Sunday, December 19, 2010

Double Mint Fun: 2 Chocolate Mint Cookie Recipes

Before I head off to my favorite snowy mountain states to celebrate Christmas with family, I'll leave you with the two cookie recipes I most enjoyed making this year.

Marin's Andes Mint Cookies

3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Melt butter, sugar and water over low heat.
3. When melted, stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Cool 10 minutes.
4. Beat in eggs, soda, salt and flour. Cool 45 minutes.
5. Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 11 minutes.
7. Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, top each cookies with an Andes mint. Spread the mint across the top of the cookie when melted.
8. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool.
(Note: I sprinkled crushed candy cane on these cookies, but Marin makes them year round sans candy cane. Yumm-o!)

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
12 candy canes, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Add dry ingredients and mix again.
4. Sample as much of this truly divine cookie dough as desired. If there is ample dough left, proceed with recipe. Otherwise, begin again at step two.
5. Mix in crushed candy cane.
6. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 8-10 minutes.
8. Cool only slightly, then transfer to rack to cool. (Note: Maybe they shouldn't cool at all on the sheet. I left my cookies on the sheet too long and the bits of melted candy cane cooled, hardened and stuck to the cookie sheet. As this is an improvised recipe, I'm still figuring this part out. If you have any insights, by all means share!)

What are you loving making this year?
Whatever it may be, I hope your Christmas is
peaceful, joyous and delicious!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Design and Play with Metro Mod Quilters

I'm really digging the Metro Mod Quilters' Guild. Here's a peek at a project I participated in for last months meeting.

Jessica made this from a scrap exchange...

She mentioned loving the scrap with the tiny little crumb strips in it. (Can you find it?) I liked the improvised sense, the bright colors and that same little detail. I found it interesting, but wasn't swooning. That makes it a good play project. (When I get overly precious about something, I'm not always able to think outside the box and PLAY.)

When I sat down to work on it, I had a few "rules":
1. Only use fabric I already have.
2. Somehow echo the design elements that are already there.
3. Include more little strips, since Jessica loved them.

Here are the strips....

I kept thinking "borders", but ultimately decided that instead of framing the entire quilt, the borders could echo the block design. I put them on only two sides, making Jessica's piece the cornerstone of one big block. Here's how it turned out...

I went from thinking "interesting" to "love, love, love"! I so enjoyed the process, just experimenting with design and color, rather than focusing on the final product.

Check out what V did with it next!