Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I love the Christmas season. It is that time of the year where people give back to the less fortunate and shower their loved ones with gifts and affection.

I love to buy things for my family and see their faces when they open each and every gift.

Yes, I love this holiday. Yet there is one thing that I love the most. I love desserts and treats.

Thanksgiving is the time where perfect my side dishes and come up with new side dish recipes, but for Christmas… Christmas is the time when I break out the flour, eggs and sugar and get cracking on all sorts of Christmas goodies.

 I get to experiment with all types of flavors and ideas. Chocolate always makes an appearance but I don't stop there. Sometimes I get tropical by adding bananas, pineapples and mangoes to everything from cheesecake, cookies and cupcakes.

There is no stopping the limits to the goodies that I can produce. My favorite and my traditional treat are Christmas cookies. Everyone loves a good Christmas cookie so I spent all year perfecting new recipes discovering new flavors that can go together to make incredible cookies.

Last year I discovered that I love the taste of chocolate and cherries together. Not that it was a new experience, but I had not had a really good cookie that combined the two extremely well. That is until I discovered the delicious flavor that can be when you mix white chocolate and cherries. So I came up with an incredible cookie that I will love to share with you.


Here is my favorite cookie recipe.
White Chocolate Cherry Cookies  
1 cup or 2 sticks of softened butter   
1 cup of packed brown sugar             
1 cup of granulated sugar                     
2 large eggs                                                
1 teaspoon of vanilla                              
3  cups all purpose flour                            
1 teaspoon of baking soda                  
½ teaspoon of salt                                       
¾ cup of dried cherries   
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and beat until just combined.  Set aside. Sift together flour soda and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture in thirds. Fold in white Chocolate and dried cherries. Do not over mix. Drop 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy in a bowl. Mix in food coloring and cocoa powdered paste to the creamed butter. In a bowl, whisk together eggs with buttermilk and add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla, and then add flour and baking soda in by thirds gradually. Mix until combined but do not over mix.
Butter two round cake pans. Pour half of the batter into each and smooth the top to even the batter out. Bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.
When cakes are cooled, top bottom layer with whatever frosting you like.  Top the top layer with frosting and serve.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 can of Cherry Pie filling.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cut a hole in the cupcakes. Be sure to keep the tops.  Fill each cupcake with some of the cherry pie filling.  Put the tops back onto the cupcakes.
Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

If your family is anything like my family, there can be lots of stress surrounding the holidays. It can make you so stressed and so overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do that sometimes you just don't do any of it. Trust me I feel your pain. I too have suffered from the stress. But I've come up with a few ways to get rid of some extra stress. Here are some of my tips to help make things a little easier.

1.) Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

– To try to do everything yourself. If you have friends children or that has been around give them some of the test to do delegate the work to them. That will take the wraps off of your to do list and give you time to breathe.


2.) Make lists!

– It lessens the stress of the list everything out. Grocery lists chore lists can make things easier. Plus you feel better checking things off the list.


3.) Prepping is key!

– When he comes to that special dinner everything ahead of time planning make Mac & cheese today of? Prep all of your ingredients before the night before. It will save you time and headache the next day.


4.) The store always helps!

– Don't be afraid to take help from the store. You can buy things that are already prepped.  Shorten your prep time for your holiday cooking by utilizing this tip. 


5.) Take time to focus!

– Lastly, take 10 minutes each day to just and do nothing. It helps to clear your mind and get you focused and prepared to check the list.