It’s been quite a while since my last post. I don’t want you to think this is due to a lack of baking though. In fact, I’ve been baking and cooking so much I haven’t had time to post it all! There was the Cheese Ball, the Peanut Butter Kiss cookies and the dipped pretzels. Those I do every year because they are favorites around here, my sister’s been asking for weeks for the kiss cookies. My mom loves these spritz cookies, so I always make a double batch. That’s a whole lot of spritz! I use the recipe that came with my cookie press, and they come out great every time. They’re like a little crisp sugar cookie.
1-1/2 cups butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
(Makes 6 dozen cookies)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make a smooth dough. Do not chill. Place dough into Cookie Press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown on bottom. Remove cookies from sheet and cool.
I then frost them with a very simple icing and decorate: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp almond extract until smooth. If too dry add a little milk, if too runny add a little powdered sugar.
Each year I also use the holidays as an excuse to try out a bunch of new sweet treats too. Here’s a couple for you to try out.
These are very thin crisp bars that have a light toffee flavor and a milk chocolate top. I was hoping the toffee flavor would be more obvious because I love toffee, but they are still tasty and very simple to make.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 bag milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350, grease a jelly roll pan. In a medium bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in flour. Press mixture into pan and bake for 15 minutes. Immediately after removing pan from the oven place the chocolate on top and allow to melt. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the surface with a spatula. These are easiest to cut while still warm.
Chewy Caramel Oatmeal Bars
These were a new one, but have been such a hit they are gone already! I will be making another batch this week for sure. The recipe calls for a bag of caramels, but I felt ambitious and used homemade caramel from this recipe instead (told you I’ve been busy!). These are rich, so I cut them small before serving.
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted,
1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz bag caramels
5 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Press half the mixture into a 13X9 baking pan. Bake for 10 min, then sprinkle the chocolate chips on the baked crust. Microwave the caramels and milk on high for about 3 minutes or until caramels are melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Sprinkle remaining half of oat mixture on caramel layer. Bake for 20 minutes, cool completely and cut into bars.
Oreo and Nutter Butter Truffles
The Oreo version of these Scott’s sister made last year and I loved them. So when I went to look up the recipe I found it along with a variation with Nutter Butter cookies. Oh yum! I won’t repost the recipe, just click the link above. You’ll be glad you did! 🙂
I think I’m almost done making holiday treats, and I’ll definitely share if I do make some more.
One last thing I wanted to share was the holiday treat Scott cooked up for me this year. He surprised me with a trip to New York City last weekend. How exciting!! I’ve always wanted to see the city all lit up for the holidays, especially the big tree in Rockefeller Plaza. So we headed east with plans to see the tree and skate on the rink on Saturday night. We saw the tree (it was gorgeous!) and waited in the long line to skate, and I will admit I got a bit impatient… “let’s just skip this, we can come back tomorrow or something”. He was adamant, we were skating and doing it now. After a couple turns around the rink, I found out why. He led me to the center of the ice, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Oh wow! I, of course, said Yes!
We had a great time the rest of the weekend and did find time to do one other thing I always wanted to do in NY- stand outside on the plaza for the Today show. We set the DVR at home before we left just in case, and we were on (see clips here)! Just behind Matt Lauer and Al Roker (I shook Al’s hand!). We also had our picture taken for their blog. We had an amazing trip, a memorable proposal and what a sweet guy! 🙂