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Holiday Delights

Make the Cookie Connection at Skipper’s Pier

Cooking and baking are holiday rituals. We take sweets as gifts and uphold tradition with family recipes as family bonding and tradition.
    If you fear you’ll come up short this busy season, Skipper’s Pier in Deale offers an alternative.
    Owner and pastry chef Jessica LeCronier will do the work for you. On Saturday, December 22, she invites you to fill a tin or basket at Skipper’s first annual Cookie Connection.
    “The Cookie Connection is for all the families out there who do not have enough time at the last minute to bake delicious Christmas cookies. Santa will be stopping by sometime between noon and 4pm. It will be a fun, sweet-smelling experience, with Christmas music playing,” says LeCronier.
    “All you do is pile your cookies in a basket.”
    Bring your own tins to fill, or buy decorative tins and baskets at the Cookie Connection. Pick your cookies — “which will be a tough decision,” LeCronier warns — and pay by the pound at $9.99 per.
    LeCronier’s cornucopia of cookies includes almond crescents, Andes peppermint crunch, butter crunch, citrus spritz, chocolate chip, double chocolate chewy cookies, gingerbread men, iced Christmas sugar cutouts, macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin, orange raspberry swirl, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate, pecan diamonds, seven-layer bars, snicker-doodles and strawberry.
    If you want to impress Santa with your own baking skills, Chef LeCronier offers this recipe:

Double Chocolate Chewy Cookies

1-1/4 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/8 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. espresso powder
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup smashed macadamia nuts

    Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Sift into a large bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add one egg at a time, scraping the bowl down each time. Add vanilla. Pour in 1 cup of sifted mix at a time and mix on low until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Scoop cookies onto a lined baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes at 340 degrees.
    Cool cookies on a sheet pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
    Omit nuts for 1 cup crushed peppermint candy;
    Omit nuts. Melt white chocolate candy and dip cooled cookies halfway in.

Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast

    Santa is the special breakfast guest at Brio in the Annapolis Towne Centre this Saturday, December 8, from 9 to 10:30am. Enjoy a plated breakfast ($5.95 children, $11.95 adults) plus Santa photos, crafts, holiday treat bag. rsvp: 410-571-5660.

Got a tasty tip for next week’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at [email protected]