Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Cookie Swap ~ Thumbprint Twists


I have to tell you all... I had a blast being one of the co-hosts for the Christmas Cookie Swap.  I was super lucky that one of my swap partners was Jaime from Mom's Test Kitchen.  Jaime sent me her recipe for Thumbprint Twists.  It seemed pretty straight forward- just 4 ingredients.  Should have been easy, peasy, right?  Well.... almost. ;)

Jaime's Thumbprint Twists
What you will need:
1 package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 bag of Hershey's Kisses Hugs (don't worry- you won't use the entire bag for the cookies)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a mini-muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cookie mix, butter, and egg.  

Scoop the cookie dough into the mini muffin pan, filling about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake 7-10 minutes until the edges are starting to get golden and the middle of the cookies are barely done.

While the cookies are baking, unwrap your Hershey's kisses.  You need 1 per cookie.

Once the cookies have finished baking, immediately push the Hugs into the center of the cookies.  
Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  It's easiest to use a spoon to scoop the cookies out of the pan.

Okay, so I deviated from the recipe.  You all know I had to add my own little twists to it.  I first started by dividing the cookie dough into 3 bowls.  Using food coloring, I colored one bowl green and one bowl red.  I left the other bowl of dough plain.

Then I decided to roll half the cookie dough into balls and then roll those into holiday colored sprinkles.  I placed the cookie dough balls onto a cookie sheet and baked for about 8 minutes.  (If you scroll to the last photo in this post, you can see how those turned out.  Pretty, huh? ;) )
I decided to stick with the good ole Hershey Hugs, but you could opt for any of the new and fun holiday flavored Kisses.  

For the second batch, I decided to try the mini muffin pan.  I didn't like how flat the first batch turned out.  I was hoping the cookies would hold the ball shape a little better.  I pressed the remaining dough into the muffin pan and then topped some of them with the holiday sprinkles.  I baked them for about 10-11 minutes.  And this is where the whole cookie baking deal took a humorous turn...

This is what happened ^^^ to my second batch.  I couldn't bake them any longer or the tops and edges would have been burnt, but they were pretty doughy in the middle and at the bottom.  Not that this didn't taste amazing, especially warm.  It just wasn't very pretty. ;)
Annnndddd.... here was the issue...
Yep.  HUGE baking fail.  I never turned my oven from Preheat to Bake.  Thus, why I had the  weird uneven baking.  Too bad I didn't realize it until I was finished baking and was turning my oven off!  

And here are the pretty, flat ones! :)  My family actually loved these, so they were a huge hit even if they didn't turn out perfectly.  Even the ones I baked in the muffin tin set up a bit better after I left them in the pan to cool for about an hour.  

I would recommend that you do not press the Hershey Kisses into the cookies immediately after baking.  The cookies were pretty hot and the Kisses melted quite a bit.  I had to let the cookies cool for hours before I could store them in a container because I needed to wait for the Hugs to turn solid again.  I would suggest waiting maybe 3-4 minutes after baking to add the Hugs or Kisses.  You want the cookie to still be warm, but not so hot that it turns the Kiss into a chocolate pudding.
I would also suggest that you ALWAYS check your oven to be sure that it is indeed set on Bake and not Preheat. ;)

Thank you, Jaime for the fun Christmas Cookie recipe! 

When did you last commit a baking fail?  Were you able to salvage the results? :)