Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cookies 2010


Maple-Pecan Medjool Date Rugelach, Frosty Molasses Cookies, Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Jam Thumbprints, Holiday Biscotti recipe here, Belgian Cherry Cakes
Caramel Snappers, Pizelles, Amaretto Butter Cookies

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jam Thumbprints

I got this recipe when watching The Food Network a few years back. Ina Garten was making these lovely thumbprint cookies, wrapping them up and giving them to her friends. I liked that she was using coconut to roll them in instead of nuts.  They looked so good, I immediately tried them and loved them! The cookies are buttery good and the coconut crisps up on the outside and gives it a nice crunch. One year I opted to use orange marmalade instead of raspberry or apricot jam and liked it so much I just keep doing it that way.




Buttery Goodness....need I say more!

Jam Thumbprints printable recipe
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teasp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teasp. kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry or apricot jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top or each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until coconut is golden brown. Cool and serve.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The cardamon and orange zest give this cupcake a sweet sophistication that is remarkably moist and delicious. Carrot cake is definately a big weakness of mine and I have tried quite a few different recipes...this one is a winner!


Carrot Cake Cupcake printable recipe

Ingredients:
I cup chopped walnuts
1 lb carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 T orange zest
3 cups flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
2 t ground cardamon
1 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Toast the walnuts in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
Rinse the carrots, peel and grate
Place carrots, buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and orange zest together in bowl and whisk thoroughly.
In another bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamon and cinnamon.
Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture, being sure not to overmix. Fold in the toasted walnuts until evenly incorporated.
Scoop into cupcake papers about 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake for 19-21 minutes, being sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking. Afterward allow to cool for 5 minutes before taking the cupcakes out of the cupcake tin and allowing them to fully cool on a wire rack. Frost cooled cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes


Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
16 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little Italian Cookies

My Nana
I have vivid memories from my childhood of my Nana cooking and baking wonderful food in our kitchen. I would sit wide eyed at the kitchen table watching her every move as she made her wonderful dishes. She would always let me help in some kind of fashion and one of my fondest memories is one where I got to roll out and form the rings for these cookies. Nana never had written recipes and I don't really remember her using measuring cups or spoons. Everything she made was magical and delicious. She called these delightful treasures, Little Italian Cookies.







Italian Cookies printable recipe


6 good cups flour
6 tsp. baking powder
1good cup sugar
3 tsp. lemon flavor
6 eggs
6 tsp. melted crisco
1/2 cups milk
Colored candy Jimmies



Make a pile of dry ingredients. Make a well in the center, add all liquid and eggs. Beat eggs and liquids, pulling dry ingredients in the center until well blended. Knead dough into long a long rope approximately 1/4" thick, from into rings. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake 400 degrees until edges are slightly brown. 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until all cookies are baked then toss in glaze to coat.


Glaze

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water


Put together in a large pot. Bring to boil for 8 minutes. Place cookies in pan and shake gently so that all cookies are glazed. Toss in colored jimmies and continue to shake pan until icing is dry.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apple Pie Covered with Leaves

Apple Pie Covered with Leaves
Finecooking.com

For this pie, use Braeburns, Empires, Jonathans, Jonagolds, or Northern Spy apples.

Serves 8

2 disks Butter Pie Dough
5-6 firm, tart apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. table salt
1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut up


To make pie crust and decorative top:

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough disks into a 12-inch round that's 1/8 inch thick (trim and edge to check the thickness). Fold the dough in half, ease it into a 9-inch pie pan, and unfold it. Press the dough up the sides and over the rim of the pan, and trim it to the outer edge. Chill the dough while you cut out the leaves.

Pat the scraps into the bottom of the second disk and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick (the shape doesn't matter). With a paring knife or a leaf cutter, cut out as many 2x1-1/2 inch leaves as you can, veining them with a dull edge paring knife, if you like. Pat the scraps together, roll out the dough again, and cut out more leaves. You will need 45 to 55 leaves to cover the pie ( You can make smaller or larger leaves, if you like; you'll need more or fewer leaves accordingly). Set the leaves aside in a cool place (but not the refrigerator).



To make the filling and bake:

Peel, quarter, and core apples. Cut them into 1/4-inch slices to get 7 cups. Put the apples in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss gently and layer the apples into the pie shell, tucking in any apples to create an even, smooth dome. Dot the apples with large flecks of butter. Starting at the rim of the pan, stick the dough leaves on the crust and apples, using a little water on the bottom of the leaves to help them adhere. You needn't press the leaves together; they will seal during baking. Continue to overlap the leaves in concentric circles towards the middle of the pie, minimizing the overlapping areas.

Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 15 min. Meanwhile, position two racks to the lower third of the oven, set a foil-lined baking sheet on the lowest rack (to catch any drippings from the pie), and heat the oven to 350.

Bake the pie on the second-lowest rack until the crust is deep golden all over and the apples are tender when pierced with a long thin knife blade, 60 to 80 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before serving so the juices have a chance to set up and the filling won't be runny. Serve at room temperature or refresh briefly in a 400 degree oven to warm the crust.


This pie was time intensive but made a beautiful and delicious pie. The butter crust with the tart apples was a wonderful combination. It didn't last longer than 2 days in my house! If you don't want to get that involved, just make a plain crust....you will not be disappointed!