Halloween

Butterscotch Oatmeal Blondies

October 18, 2012

Butterscotch Oatmeal Blondies

I have always been in love with butterscotch.  These Butterscotch Oatmeal Blondies are super easy to make and won’t last long in your household. 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

3 Large Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats

1 2/3 Cups Butterscotch Chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl beat the eggs for 1 minute.  Add the softened butter, the sugars and the vanilla.  Beat for another minute.  Slowly add the flour mixture and beat for 30 seconds.  Add the oats and butterscotch chips and mix until just combined.  Line a 13 x 9 oblong pan with parchment paper or prepare the pan by greasing it.  I like using parchment paper though.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until done.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.  Makes about 2 dozen bars. 

Butternut Squash Soup

October 15, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is the PERFECT fall soup.  Enough said!

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Chopped Onions

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder

4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

2 Pounds Peeled, Seeded & Cubed Butternut Squash

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Half & Half

In a large size stockpot over a medium high heat, sauté the chopped onions in the olive oil for 2 minutes or just until they are soft.  Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth (or vegetable broth), butternut squash and the kosher salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Ladle in the squash and the liquid into either a food processor or a blender.  Pulse until the mixture is a nice puree.  Return the pureed squash mixture to the stockpot and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the half and half and cook for another 5 minutes.  Serve warm.  Serves 8

Banana Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

October 13, 2012

Banana Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

If you want a cupcake that will please a crowd then look no further.  These cupcakes are great as a snack or for dessert. 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

3 Medium Mashed Ripe Bananas

1/4 Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 Cups Cake Flour

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Frosting:

2 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Tablespoons Milk

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large size bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after each egg is added.  Add the mashed bananas, buttermilk, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Beat well.  In a medium size bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Mix well.  Pour the batter into paper lined muffin cups two thirds full.  Bake for 20 minutes until done.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove from the muffin cups and let cool completely on wire racks.  For the frosting: In a large size bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter until fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla and the milk.  Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes.  Makes 1 1/2 dozen

Double Dutch Brownies

October 9, 2012

Double Dutch Brownies

Melted chocolate and chocolate chips make these Double Dutch Brownies doubly delicious.  They are a real treat!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

2/3 Cups Butter

1/4 Cup Water

4 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips – Divided

4 Eggs

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Chocolate Frosting (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  In a large size heavy saucepan combine the sugar, butter and water.  Bring to a boil and stir constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of chocolate chips.  Cook until the chocolate chips have melted.  Set aside.  In a large size bowl mix together the eggs and vanilla extract.  Slowly pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  In another large size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture.  Add the remaining chocolate chips.  Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  When cooled either frost with chocolate frosting or just cut into squares.  YUM!!  Makes 3 dozen 

Pumpkin Bread

October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Fall is pumpkin time and baking it into bread is a great way to cook with it.  My pumpkin bread is moist and delicious.  Feel free to leave out the raisins or walnuts if you want. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Canned Pumpkin

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/4 Cup Milk

1 Cup Raisins (Optional)

1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.  In a large size mixing bowl combine the sugars, oil and eggs.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in the pumpkin, milk, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir in the raisins and nuts.  Pour into the greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  When done remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove from the pans by turn the pans over.  Slice when completely cool.  Makes 2 loaves. 

 

Sentimental Sugar Cookies

September 12, 2012

Sentimental Sugar Cookies

I grew up making and eating these delicious Sugar Cookies.  Sentimental Sugar Cookies are great all year round cookies as well as holiday cookies.  You can use colored sugar on the top or leave them plain. 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

1/2 Cup Shortening

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Egg Yolks

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

Preheat your oven to 300° F.  In a large size bowl beat together the butter and shortening with an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.  Beat until well combined.  Now beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.  Turn your mixer to low and beat in the flour.  Remove the beaters and shape the dough into 1 inch balls.  Place the cookie balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes until the edges are set.  Make sure not to let the edges brown.  Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Decorate with colored sugars if you desire.  Makes 48 cookies.

Spiced Apple Cider

December 4, 2011

Spiced Apple Cider

INGREDIENTS

8 Cups Apple Cider or Apple Juice

1 Medium Sliced Apple

1 Vanilla Bean Split Lengthwise

¼ Cup Honey

¼ Cup Maple Syrup

3 Whole Allspice Berries

3 Whole Cloves

2 Cinnamon Sticks

1 Star Anise

Peel of 1 Orange

Peel of 1 Lemon

In a sachet bag or piece of cheesecloth, combine the allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, anise, lemon & orange peels. Tie the cheesecloth with kitchen twine. In a large cooking pot combine the apple cider, apple slices, vanilla bean, honey and maple syrup. Add the spice bag. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Make sure not to boil. Remove from the heat and throw away the spice bag. Serve immediately. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Serves 6

Pumpkin Biscuits

November 30, 2011

Pumpkin Biscuits

These Pumpkin Biscuits are melt in your mouth good! Easy to make too!

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Plus 1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree

¼ Cup Melted Butter

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree and melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 8 times until the dough is smooth. Roll the dough to ½ inch thick. Use a 2 inch round cutter or the mouth of a glass. Cut the dough. Reroll the scraps once. Place the biscuits on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until they are lightly golden. Serve warm with butter and honey. Makes 1 dozen biscuits.

Pumpkin Soup

November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Not sure what to do with those Halloween pumpkins? Make pumpkin soup! It is a nice change of pace and goes well on a crisp fall day.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Pumpkin

1 Large Onion

1 Large Potato

1 Large Carrot

1 Celery Stalk

3 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Cream

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Chopped Chives or Italian Parsley To Garnish

Cut open the pumpkin(s) and remove the seeds. Cut out the meat of the pumpkin making sure not to use the skin. Chop up the pumpkin into chunks. Peel and chop the onion, potato and carrot. Remove any strings from the celery and then chop into pieces. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add all of the vegetables (including the pumpkin). Cook gently over a medium low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and don’t allow the vegetables to brown. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the vegetable stock cube. Stir. Simmer for 25 minutes over a low heat until the vegetables are just cooked. Turn off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a food processor and pulse until the soup is a purée. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender. Return the puréed vegetables to the saucepan and add both the salt & pepper. Add the cream and gently heat the soup for 10 minutes over a low heat. Add more vegetable stock if you would like to thin the soup out a bit. Remove from the heat and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or Italian parsley. Serves 4

Pumpkin Cake

October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Cake

This cake is so easy to make. It is a nice dessert or can be eaten as a breakfast cake. You can put frosting on this cake if you like, but I don’t think that it needs it.

INGREDIENTS

3 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Olive Oil

5 Eggs

3 1/3 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 ½ Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2/3 Cup Water

15 Ounces Pumpkin Puree

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a Bundt pan or two 9x5x3 inch cake pans and set aside. In an extra large mixing bowl beat the sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Add the vanilla and set the sugar mixture aside. In another large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Alternately add the flour mixture and the water to the sugar mixture. Beat on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in the pumpkin and then spoon batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan(s) and cool completely on a wire rack. Serves 8

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