Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Tags

, , ,

I know you all think I have a sweets problem… Well, I do! ūüėÄ

Hey! It’s Christmas peeps! I’ll check into WWA after the holidays (Weight Watchers¬†Anonymous).

Anyhoo… Last week I was a guest of Amy at This heArt of Mine. I shared one of my favorite Christmas-cookie recipe for Big Soft Ginger Cookies.

They are the best, EVER! No, really… ūüėČ

One of my fondest memories as a child was when my grandpa used to make molasses cookies for us at Christmas time. They were so yummy!¬†I found this ginger cookie recipe at allrecipe.com,¬†and I have to say, it is very close to my grandpa’s recipe. So de-lish!

Trust me, you will not be disappointed with these cookies. We make them every year, and they are always a family fave!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water or orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

To print this recipe click Big Soft Ginger Cookies.

They turn out just perfect. Crispy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside.

MMMM! Can’t you just smell all that ginger goodness!?!

We even made some into little gingerbread men…

These little guys just scream Christmas, yes?

Oh, and your house will smell Di-vinnnne while your baking!.

Go ahead, break out the Christmas music and bake up a batch of Yuletide delight! Your family will love you. For rillzzz! ūüėÄ

Enjoy!

Beaded Wreath Pendant

Tags

, , ,

These little pendants are so cute and so easy to make.

To make these, I used 2 lb fishing line…

And, size 15 beading needle…

And beads, of course! ūüėČ ¬†I used two sizes of beads, 6/0 and 2/0.

To start, I pulled off about 2 feet of the fishing line, (I know it sounds like a lot, but it is better to have too much than not enough! ;)) and threaded the needle (This is the hardest part, I promise! :D)

Then I began adding the beads, alternating large and small beads, until I had 8 large and 8 small beads, leaving about 6 inches for a tail…

Then, I re-threaded all the beads onto to needle, starting with the first bead again…

And then, tightened the line through the beads to form a circle…

To give the wreath a little more stability, I ran the needle through the all the beads once more and then tied a knot in the line.

Next, I added 2 small green, 1 red, and then 2 more green beads.

I threaded the needle into the next small bead, like this…

I added on 2 more small green, 1 red, and 2 small beads, and then threaded the needle into the next small green bead in the circle. I continued on around until I completed the circle, and then tied a knot to secure it.

Next, I added 3 green beads…

(Yes, I realize that there are 4 in the picture… Just do as I say, not as I do, K? ;))

I threaded the needle into the next small bead in the original circle, and then added 3 more green beads. I continued on around to complete the circle, and tied a knot to secure it once again.

Once I had completed the circle, I added some red beads until I had enough to form a loop to hang the wreath on.  I ran the needle through the red beads twice, to make sure it was nice and strong, and then, tied it off and trimmed off the extra line.

The smaller wreath is the one I made a couple of years ago. I made it the same way, just with smaller beads. (Duh! I know! :D)

You can make this pendant any color you like. ¬†I think a clear crystal one would look really sparkley and fun, or maybe an all silver one… So many choices!

I¬†made a red beaded necklace so I could wear my new wreath….

Doesn’t it look all Christmasy and bright?

So festive!

Have a great, Christmas-filled week, peeps!

Linked to these parties.

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

Tags

, , , ,

Well folks, this is a sad time of year for my waist line…

I try to be good, but every year I break down and have¬†absolutely¬†no will power. It doesn’t really help matters when I come across a recipe like this one…

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

 

Now, I love cookies, and I’ve had my fair share of cookies over my lifetime, and I’ve tried all kinds. When I tell you that…

THESE ARE THE BEST COOKIES I’VE EVER EATEN!!!!!

It is true!

I found this recipe at Annie’s Eats¬†via Pinterest. (Annie has a great food blog, and you should¬†definitely¬†check her out!) I knew I was in trouble when I saw the name of this cookie. It is everything a cookie should be. Giant. Double. Chocolate. Hello!

I adapted this recipe just a bit. I kept all the ingredients the same, but I did not make them the full 4 oz of giantness that the recipe calls for. ¬†Believe me when I say, I will be making these into the Goliath cookies that they are¬†destined¬†to be. But, for now, I wanted a Christmas cookie that I could add to a plate with various other cookies, not to be the plate! ūüėÄ

Also, I did not have the dark cocoa, so I just used regular cocoa and they still turned out fab-u-lous!

 

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies¬†adapted from Annie’s Eats.

(Notes in parentheses are mine. ;))

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1¬ľ cup sugar
2 large eggs
¬Ĺ cup dark cocoa powder
2¬ľ cups all-purpose flour
¬ľ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2¬Ĺ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ňö F. ¬†Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. ¬†In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. ¬†Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. ¬†Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. ¬†Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. ¬†Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low-speed just until incorporated. ¬†Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. ¬†*Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined. ¬†*(If using a Kitchen Aid mixer, you may not need to knead by hand.)

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions or divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc. (You can also make a smaller cookie by scooping dough into walnut sized mounds, and flatten slightly.)   Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes for giant cookie. (For the smaller cookie, bake for 8-10 minutes)  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 12, 4 oz sized monster cookies (or a lot of little cookies. ;)).

To print this recipe click Giant Double Chocolate Cookies.

Just look at all that chocolatey gooeyness…

Oh, and if you think you can eat one of these without milk??? Think again, my friends! Just bring the whole jug with you. You will need it! ūüėČ

Please, make my apologies to your waistlines… I know mine needs it!!! ūüėÄ

Enjoy!

Linked to these parties.

Light-Bulb Penguins

Tags

, ,

Last week I showed you how to make snowman ornaments¬†using a light bulb…

Okay, I have one more light-bulb ornament to show you… ¬†promise! (But, if I find another, stinking cute, one to make, then I take no¬†responsibility¬†for the previous statement… :D)

Light-bulb penguins!

I found the idea on Pinterest. The pin came from a website that was in Portuguese,( in English it is called Art of Making.  Thank you Google translator!) but pictures are all you need to see the cute ornaments on the site.

I really liked the penguin, and I knew I could copy it. (I’m the master copy-catter! *wink*wink* ;))

It was pretty easy, and my kid’s even helped make one for themselves (with some assistance.)

I painted the bulbs white the same way I did for the light-bulb snowmen.  I added the ribbon to hang it, but waited until the end to add the hat.

I penciled on the body and then painted it black (or red, if your name is Jonathan. ¬†Did I mention, he’s three???… :)). This is the part the kids helped with, I just instructed them not to paint inside the pencil line.

After the body was dry, I drew on the face, wreath, and then the wings (penguins have wings, right? flippers? Oh! You know what they are!), painted everything, and let it dry.

Finally, I added the hat, just like I did for the snowmen, but no scarf for the penguins, I thought they were cute without it.

Hands down, penguins are my new fave!

They are just so stinking cute!

Have a great rest of the week, peeps!

Linked to these parties.

Oreo Pops

Tags

, , ,

My daughter’s birthday is right around Thanksgiving, and sometimes even falls on Thanksgiving (not this year). So, it’s always hard to find the right time to have a party. This year, she decided she would like to have a friend over, before Thanksgiving, so they could make Oreo pops. (She’s a girl after my own heart!)

I know you’ve seen cake pops. ¬†They are all over the place, and I think they are just adorable, but… I’m not a cake person (unless you are talking cheesecake, then I’m all over it!). If you give me brownies or cookies, I could eat them all day long (no, really… *ahem*…:D).

Anyhoo, when Emily said she wanted to do Oreo pops, I was doing the happy dance (inside, that is).

They come together really fast with 3 ingredients (4 if you count sprinkles).

Oreo Pops

1 bag Oreos
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted (plus 1 Tablespoon Crisco melted with the chocolate) **(Okay, 5 ingredients if you count sprinkles and Crisco! ;))**

Crush the Oreos to make fine crumbs (I use the food processor). Mix crumbs and cream cheese together until dough forms, and the cheese is completely mixed into the crumbs. Form into (walnut sized) balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Chill for 30-60 minutes, or overnight. Poke sucker sticks into balls and dip into the melted chocolate. (We added Wilton food coloring gel to make different colors of chocolate.) If the pops get too soft, and start to fall off the sticks, place back in the frig until they firm up again.  Add sprinkles and allow to dry. (We stuck our Oreo pops into a cheese grater and a colander strainer with a towel wadded underneath, to dry.)

To print this recipe, click Oreo Pops.

(The girls were tearing it up with the goofy eye balls! :))

We make Oreo balls for Christmas every year, but I have to say, the Oreo pops “take the cake” (nice… I know…)! They were so much easier to make than regular Oreo balls because they were easier to dip into the chocolate (because of the sticks, of course).

We decided to make a few Christmas tree pops and I think they turned out kind of cute…

I use this recipe from Allrecipes.com, and I thought it was pretty good (although the kids picked off the icing and just ate the Oreo filling. ;)).

Decorator Frosting from Allrecipes.com

2/3 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
food coloring

Mix everything together with mixer on medium-high until smooth. Decorate as desired.

To print this recipe click Decorator Frosting.

Overall, Emily had a great B-day, and the Oreo pops were a great hit.

Have a great weekend peeps!

Linked to these parties!

Light-Bulb Snowmen

Tags

, ,

Several years ago I made some light-bulb snowmen as gifts for friends and family. I also made a couple for us to keep, one with each of my kids names on them. ¬†Now that we’ve added two more kidos to our brood, I thought I should make a couple more snowmen to complete the set. ūüėČ

I also made one for my daughter’s piano teacher…

I started out by spray painting the light bulbs flat white. I sanded the light bulbs to give them a rough finish so the paint would stick better. (Okay, I won’t lie… I didn’t sand them at first, but then had to go back and sand them, after the first coat of paint kept peeling off. Trust me, sand first! :))

To paint the light bulbs, I used a pizza box with little “X” cut into the box. ¬†Then, I “screwed” in my light bulbs into the little “X”.

My son, Jonathan, asked me when I was going to turn the lights on. (He’s three. :D)

Then I took my light-bulb laden box out to the garage to paint. I covered the floor with taped-together-trash bags (classy, I know…) and went to town with my spray can. After about 3 coats of paint (letting the paint dry in between coats), I turned the bulbs a¬†¬ľ of a turn to make sure the bulbs were evenly coated, and then added a couple of more coats.

After the bulbs were dry, it was time to dress and paint little faces on the snowmen.

First, I added some ribbon to hang the snowmen. I tied the ribbon around the threads of the bulb and added a dot of hot glue to keep it in place.

For the hat I used the thumb of a glove. I also cut an extra strip off the thumb to make a scarf for the snowman.

I poked scissors out the top of my little hat so I could pull the ribbon through, once I put the hat on the snowman.

Then I secured the hat by adding hot glue around the edge of the hat…

And, then added a little pom-pom to the top of the hat.

Now, to put a little life in my snowman…

First, I penciled on the face to see how I liked it…

I held the scarf in place to make sure I liked where the face was going, but I didn’t actually put the scarf on until I was done painting the face and the rest of the body.

After I was done with the face, I moved on to the wreath and then the arms.

Once I had everything the way I liked it, with pencil, I painted it.  Then, added my scarf with a dot of hot glue to keep it in place.

Tied a knot in the end of the ribbon, and my little snowman was ready to hang…

I think he turned out kind of cute! ūüôā

When I made the snowmen for my kids, I used one of their baby socks for the hats and scarfs.

I just love ’em!

Now, my set is complete and my kids won’t fight over who, they think, I love more! ūüôā

Have a great rest of the week, peeps!

Linked to these parties.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

Tags

, , ,

I think it’s obvious… I like cheesecake. ¬†I talk about it all the time… ¬†I mean, ¬†I posted a recipe for Sinful or Guilt-free Cheesecake, and, also made¬†cheesecake in a jar?¬†Yeah, you can say I’ve got it bad…

Well it’s that time of year, again… so here is another goodie for ya, Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake. I think the name says it all.

Di-Vine!

This is basically, the same recipe I used for the Sinful Cheesecake, minus a couple of ingredients, and adding the pumpkin and spices. I got the idea for the topping from Mrs Happy Homemaker.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake  from Lady With the Red Rocker

For crust:
1¬ĺ cups nilla wafer cookies
6 Tablespoon unsalted butter
3 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
Pinch salt

For filling:
3- 8oz pk cream cheese
1-1/3 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†cinnamon
¬ľ teaspoon¬†nutmeg
¬ľ teaspoon¬†ginger
3 eggs

For topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/3 cup pecans

Pre-heat oven to 325¬į.

For crust: Blend together ingredients for crust until crumbly. Press into bottom of 9‚Ä≥¬†spring-form¬†pan. Bake for 8 minutes at 325¬į. (For a softer crust, do not pre-bake.)

For filling: Cream together, cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping bowl a few times. Stir in pumpkin, spices, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each egg. Pour batter into prepared crust in spring-form pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 325¬į, until set in center. After the cheesecake is done baking, leave cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour with door slightly open. Prepare topping.

For topping: In a sauce pan combine brown sugar and butter, stir over low-medium heat until bubbly. Stir in whipping cream and nuts. Pour hot topping over cheesecake and chill for 4 to 8 hours, or overnight, before removing the spring-form ring. Store in refrigerator.

To print this recipe click Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake.

Look at all that caramelly goodness on top!

Enjoy!

Have a great Thanksgiving, every-peeps!

Linked to these parties.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Tags

, , ,

Since Thanksgiving is next week, (WHAT!?! *Panic mode setting in*…) I thought I would do a recipe for one of my favorite pies. ¬†Peanut Butter!

I don’t normally add onions to my peanut butter pie, but…

I wanted to show you a cool trick that I learned from Pinterest (Love that place!). The pin came from Homemade Serenity.

Okay, maybe I’m the last person on earth to know this, (No laughing!) but… did you know that after you cut off the green stems from green onions, you can put the roots in a cup of water and they will sprout again!?! ¬†How cool is that!?!

I added water everyday, because the onions really sucked up the water! (It could be because I used a small cup of water, I dunno…) I also¬†changed the water once or twice during the week, and rinsed off the roots.

Here are my onions after I first cut them…

The first picture was after a weeks worth of growth.

I thought it was pretty cool, anyways! (It doesn’t take much, I know… :D)

Okay, now on to the Peanut Butter Pie!!! (No, there aren’t any onions in this recipe… promise! ;))

This is actually a combination of the peanut butter pie that my mom used to make, and one from Martha. It turned out so stinking yummy! ¬†(How can you go wrong with Martha? I know… Right?)

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie (adapted from Martha.)

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (from about 36 cookies)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/3 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted, for decorating

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wafer crumbs, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Press mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. (If you want a softer crust, do not bake the crust.)
  2. Make the filling: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and salt with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla.
  3. Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whisk 1/3rd of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream. Spoon filling into cooled crust. Freeze, uncovered, at least 4 hours or overnight, covered with plastic wrap. (I froze mine at first, but then stored it in the frig after the pie was set.) 
  4. *Place melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag. Snip tip from one corner of bag to make a very small opening. Holding bag about 5 inches above pie, drizzle melted chocolate over top. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Click Here to print this recipe.

*Here is a little tip I learned somewhere along the way…
After melting the chocolate, (I do mine in the micro at 50% power, in 30 sec intervals) place a plastic baggie in a cup and fold it down over the sides. Then spoon the chocolate into the baggie.  The cup holds the baggie open so it is easier to spoon in the melted chocolate.

Now, just snip the corner of your baggie, and drizzle away.

If you are pinched for time, you can substitute the whipping cream for an 8 oz tub of whipped topping. (I prefer the whipping cream. Just sayn’…)

So yummy!

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving is sooo close, better start thawing your turkeys! ūüėÄ

Linked to these parties.

Philly Cheese-Steak Sloppy Joes

Tags

, ,

I’m not much of a sloppy-joes kind of girl, so I was a little skeptical when I made these, but I have to say, they were so good! ¬†We just found a new family fave. ūüėČ

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
(Adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking from Rachael Ray)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
¬ľ cup¬†steak sauce
1 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
dash garlic powder
4 dinner rolls

Cheese Sauce (I doubled this, and we had some left over…;))

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone, shredded

In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and then brown the ground beef, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender. Stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and simmer until most of the moister cooks into the meat, about 5-10 minutes.

Split open rolls and remove most of the soft insides, leaving a bed to hold the meat mixture. Toast the rolls and set aside.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir the cheese.

To serve, place a spoonful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

Click Here to print this recipe.

Just look at all that cheesy goodness!

Yumm-O! (In honor of Rachael Ray! :D)

Have a great week peeps!

Linked to these parties.