Day 8 – Countdown to Christmas 2014 Ultimate Pecan Tassies

For me there are certain foods that define a holiday.  Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries, Easter is about hard boiled eggs, Thanksgiving is about the turkey and pumpkin pie and for me Christmas just isn’t Christmas without sugar cookies and pecan tassies! I cannot even begin to tell you how many I’ve eaten over my lifetime.  Now my yoga pants have kept count and trust me they HATE this time of the year as I really push their maximum holding capacity to its limits but those pecans tassies are just so damn good!

Ultimate Pecan Tassies4

Growing up Mom always made these except hers were never mini sized.  She used the full muffin tin, greased and these things were ginormous!  But the size never stopped us from woofing them down like it was our job! The ONLY thing I didn’t like about my Mom’s is often we couldn’t afford pecans so she would substitute in walnuts. *gag*  I so don’t like walnuts! Throughout the years I’d experiment a bit with the recipe using dark brown sugar instead of light, adding chocolate chunks at the bottom of the tart then pouring in the mixture (DELISH btw!), soaking the pecans in bourbon (dear God that’s amazing!) and one of my favorites – drizzling melted caramel on top!  It’s just uber awesome!

These remind me of little mini pecan pies

Day 9 – Countdown to Christmas 2014 Apple Pie Peekaboos

So every year for Christmas my Mom would make these fruit-filled cream cheese peekaboo cookies that I LOVED!  And every year she’d make those nut coated thumbprint cookies that were filled with the super sweet frosting that I hated.  LOL  She’d try every which way from Sunday to make me like them but I just never did.  They were dry and the nuts threw me.  I’m not a nut-in-my-cookie kinda girl. Same with nuts in brownies.  That’s a mortal sin in my eyes.  Blech!

Apple Pie Peekaboos3

Now I’ve since mastered the thumbprint recipe to the point they are one of my top 5 favorites and the cream cheese peekaboos are just insane. Those are a whole other level of awesomeness in the cookie ranking world! This year I decided to go with a mashup if you will of the two recipes.  See I wanted to make the cream cheese ones but I was out of cream cheese.  I already had the apple pie filling on hand that was slated for those cookies.  Now I very well could have used that filling on top of something else – pancakes, roasted pork, toast or even a spoon (guilty!) but I really wanted to make cookies.

Nuts or no nuts in your cookies?

Day 10 – Countdown to Christmas 2014 How to Ice Cookies

Let’s face it, sugar cookies look prettiest when someone takes the time to truly decorate them.  The next best thing is when you give your child the colored sugars, sprinkles and tell them to have at it!  Those made with love and from the heart are the best! The trick to making these is to start with royal icing. Now the only thing you may have to buy special for this is Meringue Powder.  This is a MUST when it comes to making royal icing.

Make this a family tradition that everyone can help out with!  When I’m off this upcoming week and I make these for us, Mr. Fantabulous will help me out.  Now granted he’ll eat more than he decorates but it’s all about making memories!
iced cookies

Check out the rest of the Countdown to Christmas 2014 recipes, tips and tricks!

Day 10 - Countdown to Christmas 2014 How to Ice Cookies
Royal Icing
  • 1/4 cup Meringue Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  • 1-2 Tbl oil-free extract or flavoring
Make the icing
  1. Place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the cool water and extract.
  2. Slowly stir to allow the sugar to dissolve.
  3. Mix on low speed at first, increasing to high speed over several minutes. Beat until the icing is stiff. Do NOT over mix. Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up
  4. Keep the frosting covered with a damp towel and some plastic wrap until you have time to use it.
  1. Outline just inside the edges of the cookie—use royal icing in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Let the icing set slightly, 20 to 30 minutes.
Fill in
  1. Fill in—or “flood”—the center of the cookie with more icing. (If you’re going for an ultrasleek look, thin the icing with a few drops of water.)
Corners and Tight spaces
  1. Use a toothpick to drag the icing outward. You can also use the toothpick to pop any air bubbles that form. Let the icing dry partially before adding sprinkles, and completely (four-plus hours) before piping other colors on top.


Day 11 – Countdown to Christmas 2014 White Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers

So this recipe came out of my love of ‘bean’ burgers.  See a few weeks ago my bff and I were at lunch at this local place in Market Square.  Now while I’m not a huge fan of their food (well okay to be fair, their food is decent it’s their prices that I loathe).  Seriously $20 a person for lunch (sandwich, fries and a soda) is ridiculous.  But again, it’s town and that’s kinda the norm (not my norm but the norm nonetheless). While there I spied a black bean burger with a spicy remoulade. Well me being a food snob I had to try theirs.  Theirs was pretty good but it wasn’t moist and had way too much filler for my liking.  Their remoulade was too mayo-ish which you all know I’m not a fan of at-all. BUT that inspired me to make a new black bean burger.

White Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers12

That upcoming weekend I was hell bent on making a veggie burger.  The thing is there are 900 bajillion black bean burger recipes out there and yes I have one as well (though mine is friggen FANTASTIC if I do say so myself!), I wanted to do something else. Digging through my pantry I found about 15 cans of beans varying of different types.  I spotted my Northern White Beans and realized that I honestly didn’t think I had ever seen a recipe for one.  I’m sure they are out there.  I mean it is the internet.. everything is out there.
You are so gonna love this veggie burger!

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