Peppermint Bark & Peanut Butter Bark

Peppermint Bark

6 candy canes

1 bag semi sweet chocolate morsels

1 tbsp refined coconut oil

1 bag  white chocolate morsels

1 tbsp refined coconut oil

1 tsp peppermint extract

Directions:

Crush candy canes in ziploc bag and set aside

Heat up a pot with 2 inches of water on medium heat until steaming. Put heatproof bowl ( I use metal) on top of pot and add semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Stir in clockwise direction until there are no lumps and chocolate melts.

In a 9×13 baking pan lined with wax paper, spread chocolate in a thin later. Put in freezer for 10 minutes until chocolate hardens. Make sure chocolate is hardened. When you put the white chocolate on top it will cool the semi sweet chocolate a bit, you don’t want the colors mixing.)

To melt the white chocolate, reheat pot of water and add white chocolate, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, and peppermint extract to heatproof bowl on top of pot. Stir until chocolate melts. (The peppermint extract can often times keep white chocolate from melting as well as semi-sweet morsels. Just melt as best as you can.)

Take pan of semi-sweet chocolate out of freezer and spread the white chocolate on top in a thin layer. (The white chocolate isn’t as spreadable as the semi-sweet chocolate, but do the best you can) Sprinkle candy cane on top to cover. Put in refrigerator for an hour until completely cool and hard. Break into pieces and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Bark

1 bag semi sweet chocolate morsels

1 tbsp refined coconut oil

1 bag  peanut butter morsels

1 tbsp refined coconut oil

(I  accidentally used unrefined coconut oil the first time I made this. It gave the bark a nice chocolate, peanut, coconut flavor. Everyone loved it! It was great and I have continued to use unrefined coconut oil for the peanut butter bark ever since.)

Directions:

Heat up a pot with 2 inches of water on medium heat until steaming. Put heatproof bowl ( I use metal) on top of pot and add semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Stir in clockwise direction until there are no lumps and chocolate melts.

In a 9×13 baking pan lined with wax paper, spread chocolate in a thin later. Put in freezer for  5 minutes.

To melt the peanut butter morsels, reheat pot of water and add peanut butter morsels, 1 tbsp of coconut oil to heatproof bowl on top of pot. Stir until it melts.

Take pan of semi-sweet chocolate out of freezer and spread the peanut butter morsels on top in a thin layer. (The melted peanut butter morsels will warm the chocolate morsels. This is good.)

Take a tip of a sharp knife or toothpick and blend the two colors making swirls on top.

Put in refrigerator for an hour until completely cool and hard. Break into pieces and enjoy.

Advertisements

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

These are my family’s favorite. ❤ They are so light, fluffy and buttery. Mmmm..

Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder or minced garlic ( I use minced garlic)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

FOR THE TOPPING

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or minced garlic

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Or use a lightly greased muffin tin. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture.

Serve immediately. Yum.

Sugar cookies

1 cup or 2 sticks Butter, softened

1 & ½ cups Sugar

1 Egg – beaten

2 & ¼ cups Flour

½ tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. Kosher Salt

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ cup Sugar for rolling cookies

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg and mix until well-combined.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Scoop cookie dough and roll into a 1 inch ball.

Add sugar to a large bowl for rolling cookie dough in before baking. Place each ball of cookie dough into the bowl of sugar and roll to coat well.

Place cookie dough onto baking sheet. Lightly press each cookie down. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Snowball cookies

 

2 cups butter – softened

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Salt

2/3 cup Powdered Sugar

Stir in gradually:

4 Cups Flour

2 cups Pecans chips

Mix thoroughly.  Roll into 1 inch balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400° 10-15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.

Pinwheel cookies

Warning: this recipe needs to refrigerate at least 4 hrs before baking. You will not have instant cookies. They are worth the wait though!

3 & 1/2 cups of packed flour

1 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 & 1/2 cup  Sugar

2 Eggs – well beaten

1 cup or 2 sticks Butter – softened

1 & 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2 squares Unsweetened chocolate – melted + cooled

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter. Add sugar gradually and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Add well beaten eggs and blend thoroughly.  Add vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients  and the creamed mixture.

Divide the dough into 2 parts. Add the chocolate to one part.

Put a round ball of chocolate dough on top of plain dough and roll as thin as possible. Roll up like a jelly roll. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into cookies. Bake @ 350° for 6-10 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip cookies:

2 & 1/4 Cups packed flour

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 cup softened butter

3/4 Cups sugar

3/4 Cups brown sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

2 beaten eggs

In small size mixing bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, mix softened butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs.

Add Flour mixture to sugar mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Ungreased cookie sheets. Bake @ 350° for about 12 minutes.  Makes 100 – 2 inch cookies.

I found that when making my cookies, if I make about 1 inch round balls, placing 12 balls on each ungreased cookie sheet, (You’ll do this twice) Bake 2 cookies sheets at same time, for 10-12 minutes, it makes 48 cookies. Apparently,  I made bigger cookies than my mom. 😉

My mom’s Christmas cookies, a rogue oven and Phoebe Buffay.

When I was a kid, my mom made the best cookies every year at Christmas time. The whole family looked forward to it. My favorite cookies were her chocolate chi0p cookies and Pinwheels. She used to stand in the kitchen for two or three days baking. I always thought she was crazy for baking that much, but now that I’m older, I understand why she did it. She took so much pleasure in watching family and friends enjoying her Christmas goodies. That meant a lot to her. And now I appreciate how hard she worked.

My mom passed away in ’08, and I just recently acquired a desire to bake, like, bake a LOT. So a few weeks ago, I went to my step dad’s house and got all my mom’s recipes. I wanted to bake my mom’s Christmas cookies this year and so that is what I did.

I’ve always been scared to bake. I’m not really sure why? I guess I thought I wasn’t going to be good at it. Maybe I didnt have the patience for it. I cook well, but baking always seemed daunting to me until recently when I wanted to cook a turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving. For me, cooking a turkey seemed like climbing Everest. But my desire to cook a turkey became bigger than my fear of cooking or baking in the oven. The turkey came out beautifully! That gave me the courage I needed to bake more.

I was so excited to have my mom’s recipes. I read all her Christmas cookie recipes, went out and got all the ingredients and planned a day of fun for the kids and for me and my 3 year old daughter to bake all day. I woke up at 4am that morning, I was that excited to bake! I preheated the oven, made a couple of food dishes for the Christmas dinner we were doing with my In-laws the following day. Then I got started on cookie dough. I made 2 different kinds of cookie dough, the next thing I know, my oven is acting all wonky! The temperature kept going up and down 50-150° difference! Oh no!! Up, down, up, down. 4 kids running, playing, arguing, doing chores, bored, hungry, more arguing, etc. Aack! I did the best I could but baking 4 kinds of cookies with a oven that wasn’t working properly, took 14 hrs! The cookies came out tasty, but very hard and crunchy. I was disappointed, after all, those cookies were going to be Christmas presents to family and friends. Needless to say, it was a trying day.

I was so anxious to get my oven fixed so I could bake more cookies. But Christmas Eve and Christmas day came and went and the parts weren’t in yet. I did the best I could with Christmas Eve dinner. Hubby finally has the part for my oven and he fixed my oven this morning! Yay! I love my handy hubby, I love how he can fix just about anything, (and not with duck tape like my dad did.) Haha! My hubby is so talented.

It’s been about 20 years since my mom made cookies. She’s been gone 8 years now. Baking (and eating) these cookies somehow makes me feel like I’m a little closer to her even though she’s far away. I wish I hadn’t been so self-absorbed as a kid, I wish I had helped her when she cooked and baked. I would really enjoy that now, but it’s too late. Regrets. I hope we get to bake in Heaven someday.

I was talking to my best friend, Amy, yesterday, telling her how much I look forward to a working oven and tasting the cookies I will make soon. I told her how gooey and soft my mom’s cookies were. She asked for the recipe. I sent a picture of my mom’s  recipe card. She text me back and said “Ok. I use the same one.”  What? I didn’t know my mom’s recipe was circulating around the world! LOL! Apparently, it’s the Nestlé Toll House recipe. Hahahaha! I felt like Phoebe Buffay in that episode of Friends, “The one with Phoebe’s cookies”.  Amy sent me this: https://youtu.be/F1ShzUEKqgc  Seriously, if I had known it was the Nestlé Toll House recipe, I would have made them a lot sooner! 😂

Without further ado, here is my mom’s,  (and Nestlé Toll House) Chocolate chip cookie recipe. You can find it here: Chocolate chip cookies

 

There you have it! My Christmas cookie adventure. The other cookie recipes I will post later.

Blessings!