Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Return Blog!

As many bloggers, I have to apologize for my absence. It all started when I got sick a week and a half before Christmas (and a few days before my birthday!) I was so sick it was awful. However, I was still determined to make Christmas cookies. I had an obligation to my secret baker. My amazing husband stepped up to the plate. He not only did the normal chores of cooking, cleaning and dishes. He even wrapped Christmas presents and helped me bake Christmas cookies. I have to give him more credit than myself as I did one cookie and then scooped the rest onto the pans from my seat on the couch!

Baking is such a huge tradition for most at Christmas time and this being our first Christmas together and married in our apartment, I wanted something special. I decided on two of my favorite Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Cheese Snowballs (or Snow People). I drooled over a cookie I saw on Clara's blog awhile ago and had even bought the ingredients at the time and never made them. So, I added Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies to the list. My dilemma was that the girl I was baking for doesn't really like chocolate and so far I only had one cookie without chocolate. I went looking and came up with Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.

Without further a due...my Christmas cookies 2007!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have already posted these cookies on my blog but I wanted to show them again. You can substitute M&M for the chocolate chips to make them festive! I baked one pan before adding the m&m for my secret baker who didn't like chocolate,

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I loved these cookies! I origonally found them on Clara's blog (also found here and here). When I went back to find the source for the cookies, I was led on a wild goose chase. I didn't end up finding the original as the last blog poster doesn't remember the source. So, if you are the original source, please let me know so I can give proper credit!
For some reason, mine didn't come out quite right. I didn't actually make these so I can't confirm the accuracy of the process (he is a wonderful cook though!). We mixed them up and ended up putting the dough in the fridge to bake the next day. The next day the dough came to a full room temp before baking and when we went to scoop them, the dough was very dry. We ended up shaping them into balls by hand and flattening into cookies. They tasted amazing! I'm just not quite sure what went wrong. I will be trying them again in the future!

Cream Cheese Snowballs (or Snow People!)
This cookie became a new favorite when Jake and I started dating. His mom introduced me to this cookie and well what can I say...Mom2 is fabulous! Other than my MIL I don't have a source for this cookie. The card says the Meredith Corp and the picture came from Tupperware. So I give credit to my mother-in-law
The recipe is written to make snow people, however, they are very time consuming so we shortened them to snowballs and just have little bite-size cookies!
These cookies are also amazing and the cutest of the snow people is worth it in the end!

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, coftened
2 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I omitted this year as it is not yet in my pantry)
miniature chocolate pieces
red cinnamon candy
decorator icing
peanut butter cups

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese. Beat in flour, sugar, baking powder, egg, vanilla and almond extract till combined.

For Snow Balls
Using a small cookie scoop; scoop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes for until edges are firm and bottoms are slightly brown.

For Snow People:
For each snow person, shape dough into a 1' person, 3/4' person and a 1/2' person. Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet in decreasing sizes with sides pressing; press together slightly. Decorate with sprinkles, chocolate pieces and cinnamon candy. Bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes for until edges are firm and bottoms are slightly brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Add peanut butter cup for hat allowing to melt slightly to create the snowman's hat. (We transferred to pan to the freezer to cool the cookies quickly so the hats didn't melt too much) Decorate with decorator icing to make scarf.

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