Category: Christmas

329. 12 Days of Recipes, Day 8: Best Cookie Exchange Recipes

 With cold, wet weather and the season’s first measurable snowfall expected today, here’s a fun indoor activity you can do alone or with your kids.  Forget about the fire, why not just heat up by the oven as you try your hand at some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes?  These are great for a cookie exchange, as gifts for neighbors or just for enjoying at home with your family.  And they’re the highlight today for Day 8 of our 12 Days of Recipes series here at 365Barrington.com.

For us, we have a little different criteria for the best cookie exchange recipes.  The cookies have to look festive.  They have to be easy enough to crank out six dozen in about 2 hours. The recipe has to be basic enough to triple with ease.  And, of course, we want to skip all fussy ingredients.

Candy-Dipped Chocolate Cutout Cookies
We think any basic cookie, such as oatmeal, sugar or chocolate cutout cookie dipped in melted white chocolate and then crushed candy cane pieces is a holiday best.  White chocolate and candy cane pieces are a perfect mouthful of holiday flavor, and with any good cookie base, they are a true crowd pleaser. Below is a recipe that does this with chocolate cutout cookies.  You can do something similar with crushed pistachios, m&m pieces or sprinkles in place of the candy canes……

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85. “C” is for Cookie at Community Church of Barrington

 Bakers throughout Barrington have been busy all week preparing for tomorrow morning’s 38th Annual Community Church of Barrington Cookie Walk. If you want to see what “selling like hot cakes” looks like, don’t be late. Last year, they sold out of cookies in just over an hour.  So be sure to show up early because goodies found at the Cookie Walk make THE BEST “homemade” holiday gifts for neighbors.  They look just like you baked them yourself.  But …. shhh … don’t tell anyone I’ve let you in on this sneaky cookie tip.  I wouldn’t want my own neighbors to know my little holiday secret ;).

Here’s how it works, for $10, you can buy a “one pound” box and fill it with your own hand-picked assortment of cookies in all shapes, sizes and colors……

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Ambrosia Gingerbread Housese

267. On The Menu: Ambrosia Gingerbread Houses

 It’s the eve of Christmas Eve and and I’ll be cooking for tomorrow’s family festivities late into the night.  With my favorite holiday foods on my mind and in my oven, I thought today would be the perfect day to debut a brand new feature we’ll regularly be running here at 365Barrington.com called “On the Menu”. To help showcase some of the finest culinary offerings here in Barrington, I’ll be talking to chefs at local restaurants to learn more about some of the most popular items from their menus. And I’m starting today with the amazing gingerbread houses you’ll only find at Ambrosia Euro American Patisserie in Barrington.

Ambrosia’s gingerbread houses are like edible works of art. They’re so masterfully crafted that Ambrosia’s owners, executive pastry chef, Richard Rivera and his wife Debby, only make 12 to 20 of these houses every year.…

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