Published Thursday, December 06, 2012

Be cookie inspired

From Staff Reports

closeup@newnan.com

Baking is among the most fun, flavorful holiday traditions – and one that brings family and friends together in the kitchen during the holidays.

In fact, nearly 60 percent of home cooks are expected to bake holiday cookies this year. Whether it’s baking cookies for a neighborhood cookie share or a sweet treat to enjoy after wrapping gifts, the McCormick Kitchens are helping home bakers get “Cookie Inspired” by infusing seasonal signature favorites with inspirational new twists.

“The holidays are marked by cherished baking traditions and enjoying the season’s most-loved flavors and treats, like gingerbread men, sugar cookies, peppermint candies and eggnog,” says Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick. “Home-baked treats are such a thoughtful, personal gift and, in my home, we always have a plate of fresh-baked cookies from the kitchen to greet guests. I always look for ways to surprise and delight my family and friends with inspired twists on their favorite holiday recipes.”

To help bakers get “Cookie Inspired” this season, the kitchens have revisited a favorite holiday baking recipe, and added a fun, new take.

Signature Favorite: Peppermint Bark is a well-loved holiday recipe. This reinvented version of the favorite holiday cookie features a gingerbread cookie with a white and milk chocolate swirled kiss-shaped candy.

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White Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies

Makes 5 dozen or 30 (2 cookie) servings.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

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2 teaspoons McCormick Ginger, ground

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1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, ground

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1 teaspoon baking soda

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1/4 teaspoon McCormick Nutmeg, ground

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1/4 teaspoon salt

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3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

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3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

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1/2 cup molasses

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1 egg

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1 teaspoon McCormick pure vanilla extract

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1/4 cup granulated sugar

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60 white and milk chocolate swirled kiss-shaped candies

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown.

Immediately press a chocolate candy into center of each cookie. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

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