Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies

Currently sitting on my desk at work - SIN!!

Is there any food that sounds more sinful than red velvet cake?  Red - the color of sin.  Velvet - such a  sensual fabric, it is sure to be sinful...  Cake - delicious, delicious sin.

Red velvet cake has been big in the south for many years, and lately, red velvet cupcakes have been driving the ridiculous cupcake obsession in America.  This, friends, is even better. 

Red. Velvet. Cookies.

How could red velvet cake have been improved?  By making it a cookie.  Cookies are the best.  Which is what I have done.  Make hundreds, eat them all, and wallow in sin.

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking Soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 oz. bottle red food coloring
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars until smooth. Add eggs, food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat just until combined.
  3. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined.
  4. Place tablespoon-size balls of dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes. Edges will be set, but centers will still be soft. Cool on wire racks. Cooled cookies may be iced with cream cheese frosting.


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 – 6 cups confectioners sugar
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is slightly dry but still smooth.
  3. Frost cookies.

Crème de Menthe Brownies

Now, sometimes when we say "perennial favorite", what we really mean is "we've had these before, and I'm just overstating their importance to get you to like them." 

That is not the case with the crème de menthe brownies.

They are an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY at our Christmas party.  There is a good chance that there would be open revolt if they weren't there: candy canes carved into jailhouse shivs, sugar cookie throwing stars, pointsetta projectiles...  They. Are. That. Good.
For Brownies:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 16oz can Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, flour, salt, chocolate syrup and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool in pan.
For Frosting:
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 Tbs. Green Crème de Menthe
  1. Mix one cup sugar with butter and liqueur.
  2. Add up to one additional cup of sugar and beat until it is spreading consistency.
  3. Spread on cooled brownies.

For Glaze:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  1. Melt together in microwave or double boiler.
  2. Cool a bit and spread on cake, covering it completely so that the green frosting is a special seasonal surprise.
  3. Cut into little squares and serve.

If your family and friends are anything like ours, these will go QUICKLY.  Make a whole bunch!!

Sweet Potato Souffle

So it seems that I owe you all two more recipes.  SO BE IT THEN!

First, we have a delicious side dish, perfect for your holiday buffet or intimate dinner.  Even better, you can fully assemble the dish, and refrigerate uncooked overnight, thus eliminating the need to bring out the mixer the day of the party!  Make-ahead and delicious?  Perfect.
  • 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes 
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
Combine all with electric mixer. Put in 13 x 9 in. pan
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
Sprinkle topping over sweet potato base.
Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pea and Peanut Salad. Really.

OK people, for my second recipe today, I will post the EASIEST RECIPE I'VE EVER POSTED.  Four ingredients.  No cooking.  A moderately-well-trained gibbon could make this recipe.  And yet, it is routinely the most-requested recipe from my family's large Christmas party.  This baffles the whole family, but, I guess, sometimes simple is good!

Also, this recipe makes a whole lot of peas.  Make it for a group.  Or make sure you're reeeeally hungry!

  • 6lbs Frozen peas
  • 1 large red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large jar of dry-roasted peanuts
  • Just enough Miracle Whip to get it to stay together 

  1. MIX TOGETHER IN A BOWL!  Really.  It is that easy.  You don't even have to thaw the peas.  Make sure to store in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yes folks, I realize that I neglected to post yesterday.  I'm dealing with a fairly wicked cold at the moment, and it has me all messed up.  To make it up to you, I'll post twice today.  How does that sound?

First off, more cookies!  These are the ultimate kid cookie.  Unless that kid happens to have a peanut allergy, in which case he/she will enjoy these cookies immensely for around 25 seconds before going into anaphylaxis. 

Epipens at the ready?  OK, here we go!

  • 16 oz Hershey Kisses (96), unwrapped
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbs. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Granulated sugar for rolling

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Remove foil wrappers from Hershey Kisses (DO THIS BEFORE COOKIES GO IN THE OVEN).
  3. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.  Add ⅔ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.  Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually mix into peanut butter mixture.
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in granulated sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie (cookie will crack around edges).  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Makes approx. 8 dozen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pecan Balls

Of course the first holiday recipe is going to be a Christmas cookie. Obviously.

These particular cookies look like little snowballs - double-coated in powdered sugar. This means, however, that they also make a mess when you eat them, so they are to be avoided when wearing black clothing, or else you'll look like a coke fiend instead of a cookie monster.

Now, on to the cookies!

  • ½ cup sifted confectioners sugar, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans

  1. Cream sugar and butter thoroughly. Blend in remaining ingredients, making sure to blend well.
  2. Chill dough for a short time.
  3. Shape dough into balls, the size of large marbles. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 until just brown, about 15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, or cookies will crumble.
  4. Remove from pan and immediately roll hot cookies in additional sifted confectioners sugar. When cookies have cooled, roll in sugar again. You will use about 2 cups of sugar for rolling.


'Tis the Season

Well folks, it is that time of year...  It is finally cold, and I FINALLY get to put up holiday recipies.  So, I herefor pledge to put up one holiday recipe a day until Christmas!!  Promise!!