Friday, December 31, 2010

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Eric has fond childhood memories of his mom making these. And my dear friend, Cheryl, recommended these to me because she has been making them for 20 years now and they are one of her favorites! I made these tonight and they are indeed delicious! The almond extract is the key ingredient that make them so yummy!:)

By: Susie Horne & Cheryl Dillon

1/2 c. butter softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. confectioners sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food color

Heat oven to 375. Cream the butter, shortening and confectioners sugar. Add egg and flavorings. Blend in the flour and salt. Divide the dough in half and blend food color into one half. Take a little bit of dough from 2 colors and roll each ball out into a nice long snake, then do the same with the other ball, then place them side by side and roll them/twisting them together, pressing lightly; then curve them at the top for the candy cane shape and put on the cookie sheet.
Bake about 9 minutes, until set. They harden more as they cool on the cookie sheet.

Cheryl says, "I actually also make these around Halloween and make orange dough and I do the same thing with the dough, twist 2 snakes together, but I put them in the circle shape and then some green dough at the top for the stem. I try to think of every way I can make these cookies!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Very delicious and festive!

Ingredients & Supplies
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
red food coloring
green food coloring
various Christmas cookie cutters - stocking and candy cane for red dough and
Christmas trees for green dough

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs and vanilla.
3. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture.
4. Mix well.
5. Divide the mix in half. Add and mix red food coloring into half and green in the other half. (If you wait and put the red food coloring on the dough after it is slightly chilled, it will make a tie-dye effect that looks cool for the candy canes.)
5. Chill for 1 to 2 hours.
6. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. I like using a stocking and candy cane cutter for the red dough and a Christmas tree cutter for the green dough.
7. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

*Dough freezes well*

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Eggnog Cookies and Cupcakes

Eggnog Cookies and Cupcakes

Recipe found on "Cookies for Santa"

Cookies & Cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used ground cloves instead)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons eggnog
Optional: 1 to 2 teaspoons of spiced rum or rum extract (I did not use.)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. (If consistency is hard to work with, cool dough first in refrigerator.) Bake 16 to 24 minutes or until edges start turning light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. To prepare the icing, put the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining eggnog one tablespoon at a time (and the rum or rum extract, if opted for) until the desired consistency is reached. Spread onto cooled cookies and sprinkle tops very lightly -- adding too much will overpower the taste -- with nutmeg.

6. Let icing harden. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Carrot Orzo

Carrot Orzo

Karen Brosius, Columbia, S.C.
Southern Living, JUNE 2010

This turned out very delicious! It was my first time cooking with orzo but now I look forward to more orzo recipes!


* 8 ounces carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
* 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1 cup Parmesan cheese
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried chives
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme


1. Process carrots in a food processor 15 seconds or until finely chopped.

2. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and broth in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until very hot.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Add orzo and garlic, and cook 1 minute.

4. Slowly stir hot broth mixture, salt, and pepper into orzo mixture. Cook, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives, and thyme until blended. Serve orzo immediately. Garnish, if desired.