Monday, December 10, 2012

A Zesty Souvenir

So, there is this fantastic cafe in Kailua Kona on Alii Drive called Island Lava Java. Jen and I ate breakfast there every morning that we were in Kona, except for the two mornings that we ate papaya at our condo. My objective, pretty much every day in Hawai'i was to eat a papaya half, try a local specialty, and enjoy a tropical cocktail oceanside. I excelled at these goals. 
Waipi'o Stack Breakfast with 1/2 papaya and a 20 oz. Kona coffee - heaven...

Island Lava Java's fantastic menu
One of the most delicious things on the Lava Java menu (besides their 20-oz. cups of Kona Coffee) was the Waipi'o Stack Breakfast, which I've been attempting to re-create. It was a stack of goodness, starting with toasted homemade wheat bread, slathered with chipotle aioli, sliced tomatoes, spicy rocket (arugula), smoky bacon, over-easy eggs, and ripe avocado. Pure brilliance. I think I've finally got the chipotle aioli down... There's a chance that I may move on to their ginormous cinnamon roll recipe next (they're so popular, they let you reserve them ahead of time).  

Best Cinnamon Roll on the island... they sell out early. We paid for this one the day before, planning to pick it up on our way to Hilo the next morning. We picked it up and decided to stay for breakfast. Mmm... good choice.

Katrina's Chipotle Aioli for a Waipi'o Stack Breakfast at home... 
(makes enough to share with a friend)

1.5 c. good light mayonnaise 
4 whole chipotle chiles (canned in adobo sauce from the Mexican section of the grocery)
Juice from one medium lime
1-2 Tbs. honey or agave (to taste - I used one)
2 cloves crushed garlic (or two cubes of frozen crushed Dorot from TJ's)
1/4-1/2 tsp. Hawai'ian sea salt (I did slightly less than a 1/2 tsp) 

Whiz this all up in your food processor (or Magic Bullet like I did) and enjoy!! Add more chiles for more kick (or a little more of the adobo sauce from the can), or use full-fat mayo if you want (or regular sea salt, I just have some from Hawai'i). Heck, you could even make your own mayo, but I just don't have the time for that... 

This was pretty good tonight on top of my cooked potato with a dollop of Greek Yogurt and a tablespoon on this zesty goodness. I'm totally giving a little jar to Jen ASAP!! 

Right on Alii Drive... ocean-view with live music everyday - hard to beat!

*Sigh* Kona Coffee Perfection with a side of Aloha!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dirt Cake

So, the most fun part of this dirt cake was the root-beer flavored gummy worms from Oriental Trading. I've (amazingly) only made dirt cake once before in my life, and that was before I had kiddos.

This time I intended to make it for our Halloween dinner party, but didn't get to it, so made it the following evening.

Vanilla pudding, light Cool Whip, crushed chocolate Oreos and WhoNu? sandwich cookies (which are fantastic, by the way - I like them more than Oreos), all layered and served up with the worms!

Luckily, we did have some last-minute dinner guests to enjoy this with and they had two servings each. It was a hit and very easy to whip up.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rainbows, Birthdays, and Pumpkin Spice Kisses

This isn't the first (or even the second) time I've made an "epic" rainbow cake for someone's birthday, but I usually do save it for a significant milestone. Madeline's 5th, Sharon's 60th, and now Jamie's 40th. Jame's was the tallest cake yet since we did the full Roy G. Biv of rainbow colors, plus a pink layer on the bottom. Eight layers of goodness, especially since I used the vanilla cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen! It was delicious, sturdy, and worked well with all my colors. I used this recipe for the frosting (always delicious).

And, this weekend I made these Pumpkin Spice Kiss (and Kissless) Cookies that I spied on Pinterest from Sprinkle Some Sunshine right here. They are not too sweet, especially the rolled-in-cinnamon-sugar kissless ones), and tasty!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wicked Witch Treat Mix

So, instead of adding the cute witch hats to a batch of my Wicked Caramel Corn (which would be tasty), we went even easier (but very tasty) with a batch of air-popped popcorn (4 cups? 6 cups?), several cups (maybe 3-4 cups) Rice Chex cerals, 2 cups (or so) of pretzels rods, and about 1 cup of broken pecans mixed together then tossed with one 14-oz. bag of melted Wilton white candy melts, 1/8 cup of orange sprinkles and 1/8 cup of black & orange Halloween nonpareils. I really mostly eyeballed everything in my large rectangular roasting/sheet cake pan. That's how we do things around here. Thankfully, it worked out for us. 

We think the pretzel rods look like broomsticks, and the Chex a little like bristles. One child may have suggested that some wicked witches crashed their brooms - oh, the imaginations! Hmm... regardless, this is a tasty and cute treat mix with our witch hats tossed in bags for friends to enjoy!

A Touch of Magic!

Last year on Pinterest, there was this sweet holiday snack mix with Chex and M&M's and pretzels and some other items, including adorable Santa hats made from dipping Bugles in melted red candy melts, then white sprinkles on the bottom and a mini marshmallow on top. Totally adorable. It was on the Cookies & Cups blog, and I never ended up making it, but my lovely friend Heather gifted some to me. Maybe I'll make some next year — check it out — her photos are light-years more lovely than mine!

So earlier this week, when Erik requested Bugles at the store, I bought some and then remembered those adorable Santa hats, and thought of making witch hats by dipping Bugles in dark chocolate. When we got home, I found that we had green candy melts and butterscotch chips, so we melted both in the microwave, I filled small Ziploc bags with a little of each and piped circles onto parchment paper for the hat bottoms. Then we dipped the Bugles in the melted candy and popped them onto the (slightly hardened) circles.

The kids loved helping with these, and I think that they will be adorable mixed into a new concoction of my Wicked Caramel Corn with Chex and pretzels and nuts (and maybe some Halloween-colored M&M's). Cute and sweet, just like these two!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crepes? Oui, Merci!!

You really can't beat a piled-high platter of crepes for brunch. Add a buffet of topping/filling choices like lemon or lime slices to squeeze, powdered sugar to sprinkle, lingonberries, whipped cream to top, butter, syrups, Nutella, bananas, berries, peaches, sauteed apples, yogurt, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or savories like cheeses, sliced ham, and chopped fresh herbs... use your imagination! Add a plate o' bacon, or a platter of sausage, and some tasty beverages and you are set.

So, the best advice for crepes? Mix them up in a blender! Pour directly from your blender into your pan. Use whatever sized pan you want, but a lighter pan is easier to manage when you're tilting and swirling the pan to coat the bottom with your batter. Especially if you are working two pans at once (and feeding a crowd). Brush the bottom of your pan with a tiny bit of melted butter as needed to prevent sticking too.

I've made this recipe for years, and it is a favorite of my best bud, Jamie, whose birthday it is today! Happy Day Jame!!

Jamie's Favorite Crepes

2 c. milk
3 large eggs (or 4 smaller ones)
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. melted butter
1.5 c. flour

Add the ingredients to your blender, wet first, then dry, and blend until smooth (scrape down if needed). You can chill mixture in fridge briefly, or even overnight if making it ahead of time, or just get cooking. Blend the batter briefly right before you start pouring. 

I usually use about 1/4-cup of batter per crepe so the 9-inch pans I use, but adjust as you go to get thin, but sturdy crepes. Cook over medium heat, but adjust temperature as you go if they're browning too fast. 

This makes about a dozen crepes, and I often double the recipe. They freeze wonderfully, just stack them on a plate with a piece of waxed paper between each crepe. Enjoy!! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Perfect Autumn Dinner

Our sunny skies abruptly changed to drizzly, sprinkly, gray and chilly, misty then downright rainy in the blink of an eye on Friday. Thursday people were in shorts, and Friday? Break out the Gortex folks, the rainy season is upon us!

But, lucky for me, I love the Pacific Northwest, and adore Autumn a fraction more than the other seasons, so I am ready. And, what better way to kick off the season than to cook up a staggeringly delicious pot of green chile bisque? Well, if you have our friend Vincent's recipe, get yourself some chiles, pronto because you need to get roasting!

Vincent's Green Chile Bisque
(adapted slightly by me, because I always tweak things)

1 lb Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot, depending on taste)
2 cloves minced/chopped garlic
1 medium, chopped yellow or sweet onion
2 medium chopped tomatoes (heirloom taste the best)
1/2 cup chopped NM green chile (medium to hot, roasted and peeled)
32 oz. chicken broth (divided)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half, or whole milk with cornstarch, or *not Vince-approved* pureed Silken tofu) 
Salt & Pepper to taste 

Brown and drain 1 lb Italian sausage (sweet, mild or hot, depending on taste), and add 2 cloves minced/chopped garlic near the end; cook about 2 more mins. At this point, I dumped the cooked sausage into a bowl and cooked the rest in the pan separately, knowing that I was going to use my immersion blender to blend all the cooked onions, tomatoes and peppers (all of which Erik would turn his nose up at) into a pretty green-yellow soup of unidentifiable as veggies) 
Add 1 medium, chopped yellow onion to pan (I used a Walla Walla Sweet). Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are transparent, then add 
2 medium chopped tomatoes (heirloom taste the best) 
and 1/2 cup chopped NM green chile (medium to hot, roasted and peeled). To be honest, I couldn't wait to drive over to Whole Foods in Bellevue to get NM Hatch Chiles, so I grabbed three banana peppers and two gorgeous pablanos from the fruit market. I simply roasted until the broiler, then peeled and de-seeded when cool enough to touch. Add 16 oz. chicken broth to pot (slowly) and blend with immersion blender. 

While this is cooking, melt 1/4 cup butter and whisk in 1/4 flour to make a roux. 
Cook 1-2 minutes, then slowly add an additional 16 oz chicken broth while whisking. 
Add roux and broth mixture to meat mixture. Cook to thicken, then add 1 cup heavy cream. So, I also couldn't do the heavy cream. I planned on subbing 1 cup of pureed silken tofu (which doesn't curdle when hot, and would cut fat and boost protein) but couldn't find it, so went with half-and-half instead. I think whole milk and a bit of cornstarch would work well too...  

Simmer 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with warm tortillas and good beer and/or wine. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Pink!

The kids adore pancakes, and I love them to eat as many veggies as possible, so... this past week I made Beet Pancakes and Sweet Potato Pancakes for breakfasts. They loved 'em all... the heart shapes didn't hurt either (they're free-hand, using a muffin scoop). 

I love the bright pink of the beet ones, they were delicious (I didn't even use syrup for mine, but the kids swear by the raspberry syrup with these babies). The recipe is from Weelicious, right here

The Sweet Potato Pancakes is a family-favorite recipe, from a spot in Atlanta... Highland Bakery. I'll post it when I get a chance.

I look forward to trying Carrot Cake Pancakes and Zucchini Bread Pancakes, plus, latkes over the holidays (or before) because the kids love them. And... Spinach Muffins from Weelicious too. I'm not a big fan of hiding veggies in other things, because I think kids should learn to love and appreciate whole foods that fuel their bodies, but, hey... if I can healthy-up their favorite breakfast and keep them guessing on how I get them to be such cool colors and so darn delicious?? That works for me. Madeline even said, "Wow! Mama is magical!!"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mmm... Gingerbread

I don't know what it is with me and gingerbread, but I love it. And, I've been craving gingerbread cookies lately. So, what to do? Incorporate those fantastic flavors into a healthy (and sometimes old-hat) breakfast! 

I give you, Gingerbread Oatmeal! I will tweak to perfect, but this first go was pretty tasty. A little molasses-heavy, but it's full of iron, so that's OK. 

Gingerbread Oatmeal

1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Cook according to directions - 3-5 mins. in the microwave, then stir in: 

1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
and a dash of cloves, sea salt, and fresh-grated nutmeg

I cooked for 30 more seconds, and splashed on some milk to eat. Delish!! I might add some hemp seeds or toasted pecans at the end next time, and adjust the molasses (1.5 tsp maybe?) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

South Beach Shepherd's Pie

I've always loved Sherpherd's Pie, and this South Beach version does not disappoint. It's from the Supercharged South Beach book... basically, you use a pureed cauliflower topping (it's good, really), and edamame in the filling, rather than carby (that's a word, right?) starchy, peas.

So, here it is, slightly adapted since it was made in my kitchen. This makes 4 very hefty dinner servings, which SBSC lists as having 18g of carbs per serving, 16 g fat, 37 g protein, 4 g fiber, and 367 calories.

South Beach Shepherd's Pie

1 (16-oz.) pkg. frozen cauliflower
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
2 c. defrosted frozen (shelled) edamame
1/2 c. reduced-sodium beef broth
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. light sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. fresh Parmesan (or 2% milk sharp cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F, and spray a 2-qt. casserole with cooking spray. Defrost the cauliflower in the microwave until not frozen, but not hot (keeps a better texture when pureed if it's not overcooked).  

Heat oil in skillet and sautee onion and garlic about 5 mins., add beef and brown for about 10 minutes, then add edamame and cook about 2 more minutes. Add broth and Worcestershire, season with S & P and add to casserole dish. 

Whiz the cauli in your food processor until mostly creamy-looking, and add sour cream, egg yolk and a healthy pinch of salt. Top the meat filling with this "potato" topping, then sprinkle cheese over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Gingerbread & a new kind of Veggie Pizza

Our house smells like gingerbread right now. I know, it's May, but we've been reading this book, so have gingerbread and Christmas on the brain. So, I tried Joy the Baker's recipe from her new cookbook, and it is fantastic! Unfortunately, I think that using more than half whole-wheat pastry flour, and replacing all the sugar with Xyla may have messed with the chemistry of the cake since it took more than 10 extra minutes to bake, and burned around the top and edges. The inside tasted good though, and I carved it nicely and slathered it in the vanilla-bean flecked low-fat cream cheese frosting that I just didn't mess with too much. I just ate a small slice and saved up carbs for dinner time!

I've also been experimenting with low-carb, high-fiber/veggie pizza! And, so far, I've loved it. Instead of crust, I use a veggie, so far I've tried Acorn Squash (delicious!), and eggplant (less sweet, but very tasty). This is topped with a low-sugar/carb Arabiatta sauce from Trader Joe's, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella and a little fresh parmesan. So yummy, easy, and way healthier than regular pizza!

 It looks like a lot of cheese, but it really isn't, and these zucchini rounds are pretty small. Turkey pepperoni is the best - all the flavor, and only 70% of the fat and calories!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Cereal Storm

Our kids are not big breakfast eaters. Their dad isn't either, so they come by it honestly, but it is still a real struggle to get food in their bellies before school. I've even resorted to Carnation Instant Breakfast to mix with milk to cover Madeline many days of the week. They'll do a yogurt or banana and milk, and occasional smoothie too, or hard-boiled egg, And mini pancakes from the freezer work, when I have them on hand, but cereal is hit-or-miss for Erik, and Madeline just won't eat it. 

This morning, we had just a dabble of some Lucky Charms left from St. Patrick's Day, and some Fruity Pebbles (sugar-cereal treat that E likes sometimes), and so I mixed the Trader Joe's High Fiber O's, mini shredded wheat, the charms and the pebbles (less of the sugary ones) in a bowl and served it up as a "cereal storm!" 

He loved it and ate every bit! And, Madeline asked him if she could try a bite too... we could be on to something here... healthy cereal seasoned with sweet kid-cereal.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Morning Smoothie

I'm nearly through the first week of Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, and am feeling great and doing well, but boy, am I tired of breakfasts! And, I love eggs. But I'm not a "I'll have the usual" gal, so I need a little variety. And, I'm really ready for a nice bowl of Scottish Oatmeal! 

But, anyway... on this sunny Saturday morning, I decided to experiment with the smoothie recipes in the South Beach Super Charged book, and came up with this yummy, vanilla/almond/maple smoothie to go with my coffee today. I loved it, the kids gave it a "thumbs down" and Joel was indifferent.  

To sweeten it, I used a new sugar-free maple syrup that I found at QFC this week. It's Nature's Hollow brand, sweetened with Xylitol, and is fantastic!

So, here's the recipe:

Maple Almond Smoothie
2 servings

1 container non-fat Oikos Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup vanilla-flavored, unsweetened almond milk (Blue Diamond)
3 Tbs. Nature's Hollow sugar-free maple syrup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
about 1 cup ice

Blend all in blender and serve! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vegetable Moussaka

This makes four large, dinner-sized servings, and is delicious! It's adapted from The South Beach Diet Super Charged. I subbed kidney beans for canned lentils (didn't have lentils), added one more clove of garlic, and left out the chopped, fresh parsley (1/4 cup). I also subbed milk for the fat-free half-and-half (because I don't buy that - it's wrong!) and left out the nutmeg too. Serve this with a quick salad of diced fennel bulb, radish, cuke and a lemon/olive oil/S&P "dressing," and you're set!!

Veggie Moussaka (adapted from The South Beach Diet Super Charged)

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (about 1.25 lbs)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained (but not rinsed) 
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh-grated parmesan
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (I subbed cinnamon, because it's what I had)

Heat oven to 425-degrees F. 

Spray eggplant slices with cooking spray and bake on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, until softened, about 20-25 minutes, then reduce oven temp to 350-degrees F. 

While eggplant is baking, soften onion and garlic in EVOO in a med-hot pan. When translucent, add the beans, tomatoes and liquid, and seasonings. Simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, and add milk, 2 Tbs. cheese and the nutmeg (or cinnamon). Reserve remaining 2 Tbs. cheese for the top of moussaka. 

Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray and layer eggplant, tomato/bean mixture, alternately, twice, and top with a final layer of eggplant. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture on top, then sprinkle the last 2 Tbs. cheese over the top. 

Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving warm. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cilantro. It's my very favorite herb ever. Deliciousness personified. 

And, I made some baked corn-tortilla strips to go with...

Pioneer Woman's recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup

It's delicious, just the right amount of spicy, and I made a triple batch today! Some for my friend Gina, who is recovering from surgery, some for Trilogy (who just had a baby boy), and some for our own family, because if you're house smells this heavenly, there is no way that you can't keep some for yourself!
You can find the recipe right here. And, it is easy, easy, easy to whip up. The hardest part is the shopping! Enjoy!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!!

Next week I'm going to help with inventory for our Service Unit's cookies. Our Girl Scout Service Unit ordered 27,000 boxes, and I really want to see what that many cookies looks like! We deliver pre-ordered cookies next week, and start grocery-store sales on March 2nd (through 3/18).

And, if you happen to be on a gluten-free diet, I tested recipes last year, and finally found a winner right here. Seriously, I made these with my Christmas cookies and was hounded for the recipe. It's the only one I found that used real ingredients (butter, not shortening and sugar instead of xylitol, etc.) and the texture and flavor are fantastic! I adapted the printable recipe from Becks' Delish blog, but other than that, didn't change much. You can get peppermint oil from your local cake-decorating or candy-supply shop.

Amazing Gluten Free Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies from Delish

makes 3 dozen cookies
Active time: 30 minutes

Please keep the following two rules in mind:

2. Mint flavoring and peppermint oil are NOT the same thing. You MUST use peppermint oil (available at your local cake- or candy-supply shop), because mint extract/flavoring contains alcohol and water which will seize up (totally ruin) chocolate.

2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
4 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs corn starch
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup + 1/4 sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint oil (type used in candy making)
1 egg

1 lb good-quality semi-sweet chocolate (or milk chocolate if you prefer it)
1 tsp peppermint oil

First, mix together your dry ingredients - the brown and sweet rice flours, cocoa powder, corn starch, and baking powder.  Then, beat butter on high (with a mixer) until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar, and beat on high until smooth, another 2 minutes (this aerates the dough and keeps it from getting too heavy). Add egg, vanilla extract, and mint extract, and continue to beat until egg is incorporated, and batter is light and smooth, 2-4 minutes. Then, with mixer on low, add in flour mixture until just combined. You can even stop the mixer once large crumbs form, and mix the last bit by hand with a spatula. You don't want to over mix, or the dough will become too heavy. Dough should be soft and pliable. Remove dough from mixer bowl and place on a piece of wax paper, form into a log about 1" thick, and roll it up in the wax paper. Set in freezer for 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.

When you’re ready to bake…  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pull your dough out of the freezer, and cut it into thin slices - no more than 1/4 on an inch thick. Line a cookie pan with parchment paper. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Cookies should be crunchy, but not burned.
Get out your fancy chocolate.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, until it's smooth, stirring between sessions. Add 1 tsp. peppermint oil (NOT mint extract. Mint extract will make chocolate seize and get hard).  Now place a cookie in the chocolate, and gently turn the cookie over so it is coated with chocolate.  Pick the cookie back up with a fork, and gently tap the fork against the side of the bowl, so any excess chocolate dribbles back into the bowl. Place cookies onto parchment paper, and let dry (you can refrigerate them or freeze them to help the chocolate set faster).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day!

Heart-shaped orange-glazed cinnamon rolls and strawberry milk for a quick Valentine's breakfast before school... Happy Love Day!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

'Tis True... Simple and Delicious!

I found this recipe on The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle, and decided to give them a try on the last day of Snow Week (a whole week of Snow Days off of school)... I had all the ingredients, and these looked fun and easy. Sugarbelle advertised these as the "easiest cookies you'll ever make," and she was spot on! What I hadn't imagined was how fantastic they'd be. They're crisp on the outside, light and chocolatey, tender on the inside... and the sprinkles? Fun! I'm wondering how they'd be with a white or vanilla cake mix and cinnamon, then rolled in cinnamon sugar — Snickerdoodle-style... tasty, I imagine. I look forward to experimenting!

If you've not read her blog before, Sugarbelle's blog is amazing, and her cookies are pure art (and her recipes are the best I've tried). And, clearly, she's brilliant, since she makes these easy cake-mix cookies for school parties instead of taking her works of art to class!

So, here's the recipe... and, I only ended up with 28 cookies (she got 30).

Easy Cake Mix Cookies 
(adapted a tiny bit from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle)

1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix (she used Duncan Hines, the exact brand I had)
2 eggs
2 Tbs. flour
1 stick butter (softened)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (this gave them a slight chocolate-cherry hint - quite good - next time I'd go swap the vanilla and almond amounts)

Mix together in a bowl (I mixed them by hand - literally, with my hand), and use your handy cookie scoop (or make about 1-inch balls) and roll in fun sprinkles. Bake at 350-degrees F for about 11 minutes (I baked them right on my cookie sheets - ungreased - without parchment, and let cool on cookie sheets before removing to cooling rack. Enjoy! 


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