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Holiday recipes: Delicious desserts to try

Satisfy your holiday sweet tooth with these delicious dessert recipes to make for yourself or give as gifts.

Sugar Cookie Santas

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream plus more if necessary
Red sanding sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
56 mini chocolate chips
28 miniature marshmallows
28 Red Hots or red M & M's

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add the flour in two additions and the sour cream in one addition at low speed until just combined.

4. Use a small ice-cream scoop or heaping tablespoon to drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. With moistened palms, flatten the mounds into 1 1/2-inch disks. Bake until the centers are firm and the edges are just light golden, 11 to 14 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar and cream. Spread icing on each cookie. Sprinkle the top third of the cookie with red sanding sugar. Sprinkle bottom third with coconut. Place a marshmallow on the end of the hat, the chocolate chips for the eyes, and the Red Hot or M&M for Santa's nose. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes about 28 cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookie Reindeer

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup smooth peanut butter
Mini pretzel twists, broken into 96 one-inch pieces
48 red peanut M&M candies
96 mini chocolate chips

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the nuts in a food processor and chop fine. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream the cooled, melted butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chopped peanuts. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (or up to 6 hours) to let the dough firm up.

3. Scoop up a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie.

4. Bake the cookies until they are lightly colored, 14 to 15 minutes. Immediately insert two pretzel pieces into cookies for antlers, while the dough is still very soft. Place one M&M in center for nose, two chocolate chips for eyes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes about 48 cookies.

Brownie Christmas Trees

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Miniature candy canes (2 inch), unwrapped
1 cup green candy melts
Red and green candy sprinkles, gold nonpareils, and other sugar decors

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure the foil is tucked into all the corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan on all sides.

2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine unsweetened chocolate, chocolate chips, and butter. Microwave on high until chocolate is almost melted. Whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake the brownies until they are just set and a few moist crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted into the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Grasping the overhanging foil on either side of the pan, lift out the brownies and place them on a cutting board. Place the board in the freezer for 10 minutes, to allow the brownies to firm up. Cut brownies into 3 rows. Cut each row into 6 triangles. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reserve ends for snacking.

6. Break off the curved ends of candy canes. Insert straight piece into bottoms of triangles to make tree trunks. Place candy melts in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until halfway melted. Whisk until smooth. Dip a fork into the bowl and then wave over brownies to create garlands. Sprinkle with decors.

7. Let stand until candy melt mixture is set. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes 18 brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Melting Snowmen

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, completely melted and cooled slightly
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
One 12-ounce bag white candy melts or white chocolate chips
20 mini peanut butter cups
20 orange sprinkles
40 mini chocolate chips

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Cream the cooled, melted butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if you are using them. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (or for up to 6 hours) to let the dough firm up.

4. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie.

5. Bake the cookies until golden around the edges but still soft on top, 9 to 11 minutes. Let the cookies stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Slice tops off each peanut butter cup and cut each top piece in half. Cut each bottom piece in half. Set aside. Place candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until half-melted. Stir until smooth. Spoon melted coating over each cookie to cover cookie and resemble melted snow. While coating is still tacky, add a peanut butter cup top and bottom for a hat. Place mini chocolate chips and a sprinkle under hat for eyes and nose. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes about 40 cookies.

Hanukkah Blue-and-White Cookies

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup royal blue candy melts
1 cup white candy melts

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat at medium speed until combined. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add the flour in two additions and the sour cream in one addition at low speed until just combined.

4. Use a small ice-cream scoop or heaping tablespoon to drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. With moistened palms, flatten the mounds into 1 1/2-inch disks. Bake until the centers are firm and the edges are just light golden, 11 to 14 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Place the blue candy melts in a medium bowl and microwave on high until halfway melted. Stir until smooth. Use a small metal spatula to spread over half of each cookie. Repeat with white candy melts, covering remaining cookie halves. Let stand until set. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes about 28 cookies

Cranberry and Pistachio Wreaths

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: For the cookies: 1 cup
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the icing:
3/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice plus more if necessary
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon butter, melted
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts

HOW TO:

1. Make the cookies: Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the dough comes together in a ball.

2. Divide the dough into three equal balls. Wrap each ball in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and for up to two days. (The dough can be frozen for up to one month; defrost it in the refrigerator before use.)

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Remove one ball from the refrigerator and knead it four or five times on a lightly floured work surface to soften it. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut it into wreath shapes with a cookie cutter. Refrigerate the scraps.

5. Bake the cookies until they are firm and golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Slide the entire parchment sheet with the cookies onto a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough and then with the chilled scraps, using fresh parchment paper.

6. Make the icing: Whisk together the confectioners sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and salt until smooth.

7. Spread a thin layer of icing over cookies. Sprinkle with cranberries and pistachios and let stand until set. (Can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by parchment or waxed paper, up to two days.) Makes about 40 cookies.

Dulce de leche thumbprints

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely ground (using a food processor)
1/2 cup dulce de leche
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Edible gold stars or coarse gold sanding sugar from a craft store

HOW TO:

1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in the pecans. Cover and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. With floured hands, roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch round balls. Place on baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Use your finger or a rounded measuring spoon to make an indent in the center of each ball.

4. Bake until bottoms are brown and set, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. Place the dulce de leche in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until just loose and warm, 10 to 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of dulce de leche into indent of each cookie. Let stand until caramel is set, 15 to 30 minutes.

6. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl and microwave until 75 percent melted. Whisk until smooth. Dip a fork into melted chocolate, then wave back and forth over cookies to decorate. Sprinkle the edible gold stars over the chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Makes about 32 cookies.

Brownie pie

Top with ice cream or whipped cream
Photo Credit: Marge Perry


Top with ice cream or whipped cream and pomegranate seeds.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 stick unsalted butter, cut in bits
2 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate (to taste), cut in bits
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate.

2. Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave or on top of stove until it is nearly, but not fully, smooth. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.

3. Beat eggs briskly with a fork until well combined. Add vanilla, sugar and flour and beat again until well combined. Stir in melted chocolate mixture and beat until smooth; stir in nuts and transfer to prepared pie plate.

4. Bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out with some crumbs still clinging; it should be slightly moist. Allow to cool before cutting into wedges to serve. Makes 8 servings

Triple ginger snaps

If you like your holiday cookies full
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


If you like your holiday cookies full of spice, these are the slice-and-bakes for you. When buying crystallized ginger, look for plump, tender pieces. Shriveled, desiccated ginger will become very tough and dry in the oven.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark (not blackstrap) molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 large egg
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup white sanding sugar or turbinado sugar (See note)

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, and fresh ginger in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in crystallized ginger.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Turn 1 portion onto a piece of wax paper and shape it, rolling it inside paper, into a log about 7 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Place sanding sugar in small bowl. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Press 1 side of cookies into sanding sugar and place cookies, sugared sides up, on prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Bake them until cookies are set around the edges but still soft on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide them, still on the paper, onto wire racks to cool completely. Makes 42 cookies.

NOTE: Sanding sugar is a large-crystal sugar used as edible decoration. It does not dissolve when subjected to heat. It's available in baking supply and some specialty stores. Turbinado sugar ("sugar-in-the-raw") will achieve a similar effect.

Stained-glass star cookies

Be sure to let these cool completely
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


Be sure to let these cool completely on the baking sheets before moving them, to allow the cookies to set up and the candy centers to harden. Red or green hard candies may be substituted for the butterscotch candies, if you'd like. Or skip the stained-glass decoration and use the dough to make cut out sugar cookies to decorate with sprinkles and sanding sugar.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces butterscotch candies, unwrapped and ground fine in a food processor
Coarse white sanding sugar

HOW TO:

1. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Beat in flour and salt on low until dough is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 2 portions. Press each into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Place candies in work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until finely ground. Transfer candy to a small bowl.

5. Working with 1 dough disk at a time, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn dough often, loosening it from the countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking.

6. Use a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough, and then use a 1-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to make a star cut in the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Reroll and re-cut scraps until all of the dough is used.

7. Use a very small spoon (I use my 1/4 teaspoon measure) to fill each small star cutout with candy, spreading it with your finger or the back of the spoon to fill, but not overfill, cavity. Sprinkle cookies with sanding sugar.

8. Bake cookies until golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, between sheets of parchment to protect decoration, for up to 3 days. Makes about 40 (31/2-inch) cookies.

No-bake coconut Christmas mice

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 (14.3-ounce) package golden
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 (14.3-ounce) package golden Oreos or other vanilla sandwich cookies
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips or white Wilton Candy Melts
About 40 sliced almonds
Green and red sugar pearls
1 long, skinny red licorice whip, cut into 3-inch lengths

HOW TO:

1. Place the cookies in the workbowl of a food processor and process until ground into coarse crumbs. Add the cream cheese and coconut extract and process until a rough dough forms. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop to form into about 20 balls. With moistened palms, gently roll balls between your palms to make pointed ovals. Place on prepared cookie sheet.

3. Wash and dry the workbowl and process the coconut until it is finely chopped. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

4. Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until 75 percent melted. Stir until smooth. Use a small offset spatula to coat 1 of the cookie balls with the white chocolate. Sprinkle with coconut. Insert 2 sliced almonds into top of cookie for ears, press 2 green sugar pearls into cookie for eyes, and press 1 red sugar pearl into pointy end of cookie for nose. Push one end of a licorice piece into tail end of cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.

5. Cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days until ready to serve. Makes about 20 cookies.

Chocolate-chip and candied-orange cookies

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups all-purpose unbleached
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup candied orange peel, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips, orange peel, and crystallized ginger.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Turn 1 portion onto a piece of wax paper and shape it, patting it inside the paper, into a log about 9 inches long, 1 inch high, and 3 inches wide. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick rectangles. Place cookies on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake until they are pale golden around edges but still soft on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide them, still on paper, onto wire racks to cool completely.

5. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until just melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on the power of your microwave. Dip a fork in chocolate and drizzle with a wave back and forth over cookies for a decorative effect. Let stand until chocolate hardens, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 48 cookies.

Pistachio shortbread Christmas trees

Look for dragées at specialty foods stores
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


Look for dragées at specialty foods stores and baking supply shops, or use small red and green nonpareils instead.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, chilled
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
Dragées (optional)

HOW TO:

1. Place pistachios in work bowl of a food processor and finely grind. Add flour, confectioners' sugar and salt and pulse once or twice to combine. Add butter, egg yolk and vanilla and process until dough comes together into a smooth ball. Divide dough into 2 portions. Press each into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn the dough often, loosening it from the countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking. Use a 3-inch Christmas tree cutter to cut dough, rerolling and cutting scraps. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake until gold around edges, 13 to 15 minutes. Slide cookies, still on parchment, onto wire racks to cool completely.

3. Place cookies, still on racks, on top of rimmed baking sheets. Use a small offset spatula to spread milk chocolate over trunks of trees. Dip a fork into white chocolate and wave back and forth over cookies to decorate. If desired, place some of the dragées on the chocolate so they adhere. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Store between sheets of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes about 24 (3-inch) Christmas tree cookies.

Cranberry-pistachio crumble bars

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups cranberry relish or preserves
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oven racks in bottom third and top third of oven. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure foil is tucked into corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging top of pan on all sides.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in eggs. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture.

4. Use a spatula to smooth half of batter in an even layer across bottom of pan. Place pan in freezer. Stir pistachios into remaining batter and place in freezer for 15 minutes.

5. Remove pan from freezer and spread cranberry mixture in an even layer on top of dough. Pinch off pieces of remaining dough and scatter evenly over cranberries.

6. Place pan on bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer pan to top rack and bake until top is light golden, another 5 to 10 minutes. Let pan cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of pan, lift out bar and place on a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares. Sift confectioners' sugar over bars, if desired, just before serving. Bars will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Makes 24 squares.

Slice-and-bake anise cookies

The licorice flavor of these cookies makes
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


The licorice flavor of these cookies makes them a nice after-dinner treat with a cup of strong coffee or espresso. To really square off the cookie dough logs, press lightly on each side with a long metal spatula.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seeds, finely ground in a spice grinder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk (more if necessary)
1/4 teaspoon pure anise extract (optional)
2 tablespoons nonpareils

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and ground anise in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Turn 1 portion onto a piece of wax paper and shape it, rolling it inside the paper, into a 9-inch-long log. Square off log by flattening against the counter on four sides. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick squares. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake them until they are pale golden around the edges but still soft on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Whisk together confectioners' sugar, milk and anise extract. Use a small metal spatula to ice each cookie, then sprinkle with nonpareils. Let stand until the icing is set, about 30 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

Chocolate-peppermint candy canes

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 1/2 cups unbleached
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
3 ounces peppermint candies, coarsely crushed

HOW TO:

1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together with an electric mixer on medium until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour mixture on low until dough is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 2 portions. Press each into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn the dough often, loosening it from the countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking.

5. Use a candy cane-shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough, rerolling scraps and recutting until all the dough is used. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake until firm, 13 to 15 minutes. Slide cookies, still on parchment, onto wire racks to cool.

6. Use a small offset spatula to spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over 1 side of each cookie. Sprinkle with peppermint and let stand until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Store for up to 3 days between sheets of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 32 (3-inch) cookies.

Peanut butter blondies with chocolate icing and burnt peanuts

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: For blondies: 2 1/4
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For blondies:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped salted peanuts

For icing:

16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup packaged "burnt peanuts," coarsely chopped

HOW TO:

1. Make blondies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure foil is tucked into corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging top of pan on all sides.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in peanuts.

4. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan. Bake until blondies are just set in center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Make glaze: Put 1 inch water in bottom of a double boiler or medium saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Combine chocolate, oil and corn syrup in top of double boiler or in a stainless-steel bowl and set it on top of simmering water, making sure water doesn't touch bottom of bowl. Heat, whisking occasionally, until chocolate and oil are completely melted.

6. Spread over blondies, sprinkle with burnt peanuts and let glaze set, about 2 hours.

7. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of pan, lift out blondies and place on cutting board. Cut into 24 squares. Blondies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Makes 24 cookies.

Balsamic-brown sugar caramelized pear galette

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 refrigerated piecrust (about
Photo Credit: Marge Perry


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 refrigerated piecrust (about 7 ounces)
5 Bartlett pears (about 2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 lightly beaten egg

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the crust out to a 14-inch circle; transfer to the sheet pan. (It is all right if the dough hangs over the edges.)

3. Toss the pears with the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and flour. Arrange them artfully on the dough, leaving the outer 2-inch perimeter clear. Fold this edge in toward the center, gently pleating it as you go. Brush the dough with the egg.

4. Bake 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake until the crust is golden and the pears are fork tender, about another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into wedges. Makes 8 servings.

To accompany with roasted pear: Cut a 1/4-inch-thick slice out of the center of each pear. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and brush with butter. Place in a preheated, 425-degree oven 16 to 17 minutes, turning once, or until golden and tender.

Eggnog icebox cookies

Rum extract and egg yolks, instead of
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


Rum extract and egg yolks, instead of whole eggs, give these cookies an eggnog-like flavor and richness. Cream of tartar gives them a subtly tangy flavor.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
11/2 teaspoons rum extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and rum extract and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Turn 1 portion onto a piece of wax paper and shape it, rolling it inside paper into a log 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake them until they are pale golden around the edges but still soft on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide the cookies, still on the parchment, onto wire racks to cool completely.

5. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and nutmeg. Use a fine strainer to heavily dust the cookies with the spiced sugar before serving. Makes 60 cookies.

Snowman cookie pops

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
24 large lollipop sticks from a craft store
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
M&M's
Red licorice whip
Mini chocolate chips
Orange gumdrops

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, as necessary.

3. Add egg and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add half the flour on low speed until just combined. Mix in sour cream, then add the rest of the flour.

4. Use a small ice-cream scoop to drop about 24 mounds of dough 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Stagger rows to leave room on the sheet for lollipop sticks. With moistened palms, flatten mounds into 11/2-inch disks. Slowly insert end of cookie sticks into bottom of cookie, using a turning motion to minimize damage. Bake until centers are firm and edges are light golden, 11 to 14 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cream and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. With a small metal spatula, spread white icing on each cookie. Place 2 M&M's on either side of cookie, connecting them with a length of licorice, to form earmuffs. Arrange mini chocolate chips as eyes and mouth. Cut a small wedge from an orange gumdrop and place in the center as a nose. Let stand 30 minutes to set.

6. Tie a ribbon around the base of each cookie, to resemble the snowman's scarf. Makes about 24 cookie pops.

Espresso snowflakes

Instant espresso powder gives these simple shortbread
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


Instant espresso powder gives these simple shortbread cookies powerful flavor. Dust them with confectioners' sugar just before serving for the prettiest presentation.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

HOW TO:

1. Cream together butter, brown sugar, espresso powder and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Divide dough into 2 portions. Press each into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn dough often, loosening it from the countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking. Use a 3-inch snowflake cookie cutter to cut dough, rerolling and cutting scraps. Place cut cookies on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake until firm, 15 to 18 minutes. Slide cookies, still on parchment, onto wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

3. Place cookies on rimmed baking sheets (this will contain the mess). Whisk together confectioners' sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl. Spoon mixture into a fine strainer and shake strainer over cookies to dust heavily just before serving. Makes about 36 (3-inch) cookies.

Cinnamon-pecan cookies

Make sure you chop the nuts very
Photo Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


Make sure you chop the nuts very fine, or your dough will crumble under the pressure of the knife. A food processor is best, but don't overprocess or your nuts will be oily.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup golden sanding sugar
48 pecan halves for garnish

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, chopped pecans, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine butter and confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Divide dough into 2 portions. Turn 1 portion onto a piece of wax paper and shape it, patting it inside the paper, into a log about 8 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the sanding sugar in a small bowl. Slice dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Press each round into th e sugar and then place the rounds, sugared sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Press a pecan half into center of each cookie. Bake cookies until they are pale golden around edges but still soft on top, 13 to 15 minutes. Slide them, still on the paper, onto wire racks to cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.

Black pepper-shortbread moons with citrus glaze

You can really taste the black pepper
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


You can really taste the black pepper in these cookies, and it contrasts wonderfully with the lemony glaze.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
For the cookies:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/2 cup sugar

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

HOW TO:

1. Make the cookies: Whisk together flour, cornstarch, pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Divide dough into 2 portions. Press each into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn dough often, loosening it from countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking. Use a 2-inch star cookie cutter to cut dough, rerolling and cutting scraps. Place cut cookies on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake until firm, 11 to 13 minutes. Slide cookies, still on parchment, onto wire racks to cool.

3. Make glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon and orange zest in a small bowl until smooth. Use a small, offset spatula to spread a thin layer of glaze over each cookie. Let cookies stand until glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Store between sheets of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes about 50 (3-inch) cookies.

Classic mini gingerbread men

With the clever placement of candies, sprinkles
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


With the clever placement of candies, sprinkles and other sugar décors, it is possible to decorate your gingerbread men without piping royal icing from a pastry bag. For those of you who want to do so, a recipe is included.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the cookies:

21/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark (not light or blackstrap) molasses
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Red Hots, sugar hearts, sprinkles and other sugar décors for decorating

For the icing (optional):

1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 1/2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup confectioners' sugar

HOW TO:

1. Make cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl. Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add molasses, egg yolk and vinegar and beat until smooth, scraping down side of bowl once or twice as necessary. Stir in flour mixture 1 cup at a time, until incorporated.

2. Scrape dough onto countertop, shape into a 5-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured countertop. Turn dough often, loosening it from the countertop with a large, offset spatula to prevent sticking. Use a 3-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut dough, rerolling and cutting scraps. Place cut cookies on prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart. Press sugar decorations and candies into cookies to make eyes, mouths, buttons, etc.

4. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cookies, still on parchment, onto wire racks to cool completely.

5. Make icing, if desired: Whisk together meringue powder and water in a large bowl until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar, whisk and then beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Scrape icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip and pipe additional decorations onto cookies. Let cookies stand until icing is set, about 30 minutes. Store for up to 3 days between sheets of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 30 (3-inch) gingerbread men.

Apple galette with cranberries

WHAT YOU'LL NEED 2 pounds Golden Delicious
Photo Credit: Marge Perry


WHAT YOU'LL NEED
2 pounds Golden Delicious apples (4 large apples)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 ready-to-bake prepared crust
1 egg, lightly beaten

HOW TO:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Peel the apples and cut into thin slices. Toss with the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice and cranberries.

3. Roll out crust on floured surface to a diameter of 12 to 13 inches. Transfer to baking sheet. Leaving a 2-inch perimeter free, place the apple mixture on the crust. Fold the edges in over the apple mixture, pleating the crust as you go.

4. Brush egg over piecrust dough and bake in center of oven until crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped, about 25 minutes. Let cool before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Stenciled gingerbread

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1/2 cup (2 sticks)
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1/2 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup dark (not light or blackstrap) molasses
1 large egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a little more for rolling
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or green Wilton Candy Melts
Cookie stencils from craft store
Nonpareils for sprinkling

HOW TO:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high.

2. Add the baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves, and beat until incorporated.

3. Add the molasses, egg and white vinegar and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, as necessary.

4. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a rough square. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least three hours and up to 3 days.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut away 1/4 of the dough and rewrap the rest in plastic. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the smaller piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch circles. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet. If you are making these as ornaments, cut a hole at the top of each cookie with a drinking straw.

6. Bake the cookies until they are firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide the entire parchment sheet with the cookies onto a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough and then with the chilled scraps, using fresh parchment paper.

7. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until 75 percent melted. Whisk until smooth. Place a cookie stencil over a cookie. Use a clean paint brush or pastry brush to brush some melted chocolate on the cookie. Sprinkle the chocolate-covered area with nonpareils. Carefully lift stencil from cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until set, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Makes about 45 cookies.

M&Ms biscotti

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 2/3 cups unbleached
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
White chocolate-peppermint M&M's for decorating

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar. Add eggs, yolks and vanilla, and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips on low speed.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a flat log about 12 inches long and 21/2 inches wide. Place the logs several inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake the logs until they are firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut them diagonally into about 24 slices about 1 inch thick. Lay the slices, cut-side down, on the baking sheet and return cookies to the oven. Bake until they are crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

6. Place the remaining chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until 75 percent melted. Whisk until smooth. Line a baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Dip the rounded sides of the biscotti in the chocolate, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Arrange M&M's on top of chocolate and let stand until set, about 1 hour. Makes about 24 cookies.

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