Friday, September 27, 2013

Jam Thumbprints

Adapted from the Food Network

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
jam (I used seedless raspberry and seedless strawberry)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
2. In a bowl mix together flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until soft dough forms. Form dough into 1" balls and place onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2" apart.
3. Using your thumb create a dent in the middle of each dough ball. Fill with desired jam, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon in each. Bake cookies for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Cool cookies for a couple minutes on the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes about 30 cookies.


Rugelach

Adapted from the Food Network

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup apricot preserves
Topping:
egg wash
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In large bowl cream together cream cheese and butter. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Add flour on low speed until soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto floured surface and form into a ball.
2. Cut dough ball into four pieces. Press each piece into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough for an hour or until firm. For the filling in a bowl mix together sugars, cinnamon, raisins, and chopped walnuts.
3. For each disc of dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 9" circle. Spread 2 tablespoons of apricot preserves over the surface and lightly press 1/2 cup of the filling mixture over the preserves.
4. Cut the circle into 12 wedges, and for each wedge, starting at the long end, roll up like a crescent. Place on a wax paper lined tray. Freeze cookies until firm, about an hour. Preheat oven to 350°F.
5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Place frozen cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Brush tops with eggwash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 6. Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool cookies on the pan for a couple minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 4 dozen.



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Adapted from All Recipes

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla
Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Crumb Topping:
4 1/2 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, canola oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Add to wet ingredients and stir to combined.
3. In another bowl mix together cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and brown sugar. Mixture will be lumpy. Set aside. For the topping, mix together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Rub in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in nuts.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling two-thirds full. Make indentations in the batter with your thumb and fill with a spoonful of the cream cheese filling. Cover filling with remaining batter. Sprinkle some crumb topping over each.
5. Bake muffins until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Let muffins cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 18 muffins.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Marbled Chai Tea & Pumpkin Loaf

Chai Tea Batter: 
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup hot milk steeped with 3 sachets Chai Tea (I used this brand), cooled
Pumpkin Batter:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Glaze:
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 teaspoons chai tea, hot or cold

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9x5" loaf pans with parchment paper. First prepare the chai tea batter. 
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, alternating with chai milk mixture. Divide batter into two bowls.
3. Next prepare the pumpkin batter. In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, canola oil, and egg. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add to wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Divide batter into two bowls.
4. Spread a layer of chai batter into the bottom of each loaf pan. Next spread over the pumpkin batter and then cover the pumpkin batter with the remaining chai tea batter. Use a knife and lightly swirl the batters together.
5. Bake loaves for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan for 15 minutes and then place onto wire rack to cool completely. 
6. For the glaze, mix together icing sugar and vanilla followed by enough chai tea to reach desired consistency. Spoon glaze over each cooled loaf and let set. Slice & serve!

Makes 2 loaves, approximately 20 slices.

The taste of Autumn!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blueberry Muffins II

Adapted from Inspired Taste

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 - 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries plus a handful for topping
sugar for topping (I used pearl sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line 8 muffin cups with liners and fill the remaining four cups with some water, about 2 tablespoons in each.
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a measuring cup place canola oil and egg. Fill cup with enough milk to reach the 1 cup line. Mix together.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix only until combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups. Top batter with a few blueberries. Sprinkle some sugar over top.
4. Bake muffins 15-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool muffins for 10 minutes in the pan and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Serve muffins slightly warm or at room temperature! For storing, keep muffins in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Makes 8 muffins.