Tag Archives: cookies

A Few Of My Favorite Things – Holiday Goodies!

A couple of months ago, I teamed up with two of my cousins and we had ourselves a bake-a-thon.  The thought was to finish all of our holiday baking in one fell swoop!  We each came armed with recipes and ingredients for 4-5 things, and we made double batches of everything, which we divided into freezer bags, took home and piled in the freezer to be brought out as needed for holiday parties and such.

Well, as you can imagine, most of it didn’t make it to Christmas.  But it sure was nice to have on hand for company, last minute things to take to a potluck, and family dinners.  And of course, some just called to us in the evenings and had to be eaten.  I was very happy to discover that EVERY SINGLE THING froze beautifully and tasted fresh when thawed out.

Although I have a few things left up in freezer town, I am going to do a little more baking this weekend for Christmas.  So I thought I would put together a few of the recipes I will be pulling from for the holidays, in hopes of helping those of you in need of ideas.  Merry Christmas to each and every one of you out there!

Simply click on each recipe to go to the post.  Any of these will make a wonderful gift or a welcome addition to any holiday party.  Happy baking!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Rich and indulgent, I love these!

Inside Out Peppermint Patties

Incredibly easy and only a few ingredients!

Classic Chocolate Brownies

My go-to foolproof brownies.  I make these all year long.

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

Always a holiday favorite.

Flourless Double Chocolate Cookies

Decadent, chewy, and gluten and dairy free (and you won’t miss either one)!

Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

I know it sounds weird, but these were delicious!  They also come down on the healthier side of holiday treats at a fraction of the calories of regular brownies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

My bumped-up version of banana bread.  So good!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with a Twist

My favorite cookies, soft, rich, with a twist of orange and cinnamon.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

A delicious twist on an old favorite!

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April’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I don’t have any cookies in my house at the moment.  If I had them, I would eat them.  I have no self-control when it comes to cookies.  So I don’t make them often.  When I do, they do a very quick disappearing act, because they are (if I do say so myself) spectacular.

These are one of my favorite cookies to make.  My little spin on your basic chocolate chip cookie.  I used to use half butter and half margarine or butter flavored crisco to make them a little fluffier.  But these days, I’m using less and less “fake” food, which margarine is in my book (did you know it’s chemically very similar to plastic?) so now I use all butter.  I think they taste better, but they do tend to come out a bit more flat.  I don’t really have a problem with that, although they are not quite as pretty.  But they still taste wonderful and I would happily sit down and eat a whole plate of them, were they here.  It might be time to bake another batch.

Right now, I’m craving a cookie.

A stack of cookie love.

A stack of cookie love.

April’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks, slightly softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. finely grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
6 squares Bakers bittersweet chocolate, chopped up
1/2 – 1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon) in a small bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl beat or stir butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and orange rind.  Beat until combined.  Gradually beat or stir in flour mixture about 1/3 at a time.  Fold in chocolate and nuts.

Chopped bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate.  You could use chocolate chips if you want, but I love how you get varying sizes of chocolate bits with this method.  Some big chunks, some tiny slivers, and a little chocolate dust to flavor the dough.

Chopped bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate. You could use chocolate chips if you want, but I love how you get varying sizes of chocolate bits with this method. Big chunks, tiny slivers, and a little chocolate dust to permeate the dough.

Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.  If you prefer you can line your baking sheets with parchment for easier cleanup.  Bake 8-10 minutes until just barely brown around the edges.  Remove from oven.  Using a spatula, transfer cookies to wax paper or cooling racks to cool.  Try not to eat them all at once.

The perfect addition to any tray of treats.

The perfect addition to any tray of treats.


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Chocolate Mint Snow-top Cookies

I bought a little paperback Nestle cookbook long, long ago as an impulse buy while waiting to pay for my groceries.  It was one of the best and most-used purchases I ever made.  It’s now so stained and stiff you can barely turn the sticky pages but I still get it out once or twice a year and bake one of my favorites.  These cookies are one of my regular Christmas cookies but I make them the rest of the year too.  The original recipe called for Nestle chocolate mint semi-sweet morsels, which sadly are no longer available.  I just use the regular ones and add mint.  If you don’t like mint in your cookies…well, just leave it out.  They are still delicious.

It took me a couple of weeks to lose the few extra pounds I put on at Christmas time, but let me assure you…if I were to do it all over again (and I will next year) I would still eat every one of these cookies.  They are one of my favorites and the perfect addition to any gift basket, potluck or dessert tray.  Or just to eat hot off the cookie sheet.  Your choice.

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies (along with a few friends)

Chocolate Mint Snow-top Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (divided)
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
Powdered sugar

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl add 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the peppermint extract.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir until smooth (microwave a little longer if needed).  Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat granulated sugar and butter until creamy.  Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract.  Beat in eggs.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap.  Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Coat with powdered sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper).

They don't look like much, but they blossom like magic.

They don’t look like much, but they blossom like magic.

Bake about 10 minutes until tops appear cracked.  Let stand on cookie sheets for a minute or two.  Remove from cookie sheets and cool.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


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