Confetti Cookies

A few years ago a friend of mine visited and brought a sweet treat – cookies. Soon after giving them to me she explained she made them from a box of cake mix. I didn’t even know that was possible – but it seemed like a very simple, enjoyable way to make cookies if you only have an hour or so to spare.

This morning I thought I’d give it a shot since I had the desire to bake cookies but also have a productive day off getting some errands done. I was pleased with the results and look forward to purchasing some cake mixes on sale in the future for a rainy (lazy) cookie making day.

Here are the three things you need : cake mix, 2 eggs & 1/3 cup oil. Yep – THAT SIMPLE!!

Here are directions:

Mix all ingredients until moist.


Form into 1 inch balls. I used our coffee scoop’s 1 tbspoon side to do so.

(compliments to Crate & Barrel for this tool!)

Next you will want to use the bottom of a floured drinking glass to gently flatten cookies, about 1/4 inch in thickness.

Place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes (until golden brown corners) in a 375 degree oven.

Cool on pan one minute, transfer to cookie racks.

and of course….ENJOY!

Cranberry Scones

Having used craisins for a favorite salad of mine, I now have a huge bag of craisins I don’t want to go to waste. With a little creativity and search through the cupboards I decided to make scones today.

I found this recipe by doing a simple Google search and looking at a few recipes. The one I used originates from Martha Stewart’s website; I made a few changes. The reason I chose this one was because I wanted the sugar topping. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup craisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup milk until just moistened. Gently fold in craisins.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times.

Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon milk; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Bran Muffins

Breakfast is an important meal of the day – whether it’s cereal, toast, eggs or something else. Mornings when I’m in a rush I hardly remember to grab a granola bar and I find myself eating my other snacks during my morning coffee.

I decided to make these Bran Muffins for something different in my morning routine, especially as the mornings are still cold and I need the extra time to warm up the car!

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3 c. Bran cereal (I used Raisin Bran)
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 c. buttermilk*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

  1. Pour boiling water over 1 cup bran cereal. Let stand.
  2. Mix 2 cups remaining bran cereal, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and oil together.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda & salt.
  4. Combine all mixtures and stir.
  5. Add dates, nuts and raisins (if desired).
  6. Mix together desired amount cinnamon & sugar.
  7. Place muffin mix in pans and sprinkle cinnamon & sugar on top before baking.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

* I actually substituted the buttermilk for 1 cup milk + 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar per 1 cup buttermilk called for in recipe.

Super Chocolate Cookies

This cookie is the perfect fix for those looking for some chocolate. The cocoa and the M&M’s pair wonderfully together. In order to get more cookies out of one batch I downsized the recommended amount to place on the cookie sheet for each cookie.

This recipe is from The Great American Cookie Cookbook which can be found at Barnes & Noble. A book filled with over 300 cookie recipes. Book is generally under $10.00.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat butter, shortening and brown sugar in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Stir in candy pieces.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes or until almost set.

Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks. Let cool completely.

Make 18 to 20 (4-inch) cookies

Snickerdoodle

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

Cream together sugar, shortening, margarine, and eggs.

Mix dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture. Blend well.

Roll into balls and then into a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on wire baking racks.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookie Ice Box Cakes

I discovered this recipe while reading through RSS feeds. Thanks, once again, to theKitchn for providing me this delicious treat. I made them and brought them to my coworkers this past week.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

Gingerbread Cookie Icebox Cupcakes

For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg

For the whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1-2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions to making  the cookies:

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg.

With a spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in wax paper or plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (The dough can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Working with one batch of dough at a time, roll out on floured surface until dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out with 2-inch circle cookie cutter ( I also used a small square cookie cutter) and place the cookies about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are browned slightly.

Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

When the cookies are cool, beat together the whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until the whipped cream holds firm peaks.

Assemble the cupcakes:

Spread about a tablespoon of whipped cream on top of a cookie and place in a cupcake liner.

Repeat with two more cookies, stacking them on top of the first. Continue building triple-decker cupcakes until all the cookies have been used and place in an airtight container.

Put cupcakes in the refrigerator and let sit overnight, until the cookies have softened.

Peanut Butter Balls

Every year peanut butter balls are a must in my household. Growing up my mom made them every year and they hardly made it to Christmas because we all loved them. At some point we were only allotted a few a day it seemed because we all enjoyed them so much.

Here’s the recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. Next year I’m experimenting with mint in the chocolate!

  • 2 c. crushed graham crackers (approx. 2 packages)
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 c. chunky or creamy peanut butter (creamy is used in this recipe)
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 lb. dipping chocolate

First step would be to crush graham crackers, either in a plastic zip lock bag with rolling pin or by placing in food processor.

I find the food processor, if available, is the easier & more preferred route to take.

The next step is to mix the three following ingredients : peanut butter, powered sugar & 1/4 cup butter.

Chill for 1 hr or overnight. I generally work with a teaspoon to grab enough mixture to form into small balls.

Depending on your preference you may want to use a tablespoon or another size of tool to grab the same amount of peanut butter mixture each time.

Cover & chill in cold area or fridge. While the balls are chilling  it’s time to melt the chocolate.

Break up chocolate or remove squares from package and place in glass bowl.

My recommendation is to use a glass mixing bowl that fits into a saucepan, just resting on the edges. Fill saucepan with some water, not enough to touch bottom of glass bowl.  Allow chocolate to melt at medium/ low heat, stirring occasionally.

This is what your melted chocolate should look like:

Remove saucepan & bowl from stove and place on potholder.

Taking a few at a time, place formed peanut butter balls into chocolate and cover.

After dipping balls into melted chocolate place on tin foil or wax paper. Allow to set.

I generally let peanut butter balls set at room temp or in a cool place so I don’t have to refrigerate. Should last for a few weeks. Enjoy!

Cookies!

This weekend we are in a blizzard warning. What better way to enjoy the day inside than baking cookies for the holiday season.Here are some of the cookies I’ve made so far. My list tomorrow includes Shortbread Caramel Crunch, Peanut Butter Balls & possibly something with mint.

I hope to have recipes for all of these cookies in the future.

Enjoy!

Marvelous Macaroons (not so marvelous because I added too many coconut flakes!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate M&M Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Candy Cane Cookies

Molasses Cut Out Cookies

White Sour Cream Cut Out Cookies

Meat Loaf

Meat loaf is such a comfort food. Here’s one of my favorite recipes!

Ingredients you will need:


  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 2/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup catchup
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together well and place in meat loaf pan.

  1. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Enjoy!

Code Cake

Here’s a picture of  a cake I made for my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago. He works at a software developing company so I tried to make a somewhat theme-appropriate birthday cake for him to take with him. I also sent along cupcakes that said “25” in binary.