Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns, 2011

The Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, on December 4 and 5, 2011, along with eleven partnering inns, participated in the 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns.  Our white chocolate-draped snowmen were the stars of our dining room table.  We are providing the instructions we promised to our guests who toured the inn. Our inspiration was a recipe published in a Kraft Foods book and linked here.  We, however, have significantly modified and elaborated from the original recipe.

Snowmen in a White Forest
 You will need:

8oz. cream cheese, softened
24 Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
Melted white chocolate
Melted chocolate
Oreo cookies
Mini peanut butter cups
Gum drops
Sprinkles for mouth (Wilton Jumbo Rainbow Nonpareils)
Black Sugar Pearls 78-523K for the eyes
Pretzels sticks (for arms, optional)
Plate, spoon, & wax paper

Mix the softened cream cheese with the crushed Nutter Butter cookies. Once combined, roll into balls (about 1in. for the heads & 1&1/2 in. for the bodies). Combine the "heads" with the "bodies." Place on a plate and refrigerate until firm.

In the meantime, prepare the hats. With half of an Oreo cookie without the frosting, dot the middle of the Oreo cookie with a little chocolate and place the mini peanut butter cup, upside down onto the Oreo.  With a large spoon, pour chocolate over the hat.  Do not submerge the hat into the chocolate because the peanut butter cup will melt. Make as many as needed and place on wax paper to harden.

Prior to beginning, set up a station for the eyes, mouths, and noses. Since the cookie balls are cold, the chocolate hardens quickly so you must be fast. We used tweezers to place the eyes and mouths. Make "carrot" noses with orange gumdrop candy.  Break off a tiny piece and shaped into a carrot nose. If your fingers get sticky, use granulated sugar to help form the nose.  You can actually use sugar and a rolling pin to roll out gumdrops to form other shapes.  On snowman we added a gum drop scarf as well as pretzel sticks for arms.

Once the cookie balls are firm, take the snowman and slice a small piece off the top of it's head. This gives a flatter surface for the hat to sit on. Dip the snowman in the melted white chocolate. Make sure that it is completely coated. Place him on waxed paper and, with your spoon, pour more white chocolate over it. This will give the "puddled" effect. Immediately begin to stick on the nose, eyes, and mouth, as the chocolate dries quickly.

Place the hat on his head. If you chose to make a scarf, drape it around his neck and put the pretzels in for the arms.

Reindeer on cookie sticks
We used the same recipe above to make reindeer as well.They were placed on sucker sticks and we used the regular chocolate to coat them, mini pretzels for the antlers, a dot of white icing and a colored nonpareil for the eyes, and cinnamon red hots for their noses.

 Dip the heads into melted chocolate and coat well. Place onto a sucker stick. Immediately apply the eyes and cinnamon candy for his nose. Use two regular shaped pretzels for his antlers. Place them back in the refrigerator to harden.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
December 7, 2011

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