Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies

IMG_4909Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas already?

Where did the time go?

One of my favorite family traditions is that each year at Christmas, my mom has us help her bake a bunch of cookies and then we put together cookie trays and share them with our neighbors and friends.

This year, I had to make one of my favorites.  It isn’t necessarily a Christmas cookie, but who cares!?  I think any cookie can be a Christmas cookie.  If I make it in December, I am calling it a Christmas cookie.

So Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies.  What a delectable combination, huh?  My grandma says that these could be eaten for breakfast because they are so lightly sweet and have such a fresh taste.  The dried cranberries are so yummy when mixed with white chocolate, and that hint of orange zest…oh yeah…it is the game changer.

IMG_4882This scoop looks just as good as a fully-loaded Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and “this thing which tells time”.  That’s from A Christmas Story…Hello, Ralphie? Did you catch that?

Again, bear with me….it’s almost CHRISTMAS!

IMG_4891The dough looks so stinkin’ inviting and friendly.  Yes, I just called cookie dough friendly.  It’s always so nice to me….ha…okay.  Anyway, these cookies are scrum-diddly-umptious and you will want to make them again and again.  I promise!IMG_4898

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars into a large bowl.
  3. Beat in egg and orange zest.
  4. Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugars.
  6. Stir in cranberries and white chips with a spoon.
  7. Drop tablespoons or small scoops onto ungreased baking sheets
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are slightly golden.
  9. ENJOY and share with your neighbors!

**Store cookies in airtight container for best taste

 

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No-Chill Cutout Cookies

IMG_4859Thursday night and feeling CRAZY!!!!!

Not really.

But I did just get home from a cookie decorating party! Wahoo!

And my teeth are coated in sugar.  I was struggling.  Sometimes you just have to be in the mood to decorate cookies.

Sometimes you just want to bake cookies.  Then sometimes, you just want to eat the cookies.  Sometimes, you think it would be so fun to decorate cookies and then all of a sudden you realize it is just not that fun tonight, so you start eating the peppermint M&Ms one by one and……the rest is history.  Judging from my candy-coated canines, I’ll bet that I put more sugar in my mouth than on top of cookies tonight. IMG_4852I love a delicious cutout cookie.  Notice how I said a delicious one.

My ideal “delicious” sugar cutout cookie has to be thick.  It has to be soft (but firm) and chewy, just barely on the verge of being golden, and has to have a hint of almond extract.  Deeee-licious!

This is my absolute favorite recipe for cutout cookie perfection. It is my go-to recipe. ZERO chilling of the dough, which is huge for me.  I hope you love it like I do.IMG_4867

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a big bowl, cream softened butter and sugar with a mixer. (Softened butter is VERY important here.  If it is too solid, it won’t cream in with sugar. If it’s too liquid, it will clump sugar together.)
  3. Beat in egg first, then add in both extracts.
  4. Grab a small bowl and combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little bit at a time until both parts form a thick dough. (It should seem fairly dry.)
  6. Divide dough into two balls and roll each ball onto a floured surface, one at a time.  (Ideal thickness for me was about 1/4 inch, but I’ve left it as thick as a 1/2 inch. The thinner you roll the dough, the quicker they brown.)
  7.  Use cookie cutters or a glass to cut your cookies into desired shapes and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet using a metal spatula.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just barely begin to brown.
  9. Let cookies cool completely before frosting or decorating and share with your family and friends! YUM!

**Store in an airtight container to keep cookies from drying out! Cookies also freeze well!

 

 

Adapted from the Wilton.com recipe for Roll-Out Cookies

 

 

 

BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

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I love every word of this entry title.  BBQ lovin’.  Chicken, mmm.  French (Fries?). Bread…I love bread.  PIZZZZZZAAAAA! Yesss…

Friday nights make me want pizza.

Sometimes I crave cold pizza.  So yum.

Leftover cold pizza the next morning for breakfast? Yeah baby.

There are so many forms and flavors of pizza.  I love mixing it up and crossing boundaries and putting different stuff on pizza.  My favorites are Thai Chicken Pizza, White Mushroom Arugula pizza, and BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Last week I was totally craving pizza, but I wanted BBQ Chicken Pizza and I was kind of trying to hurry up and get dinner over with.

This recipe is easy-peasy, nice and breezy. (I don’t know…never mind.)  I think I just made that up.  My boyfriend gobbled it up and I was pleased with how fast and easy it was.

But really, it’s so easy though.  It takes about 20 minutes TOTAL-start to finish.  If you are looking for a quick pizza idea, look no further!

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BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 loaf of french bread

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast fully cooked and chopped

3/4 c BBQ sauce

8 oz pkg of shredded pizza cheese or cheddar combination (any cheese blend works)

1 red onion

1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. Cut french bread in half lengthwise and lay halves face up on foil covered pan.
  3. Spread halves liberally with BBQ sauce.
  4. Top halves with shredded cheese and chicken.
  5. Slice 1/4 of red onion into thin slices and layer onto bread halves.
  6. Top with a little more cheese and drizzle BBQ sauce on top.
  7. Bake pizzas in oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
  8. Top freshly baked pizzas with cilantro for added flavor.
  9. Cut into slices and devour!

 

Simple Cherry Cheese Danishes

Here’s to a having a laid back Saturday morning!

Hooray!

Even better, here’s to a laid back Saturday morning of waking up and feeling inspired to make something!

Even more hooray! 

Here’s to a Saturday morning of waking up and wanting to make something yummy for breakfast and then looking in my cabinets and realizing I have everything I need to make some super easy, super delicious Cherry Cheese Danishes that only take a little while to put together and don’t require tons of dishes for me to wash on my laid back Saturday morning!

There’s carnival music going on in my head right now…

Seriously, though.  These things are delightful.  Dessert for breakfast? Heck yeah.

And…it’s…Saturday, so why not…right?

These Cherry Cream Cheese Danishes are so easy.

They are made from a tube of refrigerated crescent roll dough, some cream cheese, a can of cherry pie filling, a little vanilla, and some sugar.  You can freeze the crescent dough ahead if you want, you don’t have to.  You definitely do not have to use cherry pie filling.  You could use any sort of topping you prefer.  If you’re running on Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, you could use jelly.  I’ve found that just about anything tastes good when mixed with cream cheese 🙂IMG_4619I used to eat crescent roll dough raw as a kid.  I always wanted to be the one to roll up the crescents because then I could tear off a piece of dough and eat it.  Weird, I know.

This is what the indented dough should look like.  Don’t worry about trying to pinch edges or any of that.  I dipped the lid of a spice container into some flour and indented mine.  Just make sure it is deep enough to hold all the yummy goodness you’re loading it with!IMG_4620

I am a cream cheese maniac.  If you are anything like me, once you test the cream cheese filling to make sure it is alright, you might consider just throwing in the towel and plopping down on the couch with a spoon and calling it good.  Don’t do it.  You’ll get sick.  If you find yourself having problems with this, email me.  We can work through the struggle together. 😉  This is what my loaded crescent slices looked like.  I’d say less is more, actually.  Next time I make these I will not overload them.  Some of the pastries boiled over because they were too full.  Still incredibly delicious, just not as pretty.IMG_4622You know the heavenly voices on Red Robin commercials? “Red Robin…yummmmmm!”

That’s what I’m thinking.  “Cheese Danishes….yummmmm!”

I was a little antsy this morning.  I was rushing the process.  Too much coffee.  I probably could have waited a little longer to drizzle my icing on top.  The icing started melting on some of them.

These are things I like to make.  It was easy, didn’t require too many ingredients, and it was all stuff I had in my kitchen.

Simple Cherry Cheese Danishes

  • Servings: Makes 12 pastries
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 can pie filling
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 box)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For a little drizzle on top: (optional)

  • powdered sugar
  • milk

What to do:

**If you prefer, place crescent roll can in the freezer for up to 30 minutes. (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Open the crescent dough and use a sharp knife to slice the contents of each tube into 12 slices.  I divided my dough in half, and then sliced each half into 6 slices. (Don’t unroll them–they should look like cinnamon rolls)
  4. Lay your crescent slices onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.  If your dough is more sticky than solid, you may want to try 6 slices per cookie sheet because the dough will spread out while baking.
  5. Indent the center of each slice to create a deep pocket for the filling. (You can use the end of the crescent package if you still have it, but fingers are just as convenient)
  6.  Add the cream cheese mixture and your choice of pie filling into the indented crescent slices, about half and half. (Fill the space, but not to overflowing)
  7. Bake in oven for about 15-17 minutes until dough is golden brown.
  8. For drizzle on top, mix 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and a splash of milk in a Ziploc bag.  The glaze should be thick, like almost too thick to be liquid.
  9. When the pastries are cool, cut off a tiny corner of the Ziploc bag and drizzle over top.  (The glaze will not keep its solid form if you do not wait until the pastries are completely cool, so be patient!)
  10. ENJOY and share with family and friends!

**By the slim possibility you have leftovers, danishes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days for best taste.

 

 

NOTE: Adapted from the lovely lady of Baking Bytes