Pistachio and Cherry Wedding Cookies

I made these for my 2017 cookie party, and I really liked them. Of course I love the cherry and pistachio combo, and I love wedding cookies. So they were sort of a shoe-in for me. This recipes is adapted from Epicurious.

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar plus more for coating
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios (about 4 ounces), chopped
1 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 2/3 cups sifted all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 3 heavy large baking sheets. Using electric mixer, beat 2 cups butter and 1 cup powdered sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and salt, then pistachios and cherries. Using spatula, stir in all flour (do not overmix dough).

Shape dough by generous tablespoonfuls into football-shaped ovals. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until bottoms just begin to color, about 16 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 10 minutes before coating.

Pour generous amount of powdered sugar into medium bowl. Working with 5 or 6 warm cookies at a time, add cookies to bowl of sugar; gently turn to coat thickly. Transfer cookies to sheet of waxed paper. Repeat to coat cookies with sugar again; cool completely. do ahead Can be made 4 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mom’s recipe says it’s from Diane, but since I have no idea who that is, I’m just going to call these mom’s. I admit, I had to come to terms with using shortening instead of butter, but once I got on board, it’s been yummy cookies all the way! 

There are two tips I’ll share. New York Times says to make the dough 36 hours ahead of time. Who knew? Of course this requires a level of organization that I can’t even hope to have. But a girl has to have  a dream, right?

The other is about the chocolate. I love chocolate chip cookies, but sometimes, well they are almost too chocolate chippy. So I sometimes get chocolate bars and thinly chop them instead of using chips. It takes 2 minutes, and the results are thin chocolate ribbons going through the cookies, which I find more delicious than the lumps of chocolate. Don’t judge.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped up semisweet chocolate bar)
1 1/2 cup nuts (optional, or add some dried cherries for variety)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat shortening and both sugars until very creamy, 5 minutes or so. Add flour mixture, vanilla, chocolate chip and nuts, and stir until just combined.

Frankenstein Bars

I saw the cutest recipe for Frankenstein Bars this weekend. We were on the way home from Six Flags (side note: you could not PAY me to go to their nighttime Fright Fest, where they pump in fog everywhere so their scary employees can jump out and get ya. No Thank You.).

But I digress.

I was reading the news  (People magazine) and thought just maybe I could pull off these cute bars.
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Lemon ‘Swig’ Sugar Cookies

When my friend Molly shows up to a youth baseball practice with cookies in a cellophane bag,  tied with a ribbon…I knew it was going to be good!  

These cookies are a perfect mix of sugar, lemon, and goodness.  The texture is buttery and smooth.  The frosting compliments the cookie better than most.  Can you say hello Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting?    

Thank you Molly,  for sharing your mad baking skills and friendship with me!  To our lemon loving friends,  it’s not too late to bake these for a special teacher or friend.  Follow the directions closely, leaving thicker than normal and also baking a short amount of time.

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Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Rolls

overnight-cinnamon-twist5I admit it.  Baking with yeast takes it up a notch.  The Easter Bunny prepared this yummy treat for our family.  When a recipe can be started the night before, I am all in.   Cinnamon and sugar is a win win.  Add a serving of bacon or sausage, done and done. High Five!  These were made with love for my boys.   I can only hope that sharing this recipe brings sweetness to your life.

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Taco Seasoning

The last time I needed a taco seasoning packet, I called a neighbor and they were out of the seasoning. I started digging for a good recipe, so that I could keep it on hand. What I found is that it is simple and fresher tasting. Add a pound of hamburger meat or ground turkey with this recipe and you will immediately notice the difference. If you prefer a slightly milder flavor, use a little less. I use ground turkey, flavored with this recipe (you can’t tell the difference from hamburger) on a salad with the Homemade Salsa on this blog as my go to meal. You can also use this recipe to flavor turkey for the Taco Soup recipe found on this blog.

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

cookiesThis recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a blog I love so much I bought her cookbook. Some people say Ina Garten’s recipes are fail proof; I guess you could say Deb Perlman is my Ina. I made these cookies for the first time for my cookie party, which is a commitment. But they worked great, and I frosted them the exact same way as my sugar cookies, and they were a nice change of pace! 

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