Showing posts from December, 2011

Luscious Christmas Feast

Christmas is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons especially spending time with family and friends sharing a luscious Christmas feast.  And decorating for the holidays is so much fun and wonderful to see everyday. I love all the beautiful decorations, fresh greens, paper whites, amaryllis's and so much more.
This year was another wonderful celebrations. My daughter Mandi and I cooked for days preparing a feast for all to enjoy. We like to combine old family favorites with new dishes that we find appealing. This year was a smashing success with twenty guest join us on Christmas day.  The menu is as follows:

For Appetisers
Shrimp with Cocktail sauce
Olive tapenade in pastry cups
Pigs in a blanket

Turkey with Sausage stuffing
Prime Rib Roast
Sweet Potato Pudding
Healthy Green Bean casserole
Salad with tomatoes, cranberries, mandarin oranges and candied pecans
Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Cheese Cake
Pecan Pie
Orange Scented White Chocolate Mouse…

Sinful Chocolate Truffles

So sinfully delicious, so easy!

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

unsweetened cocoa, chocolate or colored sprinkles, finely chopped nuts, coconut or powdered sugar for coating.

Melt chocolate and condensed milk. Remove from heat, stirring until smooth. Add vanilla. For an adult version you can add a liquor. Cool. Chill until firm 1-2 hours. Roll chocolate into a ball and roll into coating. Chill for 1 hour and store in air tight container.


Chocolate Peanut-Butter Thumbprints

A wonderfully different peanut butter and chocolate cookie that is a glorious blend of two favorites.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Pre heat oven 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, shortening, sugar, and one cup brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fluffy and combined. Add vanilla betting until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients, mix at low speed until combined. Add chocolate chips mix until combined.  Cover bowl and chill about 1 hour.
In a small bowl stir together peanut butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

The essence of Christmas in one cookie. Fragrant cookies that fill the house with the wonderful smells of baking. And these little jewels taste fabulous!

1 1/2 flour
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa power
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfered molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons boiling  water
7 ounces semisweet chocolate,  in 1/4 - inch chunks
1/4 sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.  In a bowl of an electric mixer beat butter on medium speed until fluffy about 4 minutes.  Add brown sugar beat until combined. Add molasses continue beating until combined.
In a small bowl dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Beat in half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Add baking soda mixture, then remaining flour. Mix in chocolate. Wrap in plastic wrap.  R…

Christmas Snow Flake Cookies

The cookies are coming fast and furious. Just can't stop baking and baking. Christmas Snow Flake Cookies fudgie truffle like cookies rolled in confectioners' sugar and baked to perfection!

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter,  room temperature
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and  salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate.  Add flour mixture alternating with milk, begin and end with flour.  Mix on low speed until just combined. Shape dough into ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 2 ho…

Peanut Blossom Cookies, an old Christmas favorite!

My love affair with making Christmas Cookies started when I was a little girl helping my mother bake cookies at Christmas. We made large quantities of a my mother's favorite recipes. To this day I have continued the tradition of baking, baking and more baking of delectable cookies.  Today I made a favorite cookie of my children when they were little. Peanut Blossoms are a fun cookie topped with a chocolate kiss. Who does love a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate kiss in the center. I love the taste of peanut butter meeting chocolate. I've different  recipes finding this one to be my favorite.

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Pre heat oven to 325 F. In large bowl mix on low speed all the ingredients until combined and dough forms.  Shape a teaspoonful of dough into balls. Roll b…

Snowball Gingerbread Cookies

Easy, fun, delicious tasting, a wonderful addition to my collection of annual Christmas cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (Remember Cabot's is my favorite)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup fine ground nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, or pecans)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the flour, nuts, cinnamon,  ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and salt until well combined. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Or put in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are light brown on the bottom. Transfer …

Need I say luscious Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling decorated for Christmas

Need I say again I love to make Cupcakes, especially cupcakes with a surprise in the center. Just think Red Velvet cupcakes with a mouth watering cream cheese center as you take a bite. A wonderful addition to any Christmas dessert tray!

Red Velvet cupcake batter
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1-oz bottle red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Line two 12 cupcake or muffin pans. Pre heat oven to 350F.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside. In large bowl beat butter on medium for 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed until well combined.  Scape sides of bowl and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, one at a time beating after each addition. Beat another 2 minutes. Beat in red food coloring and vanilla. Alternately add flour and …