Our Favorite Christmas Cookie 

Today was the day! Cookie day at the Brouwer house!

Our favorite cookies to make are the roll-out, cut-out, frost, sprinkle, devour kind…. you know the ones.­čśë

Luckily, I have simple recipe with a quick frost method that makes these little treats champs (not chores). The final product is a soft and chewy, buttery cookie with frosting that hardens so they are not messy to eat and easy to store!

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Kristy’s Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

Makes 45 frosted cookies

Preheat oven to 400┬░F

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Whisk until fluffy:

1 cup butter, very soft (NO SUBSTITUTES)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla 

1 tsp almond extract 

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In a seperate bowl mix together:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

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Slowly add dry mix into butter mix and stir until completely combined.  Cover bowl and put in fridge for 2 hours.

Roll out chilled dough on floured countertop, approximately 1/4″ thick and cut desired shapes.

These cookies don’t really rise or spread much, so just roll them to your preferred thickness.

Line a room temperature baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cut-outs 1″ apart on baking sheet.

The baking sheet MUST be cooled back to room temperature before placing any cut-outs. This will ensure cookies remain in the desired shape and stay soft throughout. Also, do not grease your baking sheet or parchment. 

Bake at 400┬░F for 4 minutes (convection ovens) or 4-5 minutes (standard ovens). Cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Don’t forget to cool your baking sheet on a seperate wire rack too!

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For the frosting, whisk together:

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, MUST be sifted

6 Tbsp milk

3 Tbsp light corn syrup 

1 tsp almond extract 

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Seperate frosting into 4 or 5 flat bottomed bowls. Stir in desired food colorings. 

A little goes a long way with this frosting. It should be slightly thinner than honey but should still be sticky and glossy. If your frosting is too stiff, add 1/2 tsp of milk at a time to achieve proper consistency. 

Line countertop with parchment paper and place wire racks on top of paper. 

Lining will protect your counter from frosting run-off that will soon be coming from the post-frosted cookies as they dry.

To frost, simply drop the cookie top-side facedown into the frosting bowl. Quickly pick up the cookie and allow the excess frosting to drip off back into frosting bowl. Place frosted cookie on wire rack and top with sprinkles before icing sets.

Let cookies sit for at least 2 hours to set or you can put them in the fridge to speed up this process.

Eat! Enjoy!

Winter is Coming

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We have a fresh herb garden that we pick from for our daily meals. Sadly, winter is coming and soon all of our plants will succumb to the frost. ­čśŽ
Today we harvested our little garden and prepped for the cold months ahead. I bought these silicone trays for 99 cents. Each mold holds exactly 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs. I pack the herbs into each mold with just a bit of water to fill to the top. Freeze. Pop out each mold and put into a freezer bag. If a recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs, just drop one in! Homegrown herbs year round!

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Drew’s Laptop Lunch Menu

Drew's Before and After Bento-ware

Drew’s Before and After Bento-ware

Week two of Kindergarten, Drew comes home and announces: “School lunches are DISGUSTING!” Thanks for the news flash bud. Should I have your dad get CNN on the phone?

Then it hits me. For the past five years, this kid has had every single breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack hand picked and prepared (with love, I might add) by his parents! He is spoiled! And he is picky in a whole different way then most kids. French fries: DISGUSTING. Pizza: DISGUSTING. Cheeseburgers: DISGUSTING.

AAaahhhh! What am I to do? We are a busy, working, tag-team parenting house. It is a amazing we even get out the door in the morning. (You know EXACTLY what I am talking about.) Then just as if the clouds parted and the angels began to sing, my friend Ami posted her “Month of School Lunches“. Rejoice! Here is my solution, I thought! Thank you Ami!

It’s simple. Create 4 weeks of healthy lunches (your kid will actually eat) and then repeat! Once it is written all out, you have a weekly shopping list and a daily plan. Lunches can be whipped up in a few minutes and then your kid isn’t eating a PB&J with a yogurt tube everyday because thats all you can think of at 6am!

I had to modify Ami’s menu to ensure Drew’s menu is completely PEANUT-FREE due to restrcitions at his school. Also, you will see my son’s┬áobsession with┬áranch dressing. He puts it on everything. I make it homemade for him and he┬áloves it. More power to him, I say.

Click here for┬ámy printable┬ámenu: Drew’s Peanut-free Month of Lunches!

Steal it. Organize your mornings. Keep sane getting those kiddos out the door! Good luck Mamas.┬á ­čÖé

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Star Student

Drew is Star Student today in Ms Jen’s class and he is so excited! This week’s theme at school includes the letter H, the number 4 and Pumpkins. We decided to incorporate all three into today’s snack!

Jack-o-Clementines with peanut butter and honey waffle sandwiches. Yummo! The Hs can be turned into 4s if you know how to snack on them *just* right. ­čśë Daddy even found the fun straws for all kids’ water bottles too.┬á

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