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party at the mccoy’s

Yesterday I played hostess for Jonathan’s team-members from work – they all came over during lunch for their annual Christmas party.  I love hosting people at our house, and it doesn’t really happen that often for some reason.  Maybe that’s why I like it?

Anyway, I spent about 5 hours Monday night making the infamous sugar cookies that had actually begun to feel like a thorn in my side.  I wasted so many batches of cookies, and in the end I went with a tried and true recipe that was posted on Jenna’s blog a couple weeks ago. The funny thing is that it’s almost exactly the same as another recipe I had found on a different blog awhile back (Jenna adapted it from there) – I guess it was meant to be!

Once I found said recipe, I thought it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way.  That is until 9:30 pm, when I realized that I was 1/2 cup short of Earth Balance. Nooooo!  It’s unbelievable how many trips I made a across town in order to finally accumulate all the ingredients necessary for these cookies.  The thought of making one more almost killed me.  Besides that I didn’t think our main grocery store in town carried it, and the health food stores were all closed.  Sigh.

So I called Food Pyramid, crossed my fingers while I waited on hold about 3 different times, and then begged the guy on the other end to “puh-lease tell me they had Earth Balance.”  Praise the Lord, they had it!

So by the time I got home, I already had invested an hour in cookie making, and there wasn’t even any dough mixed up yet!  It was about 15 minutes after that that I realized these cookies have to chill in the fridge for an hour before being rolled out.  It was just not my night.

Finally, with a lot of time and even more hard manual labor (rolling out that dough is a challenge!) I finally came out with a decent sugar cookie at about 1:30 am.  The only part left at that point was the decorating.

Let’s just say I am a very amateur decorator.  As in, I’ve never done it before. It’s funny how this little fact didn’t really cross my mind until 1:30 am Monday night, when I began mixing up the icing.  Honestly, the icing part came out looking pretty bad, but the cookies tasted great and by the time I got them all tied up in their little bags, the icing wasn’t that noticeable.  Next time I might would try a different recipe….this one was a little bit thin and soft…but after a little fridge time it hardened up enough and ended up being okay.

Vegan Holiday Sugar Cookies

originally and only slightly adapted by Jenna from here.  I also made a couple slight changes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar sugar
  • 2 whole egg replacements (Ener-g brand)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand)

Directions

  • Cream together the Earth Balance and sugar.  Add one “egg” at a time as you continue mixing.

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  • Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the vegan cream cheese and mix only until combined.
  • Allow dough to chill for one hour.  Note: the dough will be very crumbly!  This is normal.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove dough from fridge.  Knead the dough on a floured surface so that it begins to stick together.  This is the part where you need some serious arm muscles.
  • Divide the dough into two or three sections.

  • Roll one section out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Use cookie cutters to create shapes.

  • Repeat with other sections of dough.
  • Bake for twelve minutes or until light brown around the edges.
  • Decorate with pretty (or not so pretty) icing!
  • Cookies may be stored in a tightly sealed container or placed in the freezer for up to 2 months.

For the icing (recipe found here):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp almond or soy milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Next, beat in (by hand is okay) corn syrup and almond extract until icing is glossy and smooth.  Divide icing between bowls and add drops of food coloring until desired color is reached.

After cookies are decorated, place them on a cooling rack and put them in the fridge until icing hardens.

For the main meal, I made vegan chili (yes, again), but I used a different recipe than I have used in the past.

This was hands down the best vegan chili I’ve ever made or tasted.  I put a little more time and effort into it, and it showed.  I don’t know what everyone at the party thought, but the husband and I are seriously loving it.  If you need to make a vegan chili, don’t hesitate to try this one – it’s fantastic

The World’s Best Vegan Chili
adapted from this recipe

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannelini/navy beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet.  Add onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and salt and saute until onions are tender.  Next add bell pepper, garlic and green chilies and mix thoroughly.
  • As vegetables are cooking, combine crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beans and corn to crock pot.
  • Stir in vegetable mixture and then add chili powder and black pepper and stir until combined well.  Allow to cook on low for several hours.

The cookies and chili weren’t the only thing that ended up being a success, the party was pretty fun too!

Let’s be honest though.  In the midst of my hosting duties, I really spent a lot of time holding this pretty baby, Sophie.  She’s my husband’s boss’ baby girl, and she is an absolute doll.  I really wanted to just keep her…but unfortunately it didn’t work out:(

All in all we had a great time.  I was so happy that the cookies finally were a success. I’ve put so much time and energy into them, and it felt so good to see the finished product.  Now I just need to make a couple more batches…

This week has been crazy so far and is only getting crazier!  I’m trying to finish up last minute Christmas shopping this week because we’re having Christmas with my family on Sunday.  Then next week it will be off to south Texas to see Jon’s extended family!  It’s sad that this season has to pass by so quickly – I can’t believe it’s already almost here!

What is one thing you’re hoping to get for Christmas this year or the one thing you’re most excited about giving?  I know it’s not about the gifts, but it’s still fun to give…and receive!

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16 Responses to “party at the mccoy’s”

  1. Anna says:

    Are those sayings in your cookie cutters? They look amazing!

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Thank you! They are sayings! I was so excited when I found them:) You can customize them to say anything you want, but in the wee hours of the morning, I just went with the basics!

    [Reply]

  2. I adore the stamped sugar cookies! So cute! Where did you get the stamp? Is it just a standard one or a special one for cookies? Clearly I’m freaking out…

    I’m really excited about one gift I’m giving my friend Jaime- she’s preggers with her first child and I got her the cutest charm necklace from Etsy that says “Bun in the Oven” :)

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    haha, you are so funny:) The stamps are actual cookie cutters. I knew I had to have them the minute I saw them! Here is a link to them (sorry it’s so crazy): http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/message-in-a-cookie-holiday-cookie-cutter/?pkey=e|cookie%2Bcutters|13|best|0|1|24||10&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

    What a great gift for your friend – so thoughtful:)

    [Reply]

  3. Your cookies turned out so cute! They look great! :)

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    thanks, girl!

    [Reply]

  4. Girl will you please invite me over for a party ;-) Those are the cutest cookies ever. I’m guess you had some sort of stamp??? Love them.

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    thank you! you’re welcome any time (of course:)! Here is a link to the cookie cutters (sorry it’s so crazy): http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/message-in-a-cookie-holiday-cookie-cutter/?pkey=e|cookie%2Bcutters|13|best|0|1|24||10&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

    [Reply]

  5. Looks like a fabulous party at home, you did a great job! I’ve never had an apartment of decent enough size to host anything, but maybe I can now! It’s so fun to play Susie Homemaker :)

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Thanks, Halley! It is fun…sometimes I forget how much I love hosting parties. I need to do it more!

    [Reply]

  6. Awww!
    Those cookies looked absolutely ADORABLE!
    :D

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Thanks, Gabriela! And thanks for stopping by my blog:)

    [Reply]

  7. Allie says:

    That is one crazy story about all you went through for the sugar cookies, but they look so great. I bet it was all worth it, right?! I cannot believe how perfect the decorating is too! Looks like you had a great night :)

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Crazy is right. But it was worth it for sure:) Your comment about the decorating made me laugh – I thought they were horrible! I really should have showed some of the worst ones. Or maybe I shouldn’t have:) Thanks for your sweetness though.

    [Reply]

  8. LOVE the vegan Chili idea! Thanks for that!!
    For Christmas every year I make a photo album for my BF….It’s so fun to look back at all our surfing adventures and trips abroad. We never really buy each other presents. Instead we give each other a RT plane ticket to some exotic local…..Tahiti is on the menu for 2011. Much aloha from Hawaii!!

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    You’re welcome! It’s delicious!

    How sweet that you make a photo album every year – so thoughtful! I’m sure he loves that…and you’ll love being able to look back at them one day. I did that for my husband the first year we were dating, but I guess I’ve gotten lazy since then:)

    Tahiti sounds great! But I’d be thrilled to visit Hawaii too. Lucky;)

    [Reply]

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