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Monday, December 9, 2013

CHOCOLATE WALNUT BUTTONS and PEPPERMINT CRUSH COOKIES and CHOCOLATE CHIP WALNUT COOKIES

I have been in a snow induced stupor ever since the first flakes started falling on Thursday.
Making copious cups of hot chocolate, picking up wet clothes off the floor where my kids dump them after playing outside, peeling apart layers of soggy clothing and doing endless loads of laundry, and baking cookies
Thankfully we have had friends call by, parents dropping off their kids, and we have been able to get out and about a little, so we haven't felt too isolated, or developed cabin fever. However, I am extremely grateful to my neighbor who braved the hill between our homes, and ventured down the hill with a bottle of wine in a brown paper bag, and to my husband who has taken the kids sledding every day. Part of me thinks I should pull on a pair of waterproof boots and follow them, but the larger part of me relishes the quiet and peace that descends upon the house when they trudge down to the park with their bright, round plastic sleds, my oldest son swaggering a little in his fathers cowboy boots.

CHOCOLATE WALNUT BUTTONS

1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

In a bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda to combine thoroughly, set aside.
Heat oven to 375F.
In a mixer bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and sugar, beat until fluffy and well blended.
Beat in egg until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well.
Gradually add flour mixture until just blended. Stir in walnuts.
Drop by teaspoons slightly apart onto baking sheets. With a teaspoon, make a depression in the center of each cookie. Bake cookies for 5 minutes. Press depressions down again, then continue baking until cookies are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Fill centers with frosting.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/4 cup butter
1 ounce chocolate
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine butter and chocolate in a saucepan, heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts. Blend in milk. Remove from heat, mix in confectioners sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, November 2002
www.arkansasonline.com/news/features/food/‎

PEPPERMINT CRUSH COOKIES


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 to 3 cups self rising flour
2 cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350F.
Combine butter, sugars, eggs, extract and salt and beat until just combined. Add flour. Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop dough onto cookie sheets, bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until puffy and light brown.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Relish Magazine, December 2012
relish.com/recipes/‎

CHOCOLATE CHIP WALNUT COOKIES


1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cherries

Heat oven to 375F. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat until smooth. Blend flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and cherries. Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 9 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Self Magazine, December 2012
www.self.com/search/recipe‎

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