Cookie Club Begins Great Holiday Bake-Off

Dec 10, 2021 | Community, Culinary

The “Great Holiday Bake-Off” has begun at MMC with the Health Center Cookie Club literally rolling in the dough!  It’s all in preparation for their upcoming cookie exchange on December 14.  Baking enthusiasts gathered together this week to bake traditional Mexican Wedding Cookies.  Each baker had the opportunity to measure, mix and roll…so it was truly a group effort. The group will bake again on two more dates to make two other types of cookies and then meet once more to bag cookies for an exchange with other residents.

Commonly served at Christmas time or throughout the winter, Mexican Wedding Cookies are a buttery and nutty sugary cookie. The exact origin of the Mexican wedding cookie “biscochitos” is unknown, but for centuries the cookie has also existed (just in other shapes) in other cultures around the world. You might know the delicious cookie as Italian Butterballs, Russian or Swedish tea cakes, Spanish Polvornes, Pecan Balls or Southern Pecan Butterballs, Snowballs, Pecan Sandies, Danish almond cookies, Finnish butter strips, Napoleon hats and more. Despite their varying names, these cookies all share the same basic ingredients and are prepared the same way, making it a special universal treat!

Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Powered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy; stir in vanilla.
  • Whisk together flour and salt; add gradually to butter mixture; stir in chopped nuts.
  • Chill dough if it seems too soft.
  • Form dough into 1 ¼” balls and place onto parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden-brown; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly; while cookies are still warm (but NOT hot) remove them from the baking sheets and roll, a few at a time, in powdered sugar until evenly coated; cool cookies completely on wire racks.
  • Cookies may (optionally) be rolled in powdered sugar a second time once cooled to room temp.
  • NOTE: Forming dough into 1” balls will increase yield to 48 cookies.
  • Store cookies in an air-tight jar or tin (they will last longer if stored this way).

Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Prep: 60 minutes
Total: 60 minutes
Servings: 36

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Additional granulated sugar
  • About 36 Hershey’s® Kisses® Brand milk chocolates, unwrapped

    Directions

    • Heat oven to 375° In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
    • Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cooking sheets, place about 2 inches apart.
    • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

    Holiday Rice Crispy TreatsTM

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 10 cups mini marshmallows
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
    • 3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
    • 1 cup Christmas M&Ms®
    • 2 teaspoons holiday sprinkles

      Directions

      • Pre-measure all ingredients before you begin. Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray; set aside.
      • In a large saucepan, melt the butter, salt, and 8 cups of marshmallows together until smooth.
      • Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, remaining 2 cups marshmallows and cereals until fully coated.
      • Quickly and gently fold in the M&Ms and sprinkles then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
      • Top with extra M&M’s and sprinkles, if desired, and use parchment paper or greased hands to gently press the mixture into the pan.
      • Allow to set for 30 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting into squares.