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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest:: Stephanie Beck

Cookie Fun at Christmas

I love winter. Okay, in Minnesota I don’t love the snow so much or the frigid temperatures, but in the right proportions it’s not so bad. The best part of winter and the holidays is the food. My family, friends and I like to swap around batches of cookies to make the baking during the holidays more fun and less work. As my daughters get older, we’ve started employing a few fun decorating ideas.

Frosting: this is a given, but we crank up the flavors and colors with peppermint extract and some super bright food dyes.

Candy: not just red hots for Rudolf’s nose. We get small jelly beans and Mike and Ikes to make any sugar cookie a little more festive.

Raw Sugar: The little rocks of white and brown make interesting textures and are a yummy addition to any cookie.

Marshmallow: colored ones, little ones, big ones cut in slices—the fluffy goodness of a marshmallow can kick a cookie into a new stratosphere.

May all your cookies be yummy and your holidays be bright!!

Share one of your cookie decorating tips and be entered to win a goodie bag—only ships to the US—sorry :-)

Stephanie Beck

A Winter Tale With Marshmallows

No winter night is complete without marshmallows.

Pregnant and on the run, Mona Renalds is a werewolf with trouble nipping at her heals. She wants a new life for herself and the twins she’s carrying. Embracing the future can’t happen until she finds an alpha male strong enough to take on her former pack leader.

Chris Meyters is alpha of Haven Pack. Mild mannered and progressive, he tries to reverse the archaic methods of his pack’s previous leaders. When Mona comes into his diner requesting sanctuary, his primitive instinct to claim her nearly consumes him, but he fights himself to give her the choices she was denied in her former pack.

Surrounded by the Pennsylvania winter of snow, sledding parties and creamy cups of hot chocolate, Chris and Mona are prepared to do whatever it takes in order to maintain the domestic bliss they’ve found with each other.

About the Author: Even before she understood what all the thrusting meant,
Stephanie Beck loved reading romance. When the stories didn’t end the
way she wanted, writing her own was the perfect solution. From
ridiculous humor to erotica, Stephanie loves being transported within
a story. When she’s not elbow deep in words, her husband and two
daughters command her attention. After they are sleeping she knits or
bakes cookies...or squeezes in more writing.


Debby said...

I used to love to let me children decorate the cookies. Give them some frosting and let them loose. You will love the results and get a few chuckles as well
debby236 at gmail dot com

desitheblonde said...

depend we have used to my hysocky
i think they are call them they are a dough and they are good my brother made them and won a lot of ribbons
desi the blone@

Catherine Lee said...

I LOVE holiday cookies! My mother never made them and neither do I. I envy families that have that as a holiday tradition. I like basic butter cookies with colored sugar and also bar cookies with candied fruit. YUM.

Ho, Ho, Ho...

steph beck said...

@Debby: doing almost anything with children this time of year especially makes the event that much more fun!

@Desi: a brother who bakes? My brother asked my mom if I could be the baker in my family when I was 12. She had a bad habit of forgetting to add sugar and also leaving the cookies in too long!

@ Catherine: mmm, I love bar cookies with fruit. Not enough people make them anymore, but my grandma still does...soooo good!

Thanks for stopping by!!
Stephanie Beck

Derek said...

My best tips are:
1. Always have chocolate close at hand.
2. Everything takes much more time than you think, so do the prep beforehand.
3. It's supposed to be fun. Remember to remind yourself of that, in between the emergency chocolate sessions.

Donna E said...

I do not make cookies anymore. But even when I did, when the children were little, even when my Mom made cookies - I really don't remember decorating them. We did cookies like Snickerdoodles (my son's favorite I think), Choc Chip, Peanut Butter (oh, I miss my Mama's PB cookies!), and Oatmeal Raisin (my husband did those).
I never have mastered a sugar cookie -- not even the slice & bake kind.

Enjoy seeing others' creations tho.

maegan said...

My favorite was to make/decorate cookies, is to go to a cookie making party, bring a lot of wine, get the bakers a little buzzed, while I sit back in the corner and nibble away to my heart's content.

As far as decorating goes, I find everything is better with glitter. And it lasts a long, LONG time.

steph beck said...

@Derek--You are very wise. Time and chocolate are always good things to have on hand.

@Donna--I love making chocolate chip cookies with red and green chocolate chips. They're festive, yummy and easy!

@Maegan-You're also very, very wise. Get 'em snockered and run off with the cookies. And is the gift that keeps on giving :)

Stephanie Beck

Five Foot Mama said...

I learned this cookie decorating tip earlier this holiday season. Instead of rolling sugar cookies out on a floured surface, use powdered sugar! It helps to prevent that 'cakey' texture while adding more flavor and sweetness at the same time. Yum!

colleen_m_anderson @ yahoo . com

steph beck said...

@Colleen I love that idea! I will absolutely be using it next time I make roll out cookies :)

Stephanie Beck

shadow_kohler said...

holiday cookies are so yummy, especially homemade. thats a tradition here. all the kids get together and we bake. yummy! ;) thanks for sharing! happy holidays!

RoyalCheryl said...

Making cookies is such a tradition in my house. Especially Sugar Cookies. They sure don't last long. Thank You.

steph beck said...

@Shadow I love that it doesn't matter how old those 'kids' are, something about decorating cookies is the great equalizer.

@ Royal Cheryl My mom always says if the cookies don't last, you did something right!

Merry Christmas!!

Stephanie Beck

Jean P said...

Never make enough sugar cookies, so mine always look mishappen. Tend to make slices and squares with chocolate, much easier to make. Happy Holidays.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Maureen said...

My daughter melts white chocolate chips with cisco to drizzle it on cookies.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

GladysMP said...

I love decorating cookies. I have a huge collection of holiday cookie cutters and I mix up cups of verious colors of icing and have at it. Children love them.

Happy New Year!

Frank said...

How cute, Stephanie! We haven't done any decorating yet this year, but we've been liking to let a couple chocolate chips sit atop freshly baked cookies for a couple minutes, then we swirl the melty chocolate a bit for that freshly "iced with chocolate" look :)

--flchen1 using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

VampedChik said...

I'm not much of a baker but I have learned to make sure you have everything on hand before you start!

Kathryn Merkel said...

It's not so much a decorating tip, as an easy way to make peanut blossoms with an extra kick of peanut flavor. Instead of putting the balls of peanut butter cookie dough on a cookie sheet, I bake them in a mini-muffin pan. Then instead of pushing a hershey's kiss into the top of the cookie warm from the oven, I use a mini peanut butter cup. When I was in a hurry, I've even used the roll of dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Tastes just as good & a lot less mess.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at