Tag Archives: Christmas

Cookie Dough Bites {Christmas Tray 2013}

18 Dec

Cookie Dough Bites
This past week has been a difficult one for our family. Joel’s grandpa, Glenn, passed away on Thursday. We spent the last few days together with family celebrating Grandpa Great’s life.

He was a man in love with his family and his country. He always made me feel like his own, always giving me a kiss on the cheek when we said goodbye. He lit up when he saw his great grandchildren, all 10 of them! He was a WWII veteran, surviving the bombing of the U.S.S. Franklin (it is chronicled in the book Inferno). An incredibly smart man, he could fix, build or create just about anything around the house. He painted beautiful portraits of all his children and grandchildren. It was truly evident as the church overflowed at his service that he was a man that touched many people. And he is leaving behind a beautiful legacy in our children. We love you Grandpa Great. We will miss you. We look forward to seeing you again.
Grandpa Great and Noah
One thing Grandpa Great and I had in common was a love of dessert. Just at Thanksgiving he enjoyed three…a man after my own heart. So, today in honor of Grandpa Great, I wanted to share a delicious dessert that I whipped up and brought to share with his family. Who doesn’t love cookie dough? Joel always begs me to leave him a spoonful whenever I make cookies so I knew this would be a yummy comfort food for him.
Cookie Dough Bites
The dough is egg-free so there is no worry about salmonella. And I found that although the recipe calls for them to be frozen, they are equally delicious from the fridge or at room temperature. I sampled them in all states over the past few days just to make sure for you guys! I have to say though that I prefer them frozen but since we had a big spread of cookies I just left them out with the rest so they wouldn’t be forgotten.
Cookie Dough Bites
I don’t think people could have forgotten about the cookie dough balls of goodness though. Just sayin’.

They were the first thing to disappear so if you are making them for a crowd, I recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe. They are so easy and come together in a snap. Also, they can be made ahead of time or over the course of a couple days.
Cookie Dough Bites
These are definitely a new favorite for our family and will forever grace our Christmas baking list.
Cookie Dough Bites

Cookie Dough Bites
recipe from This Homemade Life

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup applesauce or peanut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted for dipping (optional)

1. Cream together butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and peanut butter or applesauce until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir together flour and salt then mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.

2. Scoop out by the tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie/baking sheet. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

3. Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments. Dip frozen cookie dough bites halfway into the chocolate then place back onto the parchment paper. Freeze or refrigerate until set. Serve frozen, refrigerated or at room temperature.

Eggnog M&M Cookies {Christmas Tray 2013}

14 Dec

Eggnog M&M Cookies
In our house, eggnog is known as Christmas Milk. Noah and Hannah’s Godmother refers to it as this with her grandboys and we picked up on it too. Noah loves Christmas Milk and chocolate so I knew these had to be made this Christmas. And what does a 3 year old love even more than chocolate chips? M&M’s. So I switched out the dark chocolate chunks in the original recipe for M&M’s to make them even more fun and festive.
Eggnog M&M Cookies
These cookies ended up light, fluffy and chewy and the M&M’s added a nice little crunch to the soft texture. And for about 3 days straight, Noah asked if he could have cookies for breakfast. I told him no, but all that ran through my mind is Bill Cosby…they have eggs. He sure is a boy after my own heart.
Eggnog M&M Cookies
These are a fun, easy and delicious addition to your Christmas baking list!
Eggnog M&M Cookies
Eggnog M&M Cookies
recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup Eggnog
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup mini M&Ms

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggnog, egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue beating until completely combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in the mini M&M’s.

4. Using a small or medium cookie scoop (1 or 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake 20-25 minutes (longer for larger cookies), or until the edges are set. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eggnog M&M Cookies

Pistachio Puppy Chow {Christmas Tray 2013}

9 Dec

Pistachio Puppy Chow
For some reason this year, almost every treat on my Christmas baking list involves chocolate. Which is weird considering we aren’t big chocolate fans in our house. I was getting desperate to decide on something that at least didn’t involve dark or semi-sweet and then I came across this. Yep, still chocolate but at least it’s white which is Joel’s favorite variety.

Different varieties of puppy chow have been all over the internet and I have saved many of them but I just never got around to making anything but the original until now. I love anything pistachio flavored so this really caught my eye and I thought it would be just perfect to have around for snacking during the Christmas season. Plus, I like to have things beside cookies and bars.
Pistachio Puppy Chow
Another bonus is that this is super easy to throw together. It’s quick enough to make you think you can throw it together while the toddler is supposed to be napping (but then starts screaming for you) and the baby that you put down beside the Christmas tree to talk to the lights starts getting agitated that you don’t feel too bad for letting them be for a couple minutes. They’ll survive, right?

We’re really pretty lucky that any Christmas baking is getting done this year. I’m hoping to get a ton of it done on Saturday so that Joel can take a few big trays to work and we can send some to friends around town. We’ll see how that goes. But in the meantime, we’ll be snacking on this for our sweet fix.
Pistachio Puppy Chow
Pistachio Puppy Chow
recipe from High Heels and Grills

6 cups rice Chex cereal
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 (3.4 oz.) box pistachio pudding mix
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1. Melt butter, sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate chips together in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, dump cereal in a large bowl. Once chocolate mixture has melted and is combined, stir in the pudding mix and vanilla.

2. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and gently stir until it is completely coated. Dump powdered sugar over top and either stir until coated or place lid on bowl and gently shake until coated. Enjoy!

Angel Food Macaroons {Christmas Tray 2013}

4 Dec

Angel Food Macaroons
I feel like such a slacker this year when it comes to my Christmas baking. It takes everything in me these days just to get dinner on the table, let alone a buffet of Christmas treats. A couple weeks ago though, I managed to whip up a batch of these and they were incredible to say the least.
Angel Food Macaroons
The recipe is slightly altered from a recipe created by Kristan, the author of one of my favorite food blogs. The second I saw these dreamy cookies I knew I had to try them this year. I love love love chocolate dipped macaroons and her twist, using angel food cake mix, was very intriguing.
Angel Food Macaroons
For some reason, orange popped into my head as I was looking over the recipe. I adore the combination of orange and chocolate so I thought it would be a delicious addition and add a tropical twist. Another change I made was rather than pressing a Hershey kiss into them after baking, I dipped them in dark chocolate. As you all know, I’m not a huge chocolate fan so I wanted to reduce the amount.
Angel Food Macaroons
They were light, airy and amazing just as I expected them to be. Definitely a new Christmas cookie staple around here!
Angel Food Macaroons
Angel Food Macaroons
recipe adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

1 (16 oz.) box Angel Food cake mix
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbsp. orange zest
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
12 oz. dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the cake mix, water, almond extract and orange zest on low speed until combined.  Increase speed to medium and beat for one minute.  Fold in the coconut with a spatula.

3. Drop dough with a small cookie scoop on prepared sheets, a couple of inches apart.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.  Remove from oven, let cool for a minute then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring each time. Dip the bottom of each cookie in melted chocolate then place on parchment paper until chocolate hardens. I placed them in the refrigerator so they would harden quickly.
Angel Food Macaroons

White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies {Christmas Tray 2013}

11 Nov

White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
Now that it’s November, I think it’s acceptable to start talking Christmas and I’m very excited to be sharing my first treat of the season. My dad loves these kind of cookies so when I came across a recipe in one of my favorite baking cookbooks, I knew it would be a great cookie to whip up and share with you all for your Christmas baking (and take to my parents so that I wouldn’t eat them all).
White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
The original recipe called for cranberries and raisins but I decided to change it up a bit and use craisins instead. The thing that really jumped out at me with this recipe is the use of orange zest. I knew it would be amazing with the tart craisins and it totally is. I love the texture of the oatmeal and the sweet, creaminess of the white chocolate too. They are basically perfect for Christmas. You have to make them, mmkay?
White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
recipe adapted from Best Loved Cookies and Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups craisins
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 pkg. (12 oz.) white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl then add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, craisins, orange zest and white chocolate chips.

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

Gingerbread Granola {Christmas Tray 2012}

21 Dec

Gingerbread Granola
As you can tell, I kind of have a thing for granola (and I have passed it on to Noah). We got addicted to all of Trader Joe’s granola but since we had never had a TJ’s in town (until now, mwhahaha) I always liked to make it homemade to snack on. We like it plain, vanilla flavored and especially this holiday gingerbread granola.

I made so many cookies and candies this year that I thought it would be nice to include something really different. Breakfast was the perfect solution and granola automatically popped into my head. And what says Christmas more than gingerbread?
Gingerbread Granola
The maple syrup, molasses and ginger all combine to create the perfect gingerbread taste. The crystallized ginger added a nice chewiness to the crunchy texture of the oats and nuts. A totally yummy treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Gingerbread Granola
recipe from Disney Family

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup molasses
1/3 cup oil
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix oats and almonds together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, molasses and oil.

3. Pour sugar and oil mixture over the oats and stir well, making sure everything is evenly coated.

4. Pour into a greased 13×9 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

5. Let cool completely, stir in crystallized ginger and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes

17 Dec

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
Life has been hectic around here but good. We painted rooms this past weekend. I should post before and after pictures….Noah’s room used to be camouflage sponge painted…NOT.GOOD. We are working on a navy blue and white chevron feature wall instead. Much better.

I’m going to keep this short so I can get back to business. These potatoes are simply the best, most delicious and easy side dish. They only require 4 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper). You couldn’t really ask for more in a holiday side dish (or any time of the year).
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
I was a little skeptical when I tried this recipe because it just didn’t seem like there was enough to it but I was totally wrong. The cream gets thick and bubbly while the cheese gets ooey gooey delicious. I could pretty much eat them every day if my pants would allow it.
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
recipe from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

About 5 – large potatoes (or enough to fill a 9×13 glass baking dish)
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1. Cut your potatoes into thin french fry strips and then lay them in a 9×13 glass pan.
2. Pour all of the cream over the top of the potatoes then salt and pepper them generously. Sprinkle at least 2 cups grated cheddar cheese over the top and sprinkle parsley flakes on top of the cheese.  Cover with foil, and poke a fork through the top of the foil 2 or 3 times to allow a little steam to escape.
3. Cook at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {Christmas Tray 2012}

14 Dec

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
We are closing on our new home today and I will officially be a Nebraska resident again! I don’t think you understand how much this excites me! Especially after the week we just had. Of course, Fargo had to send us off with one last bit of nasty weather. I was feeling all sad and everything about packing and leaving and getting mail for the new owners when it was still MY house but that weather put it into perspective and left me saying “adios suckers, I’m out.” Well, I try to talk big and bad but it was still incredibly hard to leave. Shutting the door for the last time, ugh. I was not a pretty sight.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
I have been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year with all that we have had going on with the move but when I whipped up these cookies I felt a little bit more cheery. The smell of peppermint filled the house while these are baking which always reminds me of Christmas. And now that we are officially in Nebraska, we get to decorate a tree (my parents waited to put theirs up so that Noah and I could help) so that will totally fix me. I was majorly bummed that we didn’t get to put ours up this year.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Although I loved these cookies (they taste like a white chocolate version of thin mints), they were a bit to crispy for me but I prefer a soft, chewy cookie. The flavors of peppermint, cocoa and white chocolate were pretty heavenly together making this recipe a huge keeper. I may roll out the dough a little less next time so that they have a bit of chew to them but that’s really the only change I would make. Not only are they delish but they are really festive and pretty! Try them….you will like them!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
recipe from My Madison Bistro

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup fine sugar
1 large whole egg, plus 1 large yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
4 large candy canes, crushed (or Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips)
1 pound white chocolate or confectioners’ coating, coarsely chopped

1. In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients.

2. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium until fluffy, about 4 minutes. On medium-low, add egg, then yolk, until blended. Beat in peppermint extract. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, beating until just mixed.

3. Divide dough into 2 and place dough on sheets of plastic wrap. Shape dough into disks, wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour (up to 2 days).

4. Lightly flour surface and roll out one disk to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 2 inch circle (I used 3 inch because my other cutters were already packed), cut into rounds and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Reroll dough scraps and cut remaining rounds.

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Transfer parchment to cooling rack; cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

6. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and bang away with a kitchen mallet until the candy is crushed. Or if you are lazy like me, use Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.

7. Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Dunk cookies half way into chocolate. Use a fork to brush excess from cookie bottom, then transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with the candy cane chunks.

8, Refrigerate baking sheets until set (3 hours). Serve immediately, or freeze.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies {Christmas Tray 2012}

7 Dec

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies
I love me some sugar cookies. Whether they are rolled, cut and frosted or simple dropped on a sheet and baked they are my absolute favorite type of cookie. So sugar cookies combined with a cake batter flavor are right up my alley of course.
Cake Batter Sugar Cookies
I also love sprinkles…they make everything happy and much cuter. Am I right? And the cookies are mini too so it’s double the adorableness.

These cookies were easy to whip up and as they came together, I totally got whiffs of cake batter heaven. The cake batter flavor comes from the butter extract rather than a cake mix which is nice for a change. Not that I have anything against store-bought cake mixes because I do love using them as a starting point in recipes.
Cake Batter Sugar Cookies
I had a big variety of Christmas sprinkles so I dumped in a little bit of everything (nonpareils, jimmies and colored sugars) and they turned out perfect and incredibly festive!

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies
recipe from Sally Baking Addiction

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp butter extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup colorful sprinkles
1/4 cup sprinkles, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.  Set aside. Pour 1/4 cup sprinkles onto a plate to use for rolling.  Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat in egg yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt.  Add flour, and mix until a dough forms.  Dough will be thick. Gently mix in sprinkles.

3. Roll dough in teaspoon size balls.  Make sure that the balls are tall, rather than wide.  The taller the cookie dough ball, the thicker the cookie will be.  Roll the dough balls into the reserved sprinkles and bake for 9-10 minutes. Watch them closely at the 9 minute mark to assure they do not brown.

4. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely.
Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies {Christmas Tray 2012}

30 Nov

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
So red velvet just screams Christmas to me and these cookies are the perfect for the holidays. They start with a cake mix so they are very simple to whip up. I seem to always reach for cake mix whenever it comes to red velvet.  I think it’s because on one of Joel’s birthdays when we were still dating, I tried to make a homemade red velvet cake. It didn’t end well. It had a weird tang and texture so I really don’t know how I messed it up but I haven’t tried to make it from scratch since. I probably should try since I have a food blog and all. We shall see.
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
These cookies are rich, dense and of course, gooey. I’m really glad I was giving them away to our friends because I really couldn’t have had these sitting around my house. I’m totally a stress eater and I’m starting to feel a tad overwhelmed with the move so I probably would have eaten the whole batch. Not so good for the dieting.
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
If you aren’t up for cookies, these cake balls are one of my favorite treats ever and were featured as a great Christmas treat last year with funfetti cake mix but my personal favorite is red velvet.
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
recipe from Taste and Tell

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box red velvet cake mix
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1, In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and the butter.  Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.  Beat in the cake mix until completely combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Roll the chilled dough into tablespoon sized balls.  Roll in confectioners’ sugar, and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

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