Tag Archives: Holiday

Bird’s Nests

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If someone had me write a list of my favorite desserts, Bird’s Nests would probably be in the top ten.   I am not exactly sure what to call them, they’re not cookies…but I don’t know if candy really fits either.  They are chocolate bundles of sweet and salty goodness.  In my family they have somehow become a Christmas only dessert, like gingerbread cookies.  However, this year I decided to change that.  Since Monday was Valentines Day, as well as my Birthday, I decided to treat myself with this delicious treat.

Chow Mein Noodles for Bird's NestsThe ingredients in this recipe are pretty straightforward, milk chocolate chips, semi sweet chips, peanuts…except for one, Chow Mein Noodles.  For some reason when I tell people about this recipe that one ingredient always throws them.  They add another layer of saltiness to the peanuts and they give the dessert another bird’s nest like quality, they act as the twigs.

Despite how easy this recipe is to make, the directions I have to make them are very vague.  “small bag of chow mein noodles”, about 3/4- 1 cup peanuts, “barely coat.”  I usually just keep adding the peanuts and noodles until it looks right, but that is a little difficult to explain through a blog post, so I’ll do my best! Despite this I think it would be very hard to mess this recipe up.  If you don’t add enough peanuts and noddles each nest will just be more chocolately, and vice versa.  Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

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Bird’s Nests
1/2 – 3/4 package (6-9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 package (12 ounces) Milk Chocolate Chips
About 3/4 – 1 cup Peanuts
About 1/2 – 3/4 can Chow Mein Noodles
1 bag M&Ms, whichever flavor is your favorite

Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper.  In a pot on the stove melt chocolate chips over medium heat until melted.  Add in peanuts and chow mein noodles, add more if needed, they should be barely coated in chocolate.   Scoop small tablespoons of the mixture on the wax paper lined cookie sheets, quickly press in 2-4 (depending on preference and size of nests)  M&Ms to be the “eggs.”  Let sit for 1-2 hours, peel off wax paper and store in airtight container.  Enjoy!

And lastly, an update on the Surfer Squares my friend and her husband loved them!  He said they tasted just like his mother’s, though he wasn’t able to tell me how they got their name.

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Filed under Baking: Other

Russian Tea Cakes

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This afternoon I made the first Christmas cookies of the year, the honor went to Russian Tea Cakes.  It’s funny, I am not a fan of walnuts, but I love these cookies.  I know they have 3/4 a cup of walnuts in them, but since they are chopped so tiny it’s easy for me to forget they are in there.  I can just relish the lightness of the cookie and the delicious flavor the nuts provide.

I started baking the cookies around 3:30pm, and I forgot how fast the sun goes down this time of year.  So by the time I was ready to take pictures of the finished product the sun was already almost all the way behind the trees.  It was definitely too dark to shoot in my dining room where I had planned to do the pictures.  However, there still was  a bit of light coming through the big window in the living room.  So I set up a tray right in front of the window and moved everything I wanted to take pictures of to there.  It made it a little more difficult, and a lot more moving things back and forth.  But I got the shots!

The ingredients for these cookies are:
1 Cup of Softened Butter (or margarine but I prefer greatly prefer butter)
1/2 Cup of Sifted Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/4 Cups of Sifted Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup of finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400ºF

I always chop the walnuts first, it’s my favorite part of making this recipe (besides eating the finished product, I don’t know why)
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Chop until the nuts are very very finely chopped.
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Mix together the softened butter, sifted sugar, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
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I didn’t get a picture of this part (new to food blogging and all) but then sift the flour and salt and blend it in, then mix in the nuts. The dough will be very dry, I had to use my hands to get the last of the flour and the nuts combined.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on un-greased cookie sheets (the cookies will not spread.)
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Bake for 8-12 minutes (*Note* I used convection mode on my oven and the cookies only took 6 minutes) or until set and the bottoms are ever so slightly golden, the whole cookie shouldn’t be brown. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
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While still warm roll in confectionery sugar. The sugar will melt into the cookie and make it sticky. Not to worry though, this will act like glue so when you roll the cookie in the sugar again when it’s cool it will stick and make the cookies look like little snow balls.
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And here’s what they look like when they are cool and have been rolled a second layer of confectionery sugar!
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Enjoy!

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Filed under Baking: Cookies

Out with the Old (Oven); In with the New (Oven)

I made this blog at the end of October, and fully meant to start posting in it right away.  But I am sure everyone knows what I mean when I say “Where does time go!?”  I seriously can’t even believe it’s December already again, the holiday season seems to have sprung upon me with me realizing it (despite the Christmas commercials that have been on for more than a whole month already!)

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(The Old Oven)

Anyway, what I meant to say was, I made this blog and then I was going to start up right away.  But then before I knew it it was November, which meant it was time for another NaNoWriMo as you can probably imagine while that was going on I didn’t really have time to write much else.  So, I won NaNoWriMo, I made it to 50,000 words two years in a row (whoohoo!) and I think to myself, now it’s time to start up my food blog!  But during that time…the oven broke.  My family and I have been ovenless for probably two and a half weeks now.  It was sort of a difficult time, especially over Thanksgiving when my Mom had to go over to Church and use the oven there to make the pies.  And I have wanted to start Christmas cookie baking.

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(The New Oven)

Finally!  Today, the new oven got put in, it’s a convection oven which might take a little getting used to.  I am very excited to try it out and make my first batch of cookies in it tomorrow, and then (hopefully) get this blog up and running!

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Filed under Cooking/Baking: Non-Recipe