Christmas Cookie Madness!

When you’ve been having a tough week, it really helps though when you call your parents and they tell you that they got you the gift of your dreams! Something I’ve been thinking about getting for the past couple of years. They bought a KitchenAid Stand Mixer! OMGS, I essentially combusted due to the excitement!

Sooo of course, once I got home I had to bake up a storm. Also, my Pinterest has been flooded with so many delicious looking Christmas cookies, that I just had to try a few different ones. The three I decided upon were: itty bitty sugar cookie sandwiches, light gingerbread, and brownie cookies.

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First, let’s talk about the mini sugar cookie sandwiches. This is a Baker’s Royale recipe I’ve made a few times now, and I really love it! It takes no time to mix up, bake, and fill. Another plus is that this recipe is egg-free, so if you have an allergy or just don’t have eggs around, this is the perfect recipe for you! I made the dough, rolled it in various sprinkles and sanding sugars, and baked at 350 for exactly 8 minutes. Put the cookies in the freezer to cool completely, and in the meantime, make your favourite vanilla buttercream. Once cooled, pipe some buttercream onto the centre of each cookie, and squish together with another cookie of a similar size. These are a classic at my house, now!

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The gingerbread cookies are actually more like gingerbread-spiced shortbread cookies. They have a very light spice flavor, while the shortbread texture and taste really comes through as well. I received this recipe from a family friend, and it was originally published in a children’s picture book called Gingerbread Mouse. I’m not a huge fan of legitimate gingerbread cookies, so these were perfect! I had some leftover buttercream from the sandwich cookies so I spread it on, and topped the cookie with green sanding sugar and a star sprinkle.

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Now for the masterpiece: Brownie Cookies! This recipe is modified from Bakerella’s “Comfort Cookies” post, and is honestly the best combination of brownies and cookies I have ever had. Go ahead and add any combination of nuts and chocolate chips, because the more stuff that’s in it, the better it will taste.

All three of these cookies make great gifts, tea time treats, and would be great to leave out for Santa!

Have a great Holiday Season, and see you soon!

-G

Itty Bitty Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

Source: Baker’s Royale

Makes 36 sandwiches

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/4 cup plain white sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups all purpose flour

Sanding sugar, or sprinkles, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream butter, sugars, salt until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat.

3. Add flour and beat until just combined.

4. Scoop by tsp and roll  into balls. Roll around in sanding sugar or sprinkles.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until bottoms are golden.

6. Fill with buttercream (use any recipe you like), and make sandwiches.

Gingerbread-spiced Shortbread Cookies

Makes 24 large cookies

2 1/2 cups All purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon OR pumpkin pie spice

1 3/4 sticks butter (14 tbsp)

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1. Mix up dry ingredients.

2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy; then add egg and vanilla.

3. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough and chill until firm.

5. Use cookie cutters to make shapes, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Brownie Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt using a wire whisk and set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until combined.
  • Stir in dark chocolate chips.
  • Roll cookie dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. (If desired, roll balls in chopped pecans.)
  • Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Place cookies on cookie rack to cool.
  • Makes about 30 2-inch cookies.
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Peanut Butter Cookies

This was one of those days where someone was coming over and we needed a dessert, yet I was feeling lazy (summer unemployment does that to you). So I watched TV all afternoon and then an hour before guests came, I finally got off the couch. I didn’t have the time or desire to make something all that fancy, so I decided on cookies. Now, I know cookies usually aren’t dinner party quality desserts, but they can be!

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I started with my usual peanut butter cookie recipe. I made six of them, in slightly small format. Then I tried to fancy them up. I’ve made thumbprint sugar cookies before and they came out pretty cute so I decided to make some peanut butter thumbprint cookies. Of course with my luck I only had like two teaspoons of jam in my fridge and that only filled three cookies. The other three, I filled with peanut butter since by this time my summer vacation mind just couldn’t deal. This wasn’t as terrible of an idea as you may think. The peanut butter worked just fine with the cookie. Image-3

Guests = impressed. Cookies at a dinner party = passable.

Enjoy!

–       S

Recipe (from Allrecipies)

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ cup smooth peanut butter

½ cup margarine

1. Combine above ingredients.

2. Mix:

1 tsp baking soda to 2 tbsp hot water

3. Combine all above ingredients together.

4. Stir in:

2 eggs

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

5. Roll dough into balls. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Press with fork dipped in water to make criss cross.

7. For thumbprint cookies, make a well in the centre of the cookie with your thumb. Drop in jam or peanut butter.

8. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes, until bottom of cookie is golden brown.

Nutella Mousse Cups

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I went to Costco the other day, and came upon this gigantic jar of Nutella that cost $40! I know Costco is pretty much the land of giant-sized goods, but who really needs that much Nutella?? What would you even do with so much? Needless to say, I did not buy it, but I did have an insatiable craving for the sweet spread.

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I also happened to have some extra ricotta cheese at home, so I thought I would make sugar cookie cups and fill them with Nutella-flavoured cannoli filling. The filling is just a combination of Nutella and ricotta cheese, which I blended in my Magic Bullet. It is soooooo yummy! You could totally just eat it with a spoon, if you’re not in the mood to make the sugar cookie cups.

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This sugar cookie is a softer version of my favourite sugar cookie recipe, from Mel’s Sweet Treats blog. I rolled out the dough, and cut out fairly large circles, which I pressed into the cups of a muffin tin, and baked for 10-12 minutes. I then made the filling, and spooned it into the cooled cups, and sprinkled them with mini white chocolate chips. After I put them together, I stored them in the freezer until eating time, so the filling firms up a little bit.4

I’ve included the recipe below, but you can totally adapt it to your liking!

Have a great weekend!

-G

Soft Sugar Cookie Cups

Adapted from Mel’s Sweet Treats

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl.

2. Using your mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla or your extract of choice and mix until well blended.
3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until the two are thoroughly blended.
4. Turn out dough onto work surface and roll out until about 1 cm thick, and cut out circles.

5. Fit dough circles into muffin tin cups, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Nutella Cannoli Filling

½ cup Ricotta cheese

1/3 cup Nutella

Mix together either by hand or in blender, until fully combined.

Assembly:

Spoon some filling into cooled cups, and sprinkle with white chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

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Life is all about small joys. Little things that make you smile or feel grateful for your blessings. The moment when your favourite song from back in the day comes on the radio, or when you and your best friend randomly start talking in weird voices/accents, and break out into laughter as you realize that no one else would understand the hilarity of the situation. Sometimes, you don’t need anything huge and complicated, sometimes a simple Peanut Butter Nutella cookie with tea is the perfect ending to a perfect day.

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I came across these cookies on a blog called Little B Cooks, and the moment I saw them I knew I had to make them for my brother. He loves peanut butter and Nutella, so putting the two together in cookie form just makes perfect sense!

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This recipe is pretty straight forward, with a peanut butter cookie base, and some Nutella drizzled in throughout the dough. I would recommend making smaller cookies than I did, just because they would look so much cuter than bigger ones. If you’re in the mood to throw in some extra calories, you could make mini sandwich cookies with nutella buttercream filling.

My family loved these cookies soooo much! I hope you try them out, and let us know how they turn out!

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As things are getting a little bit hectic with exams and life in general, our posts will not be weekly for the next little while, but do come and check up on the blog whenever you get a chance!

Thanks for spending some time with us, we’ll see you when we see you! Enjoy the small joys in your day!

-G

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies (makes 18 cookies)

Recipe from: http://littlebcooks.blogspot.ca/2013/02/peanut-butter-nutella-cookies.html

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup Nutella

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer add both sugars, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and egg and mix until smooth and creamy.  In a separate small bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Add the Nutella and using a knife swirl it into the batter.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While it’s in the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 350 and spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray.  When the dough is done chilling, scoop about a 1/4 cup of dough out and roll it into a ball and place on cookie sheet (no more than 12 on a cookie sheet).  With a fork, press down gently on each cookie to flatten it a bit and to give it the cookies a nice pattern on top.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Lemon Knots!

Hey there! For once, the future isn’t looking like a frightening thing. For the first time in a while, I’ve found myself happiness baking, not stress baking. With summer coming up so quickly, its time for some more lemon citrus goodness. This week, I baked some lemon knot cookies. Lemon-y, but not too in your face. If anyone knows why these cookies are made into knots, please let me know. I’m genuinely curious. These cookies were pretty simple, and tasted like a lemon shortbread.

Make the dough, and then put it into the fridge to harden a little bit. Since I’m a pretty impatient person, I only waited an hour. But 3 hours to overnight would be better, I understood why after I had a little difficulty with the knot forming part of this. Cut it into strips then roll them out.

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Now the slightly tricky part. Tie these into lose knots. Maybe keeping these in the fridge for longer would have been helpful, but once you get the hang of it, this isn’t too difficult.

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And bake away!

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(Consistency not required)

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These are coated with a glaze. I used some icing sugar and lemon juice.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve eaten way too many of these. March Madness TV time requires some intense snackage.

Have a wonderful week!

– S

Recipe from Laura Vitale: http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=398

I made one third of this and got about 15 cookies out of it.

Ingredients:


4 cups of All Purpose Flour

3 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Shortening

Zest of One Lemon

Juice of One Lemon

3 Eggs

1/3 cup of Milk

For the Glaze:


1 ½ cup of Confectioner Sugar

Zest of one Small Lemon

1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

1) In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and shortening, add the lemon zest and eggs and beat until the eggs are well incorporated.

3) Beat in the milk and lemon zest and make sure its all mixed well.

4) Add the dry ingredients and mix them in so that everything is well combined (the dough will be sticky)

5) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

7) Take your dough out of the fridge and cut it into 3 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 12 pieces.

8) Take each small piece and roll it between your fingers to make a 6 inch rope.

9) Tie the rope into a loose knot and place it on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of them and place them about an inch apart on the baking sheets.

10) Bake them for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden, let them cool on the baking sheets.

11) To make the glaze, combine the confectioner sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine. Add one teaspoon of water a time and whisk it in until the mixture becomes the consistency of heavy cream.

12) Brush the glaze on top of the cookies and place them on a rack to dry.

13) To store, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge