Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Treat Time

I usually don't need an excuse to make goodies other than, "I feel like a goodie." When the holidays come around there are usually plenty of opportunities to whittle at my "mmm, this sounds good" list of recipes to try out. Here's what I've been up to the past couple of days:

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

I've never been an eggnog fan. There was a flavor in eggnog that I couldn't put my finger on and I decided I didn't like it. Now I know that it's rum, I think I'm starting to change my mind. (Weird, I know. It doesn't taste any different after I realize what I'm eating. It's a mental thing.) I saw this recipe in my Dec/Jan issue of Taste of Home and have wanted to try them for a month now. These cookies look and taste almost identical to regular snickerdoodles, but with a hint of rum (flavoring, that is).

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c shortening

2 c + 5 T sugar, divided

1 egg

1 tsp rum extract

1/2 c evaporated milk

1/2 c refrigerated French vanilla nondairy creamer
5 1/2 c flour

1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and 2 cups of sugar. Beat in egg and rum. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Combine milk and creamer; set aside. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture to dough, blending after each addition. In a small bowl, combine nutmeg and remaining sugar. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls, roll in nutmeg mixture, then place on a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly (don't worry, these don't spread much). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes 6-7 dozen.

Nat's Notes:
1. I used fat-free evaporated milk and they turned out fine.
2. The rum flavor is really subtle in these cookies. Next time I think I'll put 1 1/2 tsp instead.
3. There's a glaze that goes on top made from 1 c powdered sugar and 5-6 tsp of creamer. I'm not a glaze fan -- it just tastes like more sugar to me. If I was going to put something on them, it would be full-out butter or cream cheese frosting. None of that sissy glaze stuff.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I've made these before, but I liked them so much I made them again. I think this is my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. I found it on the back of the Nestle butterscotch chip bag and altered it a bit. The cookies stay chewy and moist longer than other recipes I've tried.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 3/4 c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c butter-flavored shortening

2 T water

3/4 c packed brown sugar

3/4 c white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c oats (quick or old fashioned)

1 c white chocolate chips

1 c dried cranberries

Mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in chips and cranberries. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Nat's Notes:
1. The recipe originally called for 2 sticks of butter instead of the shortening and water. I used shortening because I didn't have butter and didn't feel like running to the store AGAIN.

Mint Oreo Truffles

These were the problem children of the weekend. I first tried these during Thanksgiving and thought, "Oh, have mercy on my hips" as I pounded a half-dozen of them. They're really good, but really rich. And probably really bad for you. But it's Christmas.

You're supposed to coat the balls in almond bark. After looking in three different stores for almond bark or just white melting chocolate, I gave up and bought white chocolate chips. It kept seizing when I tried to melt it, so I kept adding shortening to smooth it out. When I tried to coat the balls, it got lumpy and half of it slid off. GRR. So, I rolled them in powdered sugar. A fast fix, but a few hours later, the sugar had started to dissolve into the balls, leaving a weird marbley texture. So I coated them again. A few hours later they started doing the same thing, so I hurried and got as many out the door as I could and just kept the rest. They still tasted great, they just looked a little funny.

Mint Oreo Truffles

1 pkg Mint Oreos

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese

almond bark
(yes, that's all.)

Place cream cheese in bowl and beat for about a minute. Throw the Oreos in a couple at a time and beat the snot out of the whole thing until you get a relatively smooth consistency. There will be a few lumps.
Refrigerate dough for a couple of hours or overnight to stiffen.

Roll into 1-inch balls, then coat with almond bark (or powdered sugar if you have the same luck I did). Let set on a cookie sheet and store in the fridge. Try not to eat them all in one night.

Nat's Notes:
1. This is easier if you use a stand mixer. If you don't have one, you might want to crush the Oreos first.


The Rogers said...

They sell Almond bark at Costco. Just thought I would share :)

Anonymous said...

Nattie -- I've seen this recipe with just crushed oreo cookies to roll the balls in ... yum!

Hope you're doing well in CA - Sister Greenhalgh

Anonymous said...

Do you want to come over to my house and play? I love to eat cookies!! Lol... looks wonderful, i'll have to try a recipe or two!!

Andrea said...

When do you find time to do all this baking? I'm so jealous about how much you cook! Reading your blog makes me really hungry. What do you do with Sophie when you're cooking? Just curious. Jakob plays for about 20 minutes then starts crying. I can't focus on anything when he's crying.

Natalie said...

I usually only bake when Steve's home to watch Sophie. If I want to do it during the day then I pick something that I can leave in the middle of if I need to (cookies are good for this). If I put her in her bouncer seat in the kitchen with me, she plays and watches me for a while. If she gets antsy, then I put her in the BabyBjorn carrier (which we got way cheap on Ebay). I just have to watch for her grabby hands now and not get too close to anything she could grab.

Kathryn said...

thanks for the delicious cookies, Natalie! Now I could kick myself, because I didn't get a chance to try your mint oreo truffles. I made the mistake of leaving them out on the counter and the ants got to them first. AAAARRRGG!!