Things get competitive this time of year as some friends of ours host an incredible cookie party. People bring a tray of their own, then take home an extravaganza of various delectables in exchange.
During the event a contest is held where a “best of” cookie is voted upon. Here are a few of the favorites from the last few years!
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/3 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stir egg yolks with a whisk, adding espresso, if desired. Add the yolk mixture and vanilla to butter; beat well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.
Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper; knead 6 times or until smooth and shiny. Shape dough into 28 (1-inch) balls. Roll sides of balls in nuts, pressing gently. Arrange balls 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of each cookie, leaving an indentation. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut-chocolate spread into center of each cookie.
Cooking Light 2009
Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Makes approx 24 cookies
14 tablespoons salted butter (1¾ sticks)
1¾ cups packed light brown sugar
2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1½ Tbsp vanilla
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until melted.
When butter melts slowly swirl the pan and continue to cook the butter until it becomes a nice, brown-caramel color.
The swirling helps it from burning. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
When butter is cooled mix 1¾ cup light brown sugar and browned butter with electric mixer until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
Add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix for another 30 seconds, until smooth.
Slowly add in your flour mixture and mix on medium-low until incorporated.
Combine remaining ¼ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll cookie dough into balls and then roll in sugar mixture.
Place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake approx 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Do not over-bake. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Combine brown sugar and butter in small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil and continue cooking 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Mixture will slightly thicken.
With hand mixer beat in milk until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar until spreadable consistency.
Spread approx. 1 teaspoon frosting on each cookie.