Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Cookies 'n' Such

I can't keep letting myself get behind like this. I have just been accumulating things I want to share and I apologize that this post is going to be long and possibly rambling. But have no fear, there will be LOTS of cookies (and some interesting outfits) along the way!

I have been a busy baker. And I have discovered something interesting about cookies - keep it simple. People love the tried and true cookie recipes. Two recent examples: (1) Some of the gals at work got together to make cookies at Mrs. Brownie's house and after sharing the various trays of cookies with various people, the consensus was clear - people's favorite out of the variety was the toll house cookies from the recipe on the back of the bag. Or as Phoebe (and Joyce) would say its a secret family recipe from "Nestle Tollhouse" (in a french accent). (2) I also just loved and devoured the cookies that Skids brought to the Harvest Party. I asked her for the recipe (see below) and low and behold, the almost exact same recipe is on the Eagle Brand can! So while I am always up for trying a new exciting recipe, sometimes I think you are just better off with the recipe on the back of a box, bag or can. Here it is, Cookie Recipe #1:
Seven Layer Bars
Melt 1/4 lb of margarine in 9 x 12 pan. Sprinkle over the butter 1c. graham cracker crumbs (I use a rolling pin and plastic bag). Sprinkle over that 1 c. flaked coconut. Sprinkle 1 sm. pkg. of choc. chips (1 cup) and 1 sm. pkg of butterscotch (1 cup). Drizzle all over one can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle over top 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Allow plenty of time for them to cool.
I cannot share Cookie Recipe #2 with you. It is up to Snickerdoodle who has promised me she will write a guest blog post on her sugar cookie recipe. And I hope for everyone who reads this blog's sake that she does it soon, cuz they make the darn cutest cookies you have ever seen! And I love and adore almond extract so they are way up there in my book. And they are at the top of Blaze's book. Here is a teaser:

It isn't just cookie baking that has had me busy and turned me into a negligent blogger. I have also been attending Holiday parties!! Could there be a more valid excuse? Friday night the Brownie family had us over for some more Christmas beer pong (the same as regular beer pong, just played in December) and impromptu photo shoots. I don't have the pics to share unfortunately, but use your imagination: a dog, two different Cavs wigs, Romeo Crennell, some ranting on Bailouts, and Fritzy!

Saturday brings us to Cookie Recipe #3 and an Ugly Sweater Party. White people love ugly sweater parties, it is a proven fact. I think this blog really sums it up. My contribution to the party was a cranberry delight cream cheese dip and Giada's Italian Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. I thought they were yummy and different and the corn meal in the batter gives them a distinctive texture. However, the cream cheese dip and Ruby's buffalo chicken dip were definitely much bigger hits with people. So now I have learned two things: people really like recipes that taste familiar and anything with cream cheese in it.

The party was so much fun! Something about wearing a christmas tree turtleneck, snowman vest, santa earrings, matching pin, and a santa hat that just makes you merry. Maybe that is why fourth grade teachers are so chipper. Below: Ruby, me (no longer being a grinch), and Rae Rae (unfortunately not pictured: Rae Rae's Christmas flamingos).

Tomorrow we are having a Secret Snowman exchange at work. I don't think my Secret Snowman reads this blog so I will let you in on the secret. I got her two books I enjoyed this past year: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Run by Ann Patchett. And to this holiday party I am bringing Cookie Recipe #4. This recipe is adapted for the season from a Maple Walnut cookie recipe. Just scrap the walnuts, replace maple extract with peppermint, and top with some crushed candy canes. They are so pretty! But are they good? I will have to get back to you on that tomorrow (I promise).

Maple Walnut Cookies (thank you H's sister)

3/4 c. butter
1 ½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ c. flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream
2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Alternately mix in dry ingredients and sour cream. Add nuts. Drop by teaspoon on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting

½ melted butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. boiling water
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract (NOT syrup)

1 comment:

Hannah Harbert said...

My sister gave you that recipe? Where did you have the cookies originally? One of the showers? I am writing that one down! Thanks!

H