Thursday, December 22, 2011

Joy to the World of Cookies!

As soon as I heard we were to be hit with snow I ran out to the store and stocked up on all my baking supplies so I could spend all day inside baking. Doesn't get much better than listening to Christmas music, lighting yummy holiday scents, and watching the snow fall while baking delicious goodies that in just a couple days my friends and family will be enjoying. :)

First up are Andes Mint Cookies. I got this recipe awhile back from one of my teammates (thanks Jennie!) and have heard nothing but rave reviews every time I make them. What I love about these cookies is that the Andes mints become the frosting! 

To dress them up for the holiday gift giving I thought it would be fun to use Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints instead of traditional ones. 

I must say, while they are nice and festive...I do like the traditional mint better, as it blends in so nicely with the chocolate cookie.

Andes Mint Cookies
3/4 c. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. water
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
36-48 Andes mints

Melt butter, brown sugar and water in a saucepan over med. heat until melted. Then add chocolate chips, stirring until completely melted. Cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and beat in eggs. Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix together and chill for about 45 min. Roll into balls (1-1 1/2 in.) flatten slightly, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 min. Don't over bake. When cookies come out of the oven, place an Andes mint on top of each coolie and allow to melt for a few minutes. Swirl the melted chocolate with the back of a spoon like icing. Allow to cool.

Next mouth-watering treat is another new favorite....Cranberry Crunch Cookie Bars!
We are quite often surrounded by tempting snacks at school and have tried to use our best self-control technique of asking someone else who has already given in, "Is it worth it?" Well my friends, there is no need to even ask with these babies...THEY ARE SO WORTH IT....ever calorie! They remind me of a healthier blondie brownie.

Cranberry Crunch Cookie Bars

1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 bag of white chocolate chips
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. craisins
3/4 c. chopped pecans (I made a batch with and without these)
4 c. Cascadian Farm Maple Brown Sugar Granola

1) Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer on low until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed.

2) Stir in granola, craisins, pecans (if using), and white chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into a well greased 9x13 pan and spread out (about 1/2 in thick.)

3) Bake for 8-13 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. Middle with still be gooey.

4) Let cool, cut into squares, and eat up!

Christmas Playlist-
Tennessee Christmas- Amy Grant
Carol of the Bells- Destiny's Child
Jingle Bells (Robbie Hardkiss Remix)- Duke Ellington
Mistletoe- Colbie Caillat
Hark the Herald Angels Sing- Hot Toddy
Man with the Bag- Kay Starr

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