Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins Top 10 Posts of 2010

2010 has been a great and productive year, and we are expecting 2011 to be even bigger and better! Following are Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' top 10 posts of 2010. Revisit them and enjoy!

And make your reservations to stay in our Bed and Breakfast Lodge, Cabin, Cottage, or Colorado Vacation Home for your upcoming Rocky Mountain vacation, honeymoon, romantic getaway, family reunion, wedding, or retreat!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Top 10 Posts of 2010:
  1. Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs (see this post for the 2011 Coffin Races info) 
  2. Veteran's Day Specials (this special will be repeated in 2011)
  3. Cripple Creek Ice Festival (see this post for the 2011 festival info)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ideas for Family Reunions, Family Reunion Locations

NOW is the time to plan your 2016 family reunion. Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins has great ideas for family reunions, and is the the perfect family reunion location!


We are located just 6 miles west of Colorado Springs, and 5 miles west of Manitou Springs, in the Ute Pass of the Rocky Mountains at Pikes Peak (where the song America the Beautiful was written), in the mountain community of Cascade, Colorado, we're "away from it all, yet close enough".

We can host up to 19 people at our facilities. Our Vacation Rental Lodge has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, a large great room for group gatherings, a full gourmet kitchen, dining area, and is situated on 2 acres with beautiful mountain views. It will sleep up to 10 people and can host up to 19 for your group gatherings. 1 block from the Lodge our 2 bedroom Colorado Cabin can sleep up to 5 people, and our 1 bedroom Colorado Cottage can sleep up 4 people. 


There is a wealth of activities to do in the area, providing a great location for all ages. Some of the local attractions consist of:
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Pikes Peak Cog Railroad
  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings
  • Cave of the Winds
  • Focus on the Family
  • Seven Falls
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • US Air Force Academy
  • North Pole & Santa's Workshop
  • Florissant Fossil Beds
  • Dinosaur Resource Center
  • Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center
  • Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
  • Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
  • Royal Gorge Railroad
  • And many, many more
Some of the activities than can be enjoyed by both young and old are:
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Jeep Tours
  • Train Trips
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Casino Gambling
  • Museums and Art Centers
  • Golfing
  • Fishing
  • Nature Tours
  • Rock Climbing
  • Fine Dining
  • Shopping
Summer and holidays are the best times for family reunions. We tend to book several months in advance for the summer months and holidays. Get with your family, look at your calendars, and check our availability calendar to see what dates we have available, or call us at 719-684-2521 and book your family reunion in Colorado today!

Monday, December 20, 2010

LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS LODGING SPECIALS

Christmas is almost here, and for those last minute travelers, we have a great last minute Christmas lodging special for you.

Our Colorado Vacation Cottage will sleep up to 6 people, has a kitchen, fireplace, wireless internet, and Cable TV/DVD player. It's the perfect place for a couple wanting privacy for the holiday, or for a family on a budget.

The Cottage is available for Christmas and we're offering a last minute lodging deal for you. Rent the Cottage for 4 nights over this Christmas holiday, anytime between Dec. 23rd and 28th, and take $25 off per night, for a savings of up to $125.

Ask for the Cottage Christmas special and we'll discount the nightly rate from $150 to $125 per night.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Cookies 2010

This was our 2nd year featuring festive Christmas cookies. These are the cookies that were featured during our 12 Days of Cookies 2010. Enjoy!

Make sure to check out our 12 Days of Cookies for 2009 and more recipes throughout our blog and on our website's Recipe Pages.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY BAKING!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Mice, Christmas Mice Cookies

Our 12 days of cookies is completed today with these adorable Christmas Mice Cookies. Kids and adults alike will love these fun cookies; enjoy!

CHRISTMAS MICE COOKIES

  • 24 double-stuffed Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. shortening
  • 24 red maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
  • 24 milk chocolate kisses
  • 24 sliced almonds
  • 1 small tube green decorative icing gel
  • 1 small tube red decorative icing gel
Carefully twist cookies apart; set aside the halves with cream filling. Save plain halves for another use, or to eat later on (crush them to use in pie crusts instead of graham crackers).

In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening on high for 1 minute, stir, and continue to heat, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Holding each cherry by the stem, dip in melted chocolate, then press onto the bottom of a chocolate kiss. Place on the cream filling of cookie, with cherry stem extending beyond cookie edge.

For ears, place slivered almonds between the cherry and kiss. Refrigerate until set. With green gel, pipe holly leaves on the cream.  With red gel, pipe holly berries between leaves and pipe eyes on each chocolate kiss. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 24 mice.
We hope you've enjoyed our 2010 12 Days of Cookies. We'll be back next year with 12 new recipes. Don't forget to check out all our recipes here on our blog, as well as our website's recipe page.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cream Cheese Cookies, Cream Cheese Finger Cookies

Day 11 of our 12 Days of Cookies features these melt in your mouth Cream Cheese Finger Cookies. Somewhat like Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes, but a little creamier and tangier because they're made with cream cheese. Enjoy!
CREAM CHEESE FINGER COOKIES

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans (dough will be crumbly).

Shape tablespoonfuls into 2-inch logs. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks.

TIP:
Refrigerate the dough until it is chilled for easier handling. if there is a high butter content in the dough, the heat from your hands can soften the butter, making it harder to shape. Dust your hands lightly with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies, Cocoa Hazelnut Slices

Day 10 of our 12 Days of Cookies features Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies, or sometimes called Cocoa Hazelnut Slices. A little chocolate during the holidays is a must. If you love chocolate and hazelnuts, these are the cookies for you!


CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT COOKIES
(Cocoa Hazelnut Slices)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped, toasted, hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. shortening
In a large bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and cocoa powder until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the hazelnuts.

Divide dough in half. Shape each portion of dough into an 11-inch-long log. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 375^.  Cut logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or just until tops are firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

In a small saucepan combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Generously drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

January Lodging Deals, January Lodging Specials

$25 WEDNESDAYS IN JANUARY

The holidays are over and you're probably exhausted after all the parties, cooking, and family gatherings you've attended. Time to sneak away for a couple days to recharge your batteries and renew and refresh.

Come stay with us at Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins in our Colorado Bed and Breakfast Lodge and get away and take advantage of our January Lodging Deals and Specials.

Stay with us in our Manitou Room, Timberwolf Room, Ute Indian Trail Room, or Midland Room on a Tuesday and Wednesday in January and Wednesday is just $25!

See our Specials page for more details.

Plum Pudding, Plum Pudding Recipe


PLUM PUDDING

Our recipe of the month on our webiste is Plum Pudding, a traditional English Christmas dessert. Click Here to see our Plum Pudding Recipe.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Linzer Cookies, Raspberry Linzer Bars

Day 9 of our 12 Days of Cookies features Linzer Cookies, or as featured here, Raspberry Linzer Bars, which are a delicious delicacy deriving from the Linzertorte, which was first discovered in an Austrian abbey in 1653. An Austrian immigrant, a baker, introduced it to America in 1856. They have been a tradition and delicacy ever since. We are sharing a bar version of the famous cookies. Enjoy!


RASPBERRY LINZER BARS

  • 1 1/3 cups butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, ground
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350^. Grease a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and lemon peel until blended. Mix in flour, almonds and cinnamon until well blended.

Press 2 cups dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Top evenly with preserves. Press remaining dough over preserves.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 36 bars

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mocha Nut Balls taste of home

Day 8 of our 12 Days of Cookies are for these delicious Mocha Nut Balls, which I got from a Taste of Home cookie book recently. They're addictive, you may want to consider making a double batch! Enjoy!

MOCHA NUT BALLS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa and coffee granules; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until firm. Cool on pans for 1-2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rugelach, Rugelach Recipe

When I was growing up my mother used to make these Jewish Hanukkah cookies every year. They're a holiday tradition for both Hanukkah and Christmas. Here is my mother's Rugelach recipe. Enjoy!


RUGELACH

Dough:
  •  4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lg. egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, salt and egg yolk until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in flour just until combined.

Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, shape each half into 1/2 inch thick circle. Wrap circles separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Filling*:
  • 6 Tbsp. seedless jam (raspberry, plum or apricot are our favorites), divided
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, divided
Preheat oven to 350^.

On a floured surface, roll 1 dough circle to 10 inch round.

Spread 3 tablespoons jam evenly on top of dough. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup nuts then 1 tsp. cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cut into 16 wedges.

With a spatula, slide 1 wedge out from the round. Starting at the wide end, roll up toward the point. Place cookie point side down on a nonstick baking sheet, or silpat or parchment paper. Roll up remaining wedges and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining circle of dough.

Glaze:
  • 1 lg egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse sugar
Brush cookies with egg white then sprinkle with sugar

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and remove to wire rack to cool.

Store in airtight container or freeze.

*Alternate Filling:
  • 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
Combine above ingredients and instead of using jam and cinnamon-sugar mixture, sprinkle half of the nut mixture over circle and press onto dough lightly to adhere.

Makes 32 cookies

Monday, December 6, 2010

Turtle Bar Cookies, Turtle Cookies, Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Day 6 of our 12 Days of Cookies is our recipe for Turtle Shortbread Cookies (sometimes called Turtle Bar Cookies or Turtle Cookies). I made these for one of my cookie exchanges over the years and they've become one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!


TURTLE SHORTBREAD COOKIES
(Turtle Bar Cookies, Turtle Cookies)

COOKIES:
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350^.

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar and almond extract. Stir in flour and salt. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to  Tablespoons additional softened butter).

Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into a 1/4-inch thick circle. (If dough is sticky, chill about 15 minutes). Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

TOPPING:
  • 24 caramels
  • 1 (6 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp. shortening
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 dozen pecan halves
Once cookies have cooled completely, heat caramels over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until melted.

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through heating, until melted and thin enough to drizzle.

Dip 2 straight edges of each cookie into melted caramel, then into chopped pecans. (If caramel thickens, add up to 1 teaspoon water and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramel softens).

Place a dot of melted chocolate on top of each cookie; place pecan half on chocolate. Drizzle remaining chocolate on tops of cookies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recipe Sour Cream Cookies, Drop Sour Cream Cookies

Day 5 of our 12 Days of Cookies is a recipe for Sour Cream Cookies that is one of my daughter's favorite Christmas cookie. Enjoy!


DROP SOUR CREAM COOKIES

COOKIE DOUGH:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or until easy to handle.

One the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375^.

On a smooth work surface sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar or flour, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

Bake at 375^ for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place on wire racks to cool.

FROSTING:
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 3 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Edible glitter, optional
Combine milk and pudding mix until smooth; set aside.

Cream butter, beat in pudding mixture. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, vanilla and food coloring (if desired). Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Frost cookies and decorate with edible glitter.

Makes 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cranberry Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles, Cake Mix Snickerdoodles

Day 4 of our 12 Days of Cookies features an easy snickerdoodle recipe that starts with a premade cookie mix to make things simple. Try these cake mix snickerdoodles today, they're delicious and easy to make, enjoy!


CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE SNICKERDOODLES 

  • 1 (17.9 oz) pkg. Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven 375^. Open cookie mix package and set aside the cinnamon-sugar packet for later use.

In a mixer blend together butter and cream cheese. Add in the package cookie mix, water and egg and blend until smooth.

Fold in the cranberries and chill the dough for at least 15 minutes.

Place cinnamon-sugar mixture in a bowl. Form teaspoons of dough into round balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375^ for 8-10 minutes. They will not brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chai Birch Logs, Recipe for Chai Shortbread Cookies

Day 3 of our 12 Days of Cookies 2010 is a recipe for Chai Shortbread Cookies that are frosted and drizzled with icing to look like logs, quite festive; enjoy!

CHAI BIRCH LOGS

COOKIES:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. instant unsweetened tea powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
*Substitute 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves if you don't have pumpkin pie spice.

Preheat oven to 350^. Combine butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cookie ingredients. Beat until well mixed (mixture will be crumbly).

Divide mixture into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into 12-inch rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into 2-inch logs. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool for 15 minutes.

ICING:
  • 6 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark), chopped
  • 1/2 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
Place candy coating in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Frost tops and sides of logs; place onto waxed paper. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Place chocolate chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Dip fork into melted chocolate, and drizzle chocolate crosswise over logs. Let stand until set, about 45 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

TIPS:

A small offset spatula is inexpensive and works great for spreading the coating over the cookies.

Don't worry about making even lines of the chocolate over the logs as natural birch bark has thick and thin lines that are black in color.

See our 2009 12 Days of Cookies here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Cookies 2009

This was our first year posting our 12 Days of Cookies, enjoy the recipes, and make sure to check out the recipes for 2010 and future years, as well as all of our wonderful recipes throughout our blog.

 
Enjoy!

 
12 DAYS OF COOKIES 2009
 
These cookies, and many more, can be found in our cookbook, Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins' Favorite Recipes. CLICK HERE to order your cookbook!

Date Bars, 12 Days of Cookies, Day 2

When I was growing up my Mom always made Date Bars, though they weren't necessarily for Christmas, she's make them throughout the year. Dates seem to be a winter fruit for us so I tend to make them in the winter. They're one of my hubby's favorite cookies. Enjoy our 12 Days of Cookie Recipe for Day 2!


DATE BARS
(Date Nut Bars)
DATE FILLING:
  • 3 cups dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Mix all ingredients in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, or until thickened; cool.

CRUST MIXTURE:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
Preheat the oven to 400^. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.

Cream together butter, shortening, and brown sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Press half the mixture into prepared pan. Spread with filling. Top with remaining crumble mixture, pressing lightly.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until light brown. While warm, cut into bars about 2" x 1 1/2".

Makes 36 bars.

VARIATION:
You can omit the date filling and substitute 1 cup of your favorite jam, raspberry or blackberry are great.

See our 2009 12 Days of Cookies here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lace Cookies, 12 Days of Cookies, Day 1

We are big time cookie fans in our family, and the Christmas season is a favorite time for making tons of cookies around here. This is my second year of our "12 Days of Cookies" where I'll feature a different cookie every day. Hope you enjoy them!


BRANDY LACE COOKIES
(Florentine Cookies)


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick, 4 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp. brandy (or water)
  • melted white and/or semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
Preheat oven to 350^. Lightly grease and flour cookie sheets.

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, pecans, and brandy.

Drop 12 evenly spaced half teaspoons of batter onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 6 minutes, or until golden.

Cool 1 to 2 minutes or until cookies can be lifted but are still warm and pliable; remove with spatula. Curl around handle of wooden spoon; slide off when crisp. If cookies harden before curling, return to oven to soften.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

See our 2009 12 Days of Cookies here.