I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Christmas and are recovering from the food overload ;) Ok, a few last splurges before we bring out those New Year’s Resolutions lists. What Meghan and I are most proud of the fact that we have crossed off about 5 food items on our to-do lists. Additionally, we have accomplished four Pinterest recipes in the last two days. Nice, right? I mean, those pins shouldn’t have to sit there forever.
A quick look at some eats for Christmas (some very “pin-worthy”) Thank you Jenn for hosting this!
After our annual run where Meghan (my sister/training tool – if I can keep up with at least 75% of her training schedule, maybe I’ll be back in shape by summer) had us powering up one of the steepest hills in the town, we whipped up some homemade wheat/oat cinnamon rolls and Sara Lee’s Butter Streusel Coffee Cake for my dad. The latter was something from my dad’s childhood which he refuses to let it go of. However, the only issue has become the fact that it is increasingly more difficult to come by.
This was a new recipe as I don’t usually use oats, but it ended up being a huge success (recipe to follow shortly). We made the batter before the run so it could rise while we were out. Then once we were showered and dressed back in our PJ’s, we stuffed and rolled the dough and set it in the oven. Let me note that it wasn’t even 10:30 yet and we hadn’t even looked at the tree. I topped mine with some fresh strawberries, sliced banana, and good ‘ol whipped frosting. That and some Starbucks Americano. Yummo for breakfast #1.
After all the gift festivities are finished, we usually have a second breakfast. I guess when we were little, this was held at a normal breakfast hour (8/9?) but as we get older, it too gets pushed back and was essentially our lunch. Here we have some eggs, Tapatio, berries, keifer and walnuts, and a chicken sausage.
Dinner was held at my grandparents’ in Santa Barbara where we feasted on some of the best red meat ever! I don’t really eat a ton of meat anymore, rarely red meat, so this was quite a treat. In addition, we had some mashed potatoes, au jus (my favorite), brussels sprouts (another favorite), pea pods, and Nancy’s famous rolls. Then for dessert, there was a plate with a medley of cookies as well as a special Pear Claufouti. What I love about my grandma Nancy is that she experiments with her foods and always has something new and different to try :) She is definitely one of my cooking inspirations!
Now onto the best part…COOKIES! This is what we seemingly munched on all weekend and were certainly a big hit at Christmas Eve. Get excited for the following three recipes: Junk in Da Trunk, Grinch Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Bars.
This first recipe my mom came across when she was checking her email. Potato chips, pretzels, whoppers, oh and of course cookie dough. It’s something reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream and fittingly named “Junk in ‘Da Trunk.”
Also it reminds me of one of the scene in Blades of Glory. (Click picture into new window for scene)
“Junk in ‘Da Trunk” Cookies
~14-16 cookies; ~1 hr 45 min (incl chilling time)
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temp)
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 extra-large egg (room temp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 ounces chocolate (chocolate chips/chunks)
12 malted milk balls, halved (about ⅓ cup)
⅓ cup butterscotch chips
⅓ cup salted peanuts, chopped
⅓ cup lightly crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
⅓ cup coarsely chopped salted pretzel twists (we used the little sticks)
sea salt (top the cookies pre-baking)
1. Take a small bowl and whisk together the flour & baking soda.
2. In another bowl, beat the butter until soft and smooth (~3 min). Add in both sugars, salt and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix until light and fluffy (~5 minutes) 3. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until just combined, ~1 minute. Add in the flour mixture and beat on low. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Next, add the “junk” – chocolate, malted milk balls, butterscotch chips, peanuts, potato chips and pretzels. Stir until just blended. (Don’t worry if it seems that there is more “junk” than cookie dough)
5. Divide the dough into small balls and arrange them on a large plate, cover the plate, and place it in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
6. Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Place balls of dough on cooking sheets and use your palm to flatten them into the pan. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of sea salt (optional)
7. Bake ~12-15 minutes (make sure the bottoms have browned a little)
8. Let the cookies cool and then enjoy. These taste great for a few days (if they last that long) so just set aside in a tupperware and you are good to go!
And it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Grinch, right? Everyone should know by now that he has a very kind heart and quite a large sweet tooth, so here is his secret recipe.
Grinch Cookies (Otherwise known as Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies)
~24 cookies; ~30 minutes total
1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix (no way around this, easiest method)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp mint extract
6-8 drops green food coloring
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips (or if you have no clue what these are at first…ANDES MINTS)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips/chunks (size to your preference)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix the sugar cookie mix, butter, extract, food coloring, and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in the mints (broken up) and chocolate chips.
2. Form small balls of dough and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set (our seemed to come out a little flat…not sure why) and then allow cookies to cool.
*Store in an air-tight container (once cooled to room temp) or serve while warm.
Meghan is MUCH more of a gingerbread fan than I am, so this was her project. It strangely calls for “gingerbread Oreos,” which I have never heard of nor seen. Have you? We substituted in the blondie Oreos and it was just as swell.
Gingerbread Oreo Bars
4 ½ cups flour
3 tsp. Ginger, Ground
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon, Ground
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, Ground
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/8 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup molasses
1 egg yolk
11/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
12 oz chocolate chips
24 Gingerbread Oreos (Golden Oreo’s if you can’t find Gingerbread ones)
1. Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking pan and preheat to 350F. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add molasses, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Add in the chocolate chips.
4. Fold half of the mixture into the prepared pan and make an even layer.
5. Place Oreo cookies on top of that. Six rows of 4 cookies.
6. Top with remaining cookie dough. You will have to press down on this as spreading will not be easy. Make even as possible.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a lovely time with friends and family.
“This is your life. If you love the script, keep going. And if you don’t, you have the power to re-write it starting now.” – Stacey Robbins