Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

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Here’s to hoping your New Year is as good as ours!

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Chocolate-Mint Sandwich Cookies

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Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and file a pastry bag with a medium, straight tip.

For the cookies, whisk:
3/4 cup each all-purpose flour and unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. table salt

Cream:
2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 egg whites

Cream the butter and both sugars with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg whites a little at a time, beating to full incorporate. Mix in flour-cocoa mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pipping bag.

Pipe batter onto baking sheets in strips 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. Bake until crisp around the edges; 18-20 minutes; cool on pan.

For the filling:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. mint extract
8 oz white bar chocolate, chopped
green food coloring

Microwave the cream and extract until boiling; pour over chocolate in a bowl. Let mixture stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Add food coloring a drop at a time until desired color is reached; stir to blend.

To assemble, spread filling onto one cookie and top with another to form sandwiches. (Betcha you couldn’t have figured that one out for yourselves!)

Recipe from Cuisine At Home December 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

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It’s like Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls in a cookie. But with plain frosting. Of course we could change that…

For the filling-

Combine and set aside:
1/2 cup sugar
2 T ground cinnamon

For the dough-

Whisk together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. table salt

Cream in separate bowl:
2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla; mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, blending just to incorporate; do not over mix.

Trace a 9×16″ rectangle on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Pat the dough into the rectangle using your hands, then sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.

Beginning on the long side and using the paper to help you, roll the dough into a log. Dust the outside of the log with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Wrap log in plastic and chill for at least three hours. At this point you can freeze the dough for up to a month.

Preheat the oven to 350; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice chilled dough into 1/4” thick slices and arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1″ apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack.

For icing-

Combine:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 t. powdered egg whites or meringue powder (It’s okay to omit this, but the icing won’t dry hard.)

Drizzle icing over cooled cookies. Let stand at room temperature until icing dries

 

 

 

Christmas Toffee Bars

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This Halloween my husband and I learned something new about ourselves: WE LOVE TOFFEE. We had no idea until those Heath bars showed up in that bag of Halloween candy. It was a given that we had to make some this holiday season. This recipe was dangerously easy.

Preheat oven to 350, butter 9×13″ glass baking dish

For the crush-

Combine:
2 cups of crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted.

Press the mixture into the prepared dish, using a measuring cup to “tamp” it down. Bake for 8 minutes, or just until set.

Melt together:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup  brown sugar

Stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute without stirring.

Immediately pour the mixture over the hot crust, then return the pan to the oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes, remove, and cool for 2 minutes.

Sprinkle 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips over the toffee and let stand until glossy, about 5 minutes. Spread the chocolate over the toffee using an offset spatula, then sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts). Cool bars completely.

Remove toffee from the pan. It should come out real easy.

See?

To break into pieces, insert the tip of a paring knife into the toffee and twist the knife.

Recipe source: Cuisine at Home Holiday Cookies

Bedtime snack’n jammies

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Makes 24-28 bars

Total time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 9×13″ baking pan with nonstick spray

For the base and topping-

Combine in bowl; set aside:
2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 t table salt
1/2 t baking soda

Cream until smooth:
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix until blended. Gradually add oat mixture and mix until crumbly.

Measure out and reserve 2 cups of the crumb mixture for the topping. Press the remaining mixture into prepared pan for the base, using the bottom of a measuring cup to “tamp” down the dough.

Spread over base:
1 (12 oz) jar of blackberry jam

Combine reserved crumb mixture with 1 cup of chopped chocolate-covered peanuts.

Sprinkle topping over jam layer, pressing it lightly to adhere. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until jam is bubbly and topping is golden. Cool bar completely before cutting.

Original recipe from Cuisine at Home Holiday Cookies