I’ve always wanted to just make a whole bunch of cookies for the holidays, but I’ve never really had the time to plan it out, get all the ingredients, and actually make the cookies.  But now that I’m home on parental leave, and our little one is still so tiny that all she really does all day is sleep and eat (and poop, pee, and stare blankly into space) I saw an opportunity.

So, here are the results!

Recipes

Dark Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
No-Bake cookies are a favorite in our household and they’re one of the very first cookies I ever made when I was learning to cook as a kid.  This seemed like a slightly fancier (Dark chocolate = fancy, doncha know?) version.  We were not disappointed.  They’re slightly less sweet than traditional no-bake cookies.  I went for a fairly high ratio of rolled oats, so they’re also more substantial cookies.  My only complaint about this recipe is that it only makes 15 cookies! I tripled it for my effort here just because these are always popular.  If I had to make them again, I would also likely increase the amount of peanut butter… or maybe sub in some peanut butter chips with the chocolate.  That would not only shift the flavor back to the more traditional, but it would make the color a little more appealing.

Source: Serious Eats – No-Bake Cookies With Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Chewy Oats Recipe

Gingersnaps
This is a serious gingersnap recipe.  And I love gingersnaps, so I’m totally down for this.  It’s very nice and peppery finish.  I love that it uses fresh ginger.  But they should come with a warning for people with any loose dental work.  These cookies are HARD. I also think the flavor is a little heavy on the flour initially.  That could be my error, though, because I’m still cooking like it’s 1900 with my measuring cups and stuff. Maybe if I were to use a kitchen scale, the ratios would be better.  But all-in-all this is a great, grown-up cookie. It’s not too sweet. It has a great texture and flavor. I’ll definitely make these again sometime. I MIGHT reduce the cook time a little to make them a little more tender, though.

Source: Serious Eats – The Best Gingersnaps Recipe

Very Simple Fudge
Garbage.  I’ve never made fudge before, so I wanted something simple and easy.  But I erred on the side of WAY too simple.  As soon as I started making this I realized that it wasn’t going to turn out well.

First of all, this recipe needs salt. I don’t know what maniac sat down and thought it would be a good idea to leave out salt of… well, any recipe.  But they did here.  Secondly, this needs to have some sugar caramelized in it to bring some complexity to the flavor and stability to the texture.  I at least had the wisdom to throw some salt into this when I made it, so it’s not awful.  But it is a lot like eating very soft chocolate chips.  They’re very, very soft and I had to store it in the fridge so they aren’t too soft to handle with your bare hands.  I won’t make this one again.   I didn’t even take a good picture of this stuff to accompany this review. Not recommended.

Source: All Recipes – Fudge

Hazelnut Cookies
These cookies look really nice and they’re very tasty.  This is also another cookie that is for grown-ups.  I can easily imagine serving these with coffee after dinner.  They’re very crunchy. The hazelnuts are yummy and the combination with the milk chocolate is a delight. I did have trouble finding whole hazelnuts. I only went to two grocery stores, but I didn’t find them. I just didn’t have it in me to drag our two-week-old daughter into a third store… especially since I didn’t take any diapers or bottles with me on the trip.  So, I bought some bags of chopped nuts and used that.  So, I think if I’d roasted some whole hazelnuts these would have turned out to be even better.  I think I’d also want to melt in some paraffin into the chocolate just to try to keep it from melting when you touch the cookies.  Because sophisticated grown-ups like me don’t like to have to lick their fingers clean when having coffee with other sophisticated grown-ups.

Source: Serious Eats – Hazelnut Cookies With Milk Chocolate Recipe

Fudgey Peanut Butter OREO Cookie Balls
This is another recipe to make when you want to have some pretty plates and show off a bit.  Don’t get me wrong: these are SUPER tasty.  But there are a lot of steps to what is a very simple little morsel.   The dipping chocolate also needs some paraffin here, too, because they’re SO soft. They have to be stored in the fridge.  I made the “mistake” of adding a goodly sized dollop of peanut butter to the mix.  This made the center of the balls much softer, which made the dipping process somewhat anxious.  But the end result is good. They’re delicious. They’re different from the usual peanut butter balls people make. And, yes, they’re very pretty.

Source: Serious Eats – Fudgey Peanut Butter OREO Cookie Balls

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I did something wrong with these. I was told they would be chewy and they are definitely not chewy. They’re crunchy.  Very crunchy. Not as crunchy as the gingersnaps above or even the hazelnut cookies. They’re good… but they are very not chewy. I obviously did something wrong, but I ain’t mad about it.  These are a solid, more traditional offering on my slightly-pretentious plate of cookies here.  I’d try this recipe again.

Source: Serious Eats -Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

BONUS COOKIE!!!

I’ve made this cookie before.  I haven’t made it this year yet, but it’s on my list of things to do in the next few days.  These things are AMAZING.

Ambitious Kitchen – Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

They do take a little more work than a regular, old chocolate chip cookie, but it’s sooooo worth it.  And if any of these cookies actually make it from your house to your very serious dinner party with sophisticated grown-ups, folks will lose their minds. They’re so so good.  I can’t even.  I wish I had a picture to share with you, but I haven’t made them yet.  Just go over to Ambitious Kitchen and get ready to completely ruin your New Year’s Resolutions before they even start.