Merry Christmas 2014!!

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Well Christmas is upon us once more a year is ending and a new one will begin!!  The #1 thing that I am grateful for is my parents, I love them dearly and they always have been there for me through everything, I am truly blessed!!

An of course I am thankful that I have a job (s) 🙂 a house to live in a car to drive and I have many friends, friends that I have know forever it seems, co-worker friends and you, yes you blogger friends.  Many of you I feel like we’ve known each other for years, I love reading your blogs about food, recipes, family, gatherings, trips, parties I love reading it all.  And to ALL of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Okay so below are some recipes from my Holiday Open House, just a few, if there is something your looking for let me know I will get you the recipe.  Of course while making some of the most recent treats, I have been rushing home from work and get started and then forget to take pictures so there are few 🙂
Oh and at the end there are couple a cute funny photos 🙂

Fudge, this recipe is so easy, its out there, and I use it for all of my flavors, just use 3 cups of chips, whatever combo or flavor, same with extract whatever flavor and you can fold in anything, I did the recipe below, also used white chips and peppermint with crushed candy canes, one I did dark chocolate and folded in chopped andes mints so you can be creative.

Rocky Road Christmas Fudge

1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips**
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup walnuts (optional)
Christmas décor sprinkles

Line an 8×8 square pan with plastic wrap and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a non stick medium sauce pan add all chips, condensed milk, extract, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, once chips are almost all melted remove from heat, continue to stir until all is melted.  Stir in walnuts and marshmallows, then pour into spray pan, smooth out evenly.  Sprinkle with Christmas candy décor sprinkles, press down lightly.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to set before cutting into squares.  Store in an airtight container.
**Can’t have nuts, use Butterscotch chips instead of PB, and use not walnuts.

Chocolate with marshmallows, peanut butter with chocolate swirl and dark chocolate mint.

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Bark is so easy, you put chocolate in a double boiler with crisco shortening, at least that is what I do, I also use the microwave too, you just have to watch it, and then once its melted and smooth pour on to parchment smooth out and top it with what ever you want 🙂

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark

2 pkg. white chocolate chips
2 tsp. Crisco
1 cup each craisins and shelled pistachios

Add chips and Crisco to a double boiler, melt chocolate, pour onto a lined baking sheet and top with craisins and nuts. Let set then break into pieces.  Store into an airtight container.

I have white chocolate with craisins and pistachio’s and did dark with mixed nuts and marshmallows and milk with the same.

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Easy Holiday Muddy Buddy Mix, this way is too easy

Quick & Easy Muddy Buddy Mix

2 bags Chex Muddy Buddy Mix
4 cups Chocolate Chex Cereal
4 cups mini pretzels
1 bag Christmas M&M’s
Mix all together, store in an airtight container.

With out the M&M’s, when I put it into containers I pour some mix, then a few M&M’s then more mix, otherwise the M&M’s sink to the bottom.
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The easiest bar treats, with coconut and nuts 🙂

Holiday Bars

1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cup sweetened coconut
1 stick butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pkg. holiday colored chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking pan.
Add melted butter and graham cracker crumbs to a bowl and mix well, pour into baking pan and press mixture over the bottom of pan.  Sprinkle coconut and nuts over top of crumbs evenly, then pour can of milk evenly over top of that, then sprinkle with holiday chips.  Bake for 25-30 minutes for until light golden brown.  Cool completely in pan before cutting.

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Peppermint Chocolate Crunch Popcorn

1 large bag of pre-popped popcorn (I used Angie’s yellow bag)
2 cups white chocolate chips
½ tsp. peppermint extract
2 tsp. plus 1 tsp. Crisco
1 cup chocolate chips
In a double boiler melt white choc. Chips with 2 tsp. Crisco and extract, stirring until melted, pour chocolate over top popcorn and toss to coat.  Pour out onto a lined baking sheet, then melt choc. Chips and 1 tsp. Crisco in double boiler, stirring until melted, once melted drizzle over top of coated popcorn.  Let set until chocolate has hardened, then store in an airtight container.

On this batch in the pictures, I used the andes peppermint crunch chips with criso in the micowave, tossed with popcorn, then pour out to cool, then I meltes about 1/2 cup of the andes mints and drizzled that over top.

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Last one Christmas Crack

The recipe is certainly out there, you use saltines in most recipes, I use those and I use graham crackers. I also this time use Special K cereal as the base…and people like it 🙂

Graham Cracker Christmas Crack

1 box cinnamon graham crackers
1 cup brown sugar
2 stick butter
2 cup semi-sweet chips
½ cup peanut butter
Christmas M&M’s or toffee bits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place crackers to line the pan, cinnamon side up, there can be just a little space between crackers.

Bring sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan over med-high heat, once it come to a full boil, boil for 3 minutes and do not stir during the 3 minutes.  Pour mixture over crackers, place in oven for 5 minutes, put peanut butter in microwave for about 30 seconds to get soupy.

Remove pan from oven drizzle peanut butter over top and then sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let set for 5 minutes to melt, spread melted chips and top with M&M’s or toffee bits, let cool over night.  Once firm, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

 Chocolate Mint or Peppermint Christmas Crack

45 saltine crackers
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. Mint and Chocolate chips
Or
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
½ cup finely crush peppermints

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place crackers to line the pan, salt side up, there can be just a little space between crackers.

Bring sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan, once it come to a full boil, boil for 3 minutes and do not stir during the 3 minutes.  Pour mixture over crackers, place in oven for 5 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with either Mint/chocolate chips or white chips, . Let set for 5 minutes to melt, spread melted chips and then top with peppermints or nothing, let cool over night.  Once firm, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Crackers and graham crackers

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Special K Cereal

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Butter and brown sugar in pan

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bring to a boil

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pour over top

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bake for 5 minutes

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I topped the Special K batch with a mix of Peanut butter, milk and dark chocolate chips

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this batch with the crackers I used Dark Chocolate and Mint Chips

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Oh here’s one once more

Holiday Nut Brittle

1 cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups nuts – peanuts, cashews or pecans
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
use at wooden spoon for this
Spray with cooking spray a large glass mico safe bowl, add sugar, syrup and salt, stir to mix.  Set microwave for 3 minutes, watch closely once the mixture starts to boil continue to cook for 4 more minutes (you will need to add more minutes)

Remove from microwave immediately add nuts, butter, vanilla and cinnamon, stir quickly to combine and cook for 2 more minutes.  Immediately remove add baking soda and stir to combine, mixture will foam up, once mixed pour out onto lined baking sheet and spread out with spoon.  Let cool at room temp, once cooled break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

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I bought some pre cut cookies and they did not have crisp edges as it you would use cookie cutters, and I only had some bright colors so here are some of my fun Christmas cookies 🙂

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Love my tie dye ginger 🙂

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I also go the best gift ever, if you have not heard of this stuff, its funny and it works 🙂
Poo-pourri…yes it is what you think 😛
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Check out the Holiday Commercial and please watch the whole thing…it will give you a chuckle!!

And lastly meet my new friend “Pixie Puddin'” my friends named her on facebook it was a fun time picking a name 🙂

So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Pixie and I 🙂

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My Holiday Open House!!

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Well it is almost Christmas and for Holidays everyone loves homemade sweet treats!!

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And for the last two weeks I had Holiday Open Houses in a few of our stores 🙂

I made tons of sweet treats, shared my recipes and displayed those goodies in different ways as gifts, to give customers ideas on for Holiday gift giving.

I made fudge, bark, Christmas crack, Holiday muddy buddy mix, snowman soup among other things, I had over 20 recipes to share.  It was lots of fun, I had Christmas music playing (under my table), I gave everyone lots of ideas for their Christmas gifts.

Check out some of the pictures

Getting started 🙂

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Some baking dishes

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i have lots of things to fill 🙂

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Recipes

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Recipes

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Recipes

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Tips on packaging 🙂

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things are getting filled

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Chocolate covered popcorn

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christmas bark

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white chocolate bark

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Christmas fudge

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A hot cocoa kit, cocoa, marshmallows and peppermint stir sticks

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fun

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gathering it all together 🙂

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some cute mason jar ideas

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Setting up at one of the stores

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its coming together

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display

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more of the display

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here is a close up

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Lot of stuff was found at the Dollar store and I made it look cute 🙂

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This was it set up another store, I added the Candy Canes
and did the green fabric a little different 🙂

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I love that I had the baking supply display behind me, people
were just asking what to get, I was filling up their carts 🙂

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I hope all you have a Merry Christmas!!!!

 

Peanut Butter Cookies with What??

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So I saw an add for one of those stores that carry the “odd” items and it had “Peanut Butter” but not just creamy or crunchy…but with “white chocolate”, “dark chocolate”, and “maple” and I was like what, I had never seen this or even hurt of this company.

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But I immediately thought I need to make something with these for sure 🙂

Peanut Butter & Co – is based out of New York City, they have a shop that makes all kinds of sandwiches

This is from the website  https://ilovepeanutbutter.com/

Lee Zalben is the founder and president of New York City’s world famous Peanut Butter & Co., and the man behind “gourmet peanut butter.” Lee grew up in Philadelphia eating a lot of peanut butter. And while an under-graduate student at Vassar College, he always won the fierce competitions he and his friends held for the wackiest but best-tasting peanut butter sandwich during late night study breaks. It was then where the idea of opening a peanut butter sandwich shop sprouted.

After college, Lee worked in advertising and publishing but he never forgot his dream of opening a peanut butter sandwich shop. While walking in Greenwich Village one day, he spotted a vacant storefront near NY University. Quitting his job the next day, the 26-year old entrepreneur-to-be started developing a business plan for his dream shop. On December 21, 1998, the vacant storefront became the Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop, offering not just various kinds of peanut butter sandwiches like The Elvis and Pregnant Lady but also peanut butter in newfangled flavors like Dark Chocolate Dreams and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.

It was only a matter of time when people started clamoring to take the peanut butter home. Today, Peanut Butter & Co. is sold in ten delicious flavors in over 10,000 stores around the country and in Canada, the U.K., Japan, and Hong Kong. And the sandwich shop has turned into a pilgrimage site for many peanut butter lovers all over the world. Lee’s dream to open a peanut butter sandwich shop did not just become a reality, but he also created the market for specialty peanut butter.

I had never heard of this brand and they have 10 different kinds of peanut butter, not only the ones I mentioned above, but with honey, cinnamon and raisin, smooth, crunchy, old fashioned smooth, and crunchy and spicy called “the heat is on”.

The store that I found these in only had the smooth, crunchy, the 3 that I bought and the spicy one, which as I walked out the door and thought to myself, I should have bought that one…I think I’ll go back today and get “the heat is on” 🙂

Any way I love peanut butter so I was thrilled to find these 🙂

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The White Chocolate was sweet tasting, with tiny bits of white chocolate very interesting!!
Dark Chocolate was the same although dark in color like chocolate, it has tiny bits of dark chocolate!!

I have not tasted the maple yet but I can’t wait too and make something out it as well as the spicy one 🙂  I will use the Maple and the Spicy in future blogs 🙂

I wanted to do something quick so I just made cookies out of both of them, then I made a batch of swirl 🙂

I gave some to my parents as part of their Anniversary gift, they are married 54 years today!!!  So Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!  I love you both very very much!!!

My Mom and Dad 54 years ago!

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Also with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I put some in my Manager’s Valentine’s Day gift bag 🙂  I don’t think she is going to share with the rest of her family.  As she asked me, do I have to share and I replied with a big smile…NO!! 😛

Ingredients – I forgot to put the Baking Soda in the picture

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mix together

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stir until smooth – see the little bits of chocolate

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add flour mixture

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stir in flour mixture until combined

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Roll into balls then roll into the sugar

 

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place on baking sheet and bake

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done

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on the swirled ones I used a 1 oz. scoop

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put one of each together, roll, then pinch and twist, then roll again

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Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

1 cup Peanut Butter (you can use any flavor you want)
1 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda & salt, set aside
In a large bowl add eggs, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla, mix until smooth with a wooden spoon, then add flour mixture until fully combined.
Scoop and roll into a ball, take the remaining 1/4 cup sugar add to a bowl and roll dough balls in sugar, place on balls on baking sheet and bake. (you do not have to flatten) 

I use a  2 oz. scoop and baked them for about 12-13 minutes, if you make your balls small do not bake as long, check them around the 10 minute mark.

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These are chewy and moist in the middle 🙂

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I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you find these Peanut Butters you must try!!

Christmas 2013!!!

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Merry Christmas everyone!!! 🙂

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I hope today fines all of you full of Love and Joy!!! Its has been a busy season for me thus far, hoping to slow down in January 🙂

Well I did some baking, I think most of my friends, family and co-workers got a little of something that I made.

Last night Christmas Eve we went to my cousins and there were I think 54 of us that is a lot of people and a lot of Presents!!!

Today I will be with my family, my Mommy and Daddy…yes I did just call them my “Mommy and Daddy” 🙂
My two nephews and my nephews little girl!!

Enjoy your day and make it count to someone you love!!

Here are some pictures of some of the things I did make along with pictures of my Christmas Decorations!!

My indoor Decor

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Next year the garland will go away and I will be adding
blue/teal and purple ribbon 🙂

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My Sous Chef 🙂

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That picture of Santa is my bestie Danny 🙂

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I love my new pink lights

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I made most of the ornaments on my tree 🙂

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My New tree topper

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Outside Decor

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I did these pots new this year 🙂

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that’s funny you can see my hammer off to the side 😛

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Made this myself

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Okay now for the Sweets 🙂

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I never had luck making these Spritz Cookies
with the cookie press 😦
But then my Mom pulled out this bag that I had got
from my Grandma’s house after she passed, I had totally
forgot about this

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This awesome Super Shooter cookie gun
Its Electric!!! 
I made all of this cookies from start to finish
in less than 2 hours… Yay!!!

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This was made in the 70’s

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This is Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

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White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

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Peppermint Toffee Crunch

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Brown Bread 🙂

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And Gingerbread Bars with raisins

 

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Finally, I had seen these in a picture, never ate one, the person would never tell me what it was or what was in it 😦
Now I knew it was Chocolate and to me it looked like Corn Flakes.
Well I ask my New Friend Melanie from France and she came through and they are “Rose des Sables”  pretty much Chocolate and Corn Flakes 🙂

I used Special K cereal I wanted more of crunch 🙂

Thank you Melanie!!! Cheers my friend!!

 

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Thank you for taking the time to enjoy my blog!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!!

Santa Hat Cookies!!!

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Holiday Party’s are here and this is a re-post recipe for these cute Santa Hat Cookies I made 🙂

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I made these for our office holiday lunch last year, and we are having our lunch today and of course I failed to make anything this year 😦  But I wanted to share this recipe with you all again in case you want to make them for your Holiday Guests!!!

White Fudges Oreo’s, Peppermint Kisses and red icing 

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Lay out the cookies

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a little icing in the middle of the cookie

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then top it with a Kiss!!

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and there you go, you add a little ball of icing on the top of the kiss too

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Recipe

1 box Oreo White Fudge Cookies
1 tube of Red icing
1 bag of Kisses Peppermint Candy Cane

Lay out the Oreo’s, put some icing in the center of each cookie, then place a kiss on top of that and then eat!!

So simple and cute!! Enjoy!!!

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Christmas In July! Santa Cookie Hats!

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Okay so today is Christmas in July, I use to have a seasonal job that we would work though the summer and be off in the winter and we would play secret Santa…I loved playing Secret Santa 🙂

You would draw names and on the 20th we would give our person little fun gifts secretly each day and then on the 25th we would have a big potluck party and you would give your person a bigger gift,  then you would find out who was your Secret Santa!!! 😛  So much fun and brings back lots of great memories!! 🙂

So here is cute Holiday Cookie, that look like Santa Hats, this is great for kids to help out with and you can bring them to a party

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You need :

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Lay your oreo cookies out

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unwrap the kisses

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put a small dollop of icing on each oreo

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push candy kiss down on top of icing

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put a little ball of icing on top and there you have it 🙂

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Recipe

1 box Oreo White Fudge Cookies
1 tube of Red icing
1 bag of Kisses Peppermint Candy Cane

Lay out the Oreo’s, put some icing in the center of each cookie, then place a kiss on top of that and then eat!!

So simple and cute!!  Enjoy!!!

Merry Christmas In July everyone!!!

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Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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I really do love making cookies, they are probably the thing I like to make the most, just because you can add sooooo many different things and flavors.  Most of the time I will take the base dough that I make divide it half, three’s or in four’s, it really depends on the different combinations I want to try and see if they are any good.  Sometimes they work, sometimes your like yeah…NO 😛

But that is what’s fun about getting in the kitchen and creating a recipe.  When coming up with a recipe for you all here on my blog, I usually try to start with an ingredient that I like (ex. chicken, seafood, etc.), then a direction I want to go in, check my pantry, walk the aisle’s at the store, coming home and laying it all out on the counter and just start.  

Taste as I go, sometimes it’s not right and then I go back to the pantry and see what I have to make it better.  Everyone has different tastes, what I like, you may not like, so if you don’t like something in a recipe then change it, don’t be afraid to make your own.

So here we go with my newest cookie recipe; as I was thinking of what kind of cookie to make, I checked my pantry and left over from my Homemade Granola Recipe https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/03/25/homemade-granola/ was coconut and pecans.  So okay there is a start, then I saw  the oatmeal so okay an oatmeal cookie…but what else could I add… as I turned my head and started to think…there is was right on my table…Mandarin Oranges…yes!! 🙂

Ingredients

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First I got my coconut on a baking sheet to toast

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Whisk together flour, salt & baking soda set aside
                                                                          In a small cup add eggs & vanilla

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In mixer bowl add sugars & butter           Beat together

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Then add eggs with vanilla                         Then on low at flour mixture

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At this point I want to try two different cookies, so I halved the dough

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First Cookie – Orange Coconut Oatmeal
dough, coconut, orange zest, oatmeal              mix to combine

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Second Cookie – Orange Pecan Oatmeal
chop pecans, add pecans, zest, oatmeal, mix to combine

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Scoop on to baking sheet and bake

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done

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So as I had my family test these cookies, they liked both for sure, the one’s that didn’t like coconut liked the pecan ones better, but most said they’d like them both together.  So there I mixed the coconut and the pecans together, but if you don’t like coconut or can’t have nuts, you can leave one or the other out.

Recipe – Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
zest of 4 mandarin oranges
2 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside
In a small cup add eggs and vanilla, set aside
To toast coconut, add to baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until light brown, keep an eye on this, in a second it will burn, stir every minute or so until light brown.   Chop pecans, set aside.

In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars, beat on medium high for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn to mixer to medium add eggs with vanilla, beat until combined, on low add your flour mixture, once flour is kind of mixed, you can turn the mixer back to medium and beat until just combined.

Fold in or use your hands to mix in coconut, pecans, oats and orange zest.

Use a medium scoop, scoop dough on to lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 12 – 15 minutes, golden brown.

I hope you will try them and enjoy!!!

And if you haven’t seen my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies, check them out here

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2013/02/

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