Twix Cookies

 I found the basic recipe off of Pinterest and thought I would give it a try. I think the shortbread cookie was a nice touch – I modified the recipe a tiny bit for my purposes. Also, the original calls for a biscuit cookie-cutter, but I used smaller rounds so people could enjoy a bite-sized treat. Source: http://www.chef-in-training.com

Recipe Ease: simple, but has several steps

You will need:

  • One bag Kraft caramels
  • One bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs evaporated milk
  • One cup confectionar sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Step one:

Preheat oven to 350°.Cream butter and sugar. Add in salt, vanilla, and the flour. Blend until combined well.

Step two: Roll out dough with a rolling pen and some flour. Cut with a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Assemble cookies onto a cookie sheet and bake for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before the next step. I put my cookies in the freezer to hasten the process.

Step three: Melt caramel in the microwave. If necessary, add the  evaporated  milk to the caramel for smoother spreading. Spread the Caramel onto the cooled cookies. Again, allow to cool off before the next step.

Step four: Melt the milk chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave. Spread the chocolate onto the caramel layer. Enjoy!

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Cream cheese frosting

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Recipe source: Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1950’s

This is a classic frosting I use for a variety of things – sugar cookies, cupcakes or cake. It is very easy to add some variety to the frosting recipe, so it easy to use as a base for your creativity.

You need:

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp.
  • 1 tbs of whole milk, or more as needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Step one: blend cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt.

Step two: gradually add in confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. Add more milk to get the desired consistency.

Ideas –

  • Peppermint – add crushed peppermint to the frosting and use them on candy cane sugar cookies.FullSizeRender(57)
  • Mocha – Blend in 1 tbs of instant powdered coffee to the frosting or add a little actual coffee in place of the extra milk.

Holiday Cut-out Sugar Cookies

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My fondest holiday memories involve rolling out sugar cookies with my mom and grandmother. We would begin baking on December 23, and it was an all day/all night affair in order to be ready for our dinner and family Christmas party. We always set out a few cookies and a carrot for Santa, and of course, in the morning all that would be left would be some crumbs.

This cookie recipe makes a very soft, thick sugar cookie and is ideal for making with the kids. My holiday stress secret is to make a huge batch a couple weeks ahead for Christmas and then freeze it. I pull it out whenever kids want to bake. When I became a parent, I learned the hard way that it is WAYYYY more easy to make the dough ahead of time. In truth, the kids enjoy the rolling, baking and decorating, not the assembly and chilling part. What sets this one apart is how easy it is for kids to work with, and how consistent the dough is for working with the rolling pin.

I had used my mom’s recipe for a long time, but I experimented with this one from thekitchn.com  and have never looked back.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step one:

Mix flour, salt, baking powder in a large bowl.

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Big Fat Batch = Big Fat Bowl

Step two:

Cream the butter and add sugar in a large bowl.

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Add the egg and blend until golden yellow. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and almond extract.

Step three:

Add the flour mixture in gradual increments to the butter/sugar blend until well-blended.

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Buttery, crumbly goodness

Step four:

Refrigerate the dough for two hours.

To Bake:

After chilling the dough, and rolling it/cutting it out into desired shapes, bake for 9-12 minutes. The bottom of the cookies most likely will not brown.

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Notes:

The dough will keep in the freezer for up to a month, if you are planning to mix it ahead.

Decorating ideas:

  • Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting after cookies cool and add sprinkles.
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate
  • You could cut out thin cookies and layer with nutella or jam