Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....


What do you do when you live in New England and this is what you get the last Sunday before Christmas??? 18 inches of fluffy white snow~You come on in where it is warm, the Christmas lights are on, there is a fire roaring and of course my oven is on~

First off I figure it is a perfect day to get some of my baking done. Hubby is outside with the snow blower and Baby it's cold outside! SO I start with some cheesecake...a couple of years ago I found these two smaller pans that together hold the same amount as my large pan. The regular large cheesecake is too much for just us. I bake the two smaller ones and you can either freeze one(cheesecake freezes really well) or do what I do, you can gift one. The second one this time will go to Hubby's work.







The crust is butter, sugar and flour with grated lemon peel.




See my two smaller pans, they are 8" pans.





Now I will make a couple different toppings, strawberries, blueberries, or cherries.







Now, on to some cookies. This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens, I got it many years ago, but I have seen it published almost each year. These chocolate cherries are my daughters favorite. You make the cookie dough, roll it into balls, press down a spot for the cherry.

CHOCOLATE-COVERED CHERRY COOKIES

1 1/2 CUPS FLOUR

1/2 CUP UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER

1/2 CUP BUTTER OR MARGARINE

1 CUP SUGAR

1/4 TSP SALT

1/4 TSP. BAKING POWDER

1/4 TSP BAKING SODA

1 EGG

1 1/2 TSP VANILLA

48 UNDRAINED MARASCHINO CHERRIES, (ABOUT A 10 OZ. JAR)

1 6 OZ PKG. OF SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE PIECES

1/2 CUP SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK

In a mixing bowl combine flour and cocoa; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med to high speed about 30 seconds or until softened. Add sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat till well combined. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down center of each ball with thumb. Drain cherries, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center of each cookie. In a small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk, heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of reserved cherry juice.


Spoon about 1 tsp of the frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. (Frosting may be thinned with additional cherry juice if necessary.)

Bake in 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or till done. Remove to wire rack to cool.












Then frost them before you bake them. Yummy!








This cookie is every ones favorite. It is Oatmeal, toffee cookie from Martha Stewart. I make an extra roll up to keep in refrigerator. When some one stops by you can pop a sheet of them in the oven. Not only that it is the only way I can guarantee there will be any left. The cookies disappear as fast as I bake them.


OATMEAL TOFFEE COOKIES

1 1/2 CUPS FLOUR

1 TSP. BAKING SODA

1 CUP (2 STICKS) BUTTER ROOM TEMPERATURE

3/4 CUP LIGHT BROWN SUGAR

1 EGG

1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

1 1/2 CUPS OATMEAL

1 CUP DRIED CHERRIES

1 CUP BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE (4 1/2 OZ.) COARSELY CHOPPED

(I use semi sweet morsels in mine)

1 CUP OF TOFFEE PIECES


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and baking soda and set aside. In an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice during the mixing. Add egg; mix on high speed to combine. Add vanilla extract; mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of bowl.


Add the flour in additions on a low speed until well combined. On low speed add oatmeal, cherries, chocolate and toffee pieces, mix to combine.


Divide the dough into three equal portions and roll into logs using plastic wrap, approximately 1 1/2 in in diameter. Dough can be frozen, chilled in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days or baked immediately. Cut logs into 3/4 in pieces. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool.




The next cookie is a crescent cookie. I cut this recipe from a Country Living Mag years ago. My son loves them. I sent a huge batch to Iraq when he was there. I know I will ship more of to Afghanistan next Christmas along with some of all the rest.
CRESCENT COOKIES
~Make these delicious melt in your mouth cookies a part of your holiday tradition~
2 CUP FLOUR
1 1/2 CUP GROUND ALMONDS OR PECANS
1 1/2 CUP UNSIFITED POWDERED SUGAR
1 CUP BUTTER
1/8 TSP SALT
1TBSP VANILLA
In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine unsifted flour, nuts and 1 cup of the sugar. butter, salt, & vanilla. Mix well. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 36 balls. Form each into a crescent;place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Sift remaining sugar over cookies.
This recipe was illustrated by Susan Branch when she used to do Country Livings Pantry. I tried to scan it in because it was so cute, like all of Susan's work, but I could not get it to look good.


I need to pack some up or they will be gone. I love to make up packages for some of my friends and drop them off. I also make up four jars of fudge sauce. I have not decorated the jars yet. I will post them later. The fudge sauce is requested by family and friends each year. It is tasty over vanilla ice cream.


All in all, I got a lot done today. I made a big dent in the baking and now have to shop for the Christmas meal and bake some pies and breads too.






I pulled out the Meyer's peppermint counter spray, cleaned up and sat down with a cup of gingerbread coffee and a couple of cookies





Someone asked me to share the Gingerbread men recipe; This is an all time favorite and my day was made at the craft fair when a child came up and said "I need some of the gingerbread men, I remember them from last year and came back to get more" My own family love them, but a stranger made my day! They had sold out in the first hour and believe me there were many delish goodies there.
GINGERBREAD-MEN COOKIES
from Good housekeeping cookbook circa 1972
2 1/4 CUP FLOUR
1/2 CUP SUGAR
1/2 CUP SHORTENING
1/2 CUP LIGHT MOLASSES
1 EGG
1 1/2 TSP CINNAMON
1 TSP DOUBLE-ACTING BAKING POWDER
1 TSP GINGER
1 TSP GROUND CLOVES
1/2 TSP NUTMEG
1/2 TSP BAKING SODA
1/2 TSP SALT
Ornamental Cookie Frosting optional
Early in the day;
Into a large bowl, measure all ingredients, except ornamental frosting.
With mixer at medium speed, beat ingredients until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/8 in thick. With cutter, cut out gingerbread men. Place one half an inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until browned. Remove cookies to rack to cool.
Ornamental frosting (make just before use)
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg white*
Sift sugar and cream of tartar through a fine sieve; add egg white. With mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is stiff, so a knife drawn through it leaves a clean path.
*(you could use meringue powder)
Seeing the pleasure my family gets from the baking makes it all worth while. I love how excited everyone gets when they come in the back door and smell cookies.

4 comments:

Raggedy Angel said...

I think I gained 10 pounds ....just lookin'! Your home looks lovely!!! Beth

carolyn@primitive~devotion said...

YUM! What delicious goodies you have made! And I must say that your kitchen is beautiful! I love your professional stove and the cupboards and black counter tops! Just gorgeous!
The snow is beautiful too and I hope we get some this season. Normally, if we get it, it is after Christmas. But that's okay too.
Christmas Blessings to you!

Mrs. P. said...

Oh, such a productive, snowed in day. All your baked goods look wonderful...especially those cheesecakes. Great tip on freezing one :)

CHRISTmas Blessings!
Gail

Grammy Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

In case I am not back again this week I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!