Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter Sugar Cookies

Are you cookied out?


I'm not. I honestly don't think I could ever be cookied out. I just love cookies way too much. When I was little my mom used to call me the cookie monster. I guess I never grew out of it. I think cookies are also good to have around when you have guests and they are perfect for a party. Some desserts are too intimidating and people will be less likely to try them. But have you ever met somebody who is intimidated by a cookie? Nope, me neither. As for these sugar cookies, they are simple, classic, and delicious. If you are feeling ambitious you can pipe fancy decorations for your cookies, or you can take the easy way out like me and dust them with a little sanding sugar. I made this baby blue sugar by putting 1/4 cup of sugar in a zip lock bag with a few drops of blue food coloring. All you have to do is shake and squish it around until it is evenly blended.

Classic Sugar Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 almond extract
2 eggs

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until fully absorbed. Separate dough into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a clean floured surface, roll out one disk of dough at a time to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Decorate as desired.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eggnog Sandwich Cookies

How Festive.


Some people love eggnog, others hate it. I am one of those people that love it. As a result of my love of the creamy nog, I knew I wanted to make a cookie that would capture the essence of this holiday drink. If you remember the lemon sandwich cookies I made this past summer, I thought they were a good starting point. I used a white cake mix to make the cookies and then made my own eggnog buttercream. If you share the love of eggnog like I do, then you should try these.

Eggnog Sandwich Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

Cookies

1 (18.25) package white or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons eggnog
1/4 - 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oils, vanilla extract, nutmeg and eggnog until blended. If mixture is very wet slowly add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour until the dough comes together.

Drop teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown. Move cookies to a cooling rack and using your spatula gently flatten your cookies.

Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum flavoring
2-3 tablespoons eggnog

Cream butter, vanilla extract, and rum flavoring. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of eggnog and beat until fluffy, adding more if needed.

Assembly:

Frost the flat side of the cookie. Lightly place the flat side of an unfrosted cookie on top. Press down until a bit of the frosting begins to poke out of the sides. If you want to decorate the edges, place your sprinkles/chips/etc. in a small bowl, and dip the sides of the cookie in it, rolling the cookie around to coat all sides.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

This is a new one for me.


About a month ago somebody at work offered me a Gingerbread Butterscotch Cookie. I was not going to have one because I was actually trying to make better food choices, but I did not want to be rude and I really wanted to taste the cookie :) I was surprised by how much I loved the cookie. I don't know about you, but I had never tried gingerbread and butterscotch together. Let me tell you they are amazing together!!! They definitely have the Christmas feel with the spice of the Gingerbread, but they are a chewy cookie with the sweetness of butterscotch. If you are snowed in today (like me) you should go make these.

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg and molasses 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. Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Sunday, December 13, 2009

POM Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Goes perfectly with opening presents.


A while ago the generous people at POM Wonderful sent me a case of their 100% Pomegranate Juice. They did not ask me to blog about it or even make a recipe with it, but the moment I took my first sip I knew I wanted to make something with pumpkin and pomegranate. Boy am I glad I came up with that ideal because these muffins were fantastic! I think they would be the perfect accompaniment to Christmas morning. Now go bake them!

POM Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
recipe from Baked Perfection

Yield: 24 muffins


For the muffins:

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree


For the filling:

1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice

1 tbsp white sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar


For the topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

2 tsp cinnamon


Directions:


To prepare the filling, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring pomegranate juice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until reduced by about a third, 10-12 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup nested in a bowl of ice water and stir constantly until syrup is thick and barely warm to touch, 3-4 minutes. Remove from ice water. Combine the cooled pomegranate syrup, cream cheese, and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.Chill mixture in the fridge while preparing the muffins.


To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. Beat together the eggs, oil, sugars and pumpkin puree until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined.


To make the topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together until crumbly.


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. Spoon a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the topping over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.



And the winner is....

Kerstin, who said:

Awesome truffles! They look like they'd be the hit of a holiday party!

I'd really like these pistachios! http://www.ohnuts.com/buy.cfm/pistachio-assortment-gift-box

Thanks to all who entered.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Butterscotch Pecan Cookie Mix in a Jar (and don't forget to enter my Give Away)

What a lovely gift.


A couple weeks ago the
wonderful people from C&H® / Domino® Sugar contacted me and asked if I would like them to sponsor a post on Baked Perfection. What baking blog is complete without sugar? Of course I jumped at the opportunity. To help with expenses they sent me a $20 gift card to use on ingredients. There are a ton of delicious recipes and treats on the C&H® / Domino® Sugar website, but I really wanted to make a cookie mix in a jar to give as a gift. I have wanted to make a cookie mix in a jar for years, but never got around to it. After finding the perfect jar for a mix I knew I had to make something. The C&H® / Domino® Sugar website had several great options, but in the end the butterscotch and pecans in this recipe won me over. If you know anybody that loves to bake I think this would be a perfect gift.

Also, don't forget to enter the Give Away on my cookie dough truffle post!

Butterscotch Pecan Cookie Mix in a Jar
recipe from C&H® / Domino® Sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Spoon into 1 quart, widemouthed canning jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order given, making sure to pack down each layer firmly. Clean inside of jar with a dry paper towel after each layer. Decorate lid by cutting fabric into a 7-inch wide square or circle. Secure with a rubber band and tie with a decorative ribbon and accents. Attach these instructions to the jar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together 2/3 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Slowly add contents of jar and mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 3 dozen.