Hey, Cookie!

Anthropologie.com

Anthropologie.com

Santa’s not the only one who’s into cookies. That’s why cookie jars are the perfect gift, especially this year. Why? Because designers have put a stylish spin on these snack keepers that’s witty, whimsical and downright fun.

Who wouldn’t go barking mad for the Pedigreed cookie jar that’s all about a little bulldog dressed to the nines?

NeimanMarcus.com

NeimanMarcus.com

Fashionistas can strut their stuff with the Quilted Handbag cookie jar.

WorldMarket.com

WorldMarket.com

The retro-chic Mason Jar ceramic cookie jar captures the look of vintage vintage blue mason jars.

Before you wrap your cookie jar gift, fill it with a tasty treat like sweet & salted chocolate cookies from “Slice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes from Your Refrigerator or Freezer” by Elinor Klivans. This recipe lives up to its billing. It’s fast and easy to make; and so tasty you’ll wind up making a second batch to keep for yourself (I have the cookie crumbs on my shirt to prove it).

Yunhee Kim, ChronicleBooks.com

Yunhee Kim, ChronicleBooks.com

Sweet & Salted Chocolate cookies

Please don’t pass these cookies by. At first glance they may look like simple chocolate cookies with a slightly crackled top. What they actually are is dark chocolate cookies with an intense flavor and an unusual (and good) crumbly texture. They’re dotted with small pieces of chocolate and have a salty-sweet flavor. Add to all of that how easy they are to prepare, and you have a cookie worth making—often.

Makes 24 Cookies

Measuring & mixing time: 10 minutes

Bake at 350F/180C/gas 4 for about 20 minutes

1 cup/125 g unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup/30 g cake flour

1⁄3 cup/30 g unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup/170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup/200 g granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1⁄3 cup/55 g miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Sea salt for sprinkling

Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (This lengthier beating time is important for producing the crumbly texture of the cookies.) Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.Reduce the speed to low and mix in the egg yolk and vanilla until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix just until evenly distributed.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Put each on a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a log 6 in/15 cm long and 1. in/4 cm in diameter. Roll each back and forth to form a smooth cylinder, then wrap in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight, until firm, or wrap aluminum foil over the plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.

Frozen dough will be difficult to cut and should be defrosted in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight first.

When ready to bake the cookies, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use a large, sharp knife to cut each cold log into 12 slices about . in/12 mm thick. Place the cookies 2 in/5 cm apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle a few grains of sea salt (about 10 to 12) over each cookie.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time just until the tops begin to crackle slightly and feel firm if touched lightly, about 20 minutes.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe courtesy of “Slice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes from Your Refrigerator or Freezer” by Elinor Klivans, ChronicleBooks.com

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