Entries Tagged as 'lisa'

2012 Cookie Party Recipes

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments

Here are the recipes from the the cookie party. See also, recipes from other years: 2011 recipes, 2010 recipes, 2009 recipes, 2008 recipes, 2007 recipes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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1st Place
by Emily

For The Crust
4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt

For The Chocolate Caramel
10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.

Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars.

Makes 16

From: Martha Stewart

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2nd Place
by Stephanie and Jessica

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 cubes soft caramel candy (7 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews; set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil. Process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.

Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; space 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten with a spatula. Bake until bottoms are just golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Melt caramels with cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies; let set. Store airtight in single layers.

From: Martha Stewart

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3rd Place
by Lisa

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 4 oz. stick of butter
3/4 cup flour
1 egg white
1 cup coarse baking sugar

Place the butter in a bowl. If the butter is cold, grate it with a cheese grater so it mixes nicely with the other ingredients. Beat in the cream cheese. Fold in the flour and mix ingredients well so they form a dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and mold it into a ball. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or as long as overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle some flour onto a pastry board and roll the dough until it is about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut out individual cookies using the rim of a small glass.

Beat the egg white in a dish and using a pastry brush, coat each cookie with it. Dip the wet side of each cookie into the baking sugar until generously coated.

Bake the cookies on a baking sheet for 25 minutes until golden brown. After about 20 minutes start to check the cookies. Depending on the oven, they might need an extra 5-10 minutes.

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by Loden

Recipe Coming Soon!

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by Caroline

Recipe Coming Soon!

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by Mary/Mom

3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Red Jello (any flavor)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp white vinegar (or extract)
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or brown paper bags. Set aside.

In glass bowl start to beat egg whites until foamy. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until they start to hold soft peaks. (Be careful not to over beat.) Now alternately add the sugar and jello gradually, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Add vinegar (or extract) and continue beating and adding remaining sugar in batches, until all of the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is very shiny and tight. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Working with one teaspoon at a time, push a teaspoonful of meringue from the tip of 1 teaspoon with the back of another teaspoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving 1-inch of space between cookies. Place baking sheets in the preheated oven. Bake 25 minutes. Do not open door. Turn the oven off. Leave the cookies (undisturbed) in the oven for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, or until cookies are crisp and dry.

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by Sara

Cookie ingredients:
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling ingredients:
2 C cranberries
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C water, divided
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (I used 4 Tbs tapioca as a thickener instead)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Scrape
bowl as needed, especially prior to each new addition of ingredients.
Add in dry ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated into the dough.

Divide dough in half. Form each section into a ball, wrap in plastic.
Chill for at least 1 hour.

Over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan, add cranberries, sugar
and 1/4 cup of water. Heat until berries pop, stir frequently.
Continue to cook, reducing temperature to medium heat. In a small
bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Add water mix to
the cranberries. Heat and stir until thickened. It will thicken
quickly. Add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to mixture, stir until incorporated

Remove from heat. Transfer cranberry mixture to a medium bowl. Let
cool for 15-20 minutes at room temperature before covering with
plastic and returning to the fridge to cool completely.
When both your dough and filling are ready to be worked with. Remove
one ball of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured workspace,
roll out dough into a large rectangle.

Spread half of the cranberry filling over the dough, up to 1/2? from the edge.
Carefully begin rolling dough from one of the shorter ends. Pinch and
seal off the ends. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by foil.
Repeat process with second ball of dough. Store in the freezer for at
least one day.

After at least one day, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 1/3? thick
or so. These will not expand much so don’t go too thick or too thin.

Place 1 inch apart on a lined baking sheet. Use a silpat or parchment
paper. This is an absolute necessary step with these cookies due to
their filling.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges just slightly start to turn
a golden color. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before carefully
transferring to a cookie sheet to cool completely.

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by Jen

1 Stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temp
4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese at room temp
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
9 Tbsp mini choc chips
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg white beaten
Coarse white sanding sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 3 min.

Add the vanilla and salt and mix at low speed until blended. Mix in the flour at low speed until incorporated.

Divide dough into thirds; pat into disks; wrap in plastic wrap; and refrigerate for 15 min.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each disk into an 8 inch round. Stack the rounds between parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 min.

While dough is in fridge, melt the butter and then let cool for 5 min.

Place 1 dough round on a floured surface. Using a small spatula spread 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp melted butter; sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of choc chips and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar. Using a large knife cut the round into 8 wedges.

Working from the wide end roll up each wedge and transfer to a prepared pan, spacing evenly and bending in the ends to form a crescent shape. Refrigerate the remaining cookies while you repeat with the remaining dough rounds, butter, choc chips and sugar.

Brush the cookies with egg white; sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake until golden 22 to 24 min. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes 2 dozen.

From: Real Simple

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by Jamie

3/4 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c dark brown sugar
2 tbs water
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. semisweet choc chips
3/4 lb. fannie may green meltaways, frango mints, hersheys mint kisses or andes mints

over low heat melt butter, sugar and water. stir until smooth. add chocolate chips stir well till partially melted. remove from heat. pour into mixing bowl beat 1 egg at a time, add flour, salt and slowly blend.

chill dough for 1 hr. bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. add mint (eye it might just need half) swirl it with spoon.

place on cooling rack.

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by Emily

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

From: New York Times

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by Rachelle

8 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or chips)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces Andes Baking Chips (or broken up Andes mints)
4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in Andes baking chips and chocolate chunks. Refrigerate dough for about 15 minutes.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

From: rachelleb.com, adapted from Martha Stewart

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by Jessica

6 Keebler mini graham-cracker pie crusts
1 cup cold water
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1 and 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup canned pumpkin pie mix (already spiced)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rum
1/2 tablespoon cold heavy cream
Whipped cream, for serving if desired

Pour 1 cup of cold water in sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin packet on top. Let it sit for a minute or two. (No heat)

Turn heat on to medium and add pumpkin mix and sugar stirring until combined. Turn off heat and let cool.

Mix 1/2 cup rum, remaining 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 table spoon heavy cream in a separate bowl, then add to the gelatin mixture.

Pour mixture into pie crusts and refrigerate overnight. Top with whipped cream if desired. Cut pies in halves then quarters to serve small bite sizes. (if quartered makes 24 shots)

From: That’s So Michelle

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by Amy

18 – graham crackers halves
18 – pieces from of Hershey’s chocolate bars (2-4 chocolate bars depending on your pan size)
9 marshmallows (the flattened marshmallows work the best)

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan (or 13×9 if you want thinner bars)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Blend softened butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and blend.

Slowly add flour mixture and blend until the cookie dough is fully mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press half the cookie dough onto the bottom of the prepared pans.

Top cookie dough with 9 halves of graham crackers. Place 2 rectangles of Hershey’s chocolate bar on top of each graham cracker. Top each chocolate with a marshmallow.

Complete the s’more by places a graham cracker square on top of each marshmallow.

Carefully spread the remaining cookie dough on top of the graham crackers. Be careful not to break the graham crackers as you spread the dough but if you do it’s not the end of the world.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top of the cookie dough no longer looks raw. Cool slightly and then cut into squares and enjoy.

From: Baby Gizmo

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by Rachelle

1 (12 ounce) package cranberries
1 package white chocolate or almond bark

Melt chocolate chips or almond bark. Dip cranberries in chocolate (I put a bunch in then fish them out with a fork). Place on wax paper to dry in a cool place.

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6th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

December 17th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Caroline, Rory, Stephanie, Jessica, Mom

Jen, Loden, Lisa, Jamie

On Saturday I hosted my annual cookie party. As was the case for several of the past years, the Roundarch holiday party was the night before. Luckily I was able to just about everything for the cookie party in the days leading up to it. That helped me let loose at the party, I was able to sleep in kind of late and still be ready in time. Also, I made sure alternate my drinks with a lot of water at the holiday party and then drink more water and more water when I got home! Unfortunately, my coworkers didn’t do this and none of them made it the next day! Six hours of open bar will really put you out if you don’t plan it right!



This year there were a few cookie party first-timers, so that was fun. The people who’d been to my party several years in a row helped them along, though. Put out your cookies, label them, EAT! Last year Raiden was the only baby at the party and this year it was Rory! He was totally the life of the party!

Emily, Jessica, Sara. Not posed. Totally candid. I swear!

To counterbalance all of the sweets, I also served dill dip with vegetables (no MSG!), goat cheese with roasted red pepper sauce, olives and pickles. Oh, and some almonds I roasted with chili powder and rosemary (recipe coming up!). If you’re interested in the dill dip, it’s here. As always, we also had hot apple cider (spiked or not) which Stephanie made and kept stocked. I think she might have been stocking it mostly for Jessica, though! It’s pretty much her favorite thing ever and she drinks at least a gallon! Also, I’m still using Julene’s Chicagoist recipe for the cider!

Do we look taller? Older? (2011, 2010)

These were all the tasty treats we sampled:

Caramel Cashew Cookies (Jessica & Stephanie)
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella and Sea Salt (Loden)
Chocolate Walnut Crunch Bars (Caroline)
Chris_mas Cookies (Lisa)
Christmas Kisses (Mary)
Cranberry Swirls (Sara)
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Crescent Cookies (Jen)
Meltaway Cookies (Jamie)
New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (Emily)
Outrageous Chocolate Mint Cookies (Rachelle)
Pumpkin Pie Shots – With and Without Rum (Jessica)
Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars (Emily)
S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Amy)
White Chocolate Covered Cranberries (Rachelle)

Me, Jessica, and Stephanie tabulating the winner!

Someone commented that last year there were a lot of cookies and candies that were very rich and decadent. This year there were more cookies that weren’t super sweet and that helped balance it out. Don’t get me wrong, though. There was still rich and decadent!


Emily won homemade vanilla extract and a cookie party cookbook.

And how did it all come out? This year every single cookie (except for my white chocolate cranberries) was written down at least one time as a favorite! So cool to see that everyone’s tastes vary so much. Some people love the thick and gooey cookies, some love the light and crisp kind, some love fruit, some love chocolate. But there were still clear favorites. Lisa brought her first cookie this year, and people loved her cookie, which she named Chris_mas Cookie, after her husband, Chris, who helped her make them. I thought Stephanie and Jessica were going to win with their caramel cashew cookie. This was the second most favorited cookie. But in the end the winner went to Emily, who was attending for the first time. Everyone loved her Salted Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bar. Congratulations, Emily! For winning, I gave Emily some vanilla extract that I made and a book I got printed of recipes and photos from past cookie parties.

I’m declaring the party a success again this year! I’ll post the recipes for the cookies soon!

5th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
4th Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
3rd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
2nd Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party
1st Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

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Birthday Barbecue

September 9th, 2012 · 4 Comments

For my birthday we had a barbecue. Everyone ate too much and drank too much and had a great time!

Richard pretending to photobomb Dallas, Killian and Ed.

Jill visiting with Liz while Dallas tried to get Fiona.

Raiden is just a few months younger than Fiona. They’re both so big compared to when I last saw each of them!

Feedburners reuinite! Chris, Paul, Lisa, Kate, Rachelle. Alden shouldn’t be so late or he misses out on photo ops like this!

Dallas grilled up a ton of kalbi. We thought we had way too much but people were fighting for the last rib! We also made about five pounds of slow cooked pork with Dallas’s famous blue cheese coleslaw.

Richard and Ed stealing ribs fresh off the grill!

Kate and Brett.


Dylan and Quinn making forts on the couch.

Could Fiona’s eyes be bluer? Just like her mom.

Chris and Lisa brought this Achatz Handmade Pie. Grant Achatz did not make this pie, but his cousin did.

This was the crumb-topped Michigan 4-berry pie, their signature pie. They use locally grown tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. It was so delicious. Chris said pie is a family tradition. He and Lisa also gifted me a pretty pair of earrings that I wore to work on Monday. They are so nice and thoughtful friends.

Ed (chef/owner of The Baked Escape) also brought some delicious desserts – white chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake and caramel pumpkin pound cake!

And here is Ed making Rory cry.

Killian gave me Easy Feet! I don’t know if he’s implying I’m too old to bend over and wash properly or if I have super nasty toes! According to the infomercial, “it’s like a carwash for your feet!”

Me with Andy and Katie.

And Alden!

And Trent and Loden!

Trent was digging around in the cupboard for shot glasses and I busted out laughing when I saw he was using a votive for a shot glass!!! Gotta do what you gotta do!

Loden, Kelly, Brett, Rachelle.

Time for bed!!! (Thanks, Damian for the wine and this Askinosie chocolate bar!)

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