Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eggnog Pound Cake

Need a host or hostess gift for the holidays? How about the perfect teacher/coworker gift? I've got one for you! This delicious Eggnog Pound Cake is decadent and wraps beautifully for the perfect from-your-oven gift this season.

When I found this recipe an internet search turned up loads of different recipes. Many involved boxed cake mixes (yuck), rum, currants, or other ingredients I did not have on hand. This recipe I found from Chocolate, Chocolate, and More (check out her site, loads of great stuff!) was a simple and classic pound cake recipe that had a very subtle eggnog flavor. Perfect for my taste- nothing overwhelming. I hope you enjoy it!



Eggnog Pound Cake
(Recipe Source: Chocolate, Chocolate, and More)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup room temperature butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup eggnog

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons eggnog

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.

3. In a mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla.

5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the eggnog.

6. Spread into two prepared loaf pans.

7. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pans rest on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing. Remove the loaves and finish cooling completely before glazing.

8. Mix the glaze ingredients until it has reached a desired consistency. Pour over the cooled loaves. Let the glaze set before serving. Chill the bread before wrapping to give as a gift.


Other host/hostess holiday gift ideas:
Candy Cane Cookies & Cream Popcorn 
Candy Cane Marshmallows 
Easy Homemade Marshmallows
Hot Fudge Sauce
Peppermint Bark Munch

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Swedish Chocolate Balls

This past summer my girls' neighbor friends came to our house rather frequently to play. Almost everyday I was asked by one of the little girls, "Can we bake something today?" We would spend our summer baking up a variety of cookies. During one particularly hot day, I didn't really feel like cranking on the oven and thought we'd try making some easy, no-bake Swedish Chocolate Balls
They ended up being delicious. (Even my non coconut eating husband finished off the last of them.)

These simple cookies come together quickly in a food processor. They have no flour in them so there is the added benefit of them being gluten free as well. I thought they looked rather festive for the holidays so I decided to incorporate them into my usual line up of favorite Christmas cookies.


Swedish Chocolate Balls
(Recipe Source: Honest Cooking)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups oats
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strong cold coffee
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:
1. In a food processor, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and coffee together. Add oats and cocoa and process until the dough holds together.
2. Roll the dough into about 24 balls and then roll them in the coconut flakes.
3. Chill for at about 2 hours so they firm up before serving.

Linked to:
Weekend Potluck #146




Monday, November 24, 2014

Raspberry Almond Glazed Shortbread Rounds

These probably top my list of my favorite Christmas cookies. My sister and I have birthdays in December and January and exchange our two favorite cookies as gifts every year. She gives me a tin of her fabulous Mint Sticks (recipe to come) and I give her a tin of these Raspberry Almond Glazed Shortbread Rounds.

The flavors of raspberry and almond top these delicious and crunchy shortbread rounds. Whether for a holiday cookie exchange or your family dessert table, these cookies are sure to become a favorite.



Raspberry Almond Glazed Shortbread Rounds
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
small amount of water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Mix in the flour and salt until combined.

4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls. (The dough will appear crumbly, but will quickly soften in your hands and form into a smooth ball as your roll it between your hands.) Place the cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan about 3 inches apart.

5. With the bottom of a melon ball scoop, or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently depress the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/4 teaspoon raspberry jam.

6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

7. When the cookies are cool, combine the powdered sugar and almond extract. Add enough water to make the glaze pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Allow the glaze to harden before serving.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Savory Cranberry Sauce

I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce. My parents has tried for years to find the ultimate recipe every Thanksgiving. From fresh strawberries, to ground up raspberries and oranges- they have tried it all. They love it, but I still could not bring myself to enjoy it. Don't even get me started on the stuff that comes out of a can!

Last year all of that changed when I tried this recipe from Taste of Home for Cranberry-Walnut Topped Sweet Potatoes. I tried a spoonful... and another.... and another. I loved it. I had finally realized that savory cranberry sauce has found its way into my heart.


Savory Cranberry Sauce 

((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup 100% cranberry juice
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)

Directions:
1. In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the onion and salt for about 5 minutes- until the onion has become translucent and tender.

2. Add the cranberries, maple syrup, and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15 minutes- until the berries pop.

3. Stir in the walnuts and mustard.  Top with minced fresh chives. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Butterfinger Cookies

Butterfingers are a favorite in our house, homemade or store-bought, we love them. I've been known to sneak them from my kids' Halloween stash and bake them up into brownies or cover them over ice cream pie. Now I've got a new reason to raid their loot in order to make these amazing Butterfinger Cookies!




Butterfingers Cookies
(Adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10 oz bag) Butterfingers, chopped (about 2 cups)

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this to the creamed butter/sugar mixture.

4. With the mixer on low, blend in the chopped Butterfingers.

5. Use a cookie scoop (or two spoons) and place the cookie dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet pan about 3 inches apart.

6. Bake for about 9-10 minutes. For chewy cookies, remove them from the oven while they are still slightly underdone and place the cookie sheet pan on a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to continue cooking as they cool on the sheet pan. After about 10-15 minutes, remove the cookies from the pan and allow them to continue cooling on the cooling rack.


Enjoy!


Linked to: Weekend Potluck #142

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kale Chips

These easy kale chips are addicting.

Unless you're one of those people that hates kale. This recipe is not for you. Just go. I could try and convince you of how awesome these things are, but it is probably not worth either of our time. 

Or perhaps you're on the fence about kale? If that's the case, then stick around. Try this recipe. I think you'll come to find that these kale chips are crisp... salty... perfection. 

Did I mention how easy they are to make? 

The secret to these light and crispy kale chips is to not overcrowd the baking pan. Spread them out so they are just barley touching each other. The second tip I always give is to remove the kale chips to cool on a cookie cooling rack so they can cool from the top and the bottom. 

No soggy kale chips here. Enjoy!



Kale Chips

Ingredients: 
1 head kale, washed and spun dry
about 2 tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil
himalayan sea salt

Directions: 
1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the leaves from the thick stem running down the center of the kale. Cut the kale leaves into about 1 1/2 - 2 inch size pieces. 

2. Lay the kale on a rimmed sheet pan and toss lightly with olive oil. I like to put the kale in a pile on the sheet pan, pour it with oil, toss it with my hands, and then spread the leaves out. As I mentioned above, be sure not to overcrowd your pan. The leaves can over lap slightly, but spread them out so they can crisp up. Make two batches if need be. 

3. Sprinkle the kale lightly with salt. You could also go crazy and add a little garlic powder or freshly cracked black pepper. Get creative! 

4. Bake them for 10 minutes. Turn the kale pieces over and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove the kale pieces to a cooling rack so they continue to cool and stay crisp. If any kale still seems soft, place it back in the oven for another minute or two. 

Store in an airtight container. The kale I make usually doesn't last long enough to store! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grilled Corn Fettuccine



Grilled Corn Fettuccine
(Adapted from Food Network)
((Printable Recipe))

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 pound fettuccine
6 ears corn, grilled
3 shallots, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
salt and cracked pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.

2. Remove the corn from the cob and scrape the back of the knife over the cob to remove any corn liquid.

3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the shallots and red pepper for about 6 minutes. Add 3/4 of the corn and season with salt and pepper.

4. And the remaining 1/4 corn to a food processor along with the cream. Puree until smooth.

5. Pour the wine into the corn/veggie mixture. Add the thyme and the pureed corn mixture and heat for 4 minutes. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper.

6. Toss over pasta along with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


Enjoy!

Linked to: Weekend Potluck #134