I am in London for the week celebrating Christmas so this will be my last post until I return.  In addition to bringing you one more cookie recipe, I first and foremost want to wish you quality time with friends and family, many memories to add to your treasury and a holiday filled with peace and grace as we remember the reason for this magical season.

I have certainly been on a chocolate kick this season with cookies haven’t I?  First with these Brownie Drops

Brownie Drops {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

then these beloved Chocolate Snickerdoodles

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and I’m topping the chocolate series off with these Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies are soft and chewy like a brownie and that little center bite of white chocolate peppermint kiss is just enough to remind you that it is the holidays.  These would be a fun cookie to make with kids because they would enjoy rolling the balls in powdered sugar and then planting the peppermint kiss on top of the cookies once they are baked.  Also, I’m pretty tight with Mr. Claus and he has informed me that he wouldn’t mind a big plate of these Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies waiting for him by the Christmas tree.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies: Soft and chewy brownie-like cookies topped with a bite of white chocolate peppermint candy

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for rolling
  • 30 Hershey's Peppermint Kisses

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and cocoa powder.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Mix in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Place powdered sugar into a small, shallow bowl.
  6. Roll 1 Tbsp-sized balls of dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar to coat.
  7. Place onto cookie sheets leaving at least 2 inches in between as cookies will spread while baking.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges feel set.
  9. Cool 3 minutes then top each cookie with a peppermint Kiss.
  10. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

roll dough into 1 Tbsp-sized balls

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roll balls in powdered sugar

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bake

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top each cookie with a peppermint Kiss

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Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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What a whirlwind week it has been!  I am currently doing laundry and repacking as my family and I leave for London tomorrow for the Christmas week. I am only slightly exhausted and very excited.  But before I leave again, I wanted to tell you all about my experience in New York City at The Today Show.

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First off, the producer who was my initial and continual contact with the show could not have been kinder or more accommodating.  She made my travel arrangements and worked out the details for my mom to be able to be in the green room on the morning of the segment.

Once I found out I had been selected to be on the segment, I had a phone conversation with The Today Show’s Culinary Director so that we could discuss specifics of my recipe because she was the person who would be preparing my ingredients and actually making the cookies for the show.  She told me which steps she would actually have me perform live on the show.  There was obviously not enough time to make the entire recipe on the show, so she tried to choose the steps that were most unique for each baker’s recipe to perform live, which for me is the incorporation of the spices into my Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies (get the recipe here).  The next time I would speak with her and meet her for the first time would be at our rehearsal.

Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

We were told we would have a rehearsal sometime Tuesday afternoon before the Wednesday live show.  I got an email Tuesday early afternoon saying to meet in the atrium at NBC studios at 5:15pm.  I arrived about 15 minutes early and got to meet the other bakers who would be on the segment with me.  They were from all across the country:  Houston, Brooklyn, Seattle and Chicago and had very different baking and professional backgrounds.  We got along very well and it was such a fun and nice group to share this experience with.

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The producer and one of the pages brought us through security and then we were on the set!  It looked very different at night then it does during the morning show.  The couch where the hosts sit during some segments was covered with big tarps, the cameras were all tucked in for the night and the table for our cookie segment was still a work in progress.  The producer and culinary director reviewed the flow of what would happen on the live show and where everything would be so that we felt comfortable for the big day.

TS3

After the rehearsal, my mom and I went and had a nice dinner and got to bed early in preparation for the early morning ahead of us.  It was difficult for me to fall asleep with all of the excitement I was feeling.  But when that alarm went off at 5:00 am, I flew out of bed!  We arrived at Studio 1A at 6:30 am and were directed to one of their two green rooms for hair, makeup and waiting for the call time of the segment.

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What girl wouldn’t love getting all glammed up??  The hair and makeup ladies were amazingly talented and I felt like a movie star ready for my big debut!

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About an hour before our segment was scheduled, we moved our things up to a second green room directly adjacent to the studio where my mom watched from and got to meet Steven Van Zandt (any fellow Sopranos fans??)!

IMG_2431The other bakers and I went onto the set and got to watch Matt Lauer and his fellow hosts in action from there as the numerous crew members set up our ingredients and cookies and prepared us for “teases”.  Teases are simply when the camera scans over the set for the segment that is coming up to get the viewers excited to watch.

Right before our segment time, the hosts were heading out onto the plaza for the preceding segment and Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie came over and introduced themselves.  That were both so nice and real (and tall and thin!!) and Matt told me “we would have fun”.  They rushed outside and back in and before I knew it there were 5 cameras and teleprompters in front of us and it was showtime!  I was pleasantly surprised how calm I was and I was very happy with how my time with Matt Lauer went.  It was over before I knew it and as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, the crew members descended like vultures on all of our cookies, the tables were being pulled away and the set broken down and it was over!

Here is a link to the segment just in case you missed it:  http://on.today.com/JHKzJk

Today Show

I was overwhelmed before and after the segment with well wishes and support and I cannot thank you enough for that.  This experience was so incredible and is a memory that I will always cherish.  Thank you to my mom for traveling with me, my husband and family for the continuous support and everyone who I encountered at The Today Show who made my experience unforgettable.

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My bags are packed.  I am leaving for New York City this morning with my mom.  I don’t think I will be able to believe the reason that is bringing me to the city until I arrive at NBC studios on Tuesday for rehearsal.  Then Wednesday is the big day on The Today Show.

I can hardly wait to shop for Christmas presents at Union Square Holiday Market, marvel at the window decorations at Bergdorf’s, and take a bakery tour through Baked, Bouchon and Jacques Torres.  But I couldn’t leave without sharing one more perfect holiday cookie with you.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Chocolate Snickerdoodles are unassumingly delicious.  They have the cookie texture that I find perfect which is crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle.  These Chocolate Snickerdoodles are perfectly spiced and the subtle hint of chocolate that comes through as you finish your cookie is so satisfying.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

One of my favorite ways to enjoy chocolate is when it is combined with cinnamon and even a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I just love that warming, multi-noted chocolate flavor combination.  There is a local coffee shop that makes a spicy hot chocolate with either dark or milk chocolate.  It is one of my favorite special weekend treats and reminds me of the flavors of Red Hot candies.  Do you know those small, bright red cinnamon candies that you may have had dissolved in apple cider growing up or used to decorate gingerbread men?  The spicy hot chocolate tastes like they dissolved the cinnamon candies into perfectly rich and creamy hot chocolate.  My love for this warm, comforting drink stems from precisely the same reasons that I love these Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Perfectly spiced snickerdoodles with the subtle flavor of chocolate

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small, microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Add melted, cooled chocolate, egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking soda and salt until well incorporated.
  5. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Place coated dough balls onto baking sheets and gently flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Leave 2 inches between cookies as they will spread while baking.
  7. Bake 10 minutes or until cookies are puffy and tops are cracked.
  8. Transfer cookies to wire racks for cooling.
  9. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine

cream together butter and sugar

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mix in remaining ingredients

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roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture

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place onto cookie sheets and flatten slightly

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bake until puffy and cracked

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I was so excited to be a part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year!  Not only do I like the idea of trading cookies, but most importantly, our efforts raised almost $14,000 toward children’s cancer research!  What a perfect example of cookies doing good and spreading kindness to others!

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I really wanted something chocolatey for my cookie again this year and I am so glad that I opted for these Brownie Drops.  Imagine the taste and texture of a brownie in bite-sized cookie form and that’s what you will get with these Brownie Drops.  The centers of these cookies stay gooey and soft and they are the perfect size for when I perpetually need “just a bite of chocolate” after a meal.  I chose to decorate the tops of the cookies with festively colored powdered sugar glaze, but I think they would be equally as adorable dusted with powdered sugar or topped with a single holiday colored M&M candy.

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

When making the Brownie Drops, the dough will seem to dry, but don’t worry if there are cracks in your rolled balls of dough, the cookies will bake up to have a perfectly smooth, domed top.  For all of you mint chocolate fans, you could substitute 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract for the vanilla extract that is called for in the recipe.

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Thank you to our generous sponsors who contributed to our grand finale of funds raised:  OXO, Grandma’s Molasses, Gold Medal Flour and Dixie Crystals Sugar.

Brownie Drops Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: ~2 dozen cookies

Melt in your mouth chocolatey cookies that are the perfect bite-sized treat to satisfy your sweet tooth

Ingredients

    For the cookies
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed (or extra dark) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • For the glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

    For the cookies:
  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the melted butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Mix in flour until well blended.
  3. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. (This step will ensure that the cookies have a puffy, domed appearance and do not become too flat with baking.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray).
  5. Roll dough into 1 Tbsp sized balls and place onto prepared sheets leaving 2 inches between cookies.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges of cookies feel set.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. For the glaze
  9. Place powdered sugar into a bowl. Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until mixture is well combined, but not too runny.
  10. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.
  11. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Brownie Drops {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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It never fails to amaze me how quickly November and December fly by.  Especially when you have things to look forward to like going home for Thanksgiving, going to London for Christmas.  Like being on The Today Show.

source:  today.com

Wait, what?  When will someone wake me up from this dream?  I am slowly beginning to believe that it is real and actually happening.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a segment called “Today’s Top Holiday Cookie” on The Today Show.  The hosts of the show each chose a favorite holiday cookie and then they called for submissions of viewers’ recipes for the various cookies.

Matt Lauer’s cookie flavor is Ginger Spice and I have a family recipe that goes back to my great grandmother for the best Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies.  These cookies are perfectly spiced with a bit of a kick from cloves and ginger.  They stay extra soft and chewy due to the incorporation of plenty of butter and molasses.

Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I submitted my recipe for the Ginger Molasses Spice Cookies along with a photo of the cookies and one of myself thinking that would be the end of it.  Then, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, my heart raced when I saw that I had missed a call from a 212 area code.  I returned the call and the producer of The Today Show explained that she was simply calling to get some additional information from me about my recipe and whether or not I would be available for the dates of the segment.  She was very clear that she was still talking with other people, but that she would get back to me to let me know one way or the other by December 4th.

Tuesday of this week I got a second phone call from the same producer congratulating me on being selected to come to New York City for the segment!  I had such a rush of adrenalin all day and couldn’t eat anything because I had too many butterflies in my stomach from the excitement!  I have been overwhelmed with well wishes and support from family and friends and I cannot believe that my dream of baking on television is actually going to come true!

My mom will meet me in New York and the segment will air on December 18th.  I feel so fortunate and grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to share my love of baking and one of my favorite holiday cookies on The Today Show!!

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