Monday, December 30, 2013
I love the holiday season. There are just so many wonderful things going on! Celebrating Jesus's birthday, spending time with family and friends, and of course making lot's of delicious food. I love any opportunity to try out new recipes and the holiday season gives me lot's of opportunities for that. My mom and I whipped together this tasty tart for Christmas. It served as the perfect appetizer and just looks so beautiful! It'd be a great thing to make for New Years tomorrow :)
Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Tart
Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Who doesn't like christmas cookies!?!?! There are SO many delicious ones out there to try. I swear I've tried a new one almost every day since I've been home. My favorite? Well that's just impossible. I love cookies cause they're little and it's not like having to commit to a whole piece of cake or something. The only bad thing is, once you start trying one you have to try them all to see which one you like best! I am so glad that overlarge sweaters are fashionable in the wintertime... My mom and I made these cookies for christmas gifts this year! It was so much fun to bake with her. I love you mom!
Recipe from The Shine Project
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
- 3 tablespoons milk
Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in another large bowl. Add egg, vanilla, milk, and peppermint extract, and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating until combined. Remove half of the mixture from the bowl. Add red food coloring, beating until fully combined. You may have to knead the colored dough a bit to get it mixed thoroughly. On a sheet of waxed paper, roll out dough to form a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat this step with the other half of uncolored dough with no food coloring.
Now very carefully, slide the red dough on top of the white dough and slide the parchment paper out. Trim edges if uneven and patch if necessary. Roll dough into a log, creating a swirl effect. NOTE: do not worry if the dough starts to tear a little when you are rolling it. This is normal. Simply mend it with your fingers as you go along.
Now place a generous amount of sprinkes in a shallow dish and roll the cookie dough log firmly over the sprinkles until they stick and its covered. Wrap tightly with saran wrap and place the dough back in the refrigerator and let chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices and place on a parchment lined sheet tray about 1-inch apart. Bake fo2 10-15 minuets depending on how thick you sliced the cookies.
1 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup raspberry or blueberry or preserves
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add sugar and salt and beat until fluffy. Beat in lemon peel, vanilla, and lemon extract until combined. Beat in cornstarch. Beat in flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 1 -2 hours or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 F. On a lightly floured surface roll each dough half to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Spoon 1/2 tsp of jam onto the center of each round. To shape fans, bring opposite sides of each dough round up over the jam and ppinch them together where they meet, forming a point at one end.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute and transfer to a wire rack. Makes about 54 cookies.
Snickerdoodle Croissant Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 3 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for dusting
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese. Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in flour. Divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a disk. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 F. On a lightly floured surface roll each dough portion into a 9-inch circle. Lightly brush each circle with milk. In a small bowl stir together nuts, the 2 Tbsp brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle nut mixture over the dough circles to within 1/2 inch of edges. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each circle into 12 wedges. Starting from the wide end, roll up each wedge. Bend rolls to shape them into crescents. Place crescents 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. When cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
This is seriously some of the best popcorn I've ever eaten. And mind you I've eaten a LOT of popcorn. Ya know how people ask, what food would you eat for the rest of your life if you could only eat one food? Well, my answer is always popcorn. That being said, I've been to many, many a popcorn store and tried so many different kinds of popcorn that I can't even begin to recount the flavors. So, when I say that this is some of the best popcorn I've ever eaten, that is a serious statement! Lacey and I came up with this fantastic combo of flavors when we made this in Brazil. Even though I made it here and loved it, it's just not quite as good as when I eat it in Brazil for some reason...prolly cause it doesn't have Lacey's special touch ;) I miss you Lacey!
Caramel Ovalmaltine Popcorn
8 cups of popped popcorn
Caramelo popcorn package OR 8 caramel candies, melted in a bowl
1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted in a bowl
Ovolmaltine powder, preferably with the crunchies
In a large bowl, drizzle the popcorn with the caramel sauce and chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon, ovalmaltine and salt. Toss well to combine. Eat up!
Friday, December 20, 2013
It's cold outside so what better excuse to be inside baking! My mom and I embraced this excuse wholeheartedly last Saturday and LITERALLY spent the entire day baking. It was so so much fun. We also took every excuse to clean the spatulas and mixing bowls before the dishwasher claimed them...;) Of the five different cookies we made, this was probably the most intense. But oh so worth the intensity. They are just so cute and taste delicious! I got this recipe when I visited Missão CENA's rehabilitation farm outside of São Paulo. Thank you Davi for writing out the recipe for me!! Spice up your Christmas traditions with this traditional Brazilian treat!
Pão de Mel (Honey Bread)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pure honey
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp butter
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in a double boiler at 32º C or 89.5º F (for the topping)
5. When cakes are cool, using a serrated/bread knife, remove top of the cakes (you can save them and make sandwich cookies or whoopie pies). Next, slice the cakes into 3 layers (just in half if you're making baby muffins). Spread them with the coconut filling. When cakes are assembled, brush them with simple syrup (this will help avoid releasing crumbs into the melted chocolate and will keep the cakes moist).
6. Place the cake on a fork and bathe in the melted chocolate (if the chocolate needs thinning, stir in some vegetable shortening while it is melting). Place on a rack with a baking sheet underneath, and let excess chocolate drain off of the cake onto the baking sheet below. Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the chocolate set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. You can then decorate them however you wish! I just used sprinkles, but feel free to get creative!
*You can make whatever filling you want for these cakes. Other traditional fillings are brigadeiro or doce de leite.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Gingerbread Eggnog Pumpkin Pie
Recipe adapted from Thumb in Plum
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
In a small bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flour to cloves). In a large mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended. Add in molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the pie filling.
1 can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup eggnog
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
*if you don't have ginger/cinnamon/cloves substitute 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Add in remaining pie filling ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Remove the gingerbread dough from the fridge and place on a floured workspace. Using plenty of flour so your rolling pin doesn't stick, roll out the dough into a circle, about a 1/4 inch thick. Unroll it onto a greased 9 inch pie pan, press the dough gently into the pan so there are no spaces between dough and pan. Cut the dough hanging off the edges. Use the extra dough to make gingerbread men or leaves to decorate the crust like I did.
Pour the pie filling into your prepared crust. Make a foil ring to cover all the exposed crust to keep it from burning (the gingerbread is very tricky, if any dough is hanging down it WILL burn). Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 F and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the filling is cooked through and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I had another roasted vegetable adventure again today! This time, instead of eating em straight up, I popped em into some soup! This soup is probably unlike any other soup you've ever eaten. The smoked paprika really gives it a unique flavor. The herbed dumplings in it also give it a fun twist. The list of ingredients may seem daunting, but I promise, it's SUPER easy to whip together.
Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Chickpea Dumplings
Recipe adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Friday, December 13, 2013
This is one of the things I love most about winter. Roasted vegetables. I devoured a bowl full of these veggies for lunch today and was oh so satisfied after my meal. Even the smell of them roasting is enough to satisfy me and fill me with warmth. You can make this recipe with any veggies you have on hand. And feel free to mix up the spices, this is just one of my favorite spice blends. Get creative and get roasting!
Roasted Winter Vegetables
2 large carrots, sliced into matchsticks
2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 parsnips, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 rutabaga, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 lb brussel sprouts, sliced in half
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp rosemary
2 tsps basil or herbs de provence
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil and spices, using your hands to completely coat vegetables. Spread the vegetables on two baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wahoo!!! I'm back to cooking and blogging! I have SO missed doing this, but it isn't really possible for me to keep up while I'm in Brazil :/ I've been dying to make this recipe ever since I first saw it a couple months ago...but obviously that didn't happen until last night! When I got home on Tuesday night, my mom showed me these adorable little pumpkins she'd been saving for me. My mind immediately recalled this recipe and I just had to make it! And boy was it tasty. Even if you don't serve it in the cute little pumpkin bowls, it is totally worth making. Oh pumpkin how I love you!
Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with
Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Oooooooohhh it's a rainy day!!! You know what that means! Perfect for some yummy baked goods :) Good thing we have small group tonight so I have an excuse to make these. I just want to take a minute and complain about the price of good chocolate here. I'm not talking like Hershey's or Nestle brands...yeah that chocolate is "good", but for us chocolate snobs out there, I much prefer my fancy dark chocolate, with something in it like raspberries or ginger or chili peppers. If I'm gonna indulge, it's gotta be good. Since Brazil doesn't really make any chocolate like that domestically, they import brands like Lindt. MY GOLLY!!! It's so expensive! A bar of Lindt chocolate costs about $7 USD, and this silly little box of 5 truffles costs $20 USD!! Cray cray. I'm also saddened by the price of a half gallon of ice cream ($7 USD), and a little teeny container of peanut butter ($5 USD), and whipping cream in a can ($8 USD). Brazil doesn't realize that people would be so much happier if they just had some peanut butter and chocolate every day! Pleeeeeeease lower your prices!!!
Pumpkin Caramel Bars
Recipe from I Wrestled a Cupcake Once
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups caramel sauce (Store bought, homemade, or you could melt caramels with some heavy cream and omit the flour, I used a pot of doce de leite)
3 tbsp flour (only if your store-bought caramel is thin)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in eggs, vanilla and pumpkin until combined. Slowly incorporate the remaining ingredients into the batter. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly to ensure a smooth batter. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of the batter.
5. Mix caramel and flour together and pour evenly over chocolate.
6. Place dollops of the remaining batter over the top of the caramel layer. Spread those dollops out to try and get a smooth layer of batter over top. (It’s fine if some of the caramel layer is peeking through.)
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. (It might come out with a little caramel on it which is fine. You don’t want batter on the toothpick.)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
WOWWWWWWWWW. I usually don't think it's necessary to write a whole sentence to describe a cookie, but these cookies definitely deserve a long, majestic name. I think I've found a new favorite recipe. These cookies have it all. Chewy, soft, chunky, and bursting with flavor! GAH. I cannot wait to make them again for everyone I know! Last night I made them for a dinner we were hosting at the mission house. I also made some no-churn coffee ice cream to go with them (you can find that recipe here). Mmmmmmm so heavenly. Even if you don't like coffee, I swear this dessert will change your mind immediately.
Espresso Caramel Coconut Dark Chocolate Cookies
Recipe from Fabtastic Eats