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Ingredient: butter

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

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Cherry Pie Bars
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Set aside 1 cup of batter and spread remaining evenly into prepared baking dish.
  5. Top with cherry pie filling spreading into an even layer. Crumble the remaining batter evenly over top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven about 40-50 minutes or until crust is fully done. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from the one I found at http://www.cookingclassy.com/cherry-pie-bars-aka-cherry-kuchen-bars/

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Raspberry Chocolate Chip Squares

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Squares

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Ridiculously Good! Raspberry Almond Chocolate Chip Squares
Easy and attractive, these are good crowd pleasers. It is also a nice way to use up several complimentary flavors of jam, if you have a few half-eaten jars cluttering up your fridge.
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter until crumbly.
  3. Add in the egg and the almond extract. Mix well.
  4. Leave 1 cup of this mixture in the bowl and press the rest into a lightly greased 9X13 pan.
  5. Spread the jam over the pressed dough.
  6. Take the chocolate chips and sliced almonds and mix in with the reserved dough.
  7. Sprinkle this mixture over the jam layer in the pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes. Let cool completely
  9. Slice into squares and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

This recipe was found at http://howdoesshe.com/ridiculously-good-raspberry-almond-chocolate-chip-squares/ and slightly adapted by me.

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Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones

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Buttermilk Scones
This recipe was given to me by a long time friend, back in our "newly married-let's have a tea party" days. I've made it for baby showers, wedding showers, and plenty of breakfast and brunch occasions. I have included some flavor variations at the end, but the original cranberry white chocolate version is the one I'm sharing here.
Servings
dozen small scones
Ingredients
Servings
dozen small scones
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Put dry ingredients into a bowl or the bowl of a food processor. Stir briefly to combine.
  3. Using the food processor or two knives, cut in the the 6 Tbsp. of butter. Pulse or chop until mixture forms coarse crumbs. If using a food processor, move the mixture into a mixing bowl.
  4. Gently stir in buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Only mix until combined. Sometimes I have to add a bit of extra buttermilk at this point (about 1 Tbsp. or so).
  5. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop scones onto prepared baking sheet--I use my standard sized cookie scoop and end up with about 2 dozen scones.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, or just until scones become firm and begin to turn golden around the edges.
Recipe Notes

Flavor variations: (Use these in place of the cranberries and white chocolate)

Mocha: 1 tsp. instant coffee granules and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Toffee: 1/2 cup toffee baking bits, sprinkle scones with brown sugar before baking

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Gingerbread

Gingerbread

December 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #12

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • A December rich in favorite activities and traditions (in contrast to our Senegalese adventure from last year)
  • Nathan as Gabriel and Katya as a black sheep in the Christmas pageant
  • The annual studio Christmas recital
  • Celebrating the season many different times with groups of family and friends

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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December in Review
This is the gingerbread I have made every year since Than and I were married. If you don't roll it too thin or bake it too long, the cookies stay soft and spicy for weeks. We decorate them with white royal icing, sprinkles, and lots of red hots. An annual tradition, for sure, and one that we have happily shared with many different guests over the years.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly stir together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and oil until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and 2 1/2 Tbsp. water until well blended.
  3. Turn mixer speed to low and blend in as much of the flour mixture as possible. When it gets too strong for your mixer to handle, knead in the remainder by hand until the dough is smooth and shiny. If the dough is too stiff and dry, add up to 3 Tbsp. more water. If it is too soft, stir in more flour until it is manageable.
  4. Cut 6 pieces of waxed paper. Split the dough into 3 pieces and place each piece on a sheet of waxed paper. Cover with the additional 3 pieces of waxed paper. Roll each dough piece out to an even 1/4-1/2 inch thickness (thinner for crispier cookies, thicker for softer cookies). Stack the rolled dough in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray several cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  6. Working with one portion of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of waxed paper. Use cookie cutters to cut out the dough and place the cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 6-12 minutes, or until just darker at the edges and barely firm when pressed in the centers. Baking time varies based on the size of your cookies and on how soft or crispy you want the finished product to be.
  8. Reroll dough scraps between waxed paper sheets. Continue cutting, rolling, and chilling dough until everything has been used.
  9. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes in order to firm up slightly before transferring to the counter or to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Wait until cookies are completely cool before decorating as desired.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett.

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Peanut Butter Pretzels

Peanut Butter Pretzels

September 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #9

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • Family getaway to Santa Fe, NM
  • 10th annual ride on Thomas the Tank Engine

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Peanut Butter Pretzels
These have been a Christmas standby for 10 years now! I make a double batch and keep them in the refrigerator all month for gift giving. (And of course, plenty of munching too!)
Course Candy
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Course Candy
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grind graham crackers and club crackers into crumbs using the food processor, if you haven't already.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the peanut butter and butter until well mixed.
  3. Add both kinds of cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Blend well. Mixture will be very thick.
  4. Using your hands, roll mixture into small balls about the diameter of a dime and press each on a pretzel. Put the pretzels on a waxed-paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Refrigerate the pretzels at least one hour to firm up the PB mixture.
  6. Melt chocolate and shortening in a mixing cup in the microwave.
  7. Dip the top (the PB part) of each pretzel into the melted chocolate and place back on the waxed paper.
  8. Refrigerate again to set the chocolate, and then stack in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until serving.
Recipe Notes

Since I make this at Christmas time, I often stop plenty of times in the process.  You can refrigerate the peanut butter mixture before pressing it on the pretzels or leave the undipped pretzels in the fridge for a day or two before coating in chocolate.

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Candy Cane Thumbprints

Candy Cane Thumbprints

June 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #6

A favorite photo…

 

A few highlights…

  • Nathan turns 11
  • Super fun vacation Bible school with an international missions theme
  • Katya finishes Suzuki Piano Book 1
  • Summer backyard barbeques begin
  • Extended family comes for a weekend to watch Beauty and the Beast on stage

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Candy Cane Thumbprints
I got this recipe from a fellow pastor's wife at a cookie exchange many years ago. Even though there is no chocolate involved, they still end up as one of my favorites each Christmas! I always double the recipe when I make it, and then freeze half of the finished cookies for eating later in the month.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Peppermint Filling
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Peppermint Filling
Instructions
  1. Beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar and salt and cream well. Add egg and vanilla.
  2. Mix in flour until well combined. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned just around the edges.
  4. Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use the back of a rounded measuring spoon or a melon baller to make an indent in the center of each cookie. Allow to cool completely.
  5. While cookies are cool, mix peppermint filling ingredients together. DON'T ADD THE CANDY CANES! Whip everything else well to form a soft, fluffy icing that holds its shape.
  6. When cookies are cool, spoon filling into indents and then sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top.
Recipe Notes

Cookies can be stored at room temperature for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

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Mexican Wedding Cakes

Mexican Wedding Cakes

August 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #8

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • Local park adventures with friends
  • Watching the summer Olympics
  • Squeezing in some final fun craft projects before school
  • Back to School for a 6th grader and a 3rd grader

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Mexican Wedding Cakes
These are one of Katya's Christmas favorites. The recipe is too big to double in my mixer, but it still makes a generous amount. I use the instructions from my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, but I know this is a common one that comes from many places.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. To make superfine sugar, process 1/3 cup sugar in food processor for about 30 seconds. I usually process 1 cup or more and store it in a jar for future use.
  3. Put the 1/3 cup superfine sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, along with the butter. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Process 1 cup of nuts in a food processor to the texture of coarse cornmeal, about 10-15 seconds. Dump into the butter mixture and barely stir in.
  6. Process the remaining 1 cup of nuts until just coarsely chopped, about 5 seconds. Add them to dough and barely mix.
  7. Stir in flour and salt and blend just until the dough becomes cohesive.
  8. Working with a scant Tbsp. of dough at a time, roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees until the tops are pale golden and the bottoms are just beginning to brown, about 18 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Place powdered sugar in a lidded tupperware container or bowl.
  11. Roll warm or room temperature cookies, 3-4 at a time, in powdered sugar to coat well. Store at room temperature for a week or more. If desired, roll in additional powdered sugar just before serving.
Recipe Notes

This dough can easily be shaped and frozen, then baked at a later time.  Just add 2-4 minutes to the baking time.

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Orange Shortbread

Orange Shortbread

July 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #7

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • Annual 4th of July trip to Idaho
  • Fireworks in Idaho
  • Time on my aunt and uncle’s beautiful Idaho “farm”
  • Lazy days of summer

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Orange Shortbread
These lovely cookies were a big new favorite on my 2016 cookie trays. They involved learning how to candy orange peels, and the chocolate dipped candied orange peel was even more popular than this chocolate dipped orange shortbread cookie! Both the candied peels and the cookies made from them will become Christmas gift staples.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth.
  2. Beat in the salt and flour until large clumps form.
  3. Add orange peel, zest, juice, and vanilla. Mix well and press the dough into a tight ball.
  4. Shape according to how you want your slices to come out (rectangles, squares, rounds, wedges), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and place on cookie sheet with enough space between for spreading.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely on cooling racks.
  7. Melt chocolate gently and stir in a bit of shortening to temper it if desired. Dip cooled cookies in chocolate or drizzle with chocolate and let cool until chocolate sets.
Recipe Notes

Original recipe, found via Pinterest: http://userealbutter.com/2008/06/11/chocolate-dipped-orange-peel-cookies-recipe/

*People have had issues with the candied orange peel turning hard during baking. To remedy this, when you make your candied orange peel, store the peels in the syrup rather than drying the individual orange peel slices. You can dry the ones that you want to turn into orangettes, but for this recipe, keep them soft and moist in the syrup. This should help with the texture when baking.  Even peel stored in syrup will gradually harden, but it will take longer!

Here's a link to good instructions for making the candied peel: http://tiphero.com/candied-orange-peel/  I did it just like this, except I didn't toss the finished peel in additional sugar.  I just spread all that sticky goodness out to dry and left it in the spare bedroom for a few days!  The peels got less bitter after sitting for a while, and are good with or without the chocolate.  (But of course, everything is better with chocolate...)

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Peppermint Swirls

Peppermint Swirls

May 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #5

A favorite photo…

 

A few highlights…

  • School year ends
  • A family wedding with lots of festivities
  • Visit to St. Louis, complete with a backyard Senegalese meal and lots of good family time

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Peppermint Swirls
These pretty mint swirls are fun to make with kids, since they can help with the rolling and swirling. They make a colorful addition to Christmas platters. The recipe originally came from Light and Tasty magazine.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into thirds. Stir red food coloring into one portion of dough; stir green food coloring into another portion. Leave remaining dough plain. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Divide each portion of dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-in. rope. Place a red, a green and a plain rope next to each other. Cut through all three ropes at 1-in. intervals, forming sets of three differently colored doughs. Repeat.
  4. Roll each set of doughs into a ball; place balls 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to 1/8-in. thickness with a glass dipped in additional sugar. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
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Cream Cheese Almond Bars

Cream Cheese Almond Bars

March 2016 in Review, and Christmas Cookie #3

A favorite photo…

 

A few highlights…

  • Katya turned 8
  • Spring break with family in San Antonio, TX
  • Favorite Easter traditions (especially of egg dying)
  • An especially good women’s retreat with our church

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Cream Cheese Almond Bars
These are one of Than's annual favorites. They should be kept refrigerated, but keep well for a week or more. They get a little messy when you cut them into small servings, but I do it anyway because they are deliciously rich.
Servings
small bars
Ingredients
Crust Ingredients
Filling Ingredients
Frosting Ingredients
Servings
small bars
Ingredients
Crust Ingredients
Filling Ingredients
Frosting Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Crust: Cut butter into dry ingredients. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Filling: Mix sugar and cream cheese until well creamed. Beat in eggs and almond extract until fluffy. Pour over hot crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. The layer of filling might look a little thin, but it really is enough! Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Frosting: Cream sugar and butter together well. Add milk and almond extract and mix until fluffy and easy to spread. Adjust consistency with more powdered sugar or milk as needed. Spread evenly onto baked, cooled bars. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and press them gently into the frosting. Cover and chill to set.
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