Tag Archives: cream cheese

Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies

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DAY 7: A nice alternative to regular Sugar Cookies, this dough can be rolled flat and cut into shapes with cookie cutters, or rolled into logs and cut into circles (super fast and easy!). For decorated “log-rolled cookies”: either roll the entire log in sprinkles before slicing, or slice and then top with sprinkles (press sprinkles into dough slightly).

I made these during the summer, so they don’t look very Christmassy, but with some fun Christmas sprinkles (I love the large variety packs that they sell at Target and other stores with the shaped sprinkles-trees, gingerbread men, holly, snowflakes!), they are an easy way to add fun sugar cookies to your Christmas Cookie Plate.

I also like to use this recipe when I am using cookie cutters with an imprint on the top (one that shows on the face of the cookie). Frosting covers up all of those great details. For those cookies, I mix sprinkles directly into the dough. Chill and roll out like regular sugar cookie dough and cut out with your cookie cutters. That way you get the imprint on the face and some festive sprinkles throughout the cookie.

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RECIPE:

Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies

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1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
About ¼ cup “sprinkles” candies

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer. Beat in sugar, egg and vanilla. Add half of the flour and the baking powder; mix well. Beat or stir in remaining flour and sprinkles (**For round cookies, don’t mix in sprinkles; see note below).

Chill dough for 1-3 hours. Roll to ¼” thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. For a soft cookie, be sure not to overcook! Cool on a wire rack.

**For round cookies: Do not mix sprinkles into dough. Divide dough in half and roll into logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill dough. For sprinkles on outside edges: roll entire log in sprinkles, then cut into slices and bake. For sprinkles on top of cookies: Cut logs into slices; top with sprinkles. Press sprinkles into cookies slightly; bake as directed above.

Makes about 4 dozen sliced round cookies.

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
DAY 4: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
DAY 5: Almond Macaroon Brownies
DAY 6: Trail Mix Cookies

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Macaroon Brownies

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DAY 5: An easy way to dress up a boxed brownie mix!

Brownies topped with a coconut and almond cheesecake layer: thick, rich and delicious. As a real nut-lover, this recipe is one of my favorites.

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RECIPE:

Almond Macaroon Brownies

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1 brownie mix for 9×13” pan PLUS ingredients for preparing (usually water, oil and eggs)
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
16 oz (2 pkg) cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
2 Tbs. flour
1 pkg (14 oz) flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare brownie mix according to box directions. Add half of almonds to brownie batter. Spread in two greased 8×8” pans (or one greased 9×13” pan: see NOTE below).

With a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar. Beat in 2 eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and flour. Stir in coconut and remaining almonds. Carefully spread over brownie layer. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes (50-60 minutes for 9×13” pan) until center is completely cooked (cover with foil if top layer starts to get too brown). Cool completely before cutting.

NOTE: I usually bake this in 2 square baking pans because the center will set faster. You can use a 9×13” pan instead, but be sure the center is completely cooked before removing from oven.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
DAY 4: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

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Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

This is one of those recipes for which I very rarely measure ingredients. The recipe below includes specific amounts, but feel free to just use these as guidelines. I usually use chicken that I have prepared another day (for shredding chicken in a crockpot, see this other recipe for enchiladas) and frozen in Ziploc bags.

The filling is a simple mix of shredded chicken, cheese, taco seasoning, green onions or chives (one of the few things still growing in my garden) and some of the sauce that also gets spread on top.

The sauce for these enchiladas is made from a mixture of prepared Green Enchilada Sauce (in the big cans), cream cheese and canned diced green chilies. I could eat it with a spoon!

Then topped with additional cheese (can there ever be enough?) and green onions.

This is also a great freezer meal once it is prepared. To prepare this for a freezer meal, I usually double or triple the recipe (one for tonight, one/two for meals later), and roll the chicken filling in the tortillas. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper and place the filled enchiladas on the pan, being careful not to let them touch. Freeze for several hours, until solid, then put the frozen enchiladas into a Ziploc bag. The sauce can be frozen separately in several smaller bags. Then you can pull out as many pre-made enchiladas as you need for dinner: you are not committed to a whole 9×13” pan. They can be cooked frozen (thaw sauce); just increase initial cooking time to about 1 hour.

RECIPE:

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

5 cups cooked and shredded chicken (about 4-6 breasts)
2 Tbs taco seasoning mix
¼ cup chopped green onions or fresh chives
2 ½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack and/or mozzarella), divided
28 oz can green enchilada sauce
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4  oz can chopped green chilies
Flour or corn tortillas (about 8 large)
2-3 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine cooked chicken, taco seasoning, 1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Using a mixer/blender/immersion blender, mix green enchilada sauce and cream cheese until no lumps remain. Stir in canned chilies. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the creamy sauce to the chicken; mix well.

Pour a small amount of sauce into the bottom of a 9×13” baking pan. Roll chicken filling in tortillas. Place enchiladas in pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and chopped green onions. Cover and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.

If desired, serve with Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

 

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Fruit Pizza

080610 078-1 Summer is birthday season at our house. With one child’s birthday at the beginning of summer and then three more within four weeks of each other later in the  summer , we have a lot of cake and sugar floating around our house. So I am grateful for Big J for going with a lighter dessert for his birthday yesterday. He usually goes for the more non-traditional birthday desserts. And with all of the fresh fruit available, I was really happy to make a Fruit Pizza.

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Eighteen Years! Eighteen years, in a land far, far away, my life changed forever. I can’t decide whether those 18 years have flown by, or that I’ve been a mom forever. Either way, it has been a wonderful journey. I love you J! It’s these coming years, as my babies slowly start leaving the nest that are making me nervous.

080610 051-1 This Fruit Pizza has a shortbread crust, a thin layer of slightly sweetened cream cheese, luscious summer fruit, and a light glaze on top. The fruit I used, from the inside out: blueberries, mango, raspberries, kiwi and strawberries.

The glaze is made from any light-colored fruit juice (I used a peach-mango, which turned out great!), some sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice (to keep cut fruit from browning, especially if you are using bananas or peaches).

Pre-Glazed Fruit Pizza:

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RECIPE:

Fruit Pizza

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Crust:

½ cup powdered sugar
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwi, mangos, peaches, grapes, pineapple, raspberries, etc.)

Glaze:
½ cup sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch or Clear Jel
2 tsp lemon juice
1 ½ cups clear fruit juice (apple, white grape, peach-mango,lemonade, etc)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Crust: Using a pastry blender, mix ½ cup powdered sugar, flour, salt, butter and ½ tsp vanilla. Press onto a pizza pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling: Combine cream cheese, 2 Tbs powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Spread over cooled crust. Arrange fruit on cream cheese layer.

Glaze: Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and fruit juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickened. Cool and spoon over fruit (all of the glaze may not be used). Chill. Slice into wedges to serve.

 

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