Sunday, December 15, 2013

Polar Express Cookies and Holiday Movie Night

Well hello, friends.  What a lovely day it is outside here in San Antonio--60*F and sunny.  It didn't freeze last night, but came close.  It was a perfect Saturday night to watch my favorite Christmas movie with Matt and the girls: The Polar Express.

If you didn't know already, my oldest daughter is 8 and has autism.  She has only, in the past two years, been able to sit through even a 30 minute show...and every year, we make popcorn or some other snack, have cocoa/drinks, turn off all the lights with just the glow of the Christmas tree in the background, snuggle in sleeping bags, and watch this wonderful movie...
 Sorry about the terrible photo quality here. 

...And every year, she gets up after about 15-20 minutes and goes and does something else for a while, kind of coming and going throughout.

Not this year.  This was apparently the magic year for Feebs and attention span records.  She watched the entire movie, save for the last 7-10 minutes when she fell asleep.  It brought tears to Matt's and my own eyes, as we realized the significance of just watching a movie all the way through. Such a big step.  Little Sister adored the movie as well--she is 5, almost 6, and was really diggin' the part with Santa.

I've made these wonderful little cookies every year--"The Polar Express" Cookies.

 Matt found them on the back of a Sun-Maid raisin box, and they're quite delicious.  The cornstarch in the powdered sugar does something to the outside--it creates a sort of crisp shell that gives way to a chewy chocolatey center.  We did change just one thing--we add 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Next year, we're going to change one more thing, and that is to replace the raisins with dried cherries and see how that is.  Matt is very excited about that (cherry lover!).

Two tips for these cookies: do not overbake or they will be too crispy and that doesn't work well.  The second tip is roll them LIBERALLY in the powdered sugar. They will get that snowy look.

Here's Little Sister, ready to help.  Yes, she has drawn tiger stripes on her face.  Frankly, I'm just glad she limited them to her face...

Creaming the butter/ watching paint dry. The end product is so delicious, though!  

 the dough is ready to scoop!

rolling in powdered sugar...

...and the finished product!

Yummy POLAR EXPRESS COOKIES!  Chocolatey, sweet goodness. 

I highly recommend for those awesome special occasions with your family.  Here's the recipe so you can make them, too!


1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. milk
1 c. raisins
optional: 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup in a bowl for rolling/dipping

Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy (about 5 min).  Blend in the melted chocolate.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to chocolate mixture alternately with milk,  Stir in raisins and chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for an hour.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease cookie sheets (I use parchment paper).  Shape dough into balls and dip/roll liberally in powdered sugar.  Place on cookie sheets.  Bake in upper 1/3 of oven for 12 to 15 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Makes 3 1/2 2-inch cookies. 


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