Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

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Fruitcake Inspired Shortbread Cookies

December 23, 2017

My mom enjoys fruitcake, although most of the family does not. I decided to try making a fruitcake inspired cookie in her honor for the winter holiday. This was the result. These would also be delicious with a little lemon glaze (powdered sugar + lemon juice + milk).

You will need:

  • 1 c dried fruits (such as cranberries, cherries, apricots etc.), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c bourbon
  • 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c flour

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, combine the dried fruits and bourbon. Allow to macerate for 3 hours, before draining.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour.
  5. Stir in the macerated dried fruits.
  6. Roll the dough out until it is 1/2-inch thick. Cut however you want!
  7. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until starting to turn golden at the edges.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

20171221 Fruitcake

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Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

December 22, 2017

20171219 Molasses 02

These might be my new favorite cookies. They are spicy and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/3 c raw sugar (I made these for the holidays, so I used a green sparkling sugar)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl,cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the molasses, egg, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour until mixed.
  5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Roll each dough ball in the raw sugar.
  7. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges start to set.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Eggnog Cookies

December 21, 2017

Have some extra eggnog in your fridge? Add them into these cookies for a special holiday treat. They are perfect with…eggnog! (or cocoa!) This recipe make about 2 dozen cookies.

20171219 Eggnog 02

You will need:

  • 3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c eggnog
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 1/4 c flour

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggnog, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.
  4. Slowly add the flour until combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Leave 1-2 inches between the cookies.
  6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until starting to turn light golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Holiday Stuffing

November 21, 2017

I’m not going to lie: I love stuffing out of the box. It’s so easy, and I like how it tastes. This year, however, I decided to try making a simple vegetarian stuffing for a Friendsgiving celebration. We enjoyed every last bite.

20171111 Stuffing

You will need:

  • 12 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 6 stalks of celery, minced (can include the leaves)
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (suggest using a tart apple)
  • 3 T fresh poultry herbs (whatever combination you have on hand; suggest some combo of sage, thyme and rosemary)
  • 3 c unsalted vegetable stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 16 c stale bread, cubed

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, celery, apple, and fresh herbs. Saute for 5 minutes to allow to soften.
  4. Add the vegetable stock to the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with 2 T garlic powder, paprika, pepper and salt.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with the egg mixture.
  7. Slowly mix in the vegetable stock mixture and toss to ensure even coating on the bread.
  8. Spread the stuffing in the prepared baking dish.
  9. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into roughly 16 pieces.
  10. Sprinkle the top of the stuffing with the butter.
  11. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes.
  13. Remove the aluminum foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until golden.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

November 18, 2017

I love my 2015 version of sweet potato casserole. However I tried something new this year for the holidays. It’s a little lighter and fluffier, because you use an electric mixer to whisk it together.

You will need:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 12 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Poke your sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until they are soft, roughly one hour.
  4. While the sweet potatoes bake, mix together one cup of the brown sugar with the pecans, flour, and cinnamon. Add tablespoons of the cold butter and cut in until well combined. Set aside.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle.
  6. Peel the sweet potatoes. Discard the peels and place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter until smooth.
  8. Blend in the eggs, remaining cup of the brown sugar, vanilla, and milk using an electric mixer until smooth, light and fluffy.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  13. Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

20171111 Sweet Potato

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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

January 30, 2017

I made these for a new year’s brunch; they were quick to bake the day prior and tasted great. I love the pumpkin and warming spices. I am also a huge fan of tart cranberries. I had some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving that I’d frozen. You could use them whole, but I decided to chop them up slightly in the food processor.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T + 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 c old-fashioned oats

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin tray with paper liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of melted butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  3. Stir in the eggs and pumpkin puree, whisking until smooth.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the cloves, and the baking soda.
  5. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spoon batter into the muffin cups until each one is about 3/4 of the way full.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the 5 tablespoons room temperature butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the tablespoon of cinnamon, and the oats.
  9. Crumble the topping on each of the muffins. Gently press into the top.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.

20170101-pumpkin-cranberry-muffin-01

 

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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

November 16, 2016

We recently celebrated a Friendsgiving, complete with seven babies. I wanted to bring a dessert that was easy to eat one-handed, so I adapted this pumpkin pie cupcake recipe and it worked great! It tastes a lot like pumpkin pie but in a cupcake form. If you really like the smooth custardy consistency of pumpkin pie, this probably won’t be your favorite dish. However, it has all the same flavors and doesn’t require a fork!

20161112-pumpkin-cupcakes-01

You will need:

  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 c flour
  • Whipped cream (Optional)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin together with the sugars, eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Whisk in the flour.
  4. Scoop 1/4 c of the batter into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 25 minutes.
  7. Gently remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. If desired, top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg before serving.
  9. Extras should be refrigerated.

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