Kim’s holiday cookie showcase

Vanilla Latte Balls

1 cup (2 sticks) Kroger unsalted butter, softened

½ cup Kroger powdered sugar

¾ teaspoon Kroger pure vanilla extract

2 Private Selection vanilla beans, beans inside scraped out

2 to 2 ½ tablespoons espresso instant coffee powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and scraped vanilla beans and beat until well blended on medium to medium-high. Add espresso coffee powder and half the flour. Beat just until blended, then add remaining flour and mix until thoroughly blended. Divide dough in half and form each half into a rounded disc or ball. Wrap separately in plastic wrap, place in a freezer storage bag and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Can make ahead and keep refrigerated.)

Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Start with one disc/ball of dough and pinch dough into small pieces, rolling between hands to create balls. Place balls on ungreased large cookie sheet, about ½ to 1-inch apart. Bake cookies until firm to touch on top, and edges/bottoms look a little browned and done, about 10-12 minutes, or until done. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 1-2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Make Kim’s Buttercream Icing.* Using pastry decorator’s bag and small tip, create “whipped cream topping swirls,” completely covering cookie top.

Store iced latte cookies in single layer in tightly covered containers optimally, but you can use parchment paper between layers after icing has dried, and store in several layers. Keep in cool dry place.
Makes about 44 – 48 cookies.

*Kim’s Favorite White Buttercream Icing:
1 cup salted Kroger butter (or ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening)

1 teaspoon Kroger clear vanilla, regular pure vanilla or almond extract

1 (1 pound) box powdered sugar (1 # is roughly 4 cups sifted)

2 tablespoons whole milk


Whip butter and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar in batches along with milk. Store leftover icing in tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by culinary dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

Chocolate Mint Truffle Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) Kroger unsalted butter, softened

½ cup Kroger powdered sugar

¼ cup Kroger unsweetened baking cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon Kroger pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon Kroger peppermint extract

½ teaspoon salt

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 package (4.67 oz.) Andes Mints, cut into tiny diced pieces (roughly scant 1 cup amount)

 

In a large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter about 30 seconds until light. Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and salt. Beat until thoroughly blended, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in flour gradually until thoroughly blended. Stir in chopped Andes Mints. Remove dough and form into a ball/disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer zippered bag to refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be made ahead and kept refrigerated.)

Preheat oven 350⁰F. Form tiny pieces of dough into a 1-inch ball and roll between hands. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake 11 to 14 minutes, or until tops are firm and no longer shiny/glossy. Cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Make Kim’s Buttercream Icing and tint mint green. Once cookies are cooled, using a pastry bag and very tiny thin tube, “drizzle” icing across cookie tops. Once icing is dried, store cookies in tightly covered containers, with parchment paper in between layers. Store in cool dry location.
Makes about 45 – 48 cookies.

Recipe by culinary registered dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

*Kim’s Favorite Buttercream Icing with Color Tint
1 cup salted Kroger butter (or ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening)

1 teaspoon Kroger clear vanilla, regular pure vanilla or almond extract

1 (1 pound) box powdered sugar (1 # is roughly 4 cups sifted)

2 tablespoons whole milk

Couple drops Kroger green food coloring (to create mint green shade)


Whip butter and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar in batches along with milk. Stir in green food coloring a couple drops. Store leftover icing in tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by culinary dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

Lime Coconut Almond Balls

1 cup (2 sticks) Kroger unsalted butter

2/3 cup Kroger powdered sugar

½ teaspoon Kroger pure almond extract

½ teaspoon lime extract

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 heaping tablespoon lime zest (zest from 2 large limes)

½ cup toasted Kroger shredded unsweetened coconut

¾ cup very finely chopped and toasted Kroger or Simple Truth Almonds

Glaze: powdered sugar and fresh squeezed lime juice

 

In a large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter about 30 seconds until light. Add powdered sugar, almond extract, lime extract and salt. Beat until thoroughly blended, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in flour gradually until thoroughly blended. Stir in toasted coconut and chopped almonds. Remove dough and form into a ball/disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer zippered bag to refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be made ahead and kept refrigerated.)

Preheat oven 350⁰F. Form tiny pieces of dough into a 1-inch ball and roll between hands. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake 11 to 14 minutes, or until tops are firm and no longer shiny/glossy. Cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Once cookies are completely cooled, make glaze with powdered sugar and lime juice, creating consistency that will “drizzle yet coat” cookie top. Drizzle in lines across top. Let harden, then store cookies in tightly covered containers (parchment paper sheets between layers) in a cool dry place. Makes about 48 cookies.
Recipe by culinary registered dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup finely ground Kroger or Simple Truth pecans (ground in food processor, measured after grinding)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup Kroger unsalted butter, softened

1 cup Kroger powdered sugar

½ teaspoon Kroger pure vanilla extract

4-6 cups additional powdered sugar for coating cookies

 

Whisk together flour, pecans and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Place butter and powdered sugar in bowl of electric mixer, and beat at low to medium-low speed until combined, light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix again until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and on low speed, gradually add in flour mixture and beat just until incorporated after each addition. Form dough into a disc/ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour (can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Pinch off pieces of dough to create 1-inch ball, rolling and forming between hands. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake about 14-15 minutes, until bottoms are very very slightly browned. Cool on sheet about 1-2 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar while still hot. Roll again in powdered sugar before packing. Store in layers in tightly covered container, using parchment paper in between layers. Store in cool dry place.
Makes about 50 cookies.
Recipe adapted from Kim’s Mom’s Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies recipe. Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

 

 

Kim’s Peanut Butter Bon Bons (Better Than Buckeyes)

 

3 cups Kroger creamy peanut butter*

1 cup Kroger salted butter (2 sticks)

1 pound powdered sugar (roughly 4 cups powdered sugar)

4 – 5 1/2 cups Kroger Krispy Rice or Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal

24 to 36 oz. Kroger semisweet chocolate chips (2 to 3 12-ounce bags)

24 to 36 oz. butterscotch chips (2 to 3 12-ounce bags)

Couple tablespoons shortening for melting butterscotch chips only

 

Melt peanut butter and butter in a large microwave safe bowl (or in saucepan over medium low heat) until butter is melted and mixture is completely combined. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar and rice krispies. Pour peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and blend with your hands. (Mixture may seem slightly dry, but when formed into balls, should stick together).  Form into balls, no larger than 1-inch diameter.   Place on cookie sheets or in pans close together and chill until firm. (I place in a large jelly-roll pan and cover, placing in cold garage or refrigerator.

 

Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips separately in double boiler (may add tablespoon or two shortening to butterscotch chips). Dip cold bon bons into melted chocolate or melted butterscotch with a spoon. Twirl until completely covered with chocolate or butterscotch and place on wax paper covered cookie sheets. Place wax paper sheets of bonbons on table to cool; Allow coated bon bons to cool until chocolate is completely hardened – either at room temperature or in cooler.  Once completely dry, store in tightly covered container with parchment paper in between layers.

*Tip:  If mixture seems too dry and cannot be formed into balls, add a little extra peanut butter and margarine that has been melted together in the microwave.  If mixture is too gooey, add a tad bit of powdered sugar and a sprinkling of rice Krispies.

 

Makes about 140 – 160 bon bons.
Recipe by culinary dietitian nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN CD