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It’s beginning to look a lot like…okay, so it still looks like summer, but according to several aisles at Target and about 20 aisle at Hobby Lobby, the magical winter wonderland that is Christmas is right around the corner. Yours for only $9.99! There are some serious events to prepare for/enjoy before I can really get into the holiday spirit, but I had a great weekend making cinnamon ornaments and yarn wreaths with my Aunt Ingrid. We had a lot more on the “to do” list, but we traded in additional crafting time for getting pedicures and doing a little shopping. After everyone left yesterday the house seemed empty and way too quiet so I took a nap and then decided to do some baking. This is the Week 1 recipe of the 2012 twelve weeks of Christmas treats from the blog Baked Bree.
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 marshmallows, cut in half
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. ( I like to use a whisk)
Cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Add egg, milk, and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. ( I like to make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined before adding them to the wet ingredients, this cuts down on the amount of mixing that needs to be done and will ultimately result in a lighter cookie)
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
Take the cookies out and press the marshmallow half into the cookie. Put the cookies back into the oven for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Make the frosting by whisking together sugar, butter, cocoa, milk, and vanilla. ( That’s right, a little extra whisk action!)
Top with frosting and cover the marshmallow.
Honestly, these are too sweet for me. I prefer my desserts to have a salty or tart element to balance out the sweetness. Andy thinks I’m crazy, and he swears these are really, really good.
I like coffee, a lot. The rich bitter flavor blended with cream and sugar, thinking about it gives me goosebumps. I have to be very careful though, it is easy for me to go from a cup of joe in the morning to something like 5-6 cups a day. There is no good reason for that much caffeine in a day, so whenever it starts to feel like a need instead of a want, I cut myself off for a couple of months. All that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love coffee flavored desserts. Coffee + Chocolate = Delicious. I made a test batch of these Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies late Sunday afternoon. After oh, like 5 cookies that evening I knew I had to pack the rest up for Andy to take to the office. Andy reported that one of his coworkers started calling them “Crack Cookies” after his third trip to get more. I have to agree. If you like coffee and chocolate, these are the cookies for you, but be warned they are addictive.
Serves 50-55 cookies
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (like Medaglia D’Oro, or similar)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then, add eggs one at time, mixing after each addition to make sure they are well combined.
- In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. I use a whisk to make sure the dry ingredients are well mixed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix everything until the ingredients are fully combined, but do not overbeat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2″ ice-cream scoop, or rounded teaspoon, drop dough on the sheet 2″ apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
* Baking note – These cookies set up a lot after cooling, so don’t be afraid to take them out at the 10 minute mark. I lost the chewy center on the first couple batches because of over baking. However, if you prefer a crunchy cookie, add two or three minutes to your bake time.
Recipe from here
Okay, I am usually pretty brave when it comes to trying new things, especially cookies, but I think this one might push my boundaries a bit. What about you guys? Anyone want to give it a try and let me know how it goes?
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces blue cheese , softened
- 1 cup butter , softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dried cranberries , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 1 -2 tablespoon fresh rosemary , whole leaves only
- white sugar or natural sanding sugar , for sprinkling
Whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl; set aside. Cream together Blue cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture to butter and cheese mixture; beat to combine. Add cranberries and mix on low just until evenly dispersed.
Divide the dough into two pieces and use parchment paper or plastic wrap to form the dough into two 1 1/2-inch diameter round or square logs. Set out two fresh pieces of plastic wrap and sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over both. Roll the logs of dough in nuts until covered. Tightly wrap and seal the logs; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours). Preheat oven to 325°F Working with one log at a time, unwrap and slice logs into 1/4-inch discs. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gently press about 3 small rosemary leaves onto the center of each cookie in a fan-like shape. Sprinkle each cookie with sanding sugar.
Bake on a middle rack until bottoms begin to brown and tops just begin to turn from pale to golden; 12 to 18 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 to 2 minutes before removing cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
I hope you all have a great weekend. I am heading down to St. Pete to spend sometime with my friend Stefanie. I haven’t even left yet and I am already missing Andy a little, and yes I do realize how incredibly lame and sappy that sounds.
Original recipe from here.
So my baking kick continues….
After making Andy gain something around 8lbs during his birthday week (he has already lost it all again, stupid boy metabolism), I was trying to find new testers for my baked goods. Fortunately, my friend Stefanie was in town visiting her family this past weekend and she inspired me to try my hand at shortbread cookies. For those of you who have never experienced the awesomeness that is shortbread, it is basically a dense flaky little cookie that is mostly just butter and sugar. It works especially well with hot tea or coffee. She ended up with a full cookie tin to take back to St. Petersburg with her, and a couple of zip lock baggies to be left with her mom. I am keeping my fingers crossed, apparently her housemate is a shortbread fiend and I am excited to here what she thought of my first attempt.
I ended up doubling the recipe, making 4 different flavors (one pan of each type). The pistachio cardamom was the overall crowd favorite (Thank you to my various cookie testers, you know who you are).
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar for decoration
My Favorite Flavor Options:
- Rose Shortbread – 2 tablespoons of chopped edible rose petals (I used dried tea petals)
- Rosemary Shortbread – 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary
- Pistachio Cardamom Shortbread – 1/3 cup chopped pistachios and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, ingredient of choice and salt until well blended. The dough will be somewhat soft. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Press dough evenly into 2 round cake pans (a square 8×8 pan works also) and prick all over with a fork
- Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks, cut into wedges, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
*Alas, my cookies were packed up or eaten before I could take any pictures, but the picture featured above is what the plain cookies looked like.
The last couple weeks have been really rough for me, with wedding issues, health issues and work issues I sometimes feel like i’m going to be stuck in this phase of my life forever. I keep assuring myself that one way or another everything will get better; and at the very least the wedding is only three months so there is an end to some of the insanity in sight.
One of my favorite de-stressing techniques is to bake, but since I am, by order of my “lady doctor” on a extremely strict weight loss plan I am trying to find other constructive outlets for my frustration. Not being able to eat the fruits or pastries (as the case my be) of my labor is a bit of a downer. That being said, if I was allowed to bake, it would definitely be a sugar cookie kind of day. So here is an quick and easy cookie recipe that will hopefully brighten your day.
Easy Sugar Cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder then set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
*If you’re having a really bad day I would recommend adding some sprinkles before you bake the cookies, sprinkles seem to make everything a little happier.
Recipe from here.