Friday, November 21, 2008

Candy Cane Blossoms + Freezing Cookie Dough for Christmas!

I found this recipe on the Hershey's website a few years ago and it became an instant favorite at my house. It is a very simple recipe with very pretty results! I love the candy cane Hershey's Kiss on top, it is the perfect touch to the sugar cookie rolled in sugar crystals. I usually use red and green, but I actually only made these 3 cookies from this batch, so I just used the green crystals. The rest of the cookies are happily hanging out in my freezer until *Baking Day*!

You will need very basic ingredients: 48 Candy Cane Mint Hershey's Kisses, 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 Tablespoons milk and red or green (or both) sugar crystals.

To make these immediately: You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. There is no need to refrigerate the cookie dough at any point, so you are good to go!

This is a very basic sugar cookie recipe, no surprises here. Cream the 1 stick of butter and the 1 cup of sugar together.

Add 1 egg and 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Beat until the egg is fully incorporated.

Sift the dry ingredients: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

You will now alternate adding the dry ingredients and the 2 Tablespoons of milk, starting with the dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX. It is very easy to kill this dough by over mixing it. Just mix until the ingredients are coming together, you can finish it with a spoon before you roll the cookies into balls.

See how it has just barely come together? This is how you want it.

To make these immediately: Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Try and keep them all the same size so that they will cook evenly. Once you have rolled all of the dough, prepare your sugar crystals by putting them into a bowl. An easy trick: put the crystals inside a Tupperware container that has a lid. Add a few of the balls at a time, put the lid on and shake. This is great for kids to help, as long as you are certain that the lid is on tight!

To freeze these for later: Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange on a plate or cookie sheet. Stick them in the freezer until frozen. Do not roll them in the sugar crystals. You will do this on the day that you choose to bake them. This dough will be just fine in your freezer for up to 3 months.
I just put them on a plate, because it fits on my minuscule shelves amidst 400 bags of frozen vegetables. I hid the ice cream so you would think I eat healthy. Vegetables. Only vegetables in my freezer.

OK, for those of us that are going to bake today. Roll the balls in sugar. If you have frozen them, just pull the bag out of the freezer and set it on your counter for an hour. Then roll in sugar. That was easy, wasn't it? Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until slightly brown on the bottom. You don't want the top to brown. Can you see how the bottoms are just slightly browned?

Once they have cooled for a minute or two, add the Candy Cane Hershey's Kiss. Beautiful, aren't they? Just an observation: You will need to let these set for at least an hour before you will be able to stack them. The kisses will melt when you add them to the cookie, so you will have to give them some time to harden again if you want to pack them in a tin as a gift.

Other than the three that I baked (hey! I had to make sure that they tasted good!) the remainder were put into a Ziploc bag. Once they have been frozen individually, you are safe to put them in a bag without fear that they will all stick together. Make sure that you label them. All cookies look alike after a while. If you are going to be storing them for a while, you should add the date as well.

Other cookies that freeze well are the Rolo Cookies. You can roll the balls of dough around the Rolo and then freeze just as we did with these. I have already frozen a batch of Rolo Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Andes Mint Cookies and Snickerdoodles. More recipes soon to follow! Happy Baking!


Carmen O. said...

MMM with all the baking you do I know it's only healthy food *wink wink*. These look awesome and I'm thinking I must be out of the loop, because I don't think I've ever seen those kisses. Hmmm? Oh well hopefully I'll find them this year so I can give this a try!

Melissa S said...

I learn way more stuff reading your recipe blogs than a cookbook! I think you should print up a cookbook with all your recipes...include pics and everything like the cool would that be? I would buy it!

Patrizzia said...

Oh your Christmas cookies, they get me every year. I love love love that you make so many and are genuinely happy about them!

YAY Estee!

Brook said...

Oh, Estee, I think I gain a pound every time I visit your blog. You make such YUMMY things. I'm seriously drooling over those cookies right now. :)

3left Feet said...

oh yum!!! I've gotta try the andes cookies!

aunt mur said...

you forgot to make a side note about these cookies frack - be careful when the hershey kisses melt down not to push them down too much because last year we ended up with the infamous 'these cookies look like christmas stripper boobs'. im just saying.


Amanda Sevall said...

I wanna come raid your freezer girl! :) Those look sooooo good. Have to add them to my list of cookies to try. yum!

Anonymous said...

I love these cookies myself. I made them last year with one variation... I put peppermint extract to taste in the dough. They went over really well.

Anonymous said...

I printed out almost all of your cookie recipes. Those green candy cane blossom cookies look very Whoville! I can get behind (no pun intended) someone who uses a lot of butter in their cooking! Thanks for the good cookie ideas.