Edible Mittens!!! (chocolate dipped shortbread cookies)

Brrr! What a COLD week we had last week. I know it was that way in most of the country – but that thought did not warm me as I was walking to work in the single digits (“feels like -30something” with the windchill). I seriously bundled up and wasn’t ashamed – I had my mittens, scarf, hat AND furry hood. Don’t worry, I took a selfie for you.

Remind me not to take pictures of myself looking like this again.

Remind me not to take pictures of myself looking like this again.

Anyway, there’s not much you can do when the weather’s cold besides bundle up, eat a lot of soup, run on a treadmill – and of course bake! Don’t you agree? And with the weather so cold, it was only fitting to make a buttery shortbread cookie (borrowed from Ina Garden) – and shape them like mittens. Cute, don’t you think?

chocolate dipped mitten cookies - i crashed the web

Mitten Cookies! (Or Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies)

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 pound butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweetened chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer until combined. Add in vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add in flour and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dough should be well combined and not powdery. Shape dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. After dough is chilled, roll out the dough and cut with your cookie cutter into fun shapes. I thought I had a mitten cutter – but I didn’t. Whoops! So instead I free cut a few fun shapes (beer, a B for B, and some more) and then made a mitten stencil out of thick paper and traced that with a knife.
  5. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are light brown.
  7. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, you can melt chocolate and dip your dough shapes in them!

  1. Put about 1 c. chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Your chocolate won’t be melted yet (likely) but continue to stir and nuke the chocolate in 30 second intervals until it’s fully melted- this will help to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  2. Dip the cookie in the chocolate. I dipped the bottom of the mittens and then sprinkled them with sprinkles to make them the way they are. But you could also drizzle you cookies with chocolate as well.

Enjoy!

mitten shaped template

the paper mitten I drew for a template … and other cookies in the background

some cookies cooling, some cookies ready for the oven

some cookies cooling, some cookies ready for the oven

some other fun shapes I cut

some other fun shapes I cut

 

 

 

Refusing to succumb to Blue Monday.

Last Monday was the infamous “Blue Monday.” You know, that day in January deemed the most depressing day of the year? And why not? It’s cold, dark, everyone is sad, feeling the aftereffects of the happiness of the holidays and of course feeling the aftereffects on their credit card and waistline.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I get in a funk from about January through the end of March. Rough for someone having a January birthday. But this year, I decided that I wasn’t going to be “blue” on Blue Monday. I can’t do much about the weather, the icy roads (which make it SO hard to run outside), or the dark days, but I CAN get excited and embrace all there is to do and enjoy in Cleveland this time of year. Yes, even in the winter. How can I be blue when I’ve done all this fun stuff since the holidays have ended?

Trying out Dave and Anson’s deep fryer, eating homemade fried chicken wings and watching football:

fried chicken

Baking mitten cookies. Because when it’s cold, who doesn’t love mittens?

chocolate dipped mitten cookies

Attempting to sew mittens. I don’t have an “after” picture because the one mitten I tried to make didn’t come out. I’ll stick to baked cookie mittens (see above):

20140110_194128

Shopping at the West Side Market. Because it’s somewhat warm in there and if it’s not you can always get a hot beverage and your groceries:

my favorite stand at west side market

my favorite stand at west side market

And then cooking some fantastic vegetarian dishes with Ali. I love this girl (my former work-spouse) and don’t see her nearly enough – and it was SO good to spend a day cooking with her!

Ali making samosas

Ali making samosas

the recipe for these awesomeness is coming soon.

the recipe for these awesomeness is coming soon.

A few outdoor runs when the weather “warmed up.” And a few hot beverages from Rising Star.

almond milk latte from rising star

And seeing Chicago – with the oh so talented Peterman John O’Hurley! Thanks to B’s parents for the awesome tickets as our Christmas gift.

chicago

And then wrapping up a fabulous weekend with sushi from Sushi 86, the Golden Globes and tea and Downton Abbey.

sushi

OMG can you believe about Anna?

OMG can you believe about Anna?

And that’s just for the first few weeks of this month. What are you doing to keep yourself entertained this month?