Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies Vs. Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

Okay... I must admit I'm not one to make cookies. Strike that... I don't make "Everyday People" cookies. When my kids come home and ask me to whip up some cookies, this is what I normally pop out:

I guess you could call me a cookies snob. I can't help it... it's in my blood! It's part of me! I have royal icing and fondant running through my veins!

So I was running through my number one blog "Bake at 350" and I noticed that Bridget posted that the Flavor of the Month is "Cookies". Cookies? It really caught me off guard! This woman is the queen of beautiful cookies and she wants to see ours? Perhaps it is just to laugh at our attempts? NAH! I don't know her but Bridget is totally not like that! So it honestly took me a bit to figure out what she wanted from me. I knew I had to dazzle her so I started pouring through recipes. It's a weird thing I have about me: Wanting to please and entertain at the same time. I'm a Leo. Enough said!

So I decided quickly that nothing out of Betty Crocker would do. At this time I would like to apologize to Betty. She has gotten me through many things and I love how she holds my hand through little trials and tribulations that I have had, but today I needed the heavy hitters. I hit my new best friends up... BLOGS. I stumbled across a new one... Joy the Baker. She has a category for cookies! Lovely cookies! Cookies to die for! I found two on there that I knew I had to try but the dilemna was which one for the Flavor of the Month?? Okay... I did both. So here they are and please enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies Revisited
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper & butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4 cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2 inches apart. You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oh they are delicious! BUT... I think I'm kind of partial to the next one!

Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate cips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, raisins and white chocolate chips; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookies sheets and then move to wire rack.

Everyday People cookies suddenly rock! I got a thumbs up from the Vermont Air Guard as well as many friends that suddenly flocked to me once they found out what I made.

You must try both! You can't lose! Thanks Bridget for helping me find my love for cookies of baking past and thanks Joy for sharing your recipes!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My life the Carnival

Holy cow! I can't believe it has been so long since I've been on here blogging. I feel neglectful. So sorry!!

So let me catch all of you up on what has been going on...

I lived my summer in Soccer Land. You know... the place where all of the little kids run crazy on the fields, screaming and tripping over each other. I did discover that one of my girls bends it like Beckham while the other one treats the field like it is her fashion runway. She claims she only joined because she liked the uniforms.

While visiting Soccer Land we drifted magically into school time. Let me just say this... Three girls, school shopping. Enough said yes?!

Oh and then the real fun began!!! I began my quest to design the birthday party of all birthday parties! Grace's birthday is August 30th and Noelle's birthday is on September 11th with Noelle being born first. Back away from it... I'm begging you. So I asked them nicely if we could smush their birthdays together and sprinkled it with bribes since last year I told them I would never ask them to share again. They agreed once I offered up the mother of all birthday bribes.... FACE PAINTING!!

So we decided the theme would be a carnival theme and invite both classrooms. That's right... both classes and topped it off with family and friends. It had the potential of 60 people. I prayed nightly that there would be enough kids but that some would unfortunately have to decline.

So the invitations were boxes of Cracker Jack with a homemade ticket to "Admit One". Thanks to my amazing friends I scored a hot dog steamer, a plinko board, a bounce house and a face painter! Who knew that my friends had all of this stuff and my one friend had the hiddent talent of face painting??!!! Oh and I must admit... I had a cotton candy maker.

So lets get down to the important thing... CAKE. It's important that each of my kids have their own cake. I insist that even though they share the day, they don't share the cake. After some searching I decided that I would make popcorn cupcakes for the guests and very large candy apples for each of the girls.

The popcorn cups were cupcakes baked in liners and I hand painted Wilton nut and candy cups with red food coloring and a paint brush. I made the little label on my computer and attached them with double sided tape. I then frosted the cupcakes and the "popcorn" are marshmallows that I cut an "X" into on the end with scissors. After I put the marshmallows on I sprayed them carefully with the Wilton food coloring spray. It was a loooooong process. I think I had 60 cupcakes and it took me a bit. I kept saying "Oh geesh... never again!" But you know, when it comes to my girls I would make these over and over if they wanted me too!

So after a very long day of sugared up kids, "You're welcome parents!", I dunked my kids in the bath, plopped them in bed and headed out to survey the aftermath.

Poor duckies... I'm so glad I didn't have any friends with a petting zoo otherwise I think I wouldn't be able to display a picture.