White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

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Ok, obsessed with these cookies.  Made them for a play date with some of our favorite people a little while back. My tin was empty upon leaving, which is always a good sign.  Then I doubled the recipe for a family day, cause well Steven pretty much wanted his own batch and I took some to my in-laws for dinner.

They’re light and fluffy with so much flavor. And I had to make them again (and again) just to take some pictures, well and getting to eat them is a pretty good reward. I’m sure my husband didn’t mind either. In fact, I mentioned keeping some dough in the freezer so that I can have these around more without having to bake a batch whenever we want some.

They taste their absolute best on day one and two, but not so bad on day three- if they make it that long. Steven started a trend of dipping the cookies in freshly made whipped cream, which was pretty delicious, y’all. This actually reminded me of a local spot that is probably my favorite lunch place, where they serve their large-fresh cookies with whipped cream on the side- yum!

I will alwayssss, always be an advocate for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I always recommend it to guys when they aren’t sure what to get their wives. Cause really y’all, it’s good for EVERYTHING. Since the day I got mine I would not choose a hand mixer again.  Now don’t get me wrong, I used a hand mixer up until the day my life changed, and it will certainly get the job done.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/2 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Put aside.

  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I love my KitchenAid), or an electric mixer, cream together the butter with the sugars for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until fully combined.

  3. Gradually mix in the flour mixture and continue mixing until just combined, then mix in the oats, chocolate chips and cranberries until fully combined. It is important to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  4. Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  5. During this time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then set aside.

  6. Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet leaving a little room between each cookie. Gently press down to flatten just slightly.

  7. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden and the top is set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Notes

Before measuring out flour lay out some parchment.  Using a large spoon mix up the flour and scoop into measuring cup.  With the back of a butter knife level excess flour and add to bowl.  Then you can pour the excess flour on parchment back into flour container. 

Chilling allows for a fluffier cookie, if you prefer yours to be thinner chilling can be cut down or out altogether. 

Cookies store well at room temperature in an air-tight container, best when eaten in the first few days.

Here are the items I lalaLOVE to use when baking these cookies, among many other things at home.

These products make all the difference in my baking processes.

The cookies are great year round, but I really think they have some fall flavors in there. So I am happy to share them with y’all during my favorite time of the year!  I cannot wait to hear how they turn out for you!

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Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream

If this title gets you excited, then we clearly would be good friends. Plus, Monday can really be tough, so if you need something sweet this is perfect.

A couple weeks back we had brunch with a friend, after picking my husband up from the airport. I ordered a cold brew coffee, cause obviously I needed it, then the server asked me if I’d like sweet vanilla cream. “Uh yes, definitely” was my response without any delay.  My coffee was cool and delicious, without being too sweet (nothing at all against sweeter coffee). I even ordered one to-go for our drive home.

After chatting with a friend about it that week it has been on my mind to make it ever since. In fact, I probably would have made some for her too, if we would have gotten a visit in this past week. I have heard of some people using sweetened condensed milk in their coffee and I have made that at home, so how hard could some sweet cream be? After looking around on Pinterest I decided to kind of wing it, and no disappointment here.  With it being my first try, I may try to mix it up next time- which I am almost out so that won’t be too far out.

I pulled some heavy whipping cream out, along with whole milk and poured those into a pot. With the heat set on a medium-low, I then added in some sugar and vanilla.  After giving the mixture a few minutes to cook down the sugar, while continually stirring, I lowered the burner to a simmer and allowed it to finish cooking. Then after removing from heat, I whisked it as it cooled. Once it was cool enough I transferred it to a mason jar to store in the fridge, and it has accompanied my coffee each day since. I just give the jar a little shake before pouring (while it’s still closed, of course).

You too can enjoy this sweet and simple addition with just a few basic ingredients and your stove. Don’t have heavy whipping cream? Try half and half or just milk altogether. You can also play with the type of sugar or try pure maple syrup- even honey. Like coconut? Try it with coconut cream and/or coconut milk, then please report back on that version! This Sweet Vanilla Cream goes wonderfully in coffee, but I imagine it would also be delicious in chai tea, anybody with me here?

Home Sweet Vanilla Cream

Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour ingredients into a pot set on medium-low heat.

  2. Whisk constantly while sugar melts down 4-5 min.

  3. Turn heat to low/simmer for an additional 5 min, still stirring often.

  4. Remove from heat to allow to cool and continue to stir.

  5. Transfer to a mason jar or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week- if it lasts that long. 

sweet vanilla cream and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies

(Stay tuned for the recipe to these White Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies).

Does this Sweet Vanilla Cream go with your morning coffee? Yes, of course. How about that pick me up cup later on? Certainly! To accompany dessert or a snack? Yup!!!

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe for Homemade Sweet Vanilla Cream. As always, I’d love to know how it works out for you, so please share it up!

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Scones that say “Thank You” (Chocolate Chip Scones)

Y’all! Life has been… well life.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to bake, and that is something I do often. It is part of me and I love being able to share my baking with others.

My husband was trimming the trees in the back yard and really giving it a nice makeover for some future ideas we have, when he got to talking with a neighbor back there.  And y’all, we have a concrete wall in our backyard that separates us from a subdivision, so this is interesting. Nevertheless, they had a friendly conversation about trees, which led to our neighbor offering us one of his banana trees- that he would dig up specifically for us.  Like how nice, right?! My husband would never ask him to do this, but also this is a very nice gesture and heck yes a banana tree is awesome.

So our kind neighbor, stops by a few monrings later with a light knock on the door. The dogs are barking, our spunky toddler jumps on the couch and is peeking out of the blinds all excited, meanwhile I’m in the bathroom and still in pajamas. Yes. It was before 9 a.m though okay! Well by the time I get to the front door, I see the tree in a bucket right outside and a car pulling out of our driveway and leaving the neighborhood. Oh gosh, I missed him. Steven is out of town for work.  I am thinking all day, I should go say thank you and not wait for Steven to get back cause waiting too long seemed rude. Then I immediately thought- well I need to bake something for them and I can deliver it.  Scones.  Chocolate chip scones to be exact.  Ever since having them at a tea room locally they have been on my list to bake, plus an awesome friend gave me a special baking dish. The next morning I bake up these delicious scones, even with a little help and cooperation from my mini.  I package them so nicely, tie a bow and write out a simple thank you note. I pop the kid in the strolled for a quick walk around the block to find no answer at the door. Ok. A few hours later, just after dinner we give it another try. No answer! Maybe they went out of town for the weekend, or have many errands… Fortunately, I run into the neighbor right next to them, and come to find out we just missed these guys on their way back up north for the summer! Ahhhh. I thought they were snow birds, but wasn’t sure.  You bet I am sure now, and now my scones… Have no mouths of purpose to enter. Of course, I ate two. I gave some to our fabulous neighbors across the way, but even then I had no dates with friends for now so into the freezer the rest went.  I will report on how they hold up.

But as for FRESH- they rock. I added a splash of almond extract which really stands out nicely. And as for my gifted scone dish- it’s nothing short of amazing.  Now, let me be clear, I have baked scones at least a handful of times before this dish was in my possession and had success at doing so BUT I lalalalove the scone dish- I do. See below for the full recipe and directions if you’d like to give it a go at home, please let me know how it goes!

Chocolate Chip Scones

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Or spray your scone dish- if you have one.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and salt. With a fork, blend together while mashing the butter until you achieve a coarse-crumb consistency. Then add in the chocolate chips.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and both the extracts. Then add to crumbly mixture while trying not too over mix. 

  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top and gently work the dough together into a large round disc 1 inch thick.

  5. Cut into 8 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between.  Or just scoop into the scone pan. 

  6. Bake for 10 minutes (possibly a couple minutes longer depending on your oven). Watch for the scones to brown just slightly. Transfer to cooling wrack. 

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Christmas Sugar Cookies- Get the Recipe

Christmas Sugar Cookies- Get the Recipe

Hey y’all! Christmas is only a week away, and that means cookies are a MUST.  I’ve already made a few batches over the last couple of weeks.  My mother-in-law and I made a couple new recipes together recently too, even little A “helped.”  The recipe I will be sharing though, I have been baking up this cookie for the last SEVEN years.  That may not seem like a very long time, but it’s getting close to a decade. Oh gosh, let’s forget I said that…. Anyway, this recipe never fails, and NEVER disappoints.

I love to gift these to friends, family and neighbors- or bring them to a get-together.  I lalaLOVE to grab some festive tins from the Dollar Tree every year. Cookies are always welcomed and especially Christmas cookies. I baked a batch for one of my husband’s clients too, and they were almost gone before he left their office.

Don’t hit me, buuuut these are even tasty without frosting, especially when they’re still warm. Yum.

Sooo, with one full weekend left before Christmas be sure to bake a batch -or two- to bring wherever you’re headed. An ugly sweater party? YES.  Church? YES. An evening stroll looking at lights or caroling… you know it- YES, take the cookies. Or you could eat them all, have at ya. ‘Tis the season for Jesus and eating.

Tried-and-True Christmas Sugar Cookies

Cook Time 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter unsalted, softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer. Then add eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add sour cream.

  2. Combine salt, baking soda and flour.  Then add to mixture a bit at a time (this helps it mix as well as keeps flour from flying everywhere). 

  3. Place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 min or until ready to use. 

  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. 

  5. Roll out dough, not too thin though, try to get it about 1/4 of an inch or so. Cut out your angels, stars, bells, trees, snowflakes, snowmen, gingerbread men, etc... 

  6. Place on baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and bake for 7-8 minutes.  You do not want to bake for much longer or they will lose their fluffiness. 

Recipe Notes

You can cut this batch in half and it will work just fine. I have done that many times.  I often will make all the dough and bake half or so of it and save the rest for the next week.  

You can take the dough after it is cut and re-roll it, but only 2-3 times before the texture starts to change.

 

While cookies are cooling make the frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Cream butter in a stand mixer. Add sugar and vanilla mixing until crumbly.  Pour in milk a little at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

  2. If you'd like your frosting a special color feel free to do so. 

Recipe Notes

If it gets too runny just add more sugar until it thickens up. 

Frost away! I usually use a butter knife or an icing knife.  I did dip some of them this last time and that was pretty easy and looked great. You can also pipe your icing if you prefer.  There is no wrong way to ice a cookie. Make sure you sprinkle your favorite sprinkles before the icing sets. I lalalaLOVE to use a variety of sprinkles, so fun.

 

Ok y’all. Hopefully you have everything you need to go from here.  I hope you enjoy these yummies and there definitely is plenty for sharing (if you so choose).  Merry Christmas!

Let me know how they turn out for you!

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