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This week’s Sweet Melissa Sunday selection was chosen by Gloria of The Ginger Snap Girl.  She appropriately chose gingersnaps!  The timing of this recipe could not have been better.  My brother was in town and is a huge fan of gingersnaps.

These cookies had great flavor.  They were chewy, which disappointed me since I like the crunch of gingersnaps that come in a box, or a bag.  Those are so crunchy they hurt my mouth (in a good way) but I think that’s hard to replicate with fresh baking.  My brother, the true ginger snap connoisseur, loved them!  He probably ate 2/3 of the batch on his own!

This is all that was left of the cookies!

These cookies bake up flat and I think would really benefit from some icing.  Or sandwich some fluffy frosting between two of them!   These would be a perfect addition to a Christmas cookie exchange.

Please visit this post for the recipe.  Thanks Gloria for your very timely selection!

Visit the Sweet Melissa Sundays bakers list to see what everyone else did with this recipe.

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This past weekend my step-daughter had a slumber party at our house to celebrate her 10th birthday.  Being the type of people who like to cook, ordering pizza was not for us, though it certainly would have made for a much easier party!  We have a pizza stone that goes straight on the grill and creates that nice, crisp crust you’d find from a wood burning oven.  My husband and I really have the pizza making process down to a science – and it’s a crowd favorite summer after summer.

grilled pizza

We had the girls each make their own pizza.  My pizza dough recipe (made in the bread machine – so easy!) makes enough for 4 medium to large sized pizzas, so for the personal size I divided the dough into smaller (5 oz) portions.  We spread out corn meal on our counter, set the rolled out dough on the corn meal and let them have at it!

pepperoni pizza

The girls had a blast – and it really went with our (unintentional) DIY theme.  We had them decoorate their own picture frames (and took a super cute picture of them with chocolate mustaches to put in the frames!), and my daughter and I made them each a pillowcase – more to come on both of these items.

My go-to pizza dough recipe is from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook – an excellent book if you like to use your bread machine.

Coconut Chocolate Macaroons

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sunday recipe was chosen by Ellen of Blue Tree Green Heart.  This recipe could not have been simpler and was exactly what I needed!  I love macaroons and was eyeing up the Two-Bite Macaroons from Whole Foods the other day when I realized this week’s recipe was macaroons!  Craving solved.

I’m not kidding when I say this dough came together in maybe 5 minutes.  The hardest part was separating the eggs.  And how hard is that?!?  The recipe suggests you finely chop good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, which I imagine would result in a chocolate flavored macaroon versus one with bites of chocolate in it.  I decided to go with good-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips anyway to save time.  The recipe also states that you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  How easy is that?  So, I made 1/2 a batch and will back of the rest in a few days.

ready for baking

I did omit the orange zest since I do not like orange and chocolate together.  Why ruin perfectly good chocolate with fruit?  Makes no sense to me.

ready for the taking

The next time I make these, and judging from the many requests from my husband and the other two in our office it will be soon, I will omit the chocolate and maybe dip half of them into melted chocolate.  They’d be like an Almond Joy then.  Well, a Mounds anyway.  Sometimes you feel like a nut…

A quick google search told me that the coconut I used is gluten free, which means my nephew can have a few of these!  This recipe just keeps getting better and better…

To view the recipe check out Ellen’s blog, and visit the other SMS bakers to see more variations.  Thanks Ellen!  This recipe is definitely a keeper in our house.

Wow.  This week’s recipe was a disaster for me!  First, I was unable to find unsalted pistachios.  I was running out of time and couldn’t visit more grocery stores (or make it to Whole Foods where I suspect they had the unsalted nuts in bulk…) so I went with the variation on the recipe and purchased unsalted hazelnuts.  Then the SEEDLESS raspberry jam became hard to find, but eventually I managed to find a jar.  The seeds would have bugged me, so I was hell-bent on finding seedless.  The dough came together quickly in the food processor, which I LOVE.  I chilled it for the recommended hour while I made  different cookie dough to bring to an after school event at my daughter’s school (more on this later).  Since I’m not really a hazelnut fan, I decided not to crush more hazelnuts and roll the cookies in them, but I do like a meringue-y texture to cookies (reminiscent of these Swiss Meringue Horns I make my mom make for Christmas each year – delish) so I did roll the balls into egg whites.  I’m not sure if this is where I went wrong or not….

Disaster

This happened to EVERY cookie ball.  I thought maybe I could salvage a few, but nope.  I tried letting them warm up a bit and they were still a crumbling mess.  I decided life is too short for frustrating cookies and dumped the whole thing in the trash.  It was a very disappointing recipe, to say the least.

To see some successes – check out the other SMS bakers. And if, even after this rousing endorsement you feel compelled to make these cookies, visit Tracey’s blog (not me) for the recipe. Visit her blog anyway, she’s always up to some deliciousness.

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