December 2013

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Holidays

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all!

I thought I would share some holiday recipes for all to enjoy this month.

sugar cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

 Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
Instructions
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together until just incorporated.
2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add to butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl.
4. The dough will clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet (Image 1). Roll dough into an oblong disc between the papers with a rolling pin (Image 2).

 

sugar cookie dough  sugar cookies dough rolling

7. Transfer dough — wax paper and all — to a large cookie sheet. Wrap dough tightly onto cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. Remove top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner. It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much.
9. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness.
10. Cut out desired shapes from dough (Images 1, 2) and transfer to prepared baking sheet.

sugar cooking cutting 1 sugar cookies cutting

Cashew Dulce de Leche Christmas Cookies

cashew cookies

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 egg white, beaten
12 ounces salted cashews
pinch of cinnamon
14 ounces prepared dulce de leche
1 sandwich bag

Instructions
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together until just incorporated.
2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add to butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl.
4. The dough will clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet (Image 1). Roll dough into an oblong disc between the papers with a rolling pin (Image 2).

 

 sugar cookie dough sugar cookies dough rolling

7. Transfer dough — wax paper and all — to a large cookie sheet. Wrap dough tightly onto cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9. Remove top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner. It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much.
10. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness.
11. Cut dough into 3-inch squares using a cookie cutter (Image 1) and place on parchment-lined baking sheets (Image 2).

cashew dough cut 1 cashew dough 2

 

Chocolate and Candied Orange Christmas Cookies

chocolate orange cookies

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 egg white, beaten
8 ounces candied orange

Instructions
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together until just incorporated.
2. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and salt. Add to butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl.
4. The dough will clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice-cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clumps.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet. Roll dough into an oblong disc between the papers with a rolling pin.
7. Transfer dough — wax paper and all — to a large cookie sheet. Wrap dough tightly onto cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9. Remove top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner (Image 1). It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much.

choco orange dough

10. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness.
11. Cut dough into 3-inch squares using a cookie cutter (Image 1) and place on parchment–lined baking sheets.
12. Lightly brush squares with egg white (Image 2).
13. Evenly divide candied orange between the cut dough squares (Image 3).
14. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden around the edges and fragrant. Let cool completely.

choco orange 1 choco orange 2 choc orange 3

 

Easy Gingerbread Dough Recipe

gingerbread houses

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into large bowl.
2. Beat butter in another large bowl with an electric hand mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
3. Add brown sugar and beat 1 minute.
4. Add molasses and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5. Add egg and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.
6. Reduce speed to low and beat in vanilla.
7. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just to blend (Image 1).
8. Gather dough into ball and divide in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into a disk (Image 2). Wrap disks separately in plastic and chill until firm, at least 4 hours.
9. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
10. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
11. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness (Image 3).
12. Use gingerbread house templates to cut out shapes (Image 4) and transfer to prepared sheets spacing 2 inches apart.
13. Gather scraps, roll out dough and cut more shapes if necessary.
14. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, about 8 minutes for smaller shapes and up to 15 minutes for larger shapes.
15. Cool completely on rack. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment as needed.
Note: Cookies will not spread much during baking, but for precise gingerbread house construction, cookies can be perfectly re-cut while still hot. Place the paper templates on top of the hot cookies and quickly cut with a plain-edge knife (Image 5).

gingerbread 1  gingerbread 2  gingerbread 3 gingerbread 4 gingerbread 5

 

Easy Royal Icing

whipped icing

 

Ingredients
3-4 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions
1. Whisk together meringue powder and powdered sugar (Image 1).
2. Pour mixture into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
3. Add warm water and mix on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks are achieved (Image 2).
4. Transfer to a piping bag and use to assemble gingerbread house pieces.
5. Cover remaining royal icing with a damp towel to prevent crusting (Image 3).

cranberry mix 1 cranberry mix 2 cranberry mix 3

Cranberry Orange Linzer Cookies

cranberry cookies

The sweet and tart jam could be enjoyed on its own or in other recipes. Be sure to save those holes you cut out to make the perfect petite cookies.

Ingredients

The Cookie:
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups flour

The Filling:
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup water

Instructions

The Cookie:
1. Cream the butter, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add walnuts, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and zest. Mix well.
4. Add flour and mix until incorporated.
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
8. For each cookie cut two shapes with your cookie cutter. From one cut a smaller shape out leaving a hole. Place them on separate trays.
9. Bake on parchment-lined sheets for 12-14 minutes.
10. Allow to cool completely.
11. When cool, dust the cookies with the holes with confectioners’ sugar.
12. Spread about a teaspoonful of filling on the base cookie and top with the dusted cookie.

The Filling:
1. In a food processor, grind the cranberries to a fine consistency.
2. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
3. Over medium heat bring the ingredients to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes or until you reach 220 degrees.
5. Allow to cool completely before using.
6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Rainbow Christmas Wreath Cake

cake 

This cake is going to become a family favorite in no time. It’s super fun and easy to make but the best part is that they all look different because of the rainbow, tie-dye design. That means that every cake is unique to the baker and you never know how the inside will look until you slice it. It’s like a work of art.

I sometimes think they are too pretty to eat but then I remember it’s made with yummy Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix and drizzled with fluffy frosting, so it’s not just pretty it’s extra moist and delicious

 cake mix

I start by mixing the cake mix according to the directions on the box and then pour 1/2 of the batter into a bowl then divide the other half equally into two other bowls. You’ll have three bowls of batter. I add some red food coloring to one of the quarters of batter and mix well and then some green food coloring to the other quarter and mix well

 both icings

I first pour the white cake batter into a greased Bundt pan, then the red batter, then the green batter and the remainder of the red and bake it in the oven according to the directions on the box.

batter 1

 batter 2

Once cake is cool, I equally divide the frosting into 2 bowls. Microwave the white frosting for about 5-10 seconds on high then mix well with a spoon until it is smooth enough to drizzle over the cake.

With a spoon, I drizzle the white frosting back and forth around the whole ring in a striping pattern until I use all the frosting. Then microwave the other bowl. Before drizzling over cake, I mix in a few drops of green food coloring and then drizzle that back and forth. It’s a fun way to frost the cake. If you bake with your kids they will love this part. I then give it a sprinkle with some holiday sprinkles and that’s it. You will be amazed at how pretty it looks when you slice it. Trust me when I tell you that everyone will talk about this cake and want to know how you made it. As with all my recipes and tips don’t be afraid to get creative and use some red in the frosting or some golden cake with the red and green. It’s fun to make it your own way with this basic technique.

 cake icing

 cake drizzle

cake finished Cake piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!!!

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