Want some ideas for a holiday cookie swap? Resident chef Kathy Gunst brings three of her favorite recipes to trade with the Here & Now staff — and we crowdsource a couple of our own.
Rugelach is a traditional cookie for Chanukah but these festive rolls are ideal for any holiday party or cookie swap. The dough is made extra-moist with the addition of cream cheese and sour cream. These are filled with semi-sweet chocolate and sweet raspberries. You can fill the rugelach with cinnamon sugar or raisins or any sweet filling you like.
Makes about 48 cookies.
What I like about these shortbread is that they are understated: They won’t be the flashiest, fanciest cookie on the plate but they will offer up a light, fresh taste, and a refreshing change from the same-old butter cookies that everyone seems to make this time of year.
Serve the shortbread with coffee or hot cocoa, or as part of a holiday dessert buffet. The shortbread hold up well for almost a week and make a great gift. The dough can also be tightly wrapped in foil and frozen for several months.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
My sister-in-law, Andrea Gunst, shared this buttercrunch recipe with me years ago and it has changed our holiday traditions forever. This is the stuff everyone begs for year after year — be sure to make multiple batches. Buttercrunch, a caramel coated in chocolate and ground nuts, keeps for over a week and makes a great gift.
You can double the recipe if you like, but if you want to make more you shouldn’t try to multiply the recipe by three or four — simply keep doubling the recipe.
Serves 6 to 8 — but once you taste it, it’s hard to stop!
*Buttercrunch can be made successfully with regular grocery store milk chocolate or chocolate chips, but you can also splurge and use fabulous bittersweet or semi-sweet, 60-percent cocoa chocolate. The choice is yours.
**You can use walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachio, or any type of nut but it must be finely chopped to adhere properly to the chocolate.
from Here & Now executive producer Kathleen McKenna
As is often the case with family recipes, this recipe is, as Kathleen told Here & Now producer Emiko Tamagawa, “light on directions.” Emiko used other snickerdoodle recipes as a reference in making her batch. All of her directions are in italics — you can use them as a guide if you wish.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
from Here & Now producer Savannah Maher
Listeners and readers: Give us a hand!
Pictured below are two recipes for mandelbroit, or mandel bread, a traditional Jewish cookie similar to biscotti. Here & Now editor Eileen Bolinsky inherited them from her grandma Sarah. But, as a nonbaker, she’s sometimes perplexed on how to follow them.
How would you go about tackling these recipes in your own kitchen? Help us decipher by leaving a comment on this post.
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