12 Days of Christmas Cookies - Day 4

Anyone else in a state of perma-shock that ole St. Nick will be squeezing his portly frame down chimneys in three days?! Looks like I'll be doubling up on cookie recipes. And while one isn't a cookie, I make it every to have Christmas morning, and will share. We are trekking out to Upstate NY to share the holiday with Mumsy, Daddy, Barbie and the twins and I'm wicked psyched! (That's right - I'm letting my New England vernacular flag fly!) Will you be travelling to, or hosting a gathering, great or small?

On to Buche de Noel cookies. Buche de Noel is French for Christmas Log. No wonder we don't translate it - Christmas Log is positively gauche! (Is there nothing that the French language can fancy up?) Anyway - a Buche de Noel is a log-shaped cake, and can be very time-consuming to make. See pic:

The mushroom, while cute, don't seem Christmassy...
Since I tend to go straight to DEFCON 1 if something I attempt on the first try doesn't come out perfectly, I decided to try the junior version of this confection - the cookie.

Borrowed pic. Forgot to snap a pic of mine before they were devoured!

The recipe for this is in a Hershey's Christmas Cookie Booklet I got in a checkout isle whilst I still resided in the Pacific Northwest. Whence I pulled my very first batch of dark brown log-shaped cookies from the oven, the ever-observant Ben remarked about their strong resemblance to excrement. His exact words: "They look like poop." Of course I was mortified that he said something so insulting about cookies that I made! I protested mightily: "They do not look like poop!" He was forthwith banished from my kitchen, but that was it. Buche de Noel cookies they were no longer. Each year, with much giggling, the children ask when I'm going to make the Christmas Poops. Shiloh even told me last week that one of her classmates said her cookie looked like poop. I asked her if she'd called it a Christmas Poop first, and she said no. Christmas Poops is way more gauche than Christmas Log, but I've made my peace with that. But they're so scrumptious you can forgive their resemblance to toilet droppings. I'd forgotten how marvelous the frosting is, too! It's a good thing I have a modicum of self-control, otherwise I would have grabbed a spoon and eaten the rest of the leftover frosting. There's enough for another batch, should I decided to make them. Also I didn't have the instant espresso for the mocha frosting, but subbed 2 tsp of coffee from my mug and that worked just fine! This made just over two dozen cookies.



2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


6 tbsp butter, softened
2 2/3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c baking coca
3-4 tbsp milk
2 tsp powdered instant espresso dissolved
in 1 tsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla


Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs then vanilla, beat until fluffy. Stir dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Then add to the butter mixture in increments, beating until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into logs about 2 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inches in diameter. (I didn't break out the tape measure for mine, so I'm pretty sure they weren't within these specs). Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 7 - 9 minutes.  Cool slightly.

To make the frosting, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, and dissolved espresso (or coffee) and vanilla. Beat until spreadable consistency.

Frost cookies. Using tines of a fork, draw lines through frosting to imitate tree bark. Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired. (I stopped after frosting them.)



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