Posts Tagged“Holiday”

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Peppermint or regular Junior Mints

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and add yolks, cream and vanilla.  Scrape sides of the bowl.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
  2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, then roll each in sugar.  Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheets.  With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each ball to create an indentation.
  3. Bake the dough, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until a cookie shape has formed (about 10 minutes).  If the indentation was lost during baking, press again.  Let the cookies cool slightly on baking sheet.  Press one Junior Mint into each cookie.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and let fully cool.

Expecting guests this season (or any time of year)? Just a few tricks before company arrives can help your house look its best during the visit and make it easier to clean up when the party’s over.

Before guests arrive:

1. The fastest way to make your home look lovely is to eliminate clutter. For each main room of your house, grab a plastic storage bin and sweep in all the excess clutter and random bits that have accumulated. Store your bins in an out of the way spot—like the garage or laundry room—so they’re ready for you to organize the next day.

2. Go through your menu and choose serving dishes for everything you’re making. Place them on your buffet or table with a post-it indicating what you’ll serve in it. This will not only make your food service faster, but will save you from creating extra dirty dishes when you’re trying to find a serving bowl to accommodate something. If you expect guests to bring something to eat, stash some extra platters and bowls in an easy location so they can add their food to the buffet.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, bacon grease, brown sugar and white sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add one egg and beat until well blended into the butter mixture.  Add the remaining egg and the vanilla and maple extracts.  Beat until well blended and slightly fluffy.  Stir in the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing gently until combined. Stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake in the preheated oven until edges turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

 

One of the joys of holiday gift giving is watching the smiles. And if your gift gets a chuckle, do you think that’s even better? If so, you must love funny Christmas gifts as much as we do. Fun gifts can be easy to give because they are often inexpensive and most always have the universal appeal that lets you keep them on hand for last minute Christmas gifts. Wrap them and keep them on a closet shelf (or in a storage box under your bed), and you’ll be ready to present when a neighbor drops by, when you suddenly realize you need a teacher gift or when you find yourself too busy to shop for the office gift exchange.

Ingredients:
Makes approximately 20 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup finely ground almonds (2oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

 

Directions  

In a small bowl combine flour, almonds and cinnamon then set aside.  In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture—mix only until incorporated.  Divide dough into two pieces—press into discs about 1 inch thick.  Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours until firm.

Preheat over to 350F. On a floured surface roll out one disc of dough to 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough chilled). Cut half the dough into rounds—this is the bottom and cut the other half with an insert (star), this will be the top.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes.  Remove from sheet and cool completely.  Invert bottom cookie and spread with a teaspoon of raspberry jam.  Dust top cookie with confectioner’s sugar and gently sandwich together.


What do you get when you invite the staff of Solutions to participate in a cookie bake-off? An office full of mouth-watering treats and a great excuse to try them all! We had so much fun doing this bake-off, we wanted to share it with all of you. So we coaxed our team members into revealing the top-secret cookie recipes that won our office bake-off, and we’ll be posting one each week this month. We hope this inspires you to make a batch or two of holiday cookies, or even to hold a bake-off or cookie swap of your own. After all, it’s not really December without cookies!

See all cookie recipes >

Frosting Tip:
When frosting cookies or cake with a pastry bag, only fill the bag up a quater full.  This will greatly reduce the pressure you need to put on the bag to force out frosting, saving your hands from any pain.  In addition, your frosting application will be far more precise while working a lightened pastry bag.

Do you have an unofficial competition on your block for the best holiday lights? Maybe it’s your turn to host Christmas dinner (or the office party) and you want your home to look its best. Whatever the reason you decorate, you don’t have to spend hours arranging holiday lighting in the cold or running multiple extension cords, thanks to clever technology and modern LED decorations—some are so efficient that they’re even powered by batteries.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to light the entire outside of your home is with our Firefly Landscape Laser Light  Just stake it, plug it in, and it looks like you’ve strung 1,000 lights. Shine it on a giant tree, and when the wind blows, the lights even appear to twinkle. We guarantee you won’t miss climbing up and down the ladder on a cold day to string holiday lighting.

As Thanksgiving nears, one of our teammate’s favorite seasonal items on Solutions.com is now in the spotlight.   Tom the Animated Turkey s a beloved character, and not for his oven-roasted flavor!  You could consider him a vegetarian’s favorite turkey, but we prefer to think of Tom as a cheerful surprise for holiday visitors.  We hear the animated turkey brings lots of smiles. Our customers who have purchased this turkey say it best.

Buy Now >

Here are some of our customer’s comments:

“Easy to set up, and a cute touch to the fall season.”

 

“I love these turkeys. I bought 2 and place them at different levels on my porch. I get lots of compliments and they make my house look unique for the holiday.”
– Phyllis

 

“Adorable! Excellent quality. This is a terrific greeter at your front door.”
– Cathy

 

“Love this Turkey. It sits in my bay window and looks so cool! It is a total eye catcher as people go by. Great quality at a great price!”
– Laurie

 

Watch Tom In Action