Monday, November 25, 2013

Cookie Dough Truffles

Adapted from Delicious Gifts

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Coating:
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips or candy melting wafers (I used the wafers)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
sprinkles, optional

1. In a small bowl mix together flour and baking soda. In a large bowl mix together softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla and sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Add flour and mix well.
2. Stir in chocolate chips until well distributed. Cover bowl and chill dough until firm about 2 hours or longer if needed. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop over level tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Freeze balls until firm about 20 minutes.
3. In a microwavable safe bowl place the chocolate chips or candy melts. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals until smooth, add vegetable shortening to thin the chocolate if needed.
4. Dip the cookie dough balls into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to coat the ball in the chocolate and to tap off as much excess chocolate as possible. Place onto a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5. Decorate with sprinkles one by one as you work, the chocolate will set fast especially if using candy melts. Let the chocolate set at room temperature or in the fridge. Serve & enjoy!

These truffles are best stored in the fridge or freezer! Makes about 55.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gingerbread Cake

Adapted from All Recipes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
1 cup hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper.
In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
2. In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter. Blend in egg followed by molasses. Add dry ingredients and mix until stiff dough forms. Blend in hot water, mix well.
3. Pour batter into pan and bake 45-55 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. To prevent over-browning, place tin foil over top of cake half way through baking time.
4. Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar if desired and then slice & serve! Enjoy!

This cake is best stored in an airtight container. 


Also I used this cake to make Gingerbread Bites!



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Peanut Butter Cereal Treats

Adapted from the Rice Krispies Celebration Booklet

1 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups crisp rice cereal
Topping:
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 tablespoons peanut butter chips, melted

1. Grease 9" baking dish and set aside. In a saucepan over low heat melt together the peanut butter chips, peanut butter, and butter until smooth and creamy.
2. In a large bowl mix together marshmallows and crisp rice cereal. Add peanut butter mixture and stir well making sure everything is evenly coated. Press mixture into prepared pan. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
3. For the topping, spread melted semi sweet chocolate over the surface of the cereal mixture. Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips over top of the chocolate. Cover with plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
4. Remove treats from the pan and cut into desired shapes. Serve & enjoy!

For best keeping, store the treats in an airtight container. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rhubarb Empanadas

Adapted from Easy Cooking with Sandy & Food.com

Pastry:
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
8-10 tablespoons ice water
Filling:
2 cups sliced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
dash cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
Topping:
Egg Wash
Cinnamon Sugar

1. First prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat mix together rhubarb, apple, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Cook and stir until thickened and fruit is tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool while preparing the pastry.
2. In a bowl of a stand mixer combined the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the vegetable shortening and butter, mix on low speed until the mixture is the texture of breadcrumbs.
3. On low speed, add the egg yolk and ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough pulls together. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a well floured surface, roll out dough until about 1/4" thick. Using a large cookie cutter or bowl, cut out rounds.
5. Brush edges of discs with egg wash and place a heaped tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold over and pinch together the edges and then press close with a fork. Place onto prepared baking sheets.
6. Brush empanadas with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the top and bottom. Let cool and then serve & enjoy!

Makes 10-12 large empanadas.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Banana Nut Muffins

Adapted from Saffron Hut

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, mashed
handful pitted dates, chopped (optional)
Topping:
handful walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line muffin pan with paper cases. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and chopped dates, if using.
2. In another bowl whisk together sugar and melted butter. Add egg and mashed bananas and mix until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups filling 3/4 full. Top with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake muffins for 20 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm & enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jam Cookie Cups

Adapted from Group Recipes

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
jam (I used seedless strawberry)
white chocolate buttons or Wilton candy melts
finely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pan lightly with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and salt then blend until fluffy. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour and mix in on low speed until cookie dough forms.
3. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop out level tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Place dough ball into prepared muffin pan.
4. Using the handle of a rolling pin or other utensil, squish the dough ball into the muffin cup, about two-thirds up the side of each cavity.
5. Fill each cavity with 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the sides. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To finish the cookies, roll the top edges into melted white chocolate and then dip into the finely chopped walnuts. Let chocolate set and then serve & enjoy!

Makes 57 cookies. If you need any Christmas cookie ideas, this is it!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Adapted from Southern Food

2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can Love n Bake Poppy Seed Filling

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease and line 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper. In bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs, one at a time, until combined along with the vanilla. Add dry ingredients, alternating with the milk until a smooth batter forms.
3. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the poppy seed filling over and then top with the remaining batter. Swirl batter and filling with a knife or bamboo skewer.
4. Bake cake for 90 minutes until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Slice & serve!

Makes one loaf.