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Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah{Book Review}

The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale is the story of two French sisters, each very different from one another but who both resist Nazi occupiers, each in their own way.

When the Nazis invade France, Vianne Mauriac‘s husband is called up to serve in the country’s army. He leaves his wife and young daughter home alone to fend for themselves, to do their best to survive. Timid Vianne tries to fly under the radar of the Nazis that occupy not only her village but those that board in her home. When French Jews begin to be deported, Vianne can no longer stay quiet and watch Nazi atrocities. When her best friend is deported, Vianne is left to care for her son, a toddler, right under the nose of the Nazis. From that moment on, Vianne embarks on a secret mission to save as many Jewish children as possible.

Ont he flip side, Vianne‘s sister, Isabelle, wants to rebel against the Nazi’s from the beginning, much to the dismay of her sister. Isabelle quickly becomes involved in underground groups to subvert the Nazis, working her way from someone who passes out anti-Nazi propaganda, to a woman who leads Allied forces to safety, crossing the Pyrenees mountains to do so.

Review/Recommendation: Another WWII-era historical fiction – Can you tell that’s a favorite time period of mine? The Nightingale  largely takes place in the past – for the duration of the war – but there are a handful of short glimpses into the present day of one sister (sorry, not going to tell you which one – no spoilers!). While the jumps into present day are a bit jarring, the story is so engaging that when the novel returned to the sisters’ story, I was able to jump right back in.

I have been seeing this book all over forever, but I didn’t pick it up until a few months ago. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but I’m kicking myself for doing so. I really enjoy WWII-era historical fiction novels, and this one was no exception. As I said, the novel is very engaging and I was pretty quickly hooked. I felt great empathy for both the sisters and the struggles they faced to survive, to rebel, to stay a family despite their differences and the horrible circumstances in which they lived. I wanted both to be successful in their personal missions, but it pained me to see their differences come between them.

Despite the difficult topic of wartime occupation, for the most part, the book flew by. In the majority of the novel, while more difficult topics (i.e. rape) clearly took place, scenes ended at a point where the reader had no doubt what would happen but was not left with detailed descriptions. The end of the book changed in that manner, where wartime atrocities – like Nazi maltreatment of French citizens, prisoners, etc. – took a more prominent place in the story.

Despite the tougher ending (I had to stop reading it before bed), The Nightingale was a great book – the first I read by Kristin Hannah. I can’t wait to start the next one (which just hit my ereader this week!).

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day (or the weekend) with a sweet and spicy dinner for two. Sweet pineapple salsa compliments jerk scallops full of flavor in a dinner that comes together quickly.

Jerk Scallops and Pineapple Salsa over Coconut Rice - a sweet and spicy dinner for two. Sweet pineapple salsa compliments a jerk scallop full of flavor in a dinner that comes together quickly.

Like so many other couples, my husband and I rarely eat out on Valentine’s Day. And since having kids? We rarely get to go out around Valentine’s Day. Instead, we try to celebrate with a special dinner at home. Sometime’s it’s something that’s a little more expensive, something it’s something that’s more time consuming to make than usual, or something it’s just something that I know my husband will love.

This dinner meets two of those criteria. Scallops are something that my husband enjoys immensely but that I don’t make super frequently. They’re a bit pricey and since having kids, I haven’t quite been as excited about seafood as I used to be. Plus, it is one of those proteins that I’m always (inexplicably) nervous about undercooking. #Paranoia

So for this Valentine’s Day, I paired some of my husband’s favorites for a quick but killer meal. Spicy scallops are topped with a sweet pineapple salsa and a rice, flavored ever so slightly of coconut. He was in heaven.

Sweet pineapple salsa compliments spicy jerk scallops in a dinner for 2 that comes together in 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

  • My husband has a big appetite, so this recipe serves two in our house. Depending on your appetites, you may want to adjust the amount of scallops.
  • This pineapple salsa is mild, with no jalapeno. It was a perfectly sweet pairing for us, since the scallops have a good bit of kick, but feel free to add a jalapeno (minced, seeds included or removed per your preferences) if you’d like this dish even spicier.
  • Although the recipes is for searing on the stove top, the scallops can be grilled as well.

Jerk Scallops with Pineapple Salsa over Coconut Rice 

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 2-3

Ingredients for the Pineapple Salsa: 

    • 1 c. pineapple, small dice
    • 3 Tbs. red onion, minced
    • 2 Tbs. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Ingredients for the Coconut Rice:

  • 1 c. jasmine rice
  • 3/4 c. coconut milk
  • 3/4 c. water

Ingredients for the Scallops:

  • 3 Tbs. jerk seasoning
  • 3/4 lb. sea scallops (8 scallops)
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Make the Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving.

Make the Rice: Bring coconut milk  and water to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is cooked through. Turn off stove and allow to stand for a few minutes.

While the rice is cooking, rinse scallops and pat dry.

Heat a heavy, cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil.

Place jerk seasoning on a plate. Coat scallops with seasoning on top, bottom and sides. Place in hot skillet. Sear for 2 minutes per side. If needed, lower heat and continue to cook until scallops are cooked throughout.

Serve scallops hot, over rice. Top with pineapple salsa.

Looking for more recipes designed to serve two? Check out the links from my friends below, or search #RecipesForTwo on social media for a visual tour of some amazing dishes.

Savory

Sweet

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Add a kick to your favorite protein with homemade Jerk Seasoning.

Homemade Jerk Seasoning

Have you ever made your own seasoning or rub mixtures? I used to prefer buying the premade seasonings at the grocery store just because it’s easier, but over the past couple of years, I pretty much stopped doing that. I’m all for convenience items (hello, prechopped onions and presliced fajita veggies!) but I found that the convenience isn’t worth it for seasonings. Not only can most seasonings and rubs be made in under 2 minutes, but homemade versions are cheaper, can usually be made with the spices and herbs I already have in my pantry, healthier (no weird preservatives or extra sodium), and are customizable to our tastes.

I’ve long been making my own taco seasoning (recipe coming soon!) and have dabbled in rubs and sauces for grilled meat (such as this Coffee-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and this Grilled Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin). Most recently, I experimented with creating my own version of Jerk Seasoning, a seasoning mixture that packs a good bit of heat. Because of the weather, I used this seasoning mixture while cooking on the stove-top, but I’d highly recommend using it on your favorite protein next time you grill.

Homemade Jerk Seasoning

Not sure about how to use this seasoning mixture? It’ll give any protein a flavor kick. My husband and I loved it on Jerk Scallops with Pineapple Salsa as well as on shrimp.

Jerk Seasoning

Yield: 1/2 c. seasoning

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In a bowl or jar, mix all ingredients until combined. Store in an airtight jar or container in a cool place.
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Add a kick to your favorite protein with homemade Jerk Seasoning.
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   Rich & Easy Clam Chowder takes just minutes to prep, and then simmers away in the slow cooker for an easy evening meal.

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder (Slow Cooker)

I first made a version of this Rich & Easy Clam Chowder years ago, back when I had just started this blog. The original post is embarrassing – I didn’t even include a picture. Insane, right?! Despite the sad state of that post, people continue to visit it, so I finally decided it was time to update the recipe – and National Soup Swap Day was the perfect excuse to do so.

Since I had never heard of National Soup Swap Day before this year, I’ll give you a bit of the background, compliments of Soup Swap. The holiday was officially founded on 2006 and has its roots in a Seattle man named Knox Gardner, who started swapping soup with his friends in an effort to bring some variation in soups (some times one batch is just too much to finish!) during a dreary season. Today, Soup Swap is on a mission to encourage healthy eating and community spirit through soup.

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

 

This Rich & East Clam Chowder does make quite a large portion – easily enough to feed 6 – and is a comforting lunch or dinner during these cold weather months. As I went to remake my old recipe, I struggled to find the products I used. Everything was in different sizes, if I could find it at all, and many in different variations. So this recipe has been updated with what I was able to find in my local supermarket. I also added a bit more clams and did a bit more tweaking of the prep and quantities. I didn’t have any – I’m actually not a fan of clam chowder – but my hubby at it for 3 days straight, so I’ll call it a winner.

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Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 18.5 oz. cans of New England Clam Chowder
  • 2 18.5 oz. cans of creamy potato soup (I used one with bacon and cheese)
  • 3 6 1/2 oz. cans chopped clams, drained of juices
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 1 Tbs. ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil and onion in a microwave safe bowl. Stir to coat. Microwave for 45-90 minutes, stirring halfway through, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add onion and remaining ingredients to the crock of a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve hot, with oyster crackers or saltines.
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Thanks to Kate at Kate’s Recipe Box for hosting today’s group of bloggers in their celebration of National Soup Swap Day. Warm up this winter and check out their creations, below!

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder on Books n' Cooks
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With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack. Ok folks. Who out there has a New Year’s resolution to eat better or lose weight? <Raises hand.> It’s soooo hard to eat well when weekdays are so busy – I walk in the door and the kids are immediately asking to eat or demanding other things…

I know that the months of January and February are crazy for us, due to some travel and houseguests, so I’m doing my best to position myself for success. Lists of healthy options to expedite planning, lots of weekend prep, and as much help from the grocery store as possible (hello pre-chopped veggies!).

One of my favorite go-to snacks for healthy eating… or even when I’m not being my best… is hummus. I love it with veggies, pretzel crisps, pita slices and pita chips. Great for easy entertaining or snacking. This homemade version only took a few minutes to make and is bright with flavor. The Tabasco and garlic give it a bit of heat, which is evened out by fresh lemon juice.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

What is your favorite snack (bonus points for a recipe) for healthy eating?

Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • paprika (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  2. Place chickpeas, salt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and Tabasco in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 times. Add 2 Tbs. of reserved liquid and continue to pulse until desired texture, adding additional liquid 1/2 tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and, if desired, dust with paprika (optional).
  4. Serve within an hour, or store in refrigerator until serving.
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This recipe was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (p. 46).

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.
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Happy 2018!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year. 2017 felt like it flew by in the blink of an eye. There were a lot of ups and downs, with lots of downs towards the end of the year, so I’m kinda happy 2017 is over. The new year is starting off with some great excitement and a welcomed break from life (Disney this month!!!).

Before jumping into a recap of your top 10 recipes on Books n’ Cooks in 2017, I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting and sharing this year. Even after year of blogging, I still get giddy when you leave a comment, share your experiences making one of the dishes or pass on a recipe to a friend. So THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

Without further ado, the most popular recipes published in 2017 are…

Most popular recipes on Books n' Cooks, 2017

  1. Cranberry Pistachio Bark (most popular!)
  2. Mom’s Apple Cake
  3. Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  4. Churro Chex Mix
  5. Pomegranate Grapefruit Martini
  6. Chicken Caprese Bites
  7. Christmas Sprinkle Cookies
  8. Mom’s Zucchini Bread
  9. Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup
  10. Slow Cooker Beef Tacos with Salsa Verde

Most Popular Recipes on Books n' Cooks, 2017

Also among the top recipe this year was Chicken Scaloppini Saltimobocca, published years ago but rephotographed this year. The updated photos really made a difference! This recipe is an old family favorite, so I was thrilled to see it get some love.

And, like last year, my top recipe of the year – although not published this year – was The Frenchy.

You guys picked some awesome recipes this year, but I do want to call out a few of my favorites, that didn’t make your list.

In addition to the two slow cooker dishes you liked (btw, my slow cooker has been a savior this year), one of my favorite new entrees this year was Spicy Shrimp & Zucchini Lo Mein – a filling, healthy 30-minute meal that’s bursting with flavor. Great for busy weeknights.

In addition to the Christmas Sprinkle Cookies you loved above (which we make all year round with whatever sprinkles we have on hand), Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies and Peanut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies (your runner up at #11!) were a couple more of the stand-out desserts made this year. No fancy pies or cupcakes this year. Cookies ruled the dessert table in our house.

I’ve got a couple of new recipes already lined up for you in 2018 but I’d like to hear from you. What do you want to see on Books n’ Cooks in 2018?

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I surprised myself with more time to read this year, than I did last year. Young adult/fantasy books and short stories – all series – were the most popular genre this year, but my favorite books read in 2017 are a good mix of young adult/fantasy, historical fiction, and fiction novels. This list is in the order in which I read the books, with each linked to my book review.

I’m currently putting together the first stack of books to read in 2018. If there’s a book that you loved from this past year, that you’d recommend, please leave a comment with your recommendation. I’d love to check our your most recent favorites, as well as any books you’re looking forward to being released in 2018.

And if you don’t want to wait for me to publish my book reviews or annual list of favorites, you can follow me on Goodreads to find out what I’m reading.

The Shoemakers Wife (By Adriana Trigiani) – I couldn’t put this historical fiction novel down. Set in the first half of the 1900s, the story takes place in the Italian Alps, New York City, and the Midwest. It follows the story of two Italian immigrants as they adjust to life in the United States, provide for family back home, and create a new life for themselves in the U.S. It’s a beautiful story, with beautiful writing. I may or may not have gushed a little bit in the review.

The Chronos Files (By Rysa Walker) – A young adult series of 3 novels, 3 novellas, and a handful of short stories, The Chronos Files is about a teenage girl traveling through time to save the past as she knows it, as well as the future. Walker did a great job of using the novellas and short stories to provide additional perspective and additional detail to events that were only referenced in the novels, although the novels are certainly enjoyable on their own.

The Freedom Broker (by K.J. Howe) – The debute novel for Howe, this mystery/suspense novel starred a kidnap-and-ransom expert searching for her kidnapped father. The book was fast-paced and had some unpredictable twists. It was one of the few mystery/suspense novels that I read this year, but it set the bar pretty high for what I picked up in that genre.

The Women in the Castle (by Jessica Shattuck) – A historical fiction novel set predominately during WWII and during the recovery period, this novel tells the story of 3 German resister wives and their families. Each woman has a very different history which shapes how she survives the war and rebuild her life after the war.

Book Review: Sourdough

Sourdough (by Robin Sloan) – A cute little fictional novel about a software engineer-turned-baker, thanks to a feisty sourdough starter that she is tasked with caring for. The quirky book was a quick read that will be relate-able to anyone who finds solace in the kitchen.

Book Review: Six of Crows Duology

Six of Crows Duology (by Leigh Bardugo) – This two-book set includes Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, two fast-paced, action-packed young adult / fantasy books that follow a group of criminals who are tasked with kidnapping a scientist whose discovery threatens they way the world works.

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Book Review: Six of Crows Duology

Book Review:

Six of Crows Duology

By Leigh Bardugo

A duology in the young adult genre, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are a mix of action and fantasy. It all starts when a group of thieves and criminals is hired by a wealthy merchant to kidnap a scientist, who was kidnapped and hidden away in the unbreakable Ice Court. Six of Crows starts the story, but of course, things don’t go exactly according to plan, so the story continues in Crooked Kingdom.

Review/Recommendation: This duology was enjoyable and a quick read. I bought it for vacation and couldn’t put it down. When I finished it, I promptly passed it to my husband, who read it even quicker than I did.

I realize that the above description doesn’t give you much, but I did want to avoid spoilers. So I’ll start here: Although this series was published after The Grisha Trilogy, which comes first chronologically, I actually read this series first. If you skip The Grisha Trilogy or opt to read the books out of order, you’re not missing much. It might take a little more time to grasp the gangs and nationalities of the various peoples and who/what all of the Grisha are, but that’s not a big deal. Additionally, there are a couple of characters that make a cameo, and you’ll miss some historical connections. All of that being said, I certainly didn’t feel like I was missing anything when I read it. It was only in retrospect that I realized that I missed a tiny piece of the story.

To be honest, I enjoyed the duology more than the trilogy. The two books were super fast-paced, filled with action, intrigue and mystery, emotional turmoil (but not the teenage angst you’d expect from a young adult series) and sprinkled with sarcasm and wit. The characters were all likeable and unique, with intense histories that emerged throughout the series, which make you like them even more.

Like The Grisha Trilogy, this set had vaguely Russian undertones to the people’s cultures, the locations, etc. As someone who’s always been drawn to Russian culture and history, it was slightly odd to see those connections but something I enjoyed. Those references made me reminisce a bit about the culture that I experienced through school. (Oh, how I long for blini!)

Given how much my husband and I enjoyed the books, I’m glad we bought the sets. I can see our children reading these in the future. I can even see myself rereading these in the future.

This duology is available on Amazon

 

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Pair your morning, afternoon, and evening cups of coffee with a Mocha Biscotti, a chocolate cookie with a deep coffee flavor, for a little something special.

Mocha Biscotti

Today marks my last recipe for #ChristmasCookies Week. I’ve been busy bookmarking and pinning all sorts of wonderful Christmas cookies to make this month, and next year, and the year after that…. there has been so many amazing cookies this week! That again to Ellen at Family Around the Table for hosting this event. If you haven’t already, you can enter to win the giveaway for a prize pack from our sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors – a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz. each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. I’ve used a number of their products, and I can’t recommend them enough. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

I’m not sure if it’s the dreary weather or what, but lately, my afternoon cup of tea or coffee has become essential to making it through the day. Adding a cookie to that afternoon pick-me-up definitely makes the afternoon meetings, emails, and planning sessions much easier to get through.

Mocha Biscotti

And since I posted kid-friendly recipes earlier this week, I knew I had to post a little something that would have more appeal to adults this holiday season. These biscotti have a wonderful chocolate-coffee flavor, with just a hit of toffee, which I chose to add instead of a more traditional nut. Softer than store-bought biscotti, these cookies are delightful on their own or dunked in a warm coffee or cocoa. These cookies were a happy addition to my breakfasts and afternoon snacks this week.

What cookie are you most excited about making this year? Is it a new recipe or an old, well-loved standby?

Mocha Biscotti

Yield: 18 large biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tsp. instant coffee (I like Starbucks Via, 4 packets)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. toffee pieces, mini chocolate chips, slivered almonds, or other desired mix-ins (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, eggs, melted butter, instant coffee and vanilla extract on medium-low speed until well blended. Add in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, mixing on low speed until almost completely mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl, add desired mix-ins, and mix until completely incorporated.
  3. Turn out dough onto prepared baking sheet and form into a long, 2 inches thick and about 12 inches wide. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Using a serrated knife, cut cookies into pieces about 3/4-inch thick, on the diagonal. Turn cookies cut-side down and bake for another 12-15 minutes. Then, remove from oven and flip over. Cook another 15 minutes, until cookies are toasted on both sides.
  5. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a wire baking rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Adapted from Kraft

Mocha Biscotti on Books n' Cooks

And finally, before you see the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway, we have Friday’s #ChristmasCookies Week recipes. As always, you can search social media for #ChristmasCookies to see photos of these goodies. Happy Baking!

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Soft, melt-in-your-mouth Christmas Sprinkle Cookies have a sweet almond flavor that adults and kids alike will love.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

I have a confession to make. I’m a cookie snob.

I’m the person you don’t want to invite to your holiday cookie exchanges, because I will almost never like anyone else’s cookies as much as the cookies I bring. I want my holiday cookies soft and to stay soft even if it takes us a couple of days to eat the batch. I want them full of sweet yet subtle flavors, not cookies overpowered with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

So after a couple of disappointing cookie exchanges, I decided it was probably better for me to stay home and bake the cookies I enjoy, and then to push them on friends and coworkers so that I don’t become a blimp during the holiday season. Truthfully, I’m bummed that I didn’t enjoy the cookies I took home at those exchanges more than I did, because I truly enjoy trying new cookies. But I just didn’t fall in love with any, and my friends and coworkers haven’t complained yet. So I guess this arrangement will do.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

So today, for this day on #ChristmasCookies week, I bring you a recipe that I discovered within the past couple of years. This recipe isn’t a seasonal classic in my house (that would be our seven layer cookies and our cranberry oatmeal cookies), but everyone loves these cookies so much that we now make a batch every month or two – for holidays as well as everyday entertaining. These cookies are slightly crispy on the outside but generally have soft throughout, a melt-in-your-mouth sort of texture. And the flavor is wonderful.

These cookies are also one of my favorites to make with kids. Miss Hazelnut and Mr Nutterbutter absolutely love to make it since they get to pick out which sprinkles they use. They love making all cookies but there’s something special about them each getting their own bowl of sprinkles for them to roll the cookies in. And then, of course, to be licking spilled sprinkles off the counter.

So if you’re looking for a new cookie to make this holiday season, may I suggest these Christmas Sprinkle Cookies. Not into sprinkles? Check out the collection of cookie recipes at the bottom of this post for even more inspiration. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened slightly
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1+ c. sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place cream cheese, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium and beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat again, if necessary. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on low until combined, again scraping down sides and bottom of bowl to ensure that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  3. Portion dough into equal sized balls, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop. Roll between the palms of your hands to warm dough slightly (as well as to perfect the shape) before rolling in a shallow bowl filled with sprinkles. Sprinkles should completely coat the ball of dough all around.
  4. Place sprinkle-covered dough onto prepared baking sheet, each about 2 inches apart. Press down slightly with the flat bottom of a drinking glass or palm of your hand to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are set and starting to brown ever so slightly (center may look a bit underbaked). Remove from oven and allow to cook on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
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Rewritten but not really adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Originally from King Arthur Flour

 

Recipe Note: Smitten Kitchen advises that if the dough is too soft to roll, chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before using. I’ve never had this problem, but my butter and cream cheese are usually still fairly cold when making the dough.

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies on Books n' Cooks

Big thanks to Family Around the Table for hosting #ChristmasCookies Week! And don’t forget to check out more great recipe below, as well as enter to win a fabulous prize from the #ChristmasCookies Week sponsor, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors. Rafflecopter below.

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Disclosure

Books n’ Cooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Some links on Books n’ Cooks may be affiliate links – links books and kitchen supplies that I love and would recommend. If you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

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