Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Post that Time Forgot

A very Happy Christmas Eve to you all!  And look!  A Christmas miracle!  A new blog post!  Well, new as in never before been posted, but I wrote it a year ago...oops.  I think I meant to add the doodles and then got lazy and then just plain ol' forgot.  It happens.  The good news is I have illustrated and posted this long lost gem for your last minute holiday baking needs.  Happy baking, friends!

Second Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Blitz

Today was a balmy 65 degree Winter Solstice (and no, I'm not back in the South), but despite the unseasonable start to winter, the winter holiday season is in full swing in the Yankee Baker household.  The Christmas tree is up and decorated, presents are piling up beneath it, Yankee Dog is in his jingly holly collar and most importantly, Christmas cookies have been baked.  This year we feature 3 new recipes for you to add to your repertoire.

First up: classic shortbread.  The best shortbread I've ever had were the Walker's lemon-currant nibbles I had as part of my picnic lunches when I went pony trekking in Scotland.  This is not that caliber shortbread, but it is pretty tasty.  And pretty easy to make.  After preheating your oven to 325, combine 1 1/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons white sugar in a mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in 1/2 cup butter until the mixture is crumbly.  (Funny story: because of my former roommate's lack of knowledge in the kitchen, my pastry cutter has seen more use as a pizza cutter.)  Once the butter is cut in, knead the mixture till it is smooth, then form into a ball.  You now have a couple choices in terms of shaping your shortbread.  Option A: press the ball flat on an ungreased round cookie sheet.  pinch the edges into a fancy scallop and slice into wedges.  Bake 25-35 minutes.  Recut your wedges while the shortbread is still warm.  Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Option B: on a lightly floured surface (as lightly floured as possible--you don't want a lot of extra flour added to your dough), press then roll your dough to 1/2".  Cut into rounds or shapes with cookie cutters.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.

Cute cutout shortbreads.

Second is a variation on our shortbread: spiced shortbread.  I was originally going to do a gingerbread, but deciding between a crunchy gingerbread and a soft gingerbread was too much (I'm bad at decisions!  Don't judge).  Spiced shortbread was a happy resolution.  The method is exactly the same as above; however, to your flour, add 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.  Deeeeeelish!

Fancy formed spiced shortbreads.
 Our third new cookie: cranberry-orange pinwheels.  Fair warning, these are NOT the cookies you make last minute when you realise your cookie exchange is in 20 minutes.  They require a bit of work, but are so lovely when they're done, and taste scrumdidlyumptious, so totes worth it.  ALSO, thanks to this recipe, I was introduced to the wonder that is the slap chop!  Well, really, thanks to Yankee Mama conveniently cleaning out her room and discovering goodies she meant to give me for Christmas heaven knows how many years ago.  But still.  Slap chop.  It's awesome.  Go get one.  

Best kitchen gadget ever.  This little ninja makes chopping roly poly cranberries super easy.
You can use it to finely mince 1 cup cranberries (not Craisins.  Cranberries.) and 1 cup pecans.  You could also throw these puppies in a food processor, if you do that electronic technology thing.  Also stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar and mix well.  This is your filling; you can make it first or while your dough is chilling.  For the dough, beat 1 stick softened butter till it's just smooth.  (A trick for softening butter, ironically gained from a non-baking friend: put your sticks of butter to be softened in your pockets.  Non-baker friend used sweatpants, I used a puffy vest.  Works like a charm!)  Add 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and beat until combined.  Now add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons orange peel (grate the zest from one navel orange, that should do ya) and beat again.  Add 3 1/4 cups flour a little at a time till combined.  Divide your dough in half, ball it and wrap it in cling film.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Between two sheets of waxed paper, roll out one half of your dough into a 10" square (leave the other half in the fridge till you're ready for it).  Spread half your filling to within 1/2" of the edges.  Roll the dough carefully and seal your edge.  Wrap the log in cling film and pop it back in the fridge.  Repeat with lump of dough #2.  Chill both rolls of dough for at least 4 hours, or make 24 hours in advance of baking.  Before baking, cut your logs into 1/4" slices.  Use a serrated blade for easier cutting and roll the log frequently to avoid smooshing and flattening your edges.  Place your pinwheels onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown.  Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack.

So pretty.  Much delicious!

Happy Christmas, y'all!

Yankee Dog and his jingle holly collar wish you happy ho-ho-holidays!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks...I'm BACK!

Well hello there, dear friends!  A thousand apologies for the almost solid year disappearance, but you know how things go.  A few very big things have happened to me, most notably that I have returned to my roots and am no longer a Yankee in the South, but never fear!  Confessions of a Yankee Baker will still be chock full of delicious recipes and adorable crayon sketches.

It's Thanksgiving here today, but Yankee Momma had to work, so instead of stressing all day cooking a dinner she may or may not be home in time to enjoy, I made the Yankee Parentals a Thanksgiving brunch.  In honour of the day we celebrate the things we are most happy to have in our lives, I present a couple recipes I made this morning that you can use and be thankful for because they are delicious.

Pumpkin Muffins

Yes, I know what you're thinking (if you read last year's October posts): pumpkin?  Really?  Well, the nice thing about taking an 11 month hiatus from your blog is that you have plenty of time to repair your relationship with the big orange gourd.  We're friends now.  It's cool.

Preheat your oven to 400.  If your muffin tin is not nonstick, spray it to make it so.  Melt a stick of butter and set it aside to cool.  Soak about 1/3 cup sultanas in hot water till you're ready for them (patience, grasshoppers).  In a large bowl,  whisk together 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  In a separate bowl, blend together your melted butter, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup pure pumpkin, 1/3 cup buttermilk (or, more likely, 1/3 cup milk [2% or higher] and 1 teaspoon white vinegar stirred together--let it sit 5 minutes before using) and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add your wet ingredients to your dry and mix till just combined.  Now it's time for your sultanas-drain them and chuck them in the mix.  Spoon your mess into your muffin tin and bake about 20 minutes (use the toothpick test to ensure they're done).  These delightful little fellows will certainly help mend any residual rifts between you and pumpkins, I promise.
I'm glad we're friends again, pumpkin.

Fluffy Fruit Salad

This next recipe is a staple for Yankee Baker's family, usually at Thanksgiving, though we've started doing it for Christmas since my sister and I have been scattered about the country for the last few years.  We always called it Waldorf salad till my grandmother was with us for Turkey Day one year and informed us that proper Waldorf salad involves celery, which is gross, so apparently this isn't actually Waldorf salad.  I think some people probably call this ambrosia, but I have decided to title it "Fluffy Fruit Salad" because alliteration.

There are no measurements involved--go wild!  Make as much or as little as you want, but I encourage making a lot because it is flippin' delicious and you will want to eat loads of it.  Basically, you toss some red delicious apples, red grapes, chunk pineapple, chopped walnuts and mini marshmallows in a bowl.  Then throw in some sour cream and whipped cream in a roughly 50/50 ratio and mix it up real good.  Ta-da!  Delicious.
Recipe for scrumptious.

Yankee Dog wishes everyone out there on the interwebs a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Yankee Baker Christmas Cookie Baking Bonanza

Well, my friends, it's that time of year: the end of the year, the holiday season, when things are frantic and hectic and I attempt on THREE separate occasions to post this and don't actually get around to it till today.  I meant to put at least half this post up two weeks ago, then the whole thing a week ago, but here it is finally--better late than never.  It's also lacking pictures for now, because I am in the great wilds of the northward (aka New Jersey) and didn't bring my box of 64 with me.  I will illustrate when I'm back in the South, I promise.

So, since it is the holiday season, I did A LOT of baking to give as gifties.  Everyone loves a good cookie, so I did 6 different human cookies and a great dog cookie, which I offer here for you to try yourselves.  I made most of the doughs a week in advance and froze them, which is a genius idea if you ever have lots of cookies to make and not very much time on your hands.  Cookie dough will actually freeze for months, so feel free to plan WAY early if you must.  Also, keep a stock of frozen dough so you have a delicious friend to turn to on a bad day.

Hokay, so cookies.  I'm giving these puppies as gifts to certain loved ones, so I tried to cover an array of tastes and textures.  It was hard to whittle down my options (there are so many delicious options out there!), but I narrowed it down to Walnut Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip (which I am affectionately calling Grinch Cookies for the holidays), Sugar Sparkle, Hedgehogs, Oatmeal Craisin and Flourless Peanut Butter.

I.  First, a classic: Walnut Chocolate Chip.  You could make these just plain ol' chocolate chips, if you prefer, but I'm a big fan of nuts, so I always put them in my cookies.  This recipe is actually designed to be given as a gift to the cookie lover in your life; just layer the dry ingredients in a quart sized mason jar, top the lid with some appropriately themed fabric and ribbon and include the recipe for the final product.  These puppies were party favours at my friends' wedding shower last year and I literally got compliments for months every time someone got around to making their cookies.  It was especially good to hear the praise considering I lugged 30 of these suckers on a train from my house to the party two and a half states away.  If this doesn't seem like that big a deal, just ask the porter how much these things weigh and how long it took his back to realign after lugging my suitcase full of cookies onto the train.

Dry Ingredients: Mix 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda into 2 cups flour.  Layer flour mixture plus 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a jar to give as a gift--or just dump this all into the wet ingredients when it's time.

Recipe: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream 1 cup (2 sticks) butter.  Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add dry ingredients from the jar, plus 1 cup chopped walnuts.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

II.  In my research for interesting recipes to try, I came across a delicious sounding spin on chocolate chippers: Mint Chip Cookies, which I am dubbing in celebration of the season, Grinch Cookies.  The recipe I found was fairly complicated and involved buying a lot more things than I wanted to, so basically all I took from it was the mint extract and green food dye and applied it to my chocolate chip recipe (but no nuts).  So to make grinch cookies, follow the recipe above, adding 1 teaspoon mint extract and 10 drops green food dye to the butter/egg/vanilla mixture.  Then add the same dry ingredients (minus the nuts) and bake.  They're like mint chocolate chip ice cream you can hold in your hand and not get frostbite!

III.  We have, in a previous post, discussed my hatred of raisins, so when it comes to oatmeal cookies, you know I don't make them with shrivelled grapes.  I use shrivelled cranberries instead!  Plus craisins, in addition to being more delicious, are more festive, being red.  To make yourself some Oatmeal Craisin Cookies, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Beat 3/4 cup butter.  Add in 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.  Beat until combined.  Beat in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour.  Stir in 2 cups rolled oats and 1 cup craisins (1 cup walnuts is also a good idea).  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes.  Cool on the sheet one minute, then transfer to cool on wire racks.

IV.  Sugar cookies, I feel, traditionally get rolled out, cut out, and blinged out with icing and sprinkles at Christmastime.  Ain't nobody got time for that when you're doing All the Baking in one day (and yes, I did just use two internet memes in one sentence), so I did something a little simpler and somewhat elegant.  To make your Sugar Sparkle Cookies, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Beat 1 cup softened butter.  Add 1 1/2 cups sugar until combined.  Beat in 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add 2 3/4 cups flour.  Cover and chill dough 2-3 hours.  Roll dough into 1" balls, then roll in sugar--I used red, green and white sugar crystals for a more festive feel.  Place sugared balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 9-12 minutes until slightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

V.  I am a big fan of adorable animals, and high up there on the list of precious things that make me squee are the pointy nosed, prickly backed denizens of English gardens called hedgehogs.  So when I found a cookie made to look like these dangerously cuddly little fellas, you know I had to make them.  This is a simple butter cookie shaped and dressed in delicious and looks almost too adorable to eat (but they are delicious, so you totally should).  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cream 1 cup softened butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  Add 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and combine.  In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet and combine.  Roll dough into balls about 1-1 1/2" balls.  Pinch a nose on one side of the ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 6-8 minutes until dough is set but not browned.  Cool cookies on a wire rack.  Once cooled, melt chocolate chips in a bowl (about 1 cup--heat at half power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between heatings till smooth).  Carefully hold the "face" of the hedgehog and roll the rounded end in the chocolate (don't coat the bottom) and then roll in finely chopped or crushed walnuts (creating the spines).  Dip a chopstick in the chocolate and dot on two eyes and a nose to complete your super cute snack!

VI.  Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies were the one cookie I had some trouble with, so it's not being included in this year's gifts (I have standards to uphold).  I'm still including the recipe in case you have better success with it that I did, and I will continue to play with it and let you know if I finally figure it out.  I'm also including it because of all these recipes, I think this one would do best with a sugar substitution (as requested by a diabetic friend of mine--you know who you are!).  I've found that using Splenda in a cookie recipe will not drastically alter the flavour, but it does affect the consistency, making the cookies poofy like pillows.  The best way to reduce the sugar in a cookie is to go halvsies--half sugar, half Splenda.  I haven't played with it yet, but I think because of the simplicity of this recipe, you could go full on Splenda and have the cookies work just fine (granted, they didn't work real well with full on sugar).  All you need for these cookies are 1 cup peanut butter (more experimenting will also be done with chunky versus creamy--I tried chunky this time around because old roommate left some behind and I don't eat it, but maybe smooth makes a better cookie),  1 cup sugar and 1 egg.  Mix well together, then roll dough into 1" balls and place on greased cookie sheets.  Flatten the balls slightly with the bottom of a glass that has been lightly greased and dipped in sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes.  I might have gotten my cookies too thin, so they got too crispy and too cooked.  Nibbles for me!

VII.  Yankee Dog would have been very upset with me if I didn't make him any delicious things, so for the canines in your life, The Yankee Barkery offers Easy Peasy Dog Biscuits.  These snacks are easy to make and easy to customise: I made mine Chicken, Cheese and Parsley.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  You will need 1 cup of broth (chicken, beef or veg, depending on pup's preference--dissolve one cube of bouillon in one cup of hot water).  Add the broth to 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 egg.  This is the most basic recipe, but you can add any kind of delectable tidbits you'd like, such as bacon bits or cheese.  Knead your dough about 3 minutes, or until it forms up into a ball.  Roll it out to about 1/2" and cut it into shapes--I got festive with my mini Christmas cookie cutters.  Place the tasties on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.  Yankee Dog loves them, and so will your pup!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!  Yankee Dog and I hope your holiday is full of family, friends, good gifts and delicious things!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Congratulations, It's Not a Pumpkin!

Hello friends!  Hope we've all had time to clean the pumpkin from our systems--October is over, Thanksgiving is over, and I think by now most coffee shops have switched over from pumpkin spice to peppermint in preparation for the biggest commercial season of the year: Christmas.  I am working on a few special cookie recipes (originally I intended on doing the Twelve Days of Cookies, but the Thirteen Days of Pumpkin has convinced me this is a horrible idea) to share with you all in celebration of the season, but for now I submit for your approval a dinner recipe to warm your bellies in the chilly months (let's pretend it wasn't 68 degrees here today): Sausage and Rice Casserole.

This recipe is a throwback to my childhood, a staple on the dinnertable when my Gram would come to visit us--or at least, the original version of this recipe was.  Initially, I hated sausage and rice casserole night, because the version my mum and grandmother would whip up involved brown rice and celery, two things I refuse to eat, even as an adult.  Once I was old enough to cook for myself, I tweaked the recipe to appease my picky palate, and so I will offer you both versions and you can prepare whatever tickles your pickle (PS: I also don't eat pickles).

Preparation is pretty simple:
  • Cook up 1 cup of your preferred rice (as in 1 cup dry; this will cook into about 3 cups prepared rice).  I use regular white rice; my maternal elders would insist on the long grain brown rice.
  • Brown 1 tube of mild pork sausage, like Jimmy Dean or the stuff in the white and orange package, which we always used but I didn't discover is called Jamestown Brand till I moved down here.  Very apropos.  Chop up your sausage into little nuggets like you would ground beef.
  • If you like nasty vegetables, you can brown some chopped onion and celery in the skillet with the sausage.  If you don't like these icky things, do as I do: sprinkle some onion powder over the sausage as it cooks (I like the taste of onion, but not the texture, so powdered or minced dehydrated onion is my best friend).  I don't worry about substituting for the celery; I don't like anything about it.
  • Mix the rice and sausage (and optional icky veg) in a large casserole dish.  Add 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup.  Use about 3/4 can of milk to help dilute the soup.  Stir this all through the rice and sausage.
  • Sprinkle some sliced or slivered almonds over the top of the casserole.  Bake 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.
There's your casserole!  Hearty, delicious and simple.  Gram always made carrot-pineapple Jello to go along with it, this consisting of grated carrots and and crushed pineapple in lemon Jello; something about the citrusy-sweetness of the Jello salad paired nicely with the meaty goodness of the casserole.  I lacked two of the three ingredients needed to make it, so I had some of my homemade applesauce and it worked pretty well.

If you're looking for something tasty for dinner this week, give the sausage and rice casserole a try.  And gird your loins: cookies are coming soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The 13 Days of Pumpkin: Happy Hallowe'en!

Hallo, my friends!  It is the best day of the whole wide world: HALLOWE'EN!  It's even Yankee Dog's favourite day, since all kinds of friends come to visit him.  This year, he was dressed as SpideyPaws, the rare 10 legged spider, and since he was in costume, figured he could run off to the next house with a horde of children--and not just TO the house, but INTO the house.  He also tried nabbing candy out of the hands of countless children and knocked over a jack-o-lantern (very daintily and without fiery crisis), so needless to say, it's been an exciting evening for him.  An exciting day for me, too, because it meant carving aforementioned jack-o-lantern, and not just the one but FOUR!  I love love LOVE carving pumpkins, not just because it's fun to stick my hand elbow-deep in pumpkin guts and not just because they look mega awesome in the dark lit up, but because it means pumpkin seeds.  And so, without further ado, recipe #13: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
SpideyPaws!  SpideyPaws!  Does whatever a SpideyPaws does!

Save the seeds of your pumpkins as you scoop out the guts.  Separate as much of the goop from the seeds as you can.  Put some water in the bowl to help rinse more goo off the seeds, then drain them through a colander.  You'll have to wiggle the colander around a bit to shake the water from the seeds.  Next, line a few baking trays with paper towels and spread your seeds out in even, thin layers on each sheet.  Top with another layer of paper towel, patting to absorb as much moisture as you can.  Allow the seeds to dry over night.  I know this means a sad, long wait for your tasty, toasty seeds, but trust me, it's worth it.  Any time you want to roast a seed/nut/legume like product (peanuts, for example), you need to dry them out before roasting, or you can cook them for days and they will still be mushy and decidedly not delicious.  Thankfully, pumpkin seeds are thin and dry out pretty quickly.
That's a jar full of delicious, my friends!
The next day, all you need to do is remove the seeds from the paper towels (they have a tendency to adhere to the paper a bit).  Spray the seeds heavily with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat thoroughly.  Bake at 350 degrees in ten minute intervals, stirring to encourage even toasting, until seeds are crispy and lightly golden (usually about 30 minutes).  Store them in something like a Mason jar and enjoy their salty, crunchy goodness at will!  Just be careful eating too many; they have crispy, crunchy edges that don't digest softly, if you catch my drift.

Happy hauntings, my friends!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The 13 Days of Pumpkin: In Which We Get a Little British With Our Desserts

So I slacked a little the other day--long day at work and just too stinking tired to bake and blog.  So I shall make up for it today with Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle and Pumpkin Scones.  Makes me want to brew up a nice cuppa and settle in to wait for the hurricane that's about to take out my homeland (and with any luck, my piece of junk car).  I will also make up for it by sorting out the picture issue!  Check it out guys, pictures in not only this post, but all the ones from the rest of this month that were missing!  YEEHAW!

First, the trifle.  This one is pretty easy to whip up and lovely looking to serve at a party.  I do strongly recommend investing in some tall, clear glasses (trifle glasses, for example) to show off the loveliness of this tasty delicacy.  Naturally, I don't have such a thing.  I do have highball glasses though--short and squat but got the job done.  The recipe I found told me to use Biscoff cookies.  I have no stinkin' clue what the heck a Biscoff cookie is, nor could I find them in the stores.  So ginger snaps it is!  Put about 12-15 cookies in a plastic bag and smash them like they just insulted your mother.  Mix the crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter and press the crumb mixture into the bottom of each glass (4-6, depending on the size of your glasses) as a crust.  With a mixer or a whisk, beat together 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 cup pumpkin, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice till well blended and smooth.  Fold in half a tub of whipped topping and blend until there are no streaks.  Spoon or pipe some of the cheesecake mixture atop the crust, then a layer of whipped cream and continue alternating the two till the glass is filled.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  If you want to dress them up, sprinkle some cinnamon or cookie crumbles over the top and enjoy!

Don't let the name fool you, these things are a seriously tasty dessert!
And now, everyone's favourite accompaniment: scones!  Combine 2 cups flour, 1/3 packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt with a whisk.  Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into chunks and cut it into the dry ingredients until you've got coarse crumbs no larger than peas.  Mix in 1/3-1/2 cup butterscotch chips.  In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk with 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar--let it sit 5 minutes before moving along), 1/2 cup pumpkin and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Add the wet to the dry, mixing till just combined--don't overwork the dough, or you'll end up with tough scones (I feel like there's a double entendre to be made there.  I'll leave it up to the classiest of my readers to do my dirty work).  Slap your messy, sticky dough onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper (or foil) and shape it into a large circle.  Bake at 400 degrees for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the scones to cool to room temperature before cutting into slices like a pizza.  Then prepare a glaze by whisking together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash each of ground nutmeg, ground ginger and ground cloves.  Add 2 teaspoons milk to start with; blend it in, adding tiny amounts of additional milk as needed until you have a nice thick glaze.  Drizzle the glaze over your scones and allow it to set before serving.  Om nom nom!
Scone.  Rhymes with gone.  As in, all gone in my belly!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 13 Days of Pumpkin: #9

You guys, I've gotta be REALLY honest right now: I'm starting to get very tired of pumpkin.  It's friggin' everywhere in my kitchen.  I have eaten so much pumpkin...well.  Let's just say Yankee Best Friend knows the gory details.  The 13 Days of Pumpkin seemed like such a GREAT idea in the beginning, and now I'm just glad we're close to done.  I do it for you, folks, you better love me for it.
This haunts me in my dreams now.

Recipe #9: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!  I've made plenty a cookie in my day, but never a snickerdoodle, so this was an adventure for me.  A very sticky and delicious adventure.  Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or foil, as I did) so they're ready to go when you are.  Whisk together 2 3/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda (I am at this point in time mad broke and couldn't justify spending $4.99 on a tub of cream of tartar for one recipe, so I substituted 1 tablespoon baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, cream together 2 sticks unsalted butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  Add 1 egg and stir.  Then add 3/4 cup pumpkin and stir.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.  In a shallow bowl or pie tin, combine 1/4 sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon.  Taking heaping globs of dough (my dough was super duper ridiculously sticky--I've consulted with my resident snickerdoodle expert to find out if this is normal) and roll them around in the cinnamon-sugar blend.  Plop your tasty little goo balls on your prepared sheets, leaving plenty of space for them to expand (another confession: I'm crap with spacing.  My cookies always end up morphing together), and toss one pan at a time in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Give the baking sheet a spin and bake another 6 minutes.  Your cookies should be set at the edges but still soft and puffy in the middle.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet about 5 minutes, then use a metal spatula to transfer them to a metal rack (I used a broiler tray, it's all I have!) to continue cooling.  I got about 20 nice big cookies out of this; probably would have had more, but a lot of dough (and I do mean a LOT) stuck to my fingers, so I quite possibly licked as many cookies off my fingers as I rolled the little goobers into creation.  Enjoy the delicious!
It doesn't translate so well in crayon, but they bake up looking a little like hot cross buns.