Classic Spritz Cookies

Classic Spritz Cookies

Classic Spritz Cookies

Let me start off by saying that I love the look and the taste of these cookies however the process of making them is a pain in the butt!  I have an old version of the Pampered Chef cookie press so I’m just going to assume that the newer version of the press works better.  I’m not going to lie, there was a fair amount of swearing going on while I tried to get the cookie press to work.  Anywhooooo, if you have cookie press tips I’d love to hear them although I don’t think I’ll be making these again anytime soon!

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

red and green food coloring, if desired

1  Preheat oven to 375.  Beat butter and sugar together on medium for about 3 minutes until creamy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour gradually, mixing on low until just blended.  Dough will be soft.

2  Divide dough into 3 balls, leaving one white, coloring one red and the last green.  Fit cookie press with desired disk and fill tube with dough by using one small ball of red followed by one of white then of green.  Press dough onto cookie sheet.  (If only it were that easy!)  Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.

recipe from The Pampered Chef

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Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

I was putting together a package for one of my favorite missionaries and I asked her mom what she would like and her mom said she had requested no sugary treats for Christmas.  Wow!  What to do?  So I found this recipe online and it looked ok so I gave it a go.  Bob and I sampled one and they were surprisingly good.  Just a little bit of brown sugar, honey and maple syrup for sweetening.

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/2 cups instant oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, if you are using stones you don’t have to line them with anything.

2  Mix together mashed bananas and peanut butter until well combined.  Add in maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and mix well.

3  Add oats and mix well then stir in chocolate chips.

4  Scoop onto cookie sheets and form into cookie shapes as dough will not spread out.  Bake 14 – 15 minutes.

recipe from A Latte Food

Skinny Italian Sausage Soup

Skinny Italian Sausage Soup

Skinny Italian Sausage Soup

Betty Crocker comes through again!  This is a great soup for a cold winter’s night dinner.

1 roll of Jimmy Dean Pork Italian Sausage

2 large russet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 cups water

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

handful of bacon from a package of Costco real crumbled bacon

1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup half and half

1  Cook sausage in Dutch oven over medium heat 6 – 8 minutes until no longer pink.  Drain on paper towels.

2  In same pan, mix potatoes, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, water and broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3  Stir in bacon, sausage, and beans.  Cook 10 – 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Stir in half and half and cook just until heated through.

recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Vanilla Mousse in Chocolate Cups

Vanilla Mousse in Chocolate Cups

Vanilla Mousse in Chocolate Cups

One of my dear, sweet friends is having a baby girl soon and these were made for her baby shower this past weekend.  They were quite delicious, if I do say so myself and also quite easy to put together.

1 – 2 boxes (24 count each) premade chocolate cups

1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix

2 cups milk

1 (8 oz) tube Cool Whip, thawed

various sprinkles, toppings as desired

1  Unwrap chocolate cups from box carefully and place on serving tray.

2  Make pudding according to package directions using milk.  Allow to come to soft set as per package directions, about 5 minutes.  Fold Cool Whip into soft set pudding carefully.

3  Scoop or pipe mousse into chocolate cups and top with desired toppings.

4  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Let me start by saying that I do not love gingerbread and so I do not make it.  But, my husband loves it and asked if I would make some this year.  And I, of course, said I would give it a try.  I found a recipe online and decided to give it a go.  It didn’t look like it made very many so I doubled it.

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Turns out, it made quite a few.

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Homemade Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

A lot in fact, like 75 cookies!  There was one more tray of cookies in addition to these three!  And he loved them!

cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cloves

decorations

frosting

Christmas sprinkles

chocolate chips, googly eyes, red hots, etc

1  Preheat oven to 350.

2  Cream together butter, sugar, molasses and honey.

3  In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add to wet ingredients and mix well.

4  On a well floured surface, in batches, roll dough to 1/4″ thickness and cut out with cookie cutters.

5  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8 – 10 minutes until nicely browned and sturdy.

6  Decorate as desired when completely cooled.

I decided to make my life a little easier and so I bought this Wilton cookie frosting at Michaels:

Wilton Cookie Icing

It worked like a dream!  I highly recommend it!  You just warm it up in the microwave and then start using it right from the bottles.

PS  I can’t remember where I got this recipe from.

Pesto Turkey Squares

Pesto Turkey Squares

Pesto Turkey Squares

Quick, easy and delicious!  What more do you need to know?

1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls or crescent sheet

1/4 basil pesto

1/2 cup cubed cooked turkey or ham

1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded Italian cheese blend

2 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1  Unroll dough and place on greased cookie sheet, pressing/rolling over bottom of sheet to make crust.

2  Spread pesto over crust, top with turkey and 1 cup of cheese then sliced tomatoes and then remaining cheese.

3  Bake at 375 for 12 – 15 minutes.

recipe from Pillsbury

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Tart

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Tart

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Tart

This was dessert after Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, it was everything I dreamed it would be and more.

1 package Oreos (36 cookies)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

1 (12 oz) bag dark chocolate candy melts

1  Crush Oreos with food processor.  Stir crumbs with 1 stick of melted butter until well combined.  Press into bottom and up sides of a tart pan or pie plate.  Freeze for 10 minutes to set.

2  Combined remaining stick of butter and brown sugar in small saucepan and cook over medium heat whisking constantly until mixture begins to bubble.  Continue cooking 1 minute still whisking constantly.  Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream until smooth.  Cool mixture about 15 minutes then pour over crust and freeze for 30 – 45 minutes.

3  In another small saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium high heat.  Pour cream over candy melts in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth.  Pour chocolate over caramel layer and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.  Before serving, sprinkle with sea salt.

recipe from Kevin & Amanda