Skip to main content

Cookies and Technical Difficulties

Friends, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, on Black Friday we bought a new computer.  It is shiny and fast and now doing things online is no longer akin to being trapped in the middle of a glacier armed with only a hairdryer.  

The bad news is, it's taking a while to get my whole work flow up and running.  Photoshop, Picasa, etc.  We're moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 and things are a leeeeettle diff'rent.  The time had to come one day, but I don't do well with change.  Thankfully my awesome engineer husband is doing most of the labor on this because it kind of just makes me want to flail and panic.  And stare at the bright new widescreen monitor with Precious Moments eyes.

So, thanks for hanging around while we resolve our technical difficulties. 

The even good-er news though is that Christmas is coming.  We're reading through Advent Foretold again this year for evening devotions--it's always so good to remind ourselves of God's gracious promise to send a Messiah, and the amazing ways he brought it to pass.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.  Writing our Christmas letter helps me to remember all the ways God has been kind throughout the year, the smell of fresh pine fills the house (whenever we get around to getting a tree), hubby has some time off work, and we make memories as a family. 

The kids and I joined some homeschool friends and went to see a display of amazing gingerbread houses last week.  Can you believe the detail on these?

I was definitely more fascinated than either of my kids, of course, being able to appreciate the creativity, work, and patience that these must have required.  And I took lots of deep breaths of the gingerbread smell...yum.

I have not done any Christmas baking yet, but I'll need to start soon.  I've got my eye on a couple new cookie recipes as well as a few necessary favorites.  I loved the color these Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies added to my cookie tray last year.  Mmmmm.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (from Epicurious)

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 drops (or more) red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup crushed red-and-white-striped candy canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)

For cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients; beat until blended. Refrigerate dough 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass or hands, flatten each ball to 2-inch round (edges will crack). Bake until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, about 11 minutes (do not overbake or cookies will become too crisp). Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely. 

For filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Add peppermint extract and 2 drops food coloring. Beat until light pink and well blended, adding more food coloring by dropfuls if darker pink color is desired. Spread 2 generous teaspoons filling evenly over flat side of 1 cookie to edges; top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently to adhere. Repeat with remaining cookies and peppermint filling*.
Place crushed candy canes on plate. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies (candies will adhere to filling). (Cookie sandwiches can be made ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.) 

*I mixed the crushed candy canes right into the filling before spreading, worried that they'd fall off the edges during storage and transportation.


Popular posts from this blog

Clay Cookie Craft

Though school is out for the summer there are a few things my little lass and I are still trying to work on consistently--reading, piano, and art.  Now, I have some fine art background but I don't consider myself very crafty, at least when in comes to coming up with fun projects for kids.  I loved this project from The Little Hands Art Book because it combined some great elements of cooking, sculpture, and painting.  I like crafts that actually teach something.  The bonus here is that we ended up with some great looking little cookies for my daughter's play kitchen.  Here's the salt dough recipe you need to get started (click on the photo to see it full size):

We left out the alum and baked the cookies.  We also halved the recipe.  I had my daughter (who is 4) pour the ingredients into a bowl and after I got the mixing started, I taught her how to knead the dough like bread.

The dough becomes smooth and pliable.

I split it into two sections to make it more manageable and l…

Quadro: The Coolest Toy You've Never Heard Of

Usually the content of my blog falls under either parenting, homemaking, or food.  Sometimes you get a poem or some thoughts as I meditate on what God is teaching me through his Word.  Usually my goal is to encourage, inspire, and perhaps amuse.  Today, my aim is not so noble--I just want to share a unique thing my family has been enjoying. 

This is Quadro--modular building toy, a prop for imaginative play, and active play equipment. 

Winters are always rather intense in our neck of the woods, but this one has been particularly frigid.  Nevertheless, my son asks to go outside to play pretty much every day.  I've had to say no a lot, or risk little frostbitten fingers or losing short stuff in a snow bank.  How's a little guy to burn off energy when running circles through the living and dining rooms gets old and his best playmate (his older sister) is busy with school?  This was one of our considerations as my husband and I discussed Christmas gifts for the kids this past yea…

Post-Christmas Reveal: Handmade Gifts for Kids

Quite a few secret projects have been underway here recently, and I'm thankful that there was time to finish them all before Christmas. My sewing machine has been a near constant fixture on the dining room table since Thanksgiving, and now that they've all been unwrapped by their intended recipients, I'm excited to share the fruits of my labors. :)

It's hard to come up with gift ideas for the youngest of 4, but my baby is outgrowing babydom and his hooded infant towels as well. I love the convenience of hooded towels, which make it so easy to scoop a little one out of a bath and quickly envelope them head to toe in warm coziness, and so I decided to make him some larger towels. This project used two full size bath towels and one matching hand towel, split in half and rounded off, to form the hoods. The center point of the hood was then matched to the center point of the bath towel, and attached, hems enclosed in bias tape, with a few rows of stitching. If you don'…