Foodie Friday- Home for the Holidays Edition: Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies

Christmas Cookie

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to bake Christmas Cookies! Every year, Mr. H. and I host a cookie exchange, and boy have we acquired some great recipes! So for today’s Foodie Friday post, I thought it’d be fun to share the 2012 winning cookie with you: Chocolate Hazelnut Drop Cookies. These were prepared by our friends Dana and James and everyone absolutely LOVED them:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 cup powdered sugar
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup of nuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, at room temperature (recommended: Nutella)

Directions:

1.Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.

2.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With the machine running, gradually add the flour until incorporated. Beat in the chocolate-hazelnut spread

3.Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop 12 balls of dough onto each baking sheet. Bake until the bottoms of the cookies flatten out slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4.Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in a medium bowl. In batches, roll the cookies in the sugar until coated. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Give these a try! Your guests will love and them Santa may even enjoy finding these treats by the fireplace with a cup of milk on Christmas Eve!

Happy Cooking!

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Home for the Holidays 2013: Family Room

Holiday Family Room 2

Happy December everyone! Can you believe Christmas is here already? Mr. H and I are so excited to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home! The Friday after Thanksgiving, my family was gracious enough to come by to help us “deck our halls”. The guys (Mr. H, my dad, and my brother) were on outdoor lights duty while the girls (myself, my mom, and my brother’s girlfriend) were trimming the tree and putting magical touches on the interior. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we’re about 90% done!  Go team!

I thought it would be fun to share some of the spaces we’ve transformed through a December series I’ll be calling “Home for the Holidays”.

The first room I’d like to share is the Family Room.

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I am so glad that we are finally in a home with a full fledged fireplace! Not only does it provide a stunning focal point in the room, but Santa actually has a chimney to come down at Christmas 🙂 If only we could figure out how to light that fire… Oh the joys of owning a new home!

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I love how cozy we’ve made this corner. We just added a warm throw and pillow and now it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa on those chilly snowy evenings.

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How darling are these stockings!? When I saw these beauties, I just couldn’t resist. You can’t really tell from the photos but up close the thread shimmers adding a truly elegant look to room.

Also peeking through in this photo is our memory tree. Our main Christmas tree is located in our living room. But here in our family room, we have tree containing important ornaments that mean something special to both Mr. H and me.

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Among these treasures are an ornament from the Roatan where we vacationed 3 years ago, a Lenox piece my mother gifted us to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home, a gingerbread man to honor our annual holiday cookie exchange we throw, our wedding invitation ornament I made, our “H” monogram we bought for our first married Christmas, and red bone specially made for our puppy Cooper. These all represent amazing memories if you ask me!

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We are lucky in that we have a great mantle to work off of. We really didn’t need to do much to make a statement– just a bit of garland and a rustic wreath and the place really illuminates!

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These stocking holders were a great find by my mother. I think they’re absolutely adorable and add a unique touch to the mantle. This one’s a snowflake but the set also came with a tree and a reindeer!

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One of my favorite parts of the room is this DIY “firewood” basket I made located by the hearth of the fireplace.  It was a cinch to put together and cost only about $10 to assemble!

Well I hope you enjoyed our family room holiday tour! Thanks for stopping by– and remember, there’s no place quite like home for the holidays.

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