Tag Archives: dessert

#BakeItForward With Chewy Molasses Cookies

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One of my favorite things about the holidays is the spirit of generosity that emerges.  Though I wish the spirit was so strong all year round, I’m happy to see it wash over so many at this time of year.  It’s fun to read stories of generosity and good cheer.  In the tiny town of Lowell, just down the road, a police officer got to play Santa for several unsuspecting motorists (check it out here).  My employer, Meijer, also played Santa this year, footing the bill for one shopper in each of their 213 stores (see the heartwarming video here).

In the spirit of generosity and good food, Cooking Light Magazine had the great idea this holiday season to “Bake it Forward,” making one batch of cookies, cakes, muffins, or bars to keep (yay!) and one to give away.  The best recipes are those that can easily be doubled or tripled, like the chewy molasses cookies I made this week.   Continue reading

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes With Whipped Yogurt Cream

Strawberry Shortcakes

Happy Mother’s Day!  This year has special meaning to me, as it is the first year that I am a mother!  So yes, there you have it.  Just one of the many reasons I’ve been a little quiet on my blog lately.  We have a LOT of amazing stuff going on. 2014 is THE year, I tell you. In the next month and a half we are buying a farm house on two and a half acres, selling our beautiful old city house, getting married, and going on a honeymoon to Alaska.  The cream on top of it all was finding out I was pregnant!  So yes, we are going to have a little shortcake come November.

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Roasted Apples With Vanilla Bean Ice Cream And Apple Cider Sauce

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There is nothing that says fall in Michigan like a cold, juicy apple on a crisp autumn day.  And (in my opinion) no better place to enjoy this special treat than right here in Michigan.  Michigan apples have a flavor that is out of this world.  The comparison between a store-bought apple and an apple fresh from the orchards is like comparing store-bought tomatoes to one picked off your own tomato vine.  Just one bite and you are transported immediately to the gnarly tree it came from.  Eating apples this time of year makes me feel so grateful for fall.  Fall is one last hurrah.  A punctuation mark on summer.  And in Michigan, that punctuation mark isn’t any old period.  It is an exclamation point.

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We are fortunate to live in an area of the country that abounds with apple orchards.  Just yesterday we drove up to the Sparta area, a bit north of Grand Rapids, and checked out a couple of apple orchards. It was a cloudy day with patches of rain but when we made it out to the orchards, the sun had peeked through and it lit up the landscape.  Suddenly the reds on the trees were flaming, the pumpkins were bright orange orbs, the apples shone red-purple, and the rolling fields of dried corn stalks glowed golden under a deep blue sky.

Apple Orchard

My sweetie often jokes during his performances that Michigan apples are the only apples that have the all the vitamins and nutrients a body needs.  If you’re eating apples from anywhere else, you’re missing out.  He grew up picking apples with his whole family when the times were tough.  His dad would climb to the top of the tree, his mom would handle the middle, and he and his siblings would pick up the “drops”, the apples on the ground under the tree that are used to make apple cider.  True story.

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When I say cider, I’m talking about the real deal.  The kind that can only be found this time of year, freshly pressed, cloudy, sweet and tart.  This time of year, almost any gathering you go to offers cups of hot cider for guests.  It can be a special treat but I’m not the biggest fan of drinking hot beverages beyond coffee and tea.  But how could I walk past those gallons of apple cider?  Well…I couldn’t…so I had to figure out something to do with it.

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I came across an idea for an apple cider reduction.  And I am so glad I did.   All it takes is a big, heavy pot and some patience.  You basically just boil the cider down until it is 1/4 of the original volume.  I boiled 8 cups down to 2 cups over about an hour or so.

This reduction can be used in a myriad of ways.  You can make a vinaigrette with it (mix with olive oil, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and pepper) or brush meat with it if you desire.  And if you really want to go all out, keep boiling the cider down from 8 cups to about 1 cup and you’ll get an even sweeter reduction, just begging to be poured on ice cream.

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And with that I present to you one of the easiest desserts I’ve made, roasted apples with vanilla bean ice cream, walnuts, and a cider reduction sauce.  For this, choose apples that will hold their shape in the oven.  I chose Cortland apples but Fuji, Jonathon, or Honey Crisp are all good choices.

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This dessert is so simple yet such a delicious way to enjoy the season’s best offerings.  If you are looking for other apple recipes, head over to Cooking Light–they have dozens of apple recipes, with some of the best here.  The apple upside-down cake looks amazing.

I’m planning to use some leftover roasted apples to make apple muffins with cream cheese frosting.  This recipe looks like a good place to start my brainstorming!

But for now, here is my simply delicious roasted apple recipe.

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Roasted Apples with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Apple Cider Sauce; Serves 4

  • 4 medium apples, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cane sugar
  • 2 cups good quality vanilla bean ice cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider sauce (see below on how to make!)
  1. Make the apple cider sauce ahead of time (see below).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.  Spread the apple slices onto a large baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roast for 15-20 minutes, until soft but still maintaining their shape.  Go too far and you’ll have apple sauce wedges (which would still taste good so no worries!).
  3. Scoop apple wedges into four bowls.  Add 1/2 cup scoops of ice cream to the top, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon walnuts, and drizzle 1 tablespoon cider sauce on top of it all.  Dig in!

Apple Cider Reduction Sauce

  • 8 cups (1/2 gallon jug) fresh-pressed apple cider
  1. Make the cider sauce ahead of time (you can make this up to a month ahead!).  Pour apple cider into a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low to simmer for at least an hour and up to two hours until the apple cider is reduced from 8 cups to 2.  You can keep this sauce in the fridge for a month and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  2. To make the sauce even more condense, you can boil it down further until you have about 1 cup left from the original 8 cups.
  3. You’ll use just a bit for this recipe and can store the rest to use in a variety of dishes.

Pear-Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Ah…it’s autumn in Michigan. My favorite time of year. The air is crisp, everyone begins cramming in the last of outdoor fun, the incredible aroma of Michigan apples fills the farmer’s market, and pears spill out over the patio from the pear tree in the corner of our yard.

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I was never a fan of pears when I was a kid. As time has gone on and my tastebuds have matured, I’ve come to accept pears in my life. I’m not saying I’ve outright embraced them but they have a toe in the door nowadays, and that’s saying a lot for me.

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What brought about this change? The pear tree in my back yard. When hundreds of pears began to fall that first fall after I bought my house, I was determined to learn to love them. I felt so lucky to have a fruit-bearing tree at my house in the heart of the city.

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I really enjoy the pear tree’s beautiful white blossoms in the spring and eagerly anticipate the fruit ripening in the fall. I particularly enjoy them with some aged white cheddar cheese on a fruit and cheese platter. Last year I enjoyed a pear crisp with cardamom. This year I decided to update that, bringing in my favorite fall fruit, the apple, along with some dried cranberries, to create a truly fall dessert.

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There is nothing I enjoy more than a crisp baking in the oven as the leaves are painted red and down vests, sweaters, scarves, and fashion boots appear in place of shorts and sundresses. Crisps are easy and make the best of the season’s fruits. Cut up some fruits, pop this in the oven, and enjoy steaming up the windows of your kitchen for the first time this year.

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Pear-Apple-Cranberry Crisp:

4 tablespoons butter + some for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unbleached flour
pinch of salt
1.5 lbs pears, cored and sliced
1.5 lbs apples, cored and sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the oven to 400°. Grease an 8 or 9″ pan with a little bit of butter. Cream the butter, oil and sugar together, using a mixer or fork. Stir in the nuts, seeds, lemon juice, oats, flour, and salt, until combined and crumbly. You can make the topping ahead of time, if you like.

Put the pears, apples, and cranberries in the prepared dish, sprinkle with cardamom, and toss to coat. Crumble the topping over all. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is starting to brown, 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you have it!

If you have a pear tree as I do, you have hundreds of pears and are surely looking for ideas on what to use them in. Here are some recipes from Cooking Light to try if you fancy something different than my pear crisp recipe below:

Pear Muffins: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/healthy-muffin-recipes-00412000070942/page22.html

Pear-Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Streusel:
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pear-cranberry-pie-with-oatmeal-streusel-10000001673034/

Berry Almond Skillet Cake With a Side of Good News

Happy spring, everyone!  Spring has finally arrived here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Spring is my favorite season.  It is a time of renewal, fresh starts, and an emergence of life and beauty long-forgotten and buried under layers of snow.  This winter was a particularly long one so this spring is unfolding as the most beautiful I can recall.  To wake up hearing birdsong is an incredible thing but it is even more incredible to walk outside and be surrounded by green grass, flowering cherry, pear, and magnolia trees, tulips, daffodils, myrtle and phlox.  My favorites are the tulips surrounding my house and scattered in vases throughout my house.

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This spring has been one of change and fresh starts for me.  I have been so busy lately and am working really hard to find time to blog about all of the dishes I have been making.  For every five dishes I make, one makes it to the blog.  One of these days I’ll take a blogging vacation, plop myself in a beautiful locale, and catch up on my posts….!  Luckily, the things that are keeping me busy outside of my busy work schedule are all positive things.  Moving the sweetie into my house has been a huge change and learning experience for me.  Turns out, I got used to living alone but I am looking forward to getting un-used to it and love the new comforts of home that he brings.  I just bought my first pair of waders and am going to learn how to fly fish on our drive out to Colorado next week!  On the food side, lately I have been making many more connections with the local food community and I am loving every minute of it.  Over the last few months I have created a Back to Basics series for the Grand Rapids Cooking School and Uptown Kitchen, have begun a Meatless Monday feature on Dr. Mary MD’s blog, was invited to participate in a Green Market Expo, and starting this week, will begin contributing a “Spotlight on Produce” series for the Uptown Kitchen blog and for The Rapidian, our hyper-local Grand Rapids news and culture source.  Each week I will shop at the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and feature a recipe about one of the in-season vegetables or fruits sold by our local farmers.  Very exciting stuff!

And now…for the BIG NEWS.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, on Friday I received the most exciting email.  Cooking Light invited me to become one of their bloggers for the Cooking Light Bloggers Connection. Let’s just say, I was so excited that I squealed when I read the email.  And I am so thrilled that this hobby of mine has been noticed by one of my favorite publications and will be shared with a wider audience moving forward!  I will be adding a Cooking Light Blogger badge to my site and a couple of times a month, will be letting you all know about a recipe or featured article on the Cooking Light website.  I have been a subscriber to Cooking Light for about ten years and have really enjoyed seeing them grow and become the fresh and exciting publication they are today so am really excited to share some of their recipes and features with you moving forward.  Cooking Light may also ask me to provide tips and articles to them for publication on their website (which would be SO COOL).  My profile will be added to the Cooking Light Bloggers Connection page in the next week or so and I’ll share that when it becomes live.

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To celebrate this exciting news, I baked a cake.  But first I have to tell you about another form of spring renewal.  My handy guy spent a couple of days restoring two cast iron skillets to their original glory (everything deserves a second chance, he said).  One was rusty and long lost in the basement.  The other was caked with years and years of build-up and was getting bumpy and flaky.  He devised an experiment, using electrolysis to remove the build up then expertly blued then cured them.  For a couple of days it looked like we were up to no good in the back yard, with a battery charger hooked to a metal plate submerged in a large rubber tub.  I’ll share the details with you all soon and there is even a video of this awesome process that I’ll share some other time.  The skillets turned out beautifully and work better than any other pans I own.  We are a 4 cast-iron skillet and 2 cast-iron dutch oven household now, with another on the way.

Okay…did I lose you when I started talking about the science of restoring cast iron?  Back to the food.

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I have been coming up with any excuse to use these skillets lately.  Growing up, we made cornbread in our skillets about once a week and I’ve never made it any other way since.  With that memory in mind, and wanting to celebrate cast iron and change, I set about making a sweeter cake with blackberries, blueberries, and almonds.

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Both blackberries and blueberries are out of season so I used frozen blueberries and bought some organic blackberries from the grocery store.  In honor of Cooking Light, I made this cake using a couple of my tricks to reduce fat:  apple sauce and sour cream. This cake came together in minutes, filled the house with amazingly delightful scents, and turned out dense, moist, and just sweet enough to feel decadent.  As it turns out, it tastes even better eaten as a snack in the middle of an afternoon of fly fishing (or so I am told).

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  Thanks for your support and for being wonderful friends and followers.

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Berry Almond Skillet Cake

Makes 8 generous servings

  • 1 1/8 cup of all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons of aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon of butter to oil the skillet
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 5 oz container of blackberries
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, eggs, lemon juice, melted butter, sour cream, apple sauce, and almond extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place on a burner at medium heat until the butter is melted and the pan is hot. Swirl the butter to coat the skillet, then pour in the batter.
  5. Scatter berries and sliced almonds on top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature with your morning coffee for an extra-special treat.

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Triple Ginger Cookies

Chewy Triple Ginger Cookies

Okay…I know these don’t fall under my typical whole foods cooking style.  I know…I know.  But if you want to add some gingery goodness to your life and you want to do it by making a chewy on the inside, crispy on the edges, sweet treat, this is the recipe for you.  And there is the redeeming quality that you use whole wheat flour in this recipe and lots of fresh, ground, and candied ginger.  And ginger is great for your digestion.  So there.

Triple Ginger Cookies

I found this recipe in Country Living Magazine and these cookies easily found a place in boxes of Christmas cookies I passed out.  They also found a place in my heart and in my home and will surely be made for years to come.  Enjoy!

Ginger Cookies Ready to Bake

Triple Ginger Cookies adapted from Country Living

  • 2 cup(s) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 stick(s) butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) molasses
  • 2/3 cup(s) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup(s) finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup(s) turbinado sugar
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small pan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in molasses, brown sugar, and fresh ginger. Let cool.
  3. Add egg to cooled molasses mixture and stir to combine. Slowly stir into reserved dry ingredients, then stir in crystallized ginger. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, place turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape dough into half-inch balls, then roll in turbinado sugar. Place cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Berry Crisp with Pine Nut and Hazelnut Topping

Berry Crisp With Pinenut Hazelnut Topping

Another Food Matters Monday has snuck up on me!  And thank goodness it has, because this was a recipe worth making.  Thanks to Laura for choosing this recipe. Laura is a personal chef (I’m so jealous!) so I knew this would be a good one.  Check out Laura’s creation on her blog, Chef Laura At Home.

This is the second time I have used pine nuts in a dessert…and the second time I’ve been impressed with the results.  The first time I used pine nuts in a lighter lemon bar recipe from Cooking Light Magazine and they were fantastic.  If you want to try that recipe, and I hope you do, click here!  The lemon bars were under 120 calories per bar and were the brightest and tastiest lemon bars I’ve tasted.

Anyway…I digress…this dish was also quite good.  Lightly sweetened and topped with a crunchy topping, this dish is great for dessert, or would even be good at breakfast with some yogurt.  Thanks again to Mark Bittman for giving us a reminder that dessert doesn’t need to be sickeningly sweet to be satisfying.

I made some of mine in a pie dish and the rest in 4 souffle cups to give to my sweet neighbors that let me park in their driveway when the plows haven’t done a good job on the slushy roads.  Whether you are using small souffle cups or a large pie dish, you’ll know its done when it gets bubbly and your kitchen smells of summer.  Enjoy!

Berry Crisp With Pinenut Hazelnut Topping

Berry Crisp with Pine Nut and Hazelnut Topping; adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Makes:  6 to 8 servings                                  Time:  40 to 50 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 to 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, or a mixture of the two
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.  Grease an 8- or 9-inch square or round baking dish with a little butter. If you’re using frozen berries, set them in a colander to thaw for a bit while you prepare the crust.  Mix together the pine nuts and hazelnuts.  Put ¾ cup of the pine nut/hazelnut mixture in a food processor along with the 4 tablespoons butter and sugar; let the machine run until the nuts are finely ground and the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the rest of the pine nut/hazelnut mixture, flour, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt and stir with a fork until crumbly.  (You can make the topping ahead to this point, tightly wrap, and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze for up to several weeks; thaw before proceeding.
  3. 015 Spread the berries in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the lemon zest. Crumble the topping over all and press down gently.  Bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is just starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes.  Serve immediately, or at least while still warm.

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Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp

Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp

Welcome to another Food Matters Monday!  Yes, I know it’s Tuesday but for my sake, let’s pretend it’s Monday.  This week has been a doozy already between work ramping back up and searching for a car after mine decided to slide off the road in an ice storm two weeks ago.  Eek!  Thank goodness for this week’s Food Matters recipe.  This week Camilla from Culinary Adventures With Cam chose a warming and comforting recipe and if she was standing here now, I’d hug her and we’d eat cardamom scented pear crisp together.

This recipe is quite basic–just your typical fruit crisp–until you get to the last ingredient:  cardamom!  I’ve used cardamom extensively in Indian cooking but have never thought to use it in a dessert until now and certainly didn’t realize how many other cultures use cardamom, both in cooking and for other purposes as well.  Cardamom is used often in Scandanavian cooking as a spice in baked goods such as stollen and spice cookies.  Cardamom can also be found extensively in African cooking.  Not only that, but the ancient Greeks and Roman’s used cardamom as a perfume!

I also just learned about it’s medicinal qualities.  Among other things, cardamom is great for digestion problems (heartburn, intestinal issues, loss of appetite) and cold symptoms (cold, cough, sore throat).  Let’s just say cardamom is my new favorite spice.

I made my crisp gluten-free using brown rice flour as a substitute for the wheat flour.  Other than that I stuck to the recipe exactly and served it warm with vanilla ice cream.  Mmmmmm!

To see what everyone else made (there are always many variations), click here to go to the Food Matters Project website and read through the comments.

Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Project Cookbook

  • 4 tablespoons butter + some for greasing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 lbs pears, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Grease an 8 or 9″ pan with a little bit of butter. Cream the butter, oil and sugar together, using a mixer or fork. Stir in the nuts, lemon juice, oats, flour, and salt, until combined and crumbly. You can make the topping ahead of time, if you like.
  2. Put the pears in the prepared dish, sprinkle with cardamom, and toss to coat. Crumble the topping over all. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is starting to brown, 30-40 minutes. Serve immediately, or at least while still warm.

Aura’s Christmas Cookies

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Merry Christmas!  Okay, I’m a little late with this post but for those of you who are already thinking of what cookies you will make for next year’s treats, here is a basic sugar cookie and icing recipe.  I grew up decorating sugar cookies with my mom who spent hours perfecting her cookies.  Being the traditionalist that I am, I decorate my cookies close to exactly like my dear mom (though not quite as well) and look forward to many more years of trying to perfect the art of the sugar cookie.  I’ve added to my mom’s repertoire–the Michigan cookies are a big hit around these parts!

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I use a basic sugar cookie recipe and basic icing recipe from Martha Stewart for mine.  Note that these turn out quite crispy so if soft and chewy cookies are your thing, you won’t get that with these.  But if you are looking for a thin, crispy, buttery and sweet cookie–look no further!

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Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing (see recipe below)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.  With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined.  Divide dough in half; flatten into disks.  Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.  Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes.  Roll out 1/8 thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed.  Cut shapes with cookie cutters.  Between each cutting, dip the cookie cutter in flour to prevent sticking.  Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets.  If dough gets soft, re-chill for ten minutes or so.  Reroll scraps; cut shapes until the dough is gone.
  3. Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on the size.  Cool fully on wire racks before icing.

Basic Icing Recipe

  • 1 and 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or water
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Place sugar into a bowl and whisk the liquids into the sugar until smooth but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If too thin, just add more sugar.  If too thick, just add more liquid.  Easy!  I place small amounts of icing into several bowls and use gel food coloring to make multiple colors and shades of each color.  Ice the cookies and let icing harden at least 20 minutes.  I let them sit overnight to harden fully so they hold up in boxes of treats.

Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles

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Oh holidays…why do you always sneak up on me?  This Friday I frantically rolled 100 goat cheese truffles (while juggling making chocolate-peppermint popcorn, white-chocolate dipped pretzels, and putting the finishing touches on biscotti, decorating sugar cookies, and boxing it all up nice and pretty).  I have to say…I went a little crazy.

It happens to all of us, right?  But I may have crossed the line.  I actually went all grinchy and said “I’m not doing Christmas treats next year.”  Yowzas!  Strong words from such a little lady!

I’m happy to say that I got some cute elf help on my project and by the time 7pm rolled around, we were delivering boxes of goodies to some of the good little boys and girls beloved by me.  And the feeling of cheer, the smiles on faces, and oh! the hugs.  Let’s just say I’d do it all over again.  And again.  And again.

If you love goat cheese, you will love these truffles.  They have a moderate but not overbearing sweetness to them balanced with the tanginess of the goat cheese with a smooth finish.  Very satisfying.  These truffles have been a big hit around these parts lately.  Friday was actually batch three for this gal!

I really hope this recipe finds its way into your hearts and homes.  One regular sized-batch takes about 20 minutes hands on.  Worth every minute!

Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles

Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 20–easily double or triple the batch for more!

  • 8 oz plain goat cheese (to change things up, you can use honey goat cheese, orange goat cheese…any flavor that is not savory); room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla, almond, or orange extract
  • 8 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Dutched cocoa, almond meal, or finely shredded coconut for rolling
  1. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat room temperature goat cheese with the powdered sugar; 1-2 minutes on medium.
  2. Add extract and beat until blended.
  3. Meanwhile, in a double boiler or a metal bowl over a pan with 1/2-1 inch of simmering water, melt the chocolate.
  4. When the chocolate is melted, mix with goat cheese blend until incorporated fully.
  5. Put mixture into the refrigerator for a couple of hours until firm but still scoopable.
  6. Scoop mixture into balls with a spoon or a melon baller.  Roll in between palms of hands to form a ball.
  7. Roll in dutched cocoa, almond meal, or coconut flakes.
  8. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before enjoying.