Saturday, December 19, 2009

Challah Wreath

Makes 2 wreaths

  • 1 lb water
  • 2 oz fresh yeast
  • 2 lb 12 oz hi-gluten flour
  • 4 oz sugar
  • .75 oz salt
  • 8 oz eggs
  • 4 oz oil
  1. Mix yeast and water together first, then combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl and mix on low for 12 minutes.
  2. Ferment dough in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. (Some people put it in the oven with the oven off but the light on.)
  3. Scale the dough into logs.* Each wreath will need 6 logs (3 of each size). So scale six - 6 oz logs, and six - 4 oz logs). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has rested, roll out each log into a long strand. Cover and let rest again for a few minutes then roll once more. The longer the strands the bigger your wreath will be.
  5. Braid 3 pieces of 6 oz strands together, pinching the ends. Do the same for the 4 oz strands.
  6. Egg wash the top of the 6 oz strand braid and place the 4 oz strand braid on top.
  7. Shape into a wreath, place on sheet pan with parchment and egg wash.
  8. Repeat steps 5 - 7 for your second wreath.
  9. Place sheet pan in oven once again with just the light on for about 20 minutes or until dough has proofed.
  10. Egg wash again and then bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
*When scaling the logs, if there is enough left over dough you can use it to make a regular 3 braid challah loaf.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 12: Oatmeal Scotchies

It's the last day of cookies. How sad. :o( For the last cookie, I made something I had never heard of this until this year, and boy are these cookies yummy! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Scotchies
Makes about 4 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Once creamed add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined and creamy. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Thanks for joining me for my 12 Days of Cookies!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 11: Scotcharoos

Butterscotch and chocolate and peanut butter, oh my! These little yummies won't last long. And of course, my favorite part about baking! Super easy to make. :o)

Scotcharoos (from All Recipes)
Makes 24 bars

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Generously butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, mix together corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in crisp rice cereal.

3. Transfer mixture into a well buttered 9x13 inch pan. With your hands well buttered, pat it down into pan.

4. In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips until smooth. Spread over top of bars and let bars cool. Cut into squares.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 10: Thin Mints

I think you will either love or hate these crackers. I had a lot of people who love thin mint cookies, say these tasted almost just like them, and they loved them! Other people just didn't the idea of a chocolate on a cracker. I really enjoyed them, and I hope you will too!

Thin Mints
Makes 80

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 80 Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Melt chocolate using a double boiler or the microwave. (Do not overheat or get water into the chocolate)
  2. Once chocolate is melted, stir in a couple drops of peppermint flavor into the chocolate.
  3. Dip crackers into the melted chocolate and then place onto a cold cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator to set. (The cold sheet tray will keep the bottoms neat.)
  4. After a few minutes take them out and package them up.
If you'd like to add sprinkles or crushed peppermint, do so after dipping and before refrigerating.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 9: Mudslides

If you love chocolate then these cookies are for you! You must have a scale to measure out the ingredients for this cookie. Sorry I don't have any other measurements.

Makes about 1 dozen large cookies

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 oz butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 oz sugar
  • .5 oz coffee extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 oz cake flour (or all-purpose if you don't have cake)
  • 1/3 tsp (or a little more than a 1/4tsp) baking powder
  • very small pinch of salt
  • 14 oz chocolate chips, frozen
  • 2 oz walnuts, chopped and frozen
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soft together the flour, baking power, and salt.
  3. Melt the unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Once melted remove from heat.
  4. Quickly whip the eggs, sugar, extract, and vanilla together.
  5. Slowly fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture continuously stirring.
  6. Fold the sifted ingredients into the mixture.
  7. Finally quickly add the frozen chocolate chips and walnuts.
  8. Use a large or small cookie scoop depending on what size cookies you want.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Batter will be very wet and liquid at first. If it is too liquid to hold any shape wait a minute or two before scooping, but don't wait too long because then the batter will get too hard to scoop.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 8: Snowballs

The classic snowball nut cookie. If you are a nut lover you may want to double the nuts in this recipe.

Makes 2 dozen.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Cream together butter and sugar, then mix in vanilla and salt.
  2. Gradually add flour to mixture and then chopped pecans. Mix until well combined.
  3. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place on baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 -15 minutes. Once they are light brown on the bottom they are done.
  7. Cool for about 5 minutes, and then roll in powdered sugar.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 7: Eggnog Thumbprints

These don't really have an eggnog taste in my opinion but other people thought so. Either way they are pretty good. :o)

Eggnog Thumbprints (from Allrecipes)
Makes 48

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together 3/4 cup butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; stir into the creamed mixture by hand to form a soft dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the center of each cookie using your finger or thumb.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, and rum. Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of filling onto cookies. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Let stand until set before storing in an airtight container.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 6: White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

This is my new favorite cookie. They are amazing! You must try these. Enough said.

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies (adapted from Food Network)
Makes 4 dozen

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup candied cherries (chopped in half or quarters depending on size)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.
  4. In another bowl, combine cherries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 5: Buckeyes

Buckeyes (from Allrecipes)
Makes 24

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
  3. Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  4. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 4: Chocolate Toffee Crunchies

These are very good and people loved them! It is almost like a Heath bar, but more crispy. And they are soooo easy and fast to make.

Chocolate Toffee Crunchies (from Allrecipes)

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), melted
  • 1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Combine crumbs, brown sugar and butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. In a saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat; boil and stir for 1 minute. Pour evenly over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand until chocolate is melted. Spread evenly over top; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 3: Candy Cane Cookies

When I found these cookies online I thought they were so adorable and I couldn't wait to make them!

Candy Cane Cookies (from Food Network)
Makes 25

  • 1 box sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for surface
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, cream cheese, and flour; mix together to form dough. Separate dough into 2 equal portions and place in 2 different bowls. Add red food coloring gradually to 1 bowl of dough, kneading together until desired shade of red is created. To second bowl of uncolored dough, add peppermint extract and knead together.

3. On a floured work surface, shape each dough into balls and then roll each ball into 1/4-inch-wide ropes, each about 6 inches long. For each cookie, carefully twist some of the red and white ropes of dough together and shape into a candy cane. Spread candy canes out on cookie sheets and bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.

Tips: Unless you are a huge peppermint fan I wouldn't add the peppermint. Only my dad enjoyed the peppermint taste of these cookies, everyone else would have preferred a regular sugar cookie. Also these were very difficult to twist together because they kept falling apart. So I ended up making some round "peppermints" with the rest of the dough. To make the peppermints in the picture below, just take a couple pieces of each dough and roll into a ball and press flat before baking.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 2: Butterscotch Drops

These were super easy and fast to make and were a huge hit with everyone! These are definitely tasty and if you haven't made them you should give them a try!

Butterscotch Drops (adapted from Allrecipes)
Makes 24

  • 1 (11 ounce) package butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups cornflakes cereal
  • 1 cup melted chocolate, to drizzle over top (optional)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together. Remove from stove and stir in cornflakes. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Chill to harden. Drizzle chocolate over top and chill again. Place in baking cups for serving.

All packed up and ready to go!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 1: Pumpkin Cookies

Welcome to Day 1 of 12 days of Cookies!

These pumpkin cookies are nice and soft with a delicious pumpkin flavor, and the easy to make glaze adds just the right amount of sweetness!

Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 36 cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop rounded tablespoon sized balls onto prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies (recipe for glaze below).
2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.