I have said this time and time again. I cannot bake. I don’t enjoy it (though I’m really trying – I am), I typically have to start over at least, at least once. And this time is no different than any other.
But it’s Christmas time and Santa needs cookies to eat right? Oh and there’s this other little matter called a cookie exchange that I’ve been invited to. Caleb played football and now basketball on Saturdays. You get to know the parents. Well there is a boy that was on his football and now basketball team. I sit by his mom every Saturday. Two Saturday’s ago she told me about this cookie exchange that she’d like to invite me to. I sit and wonder if I had this terrified look on my face because that’s exactly how I felt. Me? To a cookie exchange? The first thing I did was text my other Two Girl, Jodi and told her I’d pay her to bake me 5 dozen cookies. She gladly agreed if I would watch her new little bundle of joy. And though that thought sounds much better than me in the kitchen baking, I decided to give this a try.
For some odd reason I thought that I needed to bring a dozen of 5 different kinds of cookies. So today I gave it some thought and started to put a list together. I went to my favorite baking site www.browneyedbaker.com and started searching. It’s not hard to find something on her site. She does this well. She can bake. Her pictures are amazing. I even wonder to myself who the heck eats all of this sugary food that she bakes almost daily. On her site I found these four recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, Toffee Pretzel Bark, Peppermint Bark and Home made Peanut Butter Cups. The fifth recipe I got from a friend from work on the Betty Crocker site. They are called Caramel Fudge Turtle Cookies. When searching on the site I found the Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies. Since the family prefers white chocolate, I’m going to give this one a try for now. If it works, then I’ll try the Turtle ones as well. Hey, if I’m baking, I may as well go all out!!
In the mean time, I send an email to Mary asking her about the cookie exchange (since this is my first time – and hopefully not the last time) needing more information. She got back to me and told me that I need to make one type of a cookie and 4 1/2 dozen on eight different plates. Still, I’m in a panic. What if I can’t do this? What if these other ladies have these fancy cookies decorated beautifully while mine are either made by Jodi or store bought!!!
Then I remember I made cookies last year and put them on our blog. They were THE softest cookies I’d ever made. So I looked up the recipe on our site and combined it with the Betty Crocker recipe. The Betty Crocker recipe calls for the bag of sugar cookie mix (and I can still fall back on that if this home made dough doesn’t turn out).
Craig comes home from work…asks what I’m making. He too, knows that this is a rough subject for me. He tasted the first batch with the Wheat Flour. Gave me that look and asked me what was in them. When I told him apricots, he said he didn’t’ like them. However, and I say, however….when the second batch comes out of the oven with the All Purpose Flour, he tastes one…then takes two more. And that’s before I even put the white chocolate no them!! <big smile on my face>
Here’s the recipe that I have for the Softest Sugar Cookies on our site (under Softest Sugar Cookie):
1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
MIX sour cream and baking soda; set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Blend in nutmeg, vanilla and sour cream mixture. Gradually add flour, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 30 min.
HEAT oven to 350ºF. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. or just until centers are set and edges are lightly browned. Let stand on baking sheets 3 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
From the Betty Crocker site I added the dried apricots and used the orange extract and 1 bag of white chocolate chips instead of the chocolate. The nutmeg in this cookie mix just pops in your mouth. You can smell it before it’s even in the oven baking. (Wow did that really come from my mouth)!
I’ll admit, I tried to substitute All Purpose Flour for Wheat Flour. Why? Because I do not know any better, that’s why. I baked a batch, let them cool, tasted them, and realized that I should not have made that change without first checking with someone who knows what they’re doing. So I just pulled the second batch out of the fridge and have the oven warming to start this over again.
Here’s to family fun and tons of baking for this Christmas season! Wishing me luck on my baking adventure!
Patricia – Two Girls Cooking.