Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recipe Favorites...


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

We were quite busy, having my parents up from California and visiting relatives in Washington.

I haven't been able to post, like I've wanted, so I put together a list of 12 recipes from 2013 that I absolutely loved making for the blog.

2013 Recipe Favorites
(Listed from the top left and clockwise)

1.) Cake Box Donuts

2.) Champagne Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

3.) Simple Garlic Cheesy Bread

4.) Chocolate Granola Squares

5.) 4th of July Cookie Sandwiches

6.) Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Pizza

7.) No Bake Tropical Cheesecake

8.) Ghost Pudding Cups

9.) White Bean Turkey Chili

10.) Lemon Vanilla Bean Mousse

11.) Valentine Cupcake Surprise

12.) Carrot Cookies with Vanilla Maple Drizzle

I know, I know... many of these recipes are sugary, sweet... not ideal if you have a New Year's resolution to slim down. That's why I chose #6 and #9...... wink,wink!

Anyway, here's to 2014......

...... I hope it's a fabulous one!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Sugar Cookies...


As I was finishing up all of my baking, I needed one more type of cookie to add to the mix.

I decided on my great-grandma Berry's sugar cookie recipe. Honestly, I didn't want to roll the dough out and cut-out shapes, so I adjusted the recipe a bit. I only had butter shortening in the pantry, as the recipe originally calls for vegetable shortening.

Also, I decided on using a mixer, instead of my food processor, to cut in the shortening and cold water. Doing this allowed for the cookie dough to be fluffier. The result...

... amazingly light sugar cookies!

I mean, the original recipe is fabulous as is, but I was tight on time. Aren't we all this time of year!?!

So, if you'd like an easy sugar cookie recipe, try this one!

P.S. They are the perfect cookie for Santa...

Christmas Sugar Cookies

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter Shortening
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • Christmas Nonpareils 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, for easy clean-up. Pour the nonpareils into a small prep bowl; set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda, and salt to combine; set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the sugar and shortening until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and mix. Finally, alternate adding the flour mixture and the cold water (one tablespoon at a time). Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. 

Roll about a tablespoon of the cookie dough into a 1-1/2 inch ball, then dip the top into the nonpareils. Place on the cookie sheet, nonpareil side up. Continue with this process, placing the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are done. Cool a few minutes  on the sheet, then move to cooling racks to cool completely. Makes about 40 cookies. Store in an airtight container. 


I'm posting this over on I'm Lovin' It.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Chewies...

It's that time of year again!

You know......

...... when the baking extravaganza begins!

At least in my house anyway.

I told my husband that I was not going to bake as many goodies as I did last year. Just enough to hand out to co-workers, friends, and neighbors... with some left over for us.

Not too sure if that's going to happen, but it's worth a try! Got to ease up on that Christmas time weight gain...... ya hear me?

Anyway, these cookies are perfect for cookie swaps. I'll give you three reasons why:

1.) Chewy on the inside
2.) Chocolatey with a hint of hazelnut
3.) Addictive

What great reasons to make these a part of your baking regimen this Christmas!

Chocolate Hazelnut Chewies

  • 1-3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Butter Shortening
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 Whole Egg, Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Like Nutella
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Brewed Coffee, Cooled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

In a small bowl combine the flour, soda, and cocoa powder; whisk to combine, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, granulated and brown sugars for a few minutes. Add the egg and combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add in the chocolate hazelnut spread. Lastly, add the vanilla and coffee and combine. 

Using a tablespoon or so, roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place onto the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes or until the chewies are done. Allow to cool a few minutes, then remove the chewies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes around 28 chewies.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins...


I know how busy and chaotic it can get during the holiday season!

So I thought I'd whip up an easy muffin recipe, because we all know, that this time of year we have many errands to run and a lot of shopping to do!

These muffins are also great to make Christmas Eve. You can have breakfast ready to go, while opening presents.

Not to mention they have cranberries as a main ingredient, which makes them festive as all get-out. Also, I love making my own cranberry sauce, so it's an ingredient I will have on hand anyway. Double score, if I do say so myself!

I love to give baked goods to my neighbors this time of year and these are perfect on an assorted goodie platter.

So...... get to baking!

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 3 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1-1/4 Cups Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed and Dried
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Morsels
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Line muffin pans with 18 paper liners; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and powder; set aside.

Using a mixer, cream the sugar and butter in a medium or large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add in the vanilla. Next, alternately add in the flour mixture and the milk. Gently fold in the fresh cranberries and morsels.

Divide evenly between the muffin liners. Bake 20-22 minutes or until the muffins are done. Makes 18 muffins.


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