Megan McGrath

4 Holiday Cookie and Bark Recipes You Can Joyfully Share

These cookie and bark recipes are perfect whether you enjoy holiday baking with the family or need some delicious treats to bring to gatherings

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Few desserts say “it’s Christmastime” better than cookies. Build a tray of holiday favorites with these recipes from News4’s Megan McGrath.

Thin, Buttery, Toffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (I use Heath)

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

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In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla and corn syrup and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then gradually mix in the flour mixture until incorporated. By hand, stir in the toffee bits and the chocolate chips.

Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (distance 2 inches to allow spreading). Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Rotate the tray in the oven and bake another 5 minutes until the cookies are flat and light brown around the edges.

Shortbread cookies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • corn syrup and coarse sugar crystals for decorating

Beat together butter, vanilla and lemon zest until creamy. Blend in the powdered sugar. Gradually add in the flour and beat until incorporated. You may need to use your hands at the end!

Put the dough on plastic wrap and shape into a log. Refrigerate in the wrap for at least one hour until firm. Use a nonserrated knife to cut the dough crosswise into ½-inch thick circles.

Place circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and cook another 5° minutes until the bottoms start to lightly brown. Let cool, brush on some corn syrup and dip the cookies into a mound of coarse sugar crystals then shake off the excess.

Candy Cane Bark

  • one bag white chocolate chips
  • several candy canes, smashed into bits

Using a double boiler (or the microwave at half power) melt the chocolate until smooth. Spread the chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Use a spatula or long knife to spread to an even thickness.

Tip: to prevent the waxed paper from sliding around, rub a little oil on the baking sheet and place the paper on top.

While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle on the candy cane pieces and refrigerate until hard. Peel off the waxed paper and break into pieces.

Chocolate Caramel Bark with Pretzels

  • Semisweet chocolate, one bag
  • individually wrapped caramels
  • thin pretzel sticks broken into pieces

Melt semisweet or dark chocolate and spread onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Unwrap the caramels and microwave at half power until melted, stir until smooth. Drizzle the caramel on top of the chocolate and sprinkle on pretzel pieces. Refrigerate until hard and then break into pieces.

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