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Christmas Desserts 2015

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Yes, I am aware that it’s January 9 and Christmas is long past, but I wanted to post anyway.

This year, the holidays were not the same. 

I tried my best and still got the cookies done, but some weren’t done until Christmas and some even later.

What I did finish on time were the cupcakes for my kids’ school parties.

My middle child got these:

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Don’t they look huge??  They are mini cupcakes.  I love my tiny plate!

My youngest got little stockings:

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My oldest got nothing, sadly, because he had no party at school.

I offered to show up to his class anyway, but he was horrified at the thought.

He is 12, after all….  🙂

I also made these new Apricot Cookies.

They taste more like a pastry.

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And I made Lemon Spritz Cookies for the first time.

They were a hit!

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The Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies were good, but didn’t look as pretty as I hoped:

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Speaking of funny-looking, here’s my Oreo Fudge.

I made it with fat-free condensed milk though, so it was low fat!!  Yay!

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So yummy straight out of the fridge!

And this year, I added pretzels to my Oreo and M&M bark:

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And the rest are the cookies that I make every year (hey, I know it’s repetitive, but I work so hard on them that I need to show them off!)

My little Snowflake Sugar Cookies:

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I came up with a new design this year.  The little things that make me happy…

Rainbow Cookies:

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What happened to my camera?? They look like they are underwater!

Chocolate Spritz Cookies:

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Lace Florentines:

Lace Florentines

Almond Biscotti:

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Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti:

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My favorite Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies!

Christmas tree sugar cookies

And finally, although I didn’t make them in Christmas colors (gasp!), here are my chocolate dipped pretzels:

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And that is all….

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

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Olaf Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of my Olaf Party!

This might be my last post for a little while because we are moving!

If you read the Part 1 post, you know I’m allergic to Alabama… so… you know…  🙂

Anyway, here are the cake balls (supposed to be snowballs).

I’m embarrassed to post Olaf because I made a mess– but my son liked him, so here he is:

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Who would’ve known that it was nearly impossible for me to make a decent-looking fondant Olaf?!?!  I sat there for hours and finally gave up.  Here’s the final product.

These are the snow-covered pretzels.

No, it’s not really snow.

Yes, it’s chocolate.

OK, can we move along now?

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The mini cupcakes:

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I made the chocolate snowflake toppers.

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On these, I put little homemade fondant confetti.  Yes, there is such a thing. I made it up.

The little snowflake cookies (I cheated– I make these for Christmas, so they were easy):

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And finally, my bigger snowflake cookies.

They came out the wrong shade and I had no time to re-do them, so they got banned from the dessert table.

I’m serious.

In fact, I threw them out as punishment.

I’m joking.

About the punishment, not the banning.  Really.

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Oh why, blue, did you come out wrong???

I left them off the table, but I did give them to the kids as they each went home.

Sweet little kids– no one was offended by the wrong shade of blue!  🙂

And here are a few of the little extras (not all) I had for the party:

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Now I have to pack.  See you next time!

Valentine’s Desserts 2015

I realize I’m always making excuses for not baking more.

So I’m not going to mention the usual craziness…

I will only say that my sinuses have been kicking my butt for 6 weeks.

Yes, 6 full weeks and still going.

But I forced myself to make at least something for the kids for Valentine’s Day!

Here are my low fat sugar cookies:

Sugar cookie a

 

Sugar cookies 2a

And chocolate-dipped pretzels:

Valentine pretzels a

And since that was all I was able to accomplish, I quickly made some heart-shaped waffles for breakfast:

Heart waffles a

And eggs with a heart cut out!

Heart eggs 2a

That’s all.  

Hopefully once I feel better, I’ll be back with more stuff.

Wish me luck!  🙂

4th of July Desserts 2014

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Unlike last year’s 4th of July messy but yummy desserts,”   this year my desserts weren’t awful looking!  Yay!

I made this jello:

Jello cups a

Jello cups 2a

I thought I was clever for choosing something easy like jello, but it took sooo long to make!

First, I made the blue layer and let it set for an hour.

Then I went to make the cream layer, and found that the heavy cream and sour cream had frozen in my refrigerator!

So I had to wait for them to defrost.

Then I made the cream on the stove, which took forever since I had to stir constantly…

Then another hour for it to set.

Then the red layer– yet another hour.

I was kicking myself for choosing this dessert.

Plus I ended up with no time to make another dessert once I was done.

Luckily, in the middle of waiting for the jello layers, I made these:

Pretzels a

Of course, I have a big problem melting chocolate, so I wasn’t thrilled with this one either.

But in the end, even though the desserts drove me crazy, they looked pretty and they tasted good.

(By the way, my husband actually really liked the jello dessert– even though he hates jello and didn’t like the cream part on its own.  Which doesn’t make too much sense, but we’ll go with it.)

Yay!

 

 

Christmas Cookies 2013

I thought I had it all under control this year, but I’m way behind!  So just like last year’s Christmas post, I have no time to write a story.

Now that I think about it, part of this post will be like deja vu, because I tend to make the same cookies each year (with a few different ones, don’t worry).

So, if you didn’t read last year’s post, then you’re fine.

If you did, just act surprised!

Here are the Chocolate Spritz Cookies- with glaze, without glaze, and half-glazed!!

Chocolate Spritz Cookies a

I made chocolate-dipped pretzel crisps to switch it up a little.  Yum!

Chocolate dipped pretzel crisps 2a

Here are my gingerbread men this year:

Gingerbread men 2a

And the Christmas party mix I make for the teachers (I had to make extra because I couldn’t stop sampling.  You know, to make sure it wasn’t getting stale… every few minutes…)

Holiday Chex Mix a

See the tiny marshmallows? I dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles myself!

The low fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti is one of my favorites.  This year I dipped the bottoms in chocolate (yes, this was exciting for me):

Chocolate Chip Biscotti 2a

My really messy 7-layer cookies.  I blame it on my new oven, of course.  🙂

7-layer cookies a

I also made very buttery thumbprint cookies:

Thumbprint Cookies a

And now for the ones that are basically the same as usual:

My favorite– Christmas trees!!  I LOVE these- I think it’s the cutest cookie cutter.

Tree Cookies a

Three sizes of snowflakes:

Snowflake Cookies- small a

Small

Snowflake Cookies- medium 2a

Medium

Snowflake Cookies- large a

Large

I always make Almond Biscotti because, well, it’s probably the only Christmas cookie my husband likes.  

I know, it’s insane.

Almond Biscotti a

And finally, the M&M and Oreo Bark:

Oreo Bark a

And I still have to make 2 more, but it won’t happen any time soon, so I’ll have to post them later!

Happy Holidays!!

Tree Cookies 2a

Desserts from Christmas Past

After 7 months, I am finally able to eat again!!

On Wednesday, my orthodontist told me not to wear my plastic retainers during the day anymore– yay!  🙂

And right on time for Christmas goodies, like these chocolate covered pretzels:

Chocolate covered pretzels a

This post is to show you some of the things I made in the past for Christmas.

BEFORE blogging.  BEFORE trying to make things extra pretty for the camera.

You get what I’m saying, right?

Anyway, these were lemon sandwich cookies:

Lemon Sandwich Cookies a

OK, I LOVE December.  This is typically what happens during December with my baking:

1) I usually make a few of the same desserts every year, like biscotti.  These were low fat chocolate chip biscotti, and almond biscotti:

Biscotti a

2) Then I see some other recipes online, and add them to the list.

One year, I made frosted brownie wreaths.

I made chocolate bows for them, and I was really impressed with myself for learning how to make a design out of chocolate.  Lol, how embarrassing now.

Brownie wreaths a

3)  Then I look in recipe books, and add more.

These were mini butterscotch cakes.  Yum!

Butterscotch cakes a

4)  Then I see some cute Christmas picture and imagine it as a dessert.

Before I know it, I have a list of about 30 different desserts that I want to make.

Yeah, that’s not happening.

5) So I end up with about 8 or 9 different desserts, and tell myself that next year it will be better. 

Christmas cake pops 2a

Christmas cake pops a

But it never changes,  because besides baking, I need to attend holiday parties… and shop… and wrap presents… and decorate…  and send cards…  and now I’ve added blogging to the list…

Whoa, I’m seriously running out of time.

Not panicking yet, but I need to run!!!! 

Bye!  🙂

Pretzels & biscotti a

Low Fat Soft Pretzels

OK, I didn’t actually “make” these pretzels… my husband did most of the work.

But I get a lot of the credit…

  1. I gave him the recipe and asked him to make them (yes, I was tired that day).
  2. I gave him all the necessary ingredients and tools to make them.
  3. I ran to the rescue when he put my stand mixer on high, and there were only dry ingredients in the bowl—and then all over the counter. 
  4. I shaped them when they started looking all contorted.
  5. I laughed when it took him like 17 hours to make them (story to follow below).

But the most important thing is that they were delicious.

We were all kind of surprised as we looked at each other and inhaled an entire pretzel each.

And we were even more surprised when I calculated that each was only 123 calories and 1 gram of fat!!

This was their shape before I stepped in…

So why did they take 17 hours to make?

Well, my 3-year-old wanted to help.

He’s lovingly referred to as our “delay fish.”  (Like in Nemo.)

Everything we do with his help takes waaaaay longer to do.

So by the time they had made the mix, shaped the pretzels (my son only did one—which needed lots of shaping and reshaping for some reason), and boiled them—it was time for bed.

So the pretzels went in the fridge until the next day. 

It wasn’t until about noon that we finally got to bake them.

But it was worth the wait!!

The end.

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Low Fat Soft Pretzels (adapted from Pillsbury)

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Pretzel salt

Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in medium bowl. Blend well.

Heat 1 cup water and shortening in small saucepan to 100° to 110°F. Add liquid to flour mixture. Blend at low speed of an electric mixer until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

Stir in by hand an additional 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups flour or until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.

Knead in 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour on floured surface, until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place in greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°F) until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Spray 2 cookie sheets with no-stick cooking spray.

Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 16-inch rope and form into pretzel shape.

Place on prepared cookie sheets. Cover and let rise in warm place about 15 to 20 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to top position. Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a shallow sided saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and slowly drop pretzels into water, one at a time, cooking 15 seconds on each side. Remove from water with slotted spoon.

Return to cookie sheet. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.

BAKE 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.