>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I know I've said this before... but California has to be the best state ever. It's not even my home state - where I was born and raised. But it sure does feel like "home" now. Archie and I LOVE to explore, and one of our favorite ways is hiking. There are so many places to go hiking here. This past weekend we went hiking with our hiking buddies, Jeremiah and Jenny. Here are a few pictures of our adventure at Big Sur.
How can you go hiking without an Iphone/GPS?
Can you say Christmas card?
We made a lunch stop at Big Sur Bakery. I've heard a lot about this place on other blogs, and loved being able to try it. It was a lunch menu, which was a bit smaller, but it was still delicious. I had a local ham sandwich with fresh baked bread and a chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. Archie got a chai latte which was topped with honey and was delicious! If you're in the area, you should definitely try.
Now let's talk about cookies - because I know that's really why you're reading. It's Christmas time - and what better way to add thickness to the waste line but eggnog! Eggnog has such a varied fan base - some people love it and some people hate it. I'm surprised to see how many people haven't even tried it! My dad introduced me to eggnog, and I've been a fan ever since. I'm a traditionalist though - you can't enjoy it, not even one little sip, until after Thanksgiving! These cookies have just a hint of eggnog with more of a nutmeg flavor. Still delicious.
If you need a little help working off the eggnog, Pinterest has some great quick at home bootcamp workouts you can do in 30 minutes or less with little to no equipment - here and here.
Eggnog Sugar Cookies (From: BHG)
For Cookies -
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon eggnog
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 tablespoons eggnog
1. Cut vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds, setting them aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, mix softened butter on medium for 30 seconds or until fluffy. Add the sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt, and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
3. Beat in the egg, eggnog, and vanilla beans until combined. Mix in the flour - mixing as much as possible by the electric mixer, and switching to a wooden spoon to stir in remaining flour.
4. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, chilling for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4" thick.
5. Using a fluted round cookie cutter, cut out dough and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and let cool.
Mix together all ingredients until spreadable consistency. Spread onto cooled cookies.