Colorful lights dot a few of the houses outside, and every once in a while you'll see a little red and white clothed chubby Pai Natal hanging from an apartment balcony as if he's trying to climb inside. I have yet to see a reindeer or a candy cane but it's definitely that time of year again.
That time of year where the kitchen is filled with baked treats and there is a mad rush to get packages ready to be mailed out to hopefully arrive before the holiday. My package this year contains cookies. About 5 different kinds of cookies to be exact. This year I've even managed to get some pictures so I can actually share the recipes.
First up is this dark chocolate and nutty cookie I found and made for my niece. It kind of reminds me of her, she's a bit nutty and darkish artsy teen, kinda like me when I was that age, but she's cuter than I was (I'm not worried about her finding out her cookie, she doesn't read this and my mom won't tell her).
It's not sweet by itself but with the dusting of powdered sugar and the chocolate drizzle, it's made it onto my holiday cookie list for next year. Go on and try them, I'm certain they'll make your list too.
Chocolate Walnut Crescents
Adapted from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Candies 2010 issue
- 1 cup (226g) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (260g) flour
- 2 cups (250g) ground walnuts
- 3 tablespoons (45g) cocoa powder
- 1 bar (200g) semi sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- powdered (confectioner/icing) sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and beat well, set aside.
Whisk together flour, ground walnuts and cocoa powder to remove any lumps and mix. Pour a half cup at a time into the butter and sugar mixture and beat well before each addition. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness, making sure to dust the top of the dough as you roll it out so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin. Take a round cookie cutter (or a round glass as pictured) and starting from a corner cut a half circle out then move it inward on the dough to cut out a crescent and set the cookie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been turned into crescents.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 350F (175c) for about 10 minutes for each batch. Allow to cool for a couple minutes before moving the cookies to a cooling rack or another place to let them finish cooling before decorating.
Now, I feel the need to tell you that I have issues with microwaving chocolate in order to melt it but if it's not an issue for you, please go ahead and melt away in a microwave safe bowl until your little heart is content, I however will continue to do it the long way.
Break up the chocolate bar and place in a heat resistant bowl (pyrex is my favorite for this). Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally for the next 5 -7 minutes or until the chocolate is melted. Scoop the chocolate into a plastic zip bag and cut the tip of one corner off to make drizzling the chocolate over the cookies easier or use a piping tip to help even more.
Allow the chocolate to cool and dust with the powdered sugar before eating. Store in an airtight container.