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Caramel Tassies

Today is the final day of #ChristmasCookies Week and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have! My last recipe is another new one for me, tassies.  I've made cookie cups before but these Caramel Tassies from Taste of Home were my first try at a cream cheese based dough. It's super simple to put together, cream cheese, butter and flour.  Be sure that everything is softened and that the cream cheese and butter are really fluffy before you add the flour. After it's chilled you roll it into balls and then press them up the sides of the tins.  I like to use a tart tamper for this. Dock the dough using a fork or a skewer.  This helps the bottoms of the tassie stay flat. But don't worry, if some rise up after being baked just use the tamper to push them back down while they're still hot. The caramel filling is 2 ingredients. I hate unwrapping caramels so I bought the bits instead. Like everything else, the package has been downsized. I started with 11 oz of bits and 1/4c e
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Cherry Vanilla Pinwheels

Pinwheel cookies have been on my to-try list forever.  They look absolutely gorgeous on cookie trays with that characteristic swirl. I found these Cherry Pinwheels on the Taste of Home website and changed them up a bit due to nut allergies in my family.  I kept the red swirl, the cherry flavored one, as is. I highly recommend paste colors and not regular food coloring if you want the colors really saturated.  For the other dough I omitted the almonds and instead just used vanilla.  There's a lot of chilling time required for these so be sure to plan accordingly. The process of making the roll is a bit fidgety but it was a lot easier using a pastry mat with clear measurement markings. Once the completed roll had chilled I covered them with silver sanding sugar and chilled it again. I used a pastry cutter to slice the cookies, and again, the markings on the mat were really helpful in keeping them uniform.  Be very careful not to overbake them. You can make the dough rolls ahead and f

Gingerbread Sandwich Trees

Today starts Christmas Cookies Week and I'm really excited to be bringing you three new to the blog recipes! It's a bit of a challenge to get into the spirit when it's 70 degrees and sunny in New England but some festive music and some gingerbread flavored coffee and I was ready to go! We can't get enough gingerbread cookies around here.  I try at least one new one a season and this year it's Steve F's Gingerbread Sandwich Trees from Taste of Home.  I made absolutely no changes to the base cookie recipe and I used my homemade pumpkin pie spice mixture.   After the dough chilled I broke out my pastry mat. It makes rolling things out so much easier and contains the mess a whole lot better.   I used a cookie cutter that was approximately 3 1/4" by 3 3/4" and I got 48 cookies.  The recipe states to put M&Ms on only half the cookies but I put them on all of them. I still struggle with baking and my convection oven.  The first tray of cookies I pulled

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins #MuffinMonday

When I asked my guys what they wanted for this Muffin Monday my son requested cinnamon and my husband wanted apple.  I searched the Taste of Home site and found Michelle O's Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins.    I did not have sour cream on hand but I did have Apple Pie Greek yogurt so I used that instead. I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter.  I peeled the apples but did not chop them because I wanted them to blend more into the muffin so I used a large hole grater. If you chop them be sure to keep them uniform in size and toss them with some of the flour from the recipe to keep them from sinking. I was probably a little heavier handed with the butter for the topping so my streusel was a bit clunkier.  It still tastes delicious so no big deal. As always, I overfilled my tin so I got 12 muffins instead of 16. Thanks so much to Stacy for hosting #MuffinMonday and to all the other awesome bloggers who shared recipes today, be sure to go check out what they made usin