alyssa makes something

THE BEST SPICED COOKIE RECIPE

If you saw my last post on hand lettered recipes, you’ll know how much I’m obsessed with Alyssa Makes Something‘s work! This order was super special. My husband and I had a friend, Jeani Cooney, who passed away this year. She was the mother bear of his whole office and was beloved by every single person who knew her. At company softball games she would bring her famous “sports cookies” and they are SO GOOD. And I am a major cookie snob. Oats, chocolate chips, and spices of cinnamon and nutmeg are a surprising and delicious combination. The cookies are dense and chewy will make your whole house smell like Christmas. 
We purchased the digital option of the hand-lettered recipe and had it printed as a keepsake for the entire office to enjoy for the holidays. I made the cookies this holiday season with my five-year-old and told him all about Jeani and about how we will always thing of her when we make these sweet cookies. So happy to pass on our memories of her through this recipe.
Download printable recipe hand lettered by Alyssa Makes Something right HERE.
* TIPS: All I had at the time was margarine and not Crisco, but it worked just as well. I use a little less nutmeg than Jeani calls for, and I also sprinkle the top of the baked cookies with a little fleur de sel or kosher salt right after taking them out of the oven. Like any cookie dough, it’s way better the next day and even better on the second or third day. We make the dough and just scoop out what we want to eat that day. Leave the rest in the fridge with saran wrap pressed against the dough.
Hope you can make these cookies and share them with the ones you love!
xo
-L

RECIPE: CHALLAH

 Most thoughtful holiday gift ever!
Etsy shop, Alyssa Makes Something, creates custom prints from your own recipes! Just send her the recipe, and she will turn it into a treasured family heirloom. You can even get a digital copy to share with the whole family or even print on tea towels- wouldn’t that be cute? Her hand lettered, watercolor recipes are the sweetest (pun intended) gifts you could give. Turnaround time is 1-2 weeks for the original print and 3-4 weeks for the digital version. It’s first come first serve, so get on it, people! Alyssa is a working mama just like us. We love supporting small businesses and momtrepreneurs!
I had this challah print above made for my mom. It is the BEST. The recipe is actually by our close family friend, Carol, so of course, she and her daughters are getting a print too! Carol made this challah for everyone at my wedding. Like every single table got one. Seriously. Not only do I love eating it, but I love the memories we have surrounding it. Friday nights with family and friends, eating this soft, chewy bread, spread with butter or dipped in honey… drool. Every time my mom would make challah, the whole house was filled with the smell of baking bread! That’s probably my favorite smell in the whole world. That and my newborn babies. Equally delicious.
Full recipe below.
RECIPE:
Mom’s Famous Challah
INGREDIENTS
2 tsp honey
1 pkg yeast
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c bread flour
1 egg yolk
Dissolve 1 tsp honey in 1/2 c. warm water in large mixing bowl which has been rinsed with hot water.
Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, let stand 10 min.
Stir in oil, 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, 1 tsp honey, salt, eggs, and 2 c. flour. Beat well.
Stir in remaining 2 c. flour. Dough will be sticky.
Knead 2-3 minutes with a bread hook attachment or turn onto a floured board and knead.
Round up in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. It should have doubled in size. Gently put finger in top; if dough stays indented, it’s finished. If it bounces back, continue to rise.
Punch down, cover, let rise again 45 min.
Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Divide into three or four sections and loosely braid* (instructions below), tucking in the ends.
Cover, rise 20-30 minutes.
Brush with beaten egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Optional: sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake 400 degrees 15 min. The last 5 minutes or so, you can cover the top with foil so it doesn’t get too brown. Put a toothpick in the center of a braid and check for doneness. My mom and I like to under bake it just a tad so it doesn’t dry out- we like it a tiny bit gooey but it’s all to your preference.
Eat! Delicious with butter and/or honey. Perfect the next morning for french toast.
* Traditional challahs are braided in one row as shown in the watercolor print. On holidays or special occasions, it’s made into a circle. I actually prefer to bake in a circle because the width is consistent all the way around and will bake more evenly.
* Four strand challah:
Divide dough into 4 equal sections
Leave the ends loose if you’re making this into a circle- you’ll weave these ends in at the end when you connect your circle
Take the strand at the left and weave it over-under-over the other three strands
Take the next strand at the left and do the same- weave it over-under-over the other three strands
Repeat until you can’t anymore, form it into a circle and connect the ends on each side- just sort of weave them together…as long as they stay together it’s fine! Just keep tucking the ends in.
I also had this recipe made for a surrogate mom, Karla, who always bakes for our family!! Her cinnamon spice bread is my FAV. You have to try it.
Alyssa killed it on these prints! On to order more……
Now stop reading and go bake these recipes!
-L