Monday, November 24, 2008

Some yummy holiday desserts and a Happy Birthday Wish

Good Monday Morning! Only 3 days left to get ready before the big day. I'm going to post some cookie and other treat recipes. I'm sitting here wishing I had fully embrace my anal side and kept a list of what recipes I had posted so far. I hate to bore you with repeats, but I can't remember what I have and haven't posted so far. Oh well, here goes...

White-Chocolate cherry Shortbread
Ingredients
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60.
6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Spritz Blossoms
Ingredients
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing
Coarse sugar; silver dragees

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl beat butter on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, vanilla, and extract until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can; stir in remaining flour.
2. Push dough through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
3. Brush with Powdered Sugar Icing; sprinkle with sugar. Place a dragee in center. Dry 30 minutes on waxed paper. Makes 80 cookies.
4. Store in airtight container in single layer at room temperature up to 3 days. Freeze up to 3 months.

Brown Sugar Shortbreads
Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Granulated sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Coat the bottom of a cookie stamp with nonstick cooking spray and dip the stamp in granulated sugar. Flatten each ball of dough, imprinting the pattern.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 36 cookies.
4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Cookies
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted dry roasted cashews
2/3 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in cashews and butterscotch pieces.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 48 cookies.
3. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening or butter*
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Early in the day or the day before:
In a large bowl cream the shortening and the sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix with mixer until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll** half or 1/3 dough at a time, keep the rest refrigerated. For crisp cookies, roll dough, paper thin. For softer cookies, roll 1/8 " to 1/4" thick. With floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll trimmings and cut.

Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets. Decorate*** Bake 8 minutes or until very light brown. With pancake turner, remove cookies to racks; cool. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

***To decorate with colored sugars: Prepare cookies by brushing with heavy cream or an egg white slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water. Sprinkle with decorative toppings.

***To decorate with food colors: Mix 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water. Divide mixture among several custard cups. Tint each with different food color to make bright colors. (If paint thickens while standing, stir in a few drops of water.) Paint designs on cookies with small paint brushes.

Fruit-Filled Chocolate Meringues
Serves: 6
INGREDIENTS
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
3/4 cup fresh or frozen whole raspberries
1 Tbsp. superfine or confectioners' sugar (for garnish)
DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and salt until soft peaks form (tips of peaks will curl over when beaters are removed).
3. Beat in sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form (peaks will remain upright when beaters are removed). Sprinkle cocoa over top and fold in gently.
4. Drop meringue by 1/4 cup portions onto parchment paper that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Indent center of each with back of tablespoon.
5. Bake 45 minutes or until dry to touch. Remove and cool. When completely cooled, store in air-tight container to prevent meringues from becoming soggy before serving time.
6. Just prior to serving, fill center of each meringue with mixture of fruit so berries mound slightly. Lightly dust fruit with sugar to garnish. If confectioners' sugar is used, sift lightly over berries using small strainer and spoon to move sugar through strainer. This technique achieves light dusting desired.

3-MINUTE FUDGE

2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 pkgs. (6 oz each) semi-sweet choc. chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix milk, sugar and salt in 2 qt. saucepan. Heat to boiling over low heat. Boil and stir for 3 minutes (be exact about time, or until candy themometer registers 225degrees). Remove from heat; add marshmallows, choc. chips, vanilla and nuts. Stir until marshmallows and choc chips are melted. Pour in buttered sq. pan, 9x9x2 inches. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1 1/2" squares.

I used that sugar cookie recipe to make my sugar cookies the other day. Let me tell you, I have made probably a dozen or more different sugar recipes over the years. The test that tells me whether or not it's a good recipe...when I taste the dough just after it's been made. That takes me back to being a kid and tasting the dough as we were rolling out cookies. This one passed my little test and yes, it made some delicious (baked) cookies.

I only made about 18 cookies. Then I put the rest of the dough into a zippered bag and froze it. I have so many different desserts that I only need a bit of each one to put out. The rest I can freeze and use for Christmas. I need at least a dozen of each cookie. So why do I make a 18? Ray and Rylie! They seem to be under the impression that they are my official taste testers, lol.

Which reminds me, Rylie has a special message for you Grandma Corral! (((crossing my fingers and hoping I do this right))) Okay, first scroll down the right side of my blog and turn off the music playing. This little thing has audio and you'll want to be able to hear it.

(Mumble, grumble...mutterings a child shouldn't hear...grrrr) Okay, went to post the entry and everything after the above was gone and it didn't even publish it. Oh, I hope it's not because of the Motionbox thing I'm trying to put on here. Let's try this again.

Aw! SUGAR SHACK! What the haymaker am I doing wrong here?! Guess I better go find some tutorial on blogspot about posting video. I thought just pasting the html thingie would do it. I'm so (mumble grumble)... Okay, I think I found it. I just have to go into Edit Html mode and type this and put my video code into that. I think... No! The video embed code I already have has that in the code...SUGAR SHACK!
Wait...I think I have it with You tube now...
Okay, not...but it did post above, so I guess I'll just have to upload to youtube, click the post to blog and then come back and edit that entry to include whatever ramblings I want to add to it. LOL


"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM & I LOVE YOU!"
Have a great day everyone!
Jill Marie

1 comment:

Indigo said...

Rylie is so cute! That smile is infectious! (Hugs)Indigo