Christmas

Our First Snow of the Year!

The snow has come and gone - just like a typical Virginia snowfall... but to have one so soon before Christmas is very rare these days!  I happened to be meeting up with these two amazing ladies for a photo shoot this past weekend during the NOVA "snowstorm" and they insisted we run out in the snow for a bit!  So glad they wanted to have some fun!

Loudoun Photography: Tea with Santa, Oatlands Plantation

The icy weekend almost kept us from a family tradition we were just getting started over the past few years... tea at the historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, VA.  

We had tea in the Carriage House which was decorated beautifully with Christmas trees, holly and other timeless decor.  The gift shop had some very unique ornaments and the volunteers that work are so lovely!  

We saw a particularly familiar face at this special tea... seeing this amazing guy really got us in the holiday spirit!! 

We were treated to assorted sandwiches, fresh scones with preserves & cream and special Santa cookies and other sweets!

We were treated to assorted sandwiches, fresh scones with preserves & cream and special Santa cookies and other sweets!

Oatlands serves a special propriatary blend of black tea...  it is smooth and always a treat!

Oatlands serves a special propriatary blend of black tea...  it is smooth and always a treat!

Santa visited each table and posed for photos with all the children and families.  I just love the smile I captured!  He has a twinkle in his eye, for sure!

Santa visited each table and posed for photos with all the children and families.  I just love the smile I captured!  He has a twinkle in his eye, for sure!

Sweet Memories Recipe: Corn Flake Christmas Cookies!

When straightening up the kitchen after this year's Thanksgiving festivities... I noticed a recipe on the back of the Market Place Corn Flakes box.  We used cornflakes in our sweet potato casserole this year and realizing no one in the house will eat the rest for breakfast, I figured I would give it a whirl!  

Introducing... one of the most delicious cookies I have ever eaten!

Seriously... I don't bake cookies often... I bake cupcakes... I bake cakes... I can create standard corn breads and rolls, etc... but cookies have never been my "thing".  I do however host a holiday cookie exchange every year (this year is our 9th!!!) and I started this tradition so I could GET awesome cookies from others and trade off my boring blobs of dough in kind.   Don't get me wrong... I can bake... they just aren't pretty. 

Well, these corn flake cookies... not only look great but taste AMAZING.  The is the other thing... I don't really like sweets. So for me to like a cookie... it has to be AMAZING.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup crushed corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Beat butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer on Medium-High speed until creamy.  Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla; beat until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined.
  4. Stir in corn flakes, chocolate chips and pecans. 
  5. Use a small scoop or drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a nonstick baking sheet.  I prefer to use parchment paper to line the baking sheet.
  6. Bake cookies 9-11 minutes, until they are lightly brown... allow to continue baking on the sheet after you remove them from the oven.  
  7. Eat. Yum!