Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, A Tasting Tour, and Treat # 9 November 27, 2012

Did y’all have an amazing Thanksgiving?  I certainly did.  We spent a week with my parents, and just got back this past weekend.  (That’s right, my last post came to you from sunny Florida, but I bet you couldn’t tell the difference.)  We spent a lot of time cooking and relaxing which was nice.  Now I’m endeavoring to get back into my regular routine while preparing for my very favorite holiday, Christmas.  Since I’ve only been back a couple of days I don’t have too much to share today, just a couple of upcoming holiday deals.  Hopefully, they will be the first of many to come.  😀

Both of these deals come to you from Starbucks, and they are great treats during long afternoons of holiday shopping.  The first one is a tasting tour of their special holiday drinks.  If you go to a participating Starbucks (more info here), you can pick up a holiday beverage tasting card.  From now til January 2, you can collect a sticker whenever you buy one of their holiday beverages. (Choose from the peppermint mocha, caramel brulee latte, eggnog latte, and gingerbread latte.)  Once you’ve collected 5 stickers, you can turn in your card to receive a free grande beverage.    If you love their holiday beverages, this is a great way to have your favorites and get another free.

Starting on December 1st, Starbucks is also doing their 12 Days of Christmas Deals promotion.  I haven’t heard about this from Starbucks, but one of the couponing blogs I follow (Hip 2 Save) posted what deals you can expect each day.  Check out her list here if that’s something you’re interested in.  If there’s a Starbucks lover in your family, this can be a good way to save money on buying drinks or other products.

Since many of us were traveling, cooking, and shopping this weekend (or all 3!), I figured that this might be a great time to find a quick and easy cookie recipe to share (#9 in our 12 cookies for Christmas).  I whipped these up with just a little planning ahead and a few minutes of hands on time.  I used an extra dark cocoa, so mine is a little bitter to balance its butteriness.  Feel free to use your favorite lighter cocoa if you’re not a fan of the dark.  This was so easy to make and even my husband asked me to make sure some got packed in his lunch box (high praise!).  Here’s how to make it.

Chocolate Shortbread (from Cooking Light)

1 c. all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. cocoa

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

5 tbsp. softened butter (I was out grocery shopping yesterday, so I put this out first thing in the morning, and it was ready when I got home and started cooking.)

1/4 c. canola oil

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, butter, and oil together with your hands.  (A spatula works if you don’t feel like getting dirty.)  Add in the flour mixture and mix with your hands til combined.  (Again, the spatula worked great.)  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 min. in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the dough on a greased baking sheet (or silicone mat) and press into an 8×5 in. rectangle that’s about 3/8 in. thick.  (I’m no good at measuring, so next time I’ll probably just press it into the bottom of an 8 in. square pan.)  Pierce the entire surface liberally with a fork.  Bake 30 min. or til just set.

Are you excited about the Christmas season?  I am so happy that it’s finally here.  I love listening to Christmas music and decorating everything with lots of lights and ornaments.  I’d love to hear some of your family’s Christmas traditions, so drop me a line if you have a minute.  Talk to you soon!

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