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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Honey Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe is for a Christmas Mold Pan. I bought one from Martha Stewart. This is her recipe.
I brushed the molds with Pan Release Mix proper to pressing the molds with dough. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each , stirred well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

I used a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop and baked them for exactly 9 minutes.
I let the pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes .

I made a recipe of Royal Icing, kept it white and simply outlined details on each cookie. I like the simplicity of the design.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

5 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Ground Ginger
4 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Nutmeg
16 TBS (2sticks) Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 C Honey
1/2 C unsulfured Molasses

Royal Icing recipe to follow.

In a large mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Ginger
Cinnamon
Clove
Nutmeg
Whisk well.

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Butter
Sugar
Beat on medium high speed until fluffy.
Add:
Eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
Reduce speed to Low.

Gradually Add:
Flour mixture
Mix just until combined.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop to portion out the dough for each mold.
Press dough into each mold.
Bake for 9 minutes.
Allow pan to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

After they have cooled, decorate with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing:

1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar
5 TBS Meringue Powder
a scant 1/4 C Water

Place all ingredients in a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment.
Mix on low speed for 7 minutes.
If it's too thick, add water 1 tsp at a time.
If it's too thin, beat an additional 2 - 3 minutes.

I make my own piping bags out of triangles of Parchment Paper to decorate the cookies.
I simply follow the detailed lines of each design.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

I have my favorite recipe for Hot Chocolate on the blog and I have never made another. However, we're having a Christmas Open House and this would be so easy to make and serve from the slow cooker. It stays hot and it's virtually, no fuss!
This recipe is an adaptation of my favorite one.

In the Slow Cooker:
3 C Heavy Cream
2 cans (14oz. each) Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 C Whole Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
6 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Miniature Marshmallows for garnish

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
Stirring occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.
Stir again during serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mellow Mushroom's Esperanza Dressing

Mellow Mushroom is one of our favorite Pizza and Beer restaurants. As a Vegetarian I love their menu options for Vegetarians. This is their house salad dressing, however, to make it vegetarian I use a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce. Typically, the sauce includes Anchovy Fish and I don't eat Seafood. I do eat Dairy, so I don't have a problem with the Egg Yolk. This recipe is not Vegan.
The restaurant offers a good variety of Salads including the new Build Your Own.
This recipe has been adapted without changing the integrity of the original one.

Esperanza Dressing from Mellow Mushroom!

1 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 TBS Dried Onion Flakes
1 tsp Granulated Garlic (not fresh minced and not garlic powder)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Freshly Minced Parsley
2 TBS Water
Fine Sea Salt, to taste

In the bowl of a Food Processor with the Chopping Blade:
Egg Yolk
Onion Flakes
Garlic
Oregano
Worcestershire Sauce
Vinegar
Pepper
Water
Salt
Pulse until smooth.
Slowly drizzle Oil through the tube of the Food Processor, with the machine running.
Remove to a serving bowl and fold in the Parsley.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Honey Gingerbread Cookies from Martha Stewart

This recipes was created for the Martha Stewart Gingerbread cookie mold pan. It has 12 wells with various holiday designs, Stocking, Snowflake, Stocking, Ornament, Gingerbread Man, Candy Cane, Star, Mitten, Christmas Tree, Santa, Wreath, Holly Leaf.
The dough is pressed into the molds and baked.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - Cookie Mold Pan, brush each well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

5 1/2 C Flour + additional for dusting.
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Ground Ginger
4 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Nutmeg
16 TBS (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 C Honey
1/2 C Molasses
2 1/2 C Royal Icing (recipes to follow)

In a medium bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Ginger
Cinnamon
Clove
Nutmeg
Whisk well.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed:
Butter
Sugar
Beat until well combined.

Add:
Eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add:
Honey
Molasses
Beat just until combined.

Divide the dough into three portions and wrap them in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and press into the cookie pan molds.
Bake for 9 minutes. (depending on your oven, you may have to rotate the pan half way through the baking time)
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
Un mold the cookies.
Transfer to the rack to cool completely.
Decorate the cookies with Royal Icing.
Store the cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper.

NOTE:
Use Icing immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Cover the top of the icing with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Stir well with a rubber spatula just before using.


There are so many recipes for Royal Icing. It's the best icing to decorate detailed designs on a cookie. I use it for decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies.
This recipe makes 2 1/2 C.
It can be separated into different bowls and tinted with food coloring to make creative designs. Since I'm The Hippy in the Kitchen and an Artist, I love to create cookie designs with my 60's looking Doodles. I have several Doodle Books that I am continuously updating with new designs.

This recipe is the consistency to be used for outlining and for detailed designs. To flood the cookie, thin the recipe with just a bit of warm water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. I also prefer this recipe because it doesn't use raw eggs.

Here's my favorite recipe for Royal Icing:
This is the recipe for decorating the cookies. (flooding recipe to follow)
1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar
5 TBS  Meringue Powder
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Warm Water
Powdered Food Coloring

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle attachment:
Stir together by hand:
Sugar
Meringue Powder
Cream of Tartar
Add:
Gradually add Water until desired consistency.
Vanilla
Beat on Low just until combined well.
Beat on High for 7 - 10 minutes.

Separate the icing into bowls and tint with food coloring.
If you're not using it immediately, gently lay a piece of damp paper towel onto the surface of the icing in each bowl.

Royal Icing for Flooding:

2 lbs. Confectioner's Sugar
3/4 C Water
4 tsp Meringue Powder
Whisk well, by hand until completely incorporated.
Use disposable piping bags to flood the cookies.
Outline the entire cookie with icing, fill in the center. Use a toothpick
and swirl the icing all over the cookie. Allow to sit and harden.

I took a French Macarons Class at Sur la Table in Dallas and they recommended:
Lorann's Gourmet Professional Quality Food Coloring. It's the only food coloring I use.




Enjoy!
Decorating your Holiday Cookies!










Red Velvet Crinkles

These are great Holiday Cookies. I'm making them for the Festival of Carols at our church this year.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
A Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

2 1/2 C Flour
1/3 C Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp  fine Seas Salt
1/2 C (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 - 2 tsp Red Food Coloring
1 tsp Vanila
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar

In a medium Mixing Bow:
Flour
Cocoa
Baking Powder
Salt
Whisk well and set aside.

In a large Mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Butter
Cream Cheese
Mix briefly, just to combine.

Add:
Sugar
Beat for 2 minutes.

Add:
Eggs
Food Coloring
Vanilla
Beat well to incorporate.

Fold in by hand, with a rubber spatula:
Flour / Cocoa mixture, in 2 batches. until completely incorporated.

Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop to create balls.
Roll them in Confectioners' Sugar until completely covered.

Place them 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Bake 9 - 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pull the Parchment Paper with the Cookies from the Sheet Pan onto a rack and cool allow to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Thursday, December 11, 2014

Miniature Pie Cookies

Is it a Pie or is it a Cookie......... I don't know so I call them Pie Cookies.
This is really a recipe without a recipe and that makes it really easy.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Some Mini Muffin Tins sprayed with cooking spray. This makes about 72 cookies so you use however many pans you need.

Here are the basic ingredients:
Some cans of Fruit Pie Filling, pick your favorites, like Cherry, Blueberry, Apple, or Peach.....etc.
You'll need 2 boxes of pre made refrigerated Pie Crust, how easy is this, so far?
1 Egg
Some Water
Some granulated Sugar.
and a 1 1/2" round biscuit cutter or a juice glass, or Champagne glass.....!

I think that's it!

Here's what you do:
Cut a bunch of circles from the dough that's been rolled out onto a lightly floured surface.
Place a bit of fruit in the center of each circle, sprinkle with a bit of Sugar. (if you use Apple or Peach, sprinkle with a Cinnamon/Sugar mix.
Pinch the circle to create sort of a Taco bowl and make a pocket to hold the fruit.

Mix the egg and 1 tsp of water, whisk it a bit.
Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the edges of the cookie bowl.
Place each of them in the cups of the mini muffin tun.
Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.
Remove the pan and sprinkle again with either Sugar or Cinnamon/Sugar Mix.
Set on a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Port Wine Walnuts with Stilton Cheese

I found this recipe in my archives and I don't know where it originate to give credit. It's not a recipe that I created.

Port Wine Walnuts with Stilton Cheese

2 1/2 C walnut halves
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C ruby port wine
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 wedge (1 pound) Stilton Cheese

Spread walnuts evenly on a rimmed sheet pan.
Toast for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a saucepan on medium high heat:
Sugar
Wine
Pepper
Bay Leaf
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low , cover and simmer 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Discard Bay Leaf.

Add:
Walnuts
Stir to coat well.
Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the sheet pan. Keep the syrup in the saucepan and set it aside.
Spread the nuts in a single layer.
Bake for 12 minutes, stirring once.
Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely.
Separate any clusters.

Return the saucepan with the syrup to low heat and gently cook until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Place the wedge of cheese on a serving platter and drizzle it with the syrup.
Scatter the Walnuts around the Cheese and serve with crackers.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!