Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Cat and Christmas Cookies

I was so afraid I would be reporting to you today about how I had to put my cat Mike to sleep. He has been very ill and spent the weekend at the vet's. Saturday morning the doctor said there was a possibility Mike had cancer or an untreatable immune disorder, and we would know for sure on Monday if we would need to be merciful, if you know what I mean. I have been distraught to say the least. But he pulled through on Monday with negative tests and is on the mend. It seems he has been suffering from an acute bladder infection that stopped him from eating or drinking and caused a high fever which made his joints so painful he could barely walk.

So, now that I don't have to report such horrible news, I can tell you about cookies. Daughter No. 1 made a batch of chocolate candy cane cookies, and they are yummy.

Cookies (makes 18 sandwich cookies)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops (or more) red food coloring

1/2 cup crushed red-and-white-striped candy canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)

For cookies:

Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients; beat until blended. Refrigerate dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass or hands, flatten each ball to 2-inch round (edges will crack). Bake until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, about 11 minutes (do not overbake or cookies will become too crisp). Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely.

For filling:

Using electric mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Add peppermint extract and 2 drops food coloring. Beat until light pink and well blended, adding more food coloring by dropfuls if darker pink color is desired. Spread 2 generous teaspoons filling evenly over flat side of 1 cookie to edges; top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies and peppermint filling.

Place crushed candy canes on plate. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies (candies will adhere to filling). (Cookie sandwiches can be made ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.)


dive said...

Hoorah for Mike! Bless his big fat fluffy tummy. I am so relieved to hear he's mendable, Robyn, and will be even happier when he's back chasing yarn balls around the house.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I'm glad to have good news from you all around!

Happy Holidays!

Shan said...

Whew! We have both have a pre-holiday animal crisis! It scares me that I can get soooo attached but they are just a part of our daily lives and they each have such personalities (some more than others just like people). I figured it was Mike you were talking about on fb. Poor kit cat. Give him a kiss for me.

I'm also in treat making mode and these are quite festive. I never voluntarily make things with mint flavoring but perhaps I should so as to not be tempted by them myself. :} Everything I want to make this year requires a food processor and I don't have one. I can see I should have gotten a letter off to Santa about this early. He brought me a camera for my computer instead (which was on last years list so I won't complain ;). heehee. MERRY CHRISTMAS ROBYN!!

lynn said...

What a relief Robyn. I am so pleased for you.

The cookies look yum and I may well try this recipe.

lynn said...

Shan you and me both. I need a food processor too. I wish Santa could fit two last-minute ones onto his sleigh.

Gina said...

Poor baby! I hope he the meds work quickly.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Robyn!

I read and enjoy all of your posts on my feed reader, but I just never seem to have the time to comment. But just know that I love everything you write!