Friday, December 7, 2018

Gingerbread Cookie Stars / #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to the last day of #ChristmasCookieWeek 2018! I have one more recipe to share with you today, and then we will be done filling our cookie tin! I searched for a cookie that is pretty much universally loved by all, and also screams "Christmas"! I needed it to be a small cookie, so it could be what I like to call "a filler". A filler cookie fills the holes in the cookie tin once the tin is filled with the larger cookies. There is usually room for filler cookies on the sides of the tin. Of course, fillers don't always have to be cookies. They could also be candy that compliments the cookies, like caramels, peppermints or fudge!

I knew right away that I wanted to make small gingerbread cookies as my filler! They are one of my very favorite cookies, and it just wouldn't be Christmas without them! So I decided to make these Gingerbread Cookie Stars. They are simple, small and have just enough of the gold and silver sugar to be festive! I think they fill our tin beautifully!

Gingerbread Cookie Stars
(printable recipe at end of page)

1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 cup Molasses
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Vinegar
2 1/2 cups Flour
Decorative Sugars

Beat the shortening for 30 seconds on medium speed, then add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to combine the ingredients. Scrape sides of bowl once combined.
Add molasses, egg, and vinegar. Mix with batter.

Add flour and mix in.
Once all batter is combined, divide dough in half, and wrap with plastic. Chill for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
Once chilled, roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness. I rolled the dough between parchment paper because I like how easy it is to handle this way.
But you can also do it this way.
Cut dough with a star cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with decorative sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes, depending on the size of your star. Cool on a cooling rack, and enjoy!



Now that I am done baking all the cookies to fill up the cookie tins I give to friends during the holidays, I thought I would share with you how the tin looks with the cookies in it. I am very happy with how they turned out, and I think everyone will enjoy every cookie!

Thank you so much for joining me and my blogging friends, as we worked our way through the tastiest week of the season! I hope you enjoyed all the recipes, and let me know if you make any of them! One question-What's in your cookie tin?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Find it here!

Look at all these tasty goodies my blogging friends made today:

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Friday Recipes






Gingerbread Cookie Stars

ingredients:

1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 cup Molasses
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Vinegar
2 1/2 cups Flour
Decorative Sugars

instructions:


  1. Beat the shortening for 30 seconds on medium speed, then add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to combine the ingredients. Scrape sides of bowl once combined.
  2. Add molasses, egg, and vinegar. Mix with batter.
  3. Add flour and mix in.
  4. Once all batter is combined, divide dough in half, and wrap with plastic. Chill for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  5. Once chilled, roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness. I rolled the dough between parchment paper because I like how easy it is to handle this way.
  6. Cut dough with a star cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with decorative sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes, depending on the size of your star. Cool on a cooling rack, and enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Celebrate It Link Party!

Welcome to Celebrate It!
I am so happy you are here! It seems as if we are smack in the middle of the holidays, but I am feeling very far behind in my preparations. No tree up, no gifts bought, I need to get busy!!!
I hope your holidays are going smoother than mine!! Anyway.... lets, get this party started!
Link up and share!

Last weeks featured link ups:

Fun and Festive 50+ DIY Christmas Ideas
from

Moving into Our New House 

It's Christmas Time in The City
from





Cut out Sugar Cookies / #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

One of my favorite cookies to bake and decorate is a cut out sugar cookie! I have been making them for a long time, and I love giving them away in my cookie tins for Christmas! For today's Cut Out Sugar Cookie I used an ornament cookie cutter, courtesy of yum google, and it was so much fun making this cookie! 
This is the fourth cookie I am making this week for the cookie tins I'm sending out this holiday season. I chose a vintage looking ornament because there is so much you can do with it! I decided to give it a old time vibe, but it would also look great in modern colors, a solid color, or maybe with a design on it! 
Cut Out Sugar Cookies
(printable recipe at end of page)

5 cups Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Salt

Royal Icing
6 ounces Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Powdered Confectioners Sugar

Mix the dry ingredients together, then set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and extract, and continue to mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, to the butter mixture. Mix until the flour mix is incorporated and the dough comes together.

Cut a piece of parchment paper 2 times the size of the cookie sheet. Fold it in half. Place some dough on the parchment, fold the paper over and roll the dough to a 1/4" thickness. Place the dough on the cookie sheet, and do it again until all the dough is between parchment paper and on the tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The dough will become solid, making it easier to cut out the cookies. This system works great if you are using an intricate cookie cutter too. It cuts the edges and corners perfectly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the design. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Then remove cookie from cookie sheet and let it cool on a cooling rack. Once you have cut the cookie from the dough, let the rest of the dough soften a bit and then reroll it and refrigerate all over again.
Make the frosting  by pouring the warm water in a mixer and add the meringue powder. Whisk by hand until frothy for 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds again. Pour all the confectioners sugar into the mixer bowl, and mix using a paddle attachment for 10 minutes. Frosting should be thick and creamy. Cover with plastic when not using.

I decided to decorate the ornament cookie with some old time gold and silver decorating sugar. Start by outlining where you want to put some of the same color sugar. It is easier to decorate when the parts you are working on are separate from one another. After outline the area, spread the white icing lightly through the space. Add the sugar, a bit heavy in the spot, and let it dry for 30 minutes. After the time is up, it will still be wet, but you are able to work near the other color.  Outline the top of the bottom part and the very top hook area. Add the silver sugar to those areas.
Add the silver to the bottom of the second area from the bottom. Use a piece of wax paper as a shield when applying the color close to another. 
Apply the icing as the glue to the big section just above and below the circle. Let dry. Place the star in the center of the circle to see where you want it. Use the pastry bag with the frosting in it and outline around the star. Spread frosting in the area around the star, and sprinkle the gold and silver mix in that area. Let dry, and remove star cutter. If necessary, use a small dry paint brush to get rid of sprinkles that don't stick. Wrap a ribbon through the hole and hang on a tree, or add it to your cookie tin!



Don't forget to check out these yummy cookie recipes from my blogger friends!: 

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Thursday Recipes


Our giveaway is still open. Don't forget to enter!


Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle
Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The
#ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up.
All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right
to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds
of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received.
The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors.
#ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery
of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family
members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way
sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram,
Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the
#ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.


Cut Out Sugar Cookies

ingredients:

Cut Out Sugar Cookies
5 cups Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Salt

Royal Icing
6 ounces Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Powdered Confectioners Sugar

instructions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, then set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and extract, and continue to mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, to the butter mixture. Mix until the flour mix is incorporated and the dough comes together.
  3. Cut a piece of parchment paper 2 times the size of the cookie sheet. Fold it in half. Place some dough on the parchment, fold the paper over and roll the dough to a 1/4" thickness. Place the dough on the cookie sheet, and do it again until all the dough is between parchment paper and on the tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate. the dough will become solid, making it easier to cut out the cookies. This system works great if you are using intricate an cookie cutter too. It cuts the edges and corners perfectly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the design. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Then remove cookie from cookie sheet and let it cool on a cooling rack. Once you have cut the cookie from the dough, let the rest of the dough soften a bit and then reroll it and refrigerate all over again.
  5. Make the frosting  by pouring the warm water in a mixer and add the meringue powder. Whisk by hand until frothy for 30 seconds. Add Cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds again. Pour all the confectioners sugar into the mixer bowl, and mix using a paddle attachment, for a 10 minutes. Frosting should be thick and creamy. Cover with plastic when not using.
  6. I decided to decorate the ornament cookie with some old time gold and silver decorating sugar. Start by outlining where you want to put some of the same color sugar. It is easier to decorate when the parts you are working on are separate from one another. After outline the area, spread the white icing lightly through the space. Add the sugar, a bit heavy in that spot, and let it dry for 30 minutes. After the time is up, it will still be wet, but you are able to work near the other color.  Outline the top of the bottom part and the very top hook area. Add the silver sugar to those areas.
  7. Add the silver to the bottom of the second area from the bottom. Use a piece of wax paper as a shield when applying the color close to another. 
  8. Apply the icing as the glue to the big section just above and below the circle. Let dry. Place the star in the center of the circle to see where you want it. Use the pastry bag with the frosting in it and outline around the star. Spread frosting in the area around the star, and sprinkle the gold and silver mix in that area. Let dry, and remove star cutter. If necessary, use a small dry to brush away sprinkles that don't stick. Wrap a ribbon through the hole and hang on a tree, or add to our cookie tin!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies / #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

On day 3 of #ChristmasCookiesWeek I thought it would be fun to make a holiday version of a cookie that most of us have eaten throughout our lives. Is there anything tastier than the thumbprint cookie? During the holidays, the Thumbprint Cookie is pretty much a staple around here. We make it every year, and I always try to make a new variation of this favorite just to keep it fun!

This thumbprint cookie fits perfectly into our Christmas tins. They are small enough to be considered a filler cookie, but I like to make simpler cookies the fillers, and let the other cookies kinda "hog the spotlight"! This tasty Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookie is a definite "cookie tin" hog! It has a great peppermint flavor, thanks to Adams Extract, and the chocolate dough is a natural taste sensation with the peppermint! Add the chunky  peppermint, and you have a cookie very few people will turn down! Building your cookie tin, it's important to use some universally liked flavors, such as the peppermint, or maybe gingerbread or egg nog. You want people to love your cookies! 
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
(Printable recipe at end of page)

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup powdered Sugar
1 cup granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla
5 1/4 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2-4 tablespoons Adams Peppermint Extract
10 oz. bag Peppermint Baking Chunks, chop small
1 10 oz. bag Candy Cane Kisses
1  12 oz bag SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
2 teaspoon Milk
4 -5 tablespoons Milk 
1 3.5 oz. Candy Cane Bar


Beat the butter until it is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until combined.
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of peppermint extract. Mix until blended. 
Use another bowl and mix together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mix to the wet mix. Blend until completely mixed. test the batter to see if you want to add more peppermint extract. If you do, add 1-2 more tablespoons. Stir in the chopped peppermint baking chunks. 
In a double boiler, melt the bag of semisweet chips. Add the milk as they are melting. It will help the chocolate smooth out. Add the melted chocolate to the cookie batter and mix together. reserve a 1/8 cup for the drizzle when you serve them.
Start scooping the dough into a scoop, if available. You can also use a spoon. You want your dough balls to be very close in size. Place on a cookie sheet, leaving space like above. 
To place an indentation in the middle of the cookie, I use a pestle. If you don't have one available, use any rounded object, such as the end of a wooden spoon. Before placing the pestle in to the dough, spray a very small amount of oil on the top. The oil will prevent the pestle from sticking to your dough. I use a spray canola oil, and wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Bake for 9-11 minutes. It will be difficult to tell if the cookies are brown, just watch the clock for time. Remove cookie from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven, place unwrapped candy cane kisses onto each cookie. Let cool.
Once cookies are on a serving tray, toss a few of the chunks around on the cookies, then drizzle the cookies with the reserved chocolate. If it is too thick, warm up a small amount of milk or cream in the microwave, and mix it into the chocolate a little at a time, until it has a drizzle consistancy. Serve and Enjoy!

A few notes: This cookie dough can be made ahead of time. After you have added the chocolate and mixed it in, divide the dough in half, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate. When you are ready to make the dough balls, mix the doughs together in a bowl. If the mix is a bit dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. Then return to the recipe!



Don't forget about all the other fun and tasty recipes from my blogging friends! You can find them below:

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Wednesday Recipes 


Have you entered the giveaway yet? There are some great prizes, so enter here for a chance to win!

Thank you for stopping by today! I think our cookie tin is coming along fabulously, don't you?! Only 2 more cookies left! Stop by tomorrow for a very pretty and delicate Sugar Cookie Ornament!
Happy Baking!



Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints

ingredients:

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup powdered Sugar
1 cup granulated Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla
5 1/4 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2-4 tablespoons Adams Peppermint Extract
10 oz. bag Peppermint Baking Chunks, chop small
1 10 oz. bag Candy Cane Kisses
1  12 oz bag SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
2 teaspoon Milk
4 -5 tablespoons Milk 
1 3.5 oz. Candy Cane Bar

instructions:


  1. Beat the butter until it is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until combined.
  2. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of peppermint extract. Mix until blended. 
  3. Use another bowl and mix together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mix to the wet mix. Blend until completely mixed. test the batter to see if you want to add more peppermint extract. If you do, add 1-2 more tablespoons. Stir in the chopped peppermint baking chunks. 
  4. In a double boiler, melt the bag of semisweet chips. Add the milk as they are melting. It will help the chocolate smooth out. Add the melted chocolate to the cookie batter and mix together. reserve a 1/8 cup for the drizzle when you serve them.
  5. Start scooping the dough into a scoop, if available. You can also use a spoon. You want your dough balls to be very close in size. Place on a cookie sheet, leaving space like above. 
  6. To place an indentation in the middle of the cookie, I use a pestle. If you don't have one available, use any rounded object, such as the end of a wooden spoon. Before placing the pestle in to the dough, spray a very small amount of oil on the top. The oil will prevent the pestle from sticking to your dough. I use a spray canola oil, and I wipe off the excess with a paper towel if I spray too much.
    Bake for 9-11 minutes. It will be difficult to tell if the cookies are brown, just watch the clock for time. Remove cookie from oven and place on a cooling rack.
  7. Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven, place unwrapped candy cane kisses onto each cookie. Let cool.
  8. Once cookies are on a serving tray, toss a few of the chunks around on the cookies, then drizzle the cookies with the reserved chocolate. If it is too thick, warm up a small amount of milk or cream in the microwave, and mix it into the chocolate a little at a time, until it has a drizzle consistancy. Serve and Enjoy!
  9. A few notes: This cookie dough can be made ahead of time. After you have added the chocolate and mixed it in, divide the dough in half, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate. When you are ready to make the dough balls, mix the doughs together in a bowl. If the mix is a bit dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. Then return to the recipe!
Created using The Recipes Generator




Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.