Monday, November 25, 2013

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
Cookies cooling
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 2 baking sheets with crisco. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric beater. Add in one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Cookies with icing

Gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined.

Roll cookie dough into 2 Tablespoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake 10-13 minutes or until the bottoms start to turn golden. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

To make the icing: Combine the milk and sugar in a bowl. Stir until all the lumps are gone. Spread gently over the cooling cookies. Let the icing set before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Here's a link to the recipe I used:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Orange Cranberry Bread

1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, cold

Cooking spray
Before baking
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh cranberry, chopped
1 large egg
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make the streusel: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together. Grate in the cold butter. Then mash it up into large crumbs. Set aside.

To make the bread: Spray a bread pan with cooking oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cranberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and sugars. Make sure there are no lumps. Then whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk until just combined.

After baking
Pour into the prepared bread pan. Top evenly with the streusel. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing. If you get impatient, and don't let it cool completely, it will not come out of the pan well.

This bread is delicious and moist. A crowd pleaser.

Here is a link to the original recipe I adapted: 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Peppermint Bark

17 oz. white chocolate (not white chips), finely chopped
First layer
30 hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Turn a large baking sheet upside down, and cover it securely with aluminum foil. Measure out a 9x12-inch rectangle on the foil.

Put the white chocolate in a metal bowl, and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth; if you take its temperature with a candy thermometer, it should register 110 F.

White chocolate and peppermint
Remove the chocolate from the heat. Pour 2/3 cup onto the rectangle on the foil. Using an icing spatula, spread the chocolate to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Combine the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, and pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle. Using an icing spatula, spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Bittersweet chocolate layer
Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water to 110 F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm bittersweet layer, using your icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift the foil from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. Using a metal spatula, slip the bark off of the foil and onto the cutting board. Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or just cut it into the size pieces you want.

Peppermint Bark

Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: