Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cranberry Danish

Christmas Morning Cranberry Danish

This is a recipe I've already posted but I made some changes and I had to post it again! It is delightful!

Christmas traditions are so fun and I'm thinking this will definitely become my Christmas morning breakfast tradition from here on.

Dissolve 1 T. yeast in 1/3 C. warm water (115*)
Heat 1/2 C. sour cream to 110* and add to yeast. Add 1/4 C. melted butter, 1/4 C. sugar, 1 t. salt, and one egg. Combine. Add 2 & 1/2 C. flour and combine. Knead about 20 times in mixer. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise till doubled (about an hour and a half).
Place dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half into two 12X8 rectangles. 

While the dough is rising, combine 1 softened pkg. of cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 C. sugar, 1/4 C. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla, and 1/8 t. salt.
Spread this filling on the two halves keeping it about an inch from the edge. Spread 1/4 C. homemade cranberry sauce (see recipe on this blog for the best cranberry sauce ever!) on half of each half. 

Roll each half up like a jelly roll starting with the longer side and pinch the edges tight. Place on baking pan and cut slices into it like you would french bread. Bake at 375* for 20 minutes.
After it is cool, drizzle with 1 & 1/4 C. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla, and 2 T. milk combined.

Banana Cream Pie

This is my kids favorite pie! It isn't very difficult to make a bunch of pie crusts from a great recipe I received in the 80's when I was at a bridal shower. I will post the pie crust recipe shortly, but all you have to do is make a bunch of your favorite crusts and freeze them to pull out and use when you are needing to make a quick and tasty pie.
I bake my crust poked full of fork holes at 350* for about 13 minutes and set it aside to cool.
I usually make the cream part the day ahead and simply refrigerate it until the day I need the pie. 
Place 3c. whole milk in a microwave safe bowl and scald it (I do it on full power for 2 minutes).
Combine 3/4 c. sugar and 1/3 c. flour in a saucepan. Add 1/4 tsp. salt.
Stir in the scalded milk over medium heat stirring constantly.
When it just begins to show signs of boiling place a lid on the pan and time it for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Take the mixture off heat. In a small bowl have 3 egg yolks beaten. Add a small amount of the cream mixture to the yolks and then add a bit more. Stir the yolks back into the main mixture and combine well. Cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 Tbsp. butter.
I keep this mixture close by and stir it every few minutes to keep a crust from forming on the top. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it. Slice 3 bananas in the cooked pie crust and pour the cream mixture over them.

Apple Pie!

Best EVER Apple Pie! (easy too):

Here is a combination of recipes which create my favorite apple pie. I tried several recipes and though they were good, there was always that one pesky thing that I didn't completely love about each one. I have experimented and created this recipe which is simply fabulous!

In a medium saucepan, melt 1 cube butter, 1/4 c. heavy cream, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar combined with 3 Tbsp. flour and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.
Cook until the sugar dissolves.
Peel and slice 6-8 apples (I like granny smith)
Pour the cooked mixture over the apples and toss.
In a food processor combine:
7 Tbsp. butter
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
heaping 1/4 c. pecans or walnuts
and a dash of salt
Place an unbaked pie crust in a pie plate and add apples. Pour the crumb mixture over the top and bake at 425* for 15 minutes the lower the oven temp to 350* and continue baking for 40 minutes.
I usually line a foil lined cookie sheet to place under the pie as it will drip while baking.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Andes Mint Cookies

These cookies are delicious! 
If you love Andes Mints, and have tried the recipe on the package, you know it isn't the best.
This recipe was given to me by my sister and I modified it a bit and tried it with Andes mints today.
Chocolate and mint were a match made in heaven!
Andes Mint Cookies:
Cream 1 lb. of softened butter, 2 c. brown sugar, 1 & 1/2 c. granulated sugar.
Add 3 eggs, 3 tsp. vanilla and a scant 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk.
Add 7 & 1/4 c. flour, 1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 c. chocolate powdered milk.
Toss in a bag of Andes mint pieces just till combined.
Bake at 350* for 14 minutes...that is for large ice-cream scoop size cookies.
*Update* These are really good, but don't stay very soft for more than two days. I am extremely picky about my cookies and prefer recipes that last for a week. However, when I find one that doesn't stay very moist, I simply make them and share them so they get consumed in the allotted time frame. Happy Baking!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce:

I was a huge fan of that nasty canned cranberry sauce when I was a little girl. Hopefully needless to say, I am no longer. I haven't tried many homemade cranberry sauces I like. My Grandmother made one that I loved but trying to extract a recipe from her is liking prying a secret from a stoic spy and I didn't feel like applying any torture techniques.
I found several recipes online and decided to concoct one of my own as follows;
Preheat oven to 350*
Place 3 cups of fresh cranberries in a 9X13 pan.
Grate the peel of one orange over the berries
Add 3 whole allspice berries, 1 cinnamon stick, a pinch of cloves, and a bit of ginger
Dice one apple in very small pieces over the cranberries
Pour 1c. of Gingerale and 1c. of orange juice over everything
Add 1 tsp. or Tbsp. of flavoring of your choice or 1Tbsp. of cognac
Sprinkle 1/2c. sugar and 1/2c. brown sugar over the cranberries
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and play I spy to find the hidden allspice berries and the cinnamon stick and remove them.
It will set up as it cools. Refrigerate after you eat a warm spoonful of heaven. It keeps for a week or can be frozen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Snicker-doodle Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil.

Snicker-doodle Bars:
  1/2 cup shortening 
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Melt butter and add in shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla.
 1/2 cup brown sugar 
 1&1/8 cup granulated sugar 
 2 eggs 
 2 teaspoons vanilla 
Add in flour, powder, cream of tartar and salt.
 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
 2 teaspoons baking powder 
 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 
 1/2 teaspoon salt 
Mix well.
Spread batter on the aluminum foil lined pan.
Bake for 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Immediately sprinkle with the combined sugar and cinnamon and let cool before removing from pan and foil.
 1/8 cup granulated sugar 
 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Cut into bars. Soft and delicious!

Blonde Brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl cream butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat well. Gradually add in flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Fold in chips.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

Luscious Lemon Blueberry Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9x2 inch round cake pans. Set aside.

1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Beat the butter on high until creamy. Beat in the granulated and brown sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is completely combined. Set aside.
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. 
1 cup buttermilk
zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter will be extremely thick. Do not over-mix at any point!
1 and 1/2 cups blueberries
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
Spread batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. Bake 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 - 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
Assemble and frost. Refrigerate.

Ultimate Sugar Cookie

Sugar Cookie Dough:
1½ cups salted butter softened
2 cups sugar
With a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it is smooth
and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend in the vanilla.
Gradually add flour and baking powder.
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 400°
Generously sprinkle powdered sugar (not flour) onto a
clean counter top and roll half of the dough to 1/2 inch thick with a rolling pin.
Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and set them
on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 6 to 8 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese softened at room temperature
½ cup salted butter softened at room temperature
4&1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix cream cheese and butter with an electric hand-held mixer, Add
vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time. Beat until
smooth. Add your favorite food coloring if desired.