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Ingredient: flour

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

February in Review, and Christmas Cookie #2

A favorite photo…

 

A few highlights…

  • I didn’t take any photos.  This picture is really from Feburary 2015!
  • I didn’t write any blog posts
  • What even happened in this month?
  • Maybe there was no February 2016…

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprints are always pretty, and these were especially attractive and flavorful. I got the recipe from CookingClassy.com.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Glaze (optional)
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Glaze (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold. If you don't have a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry at first). My dough never wanted to come together, so I ended up adding an egg at this point and that worked just fine.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of jam). Fill each with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp jam. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 - 18 minutes.
  4. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Drizzle cookies with glaze when when cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.
Glaze Instructions
  1. Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency.
  2. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cookies.
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Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies

January in Review, and Christmas Cookie #1

A favorite photo…

A few highlights…

  • Returning from Senegal
  • Sharing photos and trip stories with so many kind audiences
  • Settling back into routines (and getting snow!)

And a cookie recipe to go with it!

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Hot Cocoa Cookies
These were near the top of Nathan's list this year, and are always popular at my recital. They just look so festive. The soft texture of the base cookie is also appealing. The original recipe is from glorioustreats.com via Pinterest.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Icing Ingredients
Toppings
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Icing Ingredients
Toppings
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan or microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a mixer bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla on low until well combined.
  3. Add the melted chocolate mixture and blend well.
  4. Gently mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.
  5. Cover the dough and refrigerate about 1 hour. If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease at least two baking sheets. Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to put the dough on the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake about 12 minutes.
  7. While the cookies bake, cut large marshmallows in half for a total of 50 marshmallow pieces. (You can also use 4-5 mini marshmallows per cookie). When the cookies have baked, remove the tray from the oven. Press one marshmallow half (or 4-5 mini marshmallows) onto each cookie. Return the hot cookies to the oven and bake another 3 minutes or until the marshmallows have puffed up and adhered to the cookie.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  9. When cookies are cool, combine all icing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together well. Icing should be pourable but not too runny, so adjust consistency with additional powdered sugar or hot water.
  10. Place cookies on cooling rack over a baking sheet to catch drips. Spoon a small amount of icing on top of each marshmallow. After icing just a few cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing sets. Continue icing and sprinkling until everything looks festive.
  11. Allow icing to dry and set for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

These cookies stay soft and pretty for at least 1 week or more after baking.

Original recipe: http://www.glorioustreats.com/2013/12/hot-cocoa-cookies.html

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

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One more fall post, and then I promise some pictures from our Thanksgiving travels, followed by lots of Christmas recipes.

These cookies won Nathan’s vote for favorite fall treat.  I think he grabbed one every time he walked past the cookie jar!  Maybe that’s why he is almost tall enough to look me right in the eye…  Love this growing young man so much!!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
These soft cookies are full of satisfactory fall flavor while still meeting my need for chocolate. I got the recipe from a good friend at a cookie exchange many years ago, and it is certainly on our autumn treat rotation. Thanks, Becki!
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until well combined. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in pumpkin.
  3. With mixer on low, add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix just until combined.
  4. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts if desired. Don't overmix.
  5. Drop by rounded spoonful or cookie scoop onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 about 12 minutes or until set and beginning to brown on the bottom. Try not to overbake--Nathan loves them soft!
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Praline Meringue Puffs

Praline Meringue Puffs

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If you decide to host a tea party for an American Girl doll’s birthday, you need to make cream puffs.

If you make cream puffs you will have to use several egg yolks for the perfect pastry cream.

If you use egg yolks for the pastry cream, you will have egg whites left over.

If you have egg whites left over, you will need to make meringue cookies.

If you make meringue cookies, you will want to try a new kind.

If you try a new kind of meringue cookies, someone will ask you for the recipe.

If someone asks you for the recipe, you better post it on the blog.

And all that from a little doll’s tea party!

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Praline Meringue Puffs
These meringue cookies are super sweet and satisfyingly nutty. They are more on the chewy side rather than the crunchy side, a good thing for many (even though it disappointed Nathan!) They give good praline flavor without the need to actually crystallize the pecans.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the pecans and pulse 3-5 times until the pecans are coarsely chopped. Add the flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and the salt. Pulse once or twice more to combine.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy and opaque. Increase the mixer speed and beat until whites begin to form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the white sugar until the whites form glossy peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and the vanilla. Continue beating until the meringue is stiff and smooth when rubbed between the fingers.
  4. Lightly fold the pecan mixture into the meringue mixture just until evenly incorporated. Don't mix too much or the meringue will deflate.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop or two spoons to drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets by heaping tablespoonfuls. Space about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake all the cookies at the same time. Bake for about 10-12 minutes if you want chewier meringues, or rotate the sheets at 10 minutes and bake an additional 10 minutes (total of 18-20 minutes) for crunchier cookies. Cookies are done when they are lightly colored all over.
  7. Let cookies cool completely on parchment or foil before attempting to remove. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.
Recipe Notes

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

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Caramel Apple-Nut Bars

Caramel Apple-Nut Bars

These were popular at a Sunday lunch gathering so I am sharing the recipe for those of you who asked.  In my personal opinion they were a bit too far on the sweet side, but that didn’t seem to keep lots of other people from enjoying them!

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Caramel Apple-Nut Bars
Sweet autumn bar cookie with layers of oatmeal, apple, and caramel sauce.
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 9x13 baking pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat 2 cups of flour, the oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press about 3 cups of mixture in prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. While bottom crust bakes, mix caramel topping and 3 Tbsp. flour together in a small bowl.
  4. When crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle with apple and pecan pieces. Drizzle with caramel mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into bars.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker: The Big Book of Cookies

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Salty Caramel Peanut Bars

Salty Caramel Peanut Bars

These decadent bar cookies were a definite hit at our Sunday lunch gathering.  Salty and sweet, they make up quickly and are eaten just as quickly!

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Salty Caramel Peanut Bars
These salty-sweet treats are appealing to the eye and to the taste buds.
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line 15x10x1 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in mixer bowl and stir thoroughly. Add butter and cut in until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Press mixture into prepared pan. Bake 18 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, microwave ice cream topping 30 seconds or until of drizzling consistency. Pour into a small bowl and stir in 3 Tbsp. flour.
  4. When crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle with peanuts and chocolate chips. Drizzle evenly with caramel sauce mixture. Sprinkle evenly with coarse salt.
  5. Bake 12-14 minutes longer or until caramel is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate if needed to set chocolate. Cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store covered at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Betty Crocker: The Big Book of Cookies

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Snickerdoodle Blondies

Snickerdoodle Blondies

These bars have a simple ingredient list and come together quickly.  They are also fairly economical, making them nice for large group catering.  They capture the flavor of a snickerdoodle with the soft richness of a blondie.  Than says “YUM.”

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Snickerdoodle Blondies
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in salt, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add flour and cream of tartar. Mix until no streaks of dry remain. Dough will be very thick.
  4. Scrape dough into prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until bars are set and edges are just very lightly browned. Cool in the pan before slicing.
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Oatmeal Carmelitas

Oatmeal Carmelitas

I got this recipe at a cookie exchange.  (Thanks, SL!)  It makes rich, sweet, pretty layered bars that are always a hit.  They also keep well, so they are nice for making ahead.

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Oatmeal Carmelitas
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixer bowl, combine first 6 ingredients (2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda, and salt).
  3. Dump half of the oat/flour mixture into the prepared pan. Press to create a bottom crust with no holes. If needed, use a bit more than half the mixture to make sure the pan is well covered.
  4. Bake bottom crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  5. Mix the remaining 6 Tbsp. flour into the caramel ice cream topping. Stir until evenly combined. Chop nuts.
  6. When the partially baked crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Then sprinkle nuts on top. Pour caramel/flour mixture evenly over that. Finally, crumble the remaining flour/oat mixture on top to form a final layer.
  7. Return pan to the hot oven and bake an additional 30-40 minutes. The caramel should be hot and bubbly and the oatmeal topping lightly brown.
  8. Allow bars to cool thoroughly before cutting. Sometimes the edges are hard to get off of the pan, but you can pick them off for nibbling after you have cut the rest of the bars out of the middle! Store in the refrigerator for best results.
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Crusty Baguettes

Crusty Baguettes

This is my go-to recipe when I need bread for dinner tonight.  (See “Dutch Oven Easy Bread” for an easier recipe that can be made the night before.)  I made these for Christmas gifts one year, giving a little jar of fancy olive oil and vinegar for dipping along with each one.  I use a mixture of grains for added texture and flavor, but you can easily leave any of them out and stick with just white flour if you wish.

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Crusty Baguettes
Course Bread
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2-3 cups white)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran (optional, or just use additional flour)
Course Bread
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (one packet)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2-3 cups white)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional, or just use additional flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran (optional, or just use additional flour)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for ten minutes.
  2. Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky. Knead the dough until elastic.
  3. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each of them to form four long, thin ropes. Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf. Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf. Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. You can now bake the loaves right away (if you’re in a hurry) or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.
  5. Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice. Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside. (Alternately, you can use a baking stone. Have the stone in the oven preheating. Put the loaves on parchment paper and use the baking sheet to transfer them from the counter to the hot stone in the oven.) After the bread is in the oven, toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
  6. Serve fresh and hot with your favorite olive oil for dipping.
Recipe Notes
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Dutch Oven Easy Bread

Dutch Oven Easy Bread

This is my go-to bread recipe, the one that turns soup and salad into a full meal deal.  The only hard part is remembering to get it started the night before.  You can’t make it the day you need it!

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Dutch Oven Easy Bread
A coarse-textured crusty loaf that is fun to customize with different mix-ins
Course Bread
Servings
slices
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour (can use 2 cups white and 1 cup wheat)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (warm, cold, doesn't matter)
Course Bread
Servings
slices
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour (can use 2 cups white and 1 cup wheat)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (warm, cold, doesn't matter)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl and mix well. (A wooden spoon will mix it, or use the paddle attachment). Add water or flour as needed to get a dough that is a thick, sticky, shaggy mess. If you want to mix in any special ingredients, do it now.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Don't skimp on the "sitting" time.
  3. When you are ready to bake, place a cast iron pot with a lid into the cold oven on the middle rack. Turn the oven on to 450 degrees and let the pot preheat for at least 30 minutes.
  4. When the pot is really hot, take it out of the oven and carefully scrape the sticky dough into the hot pot. A wooden spoon works great for this. The dough should sizzle as it hits the pan. Cover the pot with the hot lid and return it to the oven.
  5. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and tip the bread out of the pot. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing into thick slices. I usually cut most of my slices in half before serving, because they end up pretty wide in the middle.
  6. This recipe can be increased by half (e.g. 4.5 cups of flour) and it will still fit in my cast iron pot. A double batch is too big, though.
Recipe Notes

Possible add-in ideas: chopped Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped cloves of roasted garlic, lemon zest and fresh herbs, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.

Here's the link to the original recipe: http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html

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