Tag Archive | baking

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

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What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Maybe yours isn’t a cookie, but fudge or cheese ball…
Or some kind of bread.
For that matter, what is your favorite holiday food?
Why?
The thing that makes any of these delicacies special is the memory and feeling associated with them.
It’s so pleasant to remember when Mom used to make that pudding or mincemeat pie.

One of my favorite cookies that I only allow at Christmas is known by several names, including- Mexican Wedding Cakes or Nut Puffs.  I used to have a friend who called them, “death balls” because, “They’re death to any diet.”

They are on my list of things I like too well to make, because it’s so hard to leave them alone.  As cookies go, they’re simple:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (If you bake properly and use unsalted butter)
More powdered sugar

You know the drill right:  Cream the butter and sugar together, ad the vanilla and cream a bit more; sift the flour and salt; then mix them into the butter mixture.  Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky; refrigerate for 1/2 hour if it’s too soft.  Drop in teaspoon-sized balls on a cookie sheet and bake at 375-400 for about 8-10 minutes.

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While warm, roll in powdered sugar; allow to cool.  (At least to the point that you can pick them up without burning your fingers!)

Then, get a large glass of milk or a cup of something hot.
Sit down and enjoy.

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Hmmm, pretty much butter, flour and sugar; yet soooo yummy!

Are you baking this holiday season???

PUMPKIN CAKE

I often create recipes, mostly because I can’t find things made the way I like them.
This week, it’s pumpkin cake.
My goal was to have something healthy that tastes good.
So, here it is:

List #1
2 cups pumpkin (I grow and process my own.)
1 cup yogurt  (Plain or honey works well; fruit yogurt wouldn’t be too bad.)
1/2 cup water
2 eggs

List #2
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey (I get raw honey from a local natural foods store)
1/4 cup molasses (also purchased where I know the quality is good.)

List #3
2/3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour (I made my own by putting oatmeal in a grinder.)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Oven:  350 degrees

Directions
1.  Put list #1 in the food processor.  Blend it until all of the pumpkin is pureed and everything is well combined.
2.  Put list #2 in a saucepan over low heat.  Warm and stir them until everything is combined.  Take the pan off the heat, but don’t let it sit long enough to cool.
3.  Put list #3 in a mixing bowl.  Stir with a fork
4.  Ad list #1 to list #2.  Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.  This will cool the oils and sugars, but they’ll be blended by then.
5.  Add all of that to the dry ingredients.  Mix well.
6.  Pour into a lightly greased cake pan. (I used my 9x9in one.)
7.  Bake for 40 minutes or until done.
8.  Set on a rack to cool.

I decided this needed a little something on it, so I made…
Walnut-crunch Topping

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (I used walnuts this time, but think cashews would be good.)

Directions:
Melt the coconut oil and butter together in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the brown sugar, stirring constantly.
When the sugar is almost completely melted, add the nuts.
Stir until nuts are thoroughly coated.
Sprinkle on the top of the cake; let cool and set.

I took my cake over to some friends’ house.  WE put some vanilla yogurt on it.  That was good.  A little pour cream would also work…or just

eat it as it is.

I am thinking this would be good as a gluten free recipe, with coconut flour and maybe oat flour.  I haven’t done enough gluten free cooking to know what I’m doing, so I welcome any ideas.
Try, enjoy; share variations and improvements.