Archive for December 2009


25 Days of Cookies: Candybar Peanut Butter Cookies


I came up with the cookies below last year after Halloween. We had a ton of leftover candy that I really wanted to get rid of, but when I heard that you could use the mini candybars for cookies I had to give it a try.

I experiment with mini Snickers and mini Milky Ways, and the Snickers came out best. The Milky Way cookies weren’t bad, but once cooked and then cooled the nougat became tough. I did find them a bit tastier than the Snickers, though!

This does make quite a bit of peanut butter cookie dough, so if you find you don’t have a lot of candy bars left over for all of it, it makes regular peanut butter cookies just fine.

Candybar Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. softened butter
1 c. peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. flour
1 (16 oz.) pkg. Mini Snickers bars, cut in half

Cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla and beaten eggs and mix.

Add baking powder, baking soda and flour; mix well.

Wrap dough around each Snickers bar half, forming a ball.

Place on ungreased (or parchment-lined) cookie sheet. Cookies will flatten as they bake so don’t press them. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until light golden brown.

Makes about 50 cookies!

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25 Day of Cookies: Warm Gingerbread Cookies


What would the holidays be without gingerbread? It’s my most favorite seasonal flavor, and I love when cooler weather rolls around so I have an excuse to make it (it just doesn’t seem to go well when it’s 120° out or I’d make it then too).

My favorite recipe comes from Gail Gand, talented pastry chef formerly employed by Food Network (which is how you know she’s talented — she no longer has a show there).

For some reason, I don’t have any gingerbread men cookie cutters (although I’ve got these on my wishlist, so maybe I’ll be able to make some next year). I make do with my cute little star cutters, though, which tend to work well for both Christmas cookies and Fourth of July cookies! I also have a little tip on how to get an extra clean-cut cookie.

Warm Gingerbread Cookies
from Gale Gand

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

~ In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix. Add the eggs and mix. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix.

~ Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together. Working in batches and mixing after each addition until just combined, add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Shape the dough into a thick disk, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

~ Grease 1 or 2 cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick and cut out with desired cookie cutters.

~ Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes, and let cool on the pan.

~ Decorate with frosting and candies, if desired.

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For a cookie cutting tip, click here: Read More


25 Days of Cookies: Candied Pecans


I know, I’m only on day two and already straying from the “cookies” theme for the 25 Days of Cookies, but these candied pecans are so good that you’ll probably want to make them several times over the next three weeks anyway, especially if you’re having guests over and are looking for some light snacks.

These are really easy to make and the hardest part is, as always, the waiting. But they’re worth it!

Also, I’ve added a very handy “Print this recipe” to the end of each recipe, making it easy for you to print out the ones you’d like to try.

Candied Pecans

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250°. Grease one baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated (putting the nuts and sugar mixture in a zip-top bag makes the process easier). Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 250° for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

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