Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

Usually immediately after Thanksgiving, after lots of pie baking, I get the urge to start my annual Christmas baking! I look forward to this time of year especially when the mercury level begins to drop and I can turn on the oven, this to me is a fantastic way to warm up the house. This year being our first Christmas together as a married couple, I've decided to bake Swiss Cookies in honor of E's heritage. He said he remembers the delicious cookies his aunt used to bake when he was a child. Unfortunately, those recipes are no where to be had but what I have is a book that my sister gave me many years ago by Nick Malgieri which has several traditional Swiss Christmas cookies. Ironically, as much as I bake and cook, I don't own many books; save a few and this happens to be my one and only cookie book which I reach for year after year. Thanks sis!

Well to kick start the baking frenzy, I started getting ready by making a half pound of candied orange and lemon peel last week and warned E that I would be smelling of butter for the whole month of December. OK, ok! it's not Swiss but I decided to warm-up first by making a wheat free version of my mom's Chocolate Chip cookies for myself to curb my hands from reaching for the "normal" cookies I'll be baking in the next 2 weeks. I also had some lingering chocolate chips and almonds I wanted to use up before delving into nice fresh nuts and chocolate for Christmas baking.

These cookies a meant to be made small unlike the typical American cookies. To me, they are tiny morsels of crispy delight I always look forward to once a year as a child. Using Spelt instead of flour adds to the lightness and crunchy aspect of the cookie. Try it! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Morsels

250g Butter - room temp

200g Brown Sugar
60g Milk Powder
300g AP Flour or Spelt
100g Corn Flour
100g Almonds - chopped or if for convenience slivered
80g Chocolate - chopped into 1/4" pieces. This is recommended and yields better results in texture than chips. Although contrary to my suggestion, I used chips this time for ease.
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325˚

Stir together flour, milk powder, corn flour and baking soda and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until well blended. Gently fold in the dry mixture and mix until just incorporated. Finally add in chocolate and almonds and mix until evenly distributed. To keep the crispy integrity of the cookie, the less the dough is handled the better it is, this is especially so if using AP flour. Next, time to bake these delicious morsels! Grab a small 1" scoop if you have one and start scooping up the dough and plonk it on a parchment lined baking sheet 2"-3" apart. Alternately using a teaspoon, drop the dough and gently mound the dropped bits together onto the baking sheet. Do not roll it, squish it or compress it too much. Slide it into the hot oven for about 12-15 minutes until it is a beautiful golden brown.


lostpastremembered December 9, 2009 at 6:30 AM  

So close, I felt I could reach out and grab one! Great cookies! The recipe sounds fab with almonds...and not giant so not as much cookie guilt eating them!

Sze Lin December 9, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

These spread to about 2 inches so are small and crisp. Unless refrained to 2-3 pieces, I usually keep grabbing handfuls at a time cos they're addictive! so the guiltless factor doesn't apply to someone like me LOL! They are easy and quick to make too.

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