THE COOKING HOBBYIST: Try new recipe for holiday desserts

I’M GOING TO try something new this year.

For the first time since I began working for the Peninsula Daily News in August 2015, the office has decided to do a cookie exchange during our annual holiday party.

The rules are quite simple: People sign up if they want to participate. Once the number of participants has been determined, each one is then given the task of baking four cookies per person.

My usual go-to is chocolate chip cookies. But it’s the holidays and I want to do something more festive.

Scrolling through Facebook the other day gave me the idea I’ve been looking for.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of a few groups dedicating to baking on Facebook. One page I follow is that of I Am Baker (a wonderful source for not only recipes but also tips and tricks and how-to videos).

I Am Baker posted about Grinch cookies last week. The recipe comes from therecipe critic.com which is authored by Alyssa Rivers, a food blogger.

She started the blog in 2012, according to her About page, and uses it to share her passion for cooking. This recipe was shared by a contributing writer named Samantha (no last name given).

And the Grinch cookies are exactly what I was looking for. With the use of food coloring and holiday M&Ms, the cookies are (obviously) green with bits of green and red in them.

I haven’t made these cookies yet — the cookie exchange will be later this month — but I’m excited to try them out.

I might even venture into the food-flavoring world and see how they taste with some peppermint added in.

Wish me luck!

Grinch cookies

1 cup unsalted butter softened

1 2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3-5 drops bright green food coloring

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons corn starch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cup red and green M&Ms (plus additional ½ cup for topping cookies, if desired)

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-combined and light and fluffy (about 1 minute).

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring until well-combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Set mixer to low speed and gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add ingredients and stir until well-incorporated.

Fold in M&M candies and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Once dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Drop cookie dough by heaping 1½ tablespoon-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets. For perfectly round cookies roll dough in your hands into a smooth ball.

Bake for 11-13 minutes. If desired, gently press additional M&Ms into the tops of each cookie for decoration while they are still warm.

Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before removing.

________

Emily Hanson is a copy editor/paginator for the Peninsula Daily News. She is also a beginning baker and clumsy cook. She can be reached at 360-452-2345 ext. 560-50 or [email protected] dailynews.com.

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