Sizzle Simmer Sauté – Sylvania Bakes: 2018 Holiday Cookie Collection – Part 2

–by Jennifer Ruple

Jennifer Ruple

What would the holidays be like without a colorful assortment of homemade cookies to share with family and friends? That’s why we’re bringing you more delicious recipes from the Sylvania area’s best bakers and chefs.

In this issue, the holidays get dressed up with Libby Snow’s Christmas Tuxedo Cookies. I can just imagine how wonderful Casey Johnson’s home smells when he bakes his Great Nana’s Ginger Snaps. Paula Adam brings the warmth of the tropics with her Caribbean Christmas Crumble Bars, and Corinne Cassis shares the recipe for Ghraybeh, a classic Lebanese butter cookie.

Happy Holidays from our kitchens to yours.

Caribbean Christmas Crumble Bars

Caribbean Christmas Crumble Bars
Paula Adam, Mahalo Bake Shop
“I might be a Yankee, born and bred, but my soul lives in the South,” said Adam. “Amidst rich holiday flavors, I developed this recipe for a pop of brightness to cut through the richness of traditional favorites. With a few bites, you are transported to Christmas under a palm tree in the Caribbean.”

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup whole oats
½ cup coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest

½ cup white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan and line with parchment paper leaving at least 2 inches overhanging on two sides.

In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, oats, coconut, sugar and butter until thoroughly combined and it comes together into a crumbly mixture. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture for the topping and press the remaining into the bottom of the baking pan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove pan and lower oven to 325 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, vanilla, lime juice and zest until thoroughly combined. Pour over baked and cooled crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

Combine remaining ½ cup of crust mixture and ½ cup white chocolate chips. Scatter over hot bars and bake 10 more minutes until slightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool completely before chilling for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Cut chilled bars into 16 squares.

Great Nana’s Ginger Snaps

Great Nana’s Ginger Snaps
Yield: 24 cookies
Chef Casey Johnson, Fifth Street Pub Sylvania
“Since I was young, I’ve helped my mom bake these cookies for the holidays. Funny story: As I was typing the recipe for this article, I noticed a discrepancy. When my mom copied the recipe from my nana, she accidentally wrote nutmeg instead of ginger. We realized we had been making ginger-less ginger snaps all these years,” laughed Johnson.

1 ½ sticks sweet cream butter
1 cup plus 1 cup granulated sugar (to roll cookie dough in)
¼ cup molasses, full flavored
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the oven to 375 F. Line a couple of sheet pans with parchment or silicone mats.

Combine the butter and sugar, mix on medium speed until mixture is properly creamed. Scrape sides of mixing bowl a couple times during mixing process. Mixture should be lighter in color and slightly fluffy once fully creamed.

In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Sift to ensure all lumps are removed.

Add the eggs, molasses, and sifted dry ingredients to creamed butter and sugar mixture. Continue to mix on medium speed for another couple minutes, again scraping every so often.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough into remaining granulated sugar, roll into balls, then place on sheet pans. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until the edges are turning golden brown but the centers are still tender.

Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Christmas Tuxedo Cookies

Christmas Tuxedo Cookie
Libby Snow, Libby’s 17 Second Cookies
“This cookie was inspired by my husband’s mom who passed away in 2012. Every Christmas since my husband was a child, Linda made her “Christmas Cheesecake Cupcakes.” After she passed away, I morphed her recipe into a cookie, to creatively continue her tradition,” said Snow.

Cream cheese mixture 
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
12-ounces Christmas colored chocolate chips or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix together cream cheese, sugar and a dash of salt. Add egg and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Then add water, oil and vanilla and mix well. Batter will be runny, like brownie batter.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Using a spoon, drop dollops of the cookie batter on baking sheets. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture on top of each cookie batter ball. Gently press mixture into the dough and arrange to cover most of the surface area.

Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies sit on baking sheet for several minutes before moving to cooling rack.


Yield: approximately 30 cookies
Corinne Cassis, Sitto’s Bakery
“These rich and delicious Lebanese butter cookies will melt in your mouth,” said Cassis. “Be sure to let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few hours before removing, otherwise they may fall apart.”

1 cup firm rendered butter aka ghee  
1 cup bakers’ sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons flour 
Blanched slivered almonds

In a stand mixer, whip butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix baking powder and bakers sugar together and gradually add to whipped butter until fluffy and airy. Replace wire whip with a beater attachment and gradually add the flour until very smooth. Do not over mix.

With an ice cream scoop, gather a small amount of the dough into your hands. Mold into a small ball about the size of a large walnut. Place on clean baking sheet. Place a blanched slivered almond on top center of cookie. If mixture becomes warm, place in refrigerator for a few minutes. Place cookies in refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Cookies must be firm.

While cookies are cooling, preheat oven to 210 F. Place baking sheet on rack in middle of the oven. Bake for 2 hours making sure the cookie remains white. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheet before removing (at least 2 -3 hours).

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