Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spiced Chocolate Cookie


Basler Brunsli, crisp yet chewy (and coincidentally gluten-free), these Swiss cookies feature an intriguing blend of chocolate and spice.

INGREDIENTS: 

Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar + more for rolling
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large egg whites

Glaze (optional):

  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or grease them lightly.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sugar, almond flour, chocolate chips, and spices until fine. Add the egg whites and process until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Sprinkle a flat surface with additional sugar and roll the dough 1/4" thick. Cut out shapes with 2" cutters and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Let the cookies sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking; this ensures a crispier top. Toward the end of the drying time, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  5. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until the tops look puffy and you can smell the chocolate. Remove them from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheets. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving, if desired; or drizzle with chocolate glaze.
  6. To make the glaze: Melt the chocolate and butter (or coconut oil) in the microwave at medium power, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the tops of the cookies, if desired.
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Broccoli Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 C broccoli florets, blanched and chopped into smaller bites
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked, drained of fat, and chopped
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 C sweet peas, cooked
  • 8 oz pasta shells, cooked
  • 2/3 C mayo
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1-2 TBS dry Ranch dressing mix, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, peas and pasta
  2. In a medium bowl, combine mayo and milk and dry Ranch mix and mix well
  3. Gradually add the salad dressing to the salad

Monday, December 11, 2017

Gingerbread Layer Cake



INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:



  1. Preheat to 350°
  2. Adjust oven rack to the center position
  3. Grease and flour two (2) 8" cake pans
  4. Line each pan with parchment paper
MILK MIXTURE
  • 1-1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 3 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 C milk

  1. Whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in medium
    saucepan until combined
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth
  3. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping corners
    of saucepan until boiling and very thick, about 5-7 minutes
  4. Transfer to wide bowl to cool completely, about 2 hours
FLOUR MIXTURE
  • 1-3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Whisk together in large bowl until combined
COFFEE MIXTURE
  • 1 C Brewed coffee
  • 3/4 C molasses
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 3 large beaten eggs
  • 2 TBS fresh finely grated ginger

  1. In another large bowl, whisk together the brewed coffee,
    molasses and baking soda
  2. Add the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and fresh ginger and whisk
    until smooth


  1. Add the Coffee Mixture to the Flour Mixture and whisk until
    smooth
  2. pour 1-1/3 C batter into each prepared cake pan
  3. Bake 12-14 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean
  4. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes
  5. Invert cakes onto wire racks
  6. Remove parchment paper and re-invert the cakes
  7. Wipe the pans with paper towels
  8. Once again, grease and flour the two 8" cake pans
  9. Line each pan with fresh parchment paper
  10. Repeat steps 2-6 with the remaining batter
FROSTING
  • 3 stick (24 TBS) unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat the butter on
    medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
  2. Add the cooled Milk Mixture and vanilla and mix on medium speed
    until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed
  3. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is light
    and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes


  1. Place 1 cake layer on platter
  2. Using an offset spatula, spread 3/4 C of frosting evenly over
    the layer
  3. Repeat with 2 more layers of cake, frosting each layer with 3/4
    C of frosting
  4. Place the final cake layer on the top and spread remaining
    frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake
  5. Garnish to outside top with crystallized ginger, if using
  6. Refrigerate cake until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes,
    before serving

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Candy Puffcorn

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3.5 oz bag Butter Puffcorn
  • 12 oz almond bark
  • 1 1/2 cups Christmas candies
  • 2-3 TBSP Christmas sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. Pour puffcorn in a large bowl.
  3. Place almond bark in a small glass or porcelain bowl and microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Let sit 2 minutes, then microwave for an additional 20 seconds, if needed. Stir until smooth and pour over puffcorn.
  4. Stir until almond bark completely coats puffcorn, then transfer mixture onto the prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle with Christmas candy and holiday sprinkles. Let cool to set. 
  6. Gently break up into pieces and serve in a large bowl. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

$1,000,000 Pound Cake


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 C all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 sticks butter, softened 
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 C sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ C whole milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F
  2. Butter and flour an angel food/tube pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment whisk together the butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Whip for 5 minutes on medium-high.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment Add the sugar gradually beating on medium until light yellow in color. (Around 5 minutes)
  5. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  7. After all has been added, beat for 1-2 minutes until the flour has fully incorporated.
  8. Spread evenly into the pan and bounce on the counter, if needed to settle.
  9. Place into the oven and bake for 1 hr 30-45 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes back clean.
  10. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove the outer ring. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

HAT TIP

Almond Snowball Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1/2 TBS orange zest from 1 medium orange


DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter, powdered sugar and  vanilla extract, until smooth.
  2. Add flour a little at a time, mixing on medium/low speed between each addition, then add salt and almond flour, mixing to combine.
  3. Add orange zest and fold with a spatula until it is well incorporated. The dough should stick to the spatula but not to clean fingertips.
  4. Roll or scoop dough into 1-inch balls. Place cookies on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Bake at 400˚F for 11-13 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. 
  5. Transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes.
  6. Fill a bowl with 1 to 1½ cups powdered sugar and while cookies are warm (not hot), roll them in powdered sugar then place on wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Roll them a second time in powdered sugar.
Makes about 35-40 cookies. 

Sausage & Cheddar Balls

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 C Bisquick mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 lb pork breakfast sausage
  • 3 c shredded fresh sharp cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ c water
  • Dijon or honey mustard for dipping

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat to 350°F. 
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the Bisquick, garlic salt, dry mustard, paprika.
  4. Add the green onion, sausage, shredded cheddar cheese and water. 
  5. Mix until all of the ingredients are fully moistened and evenly distributed.
  6. Roll into approximately 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
  8. Serve immediately with mustard for dipping.
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