Chocolate Crinkles with Kisses

Soso had a sleepover with a bunch of friends and wanted to bake something.  She had taken a week-long baking class in the summer and she’s 13 years old.  She had helped with the Christmas cookies.  So I told her to pick an easy recipe and make it on her own.  Then I added a caveat.  I had bought a bag of Hershey’s Kisses that I never used for the holiday baking. Soso had to use the kisses in whatever she was making.

After searching Google for cookie recipes with Hershey’s Kiss and only getting Peanut Butter Blossoms for results, she finally found an image of chocolate crinkle recipe with the red and white mint Kisses.  We only had the regular Kisses, but I think any type of Kisses would work with the crinkle recipe.

I think we have another contender to add to the Christmas cookies repertoire.  I’m really proud of Soso! I helped roll out some cookies towards the end to save some time. Otherwise, she made these all by herself.  When I was her age, I was making boxed cakes.

Soso used the recipe from Simply Recipes.

Chocolate Crinkles with Kisses
*From Simply Recipes

Yields: About 50 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 bag Hershey’s Kisses

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cocoa powder, granulated sugar and vegetable oil. Add one egg at a time and then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Cover the dough and chill the dough minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven at 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioner’s sugar in a wide shallow bowl.

Scoop balls of dough about 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Roll them briefly in your hands and then roll the balls in the confectioner’s sugar. Place the balls on the cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake 10 -12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven when the cookies are done. Place the Kisses in the center of each cookie and press lightly. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack. Allow to cool until the chocolate Kisses are set.

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Confetti Cookies

I’ve been making cookies for Christmas for the past 10 years or so.  Every year, I try something new to add to the repertoire.  The standards are Papa’s pizzelles, Aunt Lucy’s Knots, Linda’s spritzes, chocolate chip cookies and the Rolo Pretzel Turtles.  I came across Smitten Kitchen’s Confetti Cookies recipe last year and I loved the bright cheerful colors of the confetti sprinkles.  I switched to red and green sprinkles to match the Christmas season and they came out great!  I made them again this year so I think I can say they’ve made the repertoire!  I only need to work on my cookie sizing. Mine is a good 1/2 inch bigger and D complains they are like a meal.  Can I insert a rolling eyes emoticon here?  Who complains about having to eat a big cookie?

While I was typing out the recipe for this post, I realized I made a mistake this year.  The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of cream cheese.  On Sk’s site, she wrote “1/4 cup (2 ounces, 55 grams or 1/4 of an 8-ounce brick) cream cheese” and my eyes glossed over it all and say only 8 ounce brick.  Oops.  The cookies tasted great and I would never have known had I not re-read it for this post.

Last year’s batch:

This year’s batch:

Confetti Cookies
*From Smitten Kitchen

Yields: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter
¼ cup cream cheese
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
1 cup sprinkles, your choice of colors

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend. In a large bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and extracts and blend again.  Add flour mixture until it’s just combined.  Let the dough chill for 20 minutes.

Scoop balls of dough about 1 ¼ inch in diameter. SK recommends using #40 scoop.  Roll briefly in your hands and roll in a bowl of sprinkles until the dough is completely covered.

Transfer the balls to the baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Using the bottom of a flat drinking glass and press down on the cookies until they are about ¼ inches tall.  Bake for 9 – 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown underneath.  Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

It’s Christmas time and that means baking cookies for friends and family.  I usually bake a batch of spritz, Italian cookies, pizzellespretzel turtles and may be a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Then I try a new recipe or two in an effort to add to my repertoire.   None from last year made the cut.

The new recipes this year are White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction and confetti cookies from Smitten Kitchen (I’ll write a separate post for this).

The White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are okay.  They are probably better than okay… But personally, they didn’t wow me so I’ll have to wait on verdicts from the friends and family members.

Soso has tried one already and she likes them. But she did mention that the one advantage to this cookie is that you won’t eat too many.  Doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, does it?  I don’t want to give a bad impression though.  They are perfectly fine cookies. May be someone is a dried cranberry fan and will pick this cookie over the fabulous chocolate chip cookie.  May be you’ll eat this cookie because you hate dark chocolate.  May be if you’re going to eat five cookies, this will be one of your five.  But in all honesty, if I could eat only one of my cookies, it would be this one.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins
Makes: 2.5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla.

On low-speed, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries mix on low for a few seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. This cookie dough must be chilled.

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes for 2 hour chill time. If chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Scoop about 1.5 tablespoon of dough each and roll the dough into balls. Place 10 – 12 on each baking sheet 1.5 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.