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Entries in Baked Goods (90)

Monday
Dec232013

Jamaretti Cookies

Jamaretti

I have to say that with the exception of one, the cookies I chose to make for Christmas have been absolutely delicious; this one included. However, when making this cookie, I had a serious case of not reading the recipe carefully. I made the dough, chilled it, then rolled it out, but instead of rolling it into a 2-inch wide log, I just rolled it flat, kind of wondering how I was going to make the trench in the center, but kind of just assuming that the dough would puff up as it baked. Well, after I baked it the first time, I pulled the dough out to make the trench and the dough was so flat that I could hardly make a dent in the center. After spreading the jam down the tiny canal I created, I hoped that as it baked again, it wouldn’t just melt and drip off the cookie. Luckily, the jam stayed where it was placed and it all worked out in the end. This is one forgiving cookie that ends up looking elegant and tasting delicious, whether you read the recipe carefully or not!

2 1/4 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Almond Paste (that is half of an 8oz jar)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Jam (I used seedless raspberry)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
4 teaspoons Milk

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a food processor, pulse the almond paste and sugar until smooth. In another bowl (I used my stand mixer), cream the butter and the almond sugar mixture. Add the egg and blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 10-inch log. Transfer the logs onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and flatten them out to about 2-inches across. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until just dry. Remove the dough from the oven and make a trench down the center of each log using the handle of a wooden spoon. Spread about 2 tablespoons of jam into each trench. Return the cookies to the oven and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until they become golden brown. Let the cookies cool slightly, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the logs of dough. Let the glaze harden for about 20 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1-inch slices. Store the cookies in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

SOURCE: Martha Stewart

Saturday
Dec212013

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints

Smores thumbprints

Since I never really want to make the same cookie twice, it takes me a whole year to come up with my Christmas cookie list. It usually begins at Christmas, when I try the different cookies that my friends and family make. As the year goes on, I find other recipes that I want to try, and they get added to a list. When it comes time to start making cookies for Christmas again, I have a list about a mile long that has to be pared down. It’s a vicious cycle. This year, the list consisted of 4 cookies, Christmas Crack, and cookie butter popcorn (recipe to come). Now that I type it, it makes me realize how pathetic it is that it took me an entire year to come up with 6 things to make for Christmas. Oh well, these cookies made that year-long search completely worth it. They are like a bite of summer during the cold winter months. I highly suggest putting these on your Christmas cookie list for next year. They are so good that maybe they will end up on mine again, too!

1/2 cup Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugars until fluffy, scraping the bowl when needed, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beating for another 2 minutes, until combined. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture, gradually increasing the speed for the dough to come together. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and set them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating a dent. Place the cookies back in the oven and bake for 5-6 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Once cool, spread about 1 teaspoon of the marshmallow fluff in the dent of each cookie. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with graham cracker crumbs. Store in an air tight container. Makes about 18-20 cookies. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from How Sweet It Is

Monday
Oct282013

Soft Pretzels

Pretzels

October came and went in the blink of an eye, and now it’s time for Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This past month, I was assigned to food.baby.life.  which is written by Susan, a business owner and mum of 3 who lives in Australia. Her newest bundle of joy, a 3rd boy, was just welcomed to the world last week!! Congratulations Susan!! As I was reading through her blog, so many of her recipes looked absolutely amazing! I saved about a dozen and started paring down from there. Scotch Eggs were at the top of the list for a while, mostly because I was intrigued, since they aren’t something you see often around here. But, in the end, these pretzels won because homemade soft pretzels are something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now that I just haven’t been able to justify making, so SRC seemed to give me the perfect reason to finally make them! This recipe was incredibly easy to follow and it produced some pretty delicious pretzels. Paired with a bottle of beer, they were the perfect “Oktoberfest” treat! Since there are only 2 of us, and I made these pretzels on a random night when nobody else would be over, I froze the rest for future use.

1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
Vegetable Oil
10 cups Water
2/3 cup Baking Soda
1 Egg Yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon Water
Toppings of Choice, optional (pretzel salt, cinnamon sugar, etc)

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. When the mixture starts to foam, after about 5 minutes, add the flour and butter. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the ingredients have combined, then increase to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and oil the bowl with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees;  line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush them with oil, then set aside. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Turn the dough out onto a greased surface and cut into 8 pieces (I actually made 12 medium-sized pretzels instead of 8 big ones). Roll each piece into a long rope. To form the pretzels, make a U shape with the dough, then cross the two sides over one another and press the ends into the bottom of the U. Place the pretzels onto the baking prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough. Place the pretzels one by one into the boiling water mixture for 30 seconds each. Carefully remove the pretzel from the water and return it to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg mixture and sprinkle with any additional salt or flavored toppings. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Transfer the pretzels to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. 

*Flash freeze any remaining pretzels on a cookie sheet, then place them into a freezer bag. To re-heat, either microwave for a minute or bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes.

SOURCE: food.baby.life.

Tuesday
Aug272013

Citrus-Kissed Honey Buttons

Citrus kissed honey buttons

Our block party was this past weekend. My neighbor and I made up the planning committee and while I run the risk of sounding a bit conceited, I think we did a fantastic job! There were plenty of games for the kids to play and our local fire company even sent over a fire truck so that the kids could squirt each other with the hose. It was quite the sight to see! For dinner, everybody brought their own meat and one of the men from down the street manned the grill. Each side of the street was asked to bring a dish to share; my side was in charge of dessert and the other side had appetizers and side dishes. Even though the temperature was perfect, I didn't want to bring anything that could potentially melt, so I decided to make these citrus cookies. At first, I wasn't sure if the kids would like them (which is fine because I knew the adults would), but as soon as I put the plate on the table, they seemed to disappear! These cookies were a great alternative to typical cookie flavors; like a little bite of summer in these last few days of August.

1 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter, softened
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
1 tablespoon Orange Zest
1 teaspoon Lemon Extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, honey, lemon zest, orange zest, and lemon extract; beat until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined (the dough will be crumbly). Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Scoop out 2 teaspoons of dough at a time and press/roll into balls with the palms of your hand. Place the dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed slightly and the tops begin to crack. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes about 36 cookies. 

SOURCE: Eating Well via Huffington Post

Monday
Jul292013

Honey Callah Bread

Callah

Maybe it's a product of getting older, or maybe it's because it's summer, but time just seems to be going by so much faster these days! It seems like just a few days ago, I was preparing for June's Secret Recipe Club, yet somehow here we are, at it again for July! This month, I was assigned to Baking and Creating with Avril, written by the talented Avril, of course! As my monthly ritual would have it, as soon as I got my assignment, I set aside a block of time to go through each of her recipes and try to decide which to try. I pared it down to three, a rustic peach tart, chunky monkey oatmeal cookies, or honey callah bread, all of which looked equally delicious. But, since I'm a carb lover through and through, yet I had never had callah bread, I took this as my opportunity to give it a try, and I'm so glad that I did. Three words come to mind to describe this bread-- sweet, flaky, and buttery, think croissant's cousin in bread form. Making the dough was easy, and braiding the dough was kind of therapeutic. After the second rise, the bread almost doubled in size, just as you would expect. However, what I wasn't expecting was that during the baking process, the bread seemed to almost double in size yet again! I think that when I make this bread again, I will separate the dough to make 2-3 smaller loaves to share, rather than having one giant loaf for just the two of us. Thank you Avril, for showing me how easy it is to make such a beautiful and delicious loaf of bread!

1 cup Warm Water
4 1/2 teaspoons Yeast
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 cup Honey
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons Salt
4 1/2-5 cups Flour
1 Egg, beaten

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the water. Sprinkle in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into the water and stir to combine. Allow the ingredients to sit for 5 minutes, until they are foamy. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, honey, butter, 3 eggs, salt, and 4 1/2 cups of flour to the bowl. On the lowest speed, mix the ingredients together until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough has become smooth and elastic. You may need to add more flour to be able to make a soft ball (I added about 1 1/2 additional cups). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand about 5 times. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides of the dough. Cover with a damp, clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Gently punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a 14-inch rope. Pinch the ends of the 3 ropes together and loosely braid, pinching together again at the end (I found it was easier to do this directly on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, so that you don't have to worry about lifting it and transferring it to the sheet afterwards). Place the bread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover, and allow the dough to rest in a draft-free location until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Brush the braided bread with the beaten egg and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

SOURCE: Baking and Creating with Avril