Funfetti Almond Spritz Cookies

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I’ve always thought of spritz cookies and butter cookies to be pigeon-holed into the “Christmas cookie” category. December rolls around and you break out the cookie press and some green and red sprinkles and food coloring and go to town. What happens to that cookie press the rest of the year? It usually gets tossed in a cabinet and forgotten. When I finally purchased my OXO Cookie Press last year I was bound and determined not to let that happen. I’m against gadgets that I only use once a year, if that.

Well, it happened. Even though we loved using the cookie press, we kind of forgot about it. Then September rolled around and OXO and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer started promoting their “Be a Good Cookie” campaign to raise funds for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I’ve taken part of this wonderful fundraiser before. It’s one of my favorite fundraisers and one of the reasons I love blogging. Get the word out on awareness, raise some money, and bake!

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I started thinking of so many great spritz cookie flavors, which I’ll be sharing this year in my effort to keep that cookie press out of storage and in regular rotation. The recipe that we decided to share as part of the “Be a Good Cookie” campaign are these Funfetti Almond Spritz Cookies. The best part of spritz cookies are the sprinkles and why not add them to the batter, instead of just on top? My four-year definitely agreed! Since it is also my mom’s birthday today, we opted for a lovely almond flavor since that’s one of her favorites. We made some fun heart and buttercup shapes and it was a celebration in our house! These are perfect for any day of the year, especially the rainy day we decided to bake some up. I hope you all will keep reading and check out OXO and the rest of the great recipes that bloggers have come up with in support of the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer “Be a Good Cookie” campaign.

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OXO supplied me with the cookie press and baking kit, but as always the opinions expressed here are solely my own. OXO will also be donating $100 to every post dedicated to the Cookies For Kids Cancer Campaign in September.

For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers in September. You can find the list of eligible products here. My recommendations are the cookie press and the cookie spatula. I never knew I needed a cookie spatula until one entered my life. Now, I can’t do without!

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* In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

 

Funfetti Almond Spritz Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and almond extract and beat until just combined. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until the dough has just come together and is moistened. Slowly, with mixer on, pour sprinkles into batter so they distribute evenly.

Add dough to your cookie press and press dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until edges are sightly golden brown. Cool on pan for a few minutes and then remove cookies and place on a wire rack.

*If you don’t have a cookie press, roll dough into a log and slice and bake. This dough can also be frozen.

Yields 80 cookies

Slightly adapted from Food.com

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My daughter is attending pre-K three times a week this year and while I know that I have barely grazed the full-time school routine, our household has become a little chaotic as we adjust. This is only our second week in so I am hopeful that we will soon get into a rhythm. I’m fortunate to have some help with my little guy while I feel like a constant shuttle dropping and picking up my daughter after only three hours. I admire those that do it every day but also feel for you! I wake up every school morning groaning almost as much as my daughter, but getting it over with before she sees or hears me. I’ve also come to love the idea of the bus. It wasn’t too long ago that I swore my child would never ride the bus. Helicopter parent right here. Now, I wish for the bus. Please, come pick up my child so I can hang out in my pajamas for a little while longer!

So, while we try to get back into the grind of schedules and enjoy the fall season filled with fairs, apple picking, and putting away all of the fun summer toys in the yard, I need quick and healthy meals to put on my table. This recipe appealed to me because it used up a bunch of fresh herbs I have in my garden. I don’t have that many windows with great sun so I can’t keep tons of herbs growing in the winter. This also used tortellini which is one of my daughter’s favorite things to eat. It’s a great way to introduce some new flavors while keeping it safe in her eyes. Throw in some peas from the garden right into the mix and then everyone is forced to eat it!

This was really a delightful surprise. We all knew we would like it, but we didn’t expect to love it. My mother was over for dinner and even she really enjoyed it. It was light and refreshing and so easy to make!

Tortellini with Snap Peas and Pesto

Ingredients

  • 9 oz three-cheese tortellini
  • 8 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cook tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add snap peas to pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.

Place mint and next 7 ingredients, through garlic, in a mini food processor; process until finely chopped, scraping sides once. Combine oiil and juice in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. With processor on, slowly pour oil mixture and process until well blended. Combine tortellini mixture and mint mixture; toss gently to coat.

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Per serving: 351 Calories, 17.4g Fat, 13g Protein, 37g Carbohydrate, 5g Fiber, 26mg Cholesterol, 3mg Iron, 392 mg Sodium, 191mg Calcium.

Source: Cooking Light May 2014

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Last week we had very warm weather, which then turned very cold but I’m trying to still think *warm* thoughts, and I was kept busy trying to make the most of my garden harvest. We are inundated right now with tomatoes and cucumbers and lots of herbs. I don’t want any to go to waste and summers are so short here in Maine. I really would consider a green house, but I don’t think my husband would go for that.

What I love about this panzanella is that it has those sweet late summer tastes from the peach and tomatoes, but the crunch and warmth from the bread brings a feeling of fall. It’s just perfect for this time of year.We enjoyed it as a light lunch, but it can be served as a delicious appetizer or side dish as well.

Peach & Tomato Panzanella

Ingredients

  • 1/3 loaf of crusty whole grain bread (about 8 slices)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 ripe yellow peaches, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Tear bread into 1 1/2 – 2-inch pieces and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

While the croutons are baking, combine the tomatoes, peaches, red onion, and thyme in a large bowl. Stir in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Remove the croutons from the oven and allot to cool for 5 minutes.

Gently fold croutons into salad and divide among serving dishes.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 293 Calories, 15g Fat, 7g Protein, 38g Carbohydrates, 5g Fiber, 13g Sugar

Source: Kiwi Magazine August/September 2014

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We make pizza in my house about once a week, often playing around with different toppings and sauces. Pizza is a great way for everyone to get something that they like. For my non-sauce loving daughter, it’s simply dough and cheese. Occasionally, she’ll throw some peas or carrots on there as a joke. My husband loves the meatier pizzas and I love mushroom or spinach. When it was time to create my last recipe for Smart Balance as part of the Battle of the Blogger’s contest I won a year ago, I decided on pizza. It’s something we love and most everyone does as well and it’s quick and easy as everyone gets back into the Fall grind. I’ve made this combination before, usually opting for a thicker sauce that also yields a lot more calories and fat, so I lightened it up and we were really happy with the end result, so much that we haven’t gone back to the heavier version since!

This is an easy recipe to whip up if you have your kitchen stocked with lots of frozen shredded chicken and pizza dough just ready to go. No need for take-out or processed frozen pizzas. Make a gourmet pizza in your house any night of the week in less than half an hour!

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Chicken & Garlic White Pizza

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Smart Balance Original Spread
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • Pizza dough (store bought or can use my recipe http://www.thewaytohisheartblog.com/pizza-dough/)
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 5 oz fresh part-skim mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves
  • corn meal for dusting

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Place pizza stone in oven to heat.

In a small saucepan, simmer butter and garlic until melted and aromatic. Stir in milk to combine. Turn heat to medium, bring just to a boil and whisk in flour until combined. Remove from heat and allow to thicken.

Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness. Sprinkle corn meal on pizza peel. Carefully, transfer dough onto pizza peel. Spread garlic butter sauce onto dough. Top with chicken and cheese. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Tear basil leaves and place on top of pizza.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 238 Calories, 9g Fat, 27mg Cholesterol, 353mg Sodium, 27g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 14g Protein

The Way to His Heart