As I mentioned in a previous post, my daughter is my official chocolate recipe taster. When she was home last August, I made two Christmas cookie recipes for her to try. I wanted to post both in time for the holidays: the Maxines and Lori's.
They're somewhat similar in ingredients, but they ended up looking entirely different and the flavor wasn't the same either. Trying to get Tracy to decide which she liked better wasn't easy. These particular swirls are softer to eat and I think perhaps were her favorite, although it was a close call on my part to guess and she still won't choose. She loved them both, but for different reasons.
I had frozen both batches, she finished Lori's first (that should tell you something) and then began on Maida Heatter's famous Maxines. She took what was left of those home with her. The almonds in the latter recipe were what changed the look and flavor.
Hope you get a chance to try both....Lori from The Recipe Girl says her family has been making this cookie for over 40 years and personally I think this recipe will be more popular with your kids (not quite as sophisticated as the Maxines), but both will be killer cookies for your holiday cookie tray. No way can I decide...I leave it up to you!
From The Recipe Girl
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon shortening (like Crisco)
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups all-purpose flour, measured then sifted
3/4 cup walnuts or almonds, chopped (optional, I didn't use)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a microwave, melt chocolate in 15 minute increments until most of the chips are melted, then stir until it's all melted together. Add the condensed milk and shortening. Stir and set aside to cool.In your electric mixer bowl, cream together butter, salt, vanilla and sugar. Blend in flour and mix well. Add a few drops of milk to help the batter hold together. The dough will come together but will not be sticky.
Divide dough into thirds. Roll out each on floured surface to a 10x6-inch rectangle. Spread each with chocolate filling; sprinkle with nuts if desired.
Roll up, starting with the 10-inch side. (See Lori's notes below. I rolled out on wax paper for less mess and ease of making the rolls.) This next part is tricky: transfer the roll to an ungreased cookie sheet. (I used parchment paper.) You can see I didn't divide my dough evenly! Bake 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
To serve, cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick. These can be frozen in the whole rolls, then defrosted and sliced later. I sliced and then froze, worked fine.
When finished mixing the dough, if it appears too dry- try placing it inside a large zip baggie and kneading it together to get it nice and held together and ready to roll out.
For a floured surface, try using a flour sack dish towel. This will make it easier to roll as you can lift up the towel and easily help guide the rolling.
For the Christmas holidays, Lori always mixes some red/green sprinkles with the powdered sugar.