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Cookie Exchange Fun

11 Dec

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Don’t you just love cookie exchanges!!! I love everything about them. The fun and creative cookies you can make for your friends and family is amazing. There are just so many type of cookies out there, and then there is the curiosity of what you get in return. Eekk, I can’t wait!!! It doesn’t take much to make me happy as you can tell. Not many people I know get excited over Christmas Cookie Exchange. My husband loves it..only due to the fact that I leave with these cookies and come home with a ton more. More for him to enjoy I guess.

I love that this year our office decided to do this, and not some sort of gift exchange. Don’t you just hate buying gifts for people that you’re not sure if they will take your joke gift seriously or not. Or the minute you open up your gift, you know it’s either going to be a regift or put in the closet till you forget about it, collecting dust. So cookie exchange just seemed like the perfect fit for our office. The only deal was you had to bake the cookies, no ifs and or buts..I especially like the fact that are a few non-bakers in our office that are pushing their limits and baking something. Whether they turn out or not (and I am sure they will all turn out), it’s really the effort they put in that pleases me.

I had decided to make Candy Cane Cookies. These were very easy to make and so much fun. I love having colour in my cookies. They are just prefect for the holiday, so festive and cute. The more festive the cookie, the less guilty I feel for eating so many. What makes these cookies so special you ask? It’s the candy cane kiss right in the middle. Makes them so scrumptious and magical. If you’re leaving cookies out for Santa, these would be the kind he wants to munch on…just make sure everyone else in bed first, or else there wont be any left for him.

How can you say no to cookies like these…Here is the recipe for these wonderful cookies.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses brand Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Green colored sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 – 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies.

Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

Christmas Cookies Galore

9 Dec

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This weekend was all about the baking. With Christmas only a few weeks away, I had to finally buckle down and get baking. I managed to bake three types of cookies this weekend. Started Saturday afternoon and finally finished Sunday afternoon. I think of all the cookies I made this weekend, my favourite has to be the Christmas Crinkles. Who doesn’t love chocolate cookies.

The first batch of cookies I made were Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. Lets think about this..Chocolate and Shortbread together….how can you go wrong on this? It just scream YUM!!
I found these the easiest to make. I love that you can be creative with these and put anything in the middle, jam, Nutella, chocolate, peanut butter..whatever your heart (or sweet tooth) desires. I find there are a few different types of recipes out there, but these are the easiest to make. This is a Martha Stewart recipe. I swear, what doesn’t this woman do??

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The second batch I made were Gingerbread Cookies. I’m not a big fan of these cookies, but I know my husband and his family enjoys them, so I made a small batch for them to enjoy as well. I’m pretty sure they will be the first ones gone. These were really quick to make, took about 10 min. for prep and 10 min for bake time. By the time I was done with these I was spent. I was done baking for the day.

This morning was a struggle getting out of bed. Who wants to leave the house when it’s -19C, -27 with the wind chill. But the Christmas shopping had to get done, or in my case, start it. Two weeks left and I just started my Christmas shopping. Yes, you can call me crazy. Now I have to deal with crabby mall shoppers who have all left their Christmas shopping to the end. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more men I see frantic on what to get their better half. It’s really funny to watch them. Asking random woman for advice, trying to figure out what perfume smells good and the best is when you see them trying to figure out sizes. I wonder if men have given up on all that and just go for the safety net…JEWELRY!! What girl doesn’t want that Christmas? Plus it’s the easiest thing for a guy to give as a gift. That’s probably why every store in the mall today that sold any type of jewelry was full of men. HA!!

After making my quick round through the mall, I came home and quickly started making one of my favourite cookies. Christmas Crinkles. These are so much fun to make and the chocolate cookies covered in powdered sugar makes them so decedent. To add a little fun to these, I added Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Chocolate in the centre. Seriously, you just can’t get enough of these cookies.

Here is a shot of my weekend baking. I love how my place just smells like a bakery.

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In between the baking and the cleaning, we did manager to sneak in a visit with some friends Diana, Jason and their adorable little boy Camilo. They have such a happy baby, just being around him melts my heart. For Christmas I wanted to get something that he could have with him on the plane as they are flying to Chile, so we got him a build a bear. Boy, the look on his face when he opened it up, reminded me of why I love Christmas so much. His eyes lit up as he smiled with delight, he couldn’t have been more happier to feel something so soft. Oh, how I love this time of year!!
Here is a little shot of baby Camilo…

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Yesterday was also my dads birthday. I called home ( or should I say Face Timed home) to wish him a happy birthday. My mom was as usual in the kitchen, and my dad was busy cleaning. The one thing that caught my eye when I talked to him, was seeing him so happy. I’m not sure if it was because he was enjoying the vacuuming or he was just in a happy mood. But I called at the right time! When you live far from home and don’t get to see your family often, knowing they’re happy puts a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. I know I couldn’t be there to help celebrate, but I was there in spirit!! Love ya dad!!! You truly are a wonderful father!! I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family, even if I don’t get to see them often.

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