Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies - Holiday Cupcakes

I know it's not technically a cookie but these holiday cupcakes were so much fun to make that I just had to share them with you! I absolutely loved the way they turned out. And how cute would these be on your holiday trays this year?



I just love the snowmen, so sparkly and fun!! The wreaths are super cute too. Oh wait, I love them all!! But today, I'm going to share how to make the snowman.

I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe which made about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes. I made my favorite crusting buttercream recipe, try the Wilton Icing recipe, it's really good! Especially if you add a dash of almond extract. Yummy!

First, I did a small swirl with a Wilton number 12 tip and then smoothed it over with a Viva paper towel once the buttercream was set, about 2-3 minutes. And I went to work on the fun part, decorating!

To make the snowman, dip the cupcake into sanding sugar to give it that sparkly shine. Add two chocolate chip for the eyes, mini chocolate chips or sprinkles for the mouth, orange sprinkles or buttercream for the nose, and then make the earmuffs and band on the top of the cupcake. So easy and so darn cute!!

Thank you, Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic, for hosting this group this year. I had so much fun!!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ugly Sweater Party

Just a couple of pictures from our annual holiday party last night. We had a great time filled with lovely company, great food, and some ugly sweaters!




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies- Chocolate Drop Cookies with Mint Chocolate Chips

My mom requests these cookies every year. In fact, I think she makes a full batch (9 dozen or so) and freezes them so she can have them anytime she wants. She just loves these, so does my husband so they are often on my holiday trays. This year, I wanted to put a different spin on the traditional chocolate drop cookies. I decided to add some of these dark chocolate and mint chocolate chips I got at my last trip to Target. I just love the mint and chocolate combination! I made these for my husband's division wide party today so I hope they all enjoy the cookies. I wonder what they would be like if had peppermint infused buttercream frosting on top. Hmm, maybe I'll add that to my to try list. But never fear, they are delicious without frosting. Soft with a light chocolate flavor and a hit of mint. Yum!!

Chocolate Drop Cookies
Recipe created by Tracy

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of Tollhouse Dark Chocolate and Mint Chocolate Chips

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Cream butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and mix until well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Add vanilla to buttermilk.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to the butter/sugar mixture. 
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls to a parchment lined or greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 325 for 10 -12 minutes.
  • Let cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.



Friday, December 2, 2011

12 weeks of Christmas cookies - Spritz Cookies

December has just sneaked up on me! Okay, to be honest, this fall has gone by so quickly that I feel like I can barely keep up at times. We went to visit our family for Thanksgiving and as we were leaving, we said we'll see you in a few weeks. A few weeks?!?!? Oh my goodness, I am not ready for the holidays at all. I started doing this blog hop in hopes of having cookies for my holiday trays ready to go but I can never seem to get the cookies in the freezer! Does that happen to anyone else?
I made these spritz cookies this week and basically told my hubby he could eat the broken ones but that is it! These babies went in the freezer for our holiday party next week. We are having an ugly holiday sweater party. I can't wait! 

Onto the cookies, this was the first time I tried using my cookie press. I am usually more of a roll out or drop cookie kind of gal. But these were surprising easy to make and turned out super cute! I used the Christmas tree and wreath plates and tinted the cookie dough green. Made me feel Christmasy. :) Plus, they taste like butter and melt in your mouth. The sprinkles give the cookies a little "crunch."

Spritz cookies
recipe from Joy of Baking

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a few squirts of food coloring of your choice (optional)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Gradually add flour and salt to butter mixture and continue to mix until all flour is incorporated into the butter mixture.
  • Add food coloring (optional) to dough and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Following the instructions provided by your cookie press, fill the cookie press with the dough and pipe the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Enjoy!


 

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