Over the course of a few nights this past week, I was able to get all of my Christmas baking done. Every year, I like to try out two different types of cookies. On Monday, after a long day of work, I made myself a cup of cocoa, slipped Harry Connick Jr.'s "When My Heart Finds Christmas" into the CD player, and took my place at the kitchen counter where I made "Pumpkin White Chocolate Drops." On Thursday, it would be "Chocolate Rum Balls." There's nothing quite so wonderful as the delightful smell of the house when Christmas cookies are in the oven baking on a chilly evening in mid-December. Surrounded by the smooth holiday vocals of Harry Connick Jr., the twinkling of the lights from my tree, and the aroma of a fresh batch of cookies makes for an ideal Christmas moment. I took a small platter of each kind of cookie with me to my job for my co-workers to sample. Both went over well. If you're interested, here are the recipes:
Pumpkin White Chocolate Drops
4 sticks butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 can (16 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
Half teaspoon baking soda
1 package white chocoalte chips
1 container cream cheese frosting
Quarter cup packed brown sugar
1. Peheat over to 375 degrees.
2. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until well blended. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda; beat just until blended. Stir in white chocolate chips.
3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on to cookie sheet. Bake 16 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
4. Combine frosting and brown sugar in small bowl. Spread on warm cookies.
Chocolate Rum Balls
1 stick butter, softened
One-third cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
Quarter cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and egg yolk in large bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in rum and vanilla. Stir in flour and cocoa. Stir in nuts. Cover; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parechment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire rack to cool. Roll in powdered sugar.
"The fear of the LORD leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble."