Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Around the World. Classic American Sugar Cookies #Christmas Cookies


Today I have decided to stay right in the good ol' USA and am bringing a recipe for Classic American Sugar Cookies provided by Betty Crocker.  




Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies, hosted by Family Around the Table and Cooking With Carlee. We are filling the season with all kinds of delicious cookies.  Be sure to check out some of the recipes below or you can follow along on Facebook or Twitter by searching #ChristmasCookies.  We also have a 12 Days of Cookies Pinterest board where you can see all of the goodness!  May your holidays be sweet!

Classic American Sugar Cookies
source: Betty Crocker

1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c. butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 c.. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
colored sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and egg.  On low speed stir in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar until moistened, increase speed and mix well.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Roll the dough, on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes and sprinkle with colored sugar. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375* oven for 7-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Print Recipe

More #ChristmasCookies as we celebrate the 12 Days.



Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots for #FoodieExtravaganza


The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. We take turns hosting and this month it's Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook.

December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day and Lauren challenged us to bake with, cook with, or make a beverage with maple syrup. (For some international bloggers who can't find maple syrup, they'll be joining the fun with honey as a substitute.)


December is a very busy month for everyone so I wanted to share a recipe that is quick, easy and perfect to serve during the holidays.  I love serving glazed carrots as a side to so many dishes. Almost everyone loves carrots and glazing them with a little sweetener is always a winner.  I normally just do my carrots on the stovetop with butter, olive oil and brown sugar.  The other night when I was going to serve carrots as a side for the meatloaf I had made for dinner I remembered that we were celebrating Maple Syrup this month and decided to change things up.


I tossed the carrot slices with some olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and put them in the oven to roast while my meatloaf was baking.  It doesn't get any easier than that.  The carrots took about half an hour at 350* which is what my oven was at to bake the meatloaf.  You can adjust the time according to any oven temp.  If just roasting them on their own use a hot oven, 425*, for 15-20 minutes.  I was only feeding 2 of us, feel free to adjust the ingredients according to the number you are feeding.

Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots

3 carrots, peeled and slice into 1/2" diagonal disks
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1 1/2 t. maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a shallow baking pan and roast at 350* for 30-40 minutes, until tender and browned in spots.  Print Recipe


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 If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.




Don't forget to check out all these other maply recipes:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Around the World. Susenky (Czech Foundation Cookies) #ChristmasCookies

We are halfway through the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies event.  I decided to travel the World and I am having a blast.  I hope that you are as well.



Welcome to 12 Days of Cookies, hosted by FamilyAroundTheTable and CookingwithCarlee. We'll are sharing delicious cookie recipes all week long in celebration of the holiday season. Perfect for your holiday cookie trays or party dessert table. Search #ChristmasCookies to see all the goodies these 12 days. Follow the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Pinterest board for more cookie ideas. 

Today I am off to the birthplace of my maternal Grandmother, Czechoslavakia.  I don't remember my Grandma ever making cookies.  I remember her raisin bread and her blueberry pie.  I remember head cheese and tongue.  I remember stews and soups.  But I don't ever remember homemade cookies.

Not having a "hand me down" recipe from Grandma's home country, I did the next best thing.  I headed over to About.com where Barbara Rolek, Eastern European Food Expert posts all kinds of great recipes. That is where I found this recipe for Susenky.




This recipe is perfect today, December 6th, as it is St. Nicholas Day.  Today is the day when those of us who have Czech heritage, begin the celebration of the Christmas season.  We are going to my daughter, Amy's, for dinner tonight as we have for the past 3 St. Nick Days.  I am bringing these cookies to share.



This cookie is, thus far, the most time consuming. Mostly because it is a butter cookie that need to be rolled thin and then cut into your desired shape.  The cookies are very buttery so you....
  • Roll them between 2 sheets of parchment
  • Remove the top parchment
  • Cut into desired shape
  • Remove scraps from between cookies
  • Add a "window" to half of the shaped cookies
  • Bake
  • Cool
  • Sprinkle the window cookies with powdered sugar
  • Spread jam on the bottom cookie
  • Top with the window cookie
Each batch was only 6 -8 cookies so this took a while.  It was not difficult, just time consuming, so plan it on a day when you have a lot of free time, turn on the Christmas music and enjoy.  I chose to make mine with a window and jam but you could also sprinkle with colored sugar or frost them with cookie icing.  The only adaptation I made to this recipe was to add a pinch of salt as I used unsalted butter. 

Susenky 
slightly adapted from Barbara Rolek, Eastern European Food Expert

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
4 c. flour
Strawberry jam (or your favorite flavor)
Powdered sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Mix in the vanilla.  Add the salt and 1/2 c. of the flour, mix at low speed until combined. Gradually mix in remaining flour until you have a smooth dough.

Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper to a thickness of 3/16" if sandwiching cookies and/or 1/8" if sugaring or icing the cookies.  Remove top piece of parchment and cut cookies into desired shapes.  Remove scraps from between cookies and return to unrolled dough.  Cut a window into half of the cookies. Place the parchment onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 8-10 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sprinkle the cookies with a window with powdered sugar.  Smear a small amount of jam onto each bottom cookie and top with the sugared cookie.  

Repeat until all dough is used.  Print Recipe  


Here are the other offerings on Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies







Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Around the World. Pebber Nodder (Danish Spiced Shortbreads) #ChristmasCookies

On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me........A platter of Danish Spiced Shortbreads that are better than 5 Golden Rings any day of the week!!!


These bite sized morsels gently spiced with cinnamon and cardamom are truly amazing.  I cannot get enough of them and they are ridiculously easy to make.  




Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies, hosted by Family Around the Table and Cooking With Carlee. We are filling the season with all kinds of delicious cookies.  Be sure to check out some of the recipes below or you can follow along on Facebook or Twitter by searching #ChristmasCookies.  We also have a 12 Days of Cookies Pinterest board where you can see all of the goodness!  May your holidays be sweet!

I decided to travel the World during my 12 Days and today's stop is in the lovely Country of Denmark, reported to be the happiest Country in the World.  It is no wonder, if they are all going around nibbling on these delectable little treats!

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com.  It was submitted by YAC2004.  I followed the recipe as written.  I was a little concerned because the dough was very crumbly and I had a hard time molding it to the "size of your finger" as the recipe stated....unless you are a giant....then it would have been the size of your finger...haha. But I persevered and cut the "giant fingers" into 1/2" discs and they turned out lovely.

Pebber Nodder
source:  YAC2004 on AllRecipes

1 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. cardamom

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Turn the speed to low and add the flour, cardamom and cinnamon, increasing speed once combined and beating until just blended.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces.  Roll and press each piece into a log about 1" thick,  Cut into 1/2" discs and place on an ungreased baking pan.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  Print Recipe

Let's see what the others are sharing on Day 5 of #ChristmasCookies



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Around the World. Lebkuchen (German Spice Cookies) #ChristmasCookies

We are 1/3 of the way through our 12 Days of Christmas Cookie Event.  Yep, today is Day 4 as we travel the globe celebrating Christmas around the world.  Thus far, I have shared Anginetti from Italy, Rogaliki from Poland and Ghraybeh from Lebanon.



Today we are traveling to Germany where we will try these delicious, frosted spice cookies containing candied fruit.  It is like individual little fruitcakes, absolutely amazing.


I found this recipe on Epicurious.  I had to adapt it quite a bit but they still turned out spectacular and are a great addition to my Global Cookie Platter.  The original recipe calls for 3/4 c. hazelnuts and 3 T. baking cocoa.  I couldn't find any shelled hazelnuts and did not want to shell them myself so I adapted by eliminating the cocoa, cutting down on the sugar and using Nutella.  The recipe also calls for you to grind the almonds with the dry ingredients to make the nut flour.  I used my Vitamix but you could just as easily substitute almond flour instead of grinding the almonds.

The original recipe also called for cutting rounds from rice paper on which to place the cookies.  I don't know who has time for that nonsense when baking for Christmas but certainly not I.  I covered my baking sheet with parchment.

Lebkuchen
adapted from Epicurious.com

3/4 c. sliced almonds
2 3/4 c. flour
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. cloves
generous pinch of salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 c. Nutella 
3/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. honey
4 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 c. finely diced fruitcake mix
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. water

Finely grind the almonds with the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking powder and baking soda using a heavy duty blender or food processor.  

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Nutella, brown sugar, honey and butter until creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture until just blended.  Stir in the candied fruitcake mix. The dough will be like a fudge brownie type mixture.

Using a cookie scoop, place the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet approximately 2" apart. Bake in a preheated 350* oven for about 15 minutes, until the surface no longer looks wet. Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl and stir in the water until smooth.  Using a knife or an offset spatula, place a swipe of frosting onto each cookie.  Print Recipe


Welcome to 12 Days Christmas Cookies, hosted by FamilyAroundTheTable and CookingwithCarlee. We'll be sharing delicious cookie recipes all week long in celebration of the holiday season. Perfect for your holiday cookie trays or party dessert table. Search #ChristmasCookies to see all the goodies these 12 days. Follow the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Pinterest board for more cookie ideas. Please visit all the blogs sharing cookie recipes today:

Here are the offerings for Day 4 of the 12 Days of #ChristmasCookies


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Weekly Menu for the First Week of Advent




Happy Advent everyone.  It is a time of great anticipation as we ready the way for the Lord.  We start our preparations by decorating for Christmas. The first item to be displayed is the Advent Wreath. This comes out on the first day of Advent which is always the 4th Sunday before Christmas.

Image result for st nicholas day

The remaining decorations follow shortly thereafter so that all is ready in time for the Christmas season. In this household, that season begins on December 6th with St. Nicholas Day and ends on January 6th with the Epiphany.

Image result for epiphany


Frank is finishing up the cabinets on either side of the fireplace.   Stay tuned for those photos.  We hope to get both the inside and outside decorations complete before St. Nicholas Day but need to have it completed by next weekend when Santa arrives to have lunch with all the littles in the family.

Today, we have our annual Dive Shop Christmas gathering.  We all bring a dish to pass...I have been baking my heart out in the 12 Days of #ChristmasCookies event so that is what we will be bringing to the table.  Tingting is dropping Mel off with us after her gymnastics class.

Tomorrow morning we will be singing at Mass.  Tomorrow afternoon is slated for the outdoor decorations.

Monday during the day we will finish the outside and start the inside decorations.  Nicole and Pierre are having the Klik family over for a holiday dinner.  I was asked to bring Deviled Eggs and I am also bringing an appetizer to pass.

Tuesday we will continue the inside decorations before going to Amy and Doug's for our annual St. Nicholas Day celebration.  I will be posting more about this later in the week.  I am bringing a cookie platter, using some more of the cookies I am sharing all week long.

By Wednesday, our decorating should be complete and I can start concentrating on the upcoming parties that we are planning.   On Friday, we are having our first dinner party of the season.

So here is the Weekly Menu.  Please stop by each day as we post our updates on the house, decorations, recipes and photos.

Soup Saturday
Turkey Frame Soup (using turkey frame from Thanksgiving)

Sunday Supper
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Salad

Monday
Dinner at Nic and Pierre's

Tuesday
Dinner at Amy and Doug's

Wednesday
Leftover Turkey Soup
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Thursday
Dinner out before Choir

Friday-Dinner Party with friends
Shrimp wrapped in Basil Leaves
Mom Klik's Mushroom Soup
Chopped Salad
Prime Rib Roast
Fully Loaded Stuffed Potatoes
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Creme Brulee


Christmas Around the World. Ghraybeh (Lebanese Butter Cookies) #ChristmasCookies

Welcome to Day 3 of the 12 Days of Cookies, hosted by Family Around the Table and Cooking With Carlee.  We will be filling the season with all kinds of delicious cookies.  Be sure to check out some of the recipes below or you can follow along on Facebook or Twitter by searching #ChristmasCookies.  We also have a 12 Days of Cookies Pinterest board where you can see all of the goodness!  May your holidays be sweet!

I am traveling around the world during these 12 days and bringing you a Christmas Cookie celebrated by different countries.  So far we have visited Italy with these delightful, bright, lemony Anginetti and Poland with these rich, decadent almond crescents called Rogaliki.

Today we are heading over to Lebanon and I am sharing these tender, orange flavored cookies called Ghraybeh.  Ghraybeh can be coated in powdered sugar if you like a sweeter cookie.  I like just a touch of sweetness so chose to top mine with pine nuts.  I LOVE pine nuts and these cookies with just a hint of orange are the perfect foil for them.


These little darlings only contain 4 ingredients and no eggs so they are perfect for any of you who suffer from allergies.  I found this recipe on a new (to me) blog, Rosewater and Orange Blossoms. The author of this blog lives right here in my home State of Michigan and shares "fresh and classic Lebanese recipes".  I have a feeling I am going to be visiting this blog a lot.  Maureen posted this recipe for Lebanese Butter Cookies back in 2012.  I am very glad that I found it and I think you will be too.



Ghraybeh
slightly adapted from Rosewater and Orange Blossoms

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
1 t. orange blossom water
2 c. flour
Pine nuts for garnish

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip the butter at high speed for 5 minutes, scraping occasionally, until creamy and pale.  Add the sugar and orange blossom water and beat until fluffy.  Turn the speed to low and mix in the flour, 1/2 c. at a time, until well combined. Cover the dough and let rest for half an hour.

Form handfuls of the dough into 1/2" logs and then slice the logs into 1/2" diagonal slices.  Place onto a heavy, ungreased baking pan and press a few pine nuts into each cookie. Bake in a preheated 300* oven for 20-25 minutes, until the bottom of the cookie is golden but the top has not browned at all. Let cool completely on the pan before removing.  Print Recipe

Day 3 of 12 Days of #ChristmasCookies