Reindeer Cookies


Attention Everyone:  There are only 10 days until Christmas, I repeat 10 days!

I might not be the only one, but I don’t like the 26th of December; because, that marks the END of the Christmas season.  I love Christmas so much.  I love all of the Santa’s in every corner, all the decorations, the Christmas lights, the hustle and bustle at the mall, wrapping presents, giving presents, volunteering, and spending time with loved ones.  I always look forward to Christmas, and I am always sad to see it go.

Things haven’t beeReindeer Cookien feeling very Christmasy as of lately (is that even word?  if not, I vote that it becomes one) because of this non-so Christmasy weather that has been going on down here in the South.  I couldn’t think of anything better to help me get into the Christmas spirit then making some adorable Reindeer Cookies.  These cookies are perfect to do with the little ones, and they would be a great present for Santa on Christmas Eve!  They are simple, and the Sugar Cookie recipe could pretty much be replaced with any other cookie, and they could be made with store bought cookie dough.  The only thing is, they have to be fresh baked cookies, in order for the pretzels to stay on!

Reindeer Cookies

IngredientsReindeer Cookies

2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pretzels (in normal pretzel shape)
Red M&Ms
Semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Gradually blend in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder).  Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto UNGREASED cookie sheets.  Try your harderst to make every cookie almost the same size, so they will cook at the same rate.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until slightly golden on the bottom.  I always remove mine out of the oven, as soon as the bottom is soft enough to be removed with a spatula.  You want them to be a little mushy on top so you can imprint the reindeer parts.
4. Immediately after removing, place the pretzels on the top of the cookie to look like reindeer ears, the red M&M for his nose, and two pieces of the chocolate chips for his eyes.  This part needs to go kind of quickly, because I found as they hardened the pretzels wouldn’t stay on anymore.

I asked my dad to draw me a picture of Santa, and he gave this to me within a minute...I wish I inherited his drawing skills.

I asked my dad to draw me a picture of Santa, and he gave this to me within a minute…I wish I inherited his drawing skills.

I would love to see pictures if anyone re-creates this on their own!

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Whole Wheat Apple Muffins


When I’m home alone, and no one is around, I kind of come up at a loss for things to do.  I kind of just stand around and think about what I should be doing.  Yesterday, I was in this predicament so while I was standing around thinking about what I should be doing, my eye caught the apples on the counter and I decided to make it my mission to bake something with apples.  Wah-la, the whole wheat apple muffins.  I found this great recipe online and used this as my base recipe and played with it a little.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (or nuked in the microwave for 15 seconds)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
2 large apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix together the butter, sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add in the egg and mix well.  Mix in the milk.  Slow begin to stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Then slowly fold in the apple chunks.

2.  Divide the batter evenly among muffin cops and sprinkle the remaining tops with 1/4 cup brown sugar (do not leave this part out, it completely makes or  breaks the muffin for me).  Bake for 10 minutes, turn heat down to 400 and bake about another five minutes.  Cool the muffins on a cooling rack.

Banana Nut Muffins


You know the greatest thing about banana nut muffins?  They are good for dessert and breakfast!  My boyfriend’s mom always makes banana nut muffins and I never get time to enjoy them before they are all eaten up; therefore, I did a little research to find a healthy recipe for banana nut muffins!

Healthy Banana Nut Muffins

(courtesy of Made Healthier)

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas
1/2 cup skim milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnuts

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2.  In a separate bowl put in the bananas and cut in to small pieces with a fork.  Smash the bananas with your fork so that it is mostly mashed but with some small chunks of bananas.  With the smashed bananas, add in the egg, vanilla, and milk.

3.  Combine the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and walnuts.  Mix briefly and pour into a nonstick muffin pan (or a muffin pan sprayed with nonstick oil).  If you really like walnuts, add some on top.

4.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Who says you need a cookie cutter?


Cookie cutters aren’t needed to create the perfect cookie.  All you need is your hands to make a perfect cookie.

Sugar cookies are something I just recently decided to tackle.  I was at home on a Wednesday night doing laundry before I went back up to school and I really wanted to bake.  I walked into the kitchen and found out that we had no chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies!  So, I was set on baking something so I thought to myself “what needs the least amount of ingredients?”  Sugar cookies came to my mind.  I’ve never really liked sugar cookies, but my boyfriend will eat anything sweet, so I decided to make them.  These sugar cookies ended up turning out amazingly.  They are perfect with a cold glass of milk.  (Santa knew what he was thinking when he paired cookies with milk!)

Tip:  Don’t think you are too good to follow some instructions of a recipe.  In other words, don’t oil the pan when making cookies.

Many times I will tweak my recipes to cook them however I want to, and I thought that I was good enough to know that everything you bake needs oil underneath it.  So, every single cookie recipe that strictly said DO NOT OIL THE PAN, I did.  The one time I didn’t, my cookies came out perfectly.  Learn when to follow the recipe and when to venture away from it.

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder). Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

And it starts.


Hello friends and fellow cooks. 🙂

For many years (of course it feels like many for me, as I am still young) I have had a huge passion for cooking.  After long discussions and a lot of thinking, I decided that cooking as a career wasn’t for me, but cooking as a hobby is my destiny.

I spend my days reading cookbooks, cooking magazines, trying new recipes, and watching FoodNetwork.  I am always learning something new that helps me in my everyday cooking.  I’ve decided that maybe I should share these tips and tricks and magnificent recipes with you, and hopefully I can help you with your cooking skills.

Cooking for me is a release after a good day, and my creative outlet.  Never get frustrated when something doesn’t go right, and never be afraid to take chances.

I’d like to start this first post with something I would like to think that I’m very good at:  Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I had never ventured into the sweets area because I always had a weird problem that I couldn’t eat what I baked but I could eat what I cooked.  As soon as I begun college, I learned that cooking wouldn’t come as easy as it once did.  Kitchens weren’t readily available and neither were ingredients, so when I came home I would want to make something, anything!  I begun to invest my time into baking.  And when I did this I found an amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Tip:  When making cookies, they stay the softest when cooled, if you remove them from the pan as soon as they are hard enough to move.  This usually means that they are still quite soft on the top.  But if they are hard enough to move with a spatula, get them off that pan and onto a cooling rack (and DO NOT skip the cooling rack, it makes a large difference with the outcome of your cookie.  AKA the bottom won’t harden).

My preferred Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.