Tag Archives: Christmas

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

20 Dec
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I made cookies!! Yes indeed, I really did. Most of you who know me are aware that me and flour and baking don’t really get along so well. And they actually came out pretty spectacular if I don’t say so myself. (Oh but my family told me too, along with my book club members at our cookie exchange, and the kind folks at my seasonal post office job!)

I first tried this recipe back in November, but the cookies didn’t come out so great texture- and shape-wise because of my high altitude. So I did a bunch of research, prepared a double batch, and set to experiment on cookie dough shape, oven temps, and timing.

The original recipe comes from my foodie friend Jodi over at The Creative Life In Between. I’ll share her original instructions, along with my high-altitude adjustments for those of you who share similar climes.

If you are a lover of snickerdoodles and are always first in line for pumpkin pie, this is a perfect marriage of flavors. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 1/4 cups flour
For rolling: 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tsp ground cinnamon, combined

Cream together butter and sugars with electric mixer. Add egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin, and combine.

Add next 8 ingredients, followed by the flour, and mix until combined.

Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Pumpkin Snickdoodle

Pumpkin Snickdoodle

Normal cooking directions:

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll and shape dough into golf ball sized balls. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place on baking stone or sheet and bake approximately 12 minutes until tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking stone/sheet for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

High-altitude cooking directions:

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll and shape dough into golf ball sized balls. Place on baking stone or sheet and flatten the cookie with the palm of your hand to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Gently press into cinnamon sugar on both sides and place back onto the cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 9 minutes until tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking stone/sheet for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

P.S. Happy Yule Y’all!! ūüėÄ

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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Holiday Cheese Bites

17 Dec
Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

I saw these fun little crackers posted on Food52, and they seemed easy enough for me to attempt to make. Of course the big warning sign not to make them should have been the words “flour” and “roll the dough.” I can just look at a canister of flour and get it all over my clothes. And with my hand injury? Who was I kidding that I could roll out a hard, frigid piece of clay?

Chilled Cracker Dough

Chilled Cracker Dough

Nonetheless, I attempted to make these little cheese bites, endearingly called “coins” in the recipe. I opted to use some fancy-schmancy mini-cutters, in the hopes that the cute shapes would distract from the final results.

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

I don’t have a proper food processor, so instead of “slowly adding the milk in a stream with the food processor running,” I kept having to turn off my Ninja, take the top off, add a little milk, whir it again, then repeat. Sketchy at best, huh? Then when it came to rolling the dough out, I found my injured hand and wrist didn’t have enough strength to wrestle the dough into submission, so enlisted the help of my daughter. I ended up with some really uneven thicknesses, which resulted in a: burnt crackers and b: really puffy under-cooked crackers. I had enough of option c: perfectly done crackers to fill a small bowl for your enjoyment.

Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

For those of you who would like the recipe, please head over to Food52 to read it here: Spicy Cheese + Smoked Paprika Coins

p.s. The flavor of these are really good! The dough has smoked paprika, sage, and cayenne pepper along with the cheese. If you are a skilled baker, please try this recipe out and let me know how they turned out!

Soup/Stew Recipes for the Winter!

5 Dec

I know, I know, I missed a weekend post. I went back to work full-time on Thursday after my 4-week physical therapy stint, then wanted to get Christmas up over the weekend! So my house is fully-decorated now, and got to enjoy setting it up with snow-flurries on the outside and Christmas music on my iPhone to put me in the mood.

Another thing that puts me in the winter/holiday mood is lots of big bowls of steaming, comforting soup or stew. Following is a compilation of some of those over the years. Click on the link above the photo for the recipe and a handy dandy printable PDF! Enjoy!

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Turkey Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Chicken Fideo Soup (Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup)

Chicken Fideo Soup

Chicken Fideo Soup

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

 

Merry Christmas Eve!

24 Dec
Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

I hope all my wonderful friends and family have a blessed Christmas and a bright 2016!

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

I’ll be making my traditional egg casserole again tonight, but with a couple of changes. I’ll prep the hash browns and sausage as normal, but leave the whisked eggs covered in a bowl, and add them and the cheese in the morning just before popping in the oven. My hubby thinks it will come out a little less dry, and I agree with him! Oh, and I’ll be mixing half breakfast sausage and half chorizo sausage, both homemade! I’ll have to get those recipes up here one of these days.

Next week I’ll be starting my fifth year of blogging. A special thanks to all my readers who have hung in with me through thick and thin. You are all very special. ‚̧

 

Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake

25 Dec
Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

TA-DAH! Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends! Today I bring you a photo compilation of this delicious cake made by my daughter. These recipes come from last year’s December Southern Living magazine. My daughter cooked just the cake portion of this last year in a bundt pan and we used store-bought icing, but this year she went all out and made the entire thing from scratch, including the filling and frosting. (Except the cookie garnish, we did buy those and she decorated them.) We brought this to a friend’s house for her family’s annual Christmas Eve Dinner Party, and it was a hit!

Here are the links to the recipes:

Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake

Ginger Whipped Cream

Silky Ganache

Mixing the Brown Sugar, Molasses and Eggs

Mixing the Brown Sugar, Molasses and Eggs

Adding the Melted Chocolate

Adding the Melted Chocolate – You’d think I was advertising for Arm and Hammer, lol!

Mixing the Flour and Spices

Mixing the Flour and Spices

Making the Batter

Making the Batter

Filling the Cake Pans

Filling the Cake Pans

Cooling the Cake Layers

Cooling the Cake Layers

More Melted Chocolate for Filling

More Melted Chocolate for Filling

Whipping Up Some Chocolatey Goodness

Whipping Up Some Chocolatey Goodness

Topping the First Layer

Topping the First Layer

First Layer Toffee Bits

First Layer Toffee Bits

Second Layer Complete

Second Layer Complete!

Three Layers Ready to Chill

Three Layers Ready to Chill

Whipping the Ginger-Infused Cream

Whipping the Ginger-Infused Cream

Frosting the Cake

Frosting the Cake

Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

TA-DAH! Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

Cutting the First Slice

Cutting the First Slice

First Slice of Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

First Slice of Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake

I hope you enjoyed this journey of baking!

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole ~ Starting a New Christmas Tradition

25 Dec
Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends! I have decided to start a new Christmas tradition in our household this year. We’ve always done a “fend for yourself” for Christmas breakfast/brunch, but this year I decided it would be nice to wake up and bake a hassle-free breakfast casserole. This make-ahead casserole is a cinch to make, and you refrigerate it over night before popping it in the oven just before you unwrap your presents. Well, that was the plan anyways. I forgot to put it in the oven (hey it’s my first year to do this!) so we ate a bit later than planned. My daughter went back for a second serving, so I guess it’s safe to say this is a tradition I can continue.

There are hundreds of recipes online for this, most of them stating they go way back from their grandmother or handed down from a dear friend. But they are all pretty much the same, with variations here and there on the meat and/or vegetables. And they all feed about 10 to 12, so I scaled this one way back.

Another one of our traditions is to watch Polar Express on Christmas Eve, after attending a Christmas Eve party that my friend here in town hosts every year. Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition?

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

8 ounces frozen hash browns
2 tablespoons butter or substitute, melted
Ground black pepper
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt
10 ounces breakfast sausage
1 cup diced onion
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, thaw the hash browns (I used the microwave) then stir in the melted butter. Season with lots of ground black pepper and lots of Mrs. Dash, or salt to taste if you use that. In a 2 quart casserole dish, press the hash browns into the bottom in an even layer.  Bake for about 20 minutes until starting to brown. Meanwhile, break up the sausage into little chunks and add to a medium-hot skillet, stirring and breaking up. When the sausage starts to release some of the grease, add the onions. Cook the sausage and onions until the sausage is no longer pink, about 10 to 15 minutes, then drain the grease and set aside.  The hash browns should be about ready to come out of the oven now. Take them out and let them cool a bit. Crack the six eggs into the same large bowl, then whisk together well with the milk. I added a bunch more pepper and Mrs. Dash too.  Spread the crumbled sausage and onion mixture over evenly over the top of the hash browns, then slowly pour the eggs over the entire dish. Last, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover tightly with foil, then refrigerate overnight. About an hour before you are ready to eat, cook the covered casserole in a 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, then cook another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest about five minutes. Serve plain, or with sour cream, hot sauce, Tabasco, whatever you like with your eggs! Easy and delicious.

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