It sure SMELLS like Christmas…

…and it isn’t pine or mistletoe! But rather…….COOKIES!!!
Today I made SEVEN varieties of sweets — some healthy, some not so healthy, but all are delicious! 214 cookies + 16 brownies later I am pooped and my house smells like the December issue of Taste of Homes looks.
Try to keep up for some holiday treat delights…

Hint of Mint Munchies
compliments of Cassie at A Pinch of This and A Dash of That
Makes 3 dozen 2-inch cookies

Ingredients:
1 bag Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Mix
3/4 C Andes Creme de Menthe chips

Directions:
1)Preheat oven to 375 F
2)Mix together cookie mix and ingredients listed on package. Once well mixed, add in the 3/4 cup of creme de menthe.
3)Drop cookie dough by rounded Tbsp onto a ungreased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil/parchment paper.
4)Bake each batch for 9 to 11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Peppermint Oatmeal Crunchies
compliments of Cassie at A Pinch of This and A Dash of That
Makes 3 dozen 2-inch cookies

Ingredients:
1 bag Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix+ingredients listed on mix
3/4 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch chips

Directions:
1)Preheat oven to 375 F
2)Mix together cookie mix and ingredients listed on package. Once well mixed, add in the 3/4 cup of peppermint chips.
3)Drop cookie dough by rounded Tbsp onto a ungreased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil/parchment paper.
4)Bake each batch for 9 to 11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Christmas Chocolate Cheers
compliments of Cassie at A Pinch of This and A Dash of That
Note: I could NOT (for the life of me) find Holiday Kissables, so I settled for Holiday M&M’s. Also, I used Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix instead of the chocolate mix the recipe called for*.
Ingredients:
1 bag Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix*
1/3 c. (canola) oil
2 eggs
1 tub of chocolate frosting
1 bag of Hershey’s Christmas Kissables

Directions:
1)Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
2) Bake at 375°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute, then press your thumb into the center of each cookie. After that remove from cookie sheets.
3)Spoon some frosting into a pastry bag or a zip loc and snip the end. Pipe frosting into the indent of the cookie and top with 3 Kissables!!

A trick with the Christmas Chocolate Cheers is to use a Ziplock as a frosting gun…

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

Ingredients:
1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1  cup  regular oats
3/4  teaspoon  baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
3/4  cup  granulated sugar
1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
1/3  cup  butter, softened
1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
1  large egg
1/4  cup  chopped pecans, toasted
1/4  cup  semisweet chocolate minichips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk; set aside.

Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in pecans and minichips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Calories: 81 (33% from fat); Fat: 3g (sat 1.4g,mono 1g,poly 0.3g) ; Protein: 1.1g; Carbohydrate: 12.9g; Fiber: 0.5g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 76mg; Calcium: 12mg
Source: Julianna Grimes and Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2007

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies
I colored the cheesecake batter with red food coloring — about 3 drops for a festive flare!
Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 bar)
Cheesecake batter:
1  (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3  cup  granulated sugar
1/4  teaspoon  peppermint extract
1  large egg
1  large egg white
1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour

Brownie batter:
4.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2  cup  unsweetened cocoa
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1 1/2  cups  packed brown sugar
1/4  cup  canola oil
1/4  cup  buttermilk
2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
2  large egg whites
1  large egg
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cheesecake batter, place cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat well. Add 1 tablespoon flour; beat mixture just until blended.
3. To prepare brownie batter, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.
4. Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter. Pour remaining batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top; spread evenly to edges. Dot cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter. Swirl top two layers of batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 26 minutes or until top is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Calories: 213 (32% from fat); Fat: 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 2.3g,poly 1.1g); Protein: 4.4g; Carbohydrate: 32.3; gFiber: 0.7g; Cholesterol: 37mg; Sodium: 169mg; Calcium: 32mg
Source: Kathy Farrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 c butter, softened
2/3 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ c old fashioned oats
1 ½ c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 (6 oz) package dried cranberries
2/3 c white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl.

Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies.
Source: Weight Watchers (online forum)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)
1  cup  granulated sugar
1  cup  packed brown sugar
1/2  cup  creamy peanut butter
1/4  cup  water
1/4  cup  canola oil
2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
2  large egg whites
1  large egg
12  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)
1  teaspoon  baking powder
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
2/3  cup  semisweet chocolate minichips

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in minichips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Calories: 128 (32% from fat); Fat: 4.5g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.2g,poly 1g); Protein: 2.3g; Carbohydrate: 20.5g; Fiber: 0.6g; Cholesterol: 6mg; Sodium: 106mg; Calcium: 16mg
Source: Kathy Farrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

And only 3 hours later…my friends are the lucky recipients of THESE:
Tins filled with…
cookies! Obvi..

I taste tested all of the cookies (and brownies) and they are ALL really good!
If I had to choose a favorite it would have to be the Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I must fess up — my morning started off on a bad note…forgetting to eat breakfast before I set out for a day of power shopping. Around 10 I gave in to a bad, bad guilty pleasure: McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffin. 450 calories and 85% of my daily value of saturated fat later…I completed my shopping spree successfully. In my defense, I get fast food a handful of time in a calendar year, and typically it is because of instances like this morning.
Question: How often do you eat fast food? What is your “favorite” fast food restaurant (if you had to choose one)?

Husby and I are off to my work Christmas party! Hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend!
Tomorrow…the LD on this KOMBACHA everyone in blogland is yappin’ about!!
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1 Comment

Filed under butter, dessert, fast food, friends, grocery store, holiday, recipe, work

One response to “It sure SMELLS like Christmas…

  1. Pingback: Q&A: Stevia, Crohn’s, diabetes, and nut butters « Preventionrd's Blog

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