Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

Ultra soft and fudgy mint chocolate crinkle cookies topped with a smooth and creamy peppermint Hershey’s kiss.

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

All my life, I’ve always been obsessed with those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate Hershey’s kiss on top. I know, I know…they’re called “Peanut Butter Blossoms”, but to me, they will always be those peanut butter cookies with the chocolate Hershey’s kiss on top.

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookiespeppermintblossomcrinklecookies-2

If I ever saw them at a party, I’d immediately grab a couple, and then try to secretly make my way back all night long. What can I say, I’m a classy lady.

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

A few years ago, Heather and I made some peppermint crinkle cookies during our holiday baking extravaganza. This baking extravaganza was no joke. Heather made a spreadsheet dictating how many pounds of butter, flour and sugar we needed to stock up on at Winco. Oh Winco…best grocery store ever.

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

Then we baked for probably a solid 24 hours, and gave away our treats to the entire musical theatre department, and used our talents to suck up to our professors. How could we not be your favorite voice student when we made you 70 pounds worth of holiday dessert???

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

So I took two of my favorite cookies, and I made them one. I made them for a couple of Christmas parties last year, and they were the first thing everyone flocked to (we all have similar tastes it seems ;) ), and immediately asked “WHAT ARE THESE????” Then they quickly disappeared. Fluffy powdered sugar covering a rich peppermint chocolate cookie with a smooth, melty peppermint kiss on top. It’s everything you could ask out of your holiday cookie.

**Note: All photos on this post were taken by my husband. I made these last year before I was exclusively taking the photos for my site. I could make them again (they are so good), but his photos are gorgeous, so I decided to keep them. :)

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: approx 4 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Peppermint Blossom Crinkle Cookies

Ultra soft and fudgy mint chocolate crinkle cookies topped with a smooth and creamy peppermint Hershey's kiss.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or gluten-free baking blend)*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light cream cheese
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Approx 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling
  • 48 peppermint kisses (the mint truffle kisses would also be delicious!)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, eggs and cream cheese. Beat in melted chocolate and extracts until well combined. Slowly beat in flour mixture. If dough becomes too thick, use your hands to mix the rest of the way. Cover and chill for 2 hours (or longer).
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lining sheet. Pour powdered sugar into a wide, shallow bowl. Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar until coated, then drop onto prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until set and crinkles have formed. Immediately press a kiss into the top of each cookie. Let stand on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

*Recipe tested with white whole wheat flour, but I have subbed the gluten-free baking blend in many similar recipes and it has worked perfectly. Cooking time may be lower, so check cookies at 7-8 minutes.

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Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Soft and chewy peanut butter cookies stuffed with melty dark chocolate and covered with powdered sugar–just like an inside out buckeye! Vegan, gluten-free, and seriously addicting.

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

You know it’s Christmas time when I post cookies 3 days in a row. Okay, that’s a lie. I always post cookies. I love cookies. Everyone has their “thing”, their go-to dessert, that one thing they feel like they do significantly better than all other baking. Mine is totally cookies. In fact, I mess up brownies more times than I get them right, and I constantly have to remake cupcakes because I under bake them (because that works with cookies…not so much with cakes…).

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

For part of my segment for Health2Fit (read more about the whole experience here), Natalie asked me to bring in some health(ier) cookies so she could demonstrate some creative ways to package them for swaps. That was awesome for me since I love to bake things, and then I totally fail at packaging in any sort of attractive manner. They were a huge hit at the studio, and everyone said they wouldn’t have been able to tell that they were lightened up, vegan & gluten-free!

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

I’ve made these with both white whole wheat flour, and then more recently with my gluten-free baking blend. The only adjustment for the gluten-free version included baking time. They cooked about 1-2 minutes quicker than the original. In fact, the first batch I second guessed myself, left them in too long, and ended up with overly chewy (not the good kind of chewy), flat cookies. I was worried that they wouldn’t work, but the next batch, I took out as soon as they set, and they were awesome! Not quiiiite as puffy as these, but certainly not flat, and the taste was identical.

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Oh, and I guess maybe we should discuss what buckeyes actually are? Because I had no idea until the last year when I saw them floating around the blog world. It’s kind of like a Reese’s cup crossed with a truffle. They are little balls of peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar covered (mostly) with chocolate, but leaving one little “eye” remaining, So these cookies are…the opposite! Dark chocolate in the middle, with the peanut butter and powdered sugar on the outside. I love melty dark chocolate in the center of my cookies, and I am a peanut butter fanatic. The powdered sugar is that perfect extra touch that makes these cookies the first to go at parties or cookie swaps!

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Soft and chewy peanut butter cookies stuffed with melty dark chocolate and covered with powdered sugar--just like an inside out buckeye! Vegan, gluten-free, and seriously addicting.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend or white whole wheat flour*
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz good quality dark chocolate, in small squares or roughly chopped
  • approx 1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling ( + more for dusting)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the apple butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Pour powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1" balls then press a square of dark chocolate inside. Re-roll dough around chocolate. Make sure no chocolate is showing. Add more dough if necessary. Roll in powdered sugar, then transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until edges are just set, about 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool completely on cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

*Gluten-free cookies will bake 1-2 minutes faster than if you use white whole wheat flour. Check gf cookies at 7 minutes, and wheat cookies may be in for closer to 11 depending on your oven.

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PS: Don’t forget to check out the segment this Saturday (12/14) @ 11am AZ time. Local channel 7, cable 13.

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap}

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

Pillowy soft, fluffy, and loaded with vanilla flavor, these sugar cookies are irresistible. Eat them plain, frost them, or decorate with your favorite holiday decorations.

Pssssst…Today is the last day to enter this awesome giveaway! Don’t miss out!

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

So yesterday we were discussing cookie swaps, yes? I may not have a ton of experience with them, but this year is the second time I have participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and it is AWESOME! You sign up, and then you are sent your 3 matches. You make and send a dozen cookies to each match, then you receive a dozen cookies from 3 surprise sources.

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

I signed up for the gluten-free option so I could share my cookies with Steve. The last thing I need is 3 dozen cookies that only I will eat. As awesome as that sounds. Heather sent me spict gingerbread cookies, Marianne sent me chocolate snickerdoodles, and Rachel send me peanut butter blossoms. Everything was amazing. Steve loved the peanut butter blossoms, and I kept getting drawn back to the chocolate snickerdoodles, but I mean who doesn’t love gingerbread cookies this time of year too? Seriously.

photo (31)

I sent these sweet li’l sugar cookies to Dre, Amy, and Sara.

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

First I made peppermint mocha cookies. They were amazing (and I will totally share them soon), but they just didn’t look pretty, and I couldn’t bring myself to send something that didn’t at least begin beautiful. Although, who the heck knows what they looked like by the time they arrived. Sending cookies makes me so nervous. What if they get smushed? What if they’re dry and cakey by the time they arrive? What if, what if, what ifffffff….????

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

Well, I can’t tell you what they looked like when they got there, but I can tell you that I absolutely loved them. They were unbelievably soft and fluffy, and the vanilla flavor was so bold, but definitely a nice change from all the chocolate I’ve been devouring. ;)

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {gluten-free}

I used coconut oil + vanilla yogurt instead of my usual apple butter. I wanted to keep the color as light as possible. Between the brown rice flour, oat flour and almond meal in my baking blend, it’s really tough to get cookies that look like the original, and I couldn’t get past the idea of brown sugar cookies, so I did everything I could to keep these as white as possible. The little bit of coconut oil adds an immense amount of softness and richness to the texture, making the cookies satisfying and irresistible.

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 4 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Soft & Fluffy Sugar Cookies {The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap}

Pillowy soft, fluffy, and loaded with vanilla flavor, these sugar cookies are irresistible. Eat them plain, frost them, or decorate with your favorite holiday decorations.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups gluten-free baking blend
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, yogurt and coconut oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until outsides are just set, about 8-10 minutes. Cookies will look underdone. Do not over bake. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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Boston Day 3: New Years Eve

You should have seen his intent and focus putting this thing together!

Okay, I caved. I bought more space. I really wanted to finish blogging about vacation. Also I have an entire week of meals planned out that I can’t wait to write about and the day you’ve all been waiting for I’ve been going on and on and on about AKA my first half marathon is 9 days away. Too many important things happening to wait around figuring things out. Okay, back to the vay cay recap!

We decided to go out and do First Night in Boston. Basically, you buy a pin and it gets you into all of these different events. But before we could really get things started, we had a very important stop to make!

Okay, but seriously, we don't have Pinkberry in Phoenix, so it really is a very important stop. We have a million and one fro yo places, why oh why no Pinkberry?!

Also, Nacho had to do some family tradition including ziploc bags, beans, rice, and things we want in the new year. I still don’t really understand it, but I played along ;)

You should have seen his intent and focus putting this thing together!

Yup, that's it folks.

Come to think of it, the only thing we actually ended up using our pins for was the next stop. Whoops. We went to see an improv troupe. They were decent. The people watching was probably funnier ;)

Weird people know they're weird, so when you ask them to take their picture, they actually don't get too offended. Trust me, it happens to my dad all the time. :)

After the improv, Steve took this picture of me and I really like it, so I’m posting it even though it’s kind totally not necessary to my story

He was convinced the cold weather made my eyes look "cool and marbley". I don't know what that means, but there's no double chin, so good job babe!

We explored a little more of downtown Boston while finding our way to some dinner.

We ended up at this Asian noodley place that had no wait and ended up being really delicious! Lisa especially loved it.

She really did love her meal, just not the saki ;)

I ended up with a really yummy brown rice bowl thing. I know, I’m so descriptive.

Brown rice, chicken, veggies, yummmm.

After dinner, we had some drinks and then went to watch the fireworks! I really really really love fireworks! I missed out on them for a lot of 4th of July celebrations (Confession: I couldn’t figure out how to make July plural so I reworded my sentence. I swear I passed 1st grade.) while away at theatre camp (and now I’m not only not smart, I’m also a huge nerd, but I don’t care I love theatre camp!), so seeing fireworks is extra special to me. In an attempt to show me how much he listens, Steve took about a million firework pictures. Don’t worry, I’ll only show you the best 999,999 ;)

Ooooohhhh

Aaaaahhhhh

I asked Steve for an alternative to ooohh and ahh and he said "That's pretty badass"

He also suggested "Spectacular"

He definitely does not have a way with words, but he can take pretty Ooohh Aahhh Badass Spectacular pictures ;)

A very belated Happy New Year everyone!

PS: A big thank you to Lisa and David for being such amazing hosts! I wish I could have spent an other month hanging with them in Boston and grossing David out by eating pureed pumpkin every morning for breakfast :) I love you guys!!!

Sugar Cookies

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There is something about the simplicity of the sugar cookie. People love it. It’s my brother’s very favorite. I wasn’t going to make any this year, but I could see the disappointment in Hermano’s face when I told him, so I made a batch up special just for him. Clearly, I am an awesome sister. I was so happy with how these sugar cookies turned out! Sometimes I’m nervous to modify more simple things because I’m worried that you’ll be able to taste the difference more, but these were fantastic and I definitely ate 2 before forcing myself to package them up for Hermano. Sorry Hermano, I couldn’t help it ;)

Sugar Cookies

yield approx 2 dozen

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, Splenda and Greek yogurt together until combined. Beat in egg substitute and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients until combined, scraping sides of bowl when necessary.
  5. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. Spray hands with nonstick spray, and roll dough into 1-1 1/2″ balls. Drop onto lined baking sheet.
  7. Spray a piece of wax or parchment paper and use it to flatten cookies slightly.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes until golden and set, but be careful not to over bake.
  9. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Top with Royal Icing and sprinkles (you can totally halve the icing recipe)!

We still have so many candy canes from all the peppermint baking so Steve got all artsy and made a heart. He's cute. I like him ;)

We tried for red icing. It came out pink. I like pink, so it's all good. Hermano, I hope you like pink!

 

Hanukkah with the Governor

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In case you don’t have lots of Jewish friends that keep you in the know, Tuesday evening was the first night of Hanukkah. I was thrilled a couple weeks before when I was informed that my cast of Fiddler on the Roof Jr has been invited by Governor Jan Brewer to perform at the lighting ceremony taking place at the state capitol! It was a little intense because there was all of this security for her and we had to go through metal detectors and everything. I felt very official ;)

As the governor entered, the kiddos sang Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah. She then gave a speech about Hanukkah and even mentioned how the theatre is going through some hard financial times and anything anyone could to to help would be appreciated. Good work, Jan.

We were lucky to have the father of one of the kiddos who is a Rabbi lead the prayer and light the candles.

The kids ended by singing the opening number to Fiddler: Tradition. I was really excited for the kids to get to be a part of something big for the holiday and have a chance to celebrate their hard work a second time! The governor also took some time afterwards to snap some photos with the kiddos which I thought was really nice, and probably made them feel super special!

Happy Hannukah!!

 

Christmas Lights

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned about a zillion times that I have a thing for lights. Christmas lights are something I’ve looked forward to every year for as long as I can remember. Even my super Jewish dad used to drive me around to see all the lights because I went nuts for it! This year we’ve gone to a few locations, most notably this super awesome house on 44th St and Camelback, and this whole amazing street off just north-east of Country Club and Guadalupe. AZ folks, check it out. So for your entertainment this evening, I provide you

1) Hermano playing the Coldplay song Christmas Lights on the piano.

And

2) Super awesome Christmas light pictures.

Soft and Fluffy Ginger Molasses Cookies

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I was going to make ginger bread cookie cake pops. I had high hopes for being creative. Then these puppies came out of the oven, and they looked soooo perfect. Then I tasted one, and I couldn’t bare to ruin it by covering it in a powdered sugary glaze. They were just so right. So here you go. Just as they are :)

Soft and Fluffy Ginger Molasses Cookies

yield about 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup fat free or red fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tbs raw cane sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and Splenda until light and fluffy. Beat in egg substitute, water and molasses.
  3. Gradually stir dry ingredients. Shape dough into small (approx 1″) balls and roll them in remaining 3 tbs sugar.
  4. Place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake  7-10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Holiday Baking 2011

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You guys, I baked for 7 hours. Maybe 8. I packaged and wrote little cards while Steve photographed for an other hour or 2. This girl is t-i-r-e-d. But it’s so worth it. Every year I swear I am never doing this ever again, but I love baking for others and this year I did it the way I want. Everything is at least airing towards the side of healthier. Some things I did better than others. Like the S’mores Cups. You could probably eat like 4 and come out the same as a bowl of fro yo. Some things, like Puppy Chow, are hard to modify, but everything comes with slightly less guilt, but without being diet food. I like it. Here’s a little bit of what my day looked like and a sneak peak for the recipes that are coming your way this week!

I tried to make brownie cake pop and failed miserably. But don't worry, it was kind of a happy accident because I ended up with truffles. Truffles that will next time be prettier, but are to delicious not to share.

So.Much.Packaging.

Ta freaking da, yes?

"But mom, when do we get baked gifts?"

Alllll done :D

Friendmas 2011

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I have a few favorite holiday traditions

  • Spending Christmas Eve at Steve’s mom’s house and waking up there Christmas morning (and waking everyone else up at 6am because I am so excited).
  • Looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve
  • Going to the special house by Jason and Nacho
  • Friendmas

3 years ago we started having our own friend Christmas celebration. Jason and Nacho have family out of the state so they’re always out of town on Christmas, so about a week before we all usually get together, do Friendmas dinner and presents. We rotate houses each year and this year it was our turn! We invited Bethy, Jason, Nacho, Lucius and Nico over for a Friendmas extravaganza!

I made grilled cheese and tomato soup. Yummmm.

Winston and Clementine were excited to get some extra attention from their favorite aunt and uncles, and to play with Lucius and Nico.

"Love me. I'm cute."

"Come pay attention to us!!!"

"YAY! Aunt Bethy to the rescue!"

Lucius is so cute. Bethany totally plays favorites with him even though Winston and Clementine are clearly the greatest dogs on Earth.

"Tada!!!! I made dinner! What? We were talking about the dogs? Well, I'm bored, let's talk about me!"

After dinner, we gathered around the tree to open presents. I LOVE PRESENTS!!!!

Nacho has about a billion movies so we got them this cute cinema sign to put above all of the movies.

Jason and Nacho got Bethy a movie. There were lots of movie gifts happening last night.

"I love presents!!!!"

Muppets Monopoly! I love games. I love Muppets. Thanks Bethy!! Can't wait to play!

Nacho is so odd with animals sometimes.

Bethy got Nacho The Lion King in 3D so he posed with Winston, presenting him like baby Simba. Makes perfect sense, right? Nico wanted to be presented too.

 

Clementine was exhausted from doing things she wasn't supposed to all day week long.

Look! An other movie! To Jason from Bethy.

Steve got gift cards to F1 Race Factory from Jason and Nacho.

To Bethy from Me

Jason and Naco got me a baking mat from the happiest place on Earth (that means Williams Sonoma. Sometimes Disneyland, but today Williams Sonoma).

Winston, what the heck are you doing? How can that be comfortable?!

Steve and I got Nacho season 2 of Glee

Jason had been using a crappy glass cutting board that drove me crazy every time I cooked at his house. So selfishly, we got him a fancy wood one. Happy cutting Jasy!

 

Bethy was surprised to see a joint gift from the whole group.

She recently started running and is getting ready for her first 5K in January, so we all chipped in and bought her a Garmin! I'm so proud of her and I help she finds the Garmin as helpful as I have!

Check out this awesome bundt pan!!! I've never seen one like it, and I've been wanting a bundt pan for soooo long! Thanks Jason and Nacho!!!

Steve also got Tron in 3D from Bethy, but was hoarding the camera so we didn’t get a picture. After presents, I decided to put my new baking mat to use and made dessert.

The best friends family a girl could ask for!


The entire night was perfect. I feel so lucky to have the most amazing group of friends. Jason, Bethy and I have been best friends for something like 12 years. I think when I met Bethany, I was still in 8th grade! We’ve all changed a lot throughout the years, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you do a separate friend Christmas?

Mint Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Cake.

The time has finally come! The time to share my Food Blogger Cookie Swap creation! For those of you that don’t know, the way this swap worked is hundreds of bloggers signed up to take part of the giving that two fabulous bloggers organized. We were each sent the names, addresses and blog urls of 3 people who we would send a dozen cookies to each. I was so excited to get 3 people who were completely new to me! There are so many blogs out there, that it is always nice to be introduced to new ones.

The truth is, as soon as it came down to actually make the cookies, I started regretting my decision. I started to get a lot of anxiety about what to make and if other people would enjoy my baking or if they would think it was bad or if the cookies would stay fresh–this is still my biggest concern. The thing that I’ve noticed about my healthier baking is that if not stored perfectly, a lot of times things are likely to go stale a little bit faster. I feel like using less fat it is just a little easier for things to get dried out. Generally, however, if kept in air tight containers, I’m good. I was just nervous because this is a new recipe so I wasn’t sure about shelf life.

In true Ari fashion I waited until the day before send off day to bake my cookies. Also, the first day of tech week. Smart, Ari. So at 9pm after being at the theater all day, I got in the kitchen and was feeling less than thrilled. I had made pretty much this same cookie (I just had a few ideas to make it extra special :) ) for my dad’s half birthday and it was such a huge hit that I changed my original cookie plan which involved chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels and went with this instead.

And everything seemed to be going well, and as planned.

Then they came out of the oven and looked like this.

Well, that looks different than before.

I still wasn’t sure what had happened, but I knew that they tasted good so I kept going for a bit, trying to get them together.

If you like cookies that are actually cake, you would have loved this first version.

Finally I admitted to myself that these were way too flimsy, and just not right. I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong so I grumpily went to bed and decided I would get up and bake first thing the next morning. During my tossing and turning, it finally dawned on me!!! I had doubled the recipe (which when you are as bad at focusing as I am can be dangerous). Well, I had doubled everything….except the flour. I really thought I had doubled the flour, but going back through my steps, I realized I hadn’t. That’s why they turned out more like cake!

You can see the evidence in the dough

Batch 1:

Cake.

Batch 2:

Cookies!

Success.

Mint Chocolate Whoopie Pies

yield 40-50

Inspired by Can You Stay For Dinner‘s Vanilla Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Ganache

For the outside:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1 cup organic raw cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup Splenda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 candy canes, crushed
  • green sprinkles (optional)

For the filling:

  • 12 oz grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 tbs light whipped butter
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl (I used my Kitchenaid), beat butter, cream cheese, Splenda and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time. Add buttermilk and almond milk and beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated.
  6. Stir in vanilla extract.
  7. Using a sprayed tablespoon, drop cookies onto lined and sprayed sheet (for prettiest cookies, use your hands to roll after batter has been dropped).
  8. Sprinkle each cookie with crushed candy canes and green sprinkles (if it’s not the holiday season, you can omit the sprinkles).
  9. Bake for 10 minutes. The whoopie pies should spring back when you press them gently. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Begin the filling by placing butter, peppermint extract and chocolate chips in a medium-large bowl.
  11. Heat milk in microwave (or on stove if you’re more patient than me :) ) until the top begins to bubble, but be careful not to heat too long.
  12. Pour in hot milk and mix well until chocolate is fully melted. Let cool and thicken(I put mine in the fridge for about 15 min).
  13. Spread a little chocolate on the flat side of one cookie, top with the flat side of a second and press together. Repeat with all cookies.

They look so much better this time around!

 

 

Happy holidays fellow food bloggers!!!

I really really loved the way these cookies came out. I hope that Emmamarie, Amy, and Monique enjoyed them!!! And thank you so much to Julie and Lindsay for putting this together!!

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time

This is our Chrismukah tree. I tried to suggest we put it out sooner and call it a Thanksgiving tree, but I was vetoed.

I’d been asking Steve if we could start decorating for the holidays since my epic day off on November 11th. He had been a big jerk kindly told me that we were not going to be “those people” and we had to wait until after Thanksgiving. Well you better believe the first thing we did Friday morning was get out the tree!

This is our Chrismukah tree. I tried to suggest we put it out sooner and call it a Thanksgiving tree, but I was vetoed.

Whoever decided trees were only for Christmas was a big dope. Didn't they know that Hanukkah is the festival of lights?! Look at those lights being festive!

Did you catch out menorah ornament? Mom? Dad??

Last year we bought some basic colorful (of course) ornaments and then a few personalized ones that we plan to add to each year. I pick one out every year that represents Steve and he gets to pick one that represents me. I bough the penguin one to represent *us* and Lisa got us the engagement one for Christmas. I think that one’s my favorite. Either that or my Lion King ornament that Bethy got me when we lived together. It was my very first ornament and our roomie Christmas was one of the best ever!

Of course we couldn't resist getting Winston and Clementine ornaments. Too bad they don't really look like them at all haha. Note the hippo--it represents my favorite Christmas song ever. "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will doooo!"

We also put up some decorations around the house. Most of them are from Hobby Lobby and Target, two of my favorite stores on Earth!

Look, family, a menorah! And Steve's swear jar. He has a profanity problem. Who else thinks the proceeds should go to me?

It wasn’t until Sunday that we finally got to the outside decorations including one extra special decoration! Steve did most of the work while I played assistant and photographer. Winston was scared and hid inside and Clementine played spectator.

Just to warn you, I took a lot of pictures. It’s my first time getting to document the experience! :)

I.love.lights.

"Look at me! I'm cute and I hang the lights!" Somehow I feel like my interpretation of Steve thoughts must be wildly inaccurate. "Noooo, look at me! I'm cutER and I sniff things." That one seems about right ;)

"What is this fancy contraption? Can I eat it?"

"What about these? I can eat these, right???"

"Fine, I will just sit here starving to death because you never let me eat anything." In my head, Clementine is really good at the Jewish guilt.

I always feel like there is no right place for our wreath since we can't put it on the door. Does this look odd to anyone else?

Finally, it was time for the main event! You remember this guy don’t you??

THE FLAMINGO!!!!!

Putting him together was…well…interesting.

"I don't need to read the instructions!" Ugh. Men.

Clementine was very confused by the flamingo.

"You don't look like a dog."

"You don't smell like a dog."

"Lower, dad, I can't see!!"

"You don't play with me like a dog,"

"What are you????"

The best decoration ever, Clementine. That is what I am.

"See, I stand on one foot."

"What were we talking about again? SQUIRREL!"

We still have some more lights and decorating to do, but we’re off to a great start and I am pretty much puking up holiday spirit. Did I mention that I love this time of year?

What are your holiday/decorating traditions?