Monday, December 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Mocha Fudge Cookies

I try to attempt a new Christmas cookie recipe every year and see if it's a "keeper". This year I hit a home run & I have a feeling these will be making several appearances through out the year as a go-to chocolate cookie- the variation possibilities are pretty endless.

Here is what you'll need:
1 1/4 C Butter, softened
2 C white sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
2 T instant coffee/espresso powder
1 16oz bag mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl.
Using a stand mixer w the paddle attachment, whip the butter & sugar into a fluffy dream of yumminess. Add the eggs, one at a time- keep mixin, add the vanilla.
Slowly add in the bowl of dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
Use a large, sturdy spatula and stir in the coffee/espresso and chocolate chips. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (I did overnight, but I think you'd be ok in 2 hours)
Preheat the oven to 350, use a spoon and your hands to form walnut sized globs, keep em kinda messy looking, not perfect balls.
Space about 2 inches apart and bake for 9 minutes, they won't look totally done. Let them sit on the baking sheet 5-10 minutes before you transfer them to a cooling rack.

They would be great topped with smashed candy cane, and I am pretty sure some shredded coconut is going in the next time I bust these out!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tis the season- budget friendly diy gifts

Tis the season to GIVE. That's truly (other than the food) my very favorite thing about the winter holidays. This year Logan is in a preschool group and I was excited to make something for his teachers, but have to be honest- as a stay at home mama, our budget it TIGHT and there are SEVEN amazing women who assist with his group. Pinterest is super helpful in times like these, and you can really get inspired, or overwhelmed searching all the amazing ideas!!

This is just a quick post to share what I ended up making. Due to the hoarding of glass jars that began here in October, the use of ingredients and materials I had on hand, this came in at around $3 per gift.

What you will need:

(as many jars as you will be gifting, I started saving glass jars from items we used in October for the project to keep budget in target range. Michael's also ran a sale at the end of November w Mason Jars for $0.99)
Burlap or fabric (I had this leftover from the GIVE THANKS banner I made last month)
Yarn or ribbon

Ornaments- I bought these on sale for less than $1 at Michael's- they were plain wood, I had my son help me paint them white so the gift is truly from him as well. While the paint was still wet we added some shimmer (iridescent glitter)

Mocha Mix:
This is pretty much unsweetened cocoa, sugar, powdered milk and instant coffee, I also add a bit of cinnamon. There are tons of recipes if you do a quick Google search.

My mix is pretty much 1 part cocoa, 1 part sugar 1/2 part milk 1/4 part coffee, pinch of cinnamon- increase volume to fill as many jars as you need. To save time, money and space, fill the jars only half or 2/3 full and top off with mini-marshmallows.
You can also sub a candy cane for the ornament idea!
I attached a card with instructions to mix 2 tsp with 1 cup warm/hot milk or water.