Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #8 Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

So first off I have to confess- these were not made on Sunday.  I was wondering how long we would last making cookies on Sunday and now I know- not very long!  Honestly though I have not had any energy and we've been sick, so making cookies has not been a priority.

But, my kids were so mad at me for not doing Family Home Evening on Monday that I had to schedule it in for tonight and we HAD to make cookies for it.  

This recipe is PERFECT for if you have little ones who like to help bake.  It is sooooooo fast and easy and they taste just like regular peanut butter cookies.  So here it is, my famous 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe:

Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
1 egg

Mix ingredients and bake at 375 for about 8-10 minutes.

That is it folks.  I like to double the recipe because it doesn't make that much.  And for reindeer cookies here are my suggestions:

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies:

Make peanut butter cookie dough as described above.  Scoop dough onto cookie sheet and press 2 pretzel twists at the top for antlers.  Press chocolate chips or m&ms for eyes and a nose and then bake.  If you do not want your m&ms to crack while they cook- add them right after you take them out of the oven.

I used the papered chef large scoop for these and baked them for about 14 minutes.  The first batch I had to throw out because I got distracted and they cooked too long.  And then I was experimenting to see the best way to add the m&ms.  Just the scientist in me lol.

My 4-year-old had a great time making these and adding different color m&ms for the eyes and noses.  There might be some eggshells in them, but oh well :)  And I didn't really want him reaching over a hot pan so we did the m&ms before we cooked them.

The perfect cookies to get keep your little ones distracted and of course everyone will love to eat them- they are too cute!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #7 Cake Mix Cookies

For this week's cookie we did a big cookie.  I was trying to keep my youngest awake (because we all know how if a 4 year old falls asleep at 6pm they will be awake alllllll night) and needed a fast cookie.  And I've been craving chocolate like non-otha' so here we go:

Here is the recipe.  No I did not make ice cream sandwiches because we don't have room in our freezer for ice cream.  I just followed the steps, added some chocolate chips, rolled it on a round stone and baked it for about 18 mins.


Add a little somethin' somethin' and enjoy.  Sorry for the quality of the pictures- this was late at night and the lighting in my house is HORRIBLE.  But you get the drift- cake mix goes to cookie pie goes to my mouth.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lego Crayons

So as you know I am on my 3rd Lego birthday party preparations... we have a lego minifigure mold so I decided to make lego crayons.  Simple right?  Of course says pintrest.  And I believe.

We have a TON of restaurant crayons and extra broken ones from school so I thought this would be the perfect way to use up all those crayons we have.  So take the paper off, brake the crayons and put in the mold.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutues and wah lah!

Here is where it gets tricky- you have to somehow get these silicone molds out of the oven without the melted wax sploshing about.  Finally I got smart and put them on a baking sheet- so much easier to take out!  Then you have to let them cool down a bit (and then I put them in the freezer).  And you have to be SUPER careful taking them out of the mold, otherwise you have a bunch of headless crayons.

I have to say the more quality crayons worked out so much better!  The cheap ones left a layer of wax.  If I were more OCD I would make them all over again using good crayons but I don't have the energy and it's just for kids.  It took a good crayon/ crayon and a half to fill each well and mixing different types of crayons doesn't work very well.

They turned out pretty cute- for all the effort it took I don't know that I would do it again.  But it works.  Now to figure out how to get wax off my molds...  don't fail me now pintrest!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #6 Snickerdoodles

My husband requested Snickerdoodles today for our Cookie Sunday and the kids were fine with that so we made my absolute favorite recipe for Snickerdoodles.  I have a lot of Mrs. Fields cookie recipes because my mom had a cookie recipe book from her and the cookies are really good.  The only thing is they take forever to bake.  Like around 20 mins.  

But they are chewy and soft.  I HATE hard cookies.  Like those nasty Mexican wedding cookies- blech.  And just to warn you they are INCREDIBLY addicting.  Like my mouth literally waters for these cookies once you eat one.  You CANNOT just eat one of them.  I don't know what it is but they beg you to eat them all.  So get a plate ready to give to a friend or else buy some fatty pants because these are going to be in your belly.

Mrs. Fields Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cookies (the name says it all- fatty goodness)

Topping: 3 Tbsp. sugar + 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 300.  In small bowl combine topping ingredients and set aside.  In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  In large bowl blend sugars with electric mixer at medium speed.  Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste.  Scrape sides of bowl then add eggs and vanilla, mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add flour mixture and blend at low speed just until combined.  Do not over mix.  Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar topping.  Place on ungreased baking sheet 2" apart and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Immediately transfer cookies to cool on flat surface.

I have to admit I never mix the flour mixture.  I always just add it all in when it's time.  Saves me one extra thing to wash.  And it hasn't ever been a problem.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lego Cards

I LOVE making cards!  My son asked for a Lego birthday and there are tons of ideas online on what to do for a Lego birthday.  And since this is my 3rd Lego birthday I think I have a pretty good handle on what to do.  So first off- the invitations!  Soooooo easy to make and my son loved them!

Yeah, all you do is cut some colored cardstock and then punch some circles out of the same color cardstock and stick them on with 3d tape.  My son wanted LEGO written on the studs so I did that and it all took maybe at the most 20 mintues.  The cards here are 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" and the circles are a 1" punch.

The inside is a whole different story though.  I love messing with PSE so I decided to learn how to make a LEGO font for the invitations.  The tutorial I used really helped and it's fairly simple.  To see it go HERE

The other Lego pieces on the invitation are actually from the Lego program where you can build your own lego pieces.  They have every piece- including some minifigure pieces and you can save the pictures as PNGs.  I've used these PNGs for the other 2 parties and still have a bunch saved so I just used those images and put them on.  I'm sure if you don't want to mess with that you can google lego pieces and find a ton of images.

They turned out great and I got a chance to make some cards- win/win!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #5 Pumpkin Cookies 3 Ways

Fall means pumpkin baking right?  I don't know what it is about leaves falling and cooler weather, but it automatically makes me want to eat pumpkins.  Like for everything.  Luckily there are recipes for pumpkin everything too.  Haha.  

I'm going to share 3 pumpkin cookie recipes because they are all my favorite for different reasons.  Sometimes how good a recipe is depends on how much time it takes, how "healthy" it is and how good the cookie is so here are my 3 types and why they are good:

Pumpkin Cookie #1:
This is my go-to recipe.  Super easy!  And best of all very low calorie and versatile.  "Healthier" than a normal cookie and full or fiber these are more cake-like and you'll see why.

Quick Pumpkin Cookies:
1 box cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto to cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.  

So you can use pretty much any cake mix (I don't know how good like a lemon would taste) but spice cake is the best.  If you use yellow or white then you can add pumpkin pie spices to the mix to add some flavor.  This works as a muffin or as a baked donut- like if you have a mini-donut maker or donut baking pans.  Which by-the-way you can use any muffin mix for those baked donuts.  You can even make this in a loaf pan for pumpkin bread or use mini-muffin pan for pumpkin poppers.  So good!

Pumpkin Cookie #2:
I don't have a picture for this one but it looks pretty much the same as the 1st one.  This one is more cookie-like and is more of your traditional pumpkin cookie.  It takes more time and more ingredients but it is chewy and moist and delicious!  If you don't feel like being all healthy then this one is for you- I've given these as gifts and it is no-fail!

 Mrs. Field's Pumpkin Spice Cookies 
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. rasins or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300.  Mix dry ingredients and set aside.  Put sugar in a bowl, add butter and mix to a grainy paste.  Add egg, pumpkin, vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Add dry mix and raisins.  Do not overmix.  Bake 22-24 minutes.

Pumpkin Cookie #3:
This is a recipe I found on pintrest for White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies.  It is soooooo good.  But I have to say that in my opinion the white chocolate chips are too much.  I made this recipe again, this time leaving the white chocolate chips out (so just Pumpkin Snickerdoodles) and it was perfect!  I even made some without rolling in the sugar mixture since being pregnant too much sugar makes me sick (so just Pumpkin Cookies) and it was sooooo good!  You can totally use the pumpkin cookie base and do your own thing with it.  This takes even longer than the other 2 because you have to refrigerate the dough for a while.  But it is well worth all the time!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
recipe found at Sallys Baking Addiciton 

In the instructions the lady is a little measurement-nazi like, but really you don't have to be that anal about your measurements.  I definitely don't cook like that and they turned out fine. 

So there you go!  3 delicious Pumpkin Cookie recipes to satisfy your pumpkin cravings! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #4 Sugar Cookies

The boys love making sugar cookies, and we have some fun Halloween cookie cutters so I decided we would make some sugar cookies this Sunday.  To make things go a little quicker, I made the dough ahead of time (it has to sit in the fridge for 1 hour) and for a treat later I froze the extra dough (lets face it we really don't need 6 dozen sugar cookies- this recipe makes a ton).  The boys had a blast making, decorating, and especially eating them!

We also used a gingerbread man cookie cutter to make skeletons and zombies lol. The recipe is just the Crisco recipe, but my secret ingredient is Butter Pecan syrup that makes it taste extra good.

Crisco Ultimate Sugar Cookies
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. butter flavor shortening
2 eggs
1/4 c. corn syrup or pancake syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 375. Combine sugar and shortening in a bowl and mix until well blended.  Add eggs, syrup, and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add gradually and mix on low speed until well blended.  Divide dough into 1/4, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.  Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart (sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired) and cook for 5-9 minutes.  Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet.  Remove to cooling rack and when cool frost/ decorate as desired.

Makes 3-4 dozen

So I use Butter Pecan syrup like I said before to make them taste really good.  And I always use butter flavored shortening, but this time I ran out so I used 1/2 shortening and 1/2 coconut oil.  I was a little worried it wouldn't turn out, but they turned out perfectly!!  So feel free to use coconut oil.  Not sure how it will turn out with all of it coconut oil but I doubt it would be a problem.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Costumes: Specially Featuring Pokemon!

Happy Halloween!  

This year the costumes were a little stressful.  My youngest wanted to be Spiderman (we already have it- yes!) and my 2nd oldest wanted to be a football player (we already have it- yes!) but my oldest wanted to be Garchomp.  The Pokemon Garchomp.  Which you cannot buy in a store. 
Easy peasy right?  AAHHHHH! Is what I am thinking.  He originally wanted to be a shower like the Karate Kid and I tried desperately to try and convince him how cool that would be.  Didn't work.  So I got my brain thinking and myself shopping to try and find some stuff.
And then on Saturday I decided I just needed to bite the bullet and start.  I hate sewing.

After all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon I finished!!!!  Hallelujah!

So now we have babe's costume:
My costume:
My oldest's costume:
Now my second child saw how much fun it was for me to spend all my time making the oldest a costume.  So Sunday he declared he wanted to be Pichu.  Groan.  Kill me now.
I thought- maybe I can do this in time for our church trunk or treat on Wednesday so off I go again- looking for yellow clothes.  Luckily my mom had sent me some yellow dye a few years ago and my son already has some Iowa State football pants (ahem) so I dyed a shirt yellow, he will wear his football pants inside out and he will wear this:

And we are good.

The tail isn't zig-zagged says my husband.  Shuddy (we are using a black cat tail from the costume box). I am done.  Wait, yes I will need to make a collar tonight but I am done.  Oh, now my oldest wants me to make some adjustments to the costume.  NOOOO.  I am done people.  No adjustments.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cookie Sunday Batch #3: Chocolate Caramel Cookies

We are well on our way with our Cookie Sunday!  The kids are loving it.  We talked about what the different sized meant and how to level off cups.  And best of all we made cookies!

This week they picked Chocolate Caramel Cookies.  These are another one of my childhood favorites that my mom used to only make at Christmastime to give out to other people.  They are really good- if you like caramel and you like chocolate you will LOVE these cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies
1 c. butter softened
1 c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. chopped pecans
13 oz. pkg Rolo candies (I only found 11 oz. pkg but it still works)

Cream butter, 1 c. sugar, and brown sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Combine flour, cocoa, and soda; add to creamed mixture and beat just until combined.  Stir in 1/2 c. pecans.  Shape dough by tablespoons around each candy.  In small bowl combine remaining pecans and sugar; dip each cookie halfway.  Place with nut side up on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 for 7-10 mins. until top is slightly cracked.  Cool for 3 mins, remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 5 dozen (depending on how big your cookies are and how many rolos you have)

We ended up making about 4 1/2 dozen and had some rolo candies left over (the kids kept eating them of course too).  The kids made them pretty large- which for these cookies means they were about the size of regular cookies.  Normally these are kinda small.  And we didn't have any pecans and lots of sugar makes me sick so we opted out of the sugar topping.

These also freeze well so you can make them when you have time before and then just thaw to give away/ eat.  The dough is really good- try it with a reeses pb cup or other candy to see how it tastes!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why I've Been Slow

I have not had the time to do a lot of crafting.  Why you ask?  Is it because I have 3 young boys who go to 2 different schools, are involved in before school band and orchestra, after school chess club and ice skating, and have tutoring 2 times a week?  Well, no.  Is it because my husband has a more demanding position at church now that takes him away a lot and he is working on his PE so he is studying and taking classes almost every night? No.  It is because of this....

Yup, we're expecting a baby.  May 2015.  This is how I announced it:  (it's a little gruesome so you might want to not go any further if that stuff grosses you out)

So not only have I not been able to eat sugar (ACK!) I am so tired.  One of these days I'll have time to do more crafts right?  Hahahaha yeah right. ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cookie Sunday: Batch #2

Ummmm chocolate chips cookies!  Sometimes I just have to have them.  I have a great recipe (that I have memorized) for single serving chocolate chip cookie that I make after the kids go to bed I'll have to share sometime.  But meanwhile, these glorious cookies just beg to be eaten.

This is by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It tastes just like a coffee shop cookie.  It is REALLY good.  It is from my brother's friend from high school that could just whip this up perfectly EVERY TIME.  That being said it is also the hardest cookie recipe I own.  I'll put some tips after the recipe.

Kasey's Cookies
soften cube butter (1/2 c.)
Add: 1/2 c. sugar
         1 egg
         3/4 c. brown sugar
        2 tsp. vanilla
Mix well
Add: 2 c. flour
         1/2 tsp. salt
         1 tsp. baking soda
Add slowly: 12 oz chocolate chips
Bake in preheated 375 oven for 8-10 mins.

Okay, so very important- the butter has to be softened.  Like kept on the counter 1/2 a day soft.  Or else it just. won't. work.  The batter is really thick and not very moist and when I've tried microwaving the butter to soften it- it doesn't work.

Also, be sure to mix at the end so that the batter sticks together.  I've read that you mix the egg and sugar mixture to make great cookies, but I'm so afraid to overmix and I've failed at this recipe so many times I wouldn't try it for this one.

I use a papered chef scoop for the cookies- both the medium and large work well.  I really want to try and make the gigantic size ones like at the coffee shop so that it feels real legit but I dunno- use an ice cream scoop for that?  I'm not in the know for how to do that.  I'll have to check pintrest lol.

Bon appetit!  It really is REALLY good!  Everyone I've made these cookies for LOVES them.  Some people say it tastes just like cookie dough.  So give it a try and enjoy!