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Krafts & Kookies - Holiday Cooking
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Dear readers,
Okay, so the good news is that Sal and Chelsie got back together (in exactly 48 hours. HOW?!) just in time for V-day, but the bad news is I don't even have a Valentine. Or, at least a crush. All the boys here at John F. Kennedy Junior High are nerds, except for the seventh and eight graders. But, is it appropriate to have a crush on a eighth grader? 'Cause I might have one. his name is Drake Hottenroth, and he's really handsome. Even though he is, like, 10 feet taller than me and on the basketball team. If that isn't right, then I'm DOOMED!
So, my new plans is to sit on my bed and cry. With dramatic sadness. well, enjoy your V-day with this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
4 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash ground cinnamon
Assorted fresh fruit and cubed pound cake

Directions:
In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat, stirring constantly. Dissolve coffee in water; stir into chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
Keep warm. Serve with fruit and cake cubes. Yield: 1-1/3 cups.

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolaty-mocha-fondue#ixzz3OSBAhiIO

- Annie <3
Hi there!
I said in my last post in this section that I won't be posting any recipes until Valentine's Day; well, a lot of people prepare for this holiday early. The shop starts decorating mid-January! So, I thought I'd start posting now so you'll get an impact on tons of recipes!
This one one of my favorites - my grandma calls it Sweetheart Sandwich Cookies because she always uses red and pink sprinkles whenever she makes it for our Valentine's Day dinner every year at the shop. This recipe calls for nonpareils, but I have heard that a lot of people think that they are too crunchy. My grandma uses them in this recipe, but you can use any type of sprinkles! Let's get started.
"The rich, creamy frosting nestles between two cookies for a sandwich cookie favorite . . . " - Grandma Lucy

Ingredients:
- 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 12 teaspoon almond extract
- 14 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 16 oz container)
- 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker candy sprinkles

Directions:

Step 1. Heat oven to 350 F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix and flour until well blended. Add butter, egg and almond extract; stir until soft dough forms.
Step 2. Roll dough into 84 (1/2 balls). Roll each ball in sugar. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
Step 3. For each sandwich cookie, spread 1 teaspoon frosting on bottom of 1 cooled cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; gently press cookies together. Roll sides of sandwich cookie in sprinkles.

- Annie <3
Hey guys!
It's New Year's Eve! I don't make resolutions, I usually make separate goals throughout the year. I really hope that this year I can plan on achieving goals that I have planned to accomplish in my future. I love all of you guys, and I wish the very best of 2015 to all of my USA fans. XD
Anyways, I am having my family and friends over to enjoy some eggnog and think about what we have accomplished in the past and be thankful that we are alive to experience the full year ahead of us. Personally, I never really have big parties for the New Year, but today I am feeling special LOL. Anyways, enjoy this short and easy recipe I got from Bethany Mota. And, I wish you all of very best of 2015!

"This recipe is pretty self explanatory. First, stack a chocolate square onto a graham cracker square. Then, using icing glue, glue the marshmallow onto the chocolate square so that it sticks. Then, I found some edible glitter, so I sprinkled some on to make it more festive. You can also put some edible glitter onto fortune cookies, too!"

Enjoy! From my family to yours, happy holidays!
- Annie <3

BTW: Click this link to find a surprise e-card: http://www.americangirl.com/ecards/viewcard.php?cardID=232&catID=&msg=111&toname=Viewer&toinit=&frominit=&fromname=Annie
Dear Fellow Readers,
I hope that you guys are having a great day! I couldn't find a good New Year's recipe in my house. :-( We don't usually sell anything during winter break, so we don't have anything for New Year's. :-( Sorry again!
Betty Crocker has saved me, though - I can still provide you a great New Year's recipe; or maybe a couple! I'll give you links to some of Betty Crocker's famous New Year's recipes!
Hope this made you happy! I'm sorry about the whole exclusive recipe incident, but Betty Crocker always has better recipes than me. :-P Ok, let's get started!
Here's the link: http://www.bettycrocker.com/search/searchresults?term=new%20years%20eve%20recipes&termDataSource=d6fb75f5-d19a-49cd-9ba0-c10a6e45afb2 Even though it only has three recipes but it's worth it.

Enjoy!
- Annie <3
Hey everybody!
I hope you all had a great Christmas! Now, let's get down to the next holiday - New Year's.
If some of you didn't know, I am a U.S. citizen, so I celebrate all U.S. holidays. I'll try to post at least one recipe to suit other cultural holidays!
This recipe I'm going to make with my mom before we go over my aunt's house - peanut butter & chocolate fondue! Sounds great! Here is the procedure:



Ingredients:
- 1 jar of HERSHEY'S Spreads
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

Directions:
Scoop your jar full of HERSHEY'S Spreads into a bowl, then add your peanut butter. Pop into your microwave and heat it on high for 1 minute. Pull it out, then you're done!


Here are a few things you should consider dipping into your fondue:
- marshmallows
- Rice Krispie treats
- cookie dough bites
- pretzels
- almonds
- bananas
- brownie bites
- Angel Food Cake or pound cake


- Annie <3
Hey guys!
I cannot believe today is Christmas Eve! I am going over my Nana's house to bake Christmas cookies and to have a big Christmas meal. I'm so excited!
For dessert we are having a few Christmas treats. My aunt looked them up. I found a few. These five are from @tutorialsndiys. Sorry, I just love all of her Christmas stuff!
Enjoy! ;-)


Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups of flour
- 3/4 tsp of baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- sprinkles
- 24 candy cane Hershey kisses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 minutes add the egg yolks and vanilla, beating on medium-high until fully combined. In a medium bowl toss the flour, baking powder, and salt together, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients on low speed until combined, chill for 45 minutes. Roll dough into balls, roll into assorted sprinkles and bake for 8-10 minutes, cookies will look undercooked but it's okay they are supposed to, allow cookies to coll for 5 minutes, press a Hershey kiss into each cookie immediately place in fridge.

Pretzel Hugs
- HERSHEY'S Kisses Hugs
- M&M's
- circle or square shaped pretzels
Preheat oven to 250 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper and align pretzels on sheet, unwrap hugs and place one on each pretzel, stick in the oven until hug begins to melt. Remove pretzel hugs from the oven and immediately press an M&M down on each pretzel, allow to set in freezer for 10 minutes.

Reindeer Cupcakes
- chocolate cupcakes (boxed or homemade)
- chocolate icing
- pretzels
- Nilla wafers
- brown, red, & white M&M's
- black icing
Bake chocolate cupcakes and ice them with chocolate icing. Use pretzels for the reindeer antlers and Nilla wafers for the reindeer muzzle; use icing to stick a brown or red M&M to the wafer for the nose, use white M&M's for the eyes and add a dot for brown icing for the eye pupil.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks
- pretzel rods
- milk & white chocolate
- assorted sprinkles and toppings
Melt baker's chocolate and baker's white chocolate in separate bowls and put assorted toppings in separate bowls, too. Use a spoon to cover half of the pretzel stick in chocolate and then use a different spoon to pour the topping of your choice on the chocolate covered pretzel stick, allow them to sit in fridge so that the chocolate hardens on pretzel.

Grinch Kabobs
Slice bananas and cut steams off of strawberries. Now, place a green grape on a toothpick, then a banana slice, then a strawberry, then a mini marshmallow on the end.

- Annie <3
Hey guys!
I feel as if I am not updating my holiday section enough, but I don't have any more Christmas recipes! ;-( I was in a little bit of a big pickle! Anyways, I was on a website called Instagram and I found a Christmas party tutorial. And, that was when it struck me - CHRISTMAS PARTY TIME ON MY BLOG!
All of the ideas below (yeah, that's right, every single solitary one of them) belong to @tutorialsndiys.
Enough jibberish now, let's get - um, not-baking-this-time!



Party Decorations:
- a Christmas tree, of course
- hanging paper snowflakes
- Christmas lights, everywhere
- hang garlands around the house
- hang ornaments from the ceiling or the chandeleir
- fill vases with colorful ornaments
- fill jars with Christmas candy (M&M's, candy canes, etc.)

Party Food:
- make lots of Christmas treats
- hot cocoa bar' make crock pot hot chocolate and set little bowls with toppings such as marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes, cinnamon sticks, or caramel squares on the table near the crock pot; also have a whipped cream can sitting near the toppings

What to Wear
- have everyone wear tacky Christmas sweaters and have a contest to see who's is the tackiest
- wear Santa or elf hats
- reindeer antlers, too

Activities
- build gingerbread houses
- Christmas karaoke
- build a snowman, if it's snowing
- watch Christmas movies
- have a bonfire (with adult's permission)
- have everyone bring a gift and play Secret Santa
- put up and decorate the tree

- Annie <3
'Tis the season fellow bakers. It's one full week 'till Christmas!
Since it's Friday, I get to spend today and tomorrow with my Aunt Katy. She's 25 years old (my mom is 10 years older than her!), and she lives in a condo with her dog Ralph and her cat Missy. About a year ago, she got a basement installed, so she has no use for her attic. She went to a garage sale and got a bed, a nightstand, and some girly posters and set up her attic to look like my bedroom, so I could sleepover any time I wanted to! My best friend Chelsie isn't allowed to have sleepovers until high school, so it's fun to have sleepovers with my aunt. She likes to bake to, so we made a cool Christmas breakfast, she said that we were "preparing for the presence of Jesus Christ," (she's very religious), and she also explained to me that we are using our time wisely during the season of Advent. We are going to give the leftover breakfast to the homeless shelter a few blocks away. I'm so excited!
Here is the recipe we used. Enjoy! ;-)



Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon clove
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar (increase for more for a sweeter pancake)
1 tablespoon molasses
6 tablespoons melted butter (or use half of each) or 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (or use half of each)
marmalade or pancake syrup

Directions:


1 In a large bowl combine first 8 dry ingredients.
2 In another small bowl whisk together the egg with buttermilk, sugar, molasses, and melted butter until very well combined; add to the flour mixture and mix lightly until just until moistened (a few small lumps in the mixture is okay, do not overmix).
3 At this point you may refrigerate for a few hours until ready to use.
4 Grease a griddle, then drop about 1/4-cup batter for each pancake into the pan.
5 Cook the pancakes until the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges looked cooked.
6 Turn and cook the other side.
7 Serve with marmalade.

- Annie <3
Guys! It's almost Christmas!
I am so excited that the holidays are coming! I am so so SO happy! This weekend I'm going to be working on my homework in the shop drinking our famous holiday hot chocolate and cookies special. You can get 1 mug of yummy hot chocolate and 5 cookies of your choice for $1.99 (don't judge our prices - my mom picked them and they haven't changed since 1991). If you don't live near Wisconsin, you can use this recipe for any time during the chilly weather and have yourself some hot cocoa with cookies! (They amount this recipe makes may not be the same as the shop's offer)


Hot Chocolate Recipe -
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender.
This recipe multiplies easily. When you get up to a quart of milk, use 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe -
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
Turbinado sugar or other coarse sugar

Directions:
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt, and black pepper, and set aside.
Using a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening until smooth and well-combined. Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. With a spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Pour a little of the coarse sugar into a small, shallow bowl. Break off a small piece of dough and form into a ball about 3/4 inches in diameter, or scoop out dough with a small ice cream scoop. Dip the top in the sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are firm and look dry, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

- Annie <3
Happy Holidays, Fellow Readers!
We are spending the weekend baking and cooking Christmas specials for the cafe! I am so so so SO excited! My friend Kathryn owns her own gardening plot in the community garden, so we are going to meet her there tomorrow afternoon and pick some fruits to make the recipe you see below. You don't have to use farm fresh, but if you'd like too, fine with me! Anyways, we are also going to pull out all the plants since it's the winter time and they'll no longer survive. :-( But it's okay, there are some specific foods that grow in cold temperatures, so we are going to test those out this weekend, too!
Let's start getting down to these delicious & fruity Christmas cookies!

Ingredients:
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 container red, green and white sprinkles

Directions:
Put the cherries, pistachios and brown sugar in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumb forms (take care not to over process or the filling will clump together). Set aside.

Put the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, baking powder and salt and beat for another minute. Lower the speed to medium and add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time; beat until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge to chill, about 1 hour.

Divide dough the in half and flatten each into squares. Put one portion of dough in between two 12-by-12-inch sheets of parchment paper dusted with flour. Roll out into a 1/8-inch-thick square. Remove the top parchment sheet and sprinkle half of the cherry-pistachio filling evenly across the dough. Pat into an even layer. Tightly roll into one large log (using the parchment to help you). Trim the ends and then roll the exterior in a mixture of sprinkles to coat. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling and sprinkles. Tightly cover in fresh parchment and refrigerate overnight (preferred) or at least 4 hours, until the dough is firm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Remove and uncover the dough logs and slice with a very sharp knife into 1/4-inch-thick pinwheels. Arrange about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until slightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Store for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or freeze cookies for future use, up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jeff-mauro/cherry-pistachio-pinwheel-cookies.html?oc=linkback

- Annie <3>
Happy Holidays Fellow Bakers!
Ahh, it's that time of year again. This is around that time when the shop gets really busy, so my sisters have to start helping us! They don't really help out when it comes to cooking or baking for the cafe, but when it comes to the holidays, then they really need to get their hands dirty! Ha!
This is one of the cafe's best holiday recipes: almond bonbons. YUMMY!!! We make bonbons every holiday season, and kids come running to the cashier, and it feels pretty cool, especially if I'm working there.
BTW guys, great news: 51 followers? That's INSANE! I am so happy that you guys like my blog! Let me know anything you want me to know in the forum, but try not to be negative!
Okay, let's get started with these delicious bonbons!


Ingredients:
Cookies
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 package (7- or 8-oz size) almond paste
Almond Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 to 5 teaspoons milk
- Decorator sugar crystals, if desired

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, beat flour, butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Cut almond paste into 1/2-inch slices; cut each slice into fourths.
2. Shape 1-inch ball of dough around each piece of almond paste. Gently roll to form ball. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 1 inch apart.
3. Bake 10 or 12 minutes or until set and bottom is golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

- Annie <3


Hello Readers!

So I found this cool recipe in one of my baby brother's books. It was about dragons preparing for a Thanksgiving feast. So, for you guys, I found a pretty cool Thanksgiving show-stopper recipe in the back of the picture book. It's a cool turkey popcorn holder! It's really easy and really simple to make, and it's a good centerpiece for a Thanksgiving family feast. Follow the directions below and you'll end up with a great Turkey Popcorn Holder! ; )


Directions:
1. Cut the top off a brown bag, making it ten inches high. Glue 2-inch strips of cardboard around top edge to stiffen.
2. Cut a brown piece of construction paper into 4 strips (lengthwise). Cut a fringe into each strip, as shown in picture above.
3. Starting along bottom edge of bag, glue on rows of fringed paper until outside is covered.
4. Cut out wings, head, eyes, bead, wattle, and tail from construction paper. Let dry. Line turkey with a plastic bag, then fill with popcorn.

- Annie <3
Hello fellow readers!

Christmas is right around the corner! And what better way to spread Christmas cheer by making a special drink! Don't worry Jewish people out there --- I PROMISE I'll post a special Chanukah recipe just for you guys! ; )
Anyways, this Peppermint Mocha I heard from one of my customers. She said that she makes it for her children ever year around this time of season, and she says it'll make a great edition to the cafe. We started selling it, and it was a big hit! So I thought sharing my secret recipes with you guys this holiday will share the Christmas spirit. This recipe is great for Christmas parties and things like that!
Ooops! I am so sorry i haven't been putting the difficulty in my recipes much anymore! I'll try to remember! Thanks for understanding!


Difficulty: Easy (I decided to drop the exclamation points)

Ingredients:
2 cups Milk (I Used Skim)
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
¼ teaspoons Peppermint Extract
60 milliliters Freshly Brewed Espresso
Sugar/sweetener To Taste
⅓ cups Mini Marshmallows
Whipped Cream And Sprinkles To Garnish, Optional

Directions:
Place milk, cocoa powder and peppermint extract into a medium sized saucepan over a low-medium heat. Whisk until smooth and keep stirring occasionally until it comes to a simmer. Once simmering, add the shots of espresso and desired amount of sugar/sweetener. Simmer for a further minute, stirring occasionally before serving immediately with your choice of toppings. I recommend marshmallows or whipped cream or chocolate sprinkles, but go as mad as you like!

-Annie <3
Hello Fellow Bakers!

I think this recipe will suit your Thanksgiving menu - Apple Slab Pie. I got this recipe from www.bettycrocker.com. Betty Crocker sells great baking supplies! Type in this URL to check out the website: www.bettycrocker.com
Anyways, a good baker always makes sure that they have just the right amount of ingredients. if you think you do, never predict. Because, you may be halfway through the recipe, and then you'll end up with no flour! (This is just an example of what might happen) Anytime, whatever the recipe, always make sure you have the proper amount of each ingredient. Maybe, before cooking, measure all the ingredients before-hand, so you know that you definitely have enough.
Let's get started with the recipe! This really won't take long.

Difficulty: !!!! (out of 5)

Materials:

1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
9 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:


1 Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. On lightly floured surface, unroll and stack crusts one on top of the other. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra crust under, even with edges of pan.
2 In small bowl, mix granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Add apples, stirring to coat. Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan.
3 Bake 33 to 38 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool in pan on cooling rack 45 minutes.
4 In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until well blended. Drizzle over pie. Let stand until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Hope this recipe fills your stomach! Add this to your menu this year, and your customers will think twice before trying this recipe themselves ;)

- Annie <3



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