Mint Kiss Cookie Recipes

Can you believe the holidays are over? Even more, can you believe there’s only a few days left of 2016? Where has the time gone!

For those of you wanting to send 2016 off in style, I’m sure you have a slew of parties lined up and I’m guessing that a few of those are potluck parties.

Fear not, I have the perfect recipe for you.

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A treat that utilizes holiday flavors, small enough to pop and colorful enough to fit right in when the ball drops.

You will need:

  • 10 TBS Butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 tsp Vanilla
  • Holiday Dot Sprinkles
  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Peppermint Kisses

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Preheat ove to 350 degrees

Cream butter and sugar with paddle attachment on medium speed

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Add egg yolks and vanilla

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Add flour 1/2 C at a time while mixing on medium speed

Add baking powder and salt

Roll into balls (about TBS large) and roll in sprinkles

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Bake for 9 minutes – while baking, remove foil from kisses

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Immediately add kisses to the center of the cookies

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For the kisses to keep their shape, place cookies in the freezer right away for a few minutes. If you’re like me and want them melted a bit, put them in the fridge for about 5 minutes and then the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Let the cookies thaw a bit, arrange on a sparkly plate and serve with a glass of champagne.

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The perfect party treat. After all, who doesn’t love peppermint and sprinkles?

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

When the holidays roll around, there’s a lot to love. Time with family, decorations, finding the perfect gift. If we’re being honest though, we all know what the best part is. The food!

The holidays are the time for all things cinnamon, pumpkin, cranberry, peppermint and white chocolate. I’m drooling just thinking about it. If you are too, then do I have the Holy Grail of holiday recipes for you.

Are you ready? Are you sure? You should probably sit down for this.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies.

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Peppermint shortbread cookies with peppermint cream cheese frosting and candy canes on top. Not for the faint of heart, let me tell you.

Now,  I love peppermint with a fierce passion but I was skeptical to try this recipe. I had a friend who made peppermint cupcakes with peppermint frosting once and it was so overwhelming, it tasted like toothpaste.

Not this recipe though, I promise. Now, let’s get started.

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 Cake Flour
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1/4 C Vegetable Shortening or Butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Large egg white
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • Crushed Candy Canes (topping)

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 2 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  1. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside
  2. On medium speed, whip butter, shortening ad sugar until fluffy
  3. Add egg. Then add egg white, vanilla, peppermint
  4. With the mixer still running, slowly add the dry ingredients
  5. Put dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F
  7. Scoop dough out and flatten on a flour powdered surface until 1/2 inch thick then cut cookies using a cup (dusted in flour)
  8. Bake 10 minutes then let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing

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With a paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

Add peppermint and powdered sugar.

Crush candy canes into small pieces and sprinkle on top.

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For best results, enjoy curled up under a blanket on your favorite couch with a mug of strong black tea.

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The flavor is strong but not overpowering. No confusing these cookies for toothpaste (unless you want to. No judgements here).

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I’d love for you to give them a try and then tell me what you think!

In the meantime, any good holiday baking recipes to share with me? We only have a few more weeks until Christmas and I’m determined to make as many treats as possible before the holiday season ends!

Cranberry White Chocolate Christmas Cookies

I think it’s safe to say we can stop saying the holidays are approaching and finally accept that they are here. The best part of this? The excuse to eat delicious and utterly gluttonous food and do I have the recipe for you!

One of the very best parts of the holiday season is the flavors. Rich chocolate, cranberry, cinnamon, peppermint. I can’t get enough.

This recipe combines quite a few of them together and may be one of the best holiday treats I’v ever had.

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Excuse some of the grainy iPhone photos – I had my camera but left my memory card some place else. Rookie mistake.

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You will need:

  • 3/4 C butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 bag of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips

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Beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy

Add vanilla and egg.

Continue mixing on low speed and add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

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Unstick the dough from your mixers (it’s almost the consistency of play dough and add your cranberries and chips.

Mix on low until completely blended.

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You may have to sample the dough at this point. You know, to make sure it’s up to your high standards.

Maybe one more sample. Just to be absolutely sure.

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Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

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While that’s chilling, can we talk about a few things?

For starters, how great is my Christmas apron? I know it’s bad to start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving but who could pass up the appeal of little Gingerbread Man faces. I certainly can’t!

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Also, my new record! You know by now that I love listening to records when I bake, especially at the holidays.

Some of my favorite Christmas memories happened with Charlie Brown music playing in the background so when I saw Barnes and Noble had a special Charlie Brown Christmas record, I Road Runnered over to the store immediately!

How cute is this:

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No other album will compare now.

Anyway, back to why we’re all here. Cookies!

Pull your dough out of the fridge and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

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Take about a TBS size ball and flatten it a bit (they don’t spread that much) and space them out on your baking sheets and bake them for 8 – 10 minutes.

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Pull them out and let them sit on the baking sheet for another 10 minutes. Don’t skip this step!

Trust me, they’ll continue to bake through and if you remove them too soon, they’ll be too gooey and fall apart.

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After they’ve cooled, you can make holiday cookie plates for friends and family.

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Or, you know, eat them all yourself.

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It is the holidays after all and who can resist gooey chocolate?

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Do you have any good holiday recipes to share? From now until Christmas, all I want to do is bake so don’t hold back on me!

These would be a great Thanksgiving treat too. Served with a side of pie. After all, calories don’t count from now until January 2nd!

Easy Autumn Stew

I don’t cook very often (I’m a very lazy eater) so when I do, you best believe it’s going to be photograph, documented and posted within an inch of it’s life. Which is why I have two recipe posts in a row.

Well, that and I’m on the road and didn’t feel up to editing and uploading any other photos.

Anyway, fall is here and for my family that means one thing: Hamburger Soup.

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My Mom made hamburger soup my entire life and it’s my absolute favorite meal. The day I would come home from school to the smell of stew simmering on the stove, I knew fall was really here.

When I got my first apartment, I was so excited for her to teach me her culinary secrets. I had visions of us blowing the world away with our creative genius. Opening restaurants to rival even Giada.

Turns out, this is the easiest recipe in the world.

I’m a believer that us lazy cooks need to stick together so I decided to settle with posting the recipe here instead.

All you’ll need is:

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A handful of potatoes

Carrots, celery and onions – diced (you can really add whatever veggies you like. I normally will throw in a few handfuls of Soycutash if it’s in my freezer)

Ground round or vegetarian substitute (sautéed and fully cooked already)

Low Sodium V8 Juice

Ready for this. This is the only tricky part of the recipe.

You put everything in a pot over medium-low heat. Cover it. Leave it.

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Stir occasionally and then serve (when your potatoes are softened) with a big hunk of baguette. Or maybe add a little parmesan cheese.

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It isn’t the most photogenic of dishes but it makes up for it in taste. And ease.

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Proof that even lazy cooks can whip up a good meal.

Do you have any good autumn recipes to share? Fall is my favorite season, especially for food so don’t hold out on me!

Easy Baked Oatmeal

We need to talk about something important. Very important.

Food. Breakfast food.

If you live and breathe Pinterest (like me), go on occasionally or basically, don’t live under a rock, you’ll know that baked oatmeal is the biggest breakfast trend since avocado toast.

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When fall rolls around, I believe the best way to start the day off is with a big bowl of oatmeal and an even bigger mug of coffee.

So, when someone passed along a recipe for cinnamon, peanut butter baked oatmeal, I had to give it a try. For research purposes. Of course.

Here’s what you do:

In a bowl, you’ll mash up two ripe bananas.

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Add about 1/2 a cup of milk, 1 tsp vanilla and one egg.

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In a separate bowl, add a cup and half of oats, 1 TBS cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Add to banana mixture.

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It’s honestly the most unappetizing, unbaked dish I’ve ever seen. Fair warning.

Pour the mixture into a greased square baking pan and cook at 375 for about 45 minutes.

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Cut it into fourths, add a little fruit and milk then serve.

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Overall, I think the recipe was a great blend of flavors. The sweet banana, the rich cinnamon and gooey peanut butter.

The texture, however, is not my favorite.

I think I’m going to stick with regular oatmeal from now on but if you like baked oatmeal, you have to give this recipe a try.

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Now tell me, do you like baked oatmeal? Does the texture bother you?

More importantly, what’s your go-to fall breakfast? You know I’m always looking for new recipes!

The Easiest Summer Dessert

When I need a break at work, am standing in a long line and actively avoiding eye contact or sitting at home with the baseball game on, there’s about a 99% chance you’ll find me on my phone, scrolling through Pinterest.

It’s not an addiction because it’s not a problem . . . at least that’s what I tell myself.

In my (not so) humble opinion, Pinterest is the supreme happy place. Full of artsy pictures of your favorite things – I can think of no better place to destress.

Mine is full to the brim of geeky memes, fashion, quotes, weather (yes, just go with it), books and, of course, food. Okay, it’s mostly food. This means that I’m never at a loss for a new recipe to try.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about Pinterest but it seems once you see a recipe that looks good, almost overnight EVERYONE is posting about it! This just happened to me with the perfect summer dessert recipe, so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon and share with you.

I’m sure you’ve seen this a million times by now but here it is, sautéed peaches:

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Beyond easy with a tad bit of guilt (dessert isn’t dessert if it’s guilt free) but not nearly as bad as other indulgences.

All you have to do is slice your peach in half and place them on a non-stick pan over med/med-high heat until they caramelize

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Depending how healthy/naughty you are, add a smudge of butter or coconut oil and cook until peaches are soft and golden.

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Place in a bowl with a dollop of vanilla ice cream (or yogurt – I’d recommend whipped coconut greek yogurt) and drizzle the buttery, peach juice on top.

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That’s it! I know, I could hardly believe it was the easy when I tried it.

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The peaches are as soft as butter – you can cut right through it with a spoon and the warm peaches and cold ice cream make the most perfect combination since peanut butter and honey (you thought I was going to say jelly, didn’t you, you saucy little minx).

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Have you tried this recipe before? Let me know how you cook it – I can’t wait to try it again and would love to try your variations of it!

 

Easy Minestrone Soup

Here’s the thing: I love soup.

Looking back on that sentence, I probably should have started this post in a better, more creative way. You’re probably reading this (assuming that you still are) thinking, “what am I soup-pose to do with this information” or “I’m really not soup-prised with her soup-posed revelation”.

Now your thoughts are more along the lines of “stoup that”.

Fine.

The point is, I will eat soup (did you just cringe?) any time of the year, including the spring. Even though the weather is getting warmer and the sun is finally out, I think that the spring is the best time for a good, big bowl of veggie, minestrone soup.

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Beyond easy to make, hearty enough to fill you up but light enough to give you room to eat ice cream later (because what’s the point of it being warm out if you don’t eat ice cream every night).

You will need:

  • 32 oz can vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can navy beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 celery rib (diced)
  • 3/4 white onion  (diced)
  • Handful of carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup pasta noodles – I used ditalini noodles
  • Handful of fresh spinach – chopped
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Opt: onion powder, garlic powder, pepper – to taste

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Chop your veggies and add veg broth, tomatoes, beans and veggies into a large pot.

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Cook on high until it begins to boil then cover the pot, turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 45 minutes. If you want to add some extra spices, go for it now!

Add your spinach (I quickly sautéed my spinach before adding it) and noodles and sit until noodles are al-dente (about 10 minutes).

Re-cover the pot and remove from heat. Let sit for about 30 – 45 minutes to really let the flavors sink in.

When you’re stomach just won’t stop rumbling and you can’t take the anticipation any longer, pour your soup into a large bowl (come on now, who wants a small bowl of soup, I ask you? No one), sprinkle with fresh parmesan and cut a big slice of soft and crispy french bread.

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Bon appetite!

Come Join The Family

You know in a good rom-com there are big, weekly family dinners?

You have the funny uncle, intelligent grandpa, sarcastic teenage cousin, etc. Well, that’s my family. Very stereotypical but there’s never a boring minute when we’re together.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I love Sundays. Waking up and relaxing with a book and big mug of coffee, not needing to rush.

Then at night, it’s time for family dinner. I look forward to it all week and I figured it was time I invite you along to be part of the family for a night.

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Even I need to check my own recipes sometimes.

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When everything is chopped, arranged and cooking in the oven – it’s time to sit around and chat . . .
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And make long-hair into facial hair.

What? Your family doesn’t do that?

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When everyone starts complaining that they’re “so full” and “couldn’t eat another bite”, it’s time to pull out dessert.

Belts will immediately be loosened and you’ll hear a chorus of “well, maybe just a small piece . . .”.

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The sun has now set and everyone has gone home.

I’m currently staring at a mountain of dishes (and I’ve already washed half) drinking a big cup of tea to counter the effects of one too many glasses of wine.

Just kidding. There really isn’t such a thing as one too many glasses of wine.

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There really is nothing better than a meal shared with all your favorites.

Do you have family dinners too or some other tradition you look forward to?

The Perfect Slice and Bake

I love baking.

If you haven’t figured that out by now, I have no idea what you’re doing when you visit my blog.

Now, I’d love to say that I normally don’t bake the same thing twice and am always experimenting and trying out new recipes.

But then I’d be lying.

And that would be obnoxious.

“What do I bake the most” I’m sure you’re anxiously wondering, you inquisitive reader, you.

Chocolate chip cookies.

Simple and classic. But I have a secret.

Every so often I crave slice and bake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that there is nothing in this world that’s comparable to fresh from the oven, made from scratch chocolate chip cookies but slice and bake make me so nostalgic.

They bring me back to being a kid and visiting a friend’s house, the mom throwing a batch in the oven for a quick and easy snack then served with a cold glass of milk and a side of raw cookie dough.

It’s comforting and reassuring – the food equivalent of reading Harry Potter.

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While the only effort that really goes into making them is to not eat all the cookie dough ahead of time, I do have a secret for the perfect slice and bake.

Ignore what the instructions say for time. Pop them in at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

They’ll come out perfectly cooked and taste homemade but don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret.

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Just don’t forget your glass of milk.

Cookies this good deserve a cheers!

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Crumbly Cinnamon Coffee Cake

When it comes to baking I have a motto: if there isn’t cinnamon or peanut butter in it, it probably isn’t worth making.

I’ll stray from this mentality every once in a while (normally if there’s chocolate involved) but if you look at the majority of my past recipe posts, you’ll notice I, for the most part, live by this rule.

I’ll eat cinnamon on almost anything – carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, bananas, etc.

My favorite though is in coffee cake.

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I love a good Sunday morning with a big slice of cinnamon coffee cake and a mug of coffee. I figured if you’re reading this, you think like I do and would love this recipe going into the weekend.

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You will need:

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  • Cake
    • 1 stick of softened butter
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • Salt (just a pinch)
    • 3/4 cup milk
  • Filling:
    • 3 TBS softened butter
    • 1 TBS cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Crumble:
    • 4 TBS cold butter (cut into pieces)
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tBS cinnamon

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In your mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar – when completely mixed, add vanilla and egg.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture. When mostly combined, add milk.

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Add the remainder of the flour mixture and set aside.

For the filling, combine together the butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon until crumbs form.

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To make the crumble on top, add cold butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon to a bowl and cut with a fork.

In a greased loaf pan, add 1/2 the cake batter. Sprinkle the filling over top then add the remaining cake batter.

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Sprinkle the topping over it all (pressing into the cake batter a bit so it sticks) and cook for 45 – 50 minutes.

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While that’s cooking, check out my new apron! What do you think? My grandma used to be the world’s greatest baker years ago and we recently found this apron at her house.

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Hopefully some of her talent will be transferred to me through the apron – plus, it’s April, I can’t keep wearing my gingerbread one (no matter how much I would like).

Before you know it your house will smell of warm cinnamon (is there any better smell in the world, I ask you) and you will have a warm, fresh coffee cake waiting to be devoured.

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Smear on a slab of butter, grab a big mug of coffee, sit back with your feet up and the dog at your side and enjoy the weekend!