Cherry Chocolate Kisses

The peanut butter blossoms are the cookies I always thought of when using chocolate kisses. It was only a couple of weeks ago I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and realized this would be so much better (and prettier) for my Christmas cookie boxes. The idea of a cherry flavored cookie with a little bit of chocolate on top sounded very new and exciting to me. It led me to look up even more variations of this type of cookie, but I ultimately decided on trying this one and saving the others for another time.

They were very simple to make. I made the mistake of putting them down on parchment paper instead of just the cookie sheet when the recipe clearly said “ungreased cookie sheet”. This caused my cookies to spread out a little more than they should have, but they still looked very nice, especially when they were all in a big pile of chocolatey cherry goodness. I had to give one a try before sticking them in the freezer. If you like maraschino cherries and you like chocolate, this is such a good combo. You can roll them in red colored sugar instead of regular granulated white sugar to make them look even more festive!

Rating 5/5

 

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

Oven Temp: 350°F

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp maraschino cherry liquid

1/4 tsp almond extract

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

white sugar for rolling

48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and salt; combine. Beat in cherry juice and almond extract, scraping the sides of the bowl.

Slowly beat in flour until just combined. Stir in chopped cherries. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, shape dough into 1-inch balls, rolling them in white granulated sugar to coat. Place each ball of dough about 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie while they are still hot. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool and chocolate to set overnight (or place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to speed up the hardening of the chocolate). Store in an airtight container.

Found the recipe here.

Enjoy.

White Chocolate Peppermint Butter Cookies

One of my favorite flavors of anything is peppermint. Peppermint frozen yogurt, peppermint mocha, peppermint candy, and peppermint baked goods. These little heart-shaped cookies were made possible with my cookies press. There is peppermint extract in the cookie dough and the candy canes on the outside add a crunch as well as more peppermint flavor. This is a variation of the Golden Butter Cookies using a cookie press. They are delicious, but keep in mind they are a little time consuming when you have to bake the cookies, wait for them to cool, then dip them in chocolate and candy crumbs and wait for it to set. A pretty, minty addition to any cookie tray.

Rating 5/5

 

White Chocolate Peppermint Butter Cookies

Oven Temp: 350°F

Cooking Time: 7-8 minutes

 

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp peppermint extract

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

red food coloring

1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips

1 tbsp shortening

10-12 candy canes, crushed into small pieces

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing on low, adding eggs, one at a time. Beat in peppermint and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour until just combined. Add a few drops of red food coloring and mix enough the swirl the red into the dough without turning the whole thing pink.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. In a medium mixing bowl, microwave white chocolate chips at 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Stir in the shortening.

Once the cookies have completely cooled, dip half of each cookies into the white chocolate, shaking off any excess chocolate. Dip the chocolate-coated portion of the cookie into the candy cane crumbs and place on parchment paper to set. Allow to set for 2-3 hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy.

Chocolate Peppermint Waffle Cookies

This past month has been all about cleaning out the garage and boxing up most of my grandmother’s things to donate. While I set aside those few, very dear keepsakes I wanted to keep of hers, she has a lot of junk left. My grandmother grew up during the Great Depression and could never get rid of anything she owned. That is just how she was. I’ve come across a ton of bakeware – very old, useful bakeware. One of the most exciting things I came across was a waffle maker! I’ve always wanted one, but it was never a priority for me when spending money.

Other than making waffles, I always thought it would be neat to make cookies in a waffle maker. Use a good enough cookie recipe that doesn’t burn easily or melt all over, you can get some pretty cookies with the waffle pattern. I used this recipe that I found here to make these chocolate waffle cookies with a peppermint glaze. You can easily switch out the peppermint extract for another flavoring to change the flavor of the glaze.

Rating 5/5

 

Chocolate Peppermint Waffle Cookies

Cooking Time: 1-3 minutes

 

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup white sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1/2 tsp espresso powder

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tsp water

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat a nonstick waffle maker. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour, cocoa powder, oil, and espresso powder. Beat until just combined.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop a tablespoonful scoop of batter onto each section of the waffle maker. Close and cook until cookies are puffed up and spring back when touched, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar, water, and peppermint extract until smooth and glaze forms. Slowly spoon and drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Allow to set before storing in an airtight container.

Enjoy.

Butterfinger Squares

Spotted a recipe for these butterfinger squares on Pinterest months ago. Who knew you could melt candy corn, stir in melted peanut butter, and it tastes like butterfinger! I waited until the day after Halloween and grabbed a couple of bags of candy corn at clearance prices. Thought these would be awesome in my Christmas cookie gift boxes. This recipe calls for the addition of cereal to add that extra crunch.

Once I tried it, I realized that if someone gave one of these squares to me and told me it was a butterfinger candy bar, I wouldn’t know the difference! You can cut it into small squares or go for bars to make it more of a candy bar. This would be awesome for a party or  as a gift.

Rating 5/5

 

Butterfinger Squares

 

3 cups candy corn

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 cup corn flake or rice krispies cereal

1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips or melting chocolate

 

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave candy corn at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. Stir in creamy peanut butter and cereal until smooth (microwave for 15 seconds if the mixture gets too stiff to stir).

Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper. Scoop the mixture into the baking pan and press flat with a rubber spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Do NOT freeze or you will not be able to cut it into squares.

Lift the candy out of the pan and cut into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. Dip squares into melted chocolate and set on parchment-lined cookie sheet to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.

Found this recipe here.

Enjoy.

Halloween Haystacks

I can not believe it is already Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner which means I better get baking! Every year for Halloween I whip together a batch of haystacks. Haystacks are basically a mix of miniature marshmallows, peanuts, and chow mein noodles coated in butterscotch and peanut butter and left to set. It is the best combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, and it always makes me think of Halloween. I first tried them a long time ago when our neighbors dropped a batch off for us. They are so easy. Give them a try!

1 (11 oz) package butterscotch chips

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup cocktail peanuts

1 1/2 cups chow mein noodles

3 cups miniature marshmallows

3/4 cup candy corn m&m candies

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips for 1 minute; stir. If the chips are not fully melted, microwave them at 15 second intervals until melted. Stir in the peanut butter.

Add peanuts and chow mein noodles to the melted butterscotch. Stir to coat.

Before adding in the marshmallows and m&ms, I was sure to check to make sure the butterscotch mixture was not too hot. You don’t want your marshmallows and m&ms melting before they have a chance to set.

Stir in the marshmallows and m&m candies. Stir to coat everything.

Drop tablespoon sized scoops onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to set. Keep cold and enjoy!

Normally haystacks do not include the m&m candies. However I had an extra bag laying around (of course) and I was hoping that the orange, yellow, and white m&ms would add some Halloween colors to my treat.

I will most likely be spending Halloween with my boyfriend. Either passing candy out to kids or heading downtown to check out all of the people in costumes. It’s pretty sad when your parents go to Halloween parties and you haven’t even been to one. Happy Halloween everyone!