By Kanwal Ullah
Christmas is less than a week away and I hope you all finished your shopping and are preparing for a fun holiday evening. I love Christmas. I especially love Christmas in New York. It’s the one time of the year where everything seems to go together. The cold weather, hustle and bustle of crowds, the lights on 5th avenue, the Macy’s display and please, lets not forget about the tree at Rockefeller center! Yes, Christmas time in New York is where it all comes together!
One of my favorite things about this time of year is baking gifts for friends. I think there is no more personal gift you can give a loved one than a gift you’ve made yourself. There are a ton of ways to get creative, make your own baked goods and package them. Not only is this a personal touch, but it is also very economical.
Every year, for my friends I make a batch of homemade baked goods. This year I took the chocolate chip cookie route and kept it very simple. There’s no better tasting chocolate chip cookie than a Tollhouse cookie. Onto the Nestlé website I went and got the original recipe. I made a batch of these cookies and packaged them in a holiday tin ($1.50). Now, I used regular chocolate chips but you can certainly be more festive and use red and green M&Ms, although I do like he simplicity of plain chocolate chips. Baking your gifts for loved ones opens up an array of things that could be made: cookies, brownies, cup cakes, mini cakes, brittle, chocolate bark etc.
I hope you will take time to make a personal gift for a loved one this year! Please see below for the Tollhouse cookie recipe.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.