We spent a wonderful Christmas Day in Hays, Kansas visiting with my family. The tree was festive and bright, loaded underneath with gifts from Santa (we never get too old!).
Out the window, snow frosted the neighborhood.
And, I was so excited when I opened up Pioneer Woman's cookbook!
All of the Christmas spirit put me in the mood to bake. Now, I can't eat any of the cookies we made today (they aren't exactly safe for IBS), but I just love the smell of fresh baked cookies filling up the house! My family insists that these recipes are all winners...
Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
My sister made these - she won first prize at the county fair with this recipe! Her secret is to throw in some chocolate chips as well.
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup shortening
3 cups confectioner's sugar
7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1-3 T. milk
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
For filling, cream together shortening, confectioner's sugar, and marshmallow creme. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread filling on the bottom half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Yield: about 2 dozen.
German Chocolate Toffee Cookies
I made these because my husband loves toffee and chocolate. Instead of walnuts, we used pecans.
1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 package (4 oz) German sweet chocolate, melted
2 t. water
2 t. vanilla extract
6 1/2 cups flour
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups English toffee bits or almond brickle chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars. Beat in chocolate. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in toffee bits and walnuts. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 13 dozen (according to the recipe).
White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti
I saw these and thought of my mom (she loves dried cranberries). She had never had biscotti before and was a little wary - but now she's a convert!
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup vanilla chips
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in cranberries and vanilla chips. Divide dough into three portions. On ungreased baking sheets, shape each portion into a 10 in. x 2 in. rectangle. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 1-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.
PS - The recipes for the German Chocolate Toffee Cookies and the White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti are from Taste of Home's Best of Country Cookies.