A Girl & Her Food: Chocolate & Cheer Cookie Exchange Recipes from The Fairmont Chicago! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!


Chocolate & Cheer Cookie Exchange Recipes from The Fairmont Chicago! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!

To kick off the winter holiday season, Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, launched its 1st annual Chocolate and Cheer Cookie exchange.   I was invited to mix and mingle, sip on wine, and sample an incredible array of seasonal cookies at the soiree, which was held in the beautiful Rouge Room at the hotel.  I enjoyed Fairmont's modern take on the cookie exchange, and it took the stress out of holiday baking since all attendees went home with three dozen gourmet cookies of their choice, wrapped in custom luxury packaging.  

Santa is coming to town tonight, so you can make these delectable cookies for him! 

Gingerbread Men

photo by colleen sweitzer


3c  All Purpose Flour
1½t Baking Powder
¾t  Baking Soda
¼t  Salt
1T  Ground Ginger
1¾t Cinnamon
½t  Ground Cloves
6T  Butter
¾c  Brown Sugar
1ea Eggs
½c  Molasses
2t  Vanilla
1t  Lemon Zest (optional)

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in eggs gradually, then molasses and vanilla
Separately combine dry and spices and mix into butter/sugar
Wrap with plastic and chill 1 hour
Roll out and cut onto parchment lined sheet
Bake at 300* convection / 325* convention for 10-12 minutes

Candy Cane Peppermint Bark

photo by colleen sweitzer


8oz Semi Sweet chocolate
1t  Canola Oil
½t  Peppermint extract
8oz White chocolate
1t  Canola Oil
25  Peppermint candies crushed, we like Brach’s Starlight Mints


Melt white chocolate with oil and flavor with mint – spread onto wax paper
Let set
Melt dark chocolate with oil – spread onto white chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candies

Divinity Cookies - Pecan Meringue Crunch


2/3t      Pecans
8 ea      Egg whites, large eggs
2c        Sugar
1t         Vanilla
½t        Cinnamon
1/8t      Salt


Toss nuts with 2 egg whites until damp
Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt – toss until evenly coated
Bake on silpats at 300* convection / 325* conventional for 8 minutes increments
Test to make sure they’re toasted all the way through and candy coating is dry


1c whites
2c sugar

Put sugar in pot and add enough water to moisten, cook to 123* F
Whip egg whites to stiff
Add sugar syrup slowly to whipped egg whites with mixer on high speed
Once the mixture cools to room temperature, fold in candied pecans
Scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet using a 1 ounce scoop
Bake at 150* until dry – approximately 1-2 hours

Spiced Hot Chocolate Fudge


10 oz   Chocolate (60-70%)
1 can    Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 t        Vanilla
¼ t       Baking soda
Pinch   Salt
1/3 t     Cayenne Pepper
1 t        Cinnamon


Melt chocolate over double boiler
Warm sweet condensed milk in pot with vanilla, salt, cayenne and cinnamon
Mix together with baking soda

Santa's Sugar Cookies

1c  Sugar
1c  Butter
3oz Cream cheese
½t  Salt
½t  Almond Extract
½t  Vanilla Extract
1ea Egg Yolks
2¼c All Purpose Flour


Cream butter and sugar and cream cheese
Add salt, extracts, yolks and flour
Chill for 8 hours
Roll 1/8” to ¼” thick and cut
Bake at 300*convection/325* conventional for about 8-10 minutes – gold brown edges

Royal Icing
4oz  Confectioners’ Sugar
3oz  Egg Whites

Whip whites to frothy
Add sugar gradually; beat until glossy, desired consistency

Holiday Crispy Wreath


30  Large Marshmallows 
¼c  Butter
½t  Vanilla
4½c Cornflakes
    Red Candy (M&M’s)
    Green Food Coloring


Melt the marshmallows and butter
Add the vanilla and food coloring
Add cornflakes
Shape and decorate (use gloves with pan spray)

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