Peppermint Cookies

December 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Again these are cookies from last year, but they were a hit! It was hard crushing the candy canes, but other than that they were a nice easy cookie.

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
Rachael Ray

Ingredients
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
Two 3.5-ounce bars dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used dark chocolate chips instead)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes or candies

Directions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powered sugar. Once creamy, beat in the egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture one third at a time, beating until smooth.
  4. Using parchment paper or silicone baking sheets, put the dough onto the baking sheet. Using your hands, shape the dough into a 12 inch long round log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and roll into a smooth and even log. Seal the ends and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Reshape the cylinder and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
  6. Unwrap the dough. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/3 inch rounds. Place these rounds 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  7. Bake until firm, 18 to 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet, and cool completely.
  9. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine two-thirds of the dark chocolate with the oil. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir until smooth. If needed, heat at 10-second intervals. Stir in the remaining chocolate until smooth.
  10. Using a spoon, spread a scant teaspoon of melted chocolate on top of each cookie. Sprinkle the peppermints on top and press in, gently. Let stand until set, about 2 to 3 hours.
  11. Package up and enjoy!

I would do these again, if I had the motivation to bake this year. They were really yummy. Just keep an eye on them in the oven, they go from done to burnt pretty easily, and it is hard to see.

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Palmier Cookies

December 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Well, it has been a year, roundabouts, but I have really been slacking on the blogging front. I’ve had some recipes saved, ready to blog but I never quite got around to it.

These cookies are from the last holiday season. I have to say that they are one of my favorites and I make them on a whim every once in a while year-round. They are easy, cheap, taste fantastic. They just take a little planning ahead.

Cinnamon Palmiers Cookie
I Shot the Chef, though I know there are a ton of similar recipes out there

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen
5 to 6 Tablespoons ice water
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Stir together the flour and salt in a large metal bowl.
  2. Grate the frozen butter into the flour, gently tossing to get all of the butter coated. Once all of the butter is in, add 5 Tablespoons of the ice water evenly into the flour mixture. Gently stir with a pastry blender or fork until all of the water is incorporated. If necessary, add another tablespoon of water. When a small handful of dough holds together, it is ready. Do not overwork or add too much water to the dough.
  3. Form the dough into a 5-inch square. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until firm (at least 30 minutes).
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 15 by 8 inch rectangle. Brush off any excess flour and fold the dough into thirds (like a letter). Rewrap the dough and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  5. With the sort side of the dough near you, roll the dough out again into a 15 by 8 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, rewrap and chill until firm, another 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling and chilling process again.
  6. Roll out the dough again unto a 15 by 8 inch rectangle, fold the dough into thirds. With a sharp knife, half the dough crosswise. Wrap separately and chill for at least an hour.
  7. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle a clean work surface with some of the cinnamon sugar, and place one of the chilled doughs on top. Quickly roll out the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle. If the dough gets soft, chill on a baking sheet until firm. Sprinkle the top of the dough evenly with some cinnamon sugar. Fold the two opposite long sides of the pastry so that they meet in the center. Then fold in the same sides in the same manner. Then fold one half over the other (like a book) and press gently with the rolling pin to flatten. it will form a long, rectangular log. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon sugar.
  8. Chill on a baking sheet (uncovered) until firm for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and cinnamon sugar.
  9. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F with the rack in the middle. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (I use silicone baking sheets).
  10. Cut one of the doughs crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices with a sharp knife. Arrange slices cut side down, 1 1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes until puffed and golden around the edges (they will puff and expand in the oven). Remove the cookies from the oven and turn them over with a spatula. If they begin to unroll gently press to reshape when they have cooled a tad. Continue baking until they are golden (3 to 5 minutes).
  11. Transfer onto a rack and cool as they are done.
  12. Once they have cooled, enjoy!

I love these cookies. They are pretty simple, and they make a ton! I never knew that they were so easy.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

January 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This recipe is a new favorite. I discovered it a few years ago, and from what I can tell every family has their own way of making it. I just picked one of the variations and tried it, I love strawberries and it sounded too interesting to not try. Ever since then, it has been requested over and over again. Misha’s work requested it for the work pot-luck, every time he comes home with an empty dish. I just discovered this year that his work divides it into 6 pieces, and the 6 of them eat it! I had thought that the potluck party was a few more people, but little did I know that he and his coworkers eat this entire thing themselves! His coworkers now request it every pot-luck.

Though it is very easy to make, it does take a few hours (not of actual cooking time, but do this, then cool, do that then, refrigerate, then do this and let sit overnight for the jello to set). So it just takes a little bit of planning ahead.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
various sources, this is one of those recipes where every family has their own variation

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar, divided
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 8 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed (cool whip)
1 6 ounce package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 16 ounce package frozen strawberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together pretzels, 4 1/2 Tablespoons sugar, and melted butter.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Note: Be sure to not overbake, the crust will get too hard.
  4. Set aside the pretzel crust to cool completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Fold in the whipped topping. (I forgot this once, oops! It still turned out yummy though!)
  7. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled pretzel crust. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  8. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water.
  9. Once mixed, mix in the frozen strawberries and stir until thawed.
  10. Spread mixture evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Note: I normally pull out the strawberries and “organize” them on the cream cheese, since they don’t really spread evenly themselves. That and if you can place the strawberries in a quadrant-like format, you can easily slice down the grid, and everyone gets a strawberry! But I’m crazy like that.
  11. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least a couple hours. Note: I usually let it sit overnight.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

A few quick notes, I only make this the night before. I wouldn’t let it sit any longer than that. Also, after the first slice be sure to finish the rest quickly. Misha likes it a few days later, but I find that the pretzel crust gets a little soggy and messy. Though it usually doesn’t stay around that long. It can also be hard to cut, so if you are taking it to a pot-luck bring a nice sturdy knife to get through the crust. I also like to have people guess what the crust is, I had my Father-in-Law stumped for quite some time! ry, Eas

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Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Misha loves pumpkin. I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan (shhh, don’t tell him) but I do enjoy a good pumpkin cheesecake. When looking on PW’s web site for Thanksgiving ideas, the pumpkin cheesecake caught me. I’ve recently started enjoying nuts more, and pumpkin, caramel, and cheesecake… what could be better! I’m not much of a gingersnaps fan, so instead of a gingersnap crust, I used the plain old grahm crackers with pecans. The printable recipe is here, on PW’s web site. Mine took signifigantlly longer to cook, but I think that my springform pan was slightly smaller.

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Key Lime Pie

November 10, 2008 at 9:09 am (Uncategorized) ()

Key Lime Pie

The first key lime pie I ever made was a disaster. I don’t think that I have ever had one before, and really just went by the recipe that I found in my Top Secret Recipes cookbook, and it was not quite what I expected. And then I saw PeaBody’s post on Key Lime pie, and decided that it was worth a second try, and it was. The recipe got rave reviews and was worth it.

I had read in America’s Test Kitchen, that when it comes to key limes and baked goods like key lime pies that it didn’t make a huge taste difference if you used real key limes versus just limes. So the second time I made the pie, I made it with plain old limes (when you have squeezed 30+ key limes by hand for a pie that didn’t turn out your hands will remember the pain).

Anyways, the first time I made key lime pie I forgot to save a piece for Misha’s Aunt, the second time I made key lime pie I made two (well five actually, but four of them were minis). I brought her over her very own baby key lime pie, complete with whipped cream and zest. She loved it, and then teased me that I didn’t work as hard for this one because it wasn’t “real key lime pie”. So she never really got her key lime pie.

So, I planned way ahead and in June wrote down in the calendar to make a key lime pie for her birthday (well, to remember to request that that was the dish that I bring to her birthday dinner). So, in October I asked the family if I could do dessert for her birthday, and last saturday I spent squeezing 1.5 bags of key limes for 2.25 pies. Misha’s Aunt had a little baby (heart-shaped) pie all to herself.

Happy Birthday!!!

Key Lime Pie with Coconut-Pecan Grahm Cracker Crust
PeaBody!

Ingredients

1/2 cup key lime juice, fresh if possible
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Marscapone cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated lime or key lime
5 egg jokes
whipped cream, for garnish
1 coconut-pecan grahm cracker pie shell (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Whisk sweetened condesnsed milk with the egg jokes.
  2. Whisk on Marscapone cheese.
  3. Stir in whipping cream and lime juice.
  4. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest.
  5. Pour into a prepared grahm cracker crust and bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Serve with whipped cream and a dash of lime zest, and enjoy!

Coconut-Pecan Grahm Cracker Crust
PeaBody!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups crushed grahm cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup pecans, toasted
7-8 Tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Toast coconut flakes and pecans.
  2. In a food processor, blend together grahm cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar, and pecans. Make sure that none of the coconut is visible.
  3. Add about 7 Tablespoons melted butter, pulse a few times. Add more butter if necessary.
  4. Pour contents into a pie pan and press to form a shell.
  5. Bake crust for 10 minutes at 400. Note: Prebaking is not necessary if you are using mini pie pans.

This is the best key lime pie that I have ever had, not that it is that many. Though, FIL asked for all of the leftovers, and had seconds. In my book, that means that dessert was a sucess.

I’m not sure if the key limes versus limes made a huge difference. I made them too far apart to tell.

I am proud of myself for making one of PeaBody’s amazing dishes.

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Brigaderio

September 30, 2008 at 11:52 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Brigaderio

In honor of the premiere of The Amazing Race, MIl and FIL came over for dinner and we wanted to do something special. I searched to see what the first destination was and decided to do a Brazilian theme for fun. These were for dessert, but I totally forgot to serve them. FIl brought dessert, and for some reason I thought that maybe I had asked them to bring dessert and totally forgot about the chocolate in the fridge.

Brigaderio
Adapted from All-Recipes.com.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Chocolate Powder (like Nesquick)
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon butter
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
chocolate sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine chocolate, cocoa, butter, condensed milk.
  2. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle (I washed the windows, watered the plants, etc.. it took a bit to cool).
  4. Butter/spray hands ans spoon. Form into small balls, roll in chocolate sprinkles.
  5. Chill until ready to serve, then enjoy!

These were good, a bit more of a caramel cube texture than I had anticipated. Traditionally they are served at birthday parties.

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Raspberry Cheesecake Pudding Shot

September 22, 2008 at 9:44 am (Uncategorized) ()

Raspberry Cheesecake Pudding Shot

Pool parties and tailgates and any other excuse usually include jello shots if we have time to make them. Well, looking up while picking jello flavors brings you to jello pudding. After a quick google I found a few recipes for pudding shots. After perusing them a bit I decided on a mixture that sounded good and was worth a shot.

Raspberry Cheesecake Pudding Shots
Google is my friend.

Ingredients

1 3.5 oz package instant cheesecake pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup raspberry schnapps (this was hard to find, we found a raspberry liqueur to use at bevmo)
8 oz Cool Whip

Directions

  1. Mix pudding and milk until well blended.
  2. Add vodka and raspberry schnapps.
  3. Fold in the Cool Whip.
  4. Divide into individual servings (about 12).
  5. Freeze for a few hours and then enjoy!

Yum yum yum. We brought these to the tailgate so they were no longer frozen but a puddingy mixture that you needed a spoon for. I look forward to making these again and enjoying them straight out of the freezer.

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Baileys Fruit Dip

September 22, 2008 at 9:36 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Baily's Fruit Dip

I was trying to think of a “healthy diet friendly dessert”. Fruit sounded good, but I felt like it wouldn’t be enough just bringing some fruit over when Misha’s Aunt and Uncle were providing dinner. I remembered this fruit dip from That Girl’s blog.

Baileys Fruit Dip
Paved with Good Intentions.
Ingredients

1 tub coolwhip (regular size)
1 5.9 oz package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Baileys (or more if you want)

Directions

  1. Defrost the coolwhip.
  2. Mix the coolwhip, pudding, and milk.
  3. Add the Baileys and taste to see if it is strong enough. If not add a bit more (I added just a tad).
  4. Mix to combine
  5. Chill until ready to serve.
  6. Serve with strawberries or other fruit, and enjoy! (We did strawberries and peaches, the peaches would have been better had they been more flavorful peaches, but it was good)

This recipe is a keeper, and I have the leftovers in the fridge. I must get more fruit to dip this with. It makes quite a bit, so next time unless it is for a large group I might half it.

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