My kitchen is being used and abused with all my baking. My baking paraphernalia is screeching in pain from overuse, but I persevere. My poor hands are taking a severe beating with all the dishes I’m doing and continuously washing them before prepping, rolling, kneading, decorating, etc. Any other bakers’ hands look like crapola lately?
I’ve got two recipes to share with you. One is suuuper easy and one a bit more challenging, but so festive!
The first is the Dark Chocolate Mint Blondies:
What you need:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups Nestle Dark Chocolate Mint chips
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Grease a 9×13 pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk in a medium bowl.
- Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Beat in the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, but don’t over mix.
- Stir in mint chocolate chips. (Or you could do half butterscotch / half chocolate for another yummy duo)
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 – 28 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Cut into desired size bars.
A couple of things I discovered:
- Definitely drain (if not wash) the cherries. If you are like me and did not do this, you’ll get a sugar build up in the shortbread which makes them want to stick to the pan.
- To get truly red cookies, you’ll need a lot more red food coloring than 2 drops. I used about 5 and only got light pink.
- Her directions suggest transferring the baked cookies from the cookie sheet to a wire rack after a couple of minutes. Do this! It will prevent sticking of the cookies as well as accelerate the cooling process.
- These taste amazingly fabulous with and without the dipped white chocolate frosting. And I’m sure you can save a few calories by not adding that step…but who are we kidding, calories don’t count at Christmas.
- If you do choose to do the white chocolate dip, make sure your cookies are 99% cooled when you do this, or they will break apart (which makes for a really tasty excuse to nom ahead of time).
All in all, I thought these cookies were incredibly delicious. BUT they were a bit ‘testy.’ I don’t know that I’ll be making them again for Christmas, but their coloring makes them a perfect Valentine’s Day cookie
Oh and I also made some Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Cookies: Mix 1 box Spice cake mix with 1 15oz can of pumpkin, add about 1 cup dried cranberries, and 2/3 cup oats. Drop in spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 deg
AND, my Pumpkin Pie cookies made another appearance — the recipe is here.
Tonight, I’m making a new version of Chocolate Bark that should be out of this world. And, just because I can, I’m making some more Hershey PB Blossoms =)
Sugar coma here I come!
And with that, today is my official last day of work until Jan 3rd. We have holiday shutdown and all days from now until the 3rd are paid. BUT I will be coming in a few days and doing some work from home. Tis okay — I’m going to try to have a good attitude about it.
What are you going to do with your time off? I plan on more baking, some mani/pedis, shopping, wine country, some intense workouts, and hopefully a fabulous dinner or two Oh and presents…hehe I like presents.