Star Sprinkle Cookies

They’re easy, they’re pretty and they taste fantastic–these star cookies are pretty much perfection.  Everybody in our household loves them, especially my mom, since this recipe is similar to cookies she used to get at a local bakery as a child.   The star shape and sprinkles make the cookies festive and beautiful without requiring any decorating skills (which is good, since I don’t have any).  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • multicolored sprinkles

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In another bowl, cream the sugar and butter.  Add the egg and two of the egg yolks one at a time, then the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture then cover and chill the dough for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut it into stars.  Place the cookies on baking sheets.

Make a glaze by whisking the remaining egg yolk with the cream.  Brush the glaze over the tops of the cookies and then cover with sprinkles.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes.

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

As Christmas fast approaches, I’ve been making at least a batch of cookies per day.  My family is hosting Christmas this year, and we plan to have an enormous plate of assorted cookies for the kids’ dessert.  Thus,  I have an excuse to bake to my heart’s content!

To be honest, I’m not much of a Hershey’s fan. It’s just not good quality chocolate, and has a weird, un-chocolatey flavor.  However, even I have to admit that a kiss looks cute on top of a peanut butter blossom.

These cookies are quick and effortlessly cute, the perfect addition to a platter of Christmas cookies.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Hershey’s kisses

In a small bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars, then add egg, milk and vanilla.  Gradually add flour mix.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls.  Bake 6 to 8 minutes.   Unwrap the Hershey’s kisses so that they will be ready.  Remove the cookies from the oven, quickly press in the kisses, then return them to the oven for two minutes.

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Reindeer Cookies

December has always been and always will be my favorite month, and not just because the fifteenth is my birthday–I love the whole feel of the holiday season, the cheerfulness, the decorations (well, some of them) even the music,  and of course the food! After all, what could be better than Christmas cookies?  They’re yummy and cute and the perfect size for a snack.  I have a soft spot for these reindeer cookies since they’re peanut butter (my favorite) and take no skill to decorate!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • red m&ms for the noses
  • chocolate chips for the eyes
  • pretzels, broken in half for the antlers

Mix the butter, peanut butter and sugar until fluffy.  Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture and stir thoroughly.  Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and press down slightly.  Bake them 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Now for the tricky bit–you have to press in the eyes, nose and antlers as quickly as possible, before the cookies can cool.  Have them prepared before hand and enlist the help of anybody in the vicinity, then voila! Reindeer cookies!

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Fried Rice

Fried rice has always been a favorite weekday lunch or dinner in our family, because it tastes good, takes little time and you can throw whatever you want in to it.  On Friday my brothers were at a tennis tournament, and I was left home alone.  I decided to make fried rice with peas, carrots, corn, onions and eggs.  My brothers didn’t get home until nine-thirty, and it was quite a struggle not to eat the rice when it smelled so tantalizing! It was well worth the wait however, and we mixed in some leftover Indian beef fry to make quite a satisfying meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 2 eggs
  • Soy sauce

Directions

Rinse the rice (I like to use brown rice; it has more character).Fill a pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil on the stove. Add rice and cook for 45-50 minutes on low heat, stirring at frequent intervals.

While the rice is cooking, chop the onion. Pour around half a tablespoon of oil into a pan and place over low heat. Stir in onions and sautee them until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Slice the carrot into very small pieces and sautee. Remove and then sautee the peas and corn.  Set the vegetables aside and add a bit more oil to the pan. Scramble two to three eggs. Set aside.

If the water in the rice has cooked off, remove from heat and allow to dry for 5 minutes.  Add to the pan and sautee, stirring frequently, then add the soy sauce (taste rice until you have added the right amount–some people like lots and others like hardly any at all). Mix well, then stir in veggies and eggs. Enjoy!

Sushi

 
 My brother loves sushi. I mean really loves it–he mentions it at least five times a day, asks for it all the time and complains whenever we eat anything that isn’t sushi.  Because of this, my family started calling him ‘Sushi’ (his name is Sasha, so it works). Today was Sushi’s birthday and we made him some sushi, of course. 

We are no sushi experts–this is only the third time my family has attempted the dish, and it’s slightly tricky.  Our first round of rolls collapsed (Sasha then spooned their remains into his mouth), but soon we figured out that it is better to err on the side of too much rice, that the whole sheet of seaweed must be used and that too much filling is a bad move.  

We chose to make two different fillings: beef with mushroom and seared tuna with avocado.  We purchased seaweed paper at our local Asian market as well as some sushi-rolling mats to aid the process.

  
Once you have prepared the filling of your choice, place it on a work surface as well as cooked rice, seaweed paper and a bowl of water. Wet your hands and place a generous amount of rice on a sheet of seaweed, patting it down to spread it evenly. 


Next, flip it over and place filling in a line in the middle of the sheet.

 
Carefully roll one side over so that the filling is covered and hold for a moment before completely rolling up the sushi.  Use a sharp knife to gently cut it into smaller rolls. Enjoy!