“Christmas, Cookies & Connection”

Webinar in partnership with with OSF LCMH

Chocolate, vanilla, butter and spice, it’s Christmas time in the kitchen with nostalgic recipes and baking advice. Whether you choose to cook along or watch and learn, you’re invited to also share your favorite recipes in collaboration with The Well Beyond Food Project founder Chef Ryan Hutmacher. This communal experience will showcase some holiday sweet treats with healing powers that aren’t limited by nutrition labels.

Recipes Below

Cracker Toffee *adapted from Ryan's Mom's recipe  

1 - 4 oz. sleeve of saltine crackers (40 crackers)
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
¾ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400°  F. 

On a parchment-lined, 10x15” rimmed cookie sheet, lay saltine crackers in single layer (5 crackers by 8 crackers across).

In a small pot combine the sugar and the butter and bring to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer for 2-3 minutes until sugar dissolves. 

Quickly pour over saltines and cover crackers evenly.

Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top. Rest for 5 minutes. 

Spread melted chocolate with an offset spatula or spoon, then top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces to serve.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies  *inspired by Ryan’s “Memo Evie”
yields 20-24 cookies

1 1/2 cups quick cook oats
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp flour
Pinch of sea salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven at 350°. 

In a small bowl, mix together the oats and melted butter, then set aside. 

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, flour and salt together. Next, add the beaten egg and vanilla extract to this mixture and and mix until smooth.

Add the buttered oat mixture to this bowl and mix evenly, followed by the chopped walnuts.

On a foil-lined or nonstick cookie sheet, dollop 1 Tbsp. of batter, portioned into circles, 2-3 inches apart (they expand by 2-3 x’s once baked).

Bake for 15 minutes then remove and let cool for 15 minutes.

Gently remove cookies once cooled as they are brittle and pack into paper towel lined tins.

PUGS *submitted by Kelly Walsh

1 - 12 oz. bag of Hersey Hugs or Kisses (Holiday flavors add a little pizzazz, like Peppermint, etc)
1 bag of circle or square-shaped pretzels 
1 bag of M&Ms (go with the green and reds ones for the holidays!)

Preheat oven at 200°. 

Unwrap all the Hershey Hugs candies and set aside.

On a foil-lined, parchment or nonstick cookie sheet, line the pan evenly with a single layer of pretzels (6 crackers across by 10 crackers across).

Place the Hugs on top of the pretzels.

Bake for 5-7 minutes, until the Hugs are  soft and slightly melted.

Take  the cookie sheet out of oven and place 1 M&M on top of each Hugs candy, then gently press down.

Place cookie sheet in refrigerator to chill.

Peanut Blossom Cookies *submitted by Kelly Walsh adapted from Land’O Lakes.com
yields 48 cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large Land O Lakes® Egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 - 12 oz. bag Hersey Kisses (or Hugs) unwrapped (70 pieces)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in bowl. 

Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate candy piece in center of each cookie. Remove to cooling racks.

Peanut Butter Balls *adapted from Ryan's Mom's recipe "Peanut Butter Logs"

1 stick butter, melted
2 cups peanut butter, crunchy
1 pound powdered sugar
4 cups Rice Krispies
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Method 1: The clean method
Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 

On low speed to cream the melted butter and peanut butter until well mixed and whipped. 

Next, turn off the the mixer and rest the peanut butter mixture until ready for the powdered sugar.

While the mixer is OFF, add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Carefully, at a designated speed of “1” turn the mixer. 

Slowly mix, as not to agitate the powdered sugar into a dust cloud, until absorbed into the peanut butter mixture. Repeat this process until all the powered sugar is added.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and excess clumping from mixing paddle as needed, between sessions of turning the mixer 

Next, add the Rice Krispies in stages, using the previous method. 

Once completely mixed, remove the mixing bowl from the mixer.

Using a tablespoon or 1 oz ice cream scoop, portion then roll ping pong sized balls. Compact the dough so it stays together and roll in the palms of your hands until it has a smooth, rounded exterior, and place on a nonstick or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place in the refrigerator to cool and harden for at least 30 minutes.

While waiting, prepare a double boiler. Bring a medium sauce pot with 3-4 inches of water, up to a boil. Fill a heat-proof bowl slightly larger than the diameter of the the boiling saucepan, and place over the boiling pot of water’s opening. It’s acts as a lid/cover. Add the semisweet chocolate chips in side. The indirect heat of the boiling water beneath will heat up the heatproof bowl and gently and evenly begin to melt the chocolate.

As the chips melt, gently stir the chips with a rubber spatula, every few minutes, until evenly melted and glossy color.

TIP: make sure it does not have any water on it, as this will congeal and ruin the chocolate’s velvety, melted texture. 

To finish, submerge the chilled peanut butter balls half way into the melted chocolate, the replace on the cookie sheet, chocolate side down. 

Method 2: Mix the melted butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and Rice Krispies, by hand in a bowl. Then follow the instructions above to form and dip the balls.

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