Stuff ‘big red guy’ with Christmas cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie, Parmasan Shortbread and White Chocolate Apricot Biscotti recipes for the holiday season.

By now most of you have begun to prepare for the holidays. I believe some of you, such as myself, have not been that good this year. So here are some recipes that will give you a sure upper hand with the big red guy. What I am trying to explain is how to sweeten up that pork chop of a present-giving man we love come Dec. 25. That’s right folks, Santa Claus. Here are a couple of cookie recipes. Let’s see if by the end of the night Saint Nick can still fit down the chimney.  Don’t forget the milk!

We will begin with a classic CHOCOLATE CHIP!

1 cup butter (softened)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 cup flour (divided)

1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp hot water

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream the butter and gradually add the sugars, creaming well. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cup flour, then baking soda mixture. Stir in remaining flour just until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for an hour or so. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I like to use an ice cream scoop to keep my cookies nice and uniform. Place the dough two inches apart and with the back of a wet spoon flatten the scoops of dough to about a 1/2 inch thick. Bake in upper third of the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling racks. This little darling will at least score you a healthy stocking.

If you figure your avant-garde Santa is on his way with never-heard-of hair product and some naturally flavoured sparkling water, this is the cookie you need to bake.

PARMESAN SHORTBREAD

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth dough forms. Place tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light brown on the base of the shortbread. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely. These little princesses should be served with some Camembert, seedless jelly and a nice ice wine.

This next one is a brand new car under the tree cookie! It’s the best biscotti you will ever have. Perhaps a thermos of hot chocolate should be out with these cookies.

WHITE CHOCOLATE APRICOT BISCOTTI

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 squares white chocolate (melted and cooled)

2 3/4 cup flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp almond extract

3 squares white chocolate (chopped)

3/4 cup toasted whole almonds (coarsely chopped)

3/4 cup dries apricots (coarsely chopped)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two cookie sheets.

Beat butter with sugar and eggs and then beat in melted chocolate. Add remaining ingredients, beating until well blended. The dough will be sticky. Spoon 1/2 the dough onto each cookie sheet, shaping each into a long log about 2 inches wide. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut logs into 3/4 inch wide slices. Place cookies on cookie sheets. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer, turning cookies over once during baking. Cool completely.  These babies will make the big man’s lips quiver.