Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Shortbread Bites

These little shortbread squares look so festive, I knew I had to make them as part of our holiday treats this year.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 stick butter, cold, cut into pieces 
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp red and green sprinkles 

 Preheat oven to 325.

In food processor, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in medium bowl. With hand, gently knead in sprinkles until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.

On lightly floured waxed paper, pat dough into 8" by 5" rectangle and freeze for15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2-inch squares. Place squares, 1/2 inch apart, on large cookie sheet.

Bake cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom.

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Nutter Butter Truffles

These nutter butter truffles looked too easy not to make, and as I love making truffles for Randal to take to his office, I thought these would be a great addition to the Christmas treats I was sending Randal to work with.  I was supposed to drizzle the top of them with some melted white chocolate, but as was the theme for this years holiday baking, I ran out of white chocolate so I had to leave them plain.

1 pack nutter butters
8 oz cream cheese, softened
white chocolate chips for melting
white chocolate for drizzling

Crush nutter butters in food processor. Mix crushed cookies and softened cream cheese together and roll into small balls. Melt white chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Dip the nutter butter balls into the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Set the truffles on waxed paper to cool.

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Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I found these cookies over at What Megan's Making and I really loved that they have fresh cranberries in them, as most of the cranberry cookie recipes I have seen use the dried cranberries.  There's nothing wrong with dried cranberries in cookies of course, but it was nice to find this recipe when I had a bag of fresh cranberries that I needed to use!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
2 ounces white chocolate
Preheat oven to 350.

Line a cookies sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes.Leave to cool. Melt the 2 ounces of white chocolate and drizzle over the cooled cookies.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

I love the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks, and last year I did make them, but as soon as I saw these cranberry bliss cookies form Gimme Some Oven I knew I had to include them in my holiday baking this year.  The finished cookies are supposed to have a drizzle of white chocolate on them but I was running very low on white chocolate so I skipped that and then I also ran out of the dried cranberries which is why the cranberry topping is so sparse.  Other than that though, these cookies are incredible, definitely my favourite holiday treat I have made this year.

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

1 (8 oz.) bar cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar

1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop tablespoons of the dough onto paper.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Leave cookies to cool.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and melted white chocolate.  Add the vanilla, reduce speed to low and add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Spread the frosting on the cookies, top with the chopped cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.

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Pioneer Woman's Nantucket Cranberry Pie

I really liked the look of this cranberry pie because it was different than the usual pastry crust type. Mine didn't turn out quite like hers did, as my cranberries ended up in the batter rather than forming a fruit layer on the bottom, but we both still loved this pie.

Butter, for greasing pan
2 cups (heaping) cranberries 
3/4 cups pecans, chopped 
2/3 cups sugar 
1 cup flour 
1 cup sugar 
1 stick unsalted butter, melted 
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 tbsp sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350.

Butter a cake pan.  Add the cranberries and chopped pecans to the pan, top with 2/3 cup sugar.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, melted butter, beaten eggs, almond extract and salt.  Pour the batter over the cranberries.  Bake for 40 minutes, top with the tablespoon of sugar and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

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Pumpkin Pie

I am so far behind on blog posts, but my computer crashed a few weeks ago and it looked like I might have been without a computer for a while, but my mum very generously bought me a new one for Christmas.

Anyway, this is a Paula Deen recipe and I made this pie for Thanksgiving, it was different from the usual pumpkin pie we like because of the cream cheese, and while it was really good I still think we both preferred our usual custard pumpkin pie.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 piece pre-made pie dough

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Put the pie shell into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of tin foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set.
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Lasagna and salad

Tuesday: Country club chicken

Wednesday:Beef stroganoff

Thursday: Chicken tikka masala, jasmine rice and naan

Friday: Eating out
See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie