Sugar Christmas Cookies

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Sugar cookies are a labor of love, and this recipe was no exception. Making the dough was very straight forward, however the real effort comes into rolling the dough and cutting the cookies. This step is made easier by having helping hands to cut cookies for you while you can focus on the baking. Also, the dough makes lots of cookies. We picked out larger cookie cutters in an effort to have less cookies, but even with that we easily got over 4 dozen cookies. Since it is just my husband and I, we were able to fill 2 gallon freezer bags and freeze them for up to 3 months. And, we still had some left over to snack on. So, this recipe makes about 4-5 Dozen cookies.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Cup Softened Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup and 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Non-stick spray
  • Baking sheet
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Directions

1. Cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and mix well. Chill cookie dough for 1-2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 350 F. Knead dough then roll out dough to 1/4 in thick, then use cookie cutters. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray, then place cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from oven, remove from baking sheet, and let cool before icing.

3. (Opt) Whip together 8 Oz of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter. Add 1 tsp vanilla and combine. Finally, begin adding 4 cups powdered sugar a little at a time while mixing until all is added. If desired, add 2 tsp of additional flavoring (ie. Lemon or orange), or add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Bacon Parmesan Penne Pasta

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This bacon parmesan penne pasta is full of flavor and very filling. Despite the oil, this dish is not a heavy dish, however it is also a good idea to serve with a veggie on the side. What more is there to say? Cook the pasta until al dente, make your oil sauce with onion and bacon, add your pasta then cheese, stir and serve. This dish isn’t healthy enough to eat everyday, but if you are in the mood for something a little unhealthy, this is a great meal and oh so tasty! This recipe made 5 adult sized servings.

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What You Will Need

  • 1/2 lb Bacon
  • 8 oz Penne Pasta, 1/2 box
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Baking Sheet
  • Small Frying pan
  • Large Saucepan
  • Large Mixing Bowl

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Place Bacon in a single layer on baking sheet(s), and once oven is heated, bake for 20 minutes. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add butter, oil, and onion, and cook until caramelized. Transfer onions to mixing bowl.

2. Fill large saucepan 3/4 with water, and place over medium heat until boiling. Add Penne and cook 11 minutes or as directed on package. Strain and transfer to mixing bowl. Dice cooked bacon and add to mixing bowl, also add 2 Tbsp bacon grease to pasta. Add Parmesan, then stir and serve.

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Baked Pepper Tilapia Over Lemon Rice

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Baked pepper tilapia over lemon rice is a simple and healthy weekday meal. The tilapia is prepared minimally to keep it’s natural flavor, and the rice is cooked with all the added flavor you could need. This recipe is also a great use for leftover rice. Just add it to your dish, bake and serve. This recipe makes enough servings for 3.

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What You Will Need

  • 3 Cups leftover white rice
  • 2 Tilapia fillets
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp butter, divided in half
  • Baking dish

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a baking dish, mix together rice, lemon, and chicken broth, then spread to an even layer. Place tilapia on top, then coat tilapia with pepper, the top with a pad of butter on each.

2. Bake tilapia and rice for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven then serve right away.

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Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies

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Another classic Christmas cookie in my household is peanut butter cookies. We usually make them both with kisses and without, and this from scratch recipe is fantastic. The only thing that is up for interpretation is the butter coldness. I left my butter out at room temperature for about 3 hours before baking, and I didn’t have to refrigerate at all. You could probably leave it out at room temperature for about 8 hours before it would be too soft to work with immediately. Because the butter was still pretty solid, there were butter chunks in the dough, but that gave no problems during cooking. Finally, with this recipe, I made 17 kiss cookies, and 19 plain cookies, giving us 36 peanut butter cookies total.

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What You Will Need

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, One Stick; slightly cooler than room temperature.
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Chocolate Kisses (Optional)
  • Sugar and Fork
  • Non-stick Spray
  • 9×13 Baking Sheets
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Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Cream together both sugars, peanut butter, butter, and egg. Once combined, add remaining ingredients. If batter is too soft, refrigerate for 1 hour. If firm enough to roll, move forward. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Roll out your dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet with little room to spread.

2. If you want plain cookies, dip fork into sugar, then imprint cross pattern on cookie balls, pressing only 1/4 inch max. Then bake your cookies for 10 minutes.

For kiss cookies, bake for 8 minutes, pull from oven, add your kisses, then return to oven for another 3 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from tray. Transfer to plates, and (optional) place in fridge for 20 minutes to cool.

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Molasses Crinkles

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These cookies are a soft and sugary cookie that has good flavor depth thanks to the warm spices and warm molasses. This recipe is a recipe I received from my In-laws, and is one of my husband’s favorite cookies. These cookies not only taste great, but they look great too. These are not your ordinary sugar cookies, but they are a must try, even just once! These are very flat cookies. They come out of the oven puffed up, but as it cools, it will flatten. Give the cookies 7-10 minutes before pulling them off their baking sheet. I also substituted butter for shortening, and the cookies came out the same! This recipe made 31 cookies.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Shortening
  • 4 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Cream together sugar, shortening, and molasses until light. Add egg, then dry ingredients, then mix together. Form into small balls, dip top of each ball into graduated sugar and place on cookie sheet leaving room to spread.

2. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

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