Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chicken Empanadas


1 1/2 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 piece medium-sized onion, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup potato, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup green peas
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 piece chicken cube
2 tbsp cooking oil

3 cups flour
4 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water, cold
1 piece raw egg
1 cup butter, cold
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cook the Filing
1.1 In a heated pan, pour the cooking oil and allow to heat-up
1.2 Saute the garlic and onions
1.3 Add the chicken breast then cook until color turns light brown (about 5 minutes)
1.4 Add water and chicken cube then simmer for 10 minutes
1.5 Put-in carrots and potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes
1.6 Add the green peas, raisins, and sugar then simmer for another 5 minutes
1.7 Sprinkle salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, drain the excess liquid, and set aside.

2. Make the dough

2.1 In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients starting from the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt then mix well.
2.2 Cut the butter into small thin pieces place in the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.(the butter should be cold and solid before doing this)
2.3 Add water gradually and mix all the ingredients thoroughly until a dough is formed. You may use a pastry blender to easen the process.
2.4 Divide the dough into individual pieces by grabbing a piece from the whole mixture and rolling it in your hand until a spherical shape is formed. Do this until all the dough is consumed. Set aside in a cool place for at least 20 minutes
2.5 Flatten the spherical dough py pressing it with your palm against a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten it fully while creating a round shape.

3. Place some filling at the middle of the flattened dough. Fold the dough so that opposite ends meet (you should have formed a half moon shaped dough)then press the edges and seal. (refer to the video for the technique)

4. After all the fillings are consumed, crack the egg and separate the white from the yolk. Beat the egg white lightly and mix a little water.Glaze the crust by brushing the egg wash.

5. Put a wax paper on top of a baking tray or grease the baking tray then arranged the sealed doughs.

6. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Bake the sealed doughs for 25 minutes at the same temperature.

7. Remove from the oven.

8. Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!

Prosciutto and Spinach Pinwheels

1 large red bell pepper
2 sheets puff pastry dough (often sold in 17 or 18-ounce packages containing 2 (9 or 10-inch) square sheets puff pastry)
8 slices prosciutto ham
12 leaves fresh spinach
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
1/8 cup Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten for egg wash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pepper in a roasting pan and roast in the oven, checking every 15 minutes, and turning with tongs until the skin is fully wrinkled and charred black. When the peppers is done, use tongs to put it into a ziptop bag which (for safety reasons) you have resting on a plate - (Remember, it is volcanically hot!). Carefully zip the bag shut, and allow the pepper to sweat for 5 minutes. Use oven mitts to prevent getting burned while you handle the bag in the next step of sliding the pepper from the bag into a bowl filled with a couple of inches of ice water. You can then use your fingers to work quickly to slip off and discard the skin of the pepper while it is in the water. You will be left with a beautifully cooked red pepper with a wonderful color. Cut open the pepper and remove seeds. Slice it into strips and set aside.

Roll out each puff pastry sheet and on the surface of each of the 2 sheets evenly arrange 4 slices of prosciutto ham, 6 spinach leaves, half of the red pepper strips, 1/8-cup Cheddar, and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Roll up the dough "jelly roll" style into a log (so the cross-section of the roll will be a spiral design, the "pinwheel"). Place the logs in the freezer for 50 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove "pinwheel" logs and from freezer and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.

Dried Cherries, Pecans & Rosemary Brie

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup dried cherries, softened*
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves OR teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 (13.2 ounces) brie cheese round
1 package (26 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Entertaining Quartet Distinctive Crackers

Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Stir the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary in a small bowl. Spread the cherry mixture into the center of the pastry square. Top with the cheese round. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides of the pastry over the cheese. Trim the remaining two sides of the pastry square to 2-inches from the edge of the cheese. Fold the sides up onto the cheese and press the edges to seal. Place the pastry-wrapped cheese seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture

Decorate the top with pastry scraps or additional rosemary, if desired. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with the crackers.

*To soften cherries, mix the cherries and 1/2 cup hot water in a small bowl. Let stand for 1 minute. Drain and pat the cherries dry.

Three Cheese Crostini

1 1/2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, loosely measured
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, loosely measured
16 slices French or artisan type baguette, cut 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal
2 to 3 grinds black peppercorns (using handheld grinder)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup finely shredded fresh Pecorino Romano cheese, loosely measured


Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element. Preheat the broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

In a small bowl gently toss the tomatoes, shallots, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar together. Spread out the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on a rack under the broiler element. Broil until the tomatoes begin to show a few black spots, about 4 minutes with oven door closed. Turn the mixture, using a spatula, and broil 3 minutes longer with the oven door closed. Remove from the oven and transfer the mixture with a slotted spoon to a small bowl; set the bowl aside until needed. Retain the broiler heat on high.

While the tomatoes are broiling, combine the ricotta, blue cheese, pesto, 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and lemon peel in a medium bowl.

Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Put the baking sheet on the rack under the broiler element and broil until golden, about 1 minute or so per side, watching carefully. Remove from oven.

To assemble, season the tomato mixture with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and peppercorns, then stir in the basil. Spread some of the ricotta mixture over each crostini. Top with the tomato/onion mixture, then sprinkle with shredded cheese, dividing all the ingredients equally among the slices. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Sweet & Smokey Chicken and Bacon Pizza

Ready made pizza crust
2 chicken breasts
1/2 lb bacon
8oz fresh mozzarella cheese
5-6 fresh basil leaves
1 cup Sweet bbq sauce


Fire up your grill and cook up your chicken and bacon. Lower your grill down to low and if you have a pizza stone, put it on your grill to get it heated up (if you don’t have a pizza stone you can just put your pizza directly on the grill but it is very easy to burn your crust that way…so, maybe ask for a pizza stone for New Years Cut/break up your chicken and bacon into bite size pieces, Chiffonade the basil and cut the fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices. Now it’s time to assemble your delicious pizza…place your crust on your stone and spread about half a cup of BBQ Sauce on top. Spread the chicken and bacon evenly over the crust then apply the fresh basil and then the mozzarella on top. Finally drizzle on the remaining BBQ Sauce and close the lid of your grill until your cheese is all melted.

That’s it, Cut and enjoy!

Sweet Mesquite BBQ Bacon Shrimp


1-½ cups Sweet Mesquite BBQ sauce.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
½ pound pepper bacon (or preferred bacon)


Cut slices of bacon in half. Cook bacon half way (should not be crisp). Combine Sweet Mesquite BBQ Sauce, lemon juice and garlic powder (pour half of mixture into separate bowl for use later). Dip shrimp into half of sauce to thoroughly coat.

Wrap each piece of shrimp with ½ piece of bacon. Place on skewer (leave small space between pieces). Place on greased hot grill, basting with remaining sauce mixture. Grill for approximately 4 to 6 minutes (depending on size of shrimp).

7 Layer Dip

1 (15-ounce) can refried beans
2 tablespoons hot sauce
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (16 to 18 ounce) jar green chili or tomatillo salsa
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, a palm full, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palm full
1 (16 to 18 ounce) jar chipotle salsa
2 cups sour cream
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 ripe avocados
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced
Pimiento stuffed jumbo Spanish olives, chopped
Tortilla chips, buy 2 sacks in 2 different colors/varieties

Heat refried beans in small nonstick pan over medium heat and season with hot sauce. Transfer the beans to a small, deep casserole dish. Scrape pan clean with rubber spatula and return to heat.

Add a little extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and raise heat to high. When the oil smokes, add the scallions and sear them, 2 to 3 minutes. Add green salsa to scallions and heat through. Add cilantro, remove salsa from heat, and layer on top of the beans.

Return the same pan to the stove, lower heat to medium and add black beans, heat through and season with cumin, layer on top of the green salsa.

Top the black beans with a layer of chipotle salsa. Mix sour cream the lime zest and juice and spread on top of the chipotle salsa.

Combine the meat of 2 ripe avocados with garlic, lemon juice, jalapeno and salt to form a chunky guacamole. Top the salsa with guacamole. Garnish the dip with the final layer of diced tomatoes and sliced olives.

hot spinach & artichoke dip

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (13 3/4-ounce) cans artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop in a food processor.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with bagel chips.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies Stuffed with Cookie Dough and Double Stuffed Oreos

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies
5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1¼ cups (8¾ oz.) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour

Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. (It took me a while to get the flour evenly incorporated and I was worried it would affect the texture of the brownies, but they turned out fabulously – no need to worry.) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

chocolate chip cookie dough
Cookie Dough:

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons soy milk or milk
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

double stuffed oreos 


Make the cookie dough:
Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla with electric mixer until creamy. Add the soy milk and beat well. Add in the salt, baking soda, and flour and slowly mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with greased aluminum foil. Spread a layer of brownie batter.

Wrap Oreos in cookie dough, and place in a line on the brownie batter.

Top with more batter until covered.

Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick plunged into the middle comes out fairly clean.

Let cool completely in pan before carefully using the aluminum foil to lift out and slice. Then blissfully live in your sweatpants for three days as you polish each and every one of these babies off.

I am OBSESSED with these recipes. They’re fantastic.

Eggnog Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies


For the Filling:
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons prepared vanilla spiced eggnog
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cookies:
2 sticks butter, softened
2 2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food coloring
3 cups all purpose flour
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt


Make the filling: In a small bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar, eggnog, nutmeg & cinnamon. Place in the freezer until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter & sugar. Add in the egg and beat well. Beat in both the vanilla and red food coloring.In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, scraping down the sides in between additions.

Scoop about 1-2 tablespoon scoop of cookie dough, rolling into a ball.

Then with your thumb and index finger shape the ball into a bowl to hold the filling then add about 1 teaspoon of filling.

Then take another piece of cookie dough to cover the filling, flatten it slightly then delicately roll to reshape into a ball.

Bake for 12 minutes until center appears set, make sure not to over cook. Allow to cool slightly then move to wire rack to cool completely.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Traditional Latke Recipe with Chunky Cinnamon Apple Sauce

4 Idaho Potatoes (Washed but not peeled)
1 Large Yellow Onion
3 Large Eggs
1-2 Cups Regular Flour
1 Tablespoon Coarse Salt
½ Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper
Oil for Frying (I Use Half Olive Oil / Half Corn Oil)

Cut the potatoes and onion into quarters.

Place in the Bowl of Your Food Processor (with the “s” blade or Knife blade installed).

Grind until finely ground – you can pulse if necessary.

Add Eggs, salt and pepper – grind until mixed.

Remove bowl from Food Processor and stir in Flour (mixture should be the consistency of thick oatmeal).

Heat the oil in a fry pan. You will need about 1” of oil. Be patient and wait until it heats. I use an electric fry pan set at high heat – you can make these just as easily on the stovetop in a regular fry pan. The electric fry pan gives a consistent heat that I can never really get on the stovetop.

Using a Coffee Scoop scoop the batter into the fry pan. I can usually fry 6 – 8 pancakes at a time. You will see that they begin to bubble – just like regular batter pancakes. Turn them when brown. Try not to turn them more then once. The less you turn them the crisper they will be. I remove all that are cooking before I add new batter – that way I can control the temperature of the oil and I find it easy to keep track of cooking time.

Put them on paper towels to drain and continue frying the balance of the batter. This recipe should yield approx. 30 latkes. They freeze really well and can be reheated in the microwave; but they are best when eaten right after cooking!

If this all sounds too complicated – just call us and order ours. They are not the same as homemade – but they are delicious.

Chunky Cinnamon Apple Sauce

4-5 cups Granny Smith apples (3 very large or 6 small), peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup white sugar
1 T brown sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
In a large sauce pan, add all ingredients and stir to coat apples. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and stir well to break up the apples. Cook another few minutes until the mixture is thickened. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve

Perfect Hanukkah Crispy Latkes

1 tsp. lemon juice
4 russet potato
1/2 yellow onion
1 waxy potato
1 egg
freshly ground pepper
about 5 tbsp instant masked potato flakes, butter flavor
peanut oil, for frying
sour cream & apple sauce for garnish.

I recommend using the grater attachment on a food processor to make quick work of this task. If using a food processor, add lemon juice to the bowl. If grating by hand, add lemon juice to the bowl that will contain your grated potatoes.

Peel and grate the potato, tossing occasionally to coat with the lemon juice. Reserve 2/3 of the grated potato mixture in a separate bowl to become the exterior coating.

Grate the onion. Combine the remaining 1/3 grated potato and grated onion in a medium pot. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain to remove most of the water. Season with .05% salt and .005% pepper.

Peel and microplane the waxy potato into the bowl with the reserved 2/3s grated potato mixture. Pour the mixture into a large cheesecloth and ring as tightly as possible to remove as much water as you can. Return the mixture to a bowl.

Add 1 egg, .05% salt, .005% pepper and instant mashed potato flakes to the bowl and toss well to combine.

Heat 1" of peanut oil in a deep skillet to 400F.

While the oil is heating, assemble the latkes on a nonstick baking sheet. Grab a small handful of the uncooked potato mixture and press into a disk, one layer thick. Top with a tablespoon of the cooked potato and onion mixture, spread evenly. Finish with another later of the uncooked potato mixture.

Fry the latkes a few at a time, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Flip once if necessary to ensure even browning on all sides. The latkes should cook for 2-3 minutes, or until dark and golden. It's critical that you keep the temperature of the oil at 400F before and during frying to ensure maximum browning - if necessary, momentarily remove the latkes to allow the oil temperature to come back to 400F.

Drain on paper towels, and serve alongside sour cream and applesauce.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter French Toast

3 whole Eggs
¼ cups Milk
½ Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 pinch Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Corn Flake Crumbs
¼ cups Sugar
4 slices Thick Bread
2 Tablespoons Butter
¼ cups Peanut Butter, Melted
2 Tablespoons Chocolate Chips, Melted


In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.

On a plate, add corn flake crumbs and sugar, and mix well.

Preheat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add bread to the egg mixture and let it soak on each side for about 60 seconds. Remove from egg mixture and thoroughly dredge through corn flake crumbs.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and add 2 pieces of bread. Fry until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes each. Repeat with additional bread, using remaining tablespoon of butter for the next 2 pieces.

Top french toast with melted peanut butter and chocolate. Devour!

Lime Chicken Green Chili

Poached Chicken:
1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
2 cans white nave beans rinsed
1 large onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 poblano chiles
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup finely ground tortilla chips (ground in a food processor)
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

For garnish:
Shredded jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Remove the giblets from the chicken. Discard the liver (it makes the broth bitter) and hold onto everything else. Rinse the chicken with cool water. Put the chicken, onion, and giblets in a large stockpot. Pour in enough cold water just to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Toss in the garlic and herbs and allow the water to slowly come to a boil over medium heat. Skim off the foam then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it cool. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables, giblets, thyme and bay leaf from the pot and discard. Reserve chicken broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; shred the meat by hand.

Meanwhile, seed, core, and thinly slice the poblano peppers.

Heat a 2-count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Dust the vegetables with the ground cumin, coriander, and oregano, and stir; cook 1 minute. Stir in the ground tortillas. Pour in the reserved chicken broth, beans, season with salt and cook 20 minutes. Now add the shredded chicken and chiles, and the cilantro and cook 5 more minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

rootbeer float cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon root beer concentrate
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place butter and sugars in large bowl. Using electric mixer at medium speed, cream. Beat in egg. Continue to beat until mixture is fluffy. Beat in oil, milk, vanilla and root beer concentrate.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Fold in vanilla chips.

3. Drop 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto ungreased cookies sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool five minutes on the cookie sheet and them remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling water
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped OR 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water. Set aside to cool to tepid. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in vanilla and espresso, then reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough. Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chips with a sturdy rubber spatula. Using the spatula, transfer dough to a gallon-size zip-loc bag. Put bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet (okay, I didn’t poke the cookies and they’re fine). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point (I didn’t do that either – I bake one sheet at a time). The shortbreads will be very pale–they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving. Makes about 3 dozen.

Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Coconut


1 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2-1/2 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp.vanilla
3-1/2 c. bread flour
1 tbs. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 c. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F
In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar, beating until creamy. Beat in eggs, egg white, sour cream and vanilla until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Add coconut and chocolate chips, beating until combined.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Coconut Apricot Balls


8 oz. dried apricots
1 c. flaked coconut
¼ c. sweetened condensed milk


1. Using metal blade, chop apricots. Add coconut and milk and pulse until ball forms.
2. Chill if necessary.
3. Form one inch balls and roll in coconut.
4. Chill and store in airtight container.

Gooey Butter Snickerdoodles


2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. coarse salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tbsp. sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-3/4 inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through until edges are golden about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Oreo Truffles

This recipe couldn’t be easier:

one bag of Oreo cookies
8 oz. cream cheese
couverture chocolate

In a food processor, using the metal blade, combine the cookies and cream cheese to form a ball.

Roll into one inch balls and chill.

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Bamboo skewers are great for dipping to coat.

Cherry Walnut Icebox Cookies


1 c. butter
1 c. icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. candied red cherries, sliced in half (I used marachino)
1 c. walnut halves


1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth.
3. Add flour, cherries and walnuts.
4. Chill until firm (about 3 hours)
5. Divide into pieces and roll into logs about 10 in. long and 1 in. in diameter.

6. Slice as thinly as possible (about ⅛ inch).

7. Bake at 325F for 8-10 minutes.

Tropical Snowballs


1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup maraschino cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
1-1/4 cups gingersnaps

Chop all ingredients in food processor to form ball.
Roll into balls or log shapes and cover with coconut.

Cheesecake Truffles


1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2lb. cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 c. icing sugar

1/2 c. graham crumbs

1 tbsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Desiccated sweetened coconut, sprinkles, cocoa, graham crumbs for coating

Melt 1/2 c. chocolate chips. Meanwhile using electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add icing sugar, graham crumbs, vanilla and salt and blend well. Mix in the melted chocolate and the remaining chocolate chips. Cool mixture in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
Hand roll into balls the size of large marbles. Toss balls in coconut, sprinkles, cocoa or graham crumbs until well covered. Return to freezer and chill thoroughly about 25 minutes or until ready to serve or wrap up.

Cherry Filled Rum Balls

2-1/2 cups vanilla cookies
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/4 cup rum
maraschino cherries

Mix all ingredients in food processor to form ball.

Roll into balls or logs and take the  maraschino cherries wrapped the cookie dough around them then coat with coconut, sugar, sprinkles, etc.
Store in airtight container

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Drain the cherries and reserve about 2 tablespoons of the juice. Cut the cherries in half if large, and set aside.
Beat the softened butter, sugar, and baking powder with an electric mixer until thoroughly creamed and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and almond extract, then add the flour gradually, and beat just until blended. Pinch off pieces of dough, roll into 1-inch balls, place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, and press your thumb in the center of each cookie to make a dent. Place a cherry or cherry half in the indentation of each cookie.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with the condensed milk, and stir until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of reserved cherry juice to the mixture, or as needed, to thin the frosting; frosting will be thick. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of frosting over each cherry, covering the cherry completely.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until firm and slightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minute before removing, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Italian Wedding Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon white sugar
48 chocolate-covered caramel candies

Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Combine remaining 1/2 cup nuts with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Work with one part at a time, leaving the remainder in the refrigerator until needed. Divide each part into 12 pieces. Quickly press each piece of dough around a chocolate covered caramel. Roll into a ball. Dip the tops into the sugar mixture. Place sugar side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup light molasses
1 (11 ounce) package Butterscotch Flavored Morsels
1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl.
BEAT butter, sugar, egg and molasses in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Gooey Butter Cookies

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix, and stir until well blended. Roll into 1inch balls and roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar. Place 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Fruitcake Cookies

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) package chopped dates
8 ounces candied cherries, halved
8 ounces candied pineapple, diced

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in pecans, dates and fruit. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Cookie Balls

1 pound chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies and cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Roll into balls and dip with a fork in melted candy coating. Let rest on waxed paper until set.

Molasses Cookies

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a large bowl mix oil and 1 cup of sugar. Add egg, beat well. Stir in molasses, 2 cups flour, baking soda and spices. If necessary, add more flour to make a firm dough.
Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll in 1/3 cup sugar. Place 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until tops crack. Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.

Rainbow Cookies

8 ounces almond paste
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 drops red food coloring
6 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line three 9x13 inch baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, break apart almond paste with a fork, and cream together with butter, sugar, and egg yolks. When mixture is fluffy and smooth, stir in flour to form a dough. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the dough. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Mix one portion with red food coloring, and one with green food coloring. Spread each portion into one of the prepared baking pans.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Carefully remove from pan and parchment paper, and cool completely on wire racks.
Place green layer onto a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all three layers. Spread green layer with raspberry jam, and top with uncolored layer. Spread with apricot jam, and top with pink layer. Transfer layers to a baking sheet, and enclose with plastic wrap. Place a heavy pan or cutting board on top of wrapped layers to compress. Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
Remove plastic wrap. Top with melted chocolate chips, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until chocolate is firm. Slice into small squares to serve.

Cream Cheese Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour until well blended. Drop dough by spoonfuls or use a cookie press to place onto prepared cookie sheets. If using floral cookie press design, make an indentation in the center with a thimble, fill with preserves, or press candy into center.
Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Cookies should be pale.

Chocolate Yum Truffle Cookies

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In the microwave or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well mixed. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry Orange Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.