Seven to nine days leading up to Christmas Eve, I bake at least one, sometimes more, batches of cookies each day for my Christmas Tins.
Day #1


Caramel Frosted Brown Sugar Drops

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Generous 1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cookie vanilla extract
2/3 c. sour cream
1 c. (4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts (divided; optional)

Caramel Frosting

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 2/3 c. powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
1 1/4 tsp. good vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease several baking sheets or spray with nonstick.

***I bake on parchment and I have pictures below to show you why.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and brown sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs and cookie vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated. Lightly beat in half of the flour mixture. Add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and a generous 3/4 cup of your nuts, if using , until evenly incorporated.

Using a heaping 1/8-cup measure or coffee scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets into evenly shaped mounds, spacing about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using a greased hand, pat down the cookies until flattened on top.

Bake cookies one sheet at a time in the upper 1/3 of your oven for 9 to 12 minutes. (I bake mine for exactly 10 min.) You want them barely firm in the middle when you press on them. Reverse the sheet from front to back half way through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled, then frost.

For the frosting:

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until it smells very fragrant and turns slightly golden, about 3 minutes; watch carefully. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of hot water and the corn syrup until the mixture is well blended and the sugar dissolves. Vigorously stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until well blended and completely smooth. Set the frosting aside stirring occasionally, until it cools and stiffens just enough to spread, maybe 2 to 4 minutes.

Set the wire racks with the cookies over wax paper to catch drips. Using a small, wide-bladed spatula, spreader or table knife, generously swirl the cookie tops with the frosting. If nuts were added to the dough, sprinkle a few of the remaining nuts over the top of each cookie and pressed in gently just a little bit. (If at any point the frosting stiffens too much to spread, stir in just enough hot water to make it spreadable.) Let the cookies stand until the frosting sets, about 45 minutes.

Store in a single layer or layered with wax paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. ( I will be freezing these, they freeze wonderfully.)


**Caramel Frosting:

This caramel frosting is so yummy! It really hardens quickly, so you can ice the cookies almost as soon as you have your frosting made.

**The Vanilla

I use cookie vanilla in the cookies themselves and use a really good vanilla to make the frosting.

**Baking on Parchment Paper

Using the same rack in the oven, and the same oven temperature, the cookies on the left were baked on a non-stick cookie sheet. The result are edges that are too brown. Same thing is true when using a plain greased cookie sheet. I have much better results with the majority of my cookies baking them on cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

These are the finished and frosted cookies.



Cookie Vanilla

The cookie vanilla really maintains its flavor in your homemade cookies. It was available here:

http://www.houseonthehill.net/index....ducts _id=662