Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is too busy!

Between work, shopping, wrapping, sleeping, and baking I haven't had time to post. On Sunday I went on a baking binge and made gingerbread cookies and white chocolate covered peanut butter and crackers. Last night my sister and I whipped up a batch of oreo balls.

Here's the recipes!

I got the recipe for the gingerbread cookies from Elise and her Simply Recipes blog. You can visit her and spend hours going through the recipe archives.

Gingerbread Man Cookies Recipe Simply Recipes:
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
Optional raisins, chocolate chips, candy pieces, frosting
Royal Icing
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)


1 In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

2 In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour."

3 Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. Press raisins, chocolate chips, or candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for 'buttons'.
4 Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Makes 16 5-inch long cookies.

While visiting Simply Recipes, take a look at her Royal Icicng recipe. It is by far the best cookie-decorating icing I've ever used. Once I made the icing, I transferred it to a zip-loc bag and cut a *tiny* bit off the corner. It works great for these cookies!

I first heard of oreo balls from a distant cousin of my husband. She made these wonderful bites of heaven for a family get-together and she just told me how she made them. I went home and tried them the very next day! I love these so much that I made 300 of them for my wedding reception.

1 package oreos
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 package white almond bark

1. In a food processor, grind oreos until fine.

2. Add cream cheese to oreos and mix. I usually use my hands on this part to make sure that the cream cheese in totally incorporated into the oreo crumbs.

3. Roll mixture into balls and place on cookie sheet. The size is up to you. I like to make mine about 1". Place cookie sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.

4. Melt almond bark in a double boiler over the stove or in microwave. Dip balls into almond bark then shake off access. I just use a fork, that way the extra almond bark drips off easily. Lay balls on wax paper until almond bark hardens. Store in freezer. Best served cold or frozen.

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