Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December FotM recipe round-up: Our 2013 Holiday Sweets

To make up for the lack of posts this month, here's a round-up of recipes for the cookies and sweets that we made (with LOTS of help from my mom and kids) this holiday season...

What kinds of recipes did you make this holiday season?

December FotM Recipe - Figgy Cookies

In honor of my love of Figgy Pudding but the desire to make it easier to eat I combined oatmeal cookies with Figgy Pudding....and voila!....Figgy Cookies!!!

We also cut a corner in the Christmas present department by quadrupling the dry mix portion of the recipe, portioning out (we put half the dry ingredient amounts from the recipe below in each jar) and giving some out as gifts....with instructions of course (listed below recipe).

Figgy Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/16 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup figs
  • 1/4 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup rasins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
4. PREP 15 mins
5. COOK 10 mins
6. READY IN 1 hr

Brandy Icing

  • 1/2 cup brandy, simmered for about 15 minutes to cook off most of the alcohol
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1. Stir together ingredients until smooth.
2. Dunk cookies, top side down into glaze (or drizzle over the cookies if you'd like them a little less sweet).

Jar Cookies

Add the following to your jar mix...

(there is 2 ⅓ cups of mix in each jar)

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: Don't forget to include a tag with baking instructions on the jar!

These things are so delicious that Kassy didn't even think about taking
a picture of them until she was half done eating the last one!  Oops!

Friday, December 27, 2013

December FotM recipe: Hot Cocoa Cookies

I first made these cookies about two years ago when we first moved into our current home.  I fell in love before I even tasted them.  They taste like a warm hug.  Chewy chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne.  Delicious.

Then I had a brilliant idea:  curry instead of cayenne.  Holy crap.  YUM.

This Christmas, since Nikki and I both gave them as gifts along with some homemade hot cocoa mix (recipe coming soon), we left out the cayenne and cinnamon and used a combination of granulated sugar, red sanding sugar and white sparkle sugar (a.k.a. sprinkles).  We ended up with a nice, generic, sugar coated chocolate cookie, which is exactly what we were going for.

We also turned the basic recipe into a jar mix, which would make a great gift as well…  just include a small bag of the sugar/whateveryouwanttorollthedoughballsin in the top of the jar, along with some baking instructions.

Hot Cocoa Cookies 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. 

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). 

Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Place, about 3 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. 

Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week, or freeze for up to three months)

To make jar mix: mix all ingredients except eggs and butter, place half of the mixture into a quart-sized mason jar.

To make cookies from jar mix: cream together one egg and one stick of butter.  Stir in dry mix until dough looks consistent.  Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

December's food of the month: Cookies!!!

Happy National Cookie Day! (Well, yesterday now...)

The holidays are upon us and with them come the arrival of lots of treats (and stretchy-waisted pants, gotta love leggings and yoga pants!)…  more specifically, COOKIES!  In the coming weeks, we’ll share some of our favorite recipes along with a few that are new to us.  


Many cookie doughs can be made ahead of time then refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use them.  The general rules are as follows:
  • Chunky cookies (anything with chips, fruit or nuts), drop cookies, or cookies that you roll into balls before baking should be portioned as if to bake, then frozen.  Once frozen, the dough balls should be placed in an air-tight bag or container for storage.  Bake them all, or just one or two at a time.
  • Slice-and-bake cookies (like shortbread) can be pressed into a log, then wrapped in parchment or waxed paper and stored in freezer bags.  Allow these to thaw in the fridge for a few hours prior to baking or give them at least a few minutes to warm up so they don’t crumble when you start slicing them.
  • cookie dough can be frozen in discs (like you would do for a pie crust).  Again, allow to thaw for a few hours in the fridge if possible, or for a few minutes on the counter top.
  • Most cookies will take a minute or two longer to bake after being frozen.
  • Most cookie dough can be frozen for up to three months.
(reference: thekitchn.com)

When storing the cookies after baking
  • Be sure to allow them to cool completely, then layer them between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.  
  • Cookies will stay crisp and fresh longer in metal tins rather than plastic storage containers.  
  • If you plan to give them as a gift in a cardboard box, be sure to line it with parchment or waxed paper.  
  • Keep crisp and soft cookies in separate containers (the crispness of cookies can be restored by heating in a 300° oven for about ten minutes).  
(reference: marthastewart.com)


There are hundreds of thousands of cookie recipes available around the world.  Pinterest is a good place to start your search for a cookie recipe that will suit your tastes.  MarthaStewart.com has TONS of recipes along with a plethora of cookie related knowledge that will get you through just about any holiday cookie crisis.

What’s your favorite cookie recipe?  Let us know and leave a comment!