Tag Archives: desserts

Eleventh Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Recap

A list of all 12 of this year’s Christmas Cookies:

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!

Whipped Shortbread 2_thumb[3]

DAY 1: Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies_thumb[3]

DAY 2: Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

Bear-Paw-Cookies-2_thumb1

DAY 3: Bear Paw Cookies

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies 1_thumb[3]

DAY 4: Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Raspberry Almond Thumbprints 3_thumb[1]

DAY 5: Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

Coconut Cornflake Sandies 3_thumb[2]

DAY 6: Coconut Cornflake Sandies

Slow Roasted Spiced Almonds 1_thumb[3]

DAY 7: Slow Roasted Spiced Almonds

2018-05-18 17.21.37_thumb[4]

DAY 8: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sprinkle Cookies 2_thumb[3]DAY 9: Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Maple Oatmeal Toffee Cookies 3_thumb[4]

DAY 10: Maple Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Mint-Chocolate-MMs-Cookies-2_thumb4

DAY 11: Mint Chocolate M&M’s Cookies

Loaded Chocolate Chip Sandies 3_thumb[2]

DAY 12: Loaded Chocolate Chip Sandies

For more ideas of how to Light the World with kindness and service the rest of this Christmas season, here is a link to a calendar of ideas:

Light The World Image 2

For more cookie recipes, check out the previous ten years of Christmas cookie ideas:

1st Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2009)

2nd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2010)

3rd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2011)

4th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2012)

5th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2013)

6th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2014)

7th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2015)

8th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2016)

9th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2017)

10th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2018)

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Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Pecans and Salted Caramel

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake 3

A delicious make-ahead dessert for Thanksgiving or other fall parties. This cheesecake starts with a lemon gingersnap crust and is filled with swirled layers of pumpkin and vanilla cheesecake.

To send it over the top, the cheesecake is garnished with candied pecans and then salted caramel is drizzled over individual slices. Even my cheesecake-averse daughter asked for this to show up on the Thanksgiving menu again this year.

The Lemon Gingersnap Crust is made from these cookies:

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce 3

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake 2

For detailed information about baking a cheesecake in a water bath, see this post: Creamy Citrus Cheesecake

Just before serving, arrange the candied pecans around the outside edge of cheesecake. The pecans will get soft if they are put on the cheesecake and refrigerated too far ahead of time.

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake 1

Don’t skip the salted caramel. It really makes this an extraordinary dessert. And if there is any leftover, it is perfect for drizzling on ice cream, waffles, or just about anything.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Pecans and Salted Caramel Drizzle

Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake 3

Lemon Gingersnap Crust
1 (7 oz) pkg Carr’s Ginger Lemon Cremes
½ cup pecans
2 Tbs butter, melted

Process cookies and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add melted butter and mix. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9” springform pan. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes while preparing filling.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbs flour
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
⅛ tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cloves
pinch of salt
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. (You can also substitute 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice for the other spices)

Vanilla Cheesecake Layer
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil. Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

Pour half of pumpkin filling into crust.  Slowly pour half of the vanilla filling over top of the pumpkin batter. Use a knife or spatula to gently swirl. Repeat with remaining pumpkin and vanilla batters. Swirl again.

Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 1-2 inches deep.

Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 80 minutes. (Cover top of cheesecake with foil if it begins to brown before it is set.) When it is cooked, the cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly, but not soupy. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring.

Cheesecake Topping Layer:
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs sugar
½ Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

While cheesecake is baking, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour over hot (cooked) cheesecake and let stand at room temperature for 60 minutes. Cover cheesecake pan (do not remove sides) with plastic wrap, taking care not to touch the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Candied Pecans:
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbs water
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 cups pecan halves

Place a large piece of parchment paper or non-stick foil on the countertop.

Combine sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in pecans. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Spread pecans on parchment paper/foil. While still hot, use 2 forks to separate pecans into a single layer so that pecans are not touching. Cool completely.

Just before serving, arrange candied pecans around the outside edge of cheesecake.

Salted Caramel Drizzle:
1 cup sugar
6 Tbs butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp flaky or coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla (and/or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)

Place sugar in a medium to large saucepan (mixture will bubble up and expand as cool ingredients are added to the hot pan, so use a large pan). Cook over medium heat until sugar just begins to melt. Stir gently, trying to keep sugar crystals off of the sides of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts completely and is a medium amber color (about 350°F if you use an instant-read thermometer). Reduce heat to low and quickly whisk in butter chunks, stirring constantly.

Stir in cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into a glass jar or heat-safe bowl to cool. Do NOT scrape sides or bottom of the pan with a spatula. If you do, you are likely to get sugar crystals into your nice smooth caramel. If the caramel has formed crystals while cooking, you can pour it from the pan through a fine sieve into the jar to remove any crystals before cooling.

Caramel can be kept in a covered jar at room temperature for several weeks.

Drizzle  individual slices with Salted Caramel.

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Vanilla Scones

Vanilla Scones 1

For our Scottish themed book group meeting, I made a variety of different Scottish foods, more of which I will share here shortly.

Scottish (or English) scones are a light, tender biscuit that can be adapted to many different flavors. Scones can be a savory food or a dessert. Or breakfast, or a snack, or just about anything you want them to be.

These vanilla scones, while not sweet themselves, are more of a dessert food. Especially if you serve them with Clotted Cream (or whipped cream) and jam. They also make a great base for Strawberry Shortcake.

I served them with a Homemade Clotted Cream (made in an Instant Pot) and Homemade Red Raspberry Jam and Cinnamon Pear Jam.

Vanilla Scones 3

Scones can also easily be frozen either before or after baking.

To freeze before baking: Prepare scone dough. Cut out scones and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. DO NOT brush with egg wash. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Bake at 400°F for 16-18 minutes.

To freeze after baking: Prepare and bake scones. Cool completely and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 300°F for 10-12 minutes.

RECIPE:

Vanilla Scones

Vanilla Scones 1

2 cups flour
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (optional)
Egg Wash: 1 egg + 1 Tbs cream

Clotted Cream and Jams, to serve

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut cold butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. **SEE NOTE BELOW

In a separate bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, mix together buttermilk, 2 Tbs cream, egg, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds. In a small bowl, mix together egg wash and set aside.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture. Use a rubber spoon to gently mix, until most of the dry ingredients are mixed in.

Turn dough out onto a flour coated surface and pat and/or roll dough to about 3/4” thick. Use a scone or biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Place on prepared baking sheet. Gently reroll scraps to make additional scones.

Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve scones with clotted cream and jam.

**NOTE: To easily cut butter into dry mixture, freeze one stick of butter for 30 minutes. Fold back the paper wrapper to the 6Tbs mark and use the coarse blades of a cheese grater to grate the butter directly into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold butter shreds into mixture.

Yield: about 12 scones

**TO FREEZE SCONES:

Scones can be frozen either before or after baking.

To freeze before baking: Prepare scone dough. Cut out scones and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. DO NOT brush with egg wash. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush tops of scones with egg wash. Bake at 400°F for 16-18 minutes.

To freeze after baking: Prepare and bake scones. Cool completely and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Freeze until firm. Place into Ziploc bag or freezer container and store in freezer. Place frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 300°F for 10-12 minutes.

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9th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies Recap

Here is a list of the twelve cookies from this year. I hope that you all enjoy the rest of this Christmas season with family and friends.

Scroll to the bottom for links to the previous 8 years of cookies.

Almond-Toffee-Sandies-3_thumb1

DAY 1: Almond Toffee Sandies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies_thumb[2]

DAY 2: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown-Sugar-Cinnamon-Squares-1_thumb

DAY 3: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Squares

Roasted Spiced Pecans_thumb[1]

DAY 4: Roasted Spiced Pecans

Chocolate Thumbprints_thumb[2]

DAY 5: Chocolate Thumbprints with Homemade Caramel Filling

Chewy-Pecan-Cheesecake-Cookies_thumb[3]

DAY 6: Chewy Pecan Cheesecake Cookies

Almond-Butter-Cookies-1_thumb2

DAY 7: Glazed Almond Butter Cookies

German-Lebkuchen_thumb2

DAY 8: German Lebkuchen

Lemon-Cake-Mix-Cookies_thumb2

DAY 9: Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Salted Caramel Bars_thumb[2]

DAY 10: Salted Caramel Bars

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies 2_thumb[3]

DAY 11: Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread 2

DAY 12: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Lots More Christmas Cookies and Treats:

1st Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2009)

2nd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2010)

3rd Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2011)

4th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2012)

5th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2013)

6th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2014)

7th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2015)

8th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2016)

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 2

I have been a less-than-faithful blogger the last several months. Being a single mom during the week for the last eight months (since my husband accepted and started working at a job 250 miles out of town) has really taken a toll on blogging. Plus trying to get a house ready to sell and move. It is scary how much junk you can accumulate when you stay in one house for 14 years. And how many little repair jobs you can ignore. And how you once thought wall paper was a really good idea.

But I hope to get in a few more posts before I am swamped with last minute moving details and the craziness of unpacking in a new house. I am excited to start cooking in this new kitchen in about 6 weeks! This photo is the sole reason that I agreed to purchase a house that I have not seen yet. In a neighborhood I have never been to. If I get this room to play in, who really cares what the rest of the house looks like?!

New Kitchen

Last weekend was our annual church youth camp fundraiser. Along with some Rocky Road Cookies and Snickerdoodle Bars,  I made a couple of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pies to auction off. And there just may have been enough “extra” filling that couldn’t possibly have fit into the pie crusts and had to be saved in a small bowl at the back of the fridge where no one could see it.

RECIPE:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 2

Crust:
6oz chocolate wafer cookies (about 2/3 of a Nabisco 9oz package)
5 Tbs salted butter, melted

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 can (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Chocolate ganache:
¼ cup heavy cream
2 oz (about 1/3 cup)  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Candied Peanuts:
½ cup salted dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs sugar

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Crush chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor or blender until finely ground. You should get about 1 ½ cups of crumbs. Melt butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Stir in chocolate wafer crumbs. Press into 9” pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes (not longer or it will taste burnt). Cool completely before filling.

Filling:
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in half the whipped cream to lighten the batter, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least one hour.

Chocolate Ganache:
Place ¼ cup cream in microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Heat for 45 seconds. Stir in chocolate chips. Let sit for one minute, then stir again until smooth. Let  cool until slightly thickened. Spoon the ganache over the chilled peanut butter filling, spreading almost to the edge of the filling. Return pie to refrigerator. Chill until ganache has completely set.

Whipped topping:
Combine 1 cup heavy cream and softened cream cheese (must be very soft, or your topping will be chunky!) in a large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff. Spread over top of cooled ganache, spreading almost to the edge of the ganache. Chill pie until firm, about 1 additional hour. (The cream cheese in this topping will stabilize your whipped cream and help it keep its shape even over several days.)

Candied Peanuts:
In a medium skillet (I like to use my cast iron skillet), stir together the chopped peanuts and sugar.  Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar begins to melt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely melted and begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Pour the nuts onto a piece of foil or parchment paper  to cool. Sprinkle top of pie with candied peanuts just before serving.

(Inspired by Zoe Bakes)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Peanut Butter Snowflake Cookies

PB Snowflake Cookies

DAY 4: Peanut Butter Snowflake Cookies

A Christmas version of the traditional Peanut Butter Kisses cookies. I love the fun molded chocolates for different holidays!

Dove Chocolates

RECIPE:

Peanut Butter Snowflake Cookies

PB Snowflake Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Dove Snowflake Chocolates

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Roll dough into  balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Immediately press one unwrapped snowflake chocolate into each cookie; cool.

 

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