Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Cookies of Christmas - "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, my ass. I saw this recipe on plain chicken and was really excited to try it.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was pumped when the instructions required browning the butter first. I love things made with browned butter. They add such a beautiful, roasted nutty flavor to baked goods.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

And instead of regular, semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used Trader Joe's chopped up bits of peppermint bark. I applaud Trader Joe's for this product. Giving peppermint bark as a gift is getting old, people. If anyone gives us anymore this year, I'm going to chop it up myself and make cookies again with it, only using the recipe on the back of the Trader Joe's chips bag.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I should have stuck with it.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Then another interesting step. You cream the butter and eggs and sugar with intervals of rest. It made a custardy base.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the baking chips. They tasted good straight out of the bag.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

And then you throw everything else together.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

And bake them like normal cookies.

"Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

And they allegedly turn out perfect. They are not perfect. They are just kinda, "eh." They didn't taste very good after a few days, either. I think the browned butter custard process made them...over-processed.

Here is the recipe: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, December 17, 2012

28 & 29 weeks!

28 weeks

28 weeks.

28 weeks

It's getting too cold to take pictures outside, and it's been raining the past 2 Sundays in a row. Boo.

29 weeks

29 weeks

29 weeks

Wow. It's really getting close. I have my gestational diabetes test tomorrow and I'll be sure to let you all know how that goes. I'm really not looking forward to it because everyone says that the glucose drink they make you chug is awful. I picked the bottle up at my last appointment, and I drink an hour before my appointment tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers really tightly that I don't find out that I have something as terrible as diabetes the week before Christmas. I'm looking forward to gorging on holiday food exactly 6 days from today. I also don't want a 12 pound baby. 9 is maybe the maximum I could deal with. No one else in my family (that I know of) had gestational diabetes, but my Mom has regular Type 2 diabetes. I'm not sure if that puts me at risk, but I'm happy knowing that only 4-7% of pregnancies develop diabetes, and it goes away immediately after the cord is cut. I have 3 pints of Graeter's in the freezer and I'm going to be really depressed if I have to wait until March 4th to eat it!

As far as Princess Flannery's growth is concerned, I feel her somersaulting A LOT these days. I barely got any sleep last night. I knew that was coming because I barely felt her move at all yesterday during the day, I don't think even once, and then the second I tried to fall asleep, she thought that was a really dumb idea. I was 15 minutes late to work because I just couldn't drag myself out this morning. Luckily, I have a very understanding boss :)

I haven't been craving much lately. The only thing I wrote down that I really wanted was a Mango Lassi from an Indian restaurant, but that's it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Annual Christmas Tree decorating!

We have a tradition in our very small, but soon to be bigger family. Every year, we decorate our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving while watching the movie Elf on loop, and drinking egg nog. This year, there was no egg nog, but I'll just drink 2x as much next year!

Christmas Tree 2012

This is the stupid tree holder that someone stupid person engineered. It is impossible to put together. It's the only frustrating part of the process.

Christmas Tree 2012

All of the parts of the tree fit in a giant, rubbermaid bin. The individual bags indicate which level of the tree those branches go in. Go ahead and make an organizational joke. If I could Dewey Decimal them, I would.

Christmas Tree 2012

Here it all goes in.

Christmas Tree 2012

Every year, we swear that this is the last year for the fake tree. Every year, we put it away again and say that next year is going to be the last year.

Christmas Tree 2012

I think it looks pretty real.

Christmas Tree 2012

Then the lights go on.

Christmas Tree 2012

Feelin' pretty proud. And we're not even done.

Christmas Tree 2012

Christmas Tree 2012

I bought this Santa in Oklahoma City in October at the craft fair. He was so amazingly racist, politically incorrect and offensive that I had to bring him home.


Someday, our tree will be complete with a real angel on top. For now, we have a little stuffed bear in an angel costume. When Ryan's parents were celebrating their first Christmas together, they put their tree up and realized that they did not have an angel. Ryan's dad, God rest his soul, drove to Walgreens to buy one. He came home with it, took it out of the box, and plugged her in. Yes, she had a jack that connected to the tree lights. I wish I'd been there to see the look on their faces. This angel has a set of humungous knockers THAT LIGHT UP. They have used her every year since anyway, I cannot wait to inherit her!

Friday, December 7, 2012

12 Cookies of Christmas - Egg Nog Thumbprints

I absolutely love egg nog. Who doesn't? Well, actually, I know a few people who don't. Since I can't imbibe in the nog in the tradition I'd like to this year, I've found a new way to enjoy it. This was a recipe that I completely made up on the fly.

Egg Nog Thumbprints

I am not a huge fan of baking mixes. They usually taste chemically to me. My lovely sister-in-law, Cyndi, uses boxed cake mix and replaces the oil with butter, the water with milk and adds a carton of sour cream and her cake is awesome, but that usually as far as I go. At Trader Joe's however, they have some really awesome mixes. I recommend the truffle brownie mix and the vanilla cake mix. Also, the pumpkin pancake mix. I digress. I had never seen the sugar cookie mix, and I think it might just be out for Christmas, so I picked up 2 boxes.

Egg Nog Thumbprints
I wanted to make thumbprint cookies, but I wanted to give them a better holiday flair, so I added a teaspoon of rum extract and a pinch of nutmeg.
Egg Nog Thumbprints
The directions on the box tell you to chill the dough, then roll it out and cut it into shapes. I immediately used a cookie dough scoop to roll them into balls. Please ignore all of the stains on my pizza stone.
Egg Nog Thumbprints
Immediatly after pulling out of the oven, smush a little well into the center of each cookie. This won't work after they've cooled down.
The sugar cookie mix from Trader Joe's came with frosting and colored sugars, but normally I would use a royal icing.

So here it is, Egg Nog Thumbprints! If you try them, let me know!
1 package of sugar cookie mix
1 t. rum extract
1/4 t. (or so) of nutmeg

- mix cookies according to directions and add extras.
- roll cookies into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- bake according to directions
- smush with a spoon to make a little well in the center. A table spoon works well for this.
- cool completely and fill wells with icing.
Egg Nog Thumbprints

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's that time of year!

Of course it's all about the birth of Christ and spending time with family, but I'll be completely honest. I really love the Christmas booty at Trader Joe's.


I've dug into the Candy Cane Joe-Joe's (a classic) and the Peppermint Pretzel Slims (a new one) and I'll let you see the goodies I make with the Peppermint Baking Chips, Sugar Cookie Mix and the Minty Marshmallows!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12 Cookies of Christmas - Cracker Brittle

I LOOOOVE these! They are so addictive. These, and gingerbread men are the 2 things I remember my Mom making during my childhood Christmases. My Mom never used a recipe, so when trying to duplicate them, I first tried winging it from what I remembered. They either turned out too soft and felt like greasy mush, or too crispy and cracked into a million pieces when I tried to pull them out of the pan. The recipe I found is great, and tastes exactly like my Mom's version. I've seen others that call for nuts sprinkled on top, or even decorative sprinkles, but I'm going to keep it dry and simple. I really hope some of you try these because they are so delicious. Don't be weirded out by the idea of crackers in a cookie. They make these salty and sweet in a good way, like reece's cups!

Cracker brittle

Here are all the crackers laid out. I used a few more than the recipe called for, and laid them out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet with a lip so that they'd be easier to pull off.

Cracker brittle

butter and brown sugar. A match made in cookie heaven.

Cracker brittle

The instructions in the recipe below give perfect boiling times.

Cracker brittle

Normally, it will cover the crackers a little better, but I used a few more than called for, so it didn't spread as thin.

Cracker brittle

Some of the toffee stuck to the pot, and peeled out easily. During this intermediary cooking phase, it tasted and felt like the silkiest caramel. Note for the future, if I ever wanted to make caramel.

Cracker brittle

You stick it in the oven for a few more minutes to finish cooking.

Cracker brittle

I forgot to take a photo before I spread the chocolate chips all over it.

Cracker brittle

The first bite has been taken. There's no going back.

Cracker brittle

I promise that all of your friends, family and coworkers will go bananas for this stuff!

Here is the recipe that I used from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This feels like yesterday


We were in such a fog about being pregnant. We couldn't believe it. We were trying to have a baby and had been so disappointed for so many months. Now, it feels so real. We're starting to nest; rearranging furniture and cleaning singular cat hairs off the floor. Might as well take advantage of it while we can. I'm sure this tiny apartment is going to get even tinier when there are 3 of us!

Monday, December 3, 2012

27 weeks!

27 weeks!

27 weeks!

Craving? Tater Tots. Seriously. That's all! The cravings have seriously subsided. Also subsiding? Getting up in the middle of the night to pee! Which is awesome, but also a little scary. At first, I thought I might be dehydrated, so I started drinking an extra glass of water in the evening, but I still slept through the night. I have a feeling that it may be because I quit eating bread, pasta, rice and sugar during the day at work. I identified those foods as ones that make me drowsy and sluggish while trying to get things done, and if I save all the carbs for the evening, I feel fuller and fall asleep faster. Weird, but it's working!

Also this week, I graduated to wearing Ryan's clothing. I have a few maternity clothes, but Ryan's work shirts with a cute skinny belt to give them some shape look so cute and are the perfect size! He wears a tall, so I'll be able to wear them for a while!

12 Days of Christmas Cookies - Peanut Butter No Bakes

I first fell in love with these cookies when my dear friend, Karen, introduced me to them over 10 years ago. They're technically not even really a cookie, but here at Ooh! Look! Pie! we are not discriminate against any Christmas treat. They're actually fudge with oatmeal, and there is nothing wrong with that.




Definitely not the most attractive cookie on the planet, but sooo tasty! I promise!

Here is the recipe I used. 

And in case you missed it, the first day of Christmas cookies were Candy Cane Snowballs. Can't wait to do 10 more!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Cookies! - Candy Cane Snowballs!

I'm going to post 12 Christmas cookies this December! I'm really excited about this project, mostly because I am a pregnant woman who gets a green light to eat cookies. Wahoo! I'll post about every other day, with a link to a recipe and photos of my own attempt. Most of the recipes will be tried and true, but a few I will try for the first time, like this one for Candy Cane Snowballs.

I re-pinned this recipe from a cousin of mine, and my own pin got more re-pins than any other pin I've ever pinned (72, so far). I thought there must be something about this recipe that I need to see for myself. My hunch was correct. These cookies really taste like Christmas. Ryan took the leftovers to work and they were gobbled up in no time!


I ground the candy canes up in my food precessor. I purposely chose red and green ones so that they would look especially festive. The photos from the original recipe show the plain red and white ones, and they also look pretty.


I ground them pretty finely, because I was afraid of that dreaded chewy, large piece of candy cane in the middle of my soft cookie. I basically ground them into powdered, peppermint sugar, and could have done a little less.


A tablespoon cookie dough scoop was the perfect size.


They looked like scoops of ice cream when baked.


I made my own frosting recipe, and you can use which ever one you like. My recipe only made enough to cover half of the batch of cookies, though.



Here is the original recipe: http://stolenmomentscooking.com/candy-cane-snowball/