Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wish I tried these.
 

This is another recipe from the cookie exchange I hosted.  These cookies were brought by my friend Monica (the same friend that I did these wedding cupcakes).  These are actually the cookies that  I wish I tried the most.  Zack would not stop raving about these cookies.  He has continuously told me that he is not a fan of mint, but after his rave reviews of these cookies and his love of my Mint Chocolate Delights, I am starting to have my doubts.  He keeps asking me to make these and I may just mix up a batch tomorrow.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from Betty Crocker

pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips or chopped Andes Mints (approximately 40 mints)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks 

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips (or andes Mints) and chocolate chunks  Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Parisian Cream Wafers

My friend Ellen made these:
                                 
I hope you have been enjoying my daily posts.  Here is another cookie recipe to share with you.  As I mentioned earlier, I had a cookie exchange party this December which was tons of fun.  One of the guests at the party was my friend Ellen, who I have mentioned a few times on this blog before.  Ellen contributed two cookies to the party, these Parisian Cream Wafers and her signature Orange and Cardamom Sugar cookies.  unfortunately I did not get a change to eat either of the cookies this year since I flew out that night for travel, but I did get a chance to try these Parisian Cream Wafers last year.  They are quite the delicate cookie in flavor and texture.  Just sweet enough and very light.  Instead of posting the recipe here, I have linked to her blog where she posted the recipe.  Click on the link below for the recipe:

Ellen's Parisian Cream Wafers





Monday, December 19, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cookies


I love cinnamon.

So it should be no surprise to you that when I saw saw these cookies online I new I had to make them.  I saw this recipe on "In Katrina's Kitchen".  The original recipe calls for a glaze and I really wish I did not skip it.  I was in a time crunch and was not able to make it, but I really think it would have kicked it up a notch.  The original recipe also suggests using sugar cookie mix.  I decided to make my homemade sugar cookie dough (which added to my time crunch), but think you could really use any recipe.  These cookies would be great with tea or left for Santa.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
recipe adapted from In Katrina's Kitchen

Sugar Cookie Dough (recipe from Baked Perfection)
 
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 almond extract
2 eggs

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until fully absorbed. Separate dough into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Filling and Icing
 
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk

Divide the dough into two halves. On a floured surface, roll each half of dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Brush with melted butter. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over dough. Begin to roll up dough, starting at the long side. Wrap in plastic wrap and put dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes (until firm – not hard).
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take dough out of freezer and begin cutting into 3/4 inch slices. Place slices about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.
Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely.

In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies (making sure you have aluminum foil or waxed paper underneath cooling racks to catch excess icing).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

Festive and Delicious.























These cupcakes are delicious and adorably cute.  If you can't tell,  I was going for a candy cane look and I think it turned out pretty well.  I decided to go with a chocolate cupcake because I think chocolate and peppermint go together so well.  You could definitely try a mocha cupcake to recreate the popular seasonal drink at all the coffee shops right now.  I didn't want the peppermint to be over-powering so it is very mild and really pairs perfectly with these cupcakes.I think these would be a great addition at any holiday party. 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
 
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water 
2 cups chocolate chips (dark chocolate or semi-sweet), dusted in 1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and espresso dissolved in water.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips

Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Peppermint Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection 
 
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 -4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and peppermint extract  until creamy, add salt. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Frost as desired.
 
To achieve the peppermint look:  Dip a toothpick in red food coloring and slowly drag the toothpick along the inside of your piping bag to create a long red line.  Repeat until you have 4-6 lines.  Carefully add the frosting into the piping bag trying to not disturb the lines too much.  Pipe normally and it will come out like a candy cane.
 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Overnight Gingerbread French Toast and Overnight Eggnog French Toast

This is tradition in our house.

 





















Two years ago we started a tradition on our house.  A tradition of french toast on New Years day.  The first we we had several friends staying with us.  I was sick in bed with a bad cold so Zack and our dear friend Nick manned the stove and made french toast for everybody.  It was delicious, but very time consuming.  Last year we decided to change it up a bit with an overnight french toast and it was amazing!  We threw it together before we went to bed and popped it in the oven in the morning.  We were all able to sit down together and eat at the same time to a DELICIOUS meal.  On New Year's Day last year we actually had an overnight Eggnog French Toast.  Zack and I decided to make a variation of it with some fresh Gingerbread we picked up at a local grocery store (Harris Teeter) and it did not disappoint.  I have left both recipes here for you.  I think either would be perfect for Christmas morning when everybody is opening presents.  Jut pop it in the oven before you open gifts and when you are done, it will be ready.


Overnight French Toast (Eggnog and Gingerbread)
recipe from Baked Perfection

Eggnog French Toast

1 loaf hearty white bread (Italian, Challah, Brioche)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups eggnog
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Gingerbread French Toast 

1 loaf Gingerbread
5 large eggs
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Generously butter the sides and bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Slice the loaf into 1 inch slices and arrange them in the pan, overlapping.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the eggnog (if using), milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the bread slices. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Flip bread and rearrange in the pan, making sure to coat the entire surface with the liquid.  Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until the French toast is golden brown and puffy.
Set aside to cool slightly, serve warm with maple syrup and butter.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Candy Cane Blossoms II

Back by popular demand.























The cookies have by far become the most popular post on Baked Perfection.  I made them last year and they became an overnight hit on Pinterest.  Therefore I decided to make them again for you.  This time I rolled a third of the cookies in Christmas colored non-sprinkles to make them extra festive.   These cookies are really delicious and you should definitely try to make them!

Note:  A couple people commented on my last post that these cookies came out flat for them.  A couple tips, don't roll them too large and make sure your butter is not too soft or warm.  If your dough is too sticky, just add up to 1/2 cup more flour.

recipe from Hershey's

1 bag Hershey;s Kisses brand Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Green colored sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 - 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies. 



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cookie Dough Truffles

Just as delicious as the first time.























I have posted these before, but they are so cute and delicious I had to share them again.  Who doesn't love cookie dough?  These can be made far in advance and frozen for months!  If you are thinking of homemade gifts I highly suggest you mix up a batch this weekend and then save them for Christmas.  You won't be disappointed.

Cookie Dough Truffles
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened (it is even okay if it is melting a little)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 - 2 tablespoons water

Assorted candy melts

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Add water if mixture is too dry to form into balls. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper (Should make approximately 20). Chill for several hours or freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.

Melt candy melts in the microwave per directions on package (30 sec intervals, stirring in between). Gently dip the cookie dough ball into the candy coating. Once covered remove and let the excess chocolate fall off. Place back on wax paper to dry.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place melted chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smaller the drizzle. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the cookie dough truffle until you reach the desired look.



Mocha Toffee Cookies

I can't get enough of this flavor combination!























I always like to make something for my friends birthday.  One of my close friends had a birthday right before Thanksgiving.   I did not have time to plan something for her, but wanted to come up with something delicious.  I came up with this recipe at 8PM on the Thursday night before I wanted to deliver them.  They came out even better than I expected and my friend loved them.  The cookies have a definitely mocha flavor with little bits of toffee.  They capture the chewiness of  a brownie are very addictive.  I think they would be perfect with a little milk for Santa since he will need the caffeine to fly around the world :)

Mocha Toffee Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3
cup baking cocoa
1 1.4 oz package of instant chocolate pudding Mix
1
teaspoon baking soda
1/2
teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant espresso
1
cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3
cup granulated sugar
2/3
cup packed brown sugar
1
teaspoon vanilla extract
2
large eggs
1 cup toffee bits, frozen
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine flour, cocoa, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, and instant espresso 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 toffee and morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

A classic combination.






















I feel really bad that I have not been posting much for you guys.  This is by far the busiest December I have had in years.  I am having a cookie exchange part at my house this weekend and plan to collect recipes from all my guests to share with you.  Of course I will also share what I am making and am evening thinking about posting a few of the appetizer recipes since they may come in handy for any holiday parties you are having.  To help get you though the week here is a simple, classic, and delicious cupcake.
  

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
 
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water 
2 cups chocolate chips (dark chocolate or semi-sweet), dusted in 1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and espresso dissolved in water.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips

Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.


Very Vanilla Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

2 sticks of butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 -4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency