Sunday, December 12, 2010

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

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Glad you all enjoyed the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies from yesterday—I knew they’d go over well!! A few of you emailed to ask how I wrapped them to look like candy. I took clear gift/basket wrap from the Dollar Tree, and clear small hair rubber bands, from the Dollar Tree as well. I  cut strips of the gift wrap, wrapped the cookies, and then secured both ends with a mini rubber band. I think using red twist ties would be a fun option too.

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I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy reading about people’s messes and successes in the kitchen. People always ask my what my biggest mess has been, and I’d still have to say when I started the stovetop on fire in the college dorm kitchen during my Freshman year. It wasn’t my fault—people just didn’t see the need for cleaning up tons of macaroni & cheese that had fallen under/on the burner. But thankfully I had a trusty dishtowel and fast reflexes!

As far as cooking and baking go, I usually have success with recipes because I only try ones that have high ratings, or that I’ve made before. Oh yes, there has been some attempted Bundt cakes that get stuck in the pan, or cookies that are supposed to be fluffy, but instead turn out paper thin. However, up until the other day, I couldn’t recall a recipe that went the direction of being a mess, but with a quick brainstorming session, turned into a success. Let me explain…. 

I had run out of red food coloring to make these cookies. So I decided to try and mix a few colors to get a red hue. However, it turned out an ugly purple/green somehow, and eventually black.

So what’s a girl to do with a big blob of black cookie dough and a blob of non-colored cookie dough that were destined to be Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies? With some trusty anise extract, I present to you Licorice Pinwheel Cookies!!

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Licorice Pinwheel Cookies

Recipe created by me

Yield: Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/2  teaspoon  anise extract
  • 1 3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  teaspoon  black food coloring paste
  • Parchment paper
Preparation

1. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and anise, beating until blended, scraping bowl as needed.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
3. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll 1 portion of dough into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle on a piece of lightly floured plastic wrap.
4. Knead food coloring paste into remaining portion of dough while wearing rubber gloves. Roll tinted dough into a rectangle as directed in Step 3. Invert untinted dough onto tinted dough; peel off plastic wrap. Cut dough in half lengthwise, forming 2 (12- x 4-inch) rectangles. Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side, using bottom piece of plastic wrap as a guide. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze 4 hours or up to 1 month.
5. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut ends off each dough log, and discard. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Bake at 350° for 6 to 7 minutes or until puffed and set; cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

And thought I’d share 2 houses in our town that we deemed “the best decorated”! I’ll get a picture of our house ASAP!

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Do you decorate your yard for Christmas?

I am having a holiday giveaway for my readers—the box will be filled with all sorts of goodies. Send me a picture (apinchandadash@live.com) of your decorated yard, your Christmas tree, or whatever you do to be festive. Contest ends 12/20—so hurry. I’d love you to link back as well :-)

16 comments:

Erica said...

Way to turn a potential kitchen fail into a success!!!! When I first started baking as a teen...I used a tablespoon of baking soda instead of a teaspoon....um yah. What a fun contest!

Mary said...

Now that is what I call a kitchen recovery :-). You are very clever. We no longer decorate the exterior of the house for the holidays. We did for many years, but when we decided to become "greener" the lights seemed excessive. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

hbobier said...

I love the gigantic wreath in that top picture! Gorgeous! And for decoration, can I just wrap my dog in christmas lights and call it good? Haha...I'm kidding. Kind of.

The things I would do for your baking goodness... :)

Molly said...

I wish I had a yard to decorate :( I dont even have room for a tree. Something to look forward to, I guess :)

xo- Molly

Fashion Meets Food said...

Those cookies look absolutely wonderful. I love the fact that they are swirl cookies. I wish I had a front yard to decorate.

xo

Nicole, RD said...

The cookies look so good!! Mine would be a mess! Pinwheels are hard!

Your decorations look wonderful! I did a wreath and some red and white lights on our 2 front trees...the whole neighborhood decorates the same way, it's kind of neat!

Juliet said...

It was fun to read about your cooking mishaps. :) Makes me feel less inept. Happy holidays! Your neighborhood looks super cheery. Very fun!

Mimi said...

Wow, I bet that little kitchen fire scare is quite a memory! I don't know what I'd do... Pour baking soda on it?

laurie said...

Good rescue! They look tasty.

Just looked at the news and it sounds like you will get some snow tomorrow...but we will miss it. You wouldn't think 45 miles would make that much difference!

My hubby is SO upset as he wants to snowmobile! He is really jealous of the cities and all their snow!


I love looking at Christmas lights. We have a few out...just around our garage and roof.

Christina said...

I decorated outside last year for the FIRST and LAST time. haha They went up fairly ok in the beginning of December when temperatures were still fluctuating between 40s and 50s on a daily basis. But - January with the negative wind chills and taking them down? Uhh, let's just say some of them stayed up until like March when I could feel my fingers to get the job done! Never again!!!

But I'll definitely be on the lookout for some other houses and a picture of our interior decorating!! :) Cute idea! I love it - so festive!

balancedhealthylife.com said...

We didn't decorate the outside of our house at all. All I did was hang a wreath on our door last weekend! Maybe next year! : )

Krista said...

Quick thinking with those cookies! Brilliant move, girl...

Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon said...

Cute packaging idea with the pinwheel cookies--adorable!

Hope you're enjoying the holiday season :)

sophia said...

I don't have anything to decorate my house because it's not mine...but can I send in a pic of the neighbor's yard?

Sook said...

I love decorating for Christmas. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to put up lights for our yard this year but maybe next year. Your house looks beautiful.

Kerstin said...

Nice save - they are so cute! And your house looks so festive :)