6 days until Christmas ... and I was a baking machine last night in the kitchen. Since buying a gift for EVERYONE can get a little expensive, I decided to BAKE COOKIES for friends & co-workers. Less than $70 spent on ingredients, cookie tins & ribbon. Easy, right? Yeh - well baking from scratch is actually tedious and makes a mess of your kitchen. Slice & Bake makes baking easssssssssssssy ... but I took the challenge last night and baked. From scratch. Here are the 2 recips I used for Rosemary Shortbread Cookies & Cake Batter Christmas Cookies. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas. XO, WooWoo
Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
In a bowl, whisk together flour, rosemary, and salt. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gather dough into two balls, wrap both tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350. Remove one dough ball and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on parchment paper. Punch out cookies using a small (3 1/2 inch) tree-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer cutouts to a wax paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat with second dough ball. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. Don't let the cookies brown!!! Transfer to a cooling rack.
CAKE BATTER CHRISTMAS COOKIES
1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I used a blend of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup Christmas sprinkles
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. If you chill longer than 2 hours, make sure you roll the cookie dough into balls after the 2 hour mark. Place dough balls on a plate, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. (Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.)
Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Shape your cookie dough balls to be "taller" than they are wide, as pictured above. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie dough balls, if desired. That makes a pretty cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Mine took 10 minutes exactly. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You may also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days; baked cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. They won't last that long!
Hey Guys it's Woo Woo! Long time no talk. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving & are gearing up for Christmas. Only 17 days away! Can you believe that? If I get all my shopping done, it will be a Christmas Miracle indeed. Just a friendly reminder that my next Run with Woo event is going to be December 20th in VB - the Surf n Santa 5 Miler. I've never run this race before but I am soo excited! The race is in the afternoon (I get to sleep in!) and you run along the Boardwalk looking at the beautiful Holiday Lights. Talk about motivation! Have you registered yet? CLICK HERE to sign up ... J&A Racing always organizes the BEST races.Jerry & Amy you guys ROCK! You know who else is on the Nice list this Christmas? My good friends at Bon Secours In Motion. They are a big part of the Run with Woo Team & understand (more than anyone!) the importance of being fit and staying healthy and strong. They are the place to go for your Physical Therapy, Sports Performance & Wellness needs! In fact - I need to call them for McCoy. My husband complains daily about "the crunch in his knee" ... years of playing sports & running, I think he needs a doc to look at his old man knees. HA! OK - I am off to pick up Maggie from PreSchool. Talk about a Mom in Motion ... good thing I'm always wearing my New Balance running shoes. Always. I mean when is the last time I wore a high heel? HA! Ya'll have a great day!
Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend. McCoy and I spent the weekend in our Nation's Capitol...Washington, DC. We were there for a kickball tournament for McCoy - and I got to do a little shopping in Georgetown & relax/catch up on sleep. Maggie stayed with her grandparents ... They are the best. And she loves sleepovers with them. It was a great time. We had dinner at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown on Friday ... That place is my favorite! And on Saturday I had lunch at Cafe du Parc. It's a great spot to sit outside, people watch and enjoy a refreshing glass of wine.
Cheers to the week!
Good Morning! It's Monday ... and I was off from work on Friday - so it's nice to be back. Although let's be honest ... being on a permanent vacation would be AMAZING! I was off on Friday because McCoy & I went to Manteo, NC for a wedding. One of my dearest friends - who is both beautiful on the outside and the inside - got married!! Pamela used to be a model ya'll. For real! You might have seen her in a magazine!! She is just the sweetest friend you could have! She's from Suffolk ... her dad is a farmer (Farmer's Daughter & a Model - seriously!) ... and she found the man of her DREAMS! They tied the knot in Manteo, NC - so McCoy and I traveled (w/o Maggie!) to have a little alone time & celebrate Pamela & John's BIG day. I was a Bridesmaid ... and our dresses were beautiful. The wedding was perfect! It captured their love for each other & their strong faith. Now about the town of Manteo - it is quaint & quiet. My Aunt & Uncle actually live in Manteo ... small world! We stayed at The Tranquil House Inn. I highly recommend that place! It was gorgeous ... on the water ... great views ... wonderful food ... friendly staff ! I would definitely go back. If you need a weekend getaway, go to MANTEO! Soo romantic. Here's some wedding pics. Have a great day!
Anyone else a sucker for the entire 'REAL HOUSEWVIES' franchise on BRAVO? It is amazing! Trash! Glitz! Gossip! Glam! These women are table flipping, wine chugging, high heel stomping entertainment for me. I just LOVE it!! And there are new castmembers on the next season of 'REAL HOUSEWVIES OF NEW JERSEY'. It premieres on July 13th. Andy Cohen is a GENIUS! CLICK HERE to read about the new cast.
Good Morning! Long time, No Blog. Hope you are all having a great SUMMER ... WOO HOO! Wait - is it technically even summer yet? I think that happens in like June, but when it's 92 Degrees and the sun is shining ... it feels like SUMMER to me. Right Olaf? (Parents who have seen 'FROZEN' will get that!)
So if you follow me on Facebook (Facebook.com/WooWoo) or Twitter (@WooWoo949) , you will know that I am taking part in this awesome Hot House Yoga Challenge. I've always been a big fan of fitness & running & eating healthy & challenging myself on ways to stay fit! Before I got married like 7 years ago, I tried out HOT YOGA for the 1st time and I loved it. Then I got married, had a kid & got busy. So the yoga took a backseat. But I was thrilled to take part in the #HH21Challenge at my local Hot House Yoga studio in Ghent. For 21 days in May I would need to go to yoga - there are 31 days in the month ... you get the idea. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit so why not create a HEALTHY habit! I have loooooooved EVERY.SINGLE.CLASS !! I am on Day 17 now and I'm actually sad to see it come to an end. Not only have I grown physically stronger, but mentally ... WOW! Yoga is such a peaceful practice. I enjoy the dim lighting in the room, the zen music & the calm voices of my teachers. (Mad love for Zoe!) If you have never tried yoga, don't be afraid to roll out your mat and take a class. You might even see me there.
HAPPY HUMPDAY! It's Wednesday...August 1st. Can you believe it? Already AUGUST!! WOW - Where does the time go? And can you believe it has been almost 6 months since CLOSET FACTORY came to our condo & built that AMAZING closet for me? I love it! And I just "re-organized" it yesterday while Maggie napped. It makes a HUGE difference when eveything is in its place & organized. And you know - CLOSET FACTORY can do more than just closets! They can build ANYTHING you can dream. A Mud Room, a Homework room for the kids with a desk & a fold out Murphy Bed. They can even build you a custom pantry!! I think that is next on my list. It looks like a bomb went off in our pantry. HA!
If you would have told me 10 years ago that I could plug my flat iron & my car into the SAME electrical outlet - I would have told you that you were crazy talkin'. That is sooo "Back to The Future" and just insane. But it's not. And I can. I can PLUG MY CAR INTO THE WALL!!!
OMG. Let me introduce you to the CHEVY VOLT...voted by Car & Driver Magazine as the "Car of the Year" for 3 years in a row, and has won numerous other awards. And my friends over at Mike Duman Auto Sales in Suffolk/Franklin are letting me drive around town in a Volt this week. This car is not only fuel efficient & good looking - but it is FAST!!! I mean really fast. And it looks like a space ship inside. LOVE IT! And let's not forget...the Chevy Volt is a SAFE car too! Definitely family friendly. CLICK HERE for some more details specs from Kelley Blue Book.
OK - I am off to the dentist & then lunch at Hilltop. Be sure to honk, wave & ask me a thousand questions when you see me out & about in my MIKE DUMAN CHEVY VOLT!!