Tag Archives: Christmas

Soft and Sweet Ginger Cookies

I went on a bit of a Cookie rampage last weekend and made just about every kind of cookie you can think of. Well, there may be a few more…

For the patriots game, my family got together to watch the game and enjoy some good eats and I decided to bring a cookie. These little delectables really hit the spot too. I love ginger cookies because after just 1 or 2 they seem to satisfy the sweet tooth and this recipe has been by far my favorite.

Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies

 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Softened Butter 1 Cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water 1/4 Cup Molasses

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and salt together in one bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, water and molasses. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.

3. Form the dough into 1 inch dough balls and roll each one in white sugar to form a light coating. Place them on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil.

4. Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes and then allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They are quite doughy when removed from the oven and they need a chance to cool and become more solid before moving them.

Ginger Cookie Collage

 

I LOVED these cookies. They really turned out great.

 

Cupcake Decorating

This past month or so, I’ve been on a little kick of decorating cupcakes with a little pizazz. My sister Maggie’s birthday was this past month and I wanted to take advantage of my spurt of creativity and make her something a little different. When I was trying to come up with an idea for her, the only thing that came to mind was pugs. Maggie loves EVERYTHING PUG.

When it came to the fondant situation, I decided to make my own based upon watching someone about a year and a half ago make some for a wedding cake. It just seemed easy enough. Right?? If you buy fondant in the store, it can get quite expensive and I did need a few different colors. Well, after about 4 or 5 hours of mixing fondant, playing with colors, cutting out a million different shapes and playing around a bit, I had 6 pug cupcakes. Six. Which was the original plan, because I thought have 6 cupcakes with just some green grass would be balance out the plate.

Pug Cupcake Collage

 

For my first adventure into SERIOUS cupcake decorating, I would say they came out pretty well. I definitely took a few notes on what would have make this project a little easier and will make sure I have everything I need the next time a doggie cupcake needs baking. And Maggie loved them.

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The second cupcake that I wanted to do was for Christmas. I really wanted to make something that was more simple and easy. Chocolate shapes. For this one, I topped them off with my own buttercream frosting and went to work on drawing with melted chocolate on wax paper. This wasn’t as easy as I anticipated. In my mind, tracing cookie cutter shapes would have been an easy way to get a nice shape. NOPE. Epic fail. Instead, I ended up free handing them, which I don’t think came out bad at all. I also used shaved coconut flakes on several to make a snow effect.

Christmas Cupcake Collage

 

Just the beginning, but I think a good start!

Caramel and Toasted Coconut Holiday Cookies

Caramel & Toasted Coconut Holiday Cookies

This past week I had a meeting with some coworkers and my urge to bake something led me to bringing a batch of cookies to the meeting. I put these guys out on the table and they were demolished in minutes with people asking me for the recipe. So, I figured I would have to share them with you all, especially since they were requested to be at our next meeting.

I have to admit, they were a little time consuming to make. I’m talking a few hours total. And they didn’t come without some frustration. One cookie may or may not have been thrown across the kitchen. But, I think I have knocked out a few sources of frustration in this revised version. 🙂

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanille Extract

 

For the Topping:
3 Cups Sweetened, Shredded Coconut 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
15 Ounces Soft Caramels 8 Ounces Dark Chocolate
3 Tablespoons Milk

Directions:

1. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then, in increments of 3, add the flour mixture into the butter mix. Once well mixed, add in the vanilla extract and milk.

Coconut Cookies Step 1

 

2. Once mixed, divide the dough into halves, form each shape into a disk and wrap in seran wrap. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.

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3. When the dough has chilled, roll one of the disks out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into stars and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue until all of the dough is complete.

Coconut Cookies, Step 3

 

4. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The cookies should come out only slightly browned but cooked through. You do not want to cook these cookies too long or else they will break apart when you are putting the caramel topping on them.

 

The Topping

1. Spread the coconut flakes out on a tin foil lined cookie sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Be sure to stir them frequently to avoid them burning. Coconut does burn easily. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oven and set them aside.

Coconut Cookies, Topping

 

2. In a double broiler, melt the caramel along with the milk and salt. Stir it frequently until all of the caramel has completely melted. Then add 3/4 of the caramel to the toasted coconut. Stir until well mixed.

Coconut Topping, Step 2

 

3. Carefully spread the coconut mixture onto the cooled cookies. I found using a fork worked best. If the caramel becomes hard to work with, try placing it over the heat and melting the caramel a bit more. Patience is key at this step.

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4. The hard part is done. With the remaining caramel, put a dab on the top of each cookie and place a bit of fresh coconut on top. Then melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it on top. You should then let the cookies sit out for a bit in order for the caramel and the chocolate to harden. And whelah!

Coconut Cookie Complete

 

I have to say, they really did come out delicious. Fortunately, I will be making these again. I have a meeting this Friday to bring them along to and then of course, our next company meeting after the holidays. But I’m definitely going to come up with some other fun options to bring along. Holiday cookies are one of my favorite things to make.

 

Do you have a recipe that takes a lot of effort but is worth it in the end??

Cranberry Muffin Top Christmas Cookies

Christmas Eve I went cookie crazy and made a whole bunch of different types of cookies. The most popular being the Cranberry Walnut Cookies. They were described as having the texture of a muffin top. Ergo, a Cranberry Walnut Muffin Top Cookie!

PicMonkey Collage

Ingredients:

1 Cup Shortening 1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Flour 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 2 Cups Chopped Frozen Cranberries
1 Cup Chocolate Chips 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Tablespoon Shortening

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg and vanilla.

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2. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Then add it into the sugar mix.

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3. Lastly, add in the chopped cranberries and the walnuts.

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Pretty!!

4. Spoon out a tablespoon scooper to measure out the batter and placed them on parchment paper to put into the oven. Bake it at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You want the cookie to turn slightly brown on the edges.

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When the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, microwave the chocolate chips and the shortening for 30 seconds to melt the chips. Then dip the cookies, or drizzle the chocolate on top. I also used confectioners sugar to top the cookies and all three were fantastic!

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This made about 4 dozen cookies and we are still making our way through them. They are delicious and stay really well. You can also freeze them easily to keep them even longer. I found this recipe in a book and modified it a bit to turn it into these delicious bites. The cranberry idea really jumped out at me.

Enjoy!!

Christmas Fun Facts!

So, I meant to post this all on Christmas Day, but with all of the festivities and excitement, I didn’t really get a chance. Not to mention, my computer wasn’t set up until yesterday…

I love little interesting facts because there are always a few that tend to shock you and stick with you for a long time. Everyone loves a fun fact or two!! This is a Christmas Fun Fact Edition:

Christmas Fun Facts

 

Christmas Fun Facts:

  • American’s send 1.5 BILLION Christmas Cards each year.
  • Rockefeller Center is the home of the largest Christmas Tree ever, which was 100 feet tall  in 1999.
  • The most expensive Christmas Tree decorating job was over 11 Millions dollars in the United Arab Emirates.
  • The practice of gift giving was actually banned by the Catholic Church because it was thought to be rooted in Paganism.
  • You can find the North Pole on the map, in Alaska.
  • Americans buy 30 Million real trees and 12 million fake trees for decorating each year.
  • In Greek, X means Christ. So that’s where Xmas comes from.
  • The Statue of Liberty was a Christmas present from the French in 1886 and is the largest Xmas gift to date.
  • It takes an average of 7 years to grow a Christmas Tree.
  • For Santa to deliver gifts to ever child, he would need to visit 832 house per second.
  • 7 out of 10 dog owners will get a gift for their babies.
  • The first artificial Xmas tree was made by the Germans out of dyed goose feathers.
  • Norwegian scientists have found that Rudolf’s glowing nose is probably due to a parasitic infection.
  • Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the US.

 

Source

And this is my favorite fact, because I like things that are a bit shocking. Mistletoe. The name comes from the fact that mistletoe springs up from bird droppings, once the seeds have passed through them. When they names it, they didn’t know that the birds were eating the seeds first, but they observed the mistletoe growing up from bird poop. So, they gave it the name “mistle” or “missel” meaning “dung”, and “toe” from the word “tan” meaning “toe”. Ergo, mistletoe = POOP TWIG. On top of the fact that they are poop twigs, some of the species of them are known to be partially parasitic if they can’t perform photosynthesis. So now it’s a parasitic poop twig!

I found this gem on Today I Found Out. Absolutely check it out for some other fun facts.

Whelp, at least I got it up there right?!

Merry Belated Christmas!!