Friday, November 25, 2011

Hidden Kiss & White Chocolate Gingerbread Thumbprints.

For the last football game of the season, I decided to make Hidden Kiss and White Chocolate Gingerbread Thumbprints. I ended up being really frazzled and rushed for time today. Why? Well, it seems to take EXTRA long for butter to soften if your house is not that warm. So, I totally misjudged the amount of time I would need to make both cookies. I also had an issue with Ariana (my almost 2 month old) not wanting to be put down. But, I managed to get them both made.
It is NOT easy to make cookies like this!

Hidden Kiss Cookies
When I originally saw this cookie recipe, they were called 'Forgotten' instead of Hidden. I thought 'Hidden' made more sense given that you are essentially hiding the Kiss (or Hug as I used both) in the cookie dough. 
 All the ingredients

Now, because I wasn't paying to much attention as I begin to make this cookie, I had no idea until I was making it that this recipe is egg-free. So the cookie ends up being more of a Shortbread cookie instead of a chocolate chip cookie like I was first expecting.  Also, I will warn you that because of the lack of egg, it took a lot longer to mix the flour into the butter/sugar/vanilla mixture. It was also tougher to stir in the mini M&M's. Not impossible, and by no means would I not make these cookies again, just making you aware.
Finished Cookie Dough

Kaedence really liked eating this dough, and being egg-free I was totally ok with it. Weird how I have no problem eating dough with raw egg in it myself (Salmonella anyone?) but it freaks me out to let my daughter.
Now, just like last week's cookies, I totally recommend opening up your Kiss's ahead of time. I used Hershey's Special Dark and Hershey's Hugs (since I had some left from last week).
Hugs & Kisses

I found it super easy to 'hide' the candy. It was MUCH easier than hiding the Oreo's I did last week.  I just took a glob of cookie dough, pushed the Kiss/Hug into it, folded the dough up and then rolled it into a ball. Then onto a cookie sheet they went and into the oven.
 Big Helper and dough balls ready for the oven.
Finished Cookie!

These cookies tasted pretty good. I tried taking a picture of how the middle looked, but my pictures didn't come out as well as I had hoped.
You can see the chunk of chocolate (this was a Dark Chocolate Kiss), but the picture came out a bit blurry. I won't lie, if I made these again, I would use a basic chocolate chip recipe and substitute the chips for M&M's. I love the shortbread taste, my husband does not. I've actually made shortbread cookies before, and he was not a fan. So just for that I would switch it up.
1 Cup Softened Butter
1/3 Cup Sugar 
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar (packed) 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
2 Cups Flour 
1 Cup Mini M&ms 
1 9oz. Bag Hershey Kisses (I used Dark and Hugs)
Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth.

Add the flour and stir until well mixed.
Stir in mini M&M's.
Mold a tablespoon of cookie dough around each Kiss, covering completely. Shape into balls.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes

White Chocolate Gingerbread Thumbprints

I attempted a similar recipe to this last year. I saw it in a McCormick Spice Holiday recipe pamphlet. It used Hugs pushed into the middle of a Gingerbread cookie (like the peanut butter blossoms). So last year I made them from scratch. I hated them. Really, REALLY hated them. Not only is gingerbread SUPER hard and time consuming to make (you have to refrigerate overnight), I came to the realization that I cannot stand the smell of Molasses. I had no idea how BAD molasses smells. Who would have thought that when molasses cookies taste SOOO good?!?! Oh and the cookies I attempted last year also ended up as flat as paper. So when grocery shopping last Sunday and carousing the baking isle, I came across a Betty Crocker gingerbread cookie mix. Yes people, I cheated again and used a pre-made mix. And I am VERY happy I did! 
  All the ingredients (minus the water) to make the cookie dough.

This recipe also called for softened butter, so make sure you have enough time for that to happen! It was super easy to mix and smelled DELIGHTFUL. Reminded me of Christmas cookies.
Once the dough was mixed, I took chunks of dough and rolled them into about 1 inch balls. I then rolled them through white sugar and placed them on baking sheets.
 Ready for the oven!

Then into the oven they went. My whole house smelled divine while these babies were cooking. I'm pretty sure my dog even licked the oven.  Once the cookies were done and out of the oven, I immediatly pushed white chocolate chips into each cookie. I found it easy to make a imprint (hint the name) with my finger in each cookie and then push in the white chocolate chips. That way they didn't roll off the cookie onto the pan. I will warn you, the cookies will be HOT. So do so at your own risk.
Out of the oven and ready for their decorations!

These cookies tasted FANTASTIC. There is nothing better than a good gingerbread cookie. And the white chocolate added a bit of sweetness to the spicy cookie. 
Finished Cookie!

1 Pkg. Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
Sugar (less than half a cup)
White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Mix Dough according to package (butter, egg, water and mix)
Roll dough into 1 inch balls
Coat balls in sugar
Place on ungreased baking sheet
Bake for 10 min
Remove and immediately place 4-6 chips in middle of each cookie.
Cool completely. 

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and here's to hoping for a great weekend of College Football!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NC State Peanut Butter Blossoms and Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

So this past weekend for the NC State/Clemson football game, I tackled Peanut Butter Blossoms and Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. Be forewarned... My camera is not that great, so in turn my pictures.. Well, they leave a lot to be desired. But, I am assured that I will be getting a new one for Christmas, so my pictures *Should* improve.

Red Peanut Butter Blossoms:
I decided to make one of my husbands favorite cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms/Kiss Cookies. The spin on it this time was that I was going to dye the dough red (Didn't exactly work out) and use Hershey Hugs instead of my go to of Dark Chocolate Kisses. And because I was in a bit of a rush last weekend, I cheated and used Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie mix instead of making the dough from scratch. Heck, 2 kids and one that is literally attached to me every 2 hours should allow for some shortcuts.... Right?

So I made the dough as it said on the package and tried to dye it red..... It really didn't come out that red and I didn't want to use too much. But, I did have red iridescent sugar I was planning on rolling it in, so I was hoping that would make up for the lack of dye.

This is Kaedence being SUPER excited to help. Or just eat the Hugs (which she calls big chocolate chips).
Who doesn't love sparkly sugar?!?!  And RED sparkly sugar at that.
So as I said, I made the dough then  rolled them in to roughly 1 inch balls. Then they were rolled through their beauty treatment of red sugar.  Then I lined them up on a baking sheet and popped them in the oven.
Ok, so not exactly uniform in size.

So while they were baking, I opened up all the Hugs I would need for that batch, minus the ones my daughter stole. I find it easier to have the candy ready as you have to shove them into the cookie as soon as they are out of the oven.  Once the cookies were done, I popped the hugs into the middle of each cookie and then left them to cool. You need to leave them to cool for awhile as the Hug will melt and as Kaedence found out, it is very easy to smoosh the Hug.
Finished Cookies!

1 Pkg Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookies
1 Egg
Oil and water according to package
1 Pkg Hershey Hugs (You will not use all)
Decorative Sugar... I used Cake Mate Red Crystals
*I also used Red food coloring, but I wouldn't recommend it with the packaged mix.*

Mix cookie dough according to package.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls.
Roll through sugar, coating well. Reform into balls if necessary.
Bake 9 min at 375 Degrees.

 Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I saw a recipe for these on Pinterest and KNEW I had to try them.  What is better than my 2 favorite cookies in ONE!?!  They seemed super easy, but in fact were not as easy as I thought to assemble. Oh and I should mention, they were GIGANTIC. Like huge to the point of only being able to bake 6 at a time. Kaedence LOVED these cookies. Though, I don't think Kaedence has met a cookie she didn't like.  Oh and while I'm on the subject of kids... Here is a picture of what my husband, dog and baby were doing while Kaedence and I slaved over the cookies:
I love them =0)

So on to the cookies....  These were super yummy and very, very decadent. Like I couldn't eat more than one in a sitting. You take a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, whip it up and wrap it around an Oreo. I had to try really hard not to eat one raw. I love me some cookie dough. That may be the worst part about being pregnant. The inability to eat any type of raw dough or mix. So I am certainly making up for it now. 

Here is my almost finished cookie dough and the Winter Double Stuff Oreos.

I used the red holiday Oreo's because NC State's colors are Red (and white).  Once my cookie dough was mixed, I started the task of covering an Oreo with the chocolate chip cookie dough. It was really not easy. The dough was sticky and was sticking to my hands a ton.  I seriously recommend refrigerating the dough for a few and keeping flour nearby for your hands. I did this after my first batch. Basically you put a glob of cookie dough on top of the Oreo, a glob under and then wrap it around the sides so the Oreo is completely covered. Then you bake them.
HUGE Cookies in the oven.
As I said, these cookies are gigantic. I could only bake 6 at a time. My whole batch made about 16 very large cookies (after I ate some of the dough of course). 

 Finished Cookie!

The cookies all came out yummy and the guys loved them. This cookie also had a surprise. Above the Oreo, a little bubble formed (not sure why). And in that bubble was gooey cookie dough. YUM.

 Right out of the oven. See the gooey soft cookie dough on top of the smooshy Oreo? HEAVENLY

2 Sticks (1 cup) softened butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package Double Stuff Oreo cookies

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
Add Flour, salt and baking soda and mix until well combined. Add chocolate chips and mix. 
*Refrigerate if dough is too sticky to handle*
Take dough and form a ball or lump. Place 1 lump under and 1 lump over Oreo. Smoosh over sides until  Oreo is completely covered.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-14min or until golden brown.

And that's it for last weekends cookies! Stay tuned for my next foray into cookie making this weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This is my first EVER blog posting.  I've been asked (quite a few times) for recipes for cookies and such that I make, and I thought.. Why not start a blog and post them as I go along.  I've also been told to make a cookbook, but hey, this is WAY easier.

So, some background:  I am a stay at home mom to 2 fantastic girls. Kaedence is 2 1/2 and Ariana will be 2 months in a few days.  They definitely keep my hands full and my days busy! I have been with my husband Craig for 9 1/2 years (married for 5). He is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, so you can imagine how happy he is with my love for baking. LOL.  I also have a crazy dog named Spike. He's pretty well known for polishing off an entire box of cupcakes and at least 13 chocolate chip cookies without getting too sick. And yes, those were separate occasions.  I will admit, most of my cookie baking is during the football season (which yes is drawing to a close), but I have been known to bake on a whim here and there.  I have always loved baking. Cookies, brownies, cakes, Fudge, candy. I'm not really sure what else to put in this FIRST POST, so I will probably end it here! I will update as I bake.. This weekend it will be Forgotten Kiss Cookies and Gingerbread for the final NC State Football game! Though, I think tomorrow I will update will some cookie recipes that I did last weekend. Hope you enjoyed reading!
My Crazy Family on Halloween