Oreo Brownies

Friday, December 23, 2011 9:56 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments

Oreo Brownies
from Eat Me, Delicious

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped Oreo cookies (25 cookies)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x13" baking pan.

In a heatproof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, heat butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir Oreos and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.

Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 3 inches from center comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow to cool. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.

Christmas Package Cheese

9:35 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
this was fun to make! A cute twist to the normal cheese ball!

8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Red bell pepper
Mix the dried dill, garlic powder, and salt into the softened cream cheese.
Pack the mixture into a rectangular container lined with plastic wrap (you can reuse the cream cheese box).
Refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. Before serving time, set the unwrapped block of cheese on a platter and decorate it with a scallion bow and red pepper polka dots and gift tag.

The Christmas Pickle

9:22 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments

The Christmas Pickle

The tradition of the Christmas Pickle has got to be one of the strangest modern Christmas customs in that no one is quite sure why it exists at all!

In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection!

Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present. However, this seems to be a total myth! No many people in Germany have even heard of the Christmas Pickle! (Like in Russia virtually knows the story of the supposedly Russian story of Babushka!)

There are two other rather far-fetched stories linking the pickle to Christmas.

One featured a fighter in the American Civil War who was born in Bavaria (an area of what is now Germany). He was a prisoner and starving, he begged a guard for one last pickle before he died. The guard took pity on him and gave a pickle for him. The pickle gave him the mental and physical strength to live on!

The other story is linked to St Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys traveling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper, killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, and found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life!

There is an old legend about St Nicholas rescuing boys from a barrel but the barrel was originally holding meat for pies - not pickles!

So it's most likely that an ornament salesmen with a lot of spare pickles to sell invented the legend of the Christmas pickle!

The American city of Berrien Springs, MI (also known as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World) has an annual pickle festival held during the early part of December.

So this is one of our favorite Christmas traditions we have adopted as a family! Every year when we wake up Christmas morning the kids unwrap their gifts and at the end the kids look for the "Christmas Pickle" which is a pickle that my son Keagan made that was hidden on our tree by Santa! The child who finds it, gets the extra gift! They have a ton of fun with this every year! Our pickle isn't the traditional ornament but rather looks like this

Gingerbread Men AKA Alien Men

3:31 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
just got done baking a favorite in the family that has been made for years growing up as a family tradition even back when I was little and my siblings were little! They're gingerbread men cookies but we call it alien men because they look like little alien men lol

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2tbs molasses
1 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon

raisins or red hots for decoration.

Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and unbeaten egg. Beat until smooth. sift all the dry ingredients and add to molasses mixture. Roll 3 pecan size balls for each. Flatten first ball for head. Roll 2nd and 3rd slightly into a rope for arms and legs. Flatten slightly. Decorate adding eyes and buttons and bake at 375 for 8-10min.

Gingerbread House Fun!

1:03 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments

Today we made our traditional gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, icing, and lots of goodies from coconut for snow, marshmallows, candy canes, gum drops, chocolate chips and more! The kids had a lot of fun this year since they are getting older and can really get into making them even bigger and better!

Getting in the Holiday Spirit!

12:57 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
We've had a fun last two days getting into the holiday spirit!

Yesterday we took the 3 older kids to see Arthur's Christmas after dropping the youngest at the babysitters. They loved it and it was a pretty cute movie! I even cried at the end! I know, I'm such a sap!

later that night we took off for our yearly tradition to visit the Blora Festival of Lights and stop in between for hot cocoa and a cookie! Their lights here are huge and so much fun! Between driving slowly through the lights and stopping to see santa and get our treat in between looking at lights at Santa's Shop it turned into a 3hr event!

The kids love it every year but I think this year Santa spent a little to much time in the sun because he was really tan this year! haha