Pistachio & Cranberry Cookies

You probably have figured out that I don’t bake that often, but when I do, I like to make something special.  I am not the best at following directions, which is why I tend to stick with cooking and winging my own thing.  I have been trying to bake a little bit more which has been so fun!  In trying to find the perfect recipe for the cookie swap last month, I stumbled upon this adorable semi-homemade recipe from one of my favorite blogs, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I ended up choosing the Peppermint Pattie Cookies for the cookie swap, but still HAD to make these! Continue reading

Peppermint Pattie Cookies

 

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It’s Cookie Swap Time!!!

This is the third year I’ve participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I just love it.  Here’s how it works:  I whip up a huge batch of cookies and send a dozen to three different bloggers that I am assigned to.  My favorite part about it all… three different bloggers send ME a dozen cookies each!  It’s such a fun way to try new recipes and share with friends in the holiday spirit.  As if three dozen cookies isn’t enough, the best thing about the swap is that we raise money for an awesome cause, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.   How awesome is that?

This cookie recipe is screaming to be made for this holiday season.   Continue reading

Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies & 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Oh hey bloggy friends!  It’s been too long, hasn’t it?

The holiday season is the perfect time to make happy food.  It’s a time to momentarily forget our diets, stop counting the calories, and just sit back and enjoy some yummy comfort food.  For me- that kind of food is dessert!  And my favorite dessert has to be cookies 🙂

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This is the second year I’ve participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I cannot wait to tell you about the delicious cookies I made!  Here’s how it works:  I whip up a huge batch of cookies and send a dozen to three different bloggers that I am assigned to.  The best part… three different bloggers send ME a dozen cookies each!  It’s such a fun way to try new recipes and share with friends in the holiday spirit.

Today, I’m going to share the recipe I made with you.  I have been dying to try this creative semi-homemade recipe from Southern Living for a few years now.  I left out the glaze topping in the hopes that they would be better for shipping to my FB Cookie Swap friends… and they turned out so fabulous!  I know it sounds a little strange at first, but the flavors are amazing.  The eggnog keeps the cookies unbelievably moist.  These are the perfect addition to your holiday cookies repertoire!

Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Chai Tea Bag

1 package Sugar Cookie Mix (Betty Crocker)

1/2 cup Melted Butter (one stick)

1 large Egg

2 Tablespoons Eggnog

Cinnamon Sugar

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350. 

2.  Remove tea leaves from bag- discard bag.  Mix tea leaves, cookie mix, butter, egg, and the 2 Tablespoons of eggnog until well blended.  

3.  Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheets.  Flatten dough with the bottom of a glass dipped in cinnamon sugar.

4.  Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.  ENJOY!

Original Recipe from:  Southern Living

I am LOVING the Kerrygold butter I've been using this winter... so creamy!

I am LOVING the Kerrygold butter I’ve been using this winter… so creamy!

I got to make a huge batch- had to make FOUR dozen... three for the swap and one for us :)

I got to make a huge batch- had to make FOUR dozen… three for the swap and one for us 🙂

Flattening the cookies and adding some crunchy cinnamon sugar

Flattening the cookies and adding some crunchy cinnamon sugar

All done!

All done!

I love the flecks of Chai Tea that you can see throughout the cookies.  They are crunchy on the edges and nice and chewy in the middle.

I love the flecks of Chai Tea that you can see throughout the cookies. They are crunchy on the edges and nice and chewy in the middle.

Snickerdoodles and Nov SRC Reveal

I couldn’t think of a better way to get back into my blogging routine than an amazing Secret Recipe Club Reveal!  The Secret Recipe Club is a really cool group I joined last winter.  Every month, we are assigned a new blogger.  This month, I was paired up a blog called The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch.  We get to pick ANY recipe that blogger has written about and cook it up ourselves.  We can make adjustments according to our tastes too.  All of the bloggers post their results on the same day and we all get to see who had who and more importantly, what delicious dishes were made!

Secret Recipe Club

You’re probably going to laugh at me when I tell you that until today, I have never made Snickerdoodles!  Aren’t they one of the most basic cookies out there?  I was so excited when I saw the recipe for these perfect-for-fall classic cinnamon cookies on Honey B’s blog.  I made the cookies on Friday night and let me tell you, we only have THREE left!  They were a huge hit, YUM!

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Snickerdoodles

Makes:  18 large cookies or 30 small cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup White Sugar
2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened (1 stick)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour (about 6.75 ounces) <– weigh your flour to make sure you have the correct amount!
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup White Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat just until combined. Shape dough into 30 balls.

Combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small shallow dish. Roll balls in sugar mixture, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until tops crack. Cool on pans 1 minute. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Grumpy’s Honeybunch

Still in love with my purple faux-silpat!

Still in love with my purple faux-silpat!

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So… if you haven’t noticed… I really don’t bake a lot.  So i wasn’t surprised when I thought I completely botched this recipe.  I started whipping up these cookies and when I went to roll them… they were SO wet.  They were sticky and were not cooperating at all.  I might have messed it up, but when it was all said and done, the cookies came out PERFECT.  If this happens to you, don’t panic!  Just do the best you can with the balls and cook them anyway, they will probably turn out fine… I mean really… what could be bad?!

These cookies are awesome and have already been requested again!

Before you head into your own kitchen to try out the Snickerdoodles, check out all of the other recipes that have been revealed today!  I can’t wait to read them all 🙂

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Oh HI friends…. it’s been a while.

While I meant to post these babies just in time for Valentine’s Day… that just never happened… so you’re getting them now!  I mean really, who doesn’t love Red Velvet ANYDAY!?  There’s no rule saying you can only eat it for V-Day.  Am I right?

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine's Day!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine’s Day!

It was so much fun... I loved the poodles and the elephants.

It was so much fun… I loved the poodles and the elephants.

 

I actually searched far and wide for the perfect cookies to make the boys for Valentine’s Day.  Everything I found was either too chocolately or just too complicated.  After stumbling across a semi-homemade Paula Deen recipe for which I only had to buy ONE thing at the grocery store… I knew I found a winner.

I do have to mention the color of my hands after rolling the dough… OMG!  It looked like I was experiencing some disgusting type of Stigmata.  So, make sure you keep your hands to yourself and wear your apron for this recipe!

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) brick Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist Red Velvet Cake Mix (unprepared!)
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.  

2.  With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the egg, and then the vanilla extract and beat.  Add in the cake mix and beat.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two hours (this makes it easier to roll the batter into cookie balls!).

3.  Put about 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl or plate.  Roll the chilled batter into Tablespoon sized balls.  Roll them into the powdered sugar, covering the ball.  Place on the cookie sheets.

4.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool completely as they will still be super soft and gooey.  Once they are cool sprinkle with the leftover powdered sugar.  

Rich red cookie batter

Rich red cookie batter

Into the sugar it goes

Into the sugar it goes

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple :)

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple 🙂

Cookies are done!  YUM!  Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

Cookies are done! YUM! Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

We really enjoyed these cookies!  Next time, I’d like to make them but top them with some cream cheese frosting or glaze and sprinkles.  How pretty would that be?

The cookies indeed, as Paula mentioned… SUPER gooey and melty and delicious.

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This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday

Cookie Butter Pinwheels & the Be a Good Cookie Spatula from OXO

So, have you gotten the Cookie Butter fever yet?  Biscoff?  Speculoos?  Like, OMG!  It’s the best stuff ever.  It’s like the non-chocolate version of Nutella.  It tastes like mashed up butter cookies and cinnamon.  What could be bad?

SOOOO Yummy!

SOOOO Yummy!

You can get Biscoff Spread at any grocery store near the peanut butter, or you can pick up a jar of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.  It was supposed to be seasonal but it was such a big hit that they sell it all year round.

I’ve been eating Cookie Butter by the spoonful or with pretzel rods, bananas, graham crackers, you name it!  I was totally satisfied eating my spreadable heaven in these delicious ways… well, that is until I saw this recipe on Cookies & Cups blog the other day.  Whoa!  (Joey Lawrence voice…)

Cookie Butter Pinwheel Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cookies and Cups

Ingredients:

1 can Crescent Rolls

1/2 cup – 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread

1 cup Powdered Sugar

2 Tablespoons Milk

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:

1.  Unroll the Crescent Rolls and spread out flat.

2.  Spread the cookie butter in a thin later until it covers the entire square.  Tightly roll the dough jelly-roll style, lengthwise.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Take out of the plastic wrap and slice into 1/4 inch pinwheel cookies.  Place the cookies spread out on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.  Let cool.

4.  Prepare the cinnamon glaze:  Mix the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add sugar to make it thicker to drizzle or add milk to thin it out to have the glaze go over the entire cookie.  Put the glaze over the cookies, be patient and let it set… THEN enjoy!!

Cookie Butter is spread onto the Crescent Rolls and rolled up into a big long log.  Let sit in the fridge for an hour than slice... mmm

Cookie Butter is spread onto the Crescent Rolls and rolled up into a big long log. Let sit in the fridge for an hour than slice… mmm

Pretty!

Pretty!

I kept mine in the oven about a minute or two too long (12 min... try 8-10) but they were still so good

I kept mine in the oven about a minute or two too long (12 min… try 8-10) but they were still so good

um... YUM!

um… YUM!

These little cookies are so yummy!  They turned out to be nice and soft but crispy on the bottom.  I could hardly wait for the glaze to set before I ate them… like five of them… eeeek!

I couldn’t wait to make cookies in my new place, so I could use my new OXO “Be a Good Cookie” spatula.  I’ve been waiting to use this cute little orange spatula since I got it during the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  All participating bloggers received a free spatula during the swap which raised money for the charity Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  OXO even got involved by matching all of the money raised by the Cookie Swap- doubling the donation to this awesome charity.

You gotta enjoy making cookies to help raise money for a good cause.

You gotta enjoy making cookies to help raise money for a good cause.

photo 2 (9) (1)

 

 

You might also want to check out these other cookies too!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bakes

Cinnamon Toast Crunch & White Chocolate Cookies

Cinnamon Toast Crunch & White Chocolate Cookies

Caramel Apple Milkyway Stuffed Cookies

Caramel Apple Milkyway Stuffed Cookies

 

 

Dark Chocolate Cherry-Berry Oatmeal Cookies

This Holiday Season, I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  The Cookie Swap is a seriously delicious Food Blogger’s version of Pen Pals.  I cooked up 3 dozen cookies, sent them out to 3 different food bloggers, and 3 other food bloggers sent me cookies!!

As if getting 3-dozen cookies isn’t reason enough to participate, the Cookie Swap raises money for the charity “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” which OXO (the company that makes my absolute favorite coffee to-go mug ever btw) will match up to $100,000!  I loved hearing this so I was signed up right away!

fbcookieswap_wood

The cookies I baked up were based on this yummy Heart-Healthy recipe from Cooking Light.  The funny thing about baking these cookies were that I totally forgot I had to make THREE dozen for the swap, not TWO.  I baked JUST over 3 dozen, so instead of having a leftover 15-ish cookies… I only had 4!  I guess it was for the best though, because these cookies are really really good… I would have eaten too many 🙂

Dark Chocolate Cherry-Berry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup) 
  • 1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup) 
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
  • cooking spray 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. It will completely combine well with only a small layer of melted butter ontop.  
  4. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add cherries and cranberries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop dough by Tablespoonfulls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
  6. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Whisk your dry ingredients to mix the flours and the oats together

Whisk your dry ingredients to mix the flours and the oats together

I loved the combination of the sweet cherries and the sour cranberries with dark chocolate

I loved the combination of the sweet cherries and the sour cranberries with dark chocolate

You can see how crumbly these are!

You can see how crumbly these are!

Stelly is a kitchen pup!  She waited patiently with me while the cookies baked in the oven.

Stelly is a kitchen pup! She waited patiently with me while the cookies baked in the oven.

Yummmmm!  I LOVE my Silpat.  If you don't have any, pick two sheets up ASAP!  Nothing sticks to them.  The best.

Yummmmm! I LOVE my Silpat. If you don’t have any, pick two sheets up ASAP! Nothing sticks to them. The best.

A few notes I have to share with you… these cookies might be on the healthier side, but they are REALLY tasty!  I found the batter to be very crumbly, to the point where I had trouble at times making the cookies into scoops to drop.  I was worried they would fall apart, but they DO NOT.  So, it’s okay if yours turn out a little crumbly!  Also, I did try a few cookies where I rolled them into a ball (when they were super-fally-aparty) and they did not turn out as pretty as the drop.

I will certainly whip these up again, next time making more leftovers for us 🙂

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

The cookies I received for the swap were so yummy!  I wanted to give these awesome bloggers a little shout-out because their cookies really made my day.

I would have loved to say I had a picture of these really interesting Vanilla Cardamom Cookies but between myself and all of our moving crew/family ate them all!  They were so good!  I never would have thought to put Cardamom (do I even have Cardamom??  Probably  not!) into crisp vanilla cookies, but I’m glad Molly did!  You can find more of her recipes and blog posts on Bytes and Bites.  Good luck on your finals, Molly!

White Chocolate Chunkies were from Katheryn @ The Baker’s Sheet.  How cute is her blog name?  She has plenty of other recipes on her blog that I’m dying to try (especially those Pumpkin Bars!)

*Unfortunately (or luckily for my diet, I can’t decide which), I only received two of my three batches of cookies for the swap so far! *