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Friday, December 27, 2013

The Best Frosted Sugar Cookies




I know we just finished the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, but I have one more treat to share for this Christmas season. They look familiar don't they?  You know what I'm talking about. You've seen them in the grocery store. Frosted Lofthouse Cookies.

This might be the first year ever that we didn't make Christmas cut-outs. I just wasn't into another mess and another cookie.  But then I saw these. And you know Santa would need a treat to get him through the night, right?  I had to try them and so glad we made Santa a batch!  They are soft and buttery and you can change up the frosting & sprinkles to match your occasion.

And now for picture overload of my helpers:








Our finished product:



Source: Seen on Beantown Baker, originally from Hostess with the Mostess

For the cookies:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400┬║.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl & set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until mixed well. Add the dry ingredients in slowly & mix well. Chill for at least an hour. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin & cut shapes with cookie cutters OR form dough balls and flatten into thick circles with your hands. (About 1/4 cup per ball)

Bake 8-10 mins or until just the edges of cookies start to turn a very, very light golden brown. Do not over-bake. For an extra-doughy consistency, remove the cookies before the edges start to brown.


For the Frosting:

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar (thicken to desired consistency)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
Directions:
Whisk butter, vanilla, milk and egg yolk together. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add more milk in very small amounts, about 1 tsp at a time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds: 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (Week 12)


I'm sure everyone has seen (and smelled) that cart of cinnamon nuts at the mall and local festivals. I don't know why, but I've never made them at home until now. I saw almonds on sale this week and grabbed a bag with this sweet snack in mind. It's so easy and your house will smell amazing as they roast in the oven. Be sure to stir every 20 minutes or it will start to stick together. Try it with almonds, pecans, walnuts, or whatever you like!

This is our last week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats and I've had fun trying new recipes along the way.   I hope you have gotten some great ideas for sweets to share with your family and friends. A big thank you to Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for organizing and setting everything up for us. As always, the other recipes will be linked at the bottom of this post.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Beat the egg white and water until frothy with a whisk in a medium bowl. Add the almonds, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugars, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Stir the nuts until they are well coated. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Roast the almonds for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Allow to cool, then store in airtight containers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake: 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (Week 11)


My only contribution to Thanksgiving this year?  This cheesecake! It takes a bit of time to make, but so worth it. I had Caitlin unwrapping caramels while I made the crust. (she thought it was fun!)  We mixed up the batter, baked and let it refrigerate overnight.  The nice thing about this cheesecake is that you don't need to worry about it cracking. You're going to cover the it all up anyway! Mine didn't crack, but the edges did turn a little brown. 

There are a few small changes I plan to make the next time I bake this cheesecake.  First, I will cut the amount of butter in the crust. It was a sticky mess as I tried to press it into the pan. Also, be sure to place a pan under the cheesecake as it bakes.  Mine started dripping butter onto the bottom of the oven and smoked up the entire house! Second, the caramel was a little too thin and ran everywhere, so a little less milk might work better for that (or use homemade caramel).  And lastly, I drizzled chocolate syrup on top instead of melting the semisweet chocolate. Overall, it was pretty fantastic.  It certainly lives up to it's name! 

Be sure to visit Meal Planning Magic for all of the Blog Hop information and the links at the bottom of this post to see the other treats that everyone has made so far.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Source: Kraft Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 24  OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 6 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 pkg.  (14 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
  • 1/2 cup  milk
  • 1 cup  chopped PLANTERS Pecans
  • 3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 Tbsp.  vanilla
  • 3  eggs
  • 2 oz.  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Directions:

Heat oven to 325°F.

Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.

Microwave caramels and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 3 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 min. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.

Bake 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Microwave reserved caramel mixture 1 min.; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake.


 
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