2 g fiber, 2 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Berry Blondies

    Prep 30 minutes

    Bake 25 minutes at 350°F

    2 cups packed brown sugar

    2/3 cup butter 

    2 cups whole almonds, toasted

    1 tsp. almond extract

    1 tsp. vanilla 

    2 eggs

    2 cups all-purpose flour 

    11/2 tsp. baking powder

    1 cup dried cranberries

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil; set pan aside. 

    2. In a large saucepan stir brown sugar and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. 

    3. Coarsely chop 1 cup of the almonds; set aside. Place remaining 1 cup almonds in a food processor. cover and process until a paste begins to form. Stir almond paste, almond extract, and vanilla into butter mixture. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. In a bowl stir together flour and baking powder; gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until combined. Stir in chopped almonds and dried cranberries. 

    4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using edges of foil, lift uncut bars from pan. Cut into bars. Makes 32 servings. 

    Per serving: 183 cal., 9 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 22 mg chol., 65 mg sodium, 25 g carb., 2 g fiber, 3 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Salted Caramel, Chocolate, and Peanut Cracker-Stack Bars

    Prep 30 minutes

    Chill 2 hours

    8 oz. rich rectangular crackers (such as Club crackers)

    3/4 cup butter (11/2 sticks)

    3/4 cup honey

    1 cup packed brown sugar

    1/2 cup heavy cream

    2 cups finely crushed graham crackers

    1 tsp. vanilla

    1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

    2 cups chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (9 oz.)

    2 cups dry-roasted peanuts

    11/2 cups milk chocolate pieces (9 oz.)

    1/3 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces

    1/3 cup peanut butter

    1. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Arrange half the crackers in a single layer on bottom of prepared pan. In a medium saucepan combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and cream. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Add graham cracker crumbs, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1/4 tsp. of the sea salt. 

    2. Pour half of the caramel mixture over crackers in prepared pan; spread to cover. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups and peanuts. Pour remaining caramel on top. Arrange remaining crackers in a single layer over caramel, pressing slightly to secure.

    3. For topping, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butterscotch pieces. Heat on high 2 to 3 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture over cracker layer; immediately sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. sea salt. 

    4. Chill bars 2 hours or until completely firm. Using edges of oil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Makes 32 servings. 

    Per serving: 346 cal., 20 g fat (9g sat. fat), 19 mg chol., 220 mg sodium, 38 g carb., 2 g fiber, 5 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Chocolate-Glazed Cereal Bars

    Prep 30 minutes

    Stand 20 minutes

    1 cup sugar 

    1 cup light-color corn syrup

    11/2 cups peanut butter

    6 cups crisp rice cereal

    1 cup tiny marshmallows

    1 11.5-oz. pkg. milk chocolate pieces, melted

    Premade icing decorations (optional)

    1. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil.

    2. In a large heavy saucepan bring sugar and corn syrup just to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted. Gently stir in cereal and marshmallows. 

    3. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; use buttered wax paper to press firmly. Spread melted chocolate over cereal mixture. Let stand 20 minutes or until set. Using foil, lift out of pan. Cut into bars. If desired, decorate with a premade icing decoration. Makes 24 servings. 

    Per serving: 298 cal., 14 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 6 mg chol., 133 mg sodium, 43 g carb, 2 g fiber, 6 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018
  • Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

    Prep 35 minutes

    Bake 22 minutes at 375°F + 10 minutes at 325°F

    Cool 1 hour 

    1 cup butter, softened

    11/2 cups packed brown sugar

    3/4 tsp. salt

    1/2 tsp. baking soda

    2 eggs

    2 tsp. vanilla

    23/4 cups all-purpose flour

    2 cups coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

    Sea salt flakes

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges.

    2. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, 3/4 teasoon salt, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour. Stir in chocolate. Press dough into prepared pan. If desired, sprinkle lightly with sea salt. 

    3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until light brown and center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour.

    4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Using foil, lift cookies out of pan. Cut in half lengthwise; cut crosswise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices. Place, cut sides down, on a large uncreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cut edges are dry. Carefully remove; cool on wire racks. Makes 36 servings.

    Per serving: 166 cal., 8 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 24 mg chol., 178 mg sodium, 23 g carb., 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

    Date Published: November 27, 2017
    Date Updated: February 28, 2018

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