A World of Cookies Out There

world-of-cookies-out-there

Try Some Of These Favorites From Around The Globe This Holiday Season

Hey kids, kids all around the world just like you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in many ways. Their traditions may be a little different from country to country, but one thing is always the same. They LOVE cookies!
Grab your adult, an apron and some ingredients and whip up some of these international cookie favorites. Make sure your adult handles all of the baking and you use caution when handling sharp knives and hot cookie sheet pans.

All American Peanut Butter Cup Cookies – USA

Ingredients:
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Belgian Christmas Cookies – Blegium

Ingredients:
• 2/3 cup butter
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons red decorator sugar
• 2 teaspoons green decorator sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, then stir in the almond extract. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Turn into a greased 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan and spread evenly to edges.
Sprinkle a mixture of almonds and cinnamon over batter, then sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugars.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cut into bars while still warm.

Mexican Holiday Cookies – Mexico

Ingredients:
• 3 cups all purpose flour
• 1½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3 teaspoons crushed anise seed
• zest of one orange
• 1¼ cups vegetable shortening or lard
• ¾ cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the anise and orange zest.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and lard. Using an electric mixer, beat the vegetable shortening or lard and sugar until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and stop as soon as mixture is combined. Dough should be thick and similar in consistency to pie crust dough. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for topping.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out cookies (I used a 2½ inch circle cutter). Place cookies on lined baking sheet and bake until just barely golden and set, about 10 to 12 minutes (be careful not to over cook!). Let cookies cool for 1 minute, then carefully dunk them into the sugar mixture. Place on cookie rack until completely cooled.

Dutch Cookies – The Netherlands

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup white sugar
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• salt to taste
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to sugar mixture and mix well, being careful not to over mix.
Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten each with the tines of a fork (dip fork into small bowl of water so that dough doesn’t stick to fork). Do this once or twice, depending on the size of cookie and fork.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. After each pan is removed from oven, carefully place 5 or 6 chocolate chips on top of each cookie while they are still hot. When chocolate is glossy and soft, spread with knife.

Peppernotter (Scandinavian Christmas Cookies) – Denmark/Norway/Sweden

Ingredients:
• 3 eggs
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 2/3 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 teaspoons water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease several baking sheets.
Beat the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then beat in lemon juice, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, allspice, and cloves until thoroughly combined. Mix in flour to make a sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and knead the dough 1 to 2 minutes, adding more flour if needed, to make a smooth, workable dough. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and place the balls on the prepared baking sheets at least 1 inch apart.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from sheets immediately to cooling racks to prevent cookies from getting too hard.
Stir together confectioners’ sugar and water to make a glaze, and drizzle each cookie while slightly warm with about 1/2 teaspoon, spreading it around the top of the cookie.

Polish Christmas Cookies – Poland

Ingredients:
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup shortening
• 2 cups white sugar
• 5 eggs
• 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 6 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 ounce anise extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream the butter, shortening and the sugar together. Stir in the eggs and continue to beat. Add the anise flavoring. Stir in 7 cups of the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Mix until the dough is soft. Add the additional cup of flour if needed. Chill the dough.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Frost and decorate when cookies are cooled.

Chinese Christmas Cookies – China

Ingredients:
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup peanut butter chips
• 1 cup chow mein noodles
• 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Directions:
Melt chocolate and peanut butter chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring frequently, until smooth.
Mix chow mein noodles and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over noodles and peanuts and turn to coat.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

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