Archives

Poinsettia Cookies

What says Christmas more than a beautiful red poinsettia. I continue to buy them every year, they just make everything more Christmas-like. I even plant them outside when Christmas is over. Here in Florida they continue to grow long after the holidays. We’ve had them get pretty big too, until the landscapers did something and killed it. I think they poisoned it or something but I can’t prove it. Anyway…When I saw this recipe it sounded really cool. I could not find a picture however and I have not made them yet. So you can use your imagination on it until I bake some and post the photo. They are a pretty simple cookie to make also. You can make the dough ahead of time and use it later.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup butterscotch chips, divided

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 jar (4 ounces) red candied cherries


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, egg, water, and vanilla until well blended. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.

3. Stir in ¾ cup butterscotch chips and the coconut. Cover and chill at least one hour.

4. Cut the candied cherries in half. Then cut each half into 3 slices.

5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten each ball and place a butterscotch chip in the center of each. Arrange 5 cherry slices in a circular pattern around each butterscotch chip to resemble the pattern of a poinsettia.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are firm but not brown. Cool the cookies for about 1 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Super Easy Sugar Cookies

When I say these cookies are super easy I am not joking. They are drop cookies so that means no cookie cutters, no shaping, no forming, just dropping onto a cookie sheet! The best part is that there are only 4 ingredients also! Yes, you heard me, 4 ingredients!

Of course today as usual I had all good intentions of getting this blog done early. But as it’s now 7:30pm and my husband will be home for dinner shortly I am rushing to get this done. Again. I started the day with my mental list of what to do. Christmas cards was at the top. They are mostly done. Wrote them all out and addressed the envelopes. But I still have to seal, stamp and send. Whew. Before I knew it the day was gone, again. I spend most of my day looking for a job. It’s a tiring and frustrating experience to say the least. I had the perfect job until July 2009. I worked at home on my computer. Never had to go to an office, never had to deal with the general public, never got bothered by annoying people (except telemarketers, but that’s what caller id is for). It was perfect. I set my own schedule and I loved it. But as we all know this economy is in the toilet. It effected my job and the company I worked for had to close. I was an independent contractor for them so I of course was not getting a nice severance or unemployment. So when you all read about the 10-15% unemployment rate out there, it’s a lie. It’s more like 25% if not higher. People like me aren’t counted. So now I just scour the ads, online, newspaper, everywhere. If I could only make some money doing this blog! So that is why my day gets away from me. I am happy now to go into my little world of blogging and become useful for a while.

Ok, now to the super-duper easy peazy recipe. And did I mention these are so tasty you will want to eat them all? They are very moist and soft and they also freeze and store well! They are wonder cookies! :)


INGREDIENTS:

1 (8 ounce) container fat-free dessert whipped topping

2 egg whites

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix, dry (you will not be following the box directions)

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar (or for the holidays use red and green sugar crystals instead!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray three cookie sheets with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl mix the whipped topping and egg whites with a spatula until combined.

3. Add the cake mix and stir until well blended.

4. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls and dip into the sugar crystals or confectioners’ sugar. Using another spoon scrape the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are set in the middle.

Makes about 36-40 cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are very festive looking with their white chips and red cranberries! To make them look even more Christmas-like you can even add some shelled pistachios! The green will be subtle but very classy looking.

These cookies are also pretty easy to make. They are drop cookies. Nice and simple.

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1½ cups white chocolate morsels

1 (6 ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low-speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

5. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Talk about an easy cookie to make. These little bites of cookie and candy are another one of my favorites. Not only because they are so easy and only use 2 ingredients but because they are just so darn tasty! I could eat a dozen of them easily in one seating. If not more! The first time I had these, thanks to my friend Beth, I fell in love! When Beth made them they were just regular chocolate chip cookies but when I make them I use nuts. The two ingredients are pre-made cookie dough and mini peanut butter cups. You can use any of your favorite “tubes” of premade cookie dough. Chocolate chip, chocolate chip with nuts, sugar, chocolate… Also needed are mini muffin tins. I bake one tin at a time. It’s easier.

INGREDIENTS:

1 roll of pre-made cookie dough (your choice)

Bag of mini peanut butter cups (about 36 cups needed)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to directions on cookie dough package.

2. Fill each mini tin about 3/4 full with cookie dough. Bake according to package directions. If you wish you can spray the tins with cooking spray before adding dough just in case they stick.

3. While cookie dough is baking unwrap about 36 mini peanut butter cups so you have them all ready to go.

4. When cookie dough is finished baking remove from oven and place on cooling rack. While still warm press a mini peanut butter cup into each muffin tin. The heat will melt the chocolate a little which will help it to bond with the dough when it cools. Work quickly so the cookie dough does not harden before you can get the peanut butter cups into them.

5. When cookies are cool enough to handle carefully remove from tins and continue to cool on racks till hardened.

Makes about 36 cookies

Pecan Petites

One of my favorite cookies from a cookie exchange was from my friend Aimee. These cookies melted in your mouth! There was no way you could eat just one! Or two or three…They are delicious round balls of yumminess!

This recipe is also very easy to make. Easy is good. This way you can make more than one type of cookie! The recipe originally called for margarine but I don’t like using margarine. So using butter is a great alternative.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter/margarine

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cream butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.

2. Add flour, mix well. Stir in the pecans.

3. Shape rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 325º for 20 minutes. Cool slightly, roll in confectioners’ sugar.*

*If you want to make them festive for Christmas roll them in red or green sugar crystals.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Pina Colada Oatmeal Cookies

Ok my Christmas tree is up and decorated! Woo Hoo! Now I just need to clean up and finish up the loose ends for the inside decorating. Spent all morning and part of the afternoon Christmas shopping so I got a late start on the tree today. I had promised myself I would write the blog in the morning also. Didn’t happen! It is amazing that even though I am not working (unemployed but not by choice!) you would think I had so much time on my hands! I seem to have even less. Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself so I am happy to take time and just write about my recipes and research photos and just escape into my own little food blog world. It’s a great place!

My Christmas tree

Great places have great food and drinks. The piña colada is a wonderfully decadent and delicious drink and it definitely brings up images of palm trees, warm weather, sandy beaches, tiki huts…You get the picture. So I found a recipe for my last cookie exchange that took that wonderful cocktail and made it into a cookie! The recipe calls for rum extract but I like to use the real thing. Or even use a coconut rum. It’s a small amount so don’t worry that anyone will be getting plastered from eating these cookies. They are tasty and tropical and they even go great with a real piña colada to wash them down! Why not! It’s the holiday! Enjoy! (I know the picture is small but I didn’t have a close up them by themselves. Never thought I’d be doing a blog when I made them!)

Pina Colada Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1½ sticks butter, softened

1 egg

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice

1 teaspoon rum or coconut rum (or use rum extract)

2 cups flour

½  teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½  cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)

½ cup flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pineapple with its juice, and rum extract until well blended.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well blended. Stir in oatmeal and coconut.

3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. (Those silicone mats or parchment paper work great also). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cookies cook on sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to a rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies

Rainbow Cookies

Here they are as promised! Rainbow Cookies! This recipe was from one of my very first Cookie Exchanges. My sister was the ambitious one! She didn’t have any kids yet and had lots of time! (She has 5 now!) The recipe itself isn’t really that hard, it is however time-consuming. Many things to do but if you follow the directions you’ll have no problems. Some rainbow cookies have a chocolate layer on the bottom as well as the top, this one has only chocolate on top. Either way they are delicious and your friends and family will be impressed when you tell them you actually baked them yourself!

I was trying to find a picture from this party way back when. It had to be in the mid-late 1990s. I’m still looking though so if I find it (after 5 or 6 moves I’m lucky I find anything!) I will add it in. I know I must have a photo of it somewhere so be patient and I’ll search for it.

This recipe will NOT, I repeat NOT, be low-calorie. Then again, most cookies that are really good aren’t! It is the season for eating and being merry so no worries this time. Just get in the kitchen and bake like crazy! I wonder if I asked my sister to make these today what she would do. Hmmm…Oldest child is 12 and youngest is now 6. Free time? Sure! NOT! She’ll just laugh at me.

Cousin Linda (L) and sister Michele (R)

I may still do an exchange this year if I want to throw one together real fast. I just love them. I just wish everyone else did! I have so many fun memories of the past ones I’ve had. Like my cousin Linda showing up to the party with cookies that were still warm from the oven! As my sister-in-law Maureen told her, “Linda, the party starts at 4:00, that doesn’t mean start baking at 4:00!” She was also late to the party. The following year I told her an hour before everyone else. Guess what? She showed up on time, an hour before everyone else! It’ll never happen again though!

INGREDIENTS:

3 sticks butter

1½ cups sugar

1½ cups flour

4 eggs

4 ounces almond paste (½ stick or ½ can usually)

1 bag (about 12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

red, green, yellow food coloring

1 jar seedless raspberry jam (use sugar-free here if you want to save a little calories)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine butter, sugar, flour, eggs and almond paste in a large bowl with an electric mixer.

2. Divide batter evenly into 3 bowls (something that won’t get stained). Add yellow, green and red food coloring into bowls. One color per bowl. Add a few drops at a time till the color you want is reached.

3. Spray three 11½ x 8 (1½” deep) aluminum pans with cooking spray. Line with wax paper and spray again. Pour each bowl into a separate pan.

4. Bake individually for 15-20 minutes at 350º.

5. After cooling, remove from pans, stack and layer with raspberry jam. Don’t put jam on the top. Just between the two bottom layers.

6. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir till smooth. Frost top of layers only with the melted chips. After chocolate hardens (put in fridge to help this along), cut into individual squares. Store in refrigerator.

**Not sure how many this will make but it also depends on how big or small you cut the squares. Enjoy!