Happy Holidays!

December 29, 2011

First, I would like to apologize.  I’ve not been able to post as often as I would like to lately.  I’ve been off of work all week and I think I may be looking forward to returning next week.  That’s how much activity I’ve been cramming into each day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying all the activity.  Who doesn’t enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially this time of year?  We’ve entertained people three nights this week,and they’re some of the best people I know.  Yesterday, we spent part of the morning scooping up some wonderful sales.  I love kitchen gadgets and a great sale.  Two of my favorite stores have the best after Christmas sales: Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table.  During the month of December, I’ve gotten into the habit of writing down little things that I need to replace or find for my kitchen.  A new shaker for my powdered sugar?  Check.  Some new cutting boards?  Check.  Cute holiday cocktail napkins for my bar? Check.

We also hit Trader Joe’s for some yummy Cookie Butter.  Thanks Denise for steering me in that direction!  The possibilities with this product… The cashier told me that this may become a permanent item in the store!

After all this activity, I’m glad that we keep our New Year’s quiet.  It’s all about the fondue in our house.  We’ve never made it to midnight, but that’s okay.  New Year’s morning is all about the panettone french toast.

Okay, let’s talk about some cookies.  I found this recipe in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  They looked too simple not to try.  The spice from the cookie and the creaminess from the melted white chocolate really compliment each other.

My only complaint was they looked too bland.  They didn’t have that wow factor on the plate.  Do you know what I mean?  When I get my cookie plate together, I want people to struggle with the decision of which cookies to try.  I want them to take more than one.  I don’t want them to pass up a cookie because it doesn’t look amazing.  Maybe it’s because I was always picked near the end in gym class… Anyhow, I added a little drizzle of caramel to the top of the cookie to seal the deal.

Vanilla Allspice Thumbprints

  • 1 1/4 C Flour
  • 1/2 t Allspice
  • 1/4 t Baking Powder
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk, room temperature
  • 3/4 t Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 C White Chocolate Chips
  • Caramel for garnish (I used the jar kind used on sundaes)

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, allspice, baking powder and salt.  Set aside,  In a large bowl, beat the butter.  Add the sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and beat for another minute.  Add the vanilla extract and beat until mixed.  Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl and making sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated.  Shape the dough into balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb or a handle end of a wooden spoon.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the cookies are dry and firm to touch.  Rotate the cookies if necessary. Let the cookies cool on wire racks.  While the cookies cool, place the chocolate pieces in a small microwave safe bowl and cook the pieces until melted, 30 to 60 seconds.  Us a small spoon to fill each cookie and let the chocolate set.  Drizzle with caramel.

Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies.


  1. Karen, I love your first photograph…I can almost taste the caramel. Yum! These look delicious and I’d probably help myself to two. I’m jealous that you have a Sur la Table near you. We had one in San Diego, but I can’t find one here (maybe they’ll open in 2012 – fingers crossed).

    • Allison-
      They have a great internet site/catalogue!

  2. Karen,
    I’m glad you liked the cookie butter. It sounds like you had an amazing Christmas.
    We had quite the opposite over here. My Dad passed away on Christmas day. He had a heart attack on Thanksgiving day, and was in the hospital since that day. I will not bore with the details, but we had many ups and downs from that point. I know in my brain he is in a better place, I just have to get my heart to follow. I find it fitting that he went to heaven on Christmas day, because he was the biggest Christmas elf during that season. He LOVED Christmas.
    Take Care!

    • Denise-
      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Marie had mentioned something to me, but I didn’t realise he was that ill. I’m keeping you in my prayers and wishing you a better New Year.

  3. Thank you so much Karen ❤

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