Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip recipe is our absolutely favorite, so far (I'm always up for trying new recipes), and trust me, I've tried many recipes. It comes from one of the Lion House cookbooks. I've tried adjusting it to make it better and nothing I've done surpasses the original recipe other than adding more chocolate than it calls for.

This recipe makes a BIG batch, about 6 dozen regular-sized cookies. But I like to use my big cookie scoop and with that I usually get about 4 dozen.

We made these today for Santa to enjoy tonight. And I KNOW he will!

Here's what you'll need:

1 3/4 C. softened butter (not melted at all)
1 3/4 C. brown sugar
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
5 1/2 T. water (strange, I know, but don't leave it out or substitute it with anything else)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 C. chocolate chips (2-12 oz. bags)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, water, and vanilla; mix until creamy. Add flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well. Gently fold in chocolate chips, mixing only until chips are evenly distributed.
In these pictures I used a combiniation of semi-sweet, milk, and white chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. If using the large cookie scoop you'll need to cook them for about 12 or 13 minutes. If using a convection oven, take two minutes off of the cooking time.

So, so very good!
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Exchange

Today I hosted my fifth annual cookie exchange. It was so much fun and the goodies were amazing!! I'm sharing some of them with you. Enjoy!

Read on...

Oreo Truffles

This is what I made for the cookie exchange. It's from Kraft Foods, but altered by my brother, Kevin. From what I hear, these are way better than what Kraft has published.

Here's what you'll need:

1 (1 lb. 2 oz.) pkg. Oreo cookies, crushed and divided
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 C. chocolate syrup
16 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Add chocolate syrup and mix well. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to firm.  Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

One of my friends said that these truffles are the kind of things that you would roll over and die for. They're pretty darn good!! Try them and you'll see!

Hershey Bar Candy

Jacque brought these little balls of HEAVEN! And I just noticed that they aren't on the picture of the plate of goodies. We ate them all. Hee hee. Oops!

Here's what you'll need:

3 large (4.4 oz.) Hershey bars
2 (8 oz) cartons of cool whip, room temp.
1 box vanilla wafers

Melt the Hershey bars in a double boiler. Let completely cool. Add the cool whip. Let sit in fridge for a while. Make into walnut-sized balls. Roll in crushed vanilla wafers.

You can try using Hershey bars with almonds or Symphony bars. You can also substitute crushed almonds for the vanilla wafers.

Super easy and super yummy - LOVE IT!!!

Pistachio Cookies

My friend, Shanna, brought these amazing cookies. I'd never tried them, nor heard of them before, but absolutely LOVED them! These are the little green cookies with white frosting and chocolate drizzled on top.

Here's what you'll need:

1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 pkgs. pistachio pudding
1 egg
2 C. flour
1 C. milk chocolate

Beat ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. almond extract
1 pkg. cream cheese
1-3 T. milk

Caramel & Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

A couple of weeks ago, a bunch of my friends came over to learn how to make these SUPER yummy pretzels. My friend, Robyn, is the pro at it and she taught us all how to do it. Here's what I learned...

Make the caramel.

1 C. butter
2 C. packed brown sugar
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 C. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, milk and corn syrup; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage) on candy thermometer, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Use a spoon to cover long pretzel rods with caramel.

Place on a well greased cookie sheet.

When you are done covering your pretzels, let the caramel mostly cool. Then mold the caramel to make the flat side rounded.

Chop nuts and crush Oreos.
Melt milk chocolate chips in a tall microwavable glass. In another glass, melt white chocolate. Cover caramel with chocolate.

Then roll in nuts or Oreos (or anything you want).

Lay on wax paper or parchment paper to let the chocolate set up.

You can drizzle pretzels with a contrasting chocolate.

Put the finished pretzel rods into clear, tall goodie bags. Tie with ribbon and raffia for WONDERFUL neighbor gifts for Christmas!

We had some extra caramel that we poured into a shallow plastic container, let cool, then cut into pieces.

Try this recipe. It takes some time, but these are soooooooooooooo worth it!!!! Thank you, Robyn, for teaching me!!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Several months ago I put together a community cookbook and this recipe comes from it. It's actually my friend, Shanna's recipe. We made them Saturday morning for breakfast with scrambled eggs and smoked sausage and everyone loved them!

Here's what you'll need:

3 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. shortening (we like butter-flavored shortening)
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. In a seperate bowl, mix beaten egg and milk. Add to dry mixture. Roll out to about 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Sooooooo good breakfast!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm finally posting! Yay!! My kids are all napping, except for the one that's in school, and instead of me laying down too, I'm posting. I am so proud of myself!!!!

The reason why I have to post rather than sleep (and I do value sleep) is because I just made these super yummy cookies and I HAVE to share them with you!!

These are super easy to make and super yummy to eat and so perfect for the season! Try them, you might like them too.

Here's what you'll need:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
3/4 C. oil
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugar, and spices until well blended. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Combine with the wet; fold in chocolate chips. Drop onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes with a regular oven or 9 minutes with a convection oven. Remove immediately from pan and cool on a wire cooling rack.

You see - super easy! You can even add several drops of red food coloring to give them a brighter pumpkin color (that's what the bakeries do). Mmmmmmmmmm!!
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