Holiday Postcard – Hide Your Cookies

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I got a little silly the other day with everything seasonal. And those of you who have checked your mail lately might have noticed a pretty interesting postcard come through, this is the back story. (My grandfather actually just thought it was an ad from a local business. Turns out I’m that good.)

Let me back up. I’ve always been one for Christmas. I’m the one who encourages people to those Ugly Sweater Parties and to sew on more tinsel and ribbon. I decorate wreaths with my friends, getting hot glue gun burns along the way. I even make peppermint cookies, hot cocoa, fudge, cake, candies, and martinis – because, isn’t that the way it should be?

So I begged my my photographer friend, Andy from Perfect Perceptions, to take my picture for my holiday card this year that I would be designing. When he showed up, I don’t think he knew what he was getting himself into, because what he saw was this: a 26-year-old holding a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie the size of her face and sporting a Santa hat, more than enough ornaments to cover a tree, and the Elf soundtrack on the counter sitting and waiting to be played.

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“So what’s the theme?” was the response – with smirk – that I got.

“Christmas!!”

Of course, my idea of Christmas might seem a bit tacky, but I don’t care. So I turned this shoot into a Christmas Wonderland. (At one point I shredded up cotton balls to make snow. Note: they do not blow like snow when you huff and puff at them in your hand. Makes for a horrible picture.)

However, I did end up with a bunch of great pictures. (Which he fabulously edited for me!) And then I designed one of my most favorite cards to date! So silly, but so fun! Couldn’t have been happier with how the pictures came out!

Let’s just say that among the comments I got back were: “You’re a brave soul to send those into the mail.” “I can’t believe you did that.” and “That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen!”

Hehe. Successful Roni designed postcard! On to my other holiday endeavors!

Voila! My card (yes, it says “Hide Your Cookies,” on it.):

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Chipless Cookies

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I swear I’m not crazy, they taste good

When it comes to food, I’m not always on the same page as everyone else. Take the basic chocolate chip cookie. I am the person who looks through the pile of cookies and tries to find the one with the least amount of chocolate. Yes, you can gasp at my sinful decision each time I reach for a sweet goodie. But I have to tell you that the best part of the cookie, for me anyway, is the carbs in those glorious treats. So why not make them without all the messy chocolate chips and save those morsels for something else, right?

So while I was relaxing the other night I thought I’d try it out. This is what I came up with…

Troops to gather:
1/2 cup shortening (Yes, I’m thinking I have an aversion to butter. Sorry Paula.)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, blend together the two sugars and shortening. Then add the eggs and continue to mix for one minute or until combined.

Gradually add in flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir until all combined.

With a spoon, scoop out one inch balls of dough, place onto baking sheet and press lightly down on each dough ball. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy. Let me know what you guys think!

 

Winter Cookies

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Pretty Italian Cookies

Not sure if you’ve figured it out yet, but I’m Italian. So anise cookies are kind of this thing my family likes to make. I’m not a fan of licorice, so the cookies aren’t my first go-to cookie. However, I have no problem making them, especially since I get to decorate them.

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Gather the goods, just no need for the remote

 

You will need:
2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons anise oil

Icing:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and anise oil and continue mixing until combined. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder. Add dry mixture to wet in small batches until combined.

With a spoon, drop small one inch cookies onto baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack.

While those are cooling, mix the icing ingredients until smooth. I added some red to make the icing colorful, then dipped them into the icing and put back onto the rack. Decorate with sprinkles or whatever you’d like. Enjoy!

Chocolate Marshmallow Button Cookies

I can’t follow a recipe. Yup, I’m admitting it again. I tried, I really really tried to follow the recipe, but I couldn’t do it. In other news, the cookies came out really good despite me ignoring orders.

So remember that wonderful cookie book I got from my secret Santa at our work event? Well, I finally made cookies with it. The recipe called for 3/4 a cup of dark chocolate, but I didn’t have that, so that’s when things started going awry. I also didn’t have mini marshmallows, but instead had big ones. Also didn’t have butter….. shortening is totally the same thing, right?

So I made the cookies with my adjustments, and to tell you the truth, they came out pretty darn good, and my family liked them (or else they are being really kind about the whole me baking a lot of food thing.) I’ve posted my adjusted recipe below, try it and let me know what you think.

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They turned out so yummy and gooey with marshmallows!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 up shortening (I used the sticks because you can cut your portion)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
6 large marshmallows, cut into eight or so pieces

Preheat oven to 320 F. While that’s going, melt white chocolate and milk chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds until melted. Put back in at 15 second intervals until it’s smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix the shortening and sugar with a mixer (or really strong helper with a spoon) until combined. Add eggs and stir, then add chocolate and stir until completely combined. Gradually add flour mixture, a little bit at a time until mixed.

Using spoons or an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the baking sheets (you can line it with parchment paper if you like before placing down the cookies). Press one or two (I prefer two) pieces of marshmallow on each cookie. The two marshmallows gives it the button look when they’re done.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool on rack. You can get about 30 out of this mix if you do it just right. Enjoy!

Awesome Gift To Me

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I may have never win the state lottery, but I think I won the work Secret Santa “lottery.” Let me back up…

At work we’ve been getting gifts to our secret santas and yesterday we gave our final gift. I have been painstakingly digging into my recipient’s past for ideas. Thank goodness for friends at work or I would have been at a loss. I hope she liked everything, because I know I’m loving what I got!

My secret santa had strategically decorated my gift with cookie cutters tied to the package. And as any former librarian would react, I couldn’t be happier with the two fabulous book finds my secret santa gave me! One book on cookies and another with crafting ideas. She know me all too well (may have been her snooping around my blog) and I have already cracked the covers and started plotting my attack on the kitchen. Be prepared people, I will be in a cookie frenzy for the foreseeing future.

Buy Me Something II

Oh, wow. I just found this place in New York City that has cookies I’m craving. No, I’ve never had them, but I really, really want to try them. Their “compost cookie” is filled with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips. I mean, it can’t be bad, right? The place is called momofuku milkbar and the cookies are $12 a tin. Tempting to buy…. tempting.

Compost Cookie

And then they have these blueberry and cream cookies that I’m drooling over.

Blueberry and Cream Cookie

 

 

Late Night Cookies

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When I bake, it’s usually because I’m either trying to avoid reality, or I’m bored. This time, it was because I was trying to keep my mind busy. Sometimes there are those moments in life where you have to tell yourself that it’s better not to get involved in someone else’s problems and just head to the kitchen and whip up something sweet. Life’s sweeter with some sugar. Right?

So I made some peanut butter cookies…

Getting ready to get baked.

Mini chocolate chips on top makes everything better