chocolate-dipped orange cookie drops

It’s Christmas Eve again, and I can hardly believe it!  All the gifts are wrapped, the cards have been sent, and the plans have been made.  The only thing left to do is sit back, eat delicious food, watch movies, and enjoy time with family and friends.

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I worked really hard this year to not allow myself to get run-down and stressed.  The season isn’t about cookies or gifts or decorations…it’s about celebrating the miracle the happened in a lowly managers thousands of years ago.  We couldn’t ever give a perfect gift because it’s already been given to us.  I want to celebrate that fact, and not be focused on trying to outdo myself in years past.  I’m just so thankful.

Instead of making multiple kinds of cookies this year, I really only had enough energy to make 2 treats.  Pregnancy doesn’t leave you with lots of extra energy for baking at the end of the day, and so I decided to focus on quality over quantity.

I made one of my husband’s favorites: Peppermint Cake Batter Bark.

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I also ended up creating one of my husband’s new favorite: Chocolate-Dipped Orange Cookie Drops.  Jon isn’t a big sweets person, so the fact that he asks for multiple cookies at a time lets me know that I really created something special.

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Sitting here on Christmas Eve, I finally had some time and energy to share this recipe.  It might be a little late for this year, but save it for next year!  These cookies would also make a delicious treat for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate-Dipped Orange Cookie Drops

You’ll need:

  • 1 package of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1 stick of butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 Tbsp of orange zest
  • 2 tsp of orange extract
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb chocolate almond bark
  • 1-2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 small ziplock bag

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1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine the butter, egg, orange zest, orange extract, and flour in a large bowl.

3. Slowly mix in the cookie mix until the dough in smooth.  Using gloves or freshly-washed hands, it is a little easier to mix the dough with your hands because the flour makes it very thick.

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4. Drop cookies 1 tsp. at a time onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  You should be able to fit 20-25 per sheet.  Drop them in round balls, and then use the blunt end of a cup to flatten them slightly.

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Bake 6-7 minutes until the edges are brown.

Allow the cookies to cookie completely, and be sure to keep them completely flat.  The cookies need to be nice and flat for dipping.

Melt the almond bark slowly, over low heat, and stirring constantly.

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Prepare 1-2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Once the bark is completely liquid, dip the cookies in the chocolate until you are at the half-way point.  Gently place the dipped cookies onto the baking sheet that has been prepared with parchment paper.

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For a little extra sweetness, once all of the cookies have been dipped, pour the remaining chocolate into the ziplock baggie.  The chocolate will be very hot, so I recommend wearing over mitts.

Move the chocolate to one side of the bag, cut the tip of the ziplock off, and pipe the chocolate over the cookies.

Allow the chocolate to cool completely before storing.

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This recipe is definitely a keeper, I can see myself making these cookies every year.  I really like that they are small.  Christmas cookies don’t need to be huge.  Keeping cookies small allows for more sampling!

From our nest to yours, Merry Christmas and a beautiful, blessed New Year!

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magically toasted lucky charm chippers

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I’ve always loved Lucky Charms (who doesn’t?)…and it’s fact that the best part is the crunchy, colorful, and sweet MARSHMALLOWS!  St. Patrick’s Day was fast approaching, and I was looking to make a fun “cheat day” treat.

I started spinning my wheels, and it became clear I was over-thinking it.  These marshmallows needed to be the star of something simple.  Suddenly, in the baking isle at Target, I had my simple inspiration: white chocolate chip cookies.  Almost everything goes well with white chocolate! White chocolate would keep the cookies nice and clean, and the marshmallows would stay their brightest.

General Mills just so happened to release a fun, vintage box from 1964 just in time for St. Patrick’s Day:

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I wanted just the marshmallows, and there was really no way around it.  Once I got home…I washed my hands, dumped the box into a large bowl, turned on Seinfeld, and stared separating.  To my surprise, it took about five minutes and I got about three cups.  This would have been an excellent way for young kids to help with these cookies!

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I mixed the cookies together first, then added the marshmallows and stirred gently.  I was careful not to break many, I really wanted them to stay whole!

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As I was baking my first batch, I remembered something about marshmallows: they toast!  They also burn.  After a few attempts, I figured out the perfect technique and time to make these cookies perfect.

They turned out great!

These toasted treats are crazy addictive.  I suggest being sure that you have avenues for sharing…or you will surely eat them all.

magically toasted lucky charm chippers

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 3 cups Lucky Charms marshmallows

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.

3. Cream together the softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.

4. Add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy.

5. Slowly add the flour mixture while blending.

6. Once everything is well mixed, add the white chips.

7. Stir in the marshmallows by hand, being as careful as possible not to break them.

8. Scoop a well-rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.

9. To keep the marshmallows from burning, only bake them for about 8 minutes.  The edges of the cookies should be golden brown, but the middle with still be soft when you take them out of the oven.  This is good!  They will keep cooking even after you take them out.

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The recipe should yield between 3 and 4 dozen, depending how much dough you eat.