I don’t observe many Christmas traditions of my childhood. While I love the beauty of a fresh snowfall, I no longer desire to trudge through it to cut a fresh balsam fir. Likewise, gone is the thrill of spending hours in retail stores rubbing elbows with hundreds of shoppers in search of holiday gifts.
Instead you’ll find me scouring magazines, cookbooks, and blogs for holiday cookie recipes. Yes, tradition implies passing favorites from generation to generation, which I honor, but I love adding new flavors to savor and challenging recipes to hone my skills and add variation to the platter.
Of the twenty-nine varieties baked this past weekend with friends, many are newcomers to the holiday tray that includes tried-and-true standards: cutout sugar cookies, Spritz, and Mint Surprise.
As much as I love collecting recipes, it’s equally fun to share. So, here’s my offering for 2014; I hope you try it and add it to your holiday traditions.
Chocolate Mint Surprise Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 (4.67-ounce) packages chocolate mint wafer candies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugars;
beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture, mixing well.
Drop dough in teaspoon-sized mounds two inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Press one mint wafer on top of each mound of dough; cover with another teaspoon of dough. Seal dough all around the mint. Bake for eleven minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately from pans to cool on wire racks.
Makes four dozen.