Monday, December 09, 2013

Snow Day Cookies

For the past four days we have all been home together weathering a snow/ice storm.  Blessedly it was not a bad storm and no one we know lost power (which is a huge problem in our area during any sort of severe weather. We live in the land of Many Trees.) Even though we had barely returned to school from Thanksgiving break, this unexpected break saved my sanity on so many levels. Primarily it gave me the chance to get the house back into a manageable condition post-vacation, and it gave us the chance to enter into Advent with some baking and decorating.

This year we are not getting down our usual decorations for several reasons (more on that to come) and we are instead we are learning how to make-do and make lovely using what we have on hand. One of the very first areas I decorated was our Baking Center. I have done this for several years and it really makes all the holiday making and baking so much easier in our little cottage kitchen. 

To do this, I turned our breakfast table longways and pushed it up against the window. Then I got out all sorts of baking goodies- peppermints, chocolate chips, cookie cutters etc, and put them in cute jars with cute lids, and arranged them just so on the table. 

(I might be a tad obsessed with vintage Tupperware measuring cups.)

I also added our Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, some flannel gingham fabric for "curtains," and a few other baking items to the table. AND there is also still there is enough room, if needed to pull up a couple of stools and eat a bowl of cereal here. 

Family Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first batch of cookies I made are based on Smitten Kitchens Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies.  This is my version of the recipe.
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) salted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose King Arthur brand flour
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) mini-semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, finally chopped until they are almost powder
Preheat to 300F (150C). Line baking 2 large sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.
Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Scoop the cookie dough in tablespoon sizes onto your lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
For a crunchier cookie leave in the oven but turn heat off. Wait about 20 minutes before pulling cookies out.

These are slightly salty, very crunchy, with a lovely nutty flavor. 

Chewy Everything Bars
This is a recipe I found on Saturday based on searching "cake mix bar cookies." Of course I amended the recipe so this is my version -the original can be found here. The cookies are more like very rich brownies with a rich topping. They would be great for a crowd or a party.

Makes 24 bars

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge)
8 TBSP softened butter
1 egg
1 ½ cups mini- chocolate chips
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
20 Oreo cookies, broken into pieces (I used the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid to break and crumble the cookies and it worked brilliantly!)
1 cup mini-marshmallow's
10 Soft Peppermints crushed (I put the peppermints into a sandwich bag and hand K beat the bag with a rolling pin.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line  a 13x9” pan with foil and spray generously with bakers spray.
Using a mixer,  mix together the cake mix, softened butter, and egg.  The resulting batter will be a very thick dough.
Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan- I used a small pastry roller to roll out the dough evenly.
Sprinkle the broken cookies, peppermints and marshmallows over the batter, pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the whole pan, and top with chocolate chips.  Bake the bars for 23-25 minutes.
You will want the bars to cool completely before cutting and serving - you will know they are ready by the chocolate on top hardening- I covered my pan and placed it in the refrigerator while we watch A Muppet's Christmas Carol in order to speed up the process.
Once the bars are cooled, left the whole thing out of the pan using the foil, place on a cutting board and cut into 24-30 bars. 
Serve with cold milk or hot coffee.

So that is some of what I did on my Snow Days. What about you? Did you have a snow day? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? Leave me a link!

wishing you all tidings of Comfort and Joy my friends,



  1. Please send cookies. There is no room to bake in this tiny kitchen.

  2. That is NO good! Must gather the troops...

  3. Can't wait to try your chocolate chip cookies. I'm kind of fanatic about finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie, therefore I have to try them all. :) Would love to make a baking table! We made molasses banana bread with toffee chips yesterday. Yummo.


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