Saturday, November 26, 2011

GONE NUTS




Nuts are always welcome on a buffet table. Switch up the kind to please all your guest. Grab a handful and enjoy. In moderation, nuts are good for us.............

Sweet Spiced Nuts

Food Network Magazine
November 2009

1 large egg white & 1 Tbsp of water
2/3 cups sugar
11/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or chai spice blend
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups assorted mixed nuts
  I used one container 18.25 ounce can of Planters Deluxe Mixed nuts
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl whisk the egg white and the water till frothy.
3. Using a large plastic storage bag add the sugar, salt, pie spice and pepper. Add the few drops of Worcestershire sauce and squeeze with fingers to blend this all together.
4. Add the nuts to the whisked egg wash and mix to coat the nuts. Add the nuts to the plastic bag and seal the bag and shake, rattle and roll the bag to coat the nuts.
5. Remove the coated nuts from the plastic bag and place on the parchment paper and bake at 275 for about 30 -35 minutes. Cool completely then break into pieces.

Friday, November 25, 2011

MORGAN'S BAKING IN MAINE

When life gives you lemons...the story goes, you should make lemonade, but I'd make just about anything I could with those tart yellow fruits! I am in love with almost anything lemon.
I've traveled from Houston, Texas to the back woods of Maine to spend Thanksgiving with my family. This is the first time in ten years that I've celebrated my favorite holiday with my mom.
So, to keep warm, I spent my afternoon in the kitchen. I found these sweet little treats on the website that seems to be taking over so many lives, Pinterest.com. This was the first time I've ever made Lemon Curd, as well. A terrible name for such a wonderful taste of pure lemon. I am quite pleased with myself. I hope y'all enjoy just as much as we, The 'Wednesday' Baker has!
These cookies are cute, sweet, tart, and bite sized. They would be great for any kind of party, a simple dessert, or truly any time you're craving something with a nice lemon flavor.    The Wednesday Baker's daughter, Morgan



Lemon Bar Cookie Cups
barbarabakes

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup lemon curd (recipe below)
powdered sugar for dusting


Lemon Curd (Make this a few hours before cookies or even the day before)

6 tbsp of butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice  (about 3 lemons average size)
1 tsp grated lemon zest

1. In a medium size bowl, beat the butter and sugar with your hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat this for 1 minutes then mix in the lemon juice. It may appear curdled, don't worry it will be fine when its starts cooking.

2. Pour this mixture into a medium, heavy saucepan, cook over low heat until it appears smooth. The curdled look will disappear as the butter is melting. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and about 170 degrees on a instant read thermometer.

3. Remove the curd from the heat, stir in the lemon zest. Pour the mixture into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly on top of curd to help a skin from forming. Chill the curd for about 1 hour or longer. This will keep for one week in the refrigerator and about 2 months in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a bowl combine the flours, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar and whisk these together. Set aside.

2. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugars til light and fluffy. Add the oil, egg and both extracts. Mix this together then gradually add the flour and mix at low speed until combined.

3. Lightly grease your mini muffin pans and use a small ice cream cookie scoop ( about 1 Tbsp of dough) and place in each muffin tin. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. Then remove from oven and using the handle of a wooden spoon make a indent in the center of each cookie. Make the indent about 1/2 inch wide. Fill each center with lemon curd and place back in the oven and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. Just watch so you don't over cook them. You want them to light brown. Remove to a cooling rack. When cool dust the edges with confectioners' sugar.

Barbara gave instructions for high altitude adjustments. she added 2 tbsp flour, reduced the baking soda to 1/4 tsp and reduce the sugar by 1 tbsp.
Morgan got 53 cookie cups. 



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Monday, November 21, 2011

CAKE BATTER PUDDING COOKIES




Seems like cake batter is the next new ingredient for making baked goods. That is a good thing, most of us always have a cake mix in the pantry. Morgan ( the princess daughter who lives in Houston) is home for the week. She saw these on Pinterest and suggested I make them. They are moist, easy to make, and a soft chewy cookie. Who doesn't like the smell of cake batter. How about a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding and white sprinkles. Be creative. Change with the holidays. Thanks Nikki for another cookie recipe.   Happy Baking,    Andi



Cake Batter Pudding Cookies

chef-n-training

1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cups)
3/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cups of yellow cake batter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
sprinkles



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk this together then set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, and sugars and mix until fluffy. Add the pudding mix and the cake batter, and mix. Then add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until blended. Add the flour mixture and with mixer on low speed add the flour and beat until well blended. Stir the sprinkles in my hand.

Roll the dough in one inch balls and place on parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes.


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Monday, November 14, 2011

TWISTED NEWSPAPER WREATH

Twisted newspaper wreath........When I saw this, I  knew I wanted to make it. Keri is the inventor, and she cooks, and she has a linky party thur christmas with holiday cooking and baking.  Lots of wonderful recipes. 

I love it, putting this wreath together takes a bit of time, a couple of movies and a snack, maybe! I did this in one evening. It is so simple all you do is twist, wrap and glue. Please go check out the wreath that Keri made....It's so cute, and you can change the seasons. How, neat is that. I wonder about making this with strips of homespun fabric?

Thank you Keri, so cleaver!  I did the wrapping a little different then Keri but both work, when I was close to the end with the strip I was working with I took another one and overlapped the two and continued on.    

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Supplies:

foam wreath
glue gun and glue
newspaper ( stay with the comics, ads, you want the color in your wreath)
bamboo skewer (to help protect your fingers from the hot glue)



What you do is, cut newspaper in strips about 1 1/2 inches wide, at the starting point crinkle the paper and glue to the wreath. Use the bamboo stick to hold the paper to help protect those fingers. Then on you go, twist, fold, tuck, scrunch and try to keep your twisted papers tight with each other,  if the paper rips then fold it around or start with another strip. *I didn't use much glue, when I was almost finished with the strip of paper I added another one, about 2 inches from the end. Scrunch, twist and keep on going. It saved some glue and my fingers. Putting the wreath together didn't cost much..but I was surprised at the price for a wreath, so use your coupon for AC Moore you can get on-line.
Happy twisting my friends, A recycled newspaper wreath.....and go check out the Holiday Sweet Swap   
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CINNAMON PULL APART BREAD


Secret Recipe Club

Time for the Secret Recipe Club....love, love. This month I was assigned to the tasty cheapskate, Jean. The part I like about The Secret Recipe Club is checking each post and then make that decision "What do I make?" Jean is a wife, and mommy to a house full of  4 little people. And amazingly she feeds her family on less than $10 a day.......Not sure how she does that.  I have a hard enough time to balance the ATM slips. Jean has to be organized with her busy daily life. I had a few recipes that I was interested in then I decided on the "Orange Pull apart Bread" I did mine with cinnamon. Reminds me of the monkey bread, but I had to make the sweet dough. The kitchen was happy that day, bread rising, the wonderful aroma of cinnamon, nothing could be better. Jean's cinnamon bread. Happy Baking.






Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
tastycheapskate

Yeast dough:
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1-1/4 oz. package)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour


Filling: for orange pull apart bread
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp of grated orange zest ( one orange)

Filling: for cinnamon pull apart bread
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup softened butter




1. Heat milk and butter until butter melts either in microwave or on top of stove. Add cool water

2. Pour this into a good size bowl. Allow this to cool to a temperature of 110-115 F. use your thermometer to get the correct temperature, add sugar, yeast, eggs and vanilla and mix this all up. Then continue adding flour 1 cup at a time, for a total of 2 3/4 to 3 cups. Turn the dough out onto a bread board and knead till the dough is soft, and not sticky. When its ready you should be able to put your hand in the dough and it leaves a imprint and you should be able to pull your hand away without the dough sticking to your hand.

3. Lightly grease your large bread bowl and put the shaped dough in the bowl. Cover with a towel and allow to rise. This will take about 1 hour depending on the room temperature. You can turn on the oven to warm it slightly then turn off and put your bread bowl in the oven. This will help it to rise.
You want this first rise to be doubled from the original size.

4. Flour your bread board, punch the dough down when its ready, and roll it into a rectangle that is about 12x20 inches.
Roll to about 1/4 inch thick.

5. Make the filling for either the orange zest or cinnamon.

6. Combine the filling ingredients and mix. Spread this onto of the bread.

7. Cut the bread into 5 12x4 strips. Carefully stack them on top of each other. They will stretch when you pick them up, that's ok, just tuck and crease them if needed. Cut this stack into 6 x2 inch strips. Lay them in the well-greased bread pan cut-side on its side. It's like laying the cut dough with the bread pan sitting on the short end upright. Cover your bread and let rise again.

8. Can you smell it, oh, so yummy. Allow it to rise up and almost over the edge of the bread pan. It may appear that it's a little crusty, but don't worry its ok, that is caramel-y sugar forming on top. Bake at 350 degree for 30-40 minutes. If not sure if done, then use a fork and gently pull the slices apart to peek inside. Allow to cool, frost with a cream cheese icing or eat as is while warm. Enjoy, hot pull apart bread. Nothing is any better.
















Saturday, November 12, 2011

PECAN GINGERBREAD COOKIES

And the cookie Monster say "C" for cookie.  And yes, another cookie. I will be baking my way thru cookie lane.  This recipe may take a back seat to the original molasses cookies, sorry grammie K. Just seeing  and smelling gingerbread men baking reminds us all of Christmas.  Hint of molasses, just the right amount of spices.  I don't think anyone would be  disappointed in this recipe.  I made the dough the night before so the dough was very cold, easy to work with.  The aroma of these cookie is delightful ...........Happy Baking, Andi    



Pecan Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Cooking Southern Style
Special Issue 2011 Taste of the South

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cups firmly packed Light brown sugar
3 Tbsp molasses
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp finely ground pecans



Icing:

2 Tbsp of cold water
1 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp meringue powder available at ac moore
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
The dough needs to be refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

1. In a medium size bowl add the flour, soda, pumpkin-pie spice, ginger, salt and pepper. Use whisk and mix this all together. Set aside.

2. In mixing bowl of stand mixer, add the butter, shortening and mix scraping bowl when needed til light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Add the egg and molasses and continue to mix. Add the flour mixture gradually till all is mixed. If dough is too stiff mix remaining in by hand. Add the finely ground pecans.

3. Divide the dough in 2 pieces and wrap in plastic wrap forming a disk and chill for at least 2 hours.
Allow dough to sit at room temp for about 10-15 minutes before starting to roll.

4. Lightly flour your pasty board and roll the disk to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutter cut out the desired shapes. Place on parchment lined rimmed baking sheets and bake for about 8-10 minutes. (will vary depending on thickness)

5. Cool on baking pan for a few minutes then remove to cooling rack.

To make the icing:

In a small bowl combine the cold water and the meringue powder. Whisk this together until frothy. Add the powdered sugar and mix with your hand mixer. Adding more cold water just a little at a time if needed. Fill a pasty bag using a small writing tip and decorate as desired. This icing is thick and dries fast.


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Friday, November 11, 2011

ACORN COOKIES

I have to admit that I am addicted,  pinterest.com. I have been hanging around lately, it is addictive, mouth drooling, wanta make everything, gain 10 pounds just looking at all the food and drink. You people are amazing at what you do. I have found so many idea, recipes, I want to make it all.   I can't give credit to the home of these cute, little acorn's. But it wasn't my idea and we all thank you for thinking this up. You know who you are!    Happy Baking, Andi




Acorn Cookies

Supplies needed:
Nutter Butter bites made by Planters or bite size Nilla wafers
Hershey's kisses
Chocolate frosting
Chocolate chips

Place a small amount of icing on the bottom of the Hershey's Kiss then attach to the Nutter Butter. Put a dab of icing on the bottom of the chocolate chip and attach to the other side of the Nutter Butter.  That's it, pretty easy and everyone will think you are amazing.



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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FROSTED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE TOPS

Cookies make me smile. And, I have found another fun cookie. These cookies look just like their name, a cupcake all chocolate with more chocolate on top. I made these cookies for a meeting, they were welcomed well. I came home with a empty container.  A keeper for sure, Happy baking.....Andi


                       



Frosted Chocolate Cupcake Tops

 annies-eats
about 30 cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp espresso powder - optional used to enhance chocolate
2 oz . unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups of buttermilk, or plain yogurt


Heat oven to 375 degrees, line your rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

1. In a medium size bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder if using. Whisk this together and set aside.

2. In a small sauce pan add the chopped unsweetened chocolate over a simmering water and allow to melt. Remove from heat source, and cool to luke warm.

3. In your large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar and mix till light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix till smooth. Scape down the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl.

4. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and on low speed mix. Then add the buttermilk and mix and scrap the bowl. Then add the remaining flour mixture.  

Using a small ice cream scoop or about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter place the dough about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. This time will depend on how big your cookies are. So adjust accordingly. Rotate the baking sheets halfway thru baking. Cool the cookies before icing.




Icing:

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 plus 1 tbsp of sour cream (ok you can use low fat)
1 cup of confectioners' sugar

Using the same saucepan, add the chips and melt over simmering water. Remove from heat and add the sour cream. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Adjust the consistency with additional sugar to thicken or adding sour cream a little at a time to thin the icing. Decorate as you wish...............Happy Baking, Andi

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Friday, November 4, 2011

APPLE PIE MUFFINS


The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is upon us.  I will be cooking & baking with the season's in mind. This banner is made from 4 1/2 inch cut square cardboard, I then cut pieces of natural burlap, sprayed the cardboard with a spray adhesive.  I layed the burlap on top then used a rotory cutter and trimmed each square.  The letters were traced with a stencil and fabric then sprayed and layed on the burlap.  I used a good size lenght of jute, used a hole punch to put holes in the squares then used ripped cotton fabric to make the ties.    Made by Andi    


I tried Yummy's Apple Pie Muffins recipe.  I think Yummy is right, if you love apple pie you should for sure try these delicious apple pie muffins.  They have a warm, spicy, apple pie taste.  I got 16 muffins out of this recipe.  Another keeper for me.  You could also make a bundt cake, drizzle the top with a thin icing.   So go ahead, try this and see what you think.  Thank you Ms. Yummy for a yummy recipe.   
                                                                 Happy baking, Andi

Apple Pie Muffins
yummychunklet


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped Granny Smith Apples


Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and all the spices. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Mix this until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the butter/sugar mixture into the well of the dry ingredients. Fold in by hand the chopped apples. Using your cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the lined muffin pans. Place ice cubes in the muffins tins that have no batter.

Make the topping:

Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl , mix and sprinkle over the top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger. Cool in the pan then remove to cooling rack and allow to finish cooling.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

RED VELVET CAKE

This is a birthday cake for me.  My favorite daughter Morgan sent me this new cook book.  Desserts from the famous LOVELESS Cafe in Nashville's Landmark Restaurant.  Written by Alisa Huntsman.  I will be baking my way thru this book for sure.  It's pies, puddings, cakes and cobblers from the restaurant. 
Many say this is a cake for Valentine's Day.  But I couldn't wait until February to make it.....I have never made a Red Velvet Cake before, so I was in for a surprise.  I loved it.  Can you see the red color, but it's a chocolate cake.  This cake is a little different than a lot of the recipes that I have seen.  It's made with dark brown sugar.  
The frosting could of been a bit thicker, and I think I could of done a better job.  So,  don't pick on me.  Morgan sent me a link to a blog called whisk-kid.com on how to frost a cake.  All I ever do is cupcakes.  I'll do better next time.  I promise.  But, the cake is a keeper for sure. And it was very tasty, moist red velvet Cake.  Happy Baking Andi
   

Red Velvet Cake
Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe
Nashville's Landmark Restaurant
copyright 2011



2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons ( 1 ounce) liquid red food color
King Arthur Flour says 1 tsp of gel food coloring equals 2 ounces of liquid food coloring)
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 tbsp of distilled white or cider vinegar

Icing: Cream cheese icing
10 ounces cream cheese
1 stick plus 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch pans. You can line the bottoms with parchment paper if you wish. Remember to grease the paper also. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium size bowl, add the flour, cocoa, and baking soda and whisk this.
3. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and the food color and mix and set aside.
4. Using your stand mixer add the softened butter, and cream this with the light brown sugar on low speed until light and fluffy. Mix this for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Next add the eggs and yolks slowly and continue to mix. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all is incorporated.
6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients along with some of the buttermilk and continue until all the ingredients have been added. Add the vinegar last by hand. Be sure to scrape the sides of bowl down to the bottom of bowl so that all the ingredients are mixed well. You don't want your cake batter streaked.
7. Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans. Bake for about 35 minutes but check often. When a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean then it is done. Or if it springs back in center when lightly touched with your finger. Just don't overbake your cake.
Allow the cakes to cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes. Then carefully run a knife around the outer edge and flip the cake and allow to cool completely before icing.

To make your icing:
With the mixer on low speed add the softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Mix then slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mixing until it is the consistency you desire.

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