15 December 2011

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

It's time to do some more holiday baking. These cookies are one of my favorites of all time.  Believe it or not, the recipe is from a grocery store from many years ago when I was a kid.  My mom and I were both flabbergasted when we saw how few ingredients were required to make them.  See for yourself!
  • One 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 C. peanut butter
  • 2 C. Bisquick original baking mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • 36 Hershey kisses
Heat the oven to 375ºF. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, Bisquick, and vanilla extract.  Stir together well with a wooden spoon.
Shape dough into 1 1/4" balls and roll in sugar until coated evenly.
Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes. They will look more noticeably "crinkled."
Press an unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of the cookie.
Let them cool for 8 to 10 minutes.
This is my go-to recipe for any occasion requiring mass cookie baking. They always end up looking flawless, and I love how they stay soft for several days. It's quite simple really.
peanut butter + chocolate = mmmmmmmm

12 December 2011

The Perfect {Gingerbread} Man

Goodness gracious.  I love everything about gingerbread cookies.  They're fun to make and decorate (especially with other people).  They fill my house with the best aroma ever.  They're soft. They're tasty.  Finally, their presence means that Christmas is almost here!  Wahoo!
  • 1/3 C. shortening (I make half of it butter)
  • 1 C. brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 C. dark molasses
  • 2/3 C. cold water
  • 6 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
Roll out the dough 1/2" thick onto a heavily floured surface. I like to lay down parchment paper for easy clean up. I might have gone a little overboard with the flour.
Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookies. They need not necessarily be associated with Christmas or winter.

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. This is what happens when you go overboard with the flour, ha ha!
For the frosting: Combine 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 cup of softened butter.
Add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice to thin the frosting.  Keep adding powdered sugar and orange juice as needed to reach a good consistency to pipe onto the cookies. (Frosting below is still too runny!)
Fill in a frosting bag using a #4 round tip and go crazy!!! Everything looks good in gingerbread form! Let the cookies sit for several hours so the frosting can dry.
I have it on good authority that Santa is a big fan of the cowboy boots!!!