Red Velvet Melting Snowman Cookies

If you have read my blog for awhile now you know that I am very, very serious about two things.

1. Honesty and Integrity in blogging… always crediting the source when you use someone else’s idea.

2. Sugar.

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Melting Snowman Cookies #cookies #christmas #redvelvet #creamcheese

These cookie were inspired by the amazing Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie.  She created the Original Melting Snowman cookies five years ago and she is a genius.  I have admired her cookies and tutorials for years and feel lucky to know someone who is SO creative!  Her idea has been copied so many times its hard to keep track.  Its my hope that everyone would know where the brilliant idea began!

While the snowman part of this cookie was inspired by Meaghan, the flavor was all about winter.  I wanted to make a cookie that was easy and yummy.  I wanted a cookie that would stay delicious for days.  I wanted my kitchen to be cleaned by magic kitchen fairies.

Good thing I got two of my three wishes.

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Melting Snowman Cookies #cookies #christmas #redvelvet #creamcheese

The cookie was easy.  Its made from a box!  Recipe from Better Crocker.

Red Velvet Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker® devil’s food cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Red Gel Food Coloring

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.
  3. In stand mixer, add cake mix, butter, and eggs. With mixer on slow, add in red gel food coloring until you reach your desired color. (batter will be very thick).
  4. Using 1-inch cookie scoop, drop dough about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until set.
  6. Allow cookies to cool before frosting.
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I used my favorite Perfect Cream Cheese frosting, only I added in about 1/4 cup of heavy cream.  I wanted the frosting to not hold its shape and just barely start to spill over the sides of the cookies when I frosted them.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Melting Snowman Cookies #christmas #cookies #redvelvet #creamcheese

The I bought Reese’s Peanut Butter ‘bells’ and cut them in half. I found it best to do that at room temperature.  The snowman’s nose is an orange sprinkle.  His eyes are mini chocolate chips.

Place hat on cookie, drop on the two eyes, then stick his nose on.  I let mine stick outward a bit, but you could also just lay it flat.  You really can’t go wrong!

Be sure to stop by and see The Decorated Cookie’s full tutorial and original cookie.  She has so many great ideas,  I know I could spend hours looking at all her creations.

And as always, if you are opposed to box mix, feel free to substitute your favorite red velvet cookie recipe. :)

Chocolate Fudge Pepper Cookies

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Chocolate Cupcakes with Pepper and Raspberry Filling I recently shared.  The flavor combinations were something I was not used too nor comfortable with… until I tried them.

Now I crave a little complexity with my desserts.

Cocoa Fudge Cookie with Pepper

I loosely based this recipe off of a Cocoa Fudge Cookie recipe I found on myrecipes.com.  While the original recipe creates a thin, crispy cookie, my recipe is a dense cake-like cookie that has the fudginess (why isn’t fudginess a word?) of a brownie with a slight kick of a peppery aftertaste.

Chocolate Fudge Pepper Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl sift flour, soda, salt, pepper and cocoa. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in both sugars; the mixture should resemble coarse sand.
  4. Add in sour cream and vanilla to sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add in flour mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Drop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Using a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup is a good way to ensure consistency.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until top appears slightly cracked. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool to room temperature.
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Fudgy Chocolate Cookies with Coarse Ground Pepper

 

I only added a small amount of the coarse pepper because I am a seasoning sissy. Really.  Sometimes I think ketchup is too spicy.  So I really liked the subtle (very subtle) hint of pepper.  If you are more daring you can up your pepper amount and maybe even use a finely ground.  (Heck, maybe you could even add cayenne!)

Chocolate Cookie with Pepper

This cookie pairs really well with a red wine.

Just trust me on that. :)

 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

So I recently put a post up on my facebook page about some lactation cookies I had made.  I ended up getting more emails and private messages than I knew what to do with.  So I decided to get this recipe up fast so that everyone would be able to make them!

Dairy Free Lactation Cookies

 

What is a lactation cookie exactly?  It a cookie that has a few key ingredients that promote lactation, or increase a nursing mom’s milk supply.

For instance, in this cookie I have included oats.  Researchers have long since known that oatmeal has properties in it that help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy blood pressure.  Oats also provide plenty of iron as well as an abundance of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  New moms definitely need all that!

Lactation Cookies

These delicious cookies also contain Brewers yeast, ground flaxseed and dairy free mini chocolate chips.  The yeast and flaxseed are classic components to a Lactation cookie, but I wanted to take it one step further.  I decided to use all shortening instead of butter and the dairy free chocolate in my recipe to ensure it was dairy free.

I know when I was nursing Eddie I experimented with a dairy free diet in the hopes it would help with his colic.  To have been able to enjoy a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie during that time would have been such a treat!

Dairy Free Lactation Cookies

These cookies do contain cinnamon and all spice and you may certainly omit them if you have a sensitivity.

In the research I did, it wasn’t recommended to use a cinnamon supplement while breastfeeding or consume more than 1 tsp per day. (In very small doses cinnamon can actually be beneficial.)

These cookies have a crispy crunchy exterior and a chewy center.  I loved the juxtaposition!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp Brewers yeast
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (can be quick oats)
  • 1 10 oz bag Dairy Free mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 (I baked at 325 in convection oven)
  2. In medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all spice and cocoa.
  3. In stand mixer on medium speed, add shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time. Mix on medium high for 1-2 minutes to ensure well combined.
  4. Turn mixer to lowest setting in slowly add in flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and add in oats, mini chocolate chips, yeast and flaxseed. Mix by hand.
  6. These cookies work best when on silpat or parchment paper on your baking sheet. I made each cookie roughly a tablespoon and placed about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7-9 minutes and then cool on cooling rack. Keep a close eye on these cookies and remove when edges are just barely browned. The center may appear slightly "wet" and that is ok. Cookie will continue to bake after it is removed from oven.
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Dairy Free Lactation Cookies

Here is the nitty gritty.  New moms need all the blessings they can get.  To be able to make cookies for a nursing mom that not only help her but taste good?  AND its recommended to eat about 4 a day.

I cant think of a better perscription!

***These cookies are delicious and can be eaten by anyone.

Instagram: Baked

I have professed my love of Instagram many times before.  I pretty much adore every little nook and cranny of the Instagram world.

And the fact that I can share all sorts of baking treats… whether it be a disaster or success… is such a blessing to me.

Its a place where I feel a bit more free to express myself artistically.

This is a batch of Oatmeal Milky Way Brownie Bars I made for a church function.  I did not let them cool enough (I should have popped them in the freezer since I was in a hurry!) and they fell apart when I moved them from the pan.  It almost looks as if that is raw batter, but in reality is it a layer of ooey gooey Milky Way caramel deliciousness.  I was not sad at all that these didn’t make it to the church!

The second version of my Double Decker Yellow Rose Covered Cheesecake.

The red, white, and blue Rose Cake.  Which you know I am going to force you to make for your Fourth of July celebration.  Seriously.  You can do it.

The sweet little Daffodil Cupcake.  I made a cake and then a tutorial on a cupcake.  My caption on the Instagram photo was: “Daffodil Cupcakes Done.  Tutorial Done. Summoning up the will to resist eating one, failed miserably.

To which Bridget replied the bestest reply ever. “Being a baking blogger REQUIRES you to eat it. ;) it’s in the contract.”

Why yes, yes it is.  I love the way you think Bridget!

Fantastic Chocolate Cupcakes via the amazing Amy Atlas.  I added homemade sprinkles.

And when I was making those sprinkles, had a happy little accident.

But did you know that I sometimes share things there that never make it to my blog?  There are a lot of occasions in my life that I am baking for, but that dont manifest themselves into a blog post.

Like Memorial Day.

Or playing around with the extra frosting I just could not let go to waste.

Or when I started a pile for all the tips I lost to my disposal.

A moment of silence please.

Or a special visit from some beloved Grandparents. (This is a Brownie Cake made with the BEST frosting Ree has ever had covered in blueberries.)

Or the first night if T-Ball.  I am coaching my kids’ team this year and had to bake away some of my nerves before the first practice!  These are gluten free because I didnt know if any of the kids had food allergies.

Or a “Because its Wednesday” slice of cake.

Or that one time I spent hours making egg shaped cake balls and decorating a cake in iridescent white non perils for the perfect Easter Cake only to have it tip over on the make shift cake stand I so carelessly assembled.

I cried.  Unabashedly I cried.

Or the beginning stages of the Neapolitan Rose Cake.  Naked Neapolitan as I like to call it.

Or a 1st Birthday Cake for a friends sweet boy.  After I dropped off the cake I never heard from her again so I am  pretty much convinced that it tasted like feet and she is avoiding me so she doesnt have to break my heart by telling me.

Did I mention I am overly-dramatic?

Or a Tuesday morning.  When I made the kids whole grain flax seed pancakes with bananas and organic maple syrup.  Then proceeded to dump peanut butter and chocolate chips on mine.

 

But I have to tell you something.  As much as I love sharing the sweet (and sometimes bitter!) happenings in our lives, I love love love following you and learning more about you all!

Thank you to all the amazingly talented and creative and funny people who graciously allow me to follow them on Instagram.  You are such a bright spot in my day!

All of these pictures were edited in Instagram with the exception of the Double Decker Cheesecake.  That was “roughed up” in Picfx first, then edited in Instagram.

For the record, I am iambaker on Instagram.

Seven Seriously Sweet Cookies {Baking with Two Peas & Their Pod}

Hello! My name is Maria and I blog over at Two Peas and Their Pod with my handsome husband, Josh. I am honored to be guest posting for Amanda today. She is as sweet as they come-even sweeter than her gorgeous cakes.

Josh and I started blogging when we got married, in June of 2008. We love spending time in the kitchen together and sharing our recipes with others.

We recently had our first baby boy, Caleb.   Amanda insisted I share a photo of our sweet little pea and I didn’t want to disappoint her. This is one of our favorite baby photos of Caleb.  She also participated in my “Virtual Baby Shower” and made us the most amazing  baby pea cake. She is the best.  :)

 

We love every second with our precious little guy and can’t wait until he can join us in our kitchen. I know he will be a great helper and taste tester.  :)

We love creating all kinds of recipes, but my favorite recipes to create and eat are cookies. We have over 100 cookie recipes on our site. Ok, so maybe I have a little obsession. I just can’t stop myself when it comes to cookies.

 

The holiday season is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but I always look forward to holiday baking. I go even more cookie crazy during December. I love baking obscene amounts of cookies to share with family and friends. Cookies, in my opinion, make the perfect gift.

 

Today I am sharing a few of my favorite cookie recipes to help you in your holiday cookie baking adventures. I hope you find a few new recipes to try this holiday season!

 Pomegranate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies-I created these cookies last year and can’t wait to bake a batch this year. The red pomegranate arils and white chocolate chunks make them the perfect holiday cookie.

 

Chocolate Nutella Cookies-chocolate and Nutella? You can’t go wrong, trust me:)

 

 Soft Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks-a must make during the holidays! These gingersnap cookies are super soft and dotted with white chocolate chunks.

 

 Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies-all things in “mini form” taste better. I love these cute cookies and everyone loves chocolate chip cookies.

 

 Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt-I love the sweet and salty combination in this cookie. The chewy caramel center adds a nice surprise too!

 

Toasted Coconut, Toffee, & Chocolate Chip Cookies- these cookies are loaded with goodness-toasted coconut, toffee, and chocolate chips. You need to make these:)

 

 Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies-chocolate cookies with crushed up candy canes. The candy canes melt creating a nice crunch in these festive cookies.

Happy Holidays! Come visit us at Two Peas and Their Pod anytime, our kitchen is always open.  You can also follow us on Twitter,Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

Dont forget to get entered to win the KitchenAid 7QT Commercial Stand Mixer valued at $899!