Christmas Cookies

I am not sure why there are cookies that we make only once a year.   I am not sure why we feel compelled to make dozens and dozens of cookies in December and not make a batch a month instead.    Having said that I am one of those who participates in this crazy ritual of Christmas cookies.

Right after Thanksgiving I start hoarding butter that goes on sale in my freezer.  I then pull out my  cookbooks and figure out which ones I want to make and I make a shopping list.  Years ago when I hosted my caroling parties I used to make dozens of varieties.  Each year now it seems like I make fewer and fewer.

One of my favorites to make is a recent find in a 1994 Pillbury Bake-Off book called Fudgy Bonbons.   I highly recommend the  Hershey Hugs or  limited edition candy cane Kisses in these.  I have tried it with cherry cordial Kisses, caramel kisses and many other kinds.   Now that there are so many kinds of Kisses out there it is limitless  what you can do.    I also recommend that you heat them up just a few seconds before you eat them so that the centers are a little soft.  Yummy!

Fudgy Bonbons

1 (12-oz.) pkg. (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
60 Kisses or Hugs
2 oz. white chocolate baking bar or vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
1 teaspoon shortening or oil
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 350°F. In medium saucepan, combine chocolate chips and margarine; cook and stir over very low heat until chips are melted and smooth. (Mixture will be stiff.) Add condensed milk; mix well.
  • Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, nuts, chocolate mixture and vanilla; mix well. Shape 1 tablespoon dough (use measuring spoon) around each milk chocolate candy, covering completely. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 6 to 8 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cookies will be soft and appear shiny but will become firm as they cool. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
  • Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine baking bar and shortening; cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Let stand until set. Store in tightly covered container.
Yield: 60 cookies.
To give proper credit where it is due, here is the link to Pillsbury with this recipe.
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