I will be taking the next week away from the computer to spend quality time with family.  I hope that you will be doing some of the same.  I love the way that the blessings of family and traditions makes me feel so content and satisfied.  I believe that the love we feel this time of year is the true meaning of Christmas.

Here is a round-up of some of the recipes that I shared with you this holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Bean and Sea Salt Caramels

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Turtle Snowball Cookies

Turtle Snowball Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chocolate Croissant Cookies

Chocolate Croissant Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Candy Cane Cookies with Mint Chocolate Centers

Candy Cane Cookies with Mint Chocolate Centers {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Crushed Candy Canes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

 

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Usually, when I decorate sugar cookies I use royal icing or a simple powdered sugar glaze.  But there is nothing like thick buttercream frosting on a big, fat sugar cookie, so this year for my Christmas sugar cookies, I decided to mix things up a bit.  I love that you can match the flavoring or extract that you use in your sugar cookie recipe to your flavoring in your buttercream to really intensify the flavors.

Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

This particular buttercream recipe is very traditional and comes from Marian at Sweetopia.  I love that a classic buttercream consists of everyday ingredients that you will undoubtedly have on hand at any given time.  I used almond extract in my cookies and frosting and a star tip to decorate the trees.  I was really happy with how pretty and delicate they looked.

Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Easy Classic Buttercream Frosting

Perfect creamy and rich buttercream frosting made with ingredients you will likely have on hand

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp almond extract (or flavor of your choice)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended.
  2. Recipe adapted from Sweetopia

Sugar Cookies with Easy Buttercream Frosting {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Here is my favorite sugar cookie recipe:

The Best Cut-out Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies depending on the size

Crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle and perfect for decorating!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cup flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and extract.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface (or a sheet of parchment paper) and roll with rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough into desired shapes and bake cookies for 7 minutes.

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Gingerbread men and houses have never been a yearly tradition for me.  However, I don’t really know why because I adore the spicy and complex flavor of ginger anything.  I spotted this adorable cookie cutter awhile ago though and I could not resist trying a new gingerbread cutout cookie recipe.

I was particularly intrigued by this recipe because it is one of the cookie recipes in the incredibly talented Bridget Edward’s book Decorating Cookies.  This book will encourage you to channel your inner cookie artist and try to recreate one of the 60 fun designs that Bridget offers in this book.

And not only does Bridget offer design inspiration, but she has you covered with all of the basics from how to fill a pastry bag to how to make your cookies sparkle with specialty decorating ingredients.

The thing that is so inspiring about this book is that Bridget is a self-taught baker and decorator which means that flawless design can be achieved by anyone with enough practice.  I have tried making royal icing several times and I must say, with the step-by-step instructions in this book, I was able to achieve my best frosting yet!

Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: ~30 cookies

Warm and spicy gingerbread cookies perfect for decorating

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cool and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg and mix to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in three increments and mix until well combined.
  4. Divide dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out chilled dough one disk at a time (leaving the other disk in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it) to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut shapes out and place onto prepared baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between the cookies.
  7. Place the sheets of unbaked cookies into the freezer for 5 minutes so that the cookies will maintain their shapes while baking.
  8. Remove from freezer and immediately bake 9-12 minutes or centers seem set.
  9. Cool completely before decorating.
  10. Recipe adapted from Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards

Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

*Sterling Publishing provided me with a copy of Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards, but all opinions are, as always, my own.  

And, don’t forget to enter my ThermoWorks Thermapen Digital Thermometer Giveaway!

 

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When I posted this Peanut Butter Cup Fudge,

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I shared some of my candy making conundrums with you and offered some tips that I have learned for how to resolve them.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I have had my fair share of caramel-making challenges as well, but the past few years, I have been able to make chewy caramels that are soft and so buttery.  This year, I decided to add some some vanilla bean paste and sea salt to my mom’s classic caramel recipe.  The sea salt really takes these over the top and balances the sweetness so perfectly.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I also attribute some of my recent candy making success to the use of the Thermapen.  This digital thermometer allows for precise accuracy down to the tenth of a degree which is so crucial for candy making.  Read my full-review of this helpful kitchen tool here.

To help  your candy-making courage and encourage you to try some new recipes, the kind people at Thermoworks have offered to give a Thermapen to one lucky Satisfy My Sweet Tooth reader!  Use the widget below to enter and good luck!

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 50 caramels

Soft, chewy and buttery caramels infused with vanilla bean paste and sprinkled with sea salt

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Liberally butter a 9X13" glass pan. Line with parchment paper overhanging the edges and lightly butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat.
  3. Add sugar, milk and corn syrup and heat over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring only a couple of times.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until mixture reaches 240 degrees on a thermometer.
  5. Remove from heat and quickly and carefully stir in vanilla bean paste.
  6. Pour (carefully) into prepared pan, sprinkle modestly with sea salt and allow to cool completely (you can place the pan into the refrigerator once it is cool enough to handle and allow to cool and set).
  7. Once cooled, lift caramels out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.
  8. Cut into desired size (I like to use a buttered kitchen scissors to cut the caramels) and wrap individually in wax paper.

melt butter

IMG_0258

add sugar, milk and corn syrup and bring to a boil

IMG_0259

cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees (I am aware that the thermometer does not read the correct temperature in this picture, I had to snap a photo before the critical temperature was reached!)

IMG_0261

pour into prepared pan and cool before cutting and wrapping

IMG_0262Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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*ThermoWorks provided me with a Thermapen to review however, all opinions are, as always, my own.

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Hello friends!  I am sharing another recipe with you via Best Friends For Frosting today!  These adorable, personal-sized almond flavored cakes are filled with vanilla buttercream and coated with crunchy toasted coconut.  They are rich and sweet and would be perfectly accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee.

I think it would be so cute to serve each of your party guests one of these Mini Almond Coconut Cakes.  Who doesn’t want their own personal cake to eat all by themselves?

Click here for the detailed recipe.

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