Friday, December 17, 2010

Let it Snow!

What is it about snow that makes the children so excitable? Even I get a tinge of extra energy when the first snow falls. These past few days since the first snow of the season has come to rest on the ground, I have gotten a lot more done than normal. I got in the mood to bake cookies, which hasn't happened much this past year. So I decided to try making the Candy Cane Cookies that I remember making as a child. Vicki needed to take cookies for her class party and she stated that she wanted me to make something neat like the watermelon cookies we made a long time ago...I convinced her that it might be better to make something that goes with Christmas. That is when I remembered making these.

Candy Cane Cookies
*3/4 Cup butter, softened
*1 Cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 tsp. peppermint extract
*1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
*2 1/4 Cups flour
*Red food coloring

>In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in the extracts. Gradually mix in the flour.
>Divide the dough in half. Color on half with red food coloring and leave the other half plain. Roll out a Tbs. or so of red dough and an equal amount of plain until they are each around 6 inches long. Twist them into a candy cane, pinching the ends. Repeat.
>Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 375, or until set but not brown. Makes about 25.

If you don't have peppermint, spearamint works too but won't be as strong. Add an extra tsp.
You can make them as big or little as you like. The smaller ones tend to break easier when getting them off the cookie sheet.

My oldest daughter had fun helping me with these. Even the others got in on it too, although it was a bit too complicated for the younger girls.

Another new cookie I tried this year is another version of the Kiss cookies. Everyone who tried these have loved them. They are different because they have coffee in them.

Coffee Chip Drops
*1 1/4 Cups light brown sugar
*3/4 Cups Butter Flavored Crisco
*2 Tbs. cold coffee
*1 tsp. vanilla
*1 egg
*1 3/4 Cups flou
*1 Tbs finely ground French roast or espresso coffee beans
*1 tsp. salt
*3/4 tsp Baking soda
*1/2 Cup semisweet choc. chips
*1/2 Cup milk choc. chips
*1/2 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I ommitted these)
*30 to 40 Hershey Kisses (unwrapped=)

>Mix sugar, shortening, coffee and vanilla at med. speed until well blended. Add egg; beat well.
>Combine flour, ground coffee, salt and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in choc. chips and walnuts.
>Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfulls unto ungreased cookie sheets.
>Bake 8-10 minutes at 375 or until cookies are lightly browned. Do not overbake. Place 1 candy in center of each cookie. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet.

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