Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

More holiday cookies!! I love how pretty these cookies are and I am sure they will be a show stopper at any holiday party.  They taste good and they look good, what more can you ask for!?  I used jolly rancher for the candy part and they harden nicely and I even made one cookies with red and green.  When I made them, I cooked the dough for about 5 minutes then took them out and added the jolly rancher.  If the candy gets too hot it bubbles up and goes over the edge so you have to watch them closely.  I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas!  Happy Holidays!!




Stained Glass Cookies - Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: 3 Dozen
Ingredients:
2 Cups Sifted Flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

20 assorted clear colored hard candies, such as Jolly Rancher or Starburst hard candies

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until smooth, 1 minute.
  3. Add reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
  4. Position two racks in oven; preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat (nonstick baking mat); set aside.
  5. On a well-floured work surface, roll out chilled dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out exterior shapes using a cookie cutter or templates. With a metal spatula, transfer whole cookies to the prepared baking sheets. 
  6. Using tip of a paring knife or cookies cutter, make a cutout in center of each cookie to be filled with candy. 
  7. Transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator, and chill until cookie dough is firm, about 15 minutes. 
  8. Crush the candies into small pieces.
  9. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake cookies for about 5 minutes.  Take the cookies out and add the candy.  
  10. Bake until the candy has melted and completely filled the cut-out area, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not let the cookies brown, or the stained-glass effect will not be as brilliant and the candy centers may become bubbly, not clear.
  11. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, and then use a metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Happy Holidays!! I hope everyone is done with their shopping and spending all their time baking!!  This is such an easy recipe and super quick!! Anyone can whip this up for a holiday party or just to share with your family.  I am gonna make this post short and sweet because I have a lot to do! Merry Christmas!




Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge - Adapted from - Cake Duchess
Yield: 25 squares
Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
4 Candy Canes, crushed

Directions:
  1. Line a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper leaving about 2 inches around the sides of pan hanging out.
  2. Place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring often until smooth. 
  3. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the peppermint extract. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Let the fudge set for a hour or two.
  5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

These cookies are so festive and they smell amazing! I love the combination of chocolate and peppermint.  I made dark chocolate peppermint fudge which I will be posting soon too!  The batter is just a chocolate roll out recipe from Bon Appitet magazine and then your creativity comes into play with whatever you want to do with the dough.  I made some stars and some ornaments with cutouts in the middle as well as I used Martha Stewart Holiday Stencils to make snowflakes and the holiday wreath.  I bought an 8 pack of her stencils and they are super cute!!  Happy Holiday Baking!!






Your recipe here, or I will be posting the bon appetit one soon!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting topped with Mini Gingerbread Men

Merry Christmas to all my readers! Sorry I have been so MIA lately, I am just too busy to keep up.  I did a lot of baking this weekend so I have like 5 posts coming out soon!! These cakes are amazing and that's all I have the energy to say today!  Happy Holidays!!







Cupcakes - Adapted from - Melissas Munches
Yield: 22 cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter (3 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Unsulphered Molasses
4 Eggs, room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
22 Gingerbread men

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing:
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

Directions:
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350. Line muffin pan with baking cup liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and spices; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses until incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. 
  4. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
  5. Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the cinnamon cream frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  7. Frost and top with gingerbread men.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

YogurtLand inspired these cookies.  My favorite flavor there is called Oatmeal Cookie.  I was eating this the other night and my taste buds were delighted.  I soon realized that I have never made a plain oatmeal cookie and decided to change that this weekend.  I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com and with all the positive reviews I knew this would be the perfect cookie to bake.  I added more cinnamon, because why not.  They  so delicious!  But I actually made two cookies today.  I had recently seen a recipe for an oatmeal cookie that had Dark Chocolate Covered Acai bits in it, but I didn't save the recipe and couldn't find it again.  I decided just to add about 3/4 cup of the chocolate to the second batch of cookies.  I had two types, Acai and Pomegranate so I used some of each.  I think they qualify as a healthy cookie with the oatmeal and antioxidants from the dark chocolate and Acai.   These would be a perfect addition to any Christmas plate of cookies!






Soft Oatmeal Cookies - Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Yield: 3 Dozen
Ingredients:
1 Cup Butter, unsalted and softened
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
3 Cups Quick Oats
1-2 Cups Brookside Dark Chocolate with Acai or Pomegranate (optional)

Directions
  1. In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. 
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.  (I didn't chill my dough, I am too impatient when my dough has cinnamon in it.  My cookies came out GREAT, so its your choice)
  3. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease cookie sheets. Scoop or roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.  (I flatten the plain cookies just with my hand, and I didn't flatten the ones with chocolate in them.  I like a thicker cookie but again this is your choice.)
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack or I use tin foil to cool completely.