Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

IMG_6844.jpg

This will be my one Christmas themed post of the year. I think I failed on the holiday preparedness front. But in turn, I’ve had lots of baby snuggles instead.

These cookies are so yummy! The original recipe, from Liv for Cake, called for Black Cocoa which I couldn’t find so I just substituted more regular cocoa. The cookie batter also has peppermint extract which is tasty but you can leave it out if the candy cane pieces are enough peppermint for you.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder or 1/4 Dutch-processed and 1/4 cup black cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
1 bag white chocolate (melted)
crushed candy canes

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on med-high until light and fluffy (approx. 2-3 minutes). Reduce speed and add egg and peppermint extract. Beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
    3. Chill dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
    5. Portion dough onto baking sheet, approximately 1 Tbsp each. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the middle is set. Cookies will deflate and crinkle a bit upon cooling.
    6. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    7. While cookies cool, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler (I don’t), bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil. Place white chocolate in a small mixing bowl that will rest atop the sauce pan without touching the water. Continuously stir white chocolate as it melts.
    8. Dip in melted white chocolate, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Allow to set.

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

DIY Holiday Gift Wrap

IMG_5160

I don’t know what’s happening this year. I have been in retail for 10 years and have always had a strong immune system, getting maybe 1 cold per year that was not severe and pretty easy to get over. This year, it’s not even Christmas and I’m already on my second cold of the season! This must say a lot about my stress level this year, I suppose.

I’m still having so much fun decorating the house. Every week I pick up more décor, I just can’t stop! The lights outside our garage have been burned out since we moved in and I finally fixed this problem because I found some gorgeous red berry wreaths at the grocery store that I just had to showcase on the front of the house! I don’t think I’m supposed to cover up our house number but…I’m willing to sacrifice that for something pretty. And let’s be realistic, the only people who need to see our house number are the UPS and FedEx delivery guys, who are here often enough, thanks to my husband’s Amazon Prime addiction, that they have our address memorized.

IMG_5167

Every year I try to do something different with my holiday gift wrap. I can never find a printed gift wrap I like that doesn’t cost $20 a roll and I want something unique and rustic. Enter brown shipping paper. I got 2 rolls of Scotch Postal Wrapping Paper at Michael’s for $4 each. This brown craft paper gives you a nice neutral, rustic base to start with and you can customize the rest of the package with ribbon and a gift topper.

The ribbon I used is also from Michael’s, it is wired on the edges so that it is easy to work with and Michael’s has a huge selection of colors and patterns to choose from as well.

I had an old faux evergreen wreath in my garage and decided to cut some pieces off to use as gift toppers. You can find wreaths and garlands at craft stores or places like Homegoods or Marshalls that are inexpensive and you can cut them apart to use for toppers.

I’m obsessed with the stationary collection from Sugar Paper at Target. Truth be told, I LOVE their gift wrap and it isn’t too expensive, but the store I went to was sold out and I’m too impatient to buy something online. These little white and gold gift tags are from the Sugar Paper collection.

IMG_5179

I’m so excited to celebrate the holidays with friends & family this year! I hope you all are enjoying the fun of the season as much as I am!

Peppermint Bark

IMG_3716

When I first got married, I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home wife. That only lasted about 6 months before I went totally crazy and was bored out of my mind (if only I had the blog back then). While I was playing Suzie Homemaker, I decided to try making candy. This peppermint bark was my first attempt and it was amazing! Not only that, it was so simple. I had heard that candy making is very difficult (which it is) so I was expecting a labor intensive afternoon, but literally, 50 minutes start to finish, and that includes the time it is cooling in the fridge.

This makes a great treat to wrap up and give to teachers, babysitters, your kid’s friends, neighbors, etc. as a cute little holiday gift.

Peppermint Bark
3 bags white chocolate chips
24 candy canes
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1. Break candy canes into 1″ pieces by placing in freezer size zip lock bag and hitting with a kitchen mallet.
2. Use a double boiler (or a saucepan with a heat safe bowl on top) to melt chocolate. Fill bottom with water, bring to a boil, place chocolate in top bowl and melt, stirring constantly.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in candy cane pieces and peppermint extract.
4. Pour chocolate mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cool in the fridge until hard, 25-30 minutes.
5. Break chocolate into 2-3″ pieces and enjoy!

Inspired by…Christmas Décor

I’ve been on Pinterest like crazy lately, looking at Christmas décor and getting inspired. We were in our new home last Christmas but had only been here for about a month so I didn’t decorate for it. Now it feels like a whole new undertaking, I’m not used to having so much space to decorate! I have to say though, I haven’t ever loved decorating for Christmas before. Something about putting all up just to take it all down after a month or so…too much work. This year, however, I’m loving every minute of it! I can’t stop! I keep buying more, making more…this could be a problem.

Anyway…here is some of my Pinterest inspiration…

Dreamy Whites 2

Dear Lillie
d1cae08509cdaa9e866d0839664cbf0d
f901e1d79bfe2b830358ad49d0f92821
4b99829d16beacf82a16eef22ea8f5af
bd59e04bfcf688a54bd0ea453eac964e
68fd705a34fbbedb549fbd5b6f56962d
Follow along on Pinterest…Playing House