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The 2012 Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
The Darby Field Inn Champagne Royal Celebration - Photo by Luxury ExperienceEach December, Country Inns in the White Mountains present their Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour where over the course of 2-days, ticketed guests gather inspiration from 13 participating festively dressed inns, sample 26 cookies, and receive cookie recipe cards. Deck the halls, and prepare for the sweet season; the sugar rush is on!

With visions of "sugared plums dancing in our heads," on December 8, 2012 we set off from The Notchland Inn where we staying in Harts Location, New Hampshire, to experience the 16th annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour. Equipped with a listing of each of the participating 13 inns, directions, a "passport page" to be stamped by each inn we visited, a handled paper bag to hold our acquired cookies, and a set of 26 recipe cards from the participating inns, we were ready to begin our sweet journey.

With 13 inns to experience and so many cookies to sample, we decided to visit the majority of the inns on the first day, and complete visiting the rest of the inns on the second day before we headed back to Connecticut. Although this was our first "Cookie & Candy Tour," many of the ticketed guests we encountered along the way, make this an annual tradition, one that is perfect for families, mothers and daughters, and girlfriend getaways.

We soon got into the spirit and routine of the tour, driving at our own pace, stopping for 10 to 15 minutes at each of the inns, speaking with the Innkeepers, admiring the holiday décor, and gathering our cookies, which we wisely decided to consume later. Our adventure provided us with the opportunity to visit many historic properties, the earliest of which dates to 1777, and the last, which is just under a century old.

To inspire your own holiday baking, and to perhaps help you decide on making a future trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, please enjoy a selection of 13 cookie recipes graciously provided by the inns.

The Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Recipes

Sweet & Salty Nut Brittle
Eastman Inn, North Conway, New Hampshire
1785 Inn Chocolate Crispy Delights
1785 Inn and Restaurant, North Conway, New Hampshire
Gram's Mincemeat Cookies
Old Red Inn & Cottages, North Conway, New Hampshire
Champagne Royal Celebration Cookies
The Darby Field Inn, Albany, New Hampshire
Maple Shortbread Cookies
 The Notchland Inn, Harts Location, New Hampshire
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Admiral Peary Inn Bed and Breakfast, Fryeburg, Maine
Sesame Wafers
Inn at Crystal Lake, Eaton, New Hampshire
Holiday Joy Cookies
Inn at Ellis River, Jackson, New Hampshire
No Bake Chocolate Yummies
The Brass Heart Inn - Chocorua, New Hampshire
Apple-Oatmeal Cookies
Covered Bridge House, Glen, New Hampshire
Caramel Oatmeal Bars
Glen Oaks Inn, Intervale, New Hampshire
Simple Chocolate Truffles
Snowvillage Inn, Snowville, New Hampshire
Seriously Chocolate Slice & Bake Cookies
Riverbend Inn, Chocorua, New Hampshire

The Eastman Inn located in North Conway, New Hampshire was the oldest property that we visited, and is one of the oldest buildings in the area. The inn is a Georgian colonial built in 1777, owned by Innkeepers Art and Marta De La Torre, who shared a bit of history on the large Eastman family, and provided a sweet taste of the holiday season with their easy, microwavable recipe for Sweet & Salty Nut Brittle.

Eastman Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Eastman Inn

Sweet & Salty Nut Brittle
Yield 2 Pounds

Ingredients:

2
Cups
Sugar
1
Cup
Light Corn Syrup
11.5
Ounces
Lightly Salted Nuts
2
Tablespoons
Butter, softened
1
Tablespoon
Baking Soda
2
Teaspoons
Vanilla Extract

Method: Measure butter, vanilla, and baking soda ahead of time, but do not combine.

Heavily butter a large baking sheet. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart microwave safe bowl, stirring well. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave at HIGH for 4 minutes. Carefully uncover, and microwave for 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly golden in the center. Stir in the nuts. Microwave 1 minute or until mixture boils. Remove bowl from microwave. Quickly stir in butter, baking soda, and vanilla.

Candy will become a deep, golden color. Quickly pour mixture onto prepared pan, spreading to edges of pan with a buttered large metal spoon. Let candy cool on pan. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Charlie and Becky Mallar own The 1785 Inn & Restaurant, built in 1785, located in North Conway, New Hampshire. For the holidays, Becky is an inspired decorator who lets her imagination flow and offers a few tips for holiday decorating. Start with a theme and color scheme in mind. For their popular ceiling effects using grapevine, ivy, lights, and ornaments, they start with large grapevine wreaths, and staple them to the ceiling beams as they unfurl them. For full, rich mantle effects, you need to start with lots of greens. Begin by stapling three layers of greens to the mantle. Incorporate a mirror above the mantle with the color scheme extended around the mirror, which will reflect the décor, making it look fuller and larger in appearance. She and Charlie graciously share the recipe for 1785 Chocolate Crispy Delights.

Crimson dining Room - The 1785 Inn & Restauran - Photo by Luxury Experiencet
The 1785 Inn & Restaurant

1785 Chocolate Crispy Delights
Yield 72 Pieces

Ingredients:

1.5
Cups
Dark Chocolate
1.5
Cups
Milk Chocolate
1.5
Cups
Rice Krispies® Cereal
0.75
Cup
Raisins
0.75
Cup
Salted Peanuts (without skins)

Method: Melt chocolates together in the top of a double boiler. When thoroughly melted, stir until smooth. Add Rice Krispies®, raisins, and peanuts to the chocolate mixture. Stir until all ingredients coated with chocolate. Using a tablespoon, drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cool until hardened. Place in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Innkeepers Richard and Susan LeFave, owners of the 1810 Old Red Inn & Cottages, located in North Conway, New Hampshire donned their festive chef hats to welcome guests and provided a family recipe of Gram's Mincemeat Cookies.

Old Red Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Old Red Inn & Cottages

Gram's Mincemeat Cookies
Yield 3 Dozen

Ingredients:

1
Cup
Vegetable Oil
1.5
Cups
Sugar
2
 
Eggs
1.5
Cups
Mincemeat
3
Cups
All-Purpose Flour
0.50
Teaspoon
Salt
1
Teaspoon
Baking Soda

Method for the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Beat oil, sugar, eggs, and mincemeat until mixed. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda, then add to egg mixture. Drop by teaspoonful 2-inches apart onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

The Darby Field Inn, built in 1826, is located in Albany, New Hampshire, and is owned by Innkeepers Marc and Maria Donaldson. They share a festive recipe of Champagne Royal Celebration Cookies from the Cookie & Candy Tour created by Chef Wanetta A. Marquis.

The Darby Field Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Darby Field Inn

Champagne Royal Celebration Cookies
Yield 72 Pieces

Cookie Ingredients:

1
Cup
All-Purpose Flour
0.50
Cup
Stone-Ground Cornmeal
0.50
Teaspoon
Coarse Salt
0.50
Cup
Unsalted Butter, softened
0.25
Cup
Sugar
1
Large
Egg, separated
0.25
Cup
Red Sugar Crystals

Filling Ingredients:

1
Cup
Dried, Unsweetened Cherries
0.50+
Cup
Champagne
0.25+
Cup
Sugar
1
Tablespoon
Vanilla
1
Tablespoon
Chambord

Method for the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolk, and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Lightly whisk egg white. Scoop 2 teaspoons dough and roll into a ball. Dip into egg white and roll in red sugar crystals. Repeat with remaining dough, transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Gently press center of each ball with your thumb. Bake rotating sheet pans halfway through, until cookies are pale golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Gently indent each cookie again using the back of a melon ball scoop and let cool.

Method for the Filling: Bring dried cherries, champagne, vanilla, Chambord, and sugar to a bowl in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, add simmer, gently mashing the cherries until thickened and jam-like, 5 to 6 minutes. (If mixture is too thick, add a little champagne to thin.) Transfer to a bowl, and let cool completely. Spoon a small amount of filling into each cookie indentation.

Innkeepers Ed Butler and Les Schoof own The Notchland Inn built in the 1860s, located in Hart's Location, New Hampshire. They graciously share their recipe for Maple Shortbread Cookies, which not only herald the season, but also use delicious New Hampshire maple syrup, which invites a reason to return in March during maple syrup season.

The Notchland In - Photo by Luxury Experiencen
The Notchland Inn

Maple Shortbread Cookies
Yield 4 Dozen

Cookie Ingredients:

0.75
Pound
Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1
Cup
Superfine Sugar
1
Teaspoon
Maple Extract
1
Teaspoon
Pure Vanilla Extract
3.5
Cups
All-Purpose Flour
0.25
Teaspoon
Salt
1.5
Cups
Finely Diced Nuts

Icing Ingredients:

1
Cup
Confectioners Sugar
1
Tablespoons
Pure Maple Syrup

Method for the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Using an electric mixture with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add extracts. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the nuts at low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough one-half inch thick and cut into squares, or using a cutter, cut into any desired shape. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges barely begin to brown. Allow to cool at room temperature.

Method for the Icing: Mix confectioners sugar and maple syrup until smooth and drizzle over the cookies.

The Admiral Peary Inn and Bed and Breakfast, built in the 1860s, is located just over the New Hampshire border in Fryeburg, Maine. Innkeeper Donna Pearce graciously shares her recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies.

Admiral Peary Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Admiral Peary Inn and Bed and Breakfast

Oatmeal Cookies
Yield 5 Dozen

Ingredients:

1
Cup
Unsalted Butter
0.75
Cup
Sugar
0.75
Cup
Brown Sugar
2
 
Eggs
1
Teaspoon
Vanilla
1.5
Cups
Flour
0.50
Teaspoon
Salt
1
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
1
Teaspoon
Cinnamon
0.50
Teaspoon
Nutmeg
0.25
Teaspoon
Cardamon
3
Cups
Oats
1
Cup
Dried Cranberries

Method: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture and stir until well blended. Add cranberries. Drop by teaspoonful into a parchment paper baking sheet. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool.

Innkeepers Bobby Barker and Tim Ostendorf owners of the Inn at Crystal Lake, built in 1884, located in Eaton, Hampshire share their recipe for Sesame Wafers.

The Inn at Crystal Lake
Inn at Crystal Lake

Sesame Wafers
Yield 3 Dozen

Ingredients:

1
Stick
Unsalted Butter (8 tablespoons), softened
1
Cup
Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
0.25
Teaspoon
Salt
0.25
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
1
Teaspoon
Vanilla Extract
1
 
Egg
1
Cup
All-Purpose Flour
1
Cup
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Method: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and egg. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds. Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

The Inn at Ellis River, built in 1893, located in Jackson, New Hampshire, owned by Innkeepers Frank Baker and Lyn Norris-Baker capture the holiday spirit with their recipe for Holiday Joy Cookies.

The Inn at Ellis River - Photo by Luxury Experience
Inn at Ellis River

Holiday Joy Cookies
Yield 3 Dozen

Cookie Ingredients:

1.25
Cups
Sliced Almonds
2.25
Cups
Flour
0.75
Cup
Cocoa
0.50
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
0.25
Teaspoon
Salt
1
Cup
Unsalted Butter
2
Cups
Light Brown Sugar
2
 
Eggs
1
Teaspoon
Pure Vanilla Extract
1
Teaspoon
Almond extract or Amaretto
1
Cup
High Quality Chocolate Chips
1
Cup
Unsweetened Coconut (finely shredded)

Glaze Ingredients:

3
Ounces
Bittersweet Chocolate Bar
1
Cup
Confectioners Sugar
1-2
Tablespoons
Amaretto

Method: Preheat oven to 375° F (191° C).

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together well, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract or Amaretto, and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add flour mixture gradually, blending at low speed just until combined. Carefully mix in chocolate chips, coconut, and 1 cup of almonds.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, set 2-inches apart onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake 11 - 13 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to a cooling rack. When cookies are cool, melt the bittersweet chocolate on low power in the microwave and drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies. Allow chocolate to cool. Make a glaze of confectioners sugar and Amaretto (or almond extract and milk), and drizzle on cookies in opposite direction. Top with reserved almonds.

The Brass Heart Inn, located in located in Chocorua, New Hampshire, has hosted guests since the 1890s. Innkeepers Don and Joanna Harte graciously share an easy to make, yet very tasty recipe for No Bake Chocolate Yummies.

The Brass Heart Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Brass Heart Inn

No Bake Chocolate Yummies
Yield 2.5 Dozen

Ingredients:

2
Cups
Sugar
0.50
Cup
Cocoa
0.50
Cup
Milk
0.50
Cup
Shortening or Butter
0.50
Cup
Peanut Butter
3
Cups
Oatmeal
1
Teaspoon
Vanilla Extract

Method: Boil the sugar, cocoa, milk, and shortening (or butter) for 2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Leave to harden. Store in airtight containers between wax paper.

The Covered Bridge House, built at the turn of the century and located in Glen, New Hampshire, takes its name from the 1850 Bartlett Covered Bridge, which Innkeepers Dan and Nancy Wanek now use as a gift shop. In their heyday, covered bridges not only provided a means of crossing, they became popular as "kissing bridges" as you could discretely kiss your sweetheart as your carriage crossed the bridge hidden from view. Dan and Nancy share their recipe for Apple-Oatmeal Cookies.

Covered Bridge House - Photo by Luxury Experience
Coverd Bridge House

Apple-Oatmeal Cookies
Yield 3 Dozen

Ingredients:

1.5
Cups
Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats
0.75
Cup
All-Purpose Flour
0.75
Cup
Whole-Wheat Flour
0.50
Cup
Brown Sugar
1
Teaspoon
Baking Powder
0.25
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
0.50
Teaspoon
Salt
1.5
Teaspoons
Cinnamon
0.50
Cup
Raisins
1
Cup
Chopped, Peeled, Apple
1
 
Egg, slightly beaten
0.50
Cup
Honey
0.50
Cup
Oil
0.33
Cup
Milk

Method: Preheat oven to 375° F (191° C).

In a medium bow, stir together oats, both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins and apples. In a large bowl, combine egg, honey, oil, and milk. Stir in dry ingredients. Mix to form a smooth batter.

Drop batter onto ungreased baking sheets using a rounded teaspoon of dough for each cookie. Dip fingers into water and press dough down to about a 1.5-inch diameter. Bake for 109 to 12 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove sheets from the oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Mitch Scher and Linda Trask are the Innkeepers and Owners of the century old Victorian Glen Oaks Inn, located in Intervale, New Hampshire. They share their recipe for Caramel Oatmeal Bars as part of the Cookie & Candy Tour.

Glen Oaks Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Glen Oaks Inn

Caramel Oatmeal Bars
Yield 30 Bars

Ingredients:

1.75
Cup
Quick Oats
1.75
Cup
All-Purpose Flour
0.75
Cup
Brown Sugar, Packed
0.50
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
0.25
Teaspoon
Salt
0.75
Cup
Butter, melted
1
Cup
Chopped Nuts
2
Cups
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1
Cup
Caramel Topping

Method: Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Combine the oats, 1.5 cups of flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the butter, mixing until it is well blended. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture for later.

Press the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 13x9 inch cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the nuts and chips over the cookie base. Mix the caramel topping with the remaining 0.25 cup of flour in a small bowl. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the nuts and chips. Then sprinkle with the reserved cup of mixture. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then chill until firm. Cut into 30 bars.

Innkeepers and Owners Kevin Flynn and Jennifer Kovach of Snowvillage Inn, located in Snowville, New Hampshire, tempt the palate with chocolate decadence with their recipe for Simple Chocolate Truffles. They also include a side note that you may vary the recipe for White Chocolate Truffles by using 24 ounces of white chocolate instead of 16 ounces of semisweet chocolate.

Snowvillage Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Snowvillage Inn

Simple Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

16
Ounces
Semisweet Chocolate (55%-60% cacao), coarsely chopped or broken into pieces (2 slightly heaping cups)
1
Cup
Heavy Cream
4
Ounces
Unsalted Butter, softened
1
Cup
Cocoa Powder (preferably Dutch-processed), more as needed
8
Ounces
Semisweet Chocolate, chopped (about 1.5 cups)

Method: Grind the chocolate in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal, about 30 seconds.

Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cream to the food processor and process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Put the cocoa powder in a large bowl. Using 2 teaspoons, drop rounded, heaping teaspoonfuls of truffle mixture onto a large, parchment-lined baking sheet.

When all of the truffles are scooped, dip them into the cocoa and use your palms to roll the truffles into smooth 1-inch balls (do not worry about making them perfect, slightly irregular truffles have an appealing homemade appearance. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set in a small skillet of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Transfer the bowl to a work surface. Working in batches, use your fingers or a couple of forks to coat the truffles with the melted chocolate.

Coat them again with cocoa or nuts, and return them to the baking sheet. If using your hands, you will have to stop and wash off the chocolate between batches. Let the truffles sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Innkeepers Craig Cox and Jerry Weiss, owners of the Riverbend Inn located in Chocorua, New Hampshire, transformed their inn, a youngster, shy of 100 years old, into a festive fantasy, with each room elegantly and artistically decorated for the season. One of their many inspiring ideas was to crisscross garland from the opposite corners of the dining room, meeting the garland in the center of the room, and festooning it with colorful ornaments and red ribbon. When holiday shopping and preparations start taking their toll, their Seriously Chocolate Slice & Bake Cookies will help to revive you.

Riverbend Inn - Photo by Luxury Experience
Riverbend Inn

Seriously Chocolate Slice & Bake Cookies
Yield 3 Dozen

Ingredients:

1.25
Cups
All-Purpose Flour
0.50
Cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
0.50
Teaspoon
Baking Soda
11
Tablespoons
Unsalted Butter, softened
0.66
Cup
Light Brown Sugar, packed
0.25
Cup
Sugar
0.50
Teaspoon
Fleur de Sel (or 0.25 teaspoon fine sea salt)
1
Teaspoon
Vanilla Extract
5
Ounces
Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)

Method: Preheat oven to 325° F (163° C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mars.

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together. In a standing mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer) beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes more. Turn off mixer and add flour mixture. Cover mixer with towel to protect yourself and kitchen, pulse at low speed about 6 times, a couple of seconds each time. Pulse enough for flour to disappear into dough; work dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Add chocolate pieces and mix just to incorporate. Turn dough onto work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Shape each half into logs that are 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up until 3 days (the logs can be frozen for up to 2 months, when ready to bake, just slice frozen dough into cookies and bake for 1 minute longer.)

With a sharp knife, slice logs into half-inch rounds. If rounds crack, just squeeze them back together. Arrange on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake on center rack for 12 minutes. They may not look done or be firm, but that is how you want them. Let rest on baking sheet until warm, then remove to a cooling rack or eat.

For information on the next Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour, please contact the Country Inns of The White Mountains at: www.CountryInnsintheWhiteMountains.com, or contact the individual inns directly.

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience.

Read other materials on Destination New Hampshire in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections.  

© December 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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