Friday, November 27, 2009

The 25 Days of Christmas Cookie Recipes

This is the beginning of The 25 Days of Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange.
Grab the button and

and share your favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes with us. Write a post on your blog with your recipe and link it up using the Mr Linky below. Please link to the actual recipe post not just to your blog, so that we can find the recipes easier. It would also be great if in the Your Name box- Put your name and then the name of the recipe for easier browsing. I can't wait to see all of your recipes. Let the baking begin.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bourbon or Rum Sauce for all your pies, cakes or anything!

This is the best sauce for any kind of pie. We eat it on apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. It's the sauce that they serve at a restaurant called Pappadeaux's Restaurant in Houston. It is thick and creamy and not too sweet. The perfect compliment to a pie, cake or even a spoonful stirred into a cup of coffee. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 small box of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 TBS Bourbon, whiskey, brandy or rum
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
Pour the cream into a medium mixing bowl and beat just until it starts to thicken.
Add the milk and beat to combine
Slowly beat in the instant pudding mix
Add the vanilla and liqueur and continue whipping until it is well blended and is a thick sauce consistency. It should be almost as thick as pudding and shouldn't be runny. 
Place into a sealed container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. It will thicken up as it sits. This can be made a day ahead as it stores very well.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

This recipe is as southern as you can be and oh so good.  

Pappadeaux's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
1 Unbaked pastry for a single crust 9"-10" pie shell

1 1/4 c Cooked, mashed sweet potatoes -(about 1 large or 2 medium potatoes) I microwave my potatoes but you can also bake them.
1/4 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Granulated sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c Heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 t Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt 3/4 t Ground cinnamon
3/4 t Allspice
3/4 t Nutmeg
3 T Softened butter

1 1/4 c Sugar
1 1/4 c Dark corn syrup
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3 T Unsalted butter, softened
1/4 t Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt 3/4 t Ground cinnamon
1 1/4 c Chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 Deg F.
  • Sweet potato filling: 
    • Combine mashed sweet potatoes, sugars, egg, cream, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and butter in an electric mixing bowl and beat at medium-low speed until smooth, do not overmix. 
    • Spoon sweet potato filling into the pastry-lined pie pan. 
  • Prepare Pecan Pie Filling: 
    • Combine sugar, syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in an electric mixing bowl and beat on low speed until syrup is opaque, about 4-5 minutes. 
    • Stir in pecans, mix well.
    • Fill shell evenly to the top with with pecan filling. 
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. 
Pie can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours. It is fabulous served with  Bourbon Sauce on top.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping

I love pumpkin muffins and love playing with recipes, so this is the result of taking the best parts of 4 different recipes and combining them into one great tasting muffin. The browned butter adds a nutty flavor to these muffins that sets them apart. They are perfect for a weekend breakfast.

1/3 cup of melted unsalted (sweet)butter, browned- Instructions below.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter
1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

2 TBS flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 TBS butter softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Grease a 12 hole muffin pan
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place the butter into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Have a small heat proof bowl waiting next to the stove. 

  • Allow the butter to melt and boil until it just starts to turn a light golden brown, stirring or swirling as it cooks to prevent burning. As soon as the color begins to change to the light golden color, immediately remove from heat and continue stirring for 30 seconds or so. The butter will continue browning from the heat in the pan. It should be a medium golden brown. 
  • If it starts getting too dark, QUICKLY pour into the standby bowl to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool.  

  • In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients until the butter is incorporated and it is a bit crumbly.

  • Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves together into a medium size bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and vanilla. 
  • Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until barely combined. 
  • Add the browned butter and stir until combined. Don't over stir. 
  • Divide the batter up into 12 muffins. 

  • Sprinkle a spoonful of the topping over the muffin batter
  • Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean. 

  • Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan to continue cooling. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cranberry Upside Down Coffee Cake

• 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/3 cup butter
• 1 1/4 cups cranberries fresh or frozen that have been thawed
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• The zest from one large orange ~1 ½ -2 tsps.
• 1 cup sour cream- regular or lite
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent leaking. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and 1/3 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then pour into bottom of springform pan. Sprinkle with cranberries and pecans.
3. Peel a large apple, grate it, then squeeze most of the juice out, toss with 2 TBS of flour to separate and coat.
4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla, and the orange zest.
5. Gently mix in the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream. 1/3 flour, half of the sour cream, 1/3 of the flour, the rest fo the sour cream then the rest of the flour each time mixing just until it is combined. Do not over beat!!
6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving platter and carefully remove pan. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Double Chocolate Biscotti 
    Brownie Biscotti
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water 
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and coffee granules in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next.
Beat in the vanilla with the last egg.
Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts; mixing just enough to evenly combine.
Dived the dough in half and shape each into 8x2 inch flat rectangles about 1 inch thick.
Place on the baking sheet 3 to 4 inches apart.
Beat egg yolk with water in a small bowl. Brush over the top of each loaf.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until both loaves are firm, 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). 
  • Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/4 inch slices. 
  • Place each slice, cut-side up onto the baking sheet. 
  • Return to the oven and bake until the biscotti are dry, 10 to 15 minutes on each side. 
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Store in an airtight container. 
These are extra good when drizzled with both white and dark chocolate!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Easy All Butter Pie Crust- Food Processor

 I love flaky pie crust but not the film that shortening leaves in my mouth and really, isn't everything better with lots of butter in it. This recipe can be made today and then frozen until the day before Thanksgiving. Take it out and set it in the fridge overnight and you will be already for the pie making on

  • 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (the acid in the sour cream helps make the crust tender)
  • 1/3 Cup ice water , or more if needed
Process flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about ten 1-second pulses.

Using fork, mix sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry, and does not hold together, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, three to five 1-second pulses.

Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk; wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling.

Dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. Dough can also be frozen for several months. Make the pie dough, shape it into two 4-inch disks, wrap the disks tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and foil, and freeze. When you're ready to make a pie, simply thaw the disks in the refrigerator overnight.

Holiday Biscotti

I originally saw a recipe like this in Bon Appetit and made some changes to the original recipe, I know you're shocked that I'd adapt a recipe. It is so pretty with the green and red and it's perfect for the holidays. 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. silpat, or just grease really well. 
  • Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. 
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. 
  • Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. 
  • Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. 
  • Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide and 3/4" to 1" thick (tall) log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife,(if you have an electric carving knife those work really well for this) cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti again for 10 minutes on one side then turn over and bake until they are pale golden, about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool completely.

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Either dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate shake off the excess chocolate or drizzle chocolate over the top and sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

This biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to a week or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags for up to 2 months.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Orange Almonds

These are so good as a sweet snack or for a party. They also make a wonderful gift. Just pack them up in a cute container as a lovely gift for a teacher, neighbor or hostess gift.

3 cups of blanched whole almonds
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp of orange zest
a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Grease a baking sheet with sides
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy and broken up
  • Add the almonds to the egg whites and stir until the almonds are completely wet
  • In a seperate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange zest, and the spices
  • Drain almonds and add to the powdered sugar mixture, stir until the almonds are coated in the sugar. 
  • Spread the coated almonds out onto the baking sheet in a single layer
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, until the almonds are crunchy.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely. 
  • Store in an airtight container. They store perfect for weeks.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Brown Sugar Cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsps. hot water
4 cups flour
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
  • Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, then add eggs. 
  • Mix soda and hot water, add to mixture, mix well. 
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt and add to mixture one cup at a time. 
  • Add vanilla. 
  • Chill batter thoroughly. This is a very soft dough, but it can be handled nicely if chilled. 
  • Roll and cut. 
  • Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until lightly golden at  350 degrees, do not overbake. 
 Makes a soft cookie. I also use this recipe as a drop cookie. I don't chill the batter and just drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake as above.
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