Posts Tagged ‘cookies


Sugar Cookies and baking prep

I am totally geared up for the holidays, at least as far as the kitchen is concerned.  My poor house hasn’t been decorated yet, though.  My decorations are stuck – and I do mean stuck – in the attic.  It requires a ladder for access and we lack one of those.  We had possession of my dad-in-law’s ladder for long enough to get them up there.  Since then, we have returned it and haven’t been shopping.

I am not fretting.  They’re coming out of the attic this weekend if I have to climb on Steve’s back to get them!

The kitchen, on the other hand, is completely stocked and ready for holiday baking.  I sat down yesterday to come up with a tentative list of cookies/candies that will be made on our annual baking day.

This year, I wanted to add a cookie to the list – something simple that I could easily jazz up with additions.  Is a sugar cookie not the most perfect way to do that?  The only times  that I have made sugar cookies, they have come from a plastic-covered tube and required only slicing and throwing on a baking sheet.  What a tragedy!  All those preservatives, chemicals.. blech!  Don’t misunderstand, they tasted great but they sure weren’t good for you.  I’ve changed that…

Classic Sugar Cookies

 1 C unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 C sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 C all purpose flour

In large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy.  Add sugar and beat on medium speed until light in color, about 1 minute.  Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.  Add baking powder and salt and continue mixing.   Beat in flour, small amounts at a time, until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 

Chill mixture for about 1 hour in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and pull that icy cold, stainless bowl out of the freezer (or fridge if you have more patience than me).  Add 1/2 C granulated sugar to a bowl (or pie dish if you, again, are impatient like me).  Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, measure out rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into 1″ balls and roll each ball in sugar (hmm.. colored sugar next time?).  Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until cookies appear wrinkled on top and are light golden at edges.  Move to a wire rack to cool.  Steve swiped a few of these fresh from the oven and declared them “delicious puffs of air.”  I don’t exactly know what that means but will assume it is good since he has devoured them already.  Yes, they are now on our Christmas baking list. 

What’s on yours?


I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

Yet another day of rain here.  As if we needed any more!  Our poor yards are so saturated, but there are no clouds in this house!  I baked up some sunshine today –

That’s ONE batch of chocolate chip cookies and my hubby’s eyes were bulging from his skull at the sight.  Perfectly crisp, gooey handfuls of sunshine.  There are no clouds in this kitchen!

Steve’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar (I use dark brown for an extra kick of molasses)
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 12 oz. package of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In stand mixer or with hand mixer, beat butter on high until fluffy.  Mix in sugars, baking powder and salt until combined.  Beat in eggs (one at a time) and vanilla until combined.  Mix in flours.  Fold chocolate chips into batter.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet (about 1 inch apart).  Bake 9-10 minutes until edges are golden brown.  This recipe always makes between 60-66 cookies for me (aka a mountain!!). 

This is an incredibly easy recipe and the cookies will keep (in a covered container) for at least a week at room temperature.  I’m not sure how much longer they will last since Steve consumes them all by himself in that amount of time.  Add a little bit of extra sunshine with 1/2 C chopped nuts or your own favorite chips (white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter).  I’m debating adding a few tablespoons of PB2 into the batter for the next batch.  Reese’s Cookies… I can see the sun peeking through the clouds now!


It’s beginning to look a lot like…

CHRISTMAS!  I can’t even wrap my brain around the fact that it’s 4 days away.  I keep adding to my “to-do” list and it isn’t getting any shorter!  I think I’ll ask Santa for more hours in my day!

I spent all day Saturday with my Mom for our annual Baking Day – a day devoted to stocking the kitchen with sugary goodness.  We added a few new items to this year’s list and they all turned out to be so yummy!  There was Double Chocolate Biscotti

And chewy ginger cookies for Daddy..

The darker cookies resulted from a darker, more-seasoned pan.  They were quite a bit crispier!

We had delicious chocolate fudge..

.. which has whole marshmallows in it this year, because they just wouldn’t melt!

A new addition: Chocolate-covered pretzels with peppermint, pecans and peanuts

Coconut-Date Balls

And the cookies that went un-photographed included Brownie Crackles, Walnut Lemon Bars (which I think overtook my dad’s #1 favorite cookie spot), Peanut Butter Blossoms and Ginger Lemon Pinwheels.  Most of these cookies, if there is a just God, will walk out of our door on plates for the neighbors.  I have a terrible weakness for cookies!  I “healthified” the biscotti by subbing Splenda for sugar and they still taste amazing, so I don’t feel so bad about those!

My dear, sweet husband isn’t a baker, so he spent Baking Day bonding with Jack.  I haven’t decided which of the 2 is cuter..

I had to fit some normal food in the day somewhere.  Enter a Sun-dried Tomato Flat Out wrap with spinach, laughing cow and grilled chicken, with a Gala for good measure:

After an exhausting Baking Day, the weather was supposed to get ugly, so we headed home.  While some of my close friends in Northern VA got blasted by a blizzard, we got a light dusting.  Our first snow..

It may not be a blanket, but it sure is pretty!  I captured the beauty on my way out the door to the gym on Sunday morning.  Since our front porch gets very little sun, it was still there by night time.

The rest of my weekend was spent relaxing and movie watching with hubby.  We went to see Invictus and I was very impressed.  We seem to be on a roll with good movies recently and I am very much looking forward to seeing It’s Complicated or Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day with Steve & his parents.  It’s their annual tradition and I am eager to take part this year!

The next few days promise to be VERY busy.  I have a lot to get done prior to my surgery on Wednesday and the arrival of my Aunt Cin & Uncle Ken from Georgia.  I also plan to spend this evening getting ready for an interview tomorrow with Dominion Pathology.  They have a position for a grossing lab tech and I am SO ready to have a salaried job with regular hours!  Crossing my fingers.  It’s studying time 🙂

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!