Monday, December 31, 2012

Santa Cookies (White Chocolate Cherry Cookies)

Every Christmas baking season, I try to make a new cookie. This year I chose these cookies that I found on Pinterest via Jamie Cooks it up and Better Homes and Gardens. My friend Cathy called them Santa cookies because they looked like festive Santas.

Santa Cookies (White Chocolate Cherry Cookies)
1 (16 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1 C cold butter
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 1/2 t almond extract
2 T maraschino cherry juice
dash salt
White nonpareils and/or red edible sprinkles
1/2 t shortening (I used butter flavored Crisco)

Pour 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice into a small bowl and set it aside. Drain the the rest of the juice out into your sink. Chop your cherries into small pieces. Pour the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and toss it together to combine. Cut your cold butter into cubes and place it into the bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add your chopped cherries and 2/3 C of white chocolate chips. Pour in the almond extract, dash of salt and the beautiful red cherry juice.Use your hands to combine all of the ingredients together well. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 inch each. Set them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Dip the bottom of a small mug or drinking glass into some sugar. Press the bottom of your mug into each cookie, pressing it out flat. Bake your cookies at 325 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are set. Allow them to cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Pour the white nonpareils and red sprinkle into two separate small bowls. Pour the rest of the white chocolate into a small bowl. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Return it to the microwave and heat for another 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the white chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the 1/2 tsp. shortening and allow it to sit in the white chocolate for a couple of minutes. Stir it in and you are ready to dip your cookies. Dip half of each cookie into the white chocolate. Allow the cookie to hang over the top of the dipping bowl and drip to remove excess chocolate. Immediately dip the chocolate side of the cookie into the red sprinkles or white nonpareils. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and allow the chocolate to harden. 

Photo from Better Homes and Gardens

Strawberry Oat Bars

  • I came across this easy recipe on the food network. Ree Drummond- Pioneer Woman made this simple bar, and I knew it was one that I wanted to try out. I almost always like anything she makes. I wasn't disappointed, these lovely golden bars were tasty. Make sure you butter your pan really well, they can be a tad difficult to get out. I also have plans to try a different flavored jam and maybe adding some peanut butter as well. I think this recipe is perfect for tinkering!
  • Strawberry Oat Bars
  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.
Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Orange Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

I think that there are certain flavors that go together so well. One that I am obsessing over lately is orange and cranberry. They are delightful together! When I found this recipe at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, I knew it had my name written all over it. Cranberry+Orange = happy mouth, and then the addition of pistachios? Genius!  Try them, you will see! 

Orange Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
1 Tbsp. orange zest

Orange Sugar:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
Mix the sugar and zest and set aside.

Heat oven to 350°. Combine sugar, butter and egg, mix until creamy. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Add cranberries, pistachios and orange zest. Mix until just combined. Shape dough into 1- inch balls and roll in orange sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with bottom of a glass. Bake for 7-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Cool for 2 minutes on pan before removing to a cooling rack.