I live about an hour to an hour and a half from my family. When they get to visit it’s a pretty big deal. Especially when we get to do some cooking or in our case today some baking. I love to bake, but I really don’t get to do it very often. With an obsessed “milk and cookie” monster (i.e. Mr. G) around it’s wise to only indulge my love for baking minimally. Plus, if I baked more frequently than once or twice a year, he would probably make cookies a whole new meal of the day.

Today my brother, lets call him Mr. Ice, will be helping me with all my cookie recipes. These are what we have on the plate today…

A Facebook Find – Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Our Facebook find. I hope they turn out like the pictures. Courtesy of Lois Mullins.

(I am not too sure where this recipe originated, but my Mom tagged me in it through a post on Facebook. You are welcome to take a peek at it here. If the link works.)

1 box Lemon Cake Mix

1 Egg

2 cups Cool Whip, thawed

½ to 1 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg, and Cool Whip. The batter will be sticky! Form dough into tablespoonfuls and roll in powdered sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in hot 350 oven until the edges are golden. Allow to cool 1 minute on baking sheet; then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

 The Classic – Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened or at least room temp)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (optional, and you can choose what ever nut best suits you. I love pecans, but walnuts work great too)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. (I line my cookie sheets with foil for easy clean up.)

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For high altitude baking (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.

(I did omit a few things listed on their web page in regards to freezing and baking, as well as baking pan cookies. But I have included the webpage above for easy access in case you would like to see what options are available there.)

A New Experiment – Super Easy Chocolate Fudge
Photo courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen’s blog, the link provided above.
Ingredients
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz bag) semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
¼ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup nuts (optional, and one of my additions)
Instructions
  1. Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan, add the condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring often to avoid burning. Cook until mixture is melted and well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla; stir until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Tap few times to remove air bubbles.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.
  6. When set, remove from pan using the foil and cut into pieces.
  7. Store fudge in fridge for long storage. Just remove from fridge an hour or so before serving to soften.

A Mr. Ice Recipe – Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie

Prep Time: approx. 20 minutes

Bake Time: approx. 8-10 minutes

Servings: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Additional granulated sugar

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove wrappers for chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fulffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3, Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

How did it go you ask?!?! Well here are all the details. The Lemon Crinkle Cookies were nothing like I had expected. It was a nightmare to be honest. Exactly like a nightmare. It started out wonderful and easy enough. You mix all but the powdered sugar in one bowl. It smells heavenly… like a lemon meringue pie almost. Then the damn things are impossible to “roll” in the powdered sugar. It’s more like you try to shake your fingers violently to try and get the stupid batter off your fingers and into the sugar. Then after that you try to make them into nice little round, cookie shaped things. Well, that doesn’t happen. Who ever made this recipe knew it would be a hot freaking mess and purposely did not take credit for the recipe because of the likely backlash from bakers everywhere. They must have photo shopped the sh** out of their cookie pictures. My first batch was a little over done and turned out mediocre at best. They tasted a little like lemon meringue, but had the consistency of wet cotton candy (you know how it gets hard and almost rock like in the crevices of your teeth). Here is how mine turned out:

Batter smells good, looks good… everything is going well so far.
Batch #1: A little toasty and kinda frumpy looking.
Batch #2: Hot Damn MESS!

The Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies are always amazing. I make these every time I bake, simply because they are always yummy. They do happen to be Mr. G’s favorite too, but that is really not the point. They are full proof. Most people like them and you can alter them rather easily to accommodate people of all kinds of diets. There are a million and one different chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this (since we do not have any allergies to foods, at least as far as we know) is always an easy favorite. It is also great to make with the kiddos. Most people give me this terrified, horrific look when I suggest cooking or even baking with children. I admit, at one time I was one of those people. But, with baking it is quite nice to have something that you don’t have constantly over heat and it’s messy anyways, but for the most part it’s easier clean up. Plus, they get to sample the batter (but please be aware that most batter has uncooked egg, so approach with caution). And as always, if you work with kiddos you just need to be the one handling the mixer. The Toddler is scared of the mixer and the noise it makes anyways, so that is an easy job for me to handle. I did make the last few batches with some chopped pecans and they are so yummy! Here is my turn out for that one:

Oh I love you, chocolate chip cookie dough! I could eat you straight from the bowl… but I won’t because I need to bake.
Without the pecans.
With the pecans! Oh Santa, we are waiting for you! 🙂

The Super Easy Chocolate Fudge was a Pinterest find of mine. I like this recipe for a few reasons. It has a limited number of ingredients and it’s quick. It was the first time I have ever attempted fudge (and I always crave it). I wanted to see that I try another “full proof” recipe so it would be really difficult for me to mess it up. Well this is as “full proof” as it comes. It was simple, easy, and yummy! This has a big chocolate smile written all over it. It took a total of maybe 10 minutes tops between prep and cook time. Waiting for it to set was a little challenging, but we were preoccupied with the other cookies. The hard part was cutting the damn things. They are dense especially when chilled and they haven’t thawed much. But, overall this is an excellent recipe. The nuts add a little texture to it so it’s not all “chocolate overload”. But, be warned it is very, very rich. Here is how mind turned out:

Fudge in the making!
Our finished fudge. B-E-A-Utiful!

And last, but not least was our selection from Mr. Ice. He told me he wanted to make these and how could I say no?!?! Who says no to peanut butter and chocolate?!?! (Unless it requires an EpiPen, YIKES!) We went ahead and made the Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie and it was great. It was a little tedious in the beginning because of all the measuring with all the different ingredients and the rolling of the dough, but those are amazing after you plop that Hershey’s Kiss (the recipe is on the back of the bag by the way) on them and let them cool. The kiss keeps it’s form, but becomes all ooey-gooey. Even the Toddler loved these, you can tell by his “facial hair”. HAHAHAHA! So cute! But, I would recommend this recipe hands down. Ours were a bit over sized, so our dough didn’t last as long as it should have, so that I would fix the next time I make these, but it’s really a great recipe. Here is how ours turned out:

A chocolate kiss on a peanut butter pillow. YUM!
The Toddler and his chocolate “facial hair”. Love his face!

That is our baking fun for today. Four different cookies under our belt. I will be using some as a Christmas gifts and some to send home with my brothers. I am sure my Dad will love a good cookie tray after my Mom has been a cookie Nazi – I guess I shouldn’t say that – she has just been trying to be more health conscious really. Which means my poor Dad (who is also watching his weight as well, so it is a little self inflicted) gets to skip on all the yummy cookies because they are not allowed over the threshold (beyond the front door), and when they are, they are quickly devoured by my brothers (aka: the “Hallow Leg” and the “Bottomless Pit”).

What is your favorite holiday cookie? Or just cookie for any time of the year? Or sweet treat? Anything that strikes a chord or sends you back because of a family tradition or favorite memory? Feel free to share and we might be able to make them next time.

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