Author photo

By Terri Hahn

Got chocolate? We've got Christmas cookies!


December 16, 2021

Courtesy photo - Hershey's

Chocolate Seven Layer Bars

Last year I wrote a Christmas cookie article featuring some of my favorite holiday cookies I've made over the years. If you tried any of the recipes I hope you enjoyed them.

This year I'm sharing recipes I found while going through my mom's recipe box. Some are clipped from newspapers or magazines. Others came from the coupon supplements found in the Sunday paper. A couple are on the packaging from the original product. What they do have in common is they all include chocolate in one form or another.

One (Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies) is handwritten on a standard 3-by-5 recipe card. I admit I always get sentimental when I come across something she had written. She passed away in 2009 and I miss her every day.

I don't remember her making them, but it's possible she did when I wasn't around. I just know they look good and not real complicated (they are more bar than cookie) so who knows? They might become my new favorites.

Her recipe card doesn't include a source and neither did any of the versions of the recipe I found online. But from what I gather, it's been around a long time.

Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

For the caramel layer:

2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup whole pecan halves

1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in center position.

Crust: In a large bowl combine crust ingredients. Mix at medium speed with hand mixer, scraping sides of bowl often, for 2 or 3 minutes until particles are fine.

Pat firmly into ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over unbaked crust.

Caramel layer: In a heavy 1-quart saucepan combine brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to boil. Boil 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over pecans in unbaked crust.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly and crust is light golden brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips, let melt slightly for 2 to 3 minutes. Swirl chips as they melt, but leave a few whole for a marbled effect. Cool before serving.

Makes 15 bars.

Another I came across was on the back of the bag that once contained Hershey's dark chocolate mint truffle kisses filled. The bag has to be at least 15 years old, but I checked online and Hershey's still makes the kisses at Christmas time.

Mint Capped Brownie Cookie Cups

48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Mint Truffles in Dark Chocolate

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa or Hershey's Cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 48 small muffin cups with paper or foil baking cups. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, water and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until well blended. Add eggs. Beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating on low speed until blended.

If necessary, refrigerate dough until firm enough to handle.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place in prepared muffin cups. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until cookie surface is set. Cookies will appear soft and moist. Do not overbake.

Cool about 5 minutes on wire rack. Press chocolate piece into surface of each cookie cup. Cool completely. Sprinkle each cookie with powdered sugar.

Makes 48 cookies.

Recipe from: Hershey

One Page of a Sunday coupon supplement offered a triple treat. Recipes for Mini Kisses Chocolate Blossoms and Mini Kisses Peanut Blossoms were paired at the top, Chocolate Seven Layer Bars at the bottom. All the recipes are from Hershey's. (Do you see a pattern here?)

Drop sweet bites of Hershey's chocolate on top of these already chocolaty blossom cookies. Hershey's Mini Kisses Chocolates make the perfect topper for soft and chewy chocolate cookies.

Mini Kisses Chocolate Blossoms

Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes

1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar for rolling (additional)

1-1/2 cups

1 (9-ounce) package Hershey's Mini Milk Chocolate Kisses

Beat butter, 1-1/2 cups sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-1/8-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Place 3 chocolate pieces on each cookie, pressing down lightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe from: Hershey's

Hershey's Mini Kiss Peanut Blossoms

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Extra granulated sugar

1 (9-ounce) package Hershey's Mini Milk Chocolate Kisses

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In large mixing bowl, beat shortening and peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in extra granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place 3 chocolate pieces on top of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe from: Hershey's

This easy seven layer bar recipe turns rich chocolate, fluffy marshmallows, flaky coconut and crunchy pretzels into a dessert worth savoring. Best of all, you can whip it up in just 15 minutes, although it does need to chill before serving.

Chocolate Seven Layer Bars

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes

Cooling time: 90 minutes

Chilling time: 15 minutes

1-1/2 cups finely crushed thin pretzels or pretzel sticks

1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), divided

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

3/4 cup (4 ounces) Hershey's cocoa

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2/3 cup Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon shortening (do NOT use butter, margarine, spread or oil)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter. Combine melted butter and pretzels in small bowl; press evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan.

Courtesy photo - Hershey's

Mini Kisses Chocolate Blossoms

Place sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and remaining 1/2 stick butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at mediuum (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at medium an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Carefully spread over pretzel layer in pan. Top with marshmallows, coconut and pecans; press firmly down onto chocolate layer.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned; cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl at medium (50%) 1 minute or until melted when stirred; drizzle over entire top. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until glaze is set. Cut into bars.

Makes about 36 bars.

Recipe from: Hershey's

Terri Hahn of Osceola has worked in food media for more than 30 years and has won numerous state and national awards for her writing.


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