Elephant Cookies!

My fiance’s nephew just turned 3 years old, and for his birthday, I volunteered to make cookie favors. His favorite animal (of the moment) is an elephant, so I went on the search for an elephant cookie cutter. I found a great set called “Noah’s Ark” at Macy’s that had an elephant. Then, I used the standard Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (remember I’m still on the search for that PERFECT cookie recipe, so in the meantime, I use my trusty mix) and went to town!

This is the first time I worked with flood icing, so I think I did pretty well considering! I’m now ready to make fun Christmas cookies using my experience with the icing!

img_71371

img_7138
As you can see, my work is nowhere near perfect, but the kids loved them!

Eggnog Cookies and a couple of recipe revisits!

For my last day at my old job, my coworkers asked me to bring in some goodies for them. I decided to make Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti (scroll down a bit for the recipe), Eggnog Cookies and Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies.

The treats went over really well!

Here’s the recipe for eggnog cookies. These left for a very subtle spice taste, so if you want more eggnog, add more. Many people on Allrecipes adapted the recipe that way.

Eggnog Cookies
Source: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 20 to 23 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.

Check out the spread!!

img_7134
Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

img_7135
Eggnog Cookies

img_7136
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies

 

Pumpkin (White) Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these pumpkin cookies last week, since I was on a serious pumpkin kick, as you can tell from previous entries. These were a little too sweet with the white chocolate chips, in my opinion. So, next time, I’ll omit them and let the pumpkin shine!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I did 1/2 cup applesauce, of course!)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional and omitted)

Directions:

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

img_7128

img_7130

Sugar Cookies: The search continues…

I’ve been searching for the PERFECT sugar cookie. While I like the sugar cookies I’ve made, I’ve been searching for a cookie that my fiance LOVES (and I can roll out into cute shapes). I bought my fiance a cookie bouquet for our anniversary, and he seemed to really like those. So, I searched for a cookie bouquet copycat recipe, and thisis what I found. (you will need to scroll down for the recipe)

Anyways, I decided to bite the bullet, and make them today. I shudder at the thought of crisco in baking, but I didn’t want to substitute anything. So, I made them as is (with a SMALL substitution). See, I made vanilla sugar two weeks ago, and I wanted to actually use it in a recipe. This stuff is amazing and the cute little black specks make me forget about the crisco in the recipe (ok, maybe not)…

Turns out, this makes a REALLY soft cookie that doesn’t spread very much. I didn’t brown these cookies..they came out at JUST the right time. I did make these in two pans, one on parchment on the middle shelf (cookies on the right) and one with baking spray on the top shelf (cookies to the left).

I think these work best on the middle shelf, especially if you want to decorate the cookies. There is little to no cracks when you do it this way :). However, these are a little TOO sticky to roll out into shapes, and aren’t as dense as the cookie bouquet cookies. Don’t get me wrong…these tasted GREAT and the vanilla sugar gave the cookies a wonderful flavor!! Check them out!!


Anyways, enough talk already…here is the recipe!


Cookies by Design Sugar Short Bread Cookies
Source: Cooking Light forum (link above)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Whip sugar and shortening in a large bowl, add eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Knead dough into ball, roll out and cut. Place on cookie sheet in oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.

This makes a ton of dough…I made 24 cookies (about 2-3 inches in diameter when done) and I think that was a little over half of the dough, so I will say this makes 40 cookies.

Do I DARE give you the POINTS on these per serving? It’s actually not that bad..especially considering Weight Watchers’ sugar cookie recipe is the same amount of points per cookie!!

Points*: 3 (this was calculated using eTools so it only gives me points values but 1 point is about 50-60 calories to give you an idea)

Stay tuned…the search continues… :D. I think the next recipe I will try comes from my cookie decorating cookbook that I purchased shortly after the holiday season last year.

Chewy Thin Mints

These came out really rich but good. Remind me SO much of the taste of girl scout cookies but really chewy. I left about 8 at home with the fam and brought the rest to work. They were gone in minutes!

Chewy Thin Mints
Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preparation
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine the brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through peppermint extract) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg white. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended.

Coat your hands lightly with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 6-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm. ** For me, firm was after 24 hours, and it wasn’t really firm but it was enough to manage with! **

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the log into 24 (1/4-inch) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

** I then melted white chocolate and drizzled that on top of the cookies with sprinkles. Added food coloring for a fun look :) **

Would you like a bite?

Makes 2 dozen cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 76(22% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 8mg; SODIUM 33mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 0.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.7g

Valentine’s Day Cookies!

This was a spur of the moment thing, but when the WC ladies were talking cookies, all I wanted to do was bake some. After my Christmas snafu with the cookies that were too sticky, I saw bakingblonde’s blog entry for her cookies and tried making them myself!

I did make them sugar free to give myself an excuse that they were diet friendly, so here goes the recipe.

Famous Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter (VERY soft)
1 cup sugar (I used 1 cup splenda)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In mixing bowl beat butter until soft and smooth. Add in sugar and beat to combine. Add egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add flour mixture. Beat until just combined and dough is smooth.
Turn out to floured work surface and roll to 1/3″ thickness. Use cookie cutter to cut desired shapes.
Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 6-9 minutes until beginning to brown on bottom and around edges. Don’t overbake or they will be crisp. Tasty, but crisp.
Cool on counter.

Nutritional Information:

Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 126.7
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 29.3 mg
Sodium: 44.2 mg
Total Carbs: 12.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.8 g

Weight Watchers Points: 3

For the frosting, I didn’t have cream cheese so I found this one on allrecipes and used it. It was really really sweet. Beware, I halved the recipe and I really should have quartered it because I didn’t need that much at all :) Here is the original recipe.

Sugar Cookie Frosting:
INGREDIENTS

* 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)
* 5 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners’ sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.


Here is my dog begging for a taste…I gave her a treat instead though!!

Last Week’s Adventures

Turkey Meatballs
Courtesy of Aimee’s Adventures

1 lb. Ground Turkey Breast
1/2 Cup Seasoned Dried Breadcrumbs
1/3 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Grated Onion
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 Cup Spaghetti Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except spaghetti sauce. Roll into 20-22 meatballs. Place a meatball into each well of a mini muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray. Fill un-used wells with water. Bake until lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; add the spaghetti sauce and toss meatballs.

Meatballs are 1 point each!!!!

I ended up making 22 pretty decent sized meatballs with this recipe. I made them on a cookie sheet and they actually ended up taking 25 minutes for my oven. I added some Whole Wheat Farfalle and a mix of red sauces to the meatballs. Great national championship game food (GEAUX TIGERS!!)

———————————————-
Diet Coke Chicken
Courtesy of Weight Watcher’s Leader

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1 can diet coke

Brown chicken in skillet on both sides. Add can of coke and cup of ketchup. Put heat on medium low to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occassionally. YUM!! Turns into a BBQ chicken :)

4 points/breast!
———————————————
Chicken Cheese Biscuits
Courtesy of Aimee’s Adventures

5 oz. diced chicken breast
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
3/4 cup FF shredded cheddar cheese
Pinch of Salt/Pepper
1 tbsp Parsley
Pack of Pillsbury Biscuits (type in a four pack at grocery store)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take a cupcake pan and spread each biscuit to where it forms a cup in each cupcake opening. Mix soup, chicken, cheese and spices in a bowl. Scoop mixture into biscuit cup. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden (timing was right here).

Makes 10 biscuits @ 2 points each!!

I found these to be VERY salty, so I wouldn’t add salt to these for the next recipe!
————————————————–
Non-WW Recipe of the Week

I made these a lot for Christmas gifts and my mom requested these to be made. I make these with Splenda instead of sugar though and they come out great!!

Cranberry-Pistachio (White Chocolate) Biscotti
Courtesy of All Recipes

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar Substituted splenda in here
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
Added 1/2 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12×2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.