....aka The End of Sophie's Excellent Weight Loss Streak.
Why is it so hard to diet during the holidays? This time of year just makes me want to curl up with a big ole cup of hot chocolate and a few homemade cookies...not a cup of fresh veg/fruit juice or a spinach salad. The bad news is I've definitely succumbed to temptation this week; the good news is I've only gained one pound. Yay! I'm hoping to make it through the rest of 2011 with minimal gain, and hit it hardcore again in the new year.
First, I have to share how awesome my husband is. I told him months ago that I wanted a stand mixer, but I didn't really want it because they're expensive and I just would rather spend the Christmas money on the kids. So Monday, I went to the commissary to get some butter and chocolate chips for this epic baking session I had planned...and when I got home, this was on the counter:
Eep! I was so excited :) He wanted me to be able to use it, so he pulled it out early for me :) I think I'll keep him!
On to the baking!
Piper wanted to bake some cookies for her grandparents this year to go along with the pictures she and Beckett painted for them, so I picked out some super yummy recipes! They all came out amazing. Seriously. So good.
First up was these insanely delicious and beautiful via Baked Perfection . These were so easy and they tasted way better than I thought they would! A couple tips though, if you decide to make them: 1. Make sure your dough is wet. I had to add about 3.5 tbs of milk instead of the 2 tbs the recipe called for...if the dough isn't wet, the colored sugar won't stick to the balls of dough. 2. Stick those kisses in the freezer, and wait 3-5 minutes before pushing them into the cookies. Otherwise, the kisses will melt, which still looks cool (and obviously tastes good still), but if you want the kisses to stay in-tact, wait until you think you've waited too long to push those babies in. The cookies should be at the point where they're still warm, but you can hold them.
This was a great recipe for Piper to help with too...she probably could have done everything herself (after I mixed the dough of course).
Next, I whipped up some chocolate chip cookie dough (I just use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag) while Piper mixed up the brownie mix so we could make these chocolate chip cookie brownies, also via Baked Perfection . I honestly didn't even get to try one of these, since they all went to friends and family and the rest went into my husband's tummy. He gave them rave reviews though :) I recommend this recipe for the second or third thing to bake; it gives you a good 40 minutes to sit down and relax in between baking :).
These beauties are my new favorite cookie. For reals. I found the recipe on Pinterest (also the other ones) and have been dying to make them every since. Pretzels. Chocolate chips. Peanut butter chips. Sea salt. Seriously. So. Good.
You can find the recipe at Sugar Cooking . My dough wasn't as chunky as hers, and I am super jealous. The next time I make it, I'll definitely add more goodies, but still, these were insanely yummy. I like my cookies on the gooey side, so I baked the ones for us for 10 minutes, and the ones for everyone else (pictured) for 12 minutes. They were still soft and awesome, just not gooey :)
Yesterday, Piper had a Christmas party at school, so we made some Apple Pie Chex Mix for her to take. Umm...I'm really, really, really glad she took all of this to school, but not so glad it was so easy to make. Because it is so good. We left the walnuts out since I wasn't sure if there were any nut allergies (and I just don't like walnuts), and a triple-ish batch (I honestly just eyeballed everything) gave each of her 20 classmates two handfuls in a treat bag.
We had a bunch of melted white chocolate left, so I pulled out a bag of pretzel rods and we started dunking! I packaged up a bunch to go along with the gift card we got Mrs. Fogarty, and Beck ate most of the rest of them :)
I still have to figure out some sort of breakfast deliciousness for Christmas day, and then after that I am done baking for a while! Gotta get these 40 pounds off.
Have you done any baking this year? Got any good Christmas morning recipes?