Cookie Recipes from Festive Bloggers

I held a Cookie Exchange Recipe Swap a few weeks ago, and had very few bloggers join in.  I was surprised, as I know that everyone has at least one favorite cookie recipe that they cherish and make every holiday.

Well, for those few who did turn in their recipes to me – THANK YOU for taking the time out of your day and sharing your special recipe! I hope all of you will add their recipes to your pile and give them a whirl in the kitchen!  Get your bowls & mixers out, girls!

Here are the recipes that I received and the festive bloggers who sent them in!

EASYWEIMARANER COOKIE FRAMEVANILLA SNOWBALLS

Ingredients:
8.8 oz. Butter
3.5 oz. Icing Sugar
4.2 oz. Flour
8.8 oz. Cornstarch
The marrow of 3 vanilla beans (or vanilla flavor)

 

Directions:
Stir the butter and the icing sugar until it is foamy. Add the vanilla, the flour and the cornstarch and prepare a dough. Make 3 rolls and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Pre-heat the oven on 350 degrees, then cut the rolls in slices, make small balls and place it on the baking sheet on parchment paper.  They need 12-15 minutes in the oven (until they have a golden up to light brown color) Let them cool down a few minutes, (if not, they will break and you will only have snow crumbs) If you want, you can power them with some icing sugar, so they look more like snow.

2BROWNDAWGS COOKIE FRAME

MRS. GRANT’S THIMBLE COOKIES

Ingredients:
Stir together:

2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
Salt to taste

 

Cream together:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Shortning
2 Beaten Eggs
Mix together, and then add 1 tablespoon vanilla

Mrs Grant's Timble CookiesChill.  Then break pieces off, the size of walnuts. Press hole in center with finger and fill with jam. Put on greased baking sheet. Bake for 350 degrees until lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen. HINT: Let cool on cookie sheet before removing.

BOOMDEEADDA COOKIE FRAME

GLOSSETTE COOKIES
Ingredients:

1 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4  tsp. Salt
2  1/4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Glossette Raisins or Peanuts

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream butter with sugars, eggs, vanilla. Beat in baking soda and salt. Stir in flour for stiff dough. Blend in your choice of Glossettes. Place balls 2 inches apart and bake for 9-11 minutes until just barely golden. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes and remove to wire rack. Makes approximately 5 dozen.

RED VELVET CAKE

RED VELVET CAKE
Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup (two 1 ounce bottles) Red Food Coloring
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. White Vinegar
2 Large Eggs

Directions For Cake:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients with an electric mixer. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick coating. Pour batter equally into the three pans and bake for 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool layers in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove layers from pans to wire rack to cool completely.

Homemade Frosting
Ingredients:
1 Cup Milk
6 Tablespoons Flour
Cook in a shallow frying pan and whisk until thick. Remove to bowl, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Frosting Directions:
Cream 1/2 cup margarine and 1/2 cup Crisco together with mixer. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until fluffy. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add cold mixture and beat again until fluffy. Chill frosting.  (NOTE: I usually double the frosting recipe above to ensure I have enough frosting to cover all three layers of the cake)  **This frosting recipe is the best homemade frosting I have ever tasted!**

DSC_0195Also, to make this cake extra special when I am frosting it, I add chopped walnuts around the top edges of each layer of the cake, and on the top of the cake too!  So with each slice, you can see the finely chopped walnuts and all the goodness!

I hope everyone enjoys the recipes that were submitted, and of course, my favorite Red Velvet Cake too.  If anyone would still like to submit a recipe, I will be more than happy to include it in this post for you!  If for some reason you have any questions about any of the recipes above, please contact the festive blogger directly, as I have included their blog address for you!  Thanks again and enjoy!

Holiday Cookie Exchange

HOLIDAY COOKIE EXCHANGESThe holidays are quickly approaching, and you all know what that means…holiday baking!  Boy oh boy do I love this time of year when we get to head into the kitchen and bake up batches of our favorite goodies.

With that in mind, I had a great idea!  I wanted to host the First Annual Holiday Cookie Exchange here at Nikitaland!  Woo Hoo!  It’s time for you to share those special cookie and/or dessert recipes with the rest of us!

If you would like to join in our Cookie Exchange, here is what you need to do:

  • Email me your recipe (one recipe only)
  • Make sure you also attach a photo of your finished cookie or dessert (take a good close-up photo too!)
  • Include your name & blog’s name/web address so I can give you kudos on your recipe
  • Include your location (ie: state or country)

Once I collect all of the recipes, I will create a Cookie Exchange PDF for all of you so you can printout everyone’s recipes!

Last day for recipe submission is November 30th, as I need time to format all of the recipes & the photo’s into the PDF.  Any questions, let me know!  I hope everyone joins in and gets into the holiday spirit with us!

FYI:  I will be sharing my three layer Red Velvet Cake & Homemade Frosting with you, all from scratch, so stay tuned!

Foodie Alert: Polka Dot Cake

HOW TO MAKE A POLKA DOT CAKE TODAY

Experimenting in the kitchen is a lot of fun.  Some times things go horribly wrong, complete disasters, while other things turn out better than expected.  This is one of those times where everything turned out delicious!

I have been making cake pops awhile now, ever since my Sweetie got me a cake pop maker.  Never in a blue moon would I have ever thought of placing cake pops inside a “cake”… until I did it this weekend.

So here’s the scoop on what I did to make the coolest looking cake in the world!  (well, maybe not the entire world, but in this household it got rave reviews!)

To make this cake, I bought two different boxes of cake mixes, one white and one chocolate (Devil’s Food Cake, to be exact).  I mixed the white cake up first exactly as the box directed me to, then I divided out three portions of this cake batter into three bowls, and added a few drops of food coloring to each.  This is what the cake pops are going to be from.

PINK

BLUE

YELLOW

After I got the perfect color mixed, I poured the batter into my Cake Pop Maker and cooked them for about 5 minutes.  I went through all three bowls of colored cake batter and made as many cake pops as I could.  Once all of this batter was gone, and the cake pops were cooling, I started to mix up my second cake batter.  I used a chocolate Devil’s Food cake mix for my cake.

Next, I poured a thin layer of the chocolate cake batter on the bottom of two 9″ round cake pans and spread it around evenly, then I placed the colored cake pops on top of the batter, and evenly distributed the colors throughout the entire pan.  Then, I added the remaining chocolate cake batter on top of the cake pops to complete the cake and covered them up.

COVER CAKE BALLS WITH CAKE BATTER

Side note:  I had a small portion of my white cake mix batter left from making the cake pops, so I decided to pour the white cake mix on top of the chocolate batter and swirled it around a bit.  I kinda liked the look of it as now it looks marbled.  (did not want to waste any cake batter ya know)

I baked the cake according to the directions on the box, and tested the cake by poking it a few times with a toothpick.  (ya know that ole toothpick tester method that we all love)  Once done, of course the cake had to cool before being frosted.  Now, this is where I am on pins and needles as I am dying to know “what” happened to the cake pops inside the cake!  Time passed slowly at this point… must know, must know, must know what happened!

COOL CAKE ON WIRE RACK

To make a long story short, the cake cooled, it was frosted, and the cake knife found its way inside that delicious cake awaiting to be eaten.  Results:  AMAZING!  What I found inside the first piece, was colored circles floating all around chocolate goodness!  This will definitely be something that I will make again now that I know this process works!

POLKA DOT CAKE READY TO EAT

Can you just imagine making a cake for Christmas like this?  Ooooh, a white cake with red and green cake pops floating inside each slice!  Now that is what I call ingenious!

What have you created in your kitchen lately?

 

What’s For Dinner? Chicken Croquettes

CHICKEN CROQUETTES3

Making croquettes are a great way to use any leftover poultry or meat, but in my recipe I used chicken breasts.  I am always creating new things in the kitchen and these Chicken Croquettes are a huge hit in our house!

So let me get you started on how to create this fabulous meal…

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 oz. butter
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • oil for deep frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in 1/3 cup flour and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.  Whisk in milk and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens.  Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese, chicken, cheddar cheese, and parsley.  Mix well to combine and refrigerate until completely cold.

Place bread crumbs and remaining flour in separate bowls and set aside.  Shape your chicken mixture into croquettes shapes, roll each croquette in flour, then dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs.  Place on a plate and chill for about 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a large saucepan until hot and cook croquettes for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Flip croquettes over to cook the other side too.

CHICKEN CROQUETTES1

CHICKEN CROQUETTES2

SIDE NOTE:  Each time I made these, it made quite a few – approximately 9-11 but it depends on the size of the croquettes you are shaping.  Just make sure you cook your croquettes long enough so they are not doughy and cooked thoroughly.

And, if this meal is not already yummy enough, you can try making as a side dish to go with your croquettes my Sliced Baked Potatoes!  Just wash off a few potatoes and slice your potatoes into thin slices, but don’t slice all the way through the potato!  Place potatoes in a small baking dish.  Pull open the slices on the potato a little so they cook evenly and brush with butter, oregano, and garlic powder.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes.  Poke the potatoes after 20 minutes to check if they are done, if not, let them bake a few minutes longer.  You can also brush the potatoes again with melted butter, and when your potatoes are done to the touch, top them off with some cheddar cheese.

SLICED BAKED POTATO

And, just when things could not get any better… you can also make my incredible Chicken Dipping Sauce for your croquettes!

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Vinegar
2 tablespoons Honey
Pepper to taste

There you have it, a brand new dish for dinner, so when someone asks you “What’s For Dinner?” you’ll be ready to serve up a fabulous meal to your family! Enjoy!

What’s for Dessert? Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

We have a great surprise for you today, and you will definitely be making these this weekend as you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.  If you are looking for something different for dessert, then these Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas will be the perfect fit!

Click HERE for the PDF Recipe & Directions

For the Apple Filling
•    3 Apples, chopped into small pieces
•    1 1/2 cups water
•    1/4 cup cornstarch
•    3/4 cup sugar
•    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
•    1/4 tsp. salt
•    1 Tbs. lemon juice
For the Chimichangas
•    15-20 small tortillas (or you can use larger tortilla wraps too)
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    1 Tbs. cinnamon
•    Vegetable Oil for frying
For the Apple Filling
Combine the water, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes very thick.

Add the chopped apples and reduce to a simmer. Allow the apple mixture to simmer until the apples become just tender (approximately 10 minutes). Allow the mixture to cool.

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Next, spoon the apple filling in the middle of the tortilla.

Roll in both sides of the tortilla before rolling up the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, and then continue to roll the tortilla up like a burrito.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet with 1/2 an inch of oil. Once oil is hot, fry the chimichangas on all sides until the tortilla turns golden brown. (approximately 30 seconds on each side)

Remove the chimichangas from the oil and immediately roll the warm chimichanga in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and serve.  You can also drizzle some caramel over the top of the chimichanga before serving too!

 

A Perfect Combination – Pretzels & Chocolate

Do you ever find yourself looking for a quick idea for some goodies to make?  Well, look no further, as we have combined three items that does the trick and definitely satisfies your taste buds and chocolate cravings!  All you need is a bag of squared pretzels, a bag of Hershey Kisses, and a bag of M&M’s.

Lay out all of the pretzels on a cookie sheet close together and place one Hershey Kiss on top of each pretzel.  (when we made this batch, it made about 74 as that is how many Hershey Kisses were in the bag)  Next, place the cookie sheet in the oven on 350 degrees, and melt the Kisses for 1-2 minutes, but no longer, as you will burn the Kisses. (so watch them closely)  Now, when you take the cookie sheet out of the oven, quickly place one M&M on top of the melted Hershey Kiss and push it down into the melted chocolate.  You can place the cookie sheet in the fridge for a few minutes to set the chocolate.  That’s all you need to do for a quick and easy chocolate snack, not to mention, the M&M’s really make this a colorful snack!   (IDEA:  Make these for Christmas too, but only use the red and green M&M’s)   Enjoy!  I am sure you will be making some of these this weekend for yourself!

Get Ready to Make Your Chicken Happy, Not to Mention Your Taste Buds!

Oh snap, Mommy did it again!  She loves creating new dishes in the kitchen and earlier this week she came up with an awesome homemade dipping sauce for chicken.  She made it right before Daddy came home from work as her chicken wings were cooking and she was eager to see if he would like it.  Success is all that we have to say, as when he tasted the new dipping sauce – every other word out of his mouth was “this stuff is awesome” and “give me more”.  Pure happiness is what it is to make something in the kitchen and get rave reviews over it, now our chicken will never be the same as we will make up a batch of this dipping sauce every time we dine on chicken!

So, without further deliberation, here is the recipe for Mommy’s Chicken Dipping Sauce and if you want to printout the recipe & share it with others, click HERE:

CHICKEN DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Honey
Pepper to taste

What’s for Dinner? Rolled Chicken w/Red Peppers & Onion

This is absolutely Daddy’s new-found favorite dinner these days.  Mommy created this scrumptious recipe one night, and now it is on our favorite dinner menu list.  We wanted to share it with you!  If you would like the PDF version of this recipe, just let us know!  Enjoy!

STEP ONE:  THE INGREDIENTS
McCormicks Oregano Leaves
McCormicks Montreal Chicken Seasoning
Shake ‘N Bake Crispy Buffalo Chicken Breading
Chicken Breasts
Red Pepper
Onion
Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Toothpicks

STEP TWO:  POUND CHICKEN
Place each chicken breast separately in a large Ziploc bog.  Pound chicken breasts evenly until almost paper thin.  Remove from bag & pound the remaining chicken.

STEP THREE:  SEASON CHICKEN
Season each pounded chicken breast with the McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Oregano evenly.

 

STEP FOUR:  ADD RED PEPPER & ONION
Cut one Red Pepper and Small Onion in thin slices.  Line the slices on the chicken breast.

STEP FIVE:  ADD CHEESE
Sprinkle the Sharp Cheddar Cheese on top, cover chicken heavily.  (The cheese will help keep together the Red Pepper and Onion while baking)

 

STEP SIX:  ROLL UP & BREAD
Now, carefully start at one end of the chicken breast, and roll up the chicken while holding in the toppings.  When you get to the end of the chicken breast, place toothpicks into the chicken to hold it together while baking.

Sprinkle the Shake ‘N Bake breading all over the outside of your rolled up chicken breast.  Next, transfer chicken to baking pan.

STEP SEVEN:  BAKE
No need to spray your glass baking dish, as the chicken will produce enough moisture so it does not stick.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  You can check your chicken by sticking a knife in the side.

STEP EIGHT:  ENJOY!
You are now ready to enjoy the succulent flavor in this chicken recipe, seasoned to perfection!  We have chosen to serve ours with Potato Au Gratin.  As you can see from the last photo, with each slice of chicken, you will taste the cheese, red pepper and onion in every bite!

Let us know how you like it after you make this for your next dinner!

Nikita