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Symptoms to Take Notice of in Children

The NHS has been facing ever-increasing pressures in recent years, with slashed budgets, staff shortages and lack of resources taking its toll on the quality of care. One of the many ways we commonly see the impact of these pressures is in waiting times for GP…

Mother of the Bride Guide

The day you’ve dreamed of for years has finally arrived! Your little girl is all grown up and has chosen a partner to start her life with, and you are officially a MoB -- Mother of the Bride! While congratulatory remarks are appropriate at this juncture, so are a few…

How to Through A Larger Than Life Small Wedding on a Budget

This one is as simple as crowdfunding your honeymoon. It might sound strange at first, but do you really need another blender or set of dinner plates? Instead of having your guests purchase a bunch of things you’ll end up trying to return anyway, why not let them chip in for…

Ben Franklin Tricorn Hat Treasure Cookies, Better Homes & Gardens State Cookie Contest

I was recently chosen to serve as cookie-delegate to the great state of Pennsylvania in Better Homes & Gardens State Cookie Contest. Yeah, I rock. After four failed attempts at perfection over four days time, I finally created the ultimate Pennsylvania cookie. I compete over the next month with 49 other bloggers, one from each state. See my contest entry here and vote for awesomeness (my cookies). If not for me, vote for history. Vote for Joe Pa. Vote for the nation's very first capitol, the City of Brotherly Love, and the dude who's rushing home to Pennsylvania for some good ol' pumpkin pie. Vote for Christmas in PA, vote for great football rivalries, vote for Amish country, vote for... you get it. Pennsylvania is just that good.

Now, down to cookie business. I call my creation the Ben Franklin Tricorn Hat Treasure Cookie. Fortunately, Nicholas Cage doesn't have to look very hard to find the secret national goodies in this creative cookie. Adorned with a peppermint "feather", each Ben Franklin Tricorn Hat Treasure Cookie packs plenty of "national treasures" that come straight from Pennsylvania: Hershey's Cocoa in a sugar/butter batter, shaped and pinched around a Hershey's Chocolate Chip and a Philadelphia Cream Cheese center mixed with homemade Dutch Country red raspberry jam. Substitute blueberry jam with cream cheese to show your Penn State pride! Indiana County, Pennsylvania is called the Christmas Tree Capitol of the World, so we couldn't leave out a little peppermint accent to remind us that there's nothing like the holidays in PA.

Ben Franklin Tricorn Hat Treasure Cookie

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 T Hershey's Cocoa Powder
2 2/3 cup flour (Pillsbury is an Ohio company, home of Penn State's biggest rival. Who doesn't love a little rivalry?)
4 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
Hershey's Chocolate Chips
Dutch Country Red Raspberry Jam (or blueberry)

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg, mix. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and cocoa powder. Blend the dry and wet ingredients together until soft dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for twenty to thirty minutes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap the dough and roll it to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out two dozen 2 1/2 inch circles and 1 inch circles.

In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of raspberry (or blueberry) jam with 4 ounces of cream cheese until marbleized. Scoop unleveled teaspoon of mixture into the center of each 2 1/2 inch circle and top with a single chocolate chip. Cover the cream cheese/jam with a smaller dough circle and form the center of the hat. Seal the edges of the smaller circle down on the larger circle(It's helpful here to use your index fingers and thumb to create three "sides" to the center of the hat). Carefully fold in three sides of the larger circle up against the center of the hat and pinch each corner. Mold where necessary. Indent rim of hat with decorative border if desired. Accent with a peppermint leaf "feather".

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool. These cookies are best when slightly warm, as the chocolate chip will be soft and melted in the cream cheese.

Enjoy! Don't forget to vote! Vote at

Better Homes & Gardens chose Four Little Monsters Mommy Blog to represent Pennsylvania in the State Cookie Contest. Four Little Monsters received a 15'' by 10'' cookie sheet prior to the contest. If Four Little Monsters wins the BHG State Cookie Contest, EJ will win a $100 Walmart Gift Card and the Better Homes & Garden Bake Ware line, while a lucky reader of Four Little Monsters can also win an entire Better Homes & Gardens Bake Ware Set. Make it happen and vote!!!!

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