Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Spice Cookies

Hubby and I are both oatmeal cookie lovers. Therefore I make them a lot.  I'm always in search for different kinds, especially around the holiday season.  For me, oatmeal with some sort of chocolate is the perfect combination.  For hubs, oatmeal and peanut butter is what he loves.  I picked these cookies out for me.  I knew I would love them, not only was there chocolate but also cinnamon. Yum!
 The cookies were delicious. I love them and hubs did as well. The cranberries, chocolate and cinnamon gave a perfect blend of sweet and spice. I used a medium scoop to make them and they took about 12 minutes to bake.  Next time I make them I'll add a little more cinnamon for a little more spice.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Spice Cookies
Courtesy of I Am Baker
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole oats
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and all spice. In separate large bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine well.
  3. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Then add oats, cranberries, and chocolate if you so desire.
  4. Use 1/4 cup and scoop onto cookie sheet, you should get about 6 per sheet.
  5. Bake for at least 8 minutes, but most likely will bake for 12.
  6. If you chose to not add the chocolate chips directly to the dough, you can melt chips in the microwave and drizzle or dip the cookies after they have cooled.
  7. This would also be excellent with white chocolate!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 minute fudge

My mom made this recipe last weekend for her work Christmas party and recommended it to me.  I decided to make it for hubs to take to work.  I've been sending in something special everyday this week for his team to enjoy. I've made my fair share of cookies, so this was the perfect "something different" to make. This recipe may be titled five minute fudge, but it took me about 15 minutes to make. Unfortunately, the little one has a milk protein allergy, so I couldn't enjoy this treat.  
My official taste tester (hubs) gave this two thumbs up.  

Five-Minute Fudge Wreath

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 9 ounces (3/4 of a 12-ounce bag) butterscotch morsels
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) currants
  • 8-inch cake pan, lightly greased with softened butter
  • Candied cherries, red and green, for garnish, optional


Place a heavy pot on the stove and preheat it over low heat. Add chips and milk and stir until chips are melted and milk combined. Save the empty condensed milk can. Stir in vanilla and remove fudge from heat. Add nuts and currants and stir in immediately.
Cover empty condensed milk can with plastic food wrap and center it in the greased cake pan. Spoon fudge into pan around can, making sure to recenter can if it drifts.
The fudge will set up almost immediately. Garnish can only be added in the first minute or 2 the fudge is in the pan, so work quickly. Decorate your wreath with "holly" made from cut candied red and green cherries. A wreath left plain can be garnished with a pretty fabric bow when serving. Chill covered in the refrigerator and slice fudge very thin when ready to serve, a little goes a long way


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

I chose these cookies to make for my 2nd annual cookie exchange this year. I didn't put as much time into searching for the perfect cookie this year like I did last year.  I came across this recipe from one of those "The Best Christmas Cookie" pins.  I loved the cherry cookies I made last year, so I decided to stick with them again this year.  Loved the cherry pieces in this cookie but I didn't love my red fingers after chopping them.  There isn't anything I would change about this recipe.  They were delicious and not your typical Christmas cookie. 

Cherry Chocolate Kisses
Courtesy of The Curvy Carrot

Cherry Chocolate Kisses
Servings: approximately 36 cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool*****very important!
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons maraschino cherry “juice”
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies
36 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
4. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
5. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
7. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.
8.  Using your thumb, gently press each cookie in its center until the cookie is about 1/2-inch thick.
9.  Sprinkle each cookie with a little granulated sugar.
10.  Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.
11. Once removed from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.
12.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Baby Reindeer Footprint Craft

Of course, this craft was inspired by Pinterest! 
This craft took no time to create and will be a cherished decoration for years to come. 

Done on a small canvas using acrylic paint and Sharpie paint pens.  

Christmas Popcorn

This popcorn is the perfect party snack.  

Christmas Popcorn

3 bags of popcorn (kettle corn or lightly buttered)
1 bag of white chocolate chips or almond bark 
red and green candy chips for decoration
sprinkles for decoration

Pop the popcorn and place it in a large bowl
Melt the chocolate chips or almond bark 
Pour over the popcorn and toss to coat
After it's coated, place a large amount of wax paper on a flat surface
Pour the popcorn on the wax paper to set
This is the time to decorate it how you wish. 
I melted green and red candy chips and poured it over the popcorn and topped with sprinkles 

*I make it the day before serving and store it in an airtight container*

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Easy Lemon Crinkle Cookies

First, I have to say this picture is horrible.  I will be replacing soon, but I had to share this recipe. 

 I know a lot of you are baking away and I definitely think you should add this is cookie to your Christmas cookie list.  I always make a lemon cookie for Christmas.  I like to have a variety of cookies to share.  I'm not a huge lemon fan, but my mom and best friend's dad are.  Mom gave this recipe two thumbs up. This recipe took no time to make and were actually really good.  They were soft and chewy which is how I like my cookies.  Enjoy!

My inspiration for this recipe was my red velvet crinkle cookies

Ingredients:                                                                                  Directions:  

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.
  2. Place cake mix, cooled butter, eggs and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms.
  3. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on cool, ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.

Apple, Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing

This recipe was from Thanksgiving.  I just found it in my draft section.  OPPS! What I loved most about this recipe was how quick and easy it was. The only change I'll make to it is adding dried cranberries instead of fresh.  The fresh cranberries were a little tart for me (and hubs too).  But, I think the apple/ cranberry/ nut combination is perfect.  I will definitely make this recipe again.
Looking for a Christmas dinner stuffing?  Try it!

Apple, Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing
Courtesy of Kraft Foods 

what you need

cups  apple juice

Tbsp.  butter or margarine

pkg.  (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken

small  apple, chopped

cup  cranberries

cup  chopped PLANTERS Pecans, toasted

make it

BRING juice and butter to boil in medium saucepan on high heat.
ADD stuffing mix and fruit; mix lightly. Cover. Remove from heat.
LET stand 5 min. Stir in nuts.

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

This is hands down, the best Snickerdoodle recipe I've made.  This will be one of my signature Christmas cookie recipes from here on out.  Make these today!

*picture to come*

You can find the recipe from All Recipes here
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
3.Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4.Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gift Bow Wreath Tutorial

Thank you to the Today Show for this DIY idea.  I was watching last week when they showcased it on one of their segments.  I made a note to pick up the supplies so I could make it for my front door.  Because, believe it or I don't have a Christmas wreath for my door.  This wreath took me 20 minutes to make and cost $6.  When I look at my front door, it makes me smile.  I love it.  

Glue Gun

Find something to make a large circle on your cardboard.  I traced a large plate for the outside.  Using a good pair of scissors, cut our the circle.  

Find another item to trace for the center, I used a candle shade.  Trace it and cut out the center.  

Next, glue on the bows.  I bought 2 bags from Target and used about 45 bows.  There was no rhyme or reason to the placement of the bows.  I just started with clusters until the entire wreath was filled.  

Last, I glued a piece of festive ribbon on the back to give me a bow to hang from my door hook.  

It's as simple as that...enjoy!

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