Saturday, December 6, 2014

Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Cookies


12 Days of Christmas: Day 6

One of my holiday favorites are gingerbread men, and I am making those next week, but these recipe is very similar in taste to a traditional gingerbread man.  These cookies are soft and chewy verses a gingerbread man which is typically a little more crunchy.  These are also less work then gingerbread men.

The flavor in these cookies is intense but amazing.  I increased the cinnamon and added a dash of nutmeg, just for fun.  My cookies turned out huge and a little bit flat.  I think next time I would recommend refrigerating the dough for at least 30 minutes.  I think ill be suckered into making these again soon because everyone at my work loved them so much, even our Executive Chef ate one and loved it.

Happy Holidays!

Ginger Cookies - Adapted from
Yield: 16-18 Large Cookies
2¼ Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
A Dash of Nutmeg, optional
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
¼ Cup Molasses
4 Tablespoons White Sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.
  5. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.
  6. Put the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes - optional but recommended!
  7. Shape dough into 1" sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar.
  8. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  10. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

  1. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies


12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 5

Its Friday which means its time for a super fun and colorful Christmas cookie post!  I love sprinkles and these cookies are loaded with them.  I have one of those containers of sprinkles with 5 different types in it, opened all the lids and just started shaking the sprinkles in.  Then I turned on the mixer and added more.  Haha, I might have gone a little nuts but you can never have too many sprinkles.  

This is a basic sugar cookie recipe, soft and chewy, just loaded up with sprinkles. The candy cane kiss on top is for extra color and holiday spirit.  You could make these for other holidays too with a chocolate kiss on top and sprinkles to match.  Hope you enjoy these as much as my work did!

Happy Holidays!

Sugar Cookie - Sallys Baking Addiction
Yield: 18-24 depending on size
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Lots of sprinkles - I used all different kinds
24 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

  1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. 
  2. Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 full minutes, scraping down the sides and the bottom as necessary. 
  3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, beating on medium-high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. 
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients on low speed until fully combined. Add a few shakes of different types of sprinkles until the desired sprinkle to dough ratio is accomplished.
  5. The dough will be very thick. If the dough is too sticky, chill for at least 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  7. Roll dough into balls, a little less than 1 Tablespoon of dough each. The dough may seem dry*, but the warmth of your hands will allow it to come together in a ball. 
  8. Roll into assorted sprinkles and bake for 8-10 minutes. 
  9. The cookies will look very, very under baked. That's what you need. Do not over bake. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. 
  10. Press a Hershey Kiss into the center and immediately put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting.  My cookie sheet wont fit into my freezer, not did I have room for it, so I waited a few minutes then put the kiss on the cookies.  It melted a little but didn't deform the kiss.   
  11. Cookies remain fresh tightly covered at room temperature for 1 week.
  12. Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Cut-out Sugar Cookies


12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 4

Sugar cookies are a holiday classic.  I used to make these cookies as a kid to leave out for Santa.  They are buttery and soft and will even put a Grinch in the holiday spirit!  Today I only made Christmas trees because they are the easiest to decorate.  I little bit of green royal icing and some sprinkles is all you need for these and they turn out very pretty.  

I brought these into work and everyone loved them!  Nothing better then a sugar cookie for breakfast.  Whoops...

Happy Holidays!

Cut Out Sugar Cookies - Recipe from Love Grows Wild
Yield - Depends on the size of your cookie cutters
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1¼ Cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
colored sugars for decorating

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  2. Add in egg, vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife to ensure accurate measurements. 
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.
  5. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper and place on a baking sheet in the refrigerator. Chill for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugars.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. 
  8. Store in an airtight container.
  9. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies


12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 3

Before Thanksgiving I bought a huge bag of pecans from Costco and now I am trying to find recipes with pecans.  I came across this recipe and was really excited to try it.  They turned out really good and the frosting is to die for!  The cookie is soft but has a nice crunch with the pecans in the cookie and on top too.  

These cookies would be a huge hit at any holiday party!

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies - Recipe from Tatertots and Jello
Yield: 3 Dozen
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg, room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. 
  2. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well. 
  4. Stir in chopped pecans. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (If making larger cookies, add an extra 1 to 2 minutes to baking time.) Cool 2 minutes on pan and remove to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
Brown Sugar Frosting
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 Cup Half & Half
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

  1. Combine brown sugar and half and half in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. 
  2. Boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. 
  4. Consistency will seem thin but will thicken as it cools. If frosting seems too thin, add enough of the remaining powdered sugar to desired consistency.
  5. Frost your cookies with about 1 teaspoon or so and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.
  6. Enjoy!

A word of advice: Because this brown sugar frosting thickens rather quickly, don’t start it until you’re ready to frost the cookies. If it starts to set, just give it a nice stir with your spatula.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies


12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2

Eating extreme amounts of peppermint flavored things is one of my favorite things about the holidays.  Everything from a peppermint mocha at Starbucks,  to Dove peppermint bark chocolates, to plain old candy canes, I just cant get enough.  I think that might put me on the naughty list, or might just mean I need to wear my fat pants for a month or two...

These cookies were on the top of my "To-Bake List" due to the Andes peppermint crunch thins in them.  They have a rich chocolate cookies base that is perfectly soft and chewy and then they are loaded with peppermint crunch.  Doesn't get much better then that!

If you are going to make these, which I highly recommend you do, make sure you have enough time to chill the dough.  Its a very important step and you cannot skip it.  I know time is tight around the holidays, everyone has a million things to do, just plan to make the dough, wrap some presents, then finish off the cookies in the oven!

Happy Baking & Happy Holidays!

Adapted from Mom on time out
Yield - 3 Dozen
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp or even slightly melted
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg, room temperature
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Cup Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips plus more for sprinkling on top - I couldn't find the baking chips so I just cut  up the peppermint thins

  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in egg, vanilla and water and beat until well blended.
  4. Gradually add in dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in baking chips.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Dough is very thick.
  10. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until they are set. Do not over bake!
  11. Remove from oven, sprinkle with additional Andes chips if desired, and let cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.
  12. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies


12 Day of Christmas Cookies: Day 1

Here we go, jumping into the holiday season.

 I committed to doing 12 days of Christmas cookies and its already been tough.  I spent all weekend making cookies so I would be caught up during the week but yet I still feel behind.  Oh well, who needs sleep when you can be baking and blogging.

I also got a new camera this weekend, Nikon D3300 which I love so far.  It was a steal on black Friday at Costco so I couldn't resist.  No more Iphone photos on this blog!

On to the cookies, they are delicious and are perfect for any holiday party.  I have never made or even ever tried a turtle cookies but they turned out amazing.  These are definitely going on a rotation in my holiday baking.  I handed some around to neighbors and friends and they were a huge hit.  People were saying they were too pretty to eat, but I don't they that lasted long.  I made my cookies on the big side and the recipe only yielded 15, so be sure to scoop your dough small if you want more then that.

Happy Holidays!

Turtle Cookies - Adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch
Yield: 16-20 cookies
1 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup (1 stick) Butter, unsalted and room temp
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, separated
2 Tablespoon Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Pecans, finely chopped

For the Caramel:
2/3 Cup Kraft Caramel Bits (or regular caramels, melted)
1/2 Teaspoon Water

1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate for Drizzle

  1. Combine flour, cocoa and salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. 
  3.  Stir in flour mixture, just until combined. 
  4. Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
  5. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Place chopped pecans in another shallow bowl. 
  6. Remove dough from fridge and roll into small balls (however many cookies you want–I made 20 small ones).
  7. Roll each dough ball in the frothy egg whites, and then roll and press in the chopped pecans.
  8. Use the back of a small measuring spoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.
  9. Bake at 350 Degrees F for about 10-12 minutes, or until set.
  10. As the cookies come out of the oven, gently re-press the indentations with a small spoon.
  11. In a microwavable bowl mix the caramel bits and water. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until caramel is melted (1-2 minutes). Pour small spoonfuls of caramel into the indented cookies. 
  12. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
  13. Enjoy!