Baker’s Spotlight: Cookies and Bars for the Holidays

Baker's Spotlight: Cookies and Bars for the Holidays

Baker’s Spotlight: Cookies and Bars for the Holidays

By now we hope you’ve tried at least one new cookie recipe from the winning collection found in our Cookie Countdown on HBA Social media.

Two include Wisconsin cookie bakers featured in the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News 2021 cookie contest. Each share the background behind their winning cookies. 

Chocolate Truffle-Topped Caramel Bars   Recipe here

Home baker Kathy Jaszewski, is a retired medical technologist and organic farm bookkeeper from Arcadia, WI. Kathy has always loved to bake. She says, “No cake mixes for me!”

These truffle-topped bars are her “only-for-Christmas-treat.”  Adapted from a bar cookie she saw in a seasonal cookbook years ago, she used her own favorite crust for the base and opted for semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate in the truffle topping. 

Candy Bar Pillows: Recipe here

Recipe courtesy of Beth Blecher, Campbellsport, WI.

Hair salon owner Beth Blecher, Campbellsport, WI, shares a recipe her mother, Valeria Baier passed down to her.  Like many of our moms or grandmother’s recipes, we may not be sure from which neighbor, cookbook, news feature or magazine they came!  “Christmas is my favorite time of year, and baking cookies to share with loved noes has always been my favorite part. This one always makes the list of cookies we make each year. It looks so pretty on a cookie plate and is easy to make.”

The distinctive edge is made with a cookie press, using the “sawtooth edged” insert.  1-1/2 inch strips are pressed out and a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate candy bar square is used in the “pillow.” Another favorite of Beth’s is using Andes chocolate mints instead of milk chocolate.

Baking tip: Unsure how to “cream” butter and sugar, start with butter that has been softened only until it is “bendable,” (cool room temperature- 68-70 degrees F.)  – not too soft! Just cream until fluffy—don’t over cream to avoid too much spread.

See more tips and tricks for Cookie and Bar Baking success

A special thanks to Jennifer Taylor, WECN editor, cookie entry test baker and photos by her and associate editor, Mary Erikson.

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