I’m going to be super busy the next couple days. My parents and brother will be here on Thursday. If I don’t have the sugar cookies done, I will be grounded. Why is it your parents still scare you even after you are all grown up and moved away? I wanted to get one more recipe out to you before I head back in the kitchen and slave away on a few more desserts.
I saw these Oreo Truffles the other day and got so excited about them. Oreo cookies, Cream Cheese and melted chocolate, what could go wrong? Well, let me tell you! Processing the cookies and cream cheese gave me no troubles. It was the melted chocolate and dipping those darn Oreo truffles into it. Every which way I tried would not work. I did not want a huge pool of chocolate on the bottom of each truffle. I finally decided to take my clean hands and go straight for the chocolate. With tons of melted chocolate on my hands I took the Oreo truffle and gently rolled them around so they would have chocolate all over. It was very messy and I was really wishing I had latex free gloves to use. I think the chocolate would work better with the gloves. Later that night, I realized a toothpick inserted into a truffle would probably have worked. It would allow the chocolate to drip nicely off the Oreo truffle. I’ll save that for next time.
After letting them sit and harden, I finally tried one. Everything I had been feeling earlier about the truffles melted away. They were amazing! It was worth all the swearing.
Mom, I’m done and will go work on the sugar cookies.
- 1 Package Oreo Cookies
- 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 2 bags Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 12 oz good-quality white chocolate, chopped (optional)
- red and green food coloring (optional)
- Add Oreos and cream cheese to food processor. Pulse 2-3 minutes until sticky and shiny.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or more to harden.
- Roll into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate till chocolate is ready.
- Stir the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts.
- Coat Oreo balls in chocolate, place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- If using… Melt white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Transfer to two bowls.
- Add the green food coloring to one of the bowls with the white chocolate. Use as much as you like to get the color you want. Do the same for the red food coloring. Drizzle over the truffles.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: slightly adapted from The Culinary Couple
Have you ever looked at the sugar content in store bought eggnog? I don’t even want to talk about how much sugar is in it, it’s mind blowing. Even the “light” eggnog has a lot. My husband is diabetic and enjoying one of his favorite drinks during the holidays, has been hard. That’s where SPLENDA® and I come in. Making eggnog is very simple and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. If you can devote about 10-15 minutes of stirring at the stove, than you can make this.
The recipe says it takes around 5-8 minutes for the temperature of the milk mixture to get to 175 degrees on low. But I’ve found that it takes a little longer and I kicked up the heat to medium-low. When you see the milk mixture start getting thicker, then you know you are getting close to the 175 degree mark. The hardest part about making eggnog is waiting for it to get cold so you can enjoy a glass.
- 1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 7 egg yolks
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups fat-free half and half
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Mix together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Set aside.
- Whisk egg yolks. Add to SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener mixture whisking until blended. Gradually whisk in milk.
- Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the temperature reaches 175 degrees approximately (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in half and half; cool.
- Cover and chill 3 hours or up to 3 days. Stir in vanilla extract just before serving.
Source: Slightly adapted from Splenda Site Recipe
This time of year, one of the most popular cookies is the thumbprint cookie. There are so many different recipes out there and it’s hard to choose which one is the best. I’ve made several different kinds and I think Ina’s cookies are the best. They are a shortbread based cookie which lends a nice flakiness to the cookies. Once the dough is chilled they are rolled into balls and dipped into coconut. The coconut does not overpower the cookies. People who don’t like coconut, generally like these. Just ask my son who kept saying ewww when I was making them.
I ended up bringing them to a cub scout Christmas party and learned that the raspberry flavor was the most popular. All I had leftover were several apricots. Which is fine with me, I have leftovers!
Jam Thumbprint Cookies:
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- Raspberry and/or apricot jam ( I used sugar free)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
About 4 years ago I saw Giada De Laurentiis make these holiday biscotti on her show. I was always a little fearful of making biscotti and I have no idea why. These are so easy to make, but take a little extra time because they have bake twice. I made the biscotti as soon as I saw the recipe and added them to my regular holiday baking list. Everyone raves about them and it won’t be Christmas without having a plate of biscotti. I am sitting here and asking myself why I only make them during the holidays. The only thing that makes them “holiday”‘ biscotti are the red and green sugar crystals sprinkled on the white chocolate. Take those away and they are regular biscotti to be made all year round. I will probably start doing that.
Note: Please use really good white chocolate, like Baker’s, which can be found in every grocery store. I’ve found that using the white chocolate chips can be stressful. I’ve tried many times using just the chips only to have the white chocolate seize up on me. But using good white chocolate and chopping it up with a knife before melting, always works for me. I use the double boiler method. I take a glass bowl and place it over a pot of low simmering water. Works every time!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
- Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
- Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet.(Lightly wet your hands while you form the dough, it will make it easier)Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
- Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
- Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.
- The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network
Have you seen these little gems yet? Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses are now one of my favorite holiday candies. They have bits of candy cane in them which was a nice surprise to me. My mother-in-law got a bag this week and we noticed on the back of the package is a cookie recipe. I knew this was something I must try.
My son and I had a great time making the cookies. This recipe is perfect for the kids! You don’t need a fancy mixer. Use your standard hand held blender and a spoon. He had so much fun rolling the dough and rolling it in the sugar crystals. One thing I recommend is to wait at least 3 minutes, or a little more, to put the kisses in the middle of cookie after baking. I was a little anxious with my first batch and the kisses melted a bit too much for my liking. With the second batch I patiently waited and they turned out much better. I know you will enjoy these cookies as much as we are right now.
Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses Cookies:
- 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Candy Cane Mint Candies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Red or green sugar crystals, granulated sugar or powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F. Remove wrappers from candies.
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar or a combination of any of the sugars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.
Source: Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses