One Cut-out Sugar Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve!   I hope everyone made it to their Christmas destinations safely.   I am so excited for Christmas and can’t wait to spend some quality time with my family.   Living away from home sometimes has it’s downside, so I love when I can get together with my family.

We are one day away from Christmas and you know what that means…(besides one partridge in a pear tree)- One type of cookie left to reveal!  Today’s cookie is the Christmas classic, the cut-out sugar cookie!  Growing up, one of our family tradition was decorating cut-outs on Christmas Eve.  They weren’t as technical as the royal icing cookies I made this year, but we always had a good time decorating.  Remember when I had that surviving the flood party and made the umbrellas  and boat sugar cookies?  Well, I have practiced several times since and I have gotten a lot better.

Cut-out Sugar Cookies
  • 2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2½ cup of flour
  1. In a mixer bowl, beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Add powder sugar and continue to mix. In a separate small bowl, beat egg.
  3. Mix in beaten egg, both extracts, salt, and flour until combined.
  4. Make dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, and then flatten dough to a disc (this will help it to chill faster in the fridge.) Place dough in the fridge until hard.
  5. Preheat the 375 degrees.
  6. Once the dough is ready, place on a well floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch thickness.
  7. With cookie cutter, cut into shapes and place them on a greased sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until set, do not allow to brown.
  8. Place cookies on wire rack to cool.
  9. This makes around 20-24 cookies.

Source- Adapted from Annie’s Eats

K’s tip- To make multiple batches,  I just repeat the instruction for the dough and make right after the first (This way it doesn’t mess with the recipe by doubling it and you don’t have to dirty more dishes.

For Royal Frosting-  follow this recipe and tutorial on how to use royal icing from Annie’s Eats (aka my favorite blog-  I have got sister M hooked on Annie’s blog too.)  The tutorial  is actually how I learned how to decorate a cookie correctly with royal icing.  It does take a while and you will have to practice.  The results will make you proud though!

I couldn’t just show you just one cookie after all my hard work…

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Two Coconut-Lime Bars

Well Hello Readers… I hope you are ready for Christmas because we are only 2 days away!   As my sisters use to say when we were little, Merry Christmas Eve Eve (our favorite day!)

Two Turtle Doves,  or two Coconut-Lime Bars.  Easy choice right?  I sort of don’t like that the cookies amounts are so low now , you are sort of feeling jipped because you were getting 4-12 of all the other cookies.  Don’t worry you can have more than two of these bars if you make them,  I won’t tell anyone!

I am so ready for Christmas break,  I need a little bit of a break after this season.   I think I am going to take a little break in baking J. Don’t worry though, of course not before I reveal the last type of cookie tomorrow. Tomorrow’s cookie is the Christmas classic- which is fitting because my mom, my sisters and I made this type of cookie every year on Christmas Eve.  Ahh the memories- have I mentioned that I love Christmas.

The coconut-lime bars are my replacement for the usual coconut macaroon; since I love my mom’s macaroons more than my own (I don’t have the patience for egg whites).  These bars are yummy plus the addition of lime zest is a nice twist.

Coconut-Lime Bars

1 stick of unsalted butter melted
½ cup light-brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
Zest from 1 lime
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (7 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 9 inch square baking pan, then line with parchment paper, letting 2 inches hang over on 2 sides. Then butter parchment paper.   In a bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of white sugar.  Next add in 1 egg, continue to whisk until combined and smooth.  Stir in 1 cup of flour, salt, nuts, and lime zest.  Spread out evenly on parchment paper in baking pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until dough is set and lightly golden.

In another bowl, whisk together 2/3 cups of white sugar, 2 eggs, and vanilla.  Reserve ½ cup of coconut for topping, and stir in remaining coconut to the mixture along with the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Once the base layer is out of the oven, spread the egg/coconut mixture on top and spread out.  Top with remaining ½ cup of coconut.  Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs attached.) Once out of the oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool.  Once cooled, pull the two sides of parchment paper and lift cake out of the pan and onto a cutting board.  Cut into bars (about 24 to 30 bars).

Source- Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food- December 2011 edition



Three Scandinavian Almond Bars

Three days left to Christmas! That means three Scandinavian Almond Bars in cookie days (so much better than 3 french hens!). I love this cookie recipe.  It comes from my family cookbook I am always talking about, from my aunt.  This recipe is super easy to make and everyone always loves them!  The even better news if that I have gave you the recipe already. Click here to get the recipe.  Enjoy!


Four Pieces of Salted Peppermint Bark

So we are now four days away from Christmas.  I hope you have most of your shopping done. Thankfully all I have left to do is wrap presents and pack for my parents’ home.

I am confused as to what today’s song verse is- is it four colly birds or four calling birds? Wikipedia seems to believe its four colly birds, but what the heck is a colly bird?  And what are you going to do with four of them?  Instead you should go with four pieces of salted peppermint bark.

Salt seems to be all the rave this season, rightfully so though because it is pretty amazing on sweets. I took this recipe from a few different websites and sort of mixed it together. Also, I had Nestlé toll house white chocolate chips on hand so I used those.  I would recommend upgrading to a better brand of white because I had a hard time melting the white chips so I could spread them.

Salted peppermint bark
12 oz of good semi sweet chocolate chips
12 oz of good white chocolate

12 candy canes crushed
Kosher salt

In a double boiler melt the semi sweet chocolate chips.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.  On a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil, spread chocolate.  Sprinkle the chocolate with kosher salt and stick pan in freezer.  Next do the same thing with the white chocolate.

To crush the candy canes, I stuck them in my mini food processor and the sifted out the small pieces. Once the white chocolate is melted and smooth (this is the part that wasn’t working for me- I had to add a little canola oil to the white chocolate to get it smoother).  Pour small pieces that you sifted out into the white chocolate and stir in.  Take out the chocolate from the freezer and pour white chocolate on top spreading so that it is even.  Sprinkle with the larger crushed pieces and push them in so they stick into the white chocolate.  Place tray back into the freezer to harden.  Once the bark is cooled, break into pieces.  If it is too difficult to break in some points use a meat tenderizer corner to break it in certain spots.

*K’s tip- If you don’t own a double boiler use a sauce pan with about 1-2 inches of water with a metal or glass bowl balanced on top.

Source- adapted from Simply Scratch


Five Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

I cannot believe it’s only 5 days until Christmas. I guess time flies when you are baking up a storm in the kitchen.  What I find even more crazy is that it’s almost the end of the year too.  What happened to 2011?  I am officially done with my holiday baking as of yesterday and I am busy packaging everything up as gifts this week.  I know, I know, all this time you thought I was going to eat all these cookies by myself.  Well this is not true, I give the majority as gifts to co-workers, managers, my landlord, and friends.  Then, whatever cookies I have left, I bring home with me to share with my family.  At times, I feel like I may not have enough cookies with all the gifts I need to give.  My boyfriend thinks I am losing it.  I have taken complete control of our freezer (and our waistlines…whoops!)

Let me do a quick calculation of how many types of cookies I have made.  I made 12 types, there are about 5 dozen (give or take) of each type, so that means I have about 750 cookies!

On to the main show… Ready for this??… With our best singing voices…

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Five Golden Rings. Ahh, what I consider the most desirable of the gifts from this song. Never the less, these Candy Cane Kiss cookies are soooo good…five of them though,  how can you beat that?! If you haven’t tried Candy Cane Kisses yet, you are missing out. I became obsessed with them when they came out earlier this season, so when I found this recipe I knew I needed to make them.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup candy cane flavored kisses, finely chopped
Granulated sugar for dipping
Additional candy cane kisses for topping cookie
Start by preheating the oven to 350. In mixer bowl combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and egg. Mix together for 2-3 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix for about 2 minutes.  Next stir in chopped kisses.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in granulated sugar.  Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.   Once the cookies set, take out of the oven and place a candy cane kiss in the center and push down lightly.  Take cookie sheet and place in the freezer so that the kisses harden.  Continue with the rest of the batch.  *K’s Tip-  I used one cookie sheet for the freezer and then kept cooking on the same one, so I would not have to keep waiting for the cookie sheet to come out of the freezer.

Source- adapted from Recipe Girl



Six Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Six Geese of laying…. or six soft and gooey Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.   Seems like an easy enough choice for me.

Well, I have been working on sugar cookies all day.  Starting with making the dough,  cutting out the shapes, baking, and decorating with icing.   I am exhausted!!    Today’s post isn’t about those cookies (don’t worry- it will be coming soon on our Christmas cookie countdown).  But no fear, these chocolate crinkle cookies are like brownies in a cookie. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a bowl, mix together cocoa powder, sugar and oil together until combined (2-3 minutes). Stir in eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.   Then mix in the dry ingredients.  Wrap dough in saran wrap,  and refrigerate for 3 or more hours.

Preheat oven to 350 when ready to take the dough our of the fridge.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. With hands lightly covered in oil, roll the ball in hands then roll in powdered sugar.  Place on baking sheet with about 2 inches between each.  Bake for 10 minutes and then let cool on wire rack.

Source- Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking




Seven Peanut Butter Temptations

Seven swans a swimming…or one of my personal favorite Christmas cookies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Temptations.  A peanut butter cookie wrapped around a Reese’s peanut butter cup. This recipe is a Christmas classic for me, right off the back of the Reese’s bag!  I usually don’t take recipes off the package of products, but I seriously love these cookies.  If you love peanut butter cups, then you will love this cookie too.



Eight White Chocolate Ginger Drops

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Eight White Chocolate Ginger Drops.  (I hope you sang that in the right tune.)  I think the song version of the Twelve Days of Christmas has eight maids of milking today, which is extremely convenient because these cookies are fabulous with a glass of milk.  I know this because I have had a few each night with a glass of milk…mmmmm.  I love this recipe because I don’t have to pipe the gingerbread cookies.   I plan on decorating sugar cookies this weekend, so the thought of having to pipe gingerbread men was exhausting (yes, piping gingerbread would have been my breaking point after making 12 types of cookies.)  So the reason why I love this recipe is because it gives you the same gingerbread cookie, but it is topped with white chocolate instead of royal icing. Which in this case makes them even more amazing. Don’t believe me?  Well, make them and try to prove me differently.

White Chocolate Ginger Drops

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup of unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of white sugar for dipping cookies in before cooking
1 cup of white chocolate chips

In a separate bowl whisk together the first 6 ingredients listed, up until the nutmeg. Next in bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy about 5 minutes.  Add in molasses, egg, and vanilla until all ingredients are combined.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for four hours of more.   When dough is ready take out of fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop cookies into one inch balls,  roll in sugar and place 2 inches apart from one another on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8 -10 minutes.  When the cookies come out of the open place 4-5 white chocolate chips in the center.    Move cookies to wire cooling racks.




Nine Mexican Wedding Cake

I have been in a Christmas mood all day.  I found myself singing Christmas songs at my desk at work today, only to have my co-workers I was working with join in.  Now that is Christmas spirit!   We went uptown near Central Park for lunch and the city looked so beautiful and ready for the upcoming holidays.  When I came home my holiday spirit continued as I made two types of cookies (I will be posting them later, but here is a hint- they were both peppermint flavor!

But, I bet you are waiting for the ninth cookie of Christmas… drum roll please (I know, I know, I denied the 12 drummers drumming, I will allow them to drum this once.)

Nine Mexican Wedding Cakes.   After you make these Mexican Wedding Cake cookies and hand them out, there will surely be nine ladies dancing (maybe even some men too!)   This recipe is one of my family’s recipes we have been making forever.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of finely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts ( I use walnuts)
¼ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together ½ cup powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.  Stir in flour, ground nuts, and salt, mix until dough forms.  Shape dough in to 1-inch balls.  Place 1 inch apart from one another on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set, but not brown.   Immediately remove from cookie sheet and let cool slightly.   Next roll cookies in powdered sugar and cool completely.  Enjoy!


Three Easy Edible Stocking Stuffers

Still looking for some stocking stuffers or gift ideas for Christmas?  Check out these 3 holiday gifts you can whip up in your own kitchen:

1. Caramel corn- Check out this recipe for caramel corn from Annie’s Eats.  It will change your world.  I’ve already made it several time and this stuff goes fast!  I packaged some up in holiday Chinese take-out containers for an easy holiday gift:

2. Spice rub- There are some great spice rub mixtures to make in bulk and split out into small glass spice jars.  Personalize it by using a printable label that lists out the ingredients and recommended uses for the spice rub.  Top it off with a festive ribbon!  For recipe ideas, try Martha’s All Purpose Spice Rub or one of the many at Simple Mom.

3. Spiced nut mix- For this stocking stuffer, you just need a slightly larger glass jar (perhaps a Mason jar?)   Feel free to be creative and name your concoction with a fun name!  I’ve made this recipe from Cooking Light for a few parties and it has been a hit- Peanuts with Indian Spices.

What edible gifts do you like to give (or receive!) during the holiday season?  Check out The Naptime Chef for more homemade gift recipes!


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