Monthly Archives: December 2013

Garlic and Onion Cheese Ball

Easy Cheese Ball Recipe; Garlic and onion makes a tasty and easy cheese ball recipe.

Garlic and Onion Cheese Ball from Jen's Favorite CookiesI have a couple friends that I have known since the dawn of time.  Friends who knew me when, and who forgave me anyway.

These awesome friends make sure we keep in touch with regular face-to-face visits, even though we are each about 45 minutes away from one another.  I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have friends like that.

We meet together about once a month, and we scrapbook or do a craft, or just talk and eat.

We always eat.  My friends make some fantastic grub, y’all.

I all out stole this cheese ball recipe from my awesome friend April.  Honestly, as much as I love cheese, I’ve had a hard time finding a cheese ball that really gets the job done.  This one is my hands-down favorite.  She always makes it for us on New Years Eve, and I always look forward to devouring it.

Garlic and Onion Cheese Ball from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Our New Years Eve party is one of the few things the three of us bring our husbands to.  Our guys get to listen to us reminisce, and make fun of each other, and give one another parenting advice that will probably never be used.  Lucky guys, right? Continue reading “Garlic and Onion Cheese Ball” »

Top Posts of 2013

Popular posts of 2013, and family favorites!

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2013 from Jen's Favorite CookiesThis year has been pretty good to me, I can’t lie.  This blog has grown pretty substantially, and I have had a TON of fun working on it.

Which is good, because I have also worked really hard.  Without getting into too many boring details, I’ll say I set some massive goals last January, and while I didn’t achieve them exactly, I am on the path to achieving them, which is nothing to sneeze at.

I saw this picture early in the year, and immediately set it as the wallpaper on my phone.  It seemed strangely appropriate.

 

Best Year Yet

*Picture from KatieLicht.tumblr.com*

So I guess this makes it time for me to get all sentimental about the past year, and all hopeful and creative about the year to come.

I’ll start by sharing the posts you seemed to love the most.  These are the posts with the most pageviews in the past year.  If you missed any of these, you might want to check them out, because people are voting for these recipes with their clicks.

TOP TEN MOST VIEWED RECIPES OF 2013:

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2013 from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Twix-Cheesecake-Bars-4
10. Twix Cheesecake Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

These cheesecake bars are so rich and delicious.  I used a shortbread crust (since that’s what Twix does!) and used both Twix bars and Rolos in the cheesecake.  It’s an absolutely decadent dessert, albeit one which requires small bites.

graham cracker cc cookies thumb2  
9. Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were yummy, I’ll admit it.  I never did add this recipe to my “Most Popular” page, not because it didn’t do well on Pinterest, but because my pin counts got all messed up.  So, even though I’m certain this recipe has been pinned more than 3000 times, it looks like it’s been pinned about 45 times.  It’s confusing at best, and appears dishonest at worst, so I never added it to the Most Popular Posts.  Don’t let that stop you, though.  The cookies are fun, and perfect all year around.

key lime dip thumb
8. Key Lime Fruit Dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family ate this stuff to our hearts delight.  It’s a touch on the runny side, but it tastes so wonderful on strawberries, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for that.  This is a fabulous choice for a summer picnic or barbecue.  It’s also great with vanilla wafers.  My son, The Fruitarian, was literally circling and drooling as I photographed this, just waiting to devour it.

protein shake recipes
7. Chocolate Protein Shake

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit of a divergence from my normal butt-widening fare, but this protein shake deserves its popularity.  It does have a fair amount of sugar and calories, but if you must have a protein shake, you’ll honestly be happiest with this one.  Robb asks for them quite frequently, especially when he has been lifting weights.  Both my sons are taking a weight lifting class at school next semester, so I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot more of them. Continue reading “Top Posts of 2013” »

Sweet Popcorn Glaze

Learn how to make sweet popcorn;  This sweet popcorn recipe is quick and easy, and not too sweet.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite CookiesWe are a popcorn family.  I probably buy an 8-pound tub of unpopped kernels at Costco every other month.  My kids sometimes forget that microwave popcorn even exists.  We usually eat it air-popped with just butter and salt, but sometimes I soup it up and make it sweet.  This easy glaze is one of my favorite stand-by’s.  It’s easy, quick, and basically impossible to ruin.

I’ve made this simple popcorn glaze for many a holiday party.  I don’t want you to think it’s just for the holidays, though.  It’s also perfect for basically any occasion or get together.

Game days, birthdays, even summer barbeques are better with sweet popcorn.

Movie days are better with sweet popcorn.

Wednesdays are better with sweet popcorn.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

What is it about butter and sugar that is so fantastic?  Think about it.  Did you ever eat something made primarily with butter and sugar that didn’t taste like heavenly sweetness?  Me either.

If you get this popcorn recipe right, it should taste sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s not cooked long enough to be caramelized; it has a very simple flavor.  It’s actually quite similar to kettle corn.

I’ve included a small recipe here, but it is easy to double or triple if you have a crowd.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

This popcorn also keeps easily for a couple days, so it’s great to package up as gifts.

And by the way, if you’re looking for more ways to fancy up your popcorn, I’ve got them.  I’m all about fancy popcorn.  On this site, I have recipes for butterscotch popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, oreo popcorn; I’ve made peppermint popcorn, I’ve even added popcorn to the krispie treats.

Scroll to the bottom of the post to find easy links to all these recipes.

Sweet Popcorn Glaze from Jen's Favorite Cookies

And if you ever want my recipe for perfect plain-old butter and salt popcorn, just ask!

 

Sweet-popcorn-glaze-2
Print

Sweet Popcorn Glaze

A simple butter and sugar popcorn treat.

Servings 4
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn. (I use an air popper, but any method is fine.)

  2. On the stove, melt the butter. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Boil about 2 minutes.

    Add water and stir well. Quickly pour over popped corn, and toss to coat.

  3. Chill the popcorn in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before serving.

How to Make Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies

How make sugar cookies;  The best sugar cookies recipes use this secret ingredient!  Learn how make sugar cookies perfectly.

How to Make the Perfect Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite CookiesThese cookies are my all-time fav for basically every single holiday.  Seriously, they’re like your favorite pair of black pumps, they go with everything.

Valentines Day?  Heart shaped cutter and pink frosting.
St. Patricks Day?  Shamrock cutter and green frosting.
4th of July?  Star shaped cutter and white frosting with red and blue sprinkles.
Your dog’s birthday?  Bone shaped cutter and make the frosting your dog’s favorite color.

Wait, dog’s don’t see in color.  Or is that horses?

While these are popular at any holiday, at our house, they are an inarguable MUST at Christmas.

Over the years, I have taken my mother’s long-time favorite sugar cookie recipe, and perfected the details.  These cookies are soft, never crumbly, and the cream cheese frosting is decadent, creamy, but never too oily.  While the recipe itself is heavenly, it is the process that makes them absolutely perfect.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

And so, it is the process I’ll be discussing today.  Below are your rules for making the perfect soft sugar cookies, the ones your friends will remember for years and years.  (Mine do.)

RULE #1: Follow the recipe exactly.

Those of you who do more cooking than baking may need to be reminded that when baking, you must measure.  You must be precise.  You don’t add flour until it looks about right, you add the exact amount of flour called for.

While normally I respect the choice of anyone to use butter or shortening more or less interchangeably, in this case, I strongly strongly recommend you use the shortening.  My apologies to the Europeans who can’t find the stuff.  Butter melts easier, which means your cookies will spread more, the consistency will change, and they may not turn out as well as hoped.  If you absolutely must use butter, honestly, you might want to scour the interwebs for a recipe that calls for butter.

My very favorite thing about this recipe, the secret ingredient if you will, is the sour cream.  It is the secret to success.  Sour cream makes these cookies so soft and creamy, they are even amazing to eat frozen.

RULE #2:  Chill the dough for 8 hours or more.

If you ever get impatient and think you’re going to chill for only 2-3 hours, you are going to regret it.  This particular recipe needs, NEEDS, the full 8-10 hours of chill time.  Personally, I chill the dough overnight before cutting.

Chilling the dough does two things.  One is that it gives the ingredients time to combine, time to become one, time to taste even more amazing.  The second is that it changes the texture of the dough.  The dough needs to be cold when you roll it out, and cold when it goes in the oven.  This will make the cutting clean and keep the cookies from spreading too far.

Plus, once you see the finished dough, you’ll know there is no way you can roll this dough without chilling it first.

RULE #3:  Roll the dough on a non-stick surface.

I’m hoping this one goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.

If you are really passionate about preserving the softness of your cookies, you can roll the dough between two layers of wax paper.  However, I normally roll them on a floured countertop.  A WELL floured countertop.  It’s imperative the dough doesn’t stick to your rolling surface, because the cookies will not maintain their shape or thickness otherwise.

june-12-random-3june-12-random-2june-12-random-4

RULE #4:  Roll the dough to the correct thickness.

If this post only had one rule, it would be this one.  This is the absolute, total, and complete secret to well-made sugar cookies.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT roll them too thin!  I find it’s a tendency of most people to roll the dough thinner than it needs to be.  The dough should be thicker than 1/4 inch.  Mine is generally somewhere between 1/4 – 1/2 inch.  Let’s call it 3/8 inch.

If the cookies are too thin, they will be crispy.  The edges will be brown, and have a tendency to break off.  They will lose all of the gorgeous softness that makes these cookies great.

Of course, if they are too thick, they can have different problems, like spreading too much and not being cooked through in the center.

If you are going to take care during just one step of the process, make it this step.  Dough thickness is key.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

RULE #5:  Don’t overwork the dough.

Get as many cookies as you can out of each roll.  You can gather and re-roll the leftover dough pieces, but be aware that the more you do this, the chewier the cookies will be.  The added flour (from the floured countertop) and the added working activates the gluten and turns your cookies into bread.  Which no one wants.  Trust me on this.

Instead of more rolling, I like to use up the little scraps with little cookie cutters like these.  I love these cute little 1-inch cutters!  And instead of frosting a bunch of little cookies, you can make the frosting a little thin (by adding more milk or using less powdered sugar) and just dip the cookies in it.  It’s fun, and kids love it.

Normally, I roll half the dough, and re-roll it once.  Then I start with the second half, and re-roll it once.  What is left from both halves is combined for a third and final roll.  Any dough left after that is eaten raw.  Because this might be the best raw cookie dough in the history of humanity.

RULE #6:  Trust the timer.

This one is actually a little tough, because altitude and some other factors can affect baking time.  I live in Utah, at an altitude of about 4500 feet.  Technically, this is a high altitude environment.  You may have to experiment just a little to get your baking time right.  Mine bake for 10 minutes exactly.  (Unless they’re tiny, then they bake for 8 minutes) Once you’re certain of the baking time, stick with it.

The reason I’m telling you this is that these bake slightly differently than an average cookie.  When I make chocolate chip cookies, I make sure the edges and tops are just ever-so-slighly browned before I take them out of the oven.  But sugar cookies are a different story.  If they get brown, in my opinion, they’re overdone.  There’s really no clear visual cue to when the cookies are done.  Trust your timer, pull them out at the right time, and don’t let them get brown.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

RULE #7:  Make the frosting soft and creamy.

First of all, the cream cheese and butter both need to be soft when you make the frosting.  Plan accordingly.  Maybe when you put the dough in the fridge, it’s a good time to take the cream cheese and butter out, and set the on the countertop to soften.

As much as I love mixing things simply, in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon, to make this frosting smooth, I recommend using beaters.  The small hand held electric beaters work great for this, much better than a spoon could ever do.

You can also adjust the texture of your frosting quite easily by adding more powdered sugar or more milk.  I like the frosting a little on the soft side to match the softness in the cookies.  I find that when I use a piping bag, I tend to use much more frosting than if I just spread it on with a knife, so if you’re planning to pipe the frosting, you may want to double the recipe.

RULE #8:  Store in an airtight container.

Once the cookies cool, you can frost them right away.  If you’re not going to frost them within an hour or so, though, put them in an airtight container, and make sure they are sealed up tight.  Even large plastic zipper bags will do.

After frosting, if you want to use sprinkles, do it quickly.  After you’re done frosting, let the cookies sit out for an hour or so, to let the frosting sit and harden a little.  After that, there are a couple choices.

CHOICE #1: Place the cookies on a baking sheet or tray, in a single layer, (I can fit about 14-15 cookies on a baking sheet) and freeze them.  Once frozen, put them in your airtight box with wax paper between layers.  Then keep the box in the fridge or freezer.  These cookies are fantastic frozen, but if you prefer them at room temperature, take them out of the freezer 60-90 minutes before serving.

CHOICE #2: (The faster choice)  Skip the freezing, and just layer your cookies in your airtight box with wax paper between each layer.  The down side here is that without freezing first, the wax paper will smush the frosting and all the work you did to make them pretty will go to waste.

If you’re going to eat your cookies within a day or two, you can leave them on the countertop with no problems.  If they need to last longer, keep them in the fridge or freezer.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Is that enough rules?  Honestly, it seems like a lot of rules, but these cookies are sooooo worth it.  They’re just so soft and creamy and wonderful.  I know a lot of people use royal icing or a simple glaze on their cookies (my mom uses a lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze) but there is just nothing that can compare to cream cheese frosting.

I hope you enjoy these cookies, and please feel free to leave questions or comments below.  I will try to answer all questions!

Soft Sugar Cookies
5 from 3 votes
Print

Soft Sugar Cookies

A simple soft sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 dozen
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour (+ more for rolling)

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 drops food coloring (optional)

Instructions

For Cookies:

  1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Add salt, soda, and baking powder, and mix well. Add flour, and mix just until combined.

  3. Wrap dough tightly in plastic, or place in a plastic zipper bag, and chill 8-10 hours or overnight.

  4. Roll dough to ⅜-inch thickness and cut out shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

For Frosting:

  1. Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Frost cooled cookies.

  2. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper. Will keep best if refrigerated or frozen.

 

Homemade Caramels

Welcome to Day #6 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Cake Boss Baking. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite CookiesOf all the various kinds of food creation out there, candy making has got to be the hardest.  And hence, I only rarely make candy.

I make some pseudo-candies throughout the year, but at Christmas, we have to have homemade caramels.

My family never made homemade caramels, so I learned this tradition from Robb when we were married oh so many years ago.  He usually makes the caramels, but in recent years I have been his loyal assistant.  This year, I decided to go it alone, the result of which was that I basically ruined an entire batch of caramels.

It was extraordinarily disappointing, to say the least.

I over cooked the candy, and they turned out hard as a rock.  Worse than Sugar Daddies.  I’m not sure my big kitchen knife will cut them.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

I’m telling you this story not to scare you away from candy making.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I want you to remember that candy making doesn’t always go perfectly, and if your batch doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, try, try again.  Practice makes perfect.  You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.  All that jazz.

It takes practice.  And since I only make caramels once a year, I’m a little rusty.  But I’m going to give you all my best tips and tricks here.

Well, Robb’s best tips and tricks, really.  He’s much more experienced at caramel making than I.

 

First, if you have one, use a candy thermometer.  The candy should be at a temperature of 248F when you pour it out.

Second, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can use the cold-water-in-a-dish method, which is what we usually do.

Here’s how it works.  You’ll put all your ingredients in a pot, and stir pretty much constantly for 12-15 minutes.  Once you get to the 11-12 minute mark, you can start testing.  Drip a little of the caramel into very cold water.  Add an ice cube or two to be sure this water is cold.  Use your fingers to pinch the caramel into one glob.  If the glob is the consistency you want for your caramels, it’s ready.  Most likely, it will take a few tries of dripping caramel into water to get to the right consistency.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Remember that once it gets close to reaching its final temperature, it changes consistency very quickly, and the longer it cooks, the harder it gets.   A minute or even a few seconds can mean the difference between perfect caramels and caramels that are too soft or too hard to be enjoyed.

Homemade Caramels from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Once you get the hang of these caramels, your family will thank you!

cakebossbaking

Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Cake Boss Baking. Cake Boss Baking is the new branded bake ware from Buddy Valastro, the talented chef and baker behind the TLC TV show, “Cake Boss”. Cake Boss Baking features a full line of cake pans, decorating tools, dessert plates and more, with product for all levels of expertise.

Cake Boss Baking is offering one #ChristmasWeek reader the opportunity to win a prize package full of baking tools and essentials {ARV: $260}, including:

To enter, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below!

***This giveaway is for one Cake Boss Baking baking essentials prize pack (details listed above)! This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only . When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More great candies you might enjoy:

gumdropsHomemade
Gumdrops
Pretzel-Toffee-5Pretzel
Toffee
mint-sandwiches-4Mint
Sandwiches

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Caramels
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade caramel candies
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2¼ cups (or 1 pound) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Using a heavy saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk, and stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring almost constantly, for about 12-15 minutes, until temperature reaches firm ball stage, about 248F / 119C.
  4. Pour into a 9x13 pan which has been either lined with parchment paper or heavily buttered.
  5. Let cool until completely set, about 3-4 hours. Cut into pieces and wrap in wax paper.

 More Christmas Week Recipes you might enjoy:

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Welcome to Day #4 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Swissmar. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Pumpkin Chiffon PieI am quite literally the Queen of Procrastination.

Here is my list of things to do before Robb returns from his business trip:

Clean the house.
Do the laundry.
Pay the bills.
Make dessert.

Well, one out of four ain’t bad, right?

Truth is, the only reason I got the dessert made is that it is no bake, and uses a pre-made graham cracker crust, so I threw the whole thing together in about 5 minutes.

No exaggeration.  FIVE MINUTES.  A 6-year old could make this recipe.

It’s definitely going on my list of fastest and easiest dessert recipes EVER.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Since it’s Christmas Week and all,  there are a couple things you should know.

First, there are lots of fantastic Christmas recipes being shared for this event.  The recipes for today are listed at the very bottom of this post.  Go visit them all, and you’ll find some fantastic holiday treats!

Second, there are giveaways every day for this event!  For example, on Monday we opened a giveaway for a Magimix food processor giveaway.  You can enter to win that prize by clicking here.

And today’s giveaway is a Swissmar Roaster!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Swissmar. Le Cordon Bleu has been a worldwide leader in gastronomy and hospitality for over 100 years and are widely considered the guardian of French culinary technique. Swissmar now combines this culinary expertise with their own knowledge and brand recognition to introduce this fantastic new line.

The Le Cordon Bleu ceramic ovenware from Swissmar are all freezer safe, oven safe, dishwasher and microwave safe. The French-inspired Charmant Collection 5 qt. Rectangular Roaster has scalloped edges and is beautiful enough to go straight from oven to table! To enter to win a Swissmar Roaster, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below!

***This giveaway is for one Swissmar Charmant Collection 5 qt. Rectangular Roaster (winner’s choice of color: blue, yellow, red, or white)! This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only . When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie for #ChristmasWeek
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A no bake light and fluffy pumpkin pie in a graham cracker crust.
Author:
Recipe type: Pie
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6-8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz) vanilla or lemon pudding mix
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • 1 graham cracker crust
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except crust together until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Pour into a graham cracker crust, and chill for 30 minutes or longer before serving.

More Christmas Week recipes:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Magimix by Robot-Coupe. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies from Jen's Favorite CookiesI’m a little disturbed by how far we are into December.  I mean, I’m still working on getting my decorations up and I’ve barely even begun my shopping.

Not to mention being prepared for holiday parties and lunch with friends.

This could be a problem.

In case you haven’t figured this out, I’m not one of those people who is uber-prepared and has the tree up on Thanksgiving Day, and all the shopping done by Halloween.  Not at all.  I’m more of a deal-with-one-crisis-at-a-time kind of person.

Except when there’s cookies involved.  The thing is, sometimes a girl just needs a chocolate cookie, and it can’t wait until I’ve dug out the holiday music and put the Christmas centerpiece on the table.

Luckily, this recipe is so quick and easy, you don’t have to wait.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

I hope you don’t get the wrong idea from all my complaining.  The truth is, I love Christmas.  I love all the holiday cheer, and twinkle lights, and music, and of course, the baked goods. Continue reading “Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies” »

Mint Sandwiches and Holiday Food Party

Chocolate Mint Candy; These easy candies are made with layers of chocolate and mint.

Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite CookiesThis December is shaping up to be  an… umm… exciting one.  For lack of a better word.

After spending Thanksgiving recovering from pneumonia, which is, by the way, one of the least pleasant experiences I have ever had, my kids also got sick, my husband left town on a business trip and then my fridge died.

Merry Christmas, right?

I spent my week shopping for refrigerators and not for groceries, and running all my fridge-purchase-decision-questions past Robb over the phone.

Ugh.

And thus, this week’s dessert is simple, easy, and requires no refrigeration.

Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite Cookies

If you haven’t yet, it’s time you met my friends!

I love spending the holidays with my friends, and we love sharing our favorite holiday treats with you.  Check out all the amazing recipes we came up with for this party!

Just click on each photo to jump to the recipes.

Christmas Food Party on Jen's Favorite Cookies

Red Velvet Parfait from Cravings of a Lunatic Cranberry & Brie Bites from Crumb Blog Soft Gingerbread Cookies from Roxana's Home Baking Coconut Spice Cake from Magnolia Days Gingerbread Biscotti from Created By Diane Caramel Biscoff Blossoms from That Skinny Chick Can Bake Mint Sandwiches from Jen's Favorite Cookies White Chocolate Cranberry Layer Cake from Pineapple and Coconut Candy Cane Kiss Brownies from Chocolate Moosey Triple Chocolate Buche de Noel from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle from Hungry Couple NYC Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars from Chocolate, Chocolate, and More

My Grandfather used to give all the girls in the family a box of mint sandwiches for Christmas, so this recipe holds nice memories for me.  To make life easy, I used candy melts like those in the links below.  If you want a nicer quality candy, you could splurge on better quality chocolate.

Either way, these simple candies make such a wonderful and memorable holiday treat!

More simple minty treats you’ll love:

chocolatePeppermint Bark fudge with candy canesPeppermint Fudge chocolate mintMint Popcorn Bark

 

Mint Sandwiches and Holiday Food Party
 
Simple chocolate and mint sandwiches.
Author:
Recipe type: Candy
Ingredients
  • 24 oz. chocolate candy melts
  • 12 oz. green candy melts
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Melt 12 oz. chocolate. You can do this on the stove on low or medium heat, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each.
  2. Pour melted chocolate onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread out evenly, and let cool.
  3. Once first layer is set, (about 10-20 minutes) melt green candy for the second layer. Once melted, quickly stir in peppermint extract. Pour over first layer, and spread evenly. Let cool and set.
  4. Melt remaining chocolate candy, and spread over green layer. Let set.
  5. Use a large knife to cut candy into squares.

 chocolate mint candy

Eggnog Dip

Recipes that use eggnog;  This easy dip recipes uses eggs and nutmeg for an authentic eggnog flavor.

I was compensated by Safest Choice Eggs to create this eggnog recipe, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

Eggnog Dip from Jen's Favorite CookiesFunny thing about eggnog, people seem to love it or hate it, there are not many in between.

Growing up, my family would occasionally make a no-cook blender eggnog, which I always loved.   Now that I am an adult, there is something about watching raw eggs go in the blender and then get poured into my glass which is, shall we say, a little off-putting.

Raw eggs… Salmonella… ewww.

Recently, I discovered a solution to my problem.  One gorgeous product that ends the need for being squeamish at the idea of drinking raw eggs.  It’s the eggnog lovers dream come true.

The miracle product is… Davidson’s Safest Choice All-Natural Pasteurized Eggs.

That’s right, pasteurized eggs.  They have a water bath process which eliminates the salmonella and makes them totally safe to eat raw or undercooked.

Eggnog Dip from Jen's Favorite Cookies

As I am committed to only baking with items I can find in the grocery store, I feel the need to share this one piece of information.  Safest Choice Eggs can be found in regular grocery stores, but they are not yet in all parts of the country.  To find out whether you can get these eggs in your neck of the woods, go to their website and type in your zip code. Continue reading “Eggnog Dip” »

November Wrap-Up

Monthly recap for November 2013.

November Wrap UpI’m not going to lie, November was a rough month for me.  Since my family was sick (and I was the sickest of them all!) it was pretty tough for me to get much blogging done.

However, the things I did post this month were a lot of fun for me.  Some of them are my new favorite recipes!

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in November, in case you missed anything.

 

chocolate-banana-bread-6 Chocolate Banana Bread

This delicious bread disappeared in no time
flat at my house.  It tastes amazing with
a little peanut butter and honey!

zucchini-spears-13 Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Spears

My very first wordless recipe!  I showed you
how to make these delicious baked zucchini
spears with only photos.

pumpkin-spice-nanaimo-bars-5 Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

This is another recipe I couldn’t keep my
hands off of!  These no-bake bars are one
of my new personal favorite recipes.

Eggnog-Cookies-6 Eggnog Cookies

I made four cookies for Cookie Week this
month.  These Eggnog Cookies were delicious
and quite popular as well, quickly earning a
place on my “popular post” page.

peppermint-thumbprints-7 Peppermint Thumbprints

I couldn’t let Cookie Week go by without
making something peppermint.  These minty
cream cheese cookies are filled with chocolate.

linzer-cookies-6 Linzer Cookies

These are so beautiful, and they were a big
hit with our family at Thanksgiving.  The almond
cookies are filled with plum jelly and sprinkled
with powdered sugar.

giant-ginger-6 Giant Ginger Cookies

My last Cookie Week cookie is also the very
first recipe I ever posted on this blog.  These
cookies are fantastically delicious, and definitely
deserved a second look!

peppermint-cocoa-4 Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Once my family started getting sick, I made
this easy slow cooker hot chocolate, with
peppermint and marshmallows, to soothe all
the sore throats.

apple-pie-bars-5 Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

I used Honey Bunches of Oats to make a crust
for these delicious apple cheesecake bars.
Robb couldn’t keep his hands off these bars,
and he tells me they are his new favorite!

Christmas Cookies -2 100+ Christmas Cookies

This is a cookie blog, after all, so I created for
you a collection of more than 100 amazing
cookie recipes that will be perfect for the
holidays.

 

In addition to all these fun recipes, I also contributed a recipe for Easy Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread to My Cooking Spot this month.  It barely qualifies as cornbread, it’s a lot more like cake, but it has been a big hit in the neighborhood!

I’ve been putting together this great Pinterest board called Cookie Favorites, and asked some of my blogging friends to contribute to it as well.  This is a great resource for cookie recipe ideas!  If you’re not following this board yet, you can find it here.

Want a sneak peek of what’s coming in December?  More fun with Eggnog; a holiday party with my friends; and Christmas Week!  (and that’s just the first half of December!)