Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Gifts and Cookie Recipes ~

Hello friends,

I've been baking up a storm around here all week! Thanks to Nate's cousin (and my friend), Jillia, for all the help and fun! 

Don't they just look delicious? Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies, Sugar cookies with butter cream frosting, Candy Cane Blossoms and Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge.

~ Sugar Cookies with Butter Cream Frosting ~

Cookies ~

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (Alcohol free if possible)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached if possible)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Butter cream  Frosting ~

1/2 cup shortening
1 pound confectioners sugar
5 Tbs. water
1/4 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. butter flavored extract

Directions ~

In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer) until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended using a sturdy spoon. Chill dough for two hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies two inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 4 to 6 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cookies from pan and cool on wire racks.

Using an electric mixer, (I did use mine this time) beat shortening, confectioners sugar, water, salt, vanilla extract and butter flavoring until fluffy. Frost cookies after they have cooled completely. 

* A former co-worker gave me this recipe a few years ago, so I'm not sure who to give credit to. They're just delicious and the frosting is amazing!

Yields ~ 5 dozen cookies


~ Cherry Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies ~

1 box cherry chip cake mix
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/8 cup milk
2 cups chocolate chips
(I add red food coloring)

Directions ~
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix half the dry cake mix with butter, vanilla, eggs, and milk. Stir in remaining cake mix and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until firm on the edges and soft in the middle. Cool 2 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.

(This recipe is incredibly dense. I always had a very difficult time stirring it by myself and always had to ask my husband into the kitchen to take a turn stirring. Now my Kitchen Aid Mixer makes it so much easier)

 This recipe is from a radio personality from our home town and are by far my favorite Christmas cookie. Anyone that loves cherry cordials will love this recipe!  

Yields ~ 2 dozen cookies

*I found the recipe for the Candy Cane Blossoms here. (Via Pinterest) 


Last Minute Gift ~

Well, there was an oversight at work and I wasn't asked to contribute money for the company wide gifts for the owner and vice president of the company where I work. Anyway, the situation gave me the chance to try and be creative and make something a little more personal, but in a very short amount of time. I mean, what do you get people that have everything, including their own airplanes, right?!

You go country crafty, make candy and Cinnamon Honey Butter, that's what you do!

I found the recipe on Pinterest from a wonderful  blog. Just beautiful!

(I made these little tags)

I cut out some cute Christmas fabric (cloth napkins) from Hobby Lobby.

 "Necessity is indeed the mother of invention" ~ Jo March, Little Women

Some more tags that I made

I have lots of left over little bells from my Christmas ornament making

I filled these little boxes full of chocolate truffles

Chocolate Truffle recipe ~

3 Cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

Coatings: finely chopped nuts, flaked coconut,
chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar, unsweetened cocoa, powdered sugar or colored sprinkles.

Directions ~
In a heavy sauce pan over low heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Chill two hours or until firm. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in desired coating.

Chill 1 hour or until firm. Store covered at room temperature.

Yields ~ 6 dozen Truffles

I also filled a little bag with fudge, red for this batch. My husband's brilliant idea!

~ Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge ~

3  (6-ounce) packages white chocolate baking squares
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/8 tsp. salt
Coarsely crushed chocolate creme-filled sandwich cookies
(about 20 Oreo cookies)

Directions ~
Line an 8-inch pan with foil. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in crushed cookies. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm.

Turn fudge onto a cutting board. Peel off the foil; cut into squares. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Yields ~ 2 1/2 pounds of Fudge

A little peak inside the finished product


It has been a super busy holiday season so far as usual! In all of the craziness of shopping for gifts, the business of baking, of decorating and making crafts I do realize that this season is about something far more important; The time of year that we celebrate our Savior's birth!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"

~ Isaiah 9:6

I love this prophecy of Christ coming to this earth in the Old Testament and then the prophecy coming to fruition in the New Testament.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men".

~ Luke 2:8-14

Have a blessed Christmas!

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