Thursday, December 29, 2016

MiMi's Monster Cookies


     I am surprised it has taken me this long to get around to posting our family favorite recipe for monster cookies on the blog.  We have had them a number of times in the past year, I've even taken pictures of a few.  I think the problem is that MiMi is normally in charge of making them instead of me, so for whatever reason they haven't been posted yet.  Whatever the reason, it is high time we get to them.  Better late than never I suppose!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Donna's Famous Cheesecake

This cheesecake only takes a handful of ingredients, but results in a smooth and creamy dessert every time. It's so good my sister requested it for her wedding cake!


   I love cheesecake! My aunt Donna spoils me (and she makes a good cheesecake!)  She makes original cheesecakes, chocolate cheesecakes, round cheesecakes, square cheesecakes and they are all yummy!  So of course I had to make her cheesecake recipe very early in this blog's life.  It was delicious, of course!  The best part is the recipe is easy and I usually don't have any problems with it cracking.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016


       I hope you all had a great Christmas, if you celebrate.  We certainly did.  It is always a bit of a letdown though when it's over.  There is so much preparation, decoration and buildup and then it's just over!   Of course there isn't a square inch free on our living room floor right now.  All of the construction vehicles and tools have taken over!  That's alright though, we have one very happy little guy and there will be plenty of time to sort through it all later.  You know, after my long winter's nap ;-)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Knock Your Socks Off Cinnamon Buns

These cinnamon buns are mind blowing! The dough makes the softest, gooiest, most delicious cinnamon roll you've ever had!



    It's Cake Slice Bakers time again!  For those of you who don't remember, we are baking from Maida Heatter's Cakes this year.  Each month Laura picks four recipes and we choose one of them to bake.  There were some really fun sounding recipes this month, I would have loved to bake them all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Brownie Batter Puppy Chow

That childhood favorite snack of yours just got an upgrade! Whether you call it puppy chow, muddy buddies or just plain good, you have to try this brownie batter version!


     Puppy Chow is one of those childhood favorites that you just have to make every once in a while.  Crunchy, chocolaty, peanut buttery goodness that brings you right back to those carefree days.  It made an appearance at all of our sleepovers, movie nights.  It is still a must have for holidays, game nights or a special treat on a movie night.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gingerbread Cakes

This gingerbread cake has a great balance of spice and sweet and can be baked in a 9" pan or in these cute little gingerbread house molds. 



      It's time for another cake slice cake!!  As usual, all four choices look great.  But it is December and there is a gingerbread cake in the mix, so I just had to go that way.  Other than gingerbread cookies, I really hadn't make much gingerbread before joining the group last year.  I believe this is now my third version in a little over a year.  It is amazing how many different version there are and how different the flavor profile of each is.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Toasted Oatmeal Cutout Cookies

If you want some fun roll and cut cookies that are different than anything you've ever had, these toasted oatmeal cutout cookies are the thing for you! They make for cute and tasty Christmas cookies! 



      There are some cookies that we just have to make from year to year.  Actually, this year I really thought I was going to skip the cut out cookies all together.  They are fun, but they do take a bit of work and things have been extra busy lately.  Of course as the time grew close, I just couldn't not make some.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork loin stuffed with apples and rosemary makes for one delicious dinner. It is easier to assemble than you'd think too! 



   MiMi normally hosts whoever is available for dinner on Saturday nights.  She likes to get the kids together a cook a big meal.  If we don't all show up, poor dad is stuck eating the leftovers all week long! I had been wanting to make some risotto for a while now.  

    But if I am going to put that kind of effort into the side dish, the meat might as well be a little special as well.  A nice pork roast scented with rosemary sounded good.  Why not do some apples as well.  Heck, let's shove it all inside the pork and add a little balsamic just to round it out.  Why not?!   So, I offered to host family dinner here tonight.  If I am going to cook a hunk of pork and a big pot of risotto, I might as well share!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dori's Cherry Pineapple Gelatin

This fun cherry pineapple "salad" is sure to be a hit with your family. It is a simple make ahead side dish that is festive for a holiday or fun for a BBQ. 


       At the end of the year in 2014, I sent out an email to family asking for recipes.  I wanted family favorites. I wanted old recipes that have been in our family forever and new recipes that people were making and loving currently.  This was before the blog.  Honestly, it was before I really even knew what blogs were.  I started getting emails with recipes people loved and I couldn't wait to start cooking my way through them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Perfectly Chewy Peanut Butter Blossoms

A chewier version of the classic blossom cookie. A soft peanut butter cookie hugs a chocolate candy for a piece of holiday heaven! It just wouldn't be Christmas without them! 


      I know, I know.  The 12 Days of Cookies is over.  It sure was fun though, wasn't it?  And I just couldn't help myself.... I've got cookie fever.  So, I thought I should go for the baker's dozen.  You see, yesterday was our friend Sam's birthday.  I had to make him a batch of kolacky, they are his annual birthday request.  While the oven was on and the flour and sugar were in the air, it seemed like we might as well make his other most requested cookie too.  I mean, 'tis the season!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze

If you love cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies, you are going to love this delicious marriage of the two. They are a hit every time I make them!



     I think these are our new official shower cookies.  I have made them for two showers now.  We threw a Bun in the Oven Shower for my cousin Cori that had to have some cinnamon bun cookies.  They got such rave review there that I knew I had to make a batch for my sister's Bridal Shower Brunch as well.  There were no complaints that they were served again by those who attended both. ;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chocolate Covered Cherry Snowballs

These festive cookies feature a dark chocolate snowball cookie dough wrapped around a maraschino cherry for a fun Christmas cookie unlike any other! They aren't too sweet and just the right size for a couple bites and a smile! 


  Ho ho ho! It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!  Is it just me or is time flying?  I could really use one nice clear day to catch up... but then I'd probably want one more.  So, we'll just have to make due with the hours that we have.  At least I have plenty of cookies to keep me going through the season!  A month long sugar high?  It seems like there are worse things! ;-)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kolacky - A Tribute to Aunt Bun

It wouldn't be Christmas without some homemade Kolacky.  They are a tradition in my husband's family and one that I am glad to keep going. They are a delicious cookie that will be the star of your holiday tray!


    I never had the pleasure of meeting Matt's Godmother, Aunt Bun.  From what I hear, we would have gotten along famously.  We have a lot in common after-all.  We are both the oldest of six children, we both like to entertain and love to cook.  If her children are any indication, she was a fun loving, family centered, wonderful woman.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Welcome Home Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were a fun welcome to the neighborhood treat that came with an even more fun story. They quickly worked their way into our hearts as among the best chocolate chip cookies we've had!



        Those of you who follow along regularly probably remember that things got a little nuts here in October.  We had a chili cook-off planned and invites had been sent almost two full months in advance so people could work out their prize winning recipes. My sister, who was newly engaged (like the end of September newly) decided to go ahead and get married in December.

        So there was a shower to plan and wedding details to work out.  I turned in my resignation at the lab I had worked in for over 10 years and started a new job.  And my parents bought the farmstead and moved. All in October.  Since then it has been a whirlwind of showers, weddings, moving, remodels, holidays, going out of town for training, and baking up a storm for all of the above.  Things have been are crazy! And fun! And a little bit crazy!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Melting Moments

These melt in your mouth cookies are the perfect mix of simplicity and deliciousness. Melting moments are a sure favorite this holiday season! 



     Hasn't 12 days of Cookies been fun so far?  There are so many great varieties and inspiration from all around the world.  I don't know about you, but I have found plenty of recipes to add to my must make list.

    If only the holiday baking season were a bit longer and there were a few more hours in the day, I could have the best cookie trays in all of the land filled with a few of each of these marvelous cookies.  I suppose there is always next year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

   

   I just love Christmas cookies!  I love making them and I love eating them.  There are certain cookies we have to have every year.  Of course you need sugar cookies.  Then there are the fudge dipped crescents.  We have to have the chocolate dipped Ritz crackers and peanut butter, chocolate covered pretzels and buckeyes just to name a few.  We only make most of them at this time of the year, so it is something to look forward to.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Soft and Spicy Molasses Cookies

These molasses cookies are warm, sweet and spicy. They are also soft and chewy. They are sue to be a hit on your holiday cookie tray!


      It is funny that even though I come from a very German family on my dad's side, gingerbread wasn't really a holiday staple.  We always had sugar cookies, and crescent cookies, there was always peanut brittle and a variety of other cookies and candies.  But we never really got into the molasses and spiced cookies.  My husband's German family, however got a bit more into gingerbread.  His uncle Doug and family make and send gingerbread men from Washington state each year.  It is the highlight of his grandma's Christmas season, I think.  She gets the lot of gingerbread men and picks out a couple for each of the family members.  But I think Matt's dad takes the cake on gingerbread loving.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Clint's Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chewy chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in my family. There is a secret ingredient that makes them extra good!



     To be honest, before this batch I hadn't had these cookies in years.  But there was an era in my family where these were an absolute staple.  My brother, Clint, was one of those kids who was in high school when September 11th happened.  He and a bunch of his friends instantly new as soon as they graduated they would join the services, and join they did.  It was one of those moments that made you proud and scared at the same time.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

German Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread men are a Christmas must have! These one have a nice buttery cookie base and all of the spices are likely to already be in your spice cabinet. They will make converts of those who don't think they like these spicy little fellas! 


     Let me tell you the story about how two paths converged to make these cookies.  First, when I was searching for cookie cutters to make the cinnamon brown sugar cookies for Ro's baby shower I found a goat cookie cutter in MiMi's cutters.  My father-in-law loves gingerbread cookies and he has recently become a goat farmer, so I just knew I had to make him gingerbread goats!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Great Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

Delightful peanut butter cookie goodness.  This recipe is straight out of grandma's recipe box and can be baked with a chewy or crisp texture. Pour a glass of milk and dive in! 



      This cookie recipe was passed down from my great-grandma.  After she was no longer able to make them, the boys of the family took them over.  Now my grandpa makes them each Christmas, so there is always a tin on the holiday table.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Super Duper Chewy Milk Chocolate M&M Cookies

Big chewy chocolaty cookies that just beg for a glass of milk.  These super duper chew milk chocolate M & M cookies are a perfect treat! 



    Super Duper Chewy Milk Chocolate M&M Cookies are bound to be one of those cookies that your family asks for year round!  I mean why not?  Afterall, the only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate and the only thing better than a cookies is a bigger cookie.  You know I'm right.  Don't even try to deny it!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cuppa Cookies

These cookies are crisp and buttery.  Filled with a "cuppa" this and a cuppa that, they are sure to win you over!



        A cup of this and a cup of that is all it takes to make these light and crisp cookies and your family will be full of gratitude!  It is finally here, the 12 Days of Cookies!!  It feels like it has been a long time coming... probably since Ellen from Family Around the Table and I started talking about it months ago.  Really, I think it's been in the works since mid-summer.
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