Leah Behr: Baby It's Cold Outside...

Baby It's Cold Outside...

If you are friends with me on FB, you are already fully aware of how I intended to spend my Sunday. Of course, there was the usually baking, but due to the fresh snow on the ground and the high of only 18 degrees, I decided I would create a forced snow day! (There were only 2 inches of snow, so nothing major, but I really wanted to take full advantage of indoor activities-avoiding the outdoors as much as possible.)

Our day consisted of cleaning, cooking and crafting, as four classic Christmas movies played in rotation in the background. It was AWESOME! (I swear, we used to be cool once.)

Ok, so "Deck the Halls" isn't exactly a classic Christmas movie, but I like it anyway :)

Bran even got our little wreath all finished, after weeks of wrapping Styrofoam balls in our spare time!  

I just need to go buy a couple more ornaments to fill in the right side, 
and it will be PERFECT! Big thanks to my babe for assembling!
 Inspiration via Pinterest, here:

  As Brandon assembled the wreath, I started baking. This week's treat? The classic Kiss Cookie!

Photo Cred: here
With a twist ;)

I'm not sure why it is exactly, that Kiss Cookies are considered a classic Christmas cookie. There's nothing about Peanut Butter or Hershey's Kisses, that make me think of Christmas. When you pair them together though, it is pure nostalgia and Christmas cheer is summoned from the very depths of my soul. 

I don't know about you, but whenever I have always found Kiss Cookies, a pain in the butt to eat. I usually just remove the Kiss,and eat the cookie. It begs the question to be asked, "why not just make a plain PB cookie?!" I asked Bran his thoughts, and he admitted he usually removes the Kiss, as well.

Enter the idea of Reese's and Dove miniatures. I actually ended up buying a bag of "Santa's Favorites" assorted candies, that had square chocolates and peanut butter cups. (I ended up discovering the square chocolates were actually "crispies" but used them anyway, and they actually worked out nicely.)

After the first batch was out of the oven, we quickly discovered that the use of Reese's was a HUGE HIT. In fact, I'm never looking back. (Sorry my lovely little Kisses.)
 The ooey-gooey peanut-buttery chocolate, fresh out of the oven, is almost too much goodness for my tastebuds to handle.

The second batch, consisted of only peanut butter cups, and so on and so forth until only chocolate squares remained.

   As you can see, most of the one's with PB Cups, were eaten...

After all the baking was completed, I topped the day off with a Mexican Chicken Stew. I took ideas for the soup, from here and here and, of course, had to personalize it to make it my own. I'll share my recipe on here, when I get the chance to assemble it, but for now, the recipes above should hold you over. :)

 Hope you all had as great of a weekend and we did. 

 Mission "Snow Day" Accomplished!

My Mom's Kiss Cookies Recipe: 

2 2/3 Cups Flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (I always add a few extra splashes to my recipes)

Grease your baking sheet or line with parchment. Pre-heat your oven to 375.
Mix together your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) and set aside.

Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix all together. Add your dry ingredients and stir/mix until well blended.

Rolls into balls (about the size of a tablespoon) and roll in sugar. Place balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes. Open oven and place Kiss (or candy of your choice) on cookie, and bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Place on rack to cool and devour just as soon as you're able!  

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