Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taco Hash-Brown Casserole

In the winter, I like to make a variety of casseroles – the oven keeps the house a little warmer and casseroles are so often those oh-so-yummy comfort foods.  I recently came across this recipe for Taco Hash Brown Casserole and was intrigued.  The thought of hash browns with taco meat sounded interesting.  Plus, hash brown dishes are typically served as breakfast or bunch instead of dinner.

This casserole is a delightful blend of taco spices paired with sour cream potatoes.  This is definitely a win!

Taco Hash-Brown Casserole
Adapted from: An ‘A’ for Effort

1 lb ground beef
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp (2 cloves) garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ cup tomato sauce
1 lb (half a bag) of shredded hash brown potatoes
½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
1 ½ tbsp Ranch dressing mix (or half a packet)
Velveeta cheese (shredded cheese would also be great)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small casserole dish.

In a skillet, brown the beef with the onion.  Once beef in browned, add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and tomato sauce.  Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, and Ranch dressing mix.

Place the hash browns in the casserole dish.  Pour milk mixture evenly over the hash browns.  Cover the hash brown mix with the ground beef mixture.  Lastly, top the casserole with thin slices of Velveeta Cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4



Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas from us to you!

I wish you all a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

~Luke 2:9-12 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eggnog French Toast

It is so hard to believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  Where has the time gone?  I have one more Christmas recipe for you, just in case you are looking for a quick and easy Christmas morning breakfast, or if you like to have an early breakfast after midnight mass (once my kids are old enough to go to midnight mass, I’m bringing this tradition back!)

This is a fun, festive recipe that is great if you didn’t finish all of your eggnog on Christmas Eve (just make sure it’s not spiked – ha!)  When I make French toast, I like it crispy and not mushy or soggy at all, so I always do a quick dredge through the batter (or nog in this case) instead of a soak.  If you like your French toast more squishy, you may need a bit more nog!  Also, even if you have a great non-stick skillet like mine, use the cooking spray.  Unless you enjoy sticky fried eggnog mess, that is!

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas everyone!

Eggnog French Toast

8 slices of whole wheat bread
1 cup of Eggnog
Cooking spray

Preheat your electric skillet to medium high heat.

Place some eggnog in a wide, shallow bowl.  Spray your preheated skillet liberally with cooking spray.

Quickly dredge bread through the eggnog, shaking off any excess nog and place in the skillet.  Sprinkle each slice with a little extra nutmeg.

Fry the bread on one side until golden brown.  Lift each slice, spray the skillet, and flip the bread over.  Cook until golden brown on both sides.  Repeat with remaining bread.

Serve with maple syrup or a sprinkling of sugar.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Pizza

After I made red pizza and green pizza, my husband thought it would be absolutely fantastic if I combined their festive forces to create a Christmas pizza.  Since I am not one to turn down a challenge (no matter how insane), I got down to some serious pizza making.  I made two different Christmas pizzas because I was informed that we needed, needed, to have red and green crust on each piece (thanks, honey).  This did turn out very festive and yummy, so if you are a whole lot of ambitious and really want to impress your company, just whip up some holly jolly pizza!

Christmas Pizza
An Amy Original

½ recipe Red Pizza
½ recipe Green Pizza
Your favorite toppings

Woven Pizza
Warning: only try this if you are super ambitious!

Using half of each dough type, roll out 2 equal sized circles of dough (about 12 inches).

Using a pizza cutter, cut each dough circle into 1-inch strips.  

Slowly, weave the green dough strips into the red dough strips, one piece at a time.  In the end, you should have a woven checkered pattern.

Flatten pizza with a rolling pin and add sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Pizza Strips
A little faster and easier, this pizza breaks apart into nice breadstick pieces.

Using half of each dough type, split each dough ball into three equal pieces.  Form each piece into equal length logs (about 9 inches).  

Lay logs next to one another and flatten with a rolling pin.  Add sauce, cheese and toppings

To Bake

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place each pizza on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust begins to brown.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gingerbread Pancakes

Whether you have kids or not, Gingerbread Pancakes are fun on Christmas morning.  Pancakes are always a big hit in my house and the gingerbread spices make these a fun holiday treat!  And of course, these taste even better if made into little gingerbread men with chocolate chip buttons!

Gingerbread Pancakes
An Amy Original

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1.2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups lowfat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp molasses

Whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and molasses until well blended.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat a large non stick skillet to medium-high heat.  Pour the batter onto the hot skillet, using a ¼ cup measuring cup if desired.

Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook until golden, an additional 2-3 minutes.

If desired, top with mini chocolate chips.  Serve with powdered sugar or your favorite syrup.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peppermint Brownies

Remember how I said I was publishing my last holiday treat?  Well, pretend that never happened.  See, a bunch of factors conspired against me and I had to do some more baking.  Factor #1: I sent nearly all of my Christmas goodies to my in-laws (I will be reunited with my cookies soon).  Factor #2: There’s just not enough chocolate in this house.  Seriously, what was I thinking?  Factor #3: My husband’s favorite baked good is brownies… from a box (is he an easy keeper, or what?).  Factor #4: I had a leftover bag of Candy Cane Kisses.  And lastly, Factor #5: My eyes glazed over when I found a recipe for Peppermint Brownies.

I modified this recipe a bit, using a box of brownies instead of homemade (someday I’ll try homemade, promise!) and adding chocolate chips instead of chopped up chocolate bars.  Both were time saving measures, because I needed to eat these ASAP…did I mention there was a lack of chocolate in house?  I hope you enjoy these as much as I am!

Peppermint Brownies
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 box of brownie mix
            Eggs, water, and oil, as indicated on the box
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 bag of Candy Cane Kisses, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together brownie mix, eggs, oil, water, and chocolate chips.  Pour evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 25-28 minutes

Remove pan from oven.  Sprinkle with Candy Cane Kisses.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 3 minutes.  Cool completely


Friday, December 17, 2010

Green Pizza (Spinach)

Since I discovered that I could put pumpkin and beets into my pizza dough, I have been a bit crazed trying to figure out what else I could add to me pizza dough.  So, next on the list was spinach!

The bright green dough was very fun to make.  I do have to warn you though; there was a slight spinach-y aftertaste to this one.  But, if you like spinach (or if you already had spinach as a topping) it’s really not an issue.  The nice part about this dough is that, despite the spinach taste, it packs a nutritional punch and kids are so psyched about the green crust that they will eat it anyway!`

Green Pizza
An Amy Original

½ cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
½ tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
½ cup pureed spinach (directions follow)
½ cup ground flax seed
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Spinach Puree

1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach

Microwave spinach as directed on packaging (8-10 minutes).  Blend in a food processor until very smooth (adding 2 tbsp water if necessary).

This will make about 1 ½ cups of spinach puree.  Freeze the remaining spinach in ½ cup packages.  Use in future pizzas or in place of green puree.

Pizza Dough

Mix yeast and honey into the warm water.  Cover with a damp cloth for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.

Mix yeast spinach puree, salt, olive oil, flax, and flours in a large bowl.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all the flour is incorporated and dough is smooth and no longer sticky. 

Spray a bowl with cooking spray.  Place dough in bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm, draft free place to rise.  Let the dough raise until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough.  Split into two halves.  Roll each half into 12-inch circles.  Cover with sauce and your favorite toppings*.

Place dough onto pizza pans or baking sheets and cook at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is melted.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Savory Sweet Potatoes

I promised you this one at Thanksgiving, but I got all excited about Christmas cookies and never got around to posting it (sorry!).  Luckily, this savory sweet potato dish is equally appropriate for Christmas or any other time you would like some indulgent sweet potatoes.  I plan to make a lower calorie version of this soon, but for now, enjoy all that yummy butter in these scrumptious sweet potatoes.

These sweet potatoes were a real hit at the family Thanksgiving.  I actually never used to eat sweet potatoes at any time of year (unless they were in fry form) and was excited to try a savory, rather than sweet version of a sweet potato.  These were a fantastic addition to the Thanksgiving spread!

Savory Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 lb red skin potatoes peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, divided
1 ½ cups warm milk (I used 2%)
1 ½ tsp ground sage, divided
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (cut into ¼-inch cubes)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine sweet potatoes and red potatoes (or a white potato of your choice) in a large pot.  Cover, season with salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and continue to boil until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.  Drain and mash with an electric mixer.

Place 6 tbsp of butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave about 60 seconds or until butter is melted.  Add 1 tsp sage to the melted butter.

Using your electric mixture, blend potatoes, butter mixture, and milk until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish.

In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter.  Mix the remain ½ tsp of sage and the breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the sweet potato mixture.  Bake uncover until golden brown and bubbling, 30-40 minutes.  Serve warm.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, it is time to share with you my last Christmas cookie.  While not a traditional Christmas cookie, it adds a nice touch to any cookie tray.  This bonus cookie came about by request from my mother-in-law.  She asked for a pumpkin cookie and I searched until I found the perfect cookie.  This super soft cookie is so spongy, it is almost like a muffin.  I added a frosting to this, adapted from my Mom’s sugar cookie recipe, to give it just a little something extra!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. 

In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.

Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.  Stir in the chips,

With a cookie scoop with 2 tablespoon capacity, scoop dough onto prepare cookie sheet at least 2 ½ inches apart.  Use a thin spatula to smooth and flatten rounds.

Bake cookies 16 minutes or until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.  Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Move to wire racks to cool completely.

Once cooled, frost cookies (recipe follows).  Store cookies in an airtight container once the frosting in dry.

Cookie Frosting
Adapted from my Mom

4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients in and mix on medium speed until smooth.  Note: if the frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oreo Truffles

In a previous post, I mentioned that truffles were my big holiday weakness.  So when Oreo Truffles popped up in my inbox, I knew I was in trouble!  And I was right to be so, I cannot leave these alone.  They have a creamy cookie center and when combined with the almond bark, they are a delicious cookies and cream truffle.  These will not last until Christmas!

Oreo Truffles
Adapted from

1 (1 lb 2 oz) package of Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 package of vanilla almond bark

Place Oreos in a food processor, pulse until finely crushed.

In a separate bowl, combine 3 ¼ cups of cookie crumbs with the cream cheese until well blended.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make 1-inch balls of cookie mixture using a small (1-inch) cookie scoop, and place on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Or you can roll them by hand.  The cookie scoop allows them to all be equal in size.

Next, using a double boiler, melt the almond bark.  Using 2 forks, gently pick up each Oreo ball and roll it through the melted bark.  Pick it up with the forks and allow the excess bark to drip off.  Place wet truffles onto a fresh waxed paper covered cookie sheet. 

Sprinkle reserved cookie crumbs on the wet chocolate.  Dip no more than 4 truffles before stopping to sprinkle them with cookies, so the crumbs will stick.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour until hardened.  Move to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.


If you have a lot of extra cookie crumbs like I did, mix them in the with excess bark and dip some pretzels for some super delicious Cookies and Cream Pretzels!  Mmmmmm…

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reindeer Cookies

When I made my gingerbread men, I used half of my dough to make Reindeer Cookies.  This is a fun little cookie that kids enjoy (who doesn’t like a cute little reindeer?) plus you can reserve some of them and let the little guys help decorate the faces.

Quality Controller!

I don’t have any exact measurements for you on this one, since I only used part of my cookie dough (the rest made gingerbread men).  There are a lot of ways to vary this one.  You can basically use any rolled dough, homemade or refrigerated.  I used gingerbread, but sugar cookie or peanut butter cookie dough would also be great!  I used the M&M’s to make faces in half of my reindeer and let my 2 year old and his friend decorate the rest (those reindeer have very abstract faces!)

Reindeer Cookies
Adapted from Mr. Food

A batch of your favorite cookie dough, fresh or refrigerated (I used Gingerbread)
Pretzel twists
1 bag of Holiday M&M candies

Roll and cut out your cookies in 2-inch rounds.  On the cookie sheet, press 2 pretzels into the dough to make antlers.  Push 3 candies into the cookie to make eyes and a nose (or omit this step and frost the face later).  Bake as directed on your recipe.  Cool completely.

If you did not press candies in to make a face, frost each cookie with Powdered Sugar Icing and let your children decorate using mini chocolate chips, raisins, and sprinkles.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread men are some of my favorite holiday cookies.  They are so fun to decorate and I love the spicy gingerbread cookie!  When I make my gingerbread men, I like to have a little fun with them.  When they are cut out and on the cookie sheet, I manipulate the raw dough men so they look like they are running or dancing.  Sometimes a cookie ends up with a big knick on it.  Instead of balling those up and rerolling them, I cook those as well.  I’m not sure why, but I am a sucker for a stitched up gingerbread man (like the Gingerbread man in Shrek with the broken legs!)  I always think gingerbread men can add some fun to any cookie tray, especially if you make them with a little whimsy!

Gingerbread Men

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup molasses
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and molasses until blended

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice and stir until combined.  Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until blended.

On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a disk.  Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.  Transfer cookies to a baking sheet, placing them 1 inch apart.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until set.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Once cooled, decorate with frosting (below).  Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.

Makes about 40 cookies

Powdered Sugar Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp milk
Pinch of salt

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until smooth.

Transfer icing to a decorating bag (or ziplock) to decorate cookies.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

At Christmastime, one of the favorite treats to make (and eat) is truffles.  Truffles have become my signature treat at the family Christmas.  In the past, I have done a simple chocolate and cream cheese truffle, but this year, while obsessing about peanut butter, I decided to branch out a bit and do some creating.  And thus Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles were born.  They are not too sweet and a real delight for any salty-sweet lovers out there.  The only problem I have now is hiding them from my husband so I still have some on Christmas Eve! 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles
An Amy Original

6 cups small pretzel twists
1 ½ cups smooth peanut butter
2 boxes of Baker’s Chocolate
Chocolate almond bark for drizzling (optional)

Pour pretzels into a food processor and grind down to coarse crumbs.  You could also put them in a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin, but a food processor is easier.

Stir in peanut butter, ½ cup at a time until it is evenly blended.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to let the peanut butter firm up.

Line several cookie sheets with waxed paper.

Using a small cookie scoop or melon baller, scoop small balls of peanut butter mixture onto prepared cookie sheets.  Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly round, chocolate covers many imperfections!

Using a double boiler (or microwave if you prefer) melt chocolate, taking care to keep water from mixing with the chocolate.  Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat (you can always put the bowl back onto the pot if your chocolate cools).

Using 2 forks, carefully pick up a peanut butter ball and roll it gently through the melted chocolate.  Pick up the covered truffle with the forks and allow the excess chocolate to drip off.  Place the truffle on a clean sheet of waxed paper to set.  Repeat for all truffles.  Drizzle with almond bark, if desired.  

Once the cookie sheet is full, place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for the chocolate to harden.  Move truffles to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Yields: about 50 truffles


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels

Time for another tasty holiday treat!  I’ve been on a peanut butter kick lately (remember when I couldn’t get Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes out of my head?)  And this time it is peanut butter, pretzels and chocolate.  I also happen to have an abundance of pretzels in my house for some reason (I have no idea why).  

Because I got so excited about this salty-sweet flavor combination, I went about making these in what is likely the messiest way possible, especially since the increasing heavy baby insisted on being in the sling at the time (my poor back!)  However, this did work nicely as it is easily broken into several short steps if you need to be chasing after young children.  And if this seems a little too crazy for you, stay tuned for Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles tomorrow!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels
An Amy Original

Pretzel twists (about ¼ of the bag)
Smooth peanut butter
5 squares Chocolate Almond bark

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

Using a knife, spread peanut butter onto pretzels.  Try not to get it too far through the holes.  Place each pretzel on the waxed paper.  Put cookie tray in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the peanut butter firm up a bit.

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate almond bark into almond-sized pieces.  Place the chocolate pieces into your double boiler (or microwave, if you wish) to melt to chocolate, being very careful not to let any water come into contact with the chocolate (this will cause it to seize up and make it gross and lumpy – trust me on this one).  Stir chocolate to melt.  Once chocolate is melted, remove bowl from double boiler.

Using a silicone pastry or basting brush, paint the chocolate onto one side of the pretzels.  Set aside for about 10 minutes.  At this time melt more chocolate if necessary and return bowl to the double boiler to reheat your chocolate.

Once the pretzels are dry, flip them and paint chocolate on the backside.  Let the chocolate dry and just try to keep your hands off there things!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Though it is December and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a thing of the past, specialty coffee drinks are still whispering my name.  I don’t get near a Starbuck’s very often to enjoy such treats (probably a good thing), but I still crave them.  So, I started digging through my cupboards to see what I could come up with to satisfy my latter craving – without having to learn to brew coffee, of course.  Have I mentioned that I love the smell of coffee but hate the taste unless it is completely fattening and made by someone other than me?

This little latte represents my little afternoon break.  I take a sip of my latte, enjoy my cookie, and try to ignore the cry of, “More chocolate milk!!!!!” for a few minutes (my 2 year old totally knows that the Ovaltine canister equals chocolate milk – I usually give in so I can enjoy my latte in peace.)  So grab a mug, sit back, and enjoy your break!

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

10 oz skim milk
2 heaping tbsp Ovaltine powder
1 heaping tbsp vanilla latte powder
¼ tsp ground ginger
Dash of cinnamon

Heat the milk in the microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes or until steamy, but not boiling.  Mix in the Ovaltine, latte mix, and ginger.  Sprinkle the cinnamon on top, sit back, and relax.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chocolate Candy Cane Blossoms

Do you need more Christmas cookies?  I know I do!  Yesterday I whipped up a batch of Candy Cane Blossoms using my new favorite Christmas candy, Candy Cane Kisses.  I first found these little delights last year and couldn’t wait to start creating with them this Christmas. 

I knew right away that I wanted to pair the smooth minty kiss with a chocolaty cookie and thus the Chocolate candy cane Blossoms were born!  By rolling the dough in colored sugars, this makes a nice festive holiday treat that is good for cookie exchanges or with a nice cup of hot cocoa!  Happy Baking!

Chocolate Candy Cane Blossoms
An Amy Original

1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (may not need all of them)
½ cup sweet butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Red or green colored sugars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove candies from wrappers.

Beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture and beat until well blended.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll each ball through colored sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned or cookie is set.  Remove from oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.  Press a candy into the center of each cookie.  Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen large cookies or 4 dozen small cookies




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