Sunday, 31 January 2016

Cinnamon Caramel Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 31

The smell of the cookie dough while mixing these reminded me of cinnamon buns... sadly, the taste did not.  You can find the recipe for these here

I'm not sure where I went wrong with these ones (next week I think I'll have to make some kind of classic cookie to make up for my attempts at all these different ones) but part of the problem may have been that I only do half a recipe.  This means for these cookies I used half a box of cake mix,  One would think that I would probably measure the whole box of cake mix out and then divide in half but... I aint got time for that (apparently).  So instead, I take the bag of cake mix out of the box and dump what I guess to be half of it into a bowl.  It usually works.

It could have also been that I don't think we have Milky Way Chocolate bars in Canada?  Or if we do they weren't at the grocery store when I went or the Dollar Store.  But I did look up what a Milky Way was and the very reliable Wikipedia told me that it was similar to a Mars... mostly caramel and milk chocolate.  So I cut some caramels in half and added a couple chocolate chips and then attempted to fold the cookie batter over it all.

I cut the caramels length wise so that they would be flatter... I'm glad I did!
Speaking of folding the cookie batter over the caramel and chocolate... what a disaster!  It was way too gooey.  I had a lot of it on my hands... getting it to fold around that caramel was nearly impossible.  You can see my progression of them looking like they are turning out to not at all.  Was it way too gooey because I didn't use enough cake mix?  Possibly!

Doesn't that cookie front and center look decent and the ones in the back... well... not so decently rolled?
Anyways, they turned out edible.  Very soft and flat but definitely edible.  

Cinnamon Caramel Cookies

Do I love them?  

I do not.

But I've had worse.

So I'm going to give these 6/10

Maybe if you just follow the recipe you'll have better success!

Last week I made some Chocolate Coffee Cookies

Monday, 25 January 2016

Life Lately

I've been doing more than just making cookies... 

Just over a week ago one of the local centers was having a family day with free admission!  The temperatures were somewhere between -30 - -40 which kept most families away... but John and I and my sister and brother in law ignored all weather warnings and took to the great outdoors for some snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding.

first time on snow shoes!

Don't we look thrilled to be outside!!?

On Saturday the weather warmed up to a balmy 3 degrees (yes, just 7 days after our minus 30 degree weather we moved into the pluses).  So my friend and I went for a skate at one of the local parks.  The river trail also finally opened up (for a very short skate) but we decided everyone and their mom would be there... and we may have been right because there were very few people at the park we choose to go to.

I finally was able to wear my new blanket scarf that I got for Christmas!

This was the non skating rink side of the building... it was a perfect winter day (with some snow gently falling too!)

On top of all the outdoorsy stuff I've been busy reading the book I got for Christmas (Krista, I'm nearly finished it), taking down Christmas, and working every single day for the last 2 weeks.

This coming Sunday I'm making some Mennonite comfort food for a friend... meat buns, soup, and jam jam cookies... is there anything else I need to include?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Chocolate Coffee Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 30

Only 22 more weeks to go folks!

For this weeks cookies I strayed from my plan because I came home from work on Friday thinking that coffee cookies would be a good idea.  So I stuck it into Google and came out with these from Becel.

Chocolate Coffee Cookies
What did I change?  Well, I didn't use Becel fake butter or whatever it is they are suggesting... in fact I never use butter when it calls for it because I always have those margarine squares in my fridge that I use.  My brown sugar has gone slightly hard.  I have no idea how I don't manage to go through brown sugar quicker but this one is fairly dried out even with one of those stones in it to keep it soft.  My brown sugar could be impacting my cookies for weeks now!  I also left the dough in the fridge overnight... which I'm wondering if because the dough was chilled it impacted the way the icing sugar looks on top?  I don't know... I'm no expert!

In the end despite them not looking too great they taste relatively fine.  I wish they were a little more chewy though (but I also wish the icing sugar was nice on top... so we can't have everything we wish for!... clearly).  I'm giving these an 8/10.  They are good.... but not great.

Last week I made some Carrot Cheesecake Cookies that you should also check out.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Carrot Cheesecake Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 29

I found this recipe on Show Me The Yummy

The only thing I changed in this recipe was that I didn't use a Duncan Hines cake mix... instead I used a generic store brand because it was cheaper... and also I didn't think the kind would matter.  BUT, maybe it kind of does because I didn't have a separate package of carrots and raisins... my carrot bits were already mixed into the cake mix.

My opinion?  WAY TOO MUCH ICING!  I just really don't know what people are thinking when they put more icing than cookie on these things.  It could also be a problem that the icing is cream cheese which isn't exactly my favourite.  I also find there to be way too many flavours going on in my mouth when I eat these.  There is coconut, cream cheese, white chocolate chips, and everything that goes along with that carrot cake mix.  It's just a lot to take in.

So, I'm going to give these a 5/10.  They aren't terrible... and at least they don't taste like medicine BUT... I don't think I'll choose to make these again.

carrot cheesecake cookies

Sidenote:  Since I'm only doing half recipes I used the rest of the cake mix to make carrot muffins.  I decided to use coconut oil instead of regular cooking oil to make them and they taste great!  So, I think carrot and coconut does go well together... it's probably the cream cheese's fault!

Last week I made some Snickerdoodles for the first time ever.  If you have a hankering for some mini doughnuts these are a great idea!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

2015 Review

Here is is folks...that last Blogmas post I owed all of you that I didn't do when I was supposed to because I got too sick to do much of anything.

Before I start I suppose I'll share a little about what I did for New Years Eve.... it wasn't anything too exciting. You see, a special person in my life just so happens to celebrate their birthday on December 31st every year and so we did what he wanted to do (plus I wasn't invited anywhere else so good thing I had a party to attend!). We ate cake, we chatted, we said Happy New Year! We did it all at John's parents place and then spent the night there... because why not? The next morning we playd some games and eventually made our way back to the city. A low key time was had by all.

Now onto the review of 2015!

I broke it down into months and I realized something... I didn't have a terribly exciting year. But I'm going to tell you all about it anyways!

 John and I started dating

 I made my students some delightful valentine cards (they loved them!).  To see what I did and to get the template to make your own just click here

Ummm.... well... I'm assuming spring break happened.... I'm sure I did something somewhat fun for spring break... maybe?

 My contract gets extended and I get to continue teaching 5/6

I take my grade 5/6's to the zoo and I get to experience the polar bear tunnel for the first time!

My friend Kilian gets baptized

I complete my first year as a grade 5/6 teacher. Would I do it again? You bet!

I turn 30!  John gets me 30 roses to celebrate

I went strawberry picking!

I start off my 52 weeks of cookies with some Birthday Cake Cookies

lots of boat rides and fishing at the lake and just being at the lake

We spend lots of time around the pool

I go with my friends to Folklorama

We go on a loooong hike at Clear Lake for the first time.

We also go check out the bison... apparently not for the first time (but I have no recolection of ever seeing them before)


John and I go see Odysseo

I go to school as Minnie Mouse on Halloween

Erin, John, and I carve pumpkins that will never be placed outside for Halloween

John and I prepare for our first Christmas together by setting up my Christmas tree (which we also did together)

John and I also packed "shoeboxes" for Operation Christmas Child

 A busy month with too many Christmas gatherings to attend!

Here's to an even better 2016!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Snickerdoodle Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 28

I've always thought these were an oddly named cookie and as far as I can recall I've never had one of these oddly named cookies.  Then on Saturday (yes, I made these on Saturday and only got around to posting about these today - shame on me) I was going over to a friends for a girl's night and wanted to bring some fresh baked cookies... and so that is the story of my Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Confession:  I get all my recipes from an app.  I'm assuming it is basically Pinterest and I should really just get a Pinterest.... I'm not even sure why I don't have one.  Anywho, I can usually do a Google image search to find the exact recipe that this person gave no mention to on the app (shame on them) but alas, today I was not able to locate the right image and although looking through a bunch of Snickerdoodle recipes to find the exact one I used sounds riveting... I'm just going to post what I did down below (but if anyone ever finds this recipe on the interwebs they can feel free to let me know and I will link to it because someone other than me deserves the credit!).


1 1/2 cups sugar (+1/4 cup for cinnamon sugar mixture)
1 T cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 375.

Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a small fish.  Set it aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Cream together butter, shortening, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar for about 3-6 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until dough just comes together.

Scoop out about 2 T of dough and roll into a ball.  Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.  Cookies may look uncooked but will set as they cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Alrighty folks, I didn't change much with this one.  In fact I believe the only thing I did change was that I put the dough in the fridge for a few hours because I made the dough in the morning but wasn't getting together with my friends until the evening.  When I did bake them they made the place small like mini doughnuts.  It was delightful.

My verdict?  They were scrumptious!  You should definitely try them! 10/10

Last week I made some Almond Cookies that I've since dubbed Medicine Cookies... you'll understand why if you follow the original recipe but I give some tips on how that original recipe could be improved upon.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

What I Got For Christmas

I have 2 days to make up for in Blogmas because I was too sick to look at a screen, type, eat, sit up... you get the idea.  But I'm finally feeling mostly better now!  This means that you finally get to see what I got for Christmas!

What can I say about what I got for Christmas in 2015 other than I was pretty blessed.

You might have noticed a bunch of orange numbers every where on that picture... well they all correspond with the description here!

1.  John's sister got me a curling wand.  I was really looking forward to this present.  I've used it once and loved the results (even if I am still quite the armature at it).  Finally, no more having to curl my hair with my flat iron!

2.  Santa brought me some Bath and Body Works hand soap!  I LOVE Bath and Body Works so Santa did well.  He also brought me a holder for their soap which I didn't currently have.

3.  This is a giant blanket scarf.  Red plaid... just like I requested.  John bought it for me.  He actually bought 2 very similar scarves for me and I was having a hard time deciding which to keep... in the end I think I'm going to keep this one (although I still have both) because it's what I originally had asked for.

4.  Gift Cards!  My parents got me ones for Aldo (I want to get a new purse with it) and Winners (I already used part of it on my phone case).  John's sister gave me a Starbucks one... which I'll definitely put to good use.

5.  Santa brought me some kitchen stuff.  I had asked John's mom for some new measuring cups and she must have passed on the message to Santa.  There is also a bowl, measuring spoons, and this thing that I imagine is used for sifting/shaking powdered sugar before... which I didn't have before it showed up next to my stocking!

6.  I bought myself a new phone (well technically it was free and the plan that it comes with is better than what I had previous so I'm pretty happy about this non purchase).

7.  Gold star ornaments for my tree from John's sister.  They never made it onto my tree this year (I thought about putting them on but I was so busy at Christmas time and so sick that it just didn't happen)... so something to look forward to next year!

8.  Santa apparently always brings all the kids in this family Froot Loops for Christmas.  Obviously there is a story behind this and here it is... Those kids were only allowed certain cereals during the week.... they were the boring ones with hardly any sugars in them.  On Sunday's they were allowed slightly more sugary cereals though.  Sadly, Froot Loops never made the cut.  Except of course on Christmas... on Christmas they could eat any cereal they wanted and I guess Froot Loops was what they always wanted and so Santa always delivered it for them on Christmas to eat.  I of course have an opened box of Froot Loops already in my cupboard and eat them whenever I please (I also ate them whenever I pleased growing up).... but Santa clearly didn't want to leave me out of all the Froot Loop fun.

9.  Everyone and their mom got an adult colouring book for Christmas.  This one came from my family $10 gift exchange game (but I know that my sister brought it).

10.  Black knitted mitts from John's parents.  Mine never last more than a winter or 2 so I'm always looking for new ones!

11.  A new toque from John's parents!  This one is SO warm... I'm looking forward to wearing it this winter season.

12.  John also got me some new snow pants.  My old ones don't fit me anymore and I have room to grow in these ones!

Everything is sitting on a throw blanket that I also got from John's parents.  It is so cozy and warm and I love it.... it really came in handy while I was sick and needed about a million blankets on my bed to keep me nice and toasty through the night.

I forgot to include the book I got from John's grandparents... that is definitely worth mentioning because I love this author (did I read probably about 8 of her books in one year because I had just discovered her and couldn't get enough?  Yes, yes I did.  Anyways, the book is "Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult.  I haven't started it yet but I'm sure it's going to be great!

Very thankful for everything I received for Christmas but am even more thankful for the sacrifice my Lord and Saviour gave for me by sending his only Son to Earth so that our sins could be forgiven... the reason I celebrate Christmas

I hope all my readers had a lovely Christmas!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Almond Meltaway Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 27

I'm a little behind on this post (it was supposed to happen on Saturday but then I was just too busy getting over a cold and celebrating 1 whole year with this guy

I found this recipe by The Novice Chef

Ok guys, I'm already conflicted on these cookies.  
Because they had (have?) oh so much potential!
I want to give them a really really high rating because I think I can fix them (if I would remake them).  But I'm going to remain faithful to rating the cookies exactly as they turned out and well these ones... are not great.  

We could argue that they may not be great because I'm sick... but I would think my sense of taste would be dulled because of my cold... not heightened.  

We could argue that I did something wrong whilst making these... but I tripled check the part I was unsure of so I'm pretty sure that's not it.

What's so awful about these cookies you ask?

The icing tastes like medicine.
And it just makes me want to cry.. haven't I suffered enough with the medicine already?  I certainly don't need it in my cookies!

I'm pretty sure I made them exactly as the recipe said to and this is how I would fix them for next time (and a pro tip for anyone who is reading this and thinking of making these)


almond meltaway cookies

But they look practically perfect!

Oh, I found the icing a little thick so I added a smidge extra milk.

As for the rating.... I just can't give something that tastes like medicine a great rating.  As much as it pains me to do this because I already came up with the super simple solution for these I'm going to have to go ahead and give these a 2/10

BUT last week I made some delightful Hot Cocoa Cookies that I don't think you'll be disappointed in!