Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Baking

For whatever reason, I could just not get myself in the mood to make Christmas cookies for the neighbors this year. If you know me at all, you know I love to bake, so it's a little strange that I wouldn't be all gung-ho about cookie platters. I finally just dove into it tonight, because of this little thing called Christmas being two days away. :)

After I made the dipped pretzels I started feeling a little more "into it" simply because of how cute they turned out. I need to remember to make these for other holidays and just change up the sprinkles. They're really easy (just melt almond bark, dip pretzel sticks and sprinkle with sparkles) and best of all, I don't like pretzels, so I didn't eat a single thing. Perfect.

I love how cute these turned out!

This is me trying to get all artsy with a shot. I might want to work on the backdrop, huh? :)

I decided to go with only two things this year: the dipped pretzels and Peanut Butter Blossoms. I usually do sugar cookies and/or fudge, but by the time I got done with the blossoms, I was feeling okay about baking. Anymore and I would have just gotten pissy. haha Hopefully I snap out of my baking funk soon, because there are a couple new recipes that I'm wanting to try out, and I *do* have the next 10 days off work.

The finished product, to be passed out to neighbors tomorrow.
Here's the recipe for the Peanut Butter Blossoms, if anyone is interested:

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and peanut butter. Beat in 1/3 cup sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla, mixing until incorporated.In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in a bowl of sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and place unwrapped chocolate Kisses into the center of each cookie, slightly pressing. Allow cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack.

*Note: I have never in all of my years of making these cookies gotten 48 cookies out of this recipe. You would have to make your cookies pretty darn small to get that many. Also, I never bake them for longer than 8 minutes, or the bottoms get really brown.
Source: Hershey's

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