Thanks to those of you who entered your favorite Christmas cookie in our Great Indoors Christmas cookie contest. The 4 finalists are listed below. All of these cookies look delicious! I’d love to bake any of them this season (and maybe I will). Your vote will determine who walks away with $100 from West Acres and a chance to have their recipe made on The Great Indoors.
You can vote more than once. Tell your friends!
Classic Christmas Cut-Outs
This is a recipe that was handed down from my Grandmother. I remember growing up making these and they were always the first cookies to disappear from the cookie trays that my mother made. And now when I make them the same holds true.
1 cup shortening (I prefer to use 1/2 butter flavor and 1/2 original Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons of heavy cream
Cream together shortening, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. Mix in the eggs unitl combined with sugar mixture. Gradually stir in flour-mix slightly. Scrape down sides of your mixing bowl. Add cream and continue to mix until cookie dough comes together-should only take a minute or so. Divide dough in 3. On a generously floured surface roll the first batch to desired thickness and cut with your favorite Christmas shapes. Continue with additional dough.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Cool and decorate as desired.
This dough also works well to make a filled cookie. Follow steps above except cut into 2-3 inch circles. Add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite filling to the center of the circles, fold over dough and seal edges.
Suggestion for filling for cookies:
Cranberry orange-great way to use up your left over cranberry sauce from the holidays. Take remaining cranberry sauce add some fresh orange zest and a little orange extract and use to fill cookies. Yum!
By Melissa Jaskowski
1 pkg refrigerated sugar cookie dough, thawed *
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 c finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 T maraschino cherry juice
one jar maraschino cherries, cut in half (I used 15)
Mix filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Put cookie dough and ginger in bowl and mix on medium high speed until ginger is incorporated; divide dough in half.
Place Saran wrap on counter and sprinkle lightly with flour; place one ball of dough in center and place another layer of saran wrap on this; using a rolling pin, roll out until 1/4″. This step prevents one from using tons of flour and makes the whole process a snap!
Using a round cutter, cut out shapes and place on stone or cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a small fork, put half a forkful in the top center of circle and fold two sides in to make a bell shape. Seal the edges and top gently with fingers. Tuck a half cherry in to represent a clapper.
Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes; let sit on pan for a few minutes and remove to cool on rack.
Decorate, outline, or leave plain.
*One could make a homemade dough, but this is a great recipe for busy people who want more than a sugar cookie. This is a fun recipe to do with kids!
By Brenda Gorseth
GG’s peanut buttery chocolate chip cookies:
4 cups flour
4 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
Mix 3 ingredients in bowl and set aside.
Then mix in a separate bowl:
2 cups Jif peanut butter
2 cups Crisco
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Mix well then add dry ingredients above. Then add in one 12oz bag of peanut butter chips (Reese’s) and 1 bag of semi sweet chips (Nestle). Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or lightly brown.
* I like to roll into balls and freeze so we can have hot fresh cookies at any time!
* At Christmas I add the chocolate chip colored morsels! So festive
* FYI…you can not stop at 1 or 2! They are that nummy
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
! cup Oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
Cream together sugars and butter, add the oil and eggsand beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well. Roll into balls and press down with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees. Frost with powdered sugar frosting.
Enjoy! These area recipe my mom made for years..she got it from Josephine Marshall, her husband Fred was a state legislator years ago and were family friends.
I used to think the people who shopped on Black Friday were nuts! Why would you get up long before sunrise, stand in line outside and fight the crowds?
Then one year, when I worked for WDAY-TV, I covered Black Friday. I have to admit, I got caught up in the excitement too. Not completely, but a little bit.
In the last few years, I’ve gone out to shop on Black Friday. I’ve never camped out, nor will I ever. I’m way to big a wimp for that. But I have risen long before I wanted to for the chance to save some money. Here are our tips for how to maximize the day!
I started The Great Indoors as a way to celebrate the finer things between four walls: cooking, decorating, entertaining, crafting and more. But let’s be honest most weeks this blog is about food. Maybe it’s because, while I don’t consider myself a great cook, I’m a better cook than I am a decorator, hostess or craft queen. But occasionally I like to put the recipes aside and delve into one of those other topics. Today it’s decorating, but not surprisingly it even involves food.
I found the idea for this centerpiece on Pinterest. I liked it because it wasn’t your traditional orange, red, and yellow turkey inspired centerpiece. It was white, green, and fresh-looking.
It involves using fresh vegetables and flowers to complement white candles.
And before you get on me for wasting food, I’ll tell you, after I was done putting the centerpiece together, I removed the veggies, washed them thoroughly and had them fore dinner. (And there was no taste of wax to be had).
Watch and learn how to make the centerpiece.
Okay, he’s not really old. In fact Scott Seiler is a couple of years younger than I am. But we go WAAAAAAAY back. I’m talking like bad 80′s hair and acid washed jeans back. Scott and I worked at WDAY-TV together in the late 80′s and early 90′s.
We mostly covered the weekend shift, which meant we were all about pancake feeds, parades and whatever else Saturday and Sunday might bring. He was a great reporter/photographer and I was sad to see him leave for greener pastures after 5 years.
He’s now working with RDO equipment. RDO is the biggest producer of potatoes in the nation, so who better to cook a great potato recipe with?
We had a lot of fun making these twice baked potatoes. I’m even going to make them for Thanksgiving!
Congratulations to Mary Murchie! She’s the winner of our Hotdish contest. Her baked macaroni and cheese is creamy and delicious!
I had a blast cooking with her! Check out our time together: