Tag Archives: oats

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Filled Almond Lace Cookies

Filled Almond Lace Cookies

DAY 12: Filled Almond Lace Cookies

Almond Lace Cookies are a thin delicate cookie similar to a Florentine. You can eat them plain or drizzled with chocolate. Or dress them up by wrapping the hot cookies around a tube and then filling them when hardened. I filled them with vanilla custard and fresh raspberries, but you could also use sweetened whipped cream, chocolate mousse, or ice cream (soften before filling, then refreeze before serving).

Almond Lace Cookies 1

RECIPE:

Filled Almond Lace Cookies

Filled Almond Lace Cookies

Almond Lace Cookies (recipe below)
Filling (any combination of the following):

  • Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
  • Fresh raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries
  • Whipped cream, sweetened
  • Chocolate (or other flavor) mousse
  • Softened ice cream

Melted chocolate

Prepare Almond Lace Cookie batter. Bake cookies (**SEE NOTE). Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Wrap hot cookies around a cylindrical tube, about 1” in diameter. (I used an empty vanilla bean jar. A cannoli form would be perfect.) Let cookie harden before removing.

**NOTE: Only bake as many cookies at a time as you have forms to wrap them around.

Place chilled custard, whipped cream, mousse, or softened ice cream in a Ziploc bag or pastry bag. Cut off one corner and pipe filling into cooled cookie shells. (If you are filling cookies with softened ice cream, place filled cookies on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in freezer until solid.) Drizzle filled cookies with melted chocolate. Serve immediately.

Almond Lace Cookies
——–(recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)

⅔ cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light or dark corn syrup
1 Tbs heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbs flour
½ cup toasted, finely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Bring the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Reduce the heat so the butter slows to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the solids on the bottom of the pan turn light brown. Remove from heat.

Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt and vanilla to the butter and stir to blend well. Stir in the oats and flour, then fold in the almonds.

Drop teaspoons of the batter onto the baking sheets, spaced about 3 inches apart. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown all over and slightly darker at the edges. Transfer the baking sheets to a cooling rack and let sit until the cookies firm up, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, gently transfer the cookies to wire racks until cool. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

Vanilla Custard

¾ cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, optional
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla bean)

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and vanilla bean (Split bean in half and scrape seeds into the saucepan. Place bean pod in the saucepan as well). Stir in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. While boiling, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to the saucepan, stirring well. Return custard to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 2 additional minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract (if using) and remove vanilla bean pod. Pour into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard (to keep from developing a skin). Chill until cool. Do not stir while custard is cooling.

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Baking & Board Games: A Perfect Snow Day

View Snow Day Baking

Baking and Board Games:
What better way to spend a mid-week, school-canceled SNOW DAY!

View Snow Day Monopoly

With a little sledding, snow-fort making and hot chocolate sipping added to keep things balanced.

View SnowDayJan2011

080610 022-1Raspberry Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins (recipe below)

021910 095Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE)

RECIPE:

Raspberry Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

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**Prep Note: the oats need to soak in the milk for 1 hour before adding the rest of the ingredients.

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbs white vinegar or lemon juice)
1 cup rolled oats
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raspberries or mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Combine buttermilk and oats in a large bowl and let stand for one hour. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Stir the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add brown sugar and sugar; mix to combine. Stir in melted butter. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix. Gently stir in raspberries and chocolate.

Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, about 15 minutes (they will take slightly longer if using frozen berries).

Cool on a wire rack.

 

Recipe from Aimée at Simple Bites

 

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Revel Bars

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DAY 8: This bar cookie has been a long time favorite at our house. The recipe is from a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I received as a wedding gift more than 20 years ago.

A layer of rich chocolate fudge sandwiched between oat-filled cookie layers: what more could you ask for in a cookie bar?

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RECIPE:

Chocolate Revel Bars

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1 cup butter
2 ½ cups flour (white or whole wheat)
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla, divided
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs butter
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat 1 cup butter with mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1 ½ cups of the flour, the brown sugar, eggs, 2 tsp vanilla and baking soda. Mix thoroughly. Beat in remaining 1 cup flour. Stir in oats.

In a saucepan, combine chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbs butter. Cook over low until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and 2 tsp vanilla.

Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1” baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot remaining oat mixture over chocolate.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is lightly browned (chocolate layer will still look underdone). Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Makes about 3 dozen bars (2” square).

 

Recipe from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
DAY 4: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
DAY 5: Almond Macaroon Brownies
DAY 6: Trail Mix Cookies
DAY 7: Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Trail Mix Cookies

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DAY 6: We’re half-way through our sugar-laden journey through Christmas cookies. Time for a cookie that at least pretends to be healthy. Packed full of everything you love in a good trail mix: dried fruits, nuts, 3 different seeds (and a little chocolate, of course); plus rolled oats, honey, whole wheat flour and wheat germ.  I find these cookies very addicting. I love the hearty mouth-feel and chewy texture.

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RECIPE:

Trail Mix Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 60 cookies
  • Print

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1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour (white or finely milled whole wheat)
½ cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup slivered almonds
¾ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/3 cup flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream butter and brown sugar; beat in honey, eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Stir in oats, fruits, nuts, seeds and chocolate chips.  Mix well.

Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire racks.

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
DAY 4: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
DAY 5: Almond Macaroon Brownies

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Homemade Yogurt & Granola

040910 061-1 Within about the last year and a half, I have become quite the fermented milk fan! From kefir to yogurt to lacto-fermented mayonnaise, there is always some kind of milk product sitting out on my counter, working it’s probiotic, yeast-culturing magic; turning plain old milk into something so much more healthy and delicious.

Some of my children find this disgusting, and refuse to touch anything in the fridge that is kept in a Mason Jar. Others have jumped right in and love to drink our daily kefir smoothies, or eat “stirring yogurt” (Little J’s name for homemade yogurt-because you get to “stir-in” whatever flavor or additives you want-like the granola recipe at the bottom of the page). Kefir is my sour-milk of choice, but a nice thick yogurt is always great to have around as well. I will show you some of my kefir-growing soon, but if you are new to kefir check out this great website.

Another great thing about homemade yogurt, besides the superior taste and nutritional value, is how cheap it is to make. For just about the cost of milk (especially after your first batch when you now have your own yogurt starter to use for the next batch), you can also have yogurt. We have been getting our milk from a local dairy, so I also love being able to turn good, fresh milk into creamy, delicious, no-preservative-or-other-additives yogurt.

Making Yogurt

In a saucepot, stir together milk and dry milk powder. Powdered milk is an optional ingredient, but it does help make for a thicker yogurt. If you are using a thermometer, attach it to the side of the pan and bring milk to 185°F-200°F, stirring often. If you are not using a thermometer, bring milk just barely to a boil and then remove from heat immediately. If the milk has developed a foam on top, skim this off.

Fill a clean sink with about 2-3 inches of ice water (just make sure that the water level is low enough that when you add the pan of milk, it comes about halfway up pan). Set pan of hot milk into the ice water bath. Let milk cool to about 110°F (without a thermometer: baby-bottle warm), stirring often. This should take about 10 mins. If you leave your milk too long, and it gets too cool, just reheat slightly on the stove until it reaches 110°F.

040910 0431-1 Gently stir yogurt starter (just plain, unsweetened yogurt, preferably not non-fat) into milk. The first time you make your own yogurt, you will need to buy this. Try to get a high quality, plain yogurt with no pectin added (or other additives). For future batches of yogurt, save a small amount of your own yogurt to use as a starter the next time.

Yogurt needs to incubate between 98°F and 113°F. If the temperature is too low, the yogurt will not reproduce and you will have a runny final product. Temperatures over 118°F will kill the yogurt culture. An easy place to maintain this temperature range is in a cooler. I usually make 3 quarts of yogurt at a time (plus a little extra to use as starter the next time). This cooler fits my 3 quart-sized yogurt jars, one half-pint jar, plus 2 hot water jars for maintaining a nice warm good-bacteria growing temperature.

While the milk is cooling, I fill two quart-sized jars with boiling water and place them in a towel-lined cooler. Once I have mixed the milk with the yogurt starter, I put my yogurt-filled jars in the cooler with the hot water-filled jars.

040910 065-1 Not shown in the above photo is the small half-pint jar that I also fill and add to the cooler. It serves as the starter for the next batch of yogurt I make. You can also just save the last part of one of your quart jars, but this way, I don’t forget and eat the whole jar, and it stays sealed until I am ready to make more yogurt.

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Wrap the towel around the jars.

040910 066-1 Close the cooler and let the yogurt incubate for 8-12 hours. I like yogurt on the tart side, so I usually let it stay for a full 12 hours.

040910 068-1 Transfer jars to the refrigerator. Do not open or shake the jars until they have completely chilled in the refrigerator.

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Delicious, thick creamy yogurt!

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For an even better treat, top your homemade yogurt with some homemade granola!

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RECIPES:

Homemade Yogurt

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Equipment:
Canning jars and lids** (see note at bottom)
Small cooler
Bath towel
Candy/frying thermometer (optional)

Per quart jar of yogurt:
4 cups milk (whole milk is best)**
3 Tbs dry milk powder (optional, but it makes for a thicker yogurt)
2 Tbs plain yogurt

For 3 quarts of yogurt + one 1/2 pint jar (for starter)**:
3 quarts whole milk
1/2 cup (slightly heaping) dry milk powder
1/3 cup, heaping, (or 6 Tbs) plain yogurt

In a saucepot, stir together milk and dry milk powder. If you are using a thermometer, attach it to the side of the pan and bring milk to 185°F-200°F, stirring often. If you are not using a thermometer, bring milk just barely to a boil and then remove from heat immediately. If the milk has developed a foam on top, skim this off.

Fill a clean sink with about 2-3 inches of ice water (just make sure that the water level is low enough that when you add the pan of milk, it comes about halfway up pan). Set pan of hot milk into the ice water bath. Let milk cool to about 110°F (without a thermometer: baby-bottle warm), stirring often. This should take about 10 mins. If you leave your milk too long, and it gets too cool, just reheat slightly on the stove until it reaches 110°F.

While milk is cooling, boil some water (about 2 quarts if you are making 3 quarts of yogurt) and pour it into clean jars. Top with lids. Place in a towel-lined cooler. If you are making a lot of yogurt and using a large cooler, you can also just put a pan of just boiled water in the bottom of the towel-lined cooler.

Remove milk from cold water bath, and gently stir in yogurt. Pour into sterile glass jars.** Top with lids and screw top rings. Place jars of milk in the cooler with the hot water jars. Wrap towel around tops of jars and close cooler.

Let incubate for 8-12 hours. Do not open cooler during this time. You need to maintain a temperature between 98°F and 113°F. If the temperature is too low, the yogurt will not reproduce and you will have a runny final product. Temperatures over 118°F will kill the yogurt culture.

Remove yogurt jars from the cooler and place in the refrigerator to chill. Do not open jars or shake or stir yogurt until well chilled.

**NOTE: When I make yogurt, I like to make an additional jar (a small half-pint jar) to save as starter for the next batch. Using the full amount of milk given above will give you enough extra for this small jar. If you are not going to make an additional small jar, then reduce the milk by a few tablespoons per quart.

Homemade Granola

  • Servings: 20 1-cup servings
  • Print

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10 cups rolled oats
2 cups coarsely chopped raw almonds
2 cups coarsely chopped raw pecans
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon (use more for a stronger flavor)
1 cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups honey (or half honey/half pure maple syrup)
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2-3 cups dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries (optional)
1 cup shredded/flaked coconut (unsweetened, if possible)(optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, wheat germ, sunflower, flax and sesame seeds, and cinnamon.

Heat coconut oil until melted. Stir in honey and/or maple syrup and vanilla. Stir into oat mixture.

Pour onto a large baking dish. Bake at 325°F for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cook until granola is golden brown.

Cool.

Optional: stir in dried fruit. I like to store the granola without the fruit mixed in, and then add different kinds of dried fruit when I am serving the granola (saves on different kids picking out different kinds of fruit!).

Yield: This makes A LOT (more than 20 cups)! It can easily be halved, but it also stores really well in the freezer (in Ziploc bags). Freeze before adding dried fruit.

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