Monday, December 28, 2009

pumpkin roll

These are something that my family makes every year for Christmas and New years!! They are a perfect addition to your "snacky" new years meal!! my mom is the first one that started these and then my sister and I both now make them every year!! They are so yummy!! If you decide to give these a try, make sure you have the recipe on hand to give everyone, because they will want to have it!!!!



You will want to prepare a cookie sheet that has a rim around the edges, so none of those flat cookie pans will work for this...line your pan with either aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with non stick cooking spray.
-3 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-2/3 cup pumpkin
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 Cup flour
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ginger
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp baking powder

in separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients except sugar, in mixer bowl beat eggs for 5 minutes on high. slowly add sugar, stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Fold in dry ingredients, bake at 375on prepared cookie sheet making sure to get your batter into corners of cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes.
When its done it will be spongy to the touch but not to brown. immediately remove from cookie sheet and roll up in the parchment paper jelly roll style. I used to roll it up in a kitchen towel covered in powdered sugar, but I felt that this was kinda unsanitary even though it was a clean towel it still had fuzzes that I was worried would make it into the roll, so this time I used the parchment paper. I also dusted it with powdered sugar, it worked fine but next time I will not use the powdered sugar as it created condensation and made the cake a little wet, it was fine in the end though. When its cooled completely unroll from paper and fill with the cream cheese filling, then roll back up and cut with dental floss or thread. Dust again with a little powdered sugar..yum!!!!


Cream Cheese Filling recipe
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 4 T. butter softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
cream together with mixer until smooth and creamy

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

orange cranberry bread

One of my favorite things is cranberry and orange together, I love it in breads and muffins especially!! I found this recipe online, sorry I can't remember where and I can't give credit!! oops...but its yummy!!! I made 4 little loafs, you could made probly 2 large loafs or 1 bundt pan..



-1 stick softend butter
-1 C. sugar
-2 eggs
-zest from 1 orange
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 C. flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2/3 cup butter milk
-1 C. dried cranberrys

in separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar together on low till fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time, add zest,vanilla and buttermilk. Slowly add dry ingredients. fold in cranberrys. bake at 350 for about 35 minutes if using the small pans like I did.
Bundt pan about 45 minutes

Let cool, after its cooled I poked them with tooth picks to create holes for the glaze to seep into. then I just poured it equally over all 4 pans, it looked like to much but it soaked in and it was soo good!! I could have drank that glaze!! haha...may have been a little sick afterwards but its good stuff!!!

glaze
-zest of 1 orange
-juice of 1 orange
-1 C. powdered sugar
whisk till combined and silky




Saturday, December 19, 2009

gingerbread girls and boys

What describes Christmas more than Gingerbread cookies?? There so cute!!! I have to admit that I've never actually made them before!! I usually just make sugar cookies, but I've seen these all over this year that I thought I really needed to try to do my own!! I really love the taste of these cookies too. Depending on your preference you can either make them a little thicker and get a softer cookie or thinner and get a crispier cookie, I preferred the crispier ones especially with coffee!!! yum!!

This recipe is from Martha Stewart, that woman knows her recipes!! Shes not my favorite person to watch on t.v. but I love her website and her recipes.




1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Sanding sugar and miniature candies, for decorating

Directions
1.In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg; mix well. Beat in molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add flour a cup at a time, mixing until incorporated.
2.Divide dough into quarters; shape into disks, and wrap into plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in top and bottom third. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out a dough disk to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies, rolling out any scraps and additional disks as needed until you have about 20 kids. Transfer to parchment-paper-lined baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between cookies. With remaining dough, cut out additional kids to make clothes, jewelry, and hair as desired. Dress cookies, and refrigerate 20 minutes.
4.Bake cookies, two sheets at a time, 7 minutes; rotate pans top to bottom and front to back, and continue baking until cookies are firm when touched, about 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Decorate cookies as desired.




Thats her exact recipe word for word, I didn't refridgerate mine after I got them cut out, they seemed to work fine for me, I added suspenders and aprons to my girls. I also used Royal Icing for the decorations, I have discovered that the taste of Royal Icing is kinda lacking, but its great for cookies like these that you aren't using a ton of icing and you can stack them without worrying about your decorations, I added some lemon extract to the royal icing to add a tiny bit of flavor!!
-3 T. Meringue Powder
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 3 T. water(or more depending on the consistency you want
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
with you whip attachment on your stand mixer beat for about 15 minutes on medium, until its glossy and forms peaks.








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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oreo magic bars



WATER!!!! Oh sweet water!!!! yes, I do have it again!! 6 whole days without water, makes me realize how much we miss the simpler things in life until there gone...I have soo much laundry its insane!! lol..cause yeah I'm to lazy to go to the laundry mat. Although, I was on the verge that last day!!

I can bake again!! woohoo!!



I've seen this recipe on the back of the eagle brand sweetened condensed milk for a very long time!! But, I've never made them before!! I changed one thing, it calls for 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs but I had Oreo cookies on hand so that's what I used!! here's my adapted recipe


-1 1/2 cups crushed oreos
-1 stick of butter(melted)
-1(14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
-2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
-1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
-1 cup chopped nuts

preheat oven to 350(324 for glass dish) in small bowl combine crushed oreos with the melted butter, mix well and pour into 9x13 dish patting down into a crust. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly. layer evenly with remaining ingredients, press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 minutes.cool.

These were really good!! One thing I didn't do was to press down with the fork when I layered it all on, and my peanuts didn't stick to the top very well, But, These did not last long in my house!! try it and mix it up a bit!! I think you could really play around with these, maybe m&m's instead of chocolate chips, or maybe some dried fruit instead of the coconut. I think white chocolate with dried cranberry's on the graham cracker crust would be divine!!!! yumm...I am so trying that next time!!! enjoy!!!



Monday, December 14, 2009

no water!!!

I grew up here on the Beautiful Oregon coast, But I moved away when I was around 22 to a very different climate. We had snow in the winter and its freezes pretty much all winter. 13 years later, I moved back to the ocean air!!! It does not freeze here nearly as often as I'm used to...and I'm pretty sure that we always had water all winter!!!! Okay, so we didn't think anything of the freezing temperatures we were getting here back at our old hometown...well we should have!! So far we have been without water for 6 days!!! Our pump on our well is fried..so new pump today hopefully!! Needless to say, not to much activity in the kitchen this week!! I've been washing dishes in the sink with water that we pack in from our restaurant(which thank god we still have water there!!!) Its a limited amount each night so I try to keep the amount of dirty dishes to a minimum. Such bad timing!!! I need to get all my xmas treats made to give out soon!!!! Its so frustrating!! I will be posting new recipes soon I promise!!! I have fudge,cookies,quick breads, gingerbread, cheesecakes....all kinds of things intended..I guess we shall see how much I actually get done as soon as I have water again!!!! until then....:)Laura

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

peppermint snowballs

These are a variation of a cookie that is very popular this time of year!! Russian Tea cakes, Mexican Wedding cookie, Snowball, Any others?? basically its a shortbread type cookie rolled in powdered sugar before and after baking. My Friend Diana was sweet enough to give me this recipe to use today!!! Thank you Diana(We've known each other since Kindergarden!!!!!)




Peppermint Snowballs
-1 Cup Butter
-1/2 Cup Powder Sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 1/2 Cup Flour
-1/2 Cup Nuts
Filling
-2 TB cream cheese
-1/2 Cup powdered sugar
-1 tsp milk
-3 TB Crushed Peppermints
-1 drop red food coloring
Topping
-1/2 Cup crushed peppermints
-1/2 Cup powdered sugar



Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and mix well. Gradually add the flour and ground nuts (if using) and mix well. Knead the dough and then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. I rolled it into the shape of a log, wrapped with saran wrap and chilled.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, crushed candy and food coloring, I use Wilton color gels, they are more concentrated than plain food coloring and about $1.50 at wal-mart. I turned it into a pretty pink color!! You could add more if you wanted a more red color.

I flattened the dough out in my palm,


put a little filling in the middle then rolled it into a ball,


I ended up sometimes with little holes so I tried to patch them up with a little extra dough..seemed to work!! then roll them in the topping and place on you cookie sheet. bake at 350 for about 14 minutes, then let them sit for about a minute, then roll into topping again!!!




I thought that these were pretty good, they were a nice light cookie a good break from the heavy chocolatey things that surround us during Christmas time!!! If I were to do them again I would add a little peppermint extract to make them a little more flavorful...look how cute these cookies are when you bite into them!!! Not so great picture I know, but you get the idea!!!




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Sunday, December 6, 2009

cookie dough truffles

Okay I have to confess I'm a sucker for cookbooks, cooking magazines, those cute little pocket cookbook/magazine that they always have tempting me at the checkout line at the grocery store!! Especially during the holidays!! I have Halloween ones and Christmas ones and any other holiday they sucker me into! But, the taste of home ones really are great!! This recipe comes from this year, called Christmas cookies and candy's. I'll probably post a few from this book, they have some great looking recipes(I only like cookbooks with pictures!!no picture..no makey from me!!!)


Who loves eating the raw cookie dough when your making cookies? Probably everyone!! I have convinced myself and my children that its bad for us because of the raw eggs, so when I saw this recipes I was intrigued...:) This is the SAFE raw cookie dough!!!

-1/2 cup butter
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 cups flour
-1 can sweetened condensed milk(14oz)
-1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts(I remembered to tell you!!!;)
-candy coating

In a large bowl cream the butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy, beat in vanilla.Gradually add the flour, alternating with the milk, beating well after each. Now add chocolate chips and nuts if using, I of course did not, so I added an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, which I think that it should be a whole cup even if you are using the walnuts. It says that you should just start rolling these out into balls on parchment paper immediately then refrigerate for an hour, but it was a sticky messy glob when I was done, so I put these in the fridge for about an hour before and after I rolled them into balls.

After you have them all rolled into balls, melt your candy melt I used the Guittards that I bought at safeway but you could use any of the candy coating that around during Xmas time, or another one that I love is Merckens but I order it online, Wiltons also makes some candy melts that are pretty good too. Just dip these either with a fork or like me I use a fork and a finger lol..ends up not beautiful but it does the trick, I forgot to take a pictures but after I dipped them in the dark chocolate I drizzled them with some white chocolate..they were pretty!!!:)



If you really like cookie dough you will really like these, if you don't there not so great, I discovered that I'm not a huge fan of raw cookie dough, they kinda had that raw flour taste, after 2 days there getting better(is that possible that they could lose that flavor?) My kids loved them!! And so did a couple other people that tried them, my hubby and I not so much!!!But, there worth trying for those of you that could just sit and eat a bowl of the stuff!!! let me know if you make them!!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homemade Caramels

This recipe is from melvira over at cakecentral...And OH MY GOSH...is it ever good!!!! Have you ever made something that after you made it you went "oops I shouldn't have cause its so good I won't stay out of it"? HA!!! yep this is it!!! man this stuff is crazy good!!

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- 2 Sticks of Butter
- 2 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Cup light corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla



I melted the butter first on low heat, then after it was completely melted I added ALL the other ingredients at once except for the vanilla, stirring until it was completely incorporated, I also turned the heat to medium, but I would suggest keeping it just a smidgen above low because I got a few specks of something that looked like I just about burnt it!!! But I saved it!! thank goodness!!!

This was kind of like the Toffee as you have to stand there for quite awhile stirring, I think that this is a little more forgiving though. This recipe could be used for caramel apples, caramel sauce for desserts anything really that you can do with caramel!!! 240 degrees is soft stage and I would use this for apples, 245 degrees is medium stage and I'm not sure what this should be used for..anybody have suggestions?? and 250 degrees is what I took this to. As soon as it comes to the temp that your wanting, remove from heat and add the vanilla, then pour into a 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper slightly greased(I just sprayed lightly with pam) it will take awhile to set up probably overnight. I couldn't wait and snuck some of it about an hour later (shh!;) I put it in the fridge and it sped up a little, but the next morning it was set up beautifully. 250 produced and really nice soft caramel that holds it shape well.

Now if I was really Crafty and had lots of imagination(which I have neither!!) I would wrap these in little pretty foils and give them as gifts in my Xmas plates. I may go to wal-mart today and see what I can find, I might just surprise myself!!

These are pretty easy and sooooo freakin good!! Thanks melvira!!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

xmas goodies!!




How fun to start this in December!! With all the christmas goodies that I make it should be easy to keep up with this first month!! The first recipe is Toffee!!mmm...yummy buttery toffee, covered in chocolate and peanuts, which you can use any kind of nuts you like or no nuts at all!!(which I do a lot!) I will tell you all now, my house does not like walnuts or pecans, so I won't be using those in any of my recipes. Although, I will try to remember to tell you when they are an option for those of you that do like them!!!! Now I did say that I liked easy, and this first recipe is easy BUT....drum roll...its a little time consuming and its kinda picky recipe, but its sooo worth it!! I promise!! This is something I make every year, although I do only make it in december and I forget about some things in between such a long time span!!! so I'm going to be completly honest and tell you all that it took me 3 times to get this right again, and I will tell what I did wrong so You won't!! First time, I did a stupid,stupid mistake and I turned it up to high heat instead of low heat...oops..then the second time I was using the wrong sized pan I think, it just didn't come to temp and by the time it did, it was a chewy butter separated mess!!! so the trick is use the right size pan!! and make sure your candy thermomiter is accurate!! which you can do by boiling some water and your thermomitor should read 212.



okay so heres the recipe.(see this pan...too big!!! I ended up using a sauce pan which was perfect shown on top!!)!!!..very easy and doesn't take to many ingredients!! yay!!!

1 cup Butter(this is the key ingredient!! must be, I repeat must be REAL butter!!!)
1 cup sugar
6 Tbs light corn syrup(ive used dark before and its fine)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed nuts(any variety you like)


melt butter over low heat when completly melted, then add sugar and corn syrup,stir,stir,stir!!! if your using unsalted butter go ahead and ad a dash of salt, if its salted your good!!! now turn your heat to about medium but not any hotter than medium!!!!

this will take about 10 to 15 minutes, and yes you have to stand there and stir the whole time!! but its good stuff!! now bring this up to about 290, then pour onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or tinfoil, I've fallen in love with parchment paper, its amazing stuff!! bake some cookies on it and you will too!!....okay back to the yummy toffee your about to finish making...spread the very hot mixture onto your pan and spread it out a little with your wooden or heat proof spatula, then about a minute later pour your chocolate chips over evenly, come back to it in about 6 minutes and it should be melted then spread out evenly and sprinkle your nuts over the melted chocolate!! it will take a little while for your chocolate to set up, a couple hours at least, after it has break into pieces and enjoy!! I guarrantee you if you make this everyone will rave and want this recipe!! it really is that awesome!!