Part 2: Let the Baking Begin!

Italian Chocolate Balls that appear to have chocolate frosting instead of white in our family recipe. Image courtesy of Applecrumbs.com

Italian Chocolate Balls that appear to have chocolate frosting instead of white in our family recipe. Image courtesy of Applecrumbs.com

This is part 2 of Get Ready for the Christmas Baking to Begin.Today, I’ll be adding three more recipes:
Italian Chocolate Balls (our own family recipe), Peanut Butter Balls (some call them buckeyes, but they really taste like a Reese cup), and
Almond Sugar Cookie Cutouts (my very own recipe that has been acclaimed by many).

 

 

Italian Chocolate  Balls

*This batter takes a fork and a strong arm for mixing or a heavy duty mixer. Yet, the results are so worth it.

Supplies:
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 bag chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Optional: 1/2 cup raisins
approx. 4.5 cups flour…add more flour to make it roll-able if needed
Frosting recipe
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your cookie sheets.
2) Cream the shortening and sugar well.
3) Beat eggs and add to creamed mixture.
4) Fold in the cream cheese, spices, baking powder, and cocoa – mix well.
5) Add a cup of flour and a small amount of milk and alternate between the flour and milk, mixing well between each until you’ve added 4 cups of flour and the rest of the milk. If dough seems too moist (very sticky when attempting to roll a ball), continue to add flour in small increments until the correct consistency allows for rolling a ball without sticking to hands. Once you have the right consistency, add the chips, chopped nuts (and raisins if desired).
6) Roll the chocolate balls and place on cookie sheets.
7) * Before starting to bake the cookies, make sure you have a white or chocolate frosting made so your warm cookies will be dipped immediately for a coating. You will also need your sprinkles and other edible nonpareil readily at hand because the frosting will harden quickly.
8) Bake the cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes or slightly brown on bottoms.
9) While still warm, dip the top of each ball into frosting.

*Before storing, let cookies sit out overnight to dry out a bit. 

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls image courtesy of joyofbaking.com

Peanut Butter Balls image courtesy of joyofbaking.com

This recipe is so loved I am requested to make it at my Halloween Bash every year and you can find the directions at An Eye for all Seasons. but instead of adding an M & M eyeball, sprinkle the tops with nonpareils, forget the red veins and it is still your choice for using dark or white melting chocolate.

 

Sugar cookie dough is so versatile. It can be the base for bars or other confections and can be shaped to bring magic to every holiday. Image courtesy of Monogramsandcake.com

Sugar cookie dough is so versatile. It can be the base for bars or other confections and can be shaped to bring magic to every holiday. Image courtesy of Monogramsandcake.com

Almond Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Supplies:

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. almond extract
5 cups flour(+ approx. a cup for rolling)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Confectionery sugar(10x) (approx. 1-2 cups for rolling)
Icing recipe ingredients
Rolling pin and cutouts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1) Cream the butter and sugar together and add the eggs, extract, salt, powder, and mix well. Slowly add flour until blended well.
2) Check if consistency is “roll-able” – in other words, make sure it isn’t too sticky. If too sticky, add equal parts in small increments of confectionery sugar/flour, mix well and repeat until the dough no longer sticks to your confectionery dusted pin. * Prior to rolling out completely, mix equal parts of flour/confectionery sugar on your surface and pin to prevent sticking.
3) Place cutouts on a cookie sheet and bake 5-8 minutes, making sure not to brown more than the bottoms.
4) Remove cookies from sheets to cool. Once cool, frost with icing suggested or your favorite one and decorate as desired.

Looking Ahead: Part 3: Let the Baking Begin! With recipes for Chocolate Fudge and Neapolitan Cookie recipes coming in the next installment.

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