Holiday Favorites

Sugar Cookies

Today was sugar cookie day. It’s the cookie I hate the most. Making the dough is easy, but rolling it out and using it quickly, before it gets too mushy, can be challenging. Especially when you have two littles eagerly trying to help.
This morning we rolled out the dough and used our cookie cutters for various holiday cookie shapes.

This afternoon, I made 3 types of frosting and gathered some toppings to decorate the cookies with the kids.

Here’s the recipe – I’m a little under the weather, so tonight’s post is quick.

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

Directions

  1. cream the butter and sugar using electric mixer
  2. Add egg and vanilla
  3. Blend dry ingredients gradually add to mixing bowl
  4. Add milk + mix well
  5. Make a giant ball, put into glass bowl + cover with plastic wrap
  6. Chill for 3 hours or up to 7 days
  7. Roll our 1/8 inch thick
  8. Cut out and bake
  9. I bake at 300* for 6 minutes. But that is just how my oven is. Test yours.

Nut free toppings

  • vermont nut free skippers
  • skittles
  • nerds
  • dots
  • some sprinkles
  • colored sugars
  • smashed andes candes
  • smashed candy canes


    Holiday Favorites

    Chocolate Reindeer with Vermont Skippers

    20171203_074430.jpg

    This herd of chocolate reindeer is perfect for your upcoming kid-friendly holiday parties and gatherings.Β  This recipe is always my favorite to make because it creates the most laughs. The chocolate dough does need to refrigerate, so keep that in mind before making this recipe with littles. Perhaps you want to make the dough the night before, so when your helpers are ready you can get right to business, their attention span is short, maximize it! Also, you decorate these cute little fellas BEFORE you bake them. Opposite to our classic sugar cookie.

    This year, we did not factor in the time it took to chill the dough, so my little Chloe stayed up well past her bed time (10:00pm) to complete these cookies. After about 8:30pm, she turns into a complete jokester. We were laughing so hard that we had a difficult time just baking these cookies, and we probably doubled our time since we were goofing around so much. But that is what cookie bake weekend is all about, good laughs and stories we can keep telling year after year. Memories.

    I hope you enjoy these playful cookies as much as we do, Fun Friyay!

    Chocolate ReindeerΒ 

    Ingredients

    Directions

    1. Cream the butter in electric mixer
    2. Add sugar, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt
    3. beat until combined
    4. beat in eggs
    5. add vanilla, keep mixing
    6. Beat in as much flour as your mixer will allow, hand stir in the rest if it doesn’t fit.
    7. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours in the fridge.
    8. On a lightly floured surface, roll our each dough ball into a circle, 6 inches in diameter.
    9. Using a knife (i like pizza cutter) cut into six wedges (we did 8, just like pizza)
    10. Place wedges two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet, push the pretzels in for antlers, chocolate skippers in for eyes, and red hot for nose.
    11. Bake in a 375* oven for 7-9 minutes. Do not overbake. I bake for exactly 7 minutes. If your reindeer start to have cracks or lines in their faces, you’re baking too long. They should be smooth like gingerbread cookies.
    12. Makes 36 large cookies.
    13. We trippled the batch, and it was WAY tooΒ  much. A double batch is OK.

     

    20171202_162842.jpg

    Until next year, cookie bakers! We’ll make a few more before Santa arrives, but our big bake is complete! Hope you enjoy some of these!!

    Love + Hugs from these two French-Norwegian Babes!

    Holiday Favorites

    Lemon-Poppy Seed Melt Cookies

    If you’re looking for a bake-ahead + freeze cookie, this is it. These cookies can last up to 6 months in your freezer. However, they taste so good, I think you’ll have a hard time putting these away. The lemon zest is bright and gives you the illusion these are “healthy” cookies. Not so much. But the creamy lemon poppy seed is a comforting flavor that has me coming back for more every time. Enjoy!
    Lemon-Poppy Seed Melts

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tbsp milk
    • 2 tsp grated / shredded lemon peel
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1+1/2 cup flour
    • 1 cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 375
    2. In an electric mixing bowl, cream butter.
    3. Add granulated sugar and poppy seeds + baking soda
    4. Mix well
    5. Add egg yolk, milk, lemon peel, and vanilla until combined.
    6. Add flour
    7. Mix well
    8. Divide dough in half.
    9. Shape each half into a 9″ long roll (use a 13×9 pyrex pan to get your measurement)
    10. Wrap each long roll in plastic wrap
    11. Chill for 4 hour or overnight
    12. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/2 inch thick slices
    13. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets
    14. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes.
    15. Place warm cookies into a bag of powdered sugar to coat.
    16. Continue cooling on cooling rack.
    17. Yield: 36 cookies
    Holiday Favorites

    Dipped Creams with Artisan Kettle Chocolate

    20171205_083810.jpgDipped Creams are little delicious pillows that melt in your mouth. Literally, they just pooof before you have time to chew!Β  They are very light and fluffy and highly addicting, especially with the melted chocolate on the top. Be sure to have your favorite holiday drink near by, these DO need some milk or egg nog to wash them down.

    Chocolate Dipped Creams

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup sifted flour
    • Extra powdered sugar for rolling
    • 1 cup chocolate for melting; set up a double boiler so you don’t burn your Artisan Kettle Chocolate. 1 sauce pan + a little water + 1 pyrex bowl to nest inside the sauce pan. Put your chocolate into the pyrex bowl and boil the water. This will melt your chocolate evenly, without burning.
    • Your choice of toppings; jimmies, sprinkles, andes candes bits, etc.

    Directions

    1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter.
    2. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar gradually.
    3. Add vanilla
    4. Sift salt, cornstarch, and flour together in separate bowl.
    5. Blend dry ingredients into mixing bowl.
    6. Form two balls and refrigerate in a glass bowl covered in plastic wrap 2-3 hours or overnight.
    7. When ready, bring the dough to room temp. form various shapes, balls, rectangles, everything around the same size so baking doesn’t vary too much.
    8. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.
    9. Cool.
    10. Roll into powdered sugar if you like.
    11. Top with Artisan Kettle melted chocolate and sprinkles
    12. Yield: 6 dozen

    Grab your $1 off coupon from Artisan Kettle’s website. They are the most cost competitive, allergy free, organic chocolate on the market right now. And their flavor can’t be beat. I find mine at Hy-Vee and Metcalfes Sentry.

    Holiday Favorites

    Raspberry Meringue Cookies with Enjoy Life Chocolate

    20171203_074359.jpgThese are probably my favorite holiday cookies to make. They look complicated, but they are super easy and very unique. Chloe and I love them because they combine two of our favorite things: the color pink, and chocolate. Enjoy life brand makes a nut-free / allergy free mini chocolate chip that completes this recipe beautifully. The taste is perfection, and I can’t describe it, you just have to make these. Light, pink and fluffy. Pink is the perfect color to add to your holiday cookie baking, or ladies night Holiday get-together.

    Raspberry Meringue Kisses Cookie

    Ingredients

    Directions

    1. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites with salt until foamy.
    2. Add raspberry gelatin and sugar; stir gradually until stiff peaks form.
    3. Mix in vinegar.
    4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    5. Drop from a teaspoon onto un-greased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
    6. Bake at 250* for 25 minutes.
    7. Turn the oven OFF.
    8. Let the cookies stay in the oven for 20 more minutes; DO NOT OPEN.
    9. Makes about 9 dozen.
    10. I typically double the recipe.

     

    Holiday Favorites

    Sunbutter Temptation Cookies

    20171202_104729.jpg

    This weekend was our annual cookie bake weekend in preparation for the upcoming holidays. This tradition started 7 years ago when I was 9 months pregnant and craving cookies. It worked out well, my mom needed a personalized gift for 15 co-workers and Cookie Bake weekend was born. Craving satisfied and gifts delivered, we have continued this tradition through babies, toddlers and now little people who actually help! It’s been fun talking about our cookie bake memories; the recipe mix-ups, spills, breastfeeding while baking, kid naps on the kitchen floor, burnt spatulas,  burnt cookies, unidentifiable cookies, the list goes on.

    Each day this week, I’ll share a recipe of the cookies we made this weekend. These are our favorites, and they area also all modified to be nut-free. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do now.

    Sunbutter Temptations

    • 1/2 cup Sunbutter
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature, unsalted
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 package classic bag Hershey’s Kisses
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 + 1/2 cup King Arthur nut-free flour
    • 3/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt

    Directions

    1. STOP. before you do anything. unwrap a bunch of those kisses and put them in a large bowl and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to put them into your cookie.
    2. Pre-heat the oven to 375*
    3. Set out ungreased mini muffin tins.
    4. Cream the butter, Sunbutter, and both sugars together.
    5. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
    6. Mix dry ingredients together and combine them into the mixing bowl.
    7. Mix all ingredients together.
    8. Shape dough into 1″ balls.
    9. Do not press dough into the pans.
    10. Bake 6-10 minutes depending on your oven
    11. Remove cookies from oven and immediately place Hershey Kiss in the middle, you must be quick
    12. Yield: 32 cookies
    Holiday Favorites, Snacking

    Nut Free Advent Calendar

    Since it’s challenging to find a nut-free advent calendar, I’ve purchased a Pottery Barn “fill-it-yourself” type and have stuffed a bunch of nut-free candy of my own in. It’s the same thing. Just a count down. Nothing fancy. Ok probably the fanciest advent calendar, but at least it’s 100% nut free and I know what’s in it!
    Other options I saw this year include the Target countdowns with Lego. Love that they are non-food based.  Check the link to order online and pick-up in stores.

    Target Lego Advent Calendars\

    A few ideas for a fill-it-yourself calendar….we raided our local Target tonight. Somehow I’ve missed the boat here for advent calendars. It starts Friday, and a lot of stuff is really picked over. 

    Don’t forget St.Nick comes next week, too πŸ™‚ Toys R Us has some great $1 bin items. I haven’t been impressed with the Target $1-$5 bins, we have enough erasers and pencils.

     Happy Holiday Season! Whatever you are celebrating, I hope it’s joyful.