Rum Cake

I might be a little late to post this cake. Typically, Rum Cake is made around the holidays and I had every intention of making this around Christmas, but plans changed. Let’s be honest though, Rum Cake is good anytime of the year. Anything good is good anytime! I will let you know upfront that this is a semi-homemade Rum Cake and is truly simple and easy to make. I’ve seen recipes online that contain nuts, additional extracts and so forth, but, not with this one. Do not fear though, it does not skimp on flavor nor deliciousness.

To make the batter for the cake I combined a box of yellow cake mix along with a small box of vanilla pudding mix, rum, water, vegetable oil and eggs. I then poured it into a Bundt pan that I sprayed with baking spray.

After baking for about an hour in a 325 F preheated oven the cake was done. I placed it on a wire rack and immediately made the rum sauce to pour over it.

In a medium saucepan I combined a stick of unsalted butter along with sugar and rum and cooked it over medium heat until the butter had melted, the sugar dissolved, and it began to boil. The mixture was the consistency of a thin syrup.  Just a note, you don’t want to make the sauce before the cake is done. It may become too thick to pour onto the cake it and it won’t get absorbed as well.

While the syrup and cake were still hot, I poured the syrup over the cake. I use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan so that the syrup could go down the sides of the cake as well.

I let the cake cool in the pan for about 45 minutes and then inverted it onto a wire rack to cool for a few minutes more before transferring it to a cake board and then covering it with plastic wrap to refrigerate. In case you are wondering, yes, the cake did absorb all of the syrup. When I flipped it onto the wire rack there was none left in the pan and the cake did not feel sticky or anything.

After refrigerating overnight, it was ready to be served. And it was a hit with everyone who tried it!

Rum Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 Box yellow cake mix

1 small package of vanilla pudding mix*

1/4 cup light rum**

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, at room temperature

 

For the Rum Glaze:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light rum

 

*I used Jell-O

**I used Bacardi Gold Rum

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (or lightly grease and then coat with flour) and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the cake and using a handheld mixer beat on medium speed until smooth. Transfer to the Bundt pan and bake the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack while making the rum glaze.

Wait until the cake is done to make the glaze. In a medium saucepan combine the ingredients for the glaze – butter, sugar & rum – and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Once the mixture begins to boil it’s ready. Use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Pour the hot mixture over the cake and along the sides of the cake.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 40 – 45 minutes and then invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.

The cake is best served cold so once it has completely cooled wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Hallmark Channel

Ham & Potato Soup

For as long as I can remember I’ve eaten ham on New Year’s Day. My parents did so before I came along and continued to do so with me. And in case you didn’t know, eating pork on the first day of the New Year is supposed to bring good luck as pigs take their snout and root forward and are full of fattiness which when combined can symbolize progress, wealth & prosperity. There were some years where I wasn’t keen on the ham and other years when I look forward to it. The type of ham wasn’t the fancy spiral ones that come in a shiny red wrapper along with a brown sugar glaze, but, a canned ham that I find confusing in the sense that you can slice and eat cold, but, if you are going to “cook” it, it needs to cook in the oven for over an hour and come to an internal temperature of 140 F. My parents would always line the top of the ham with cloves, stick pineapple rings along the sides and on top and then drizzle it with light brown sugar. It’s the exact same way that I make it now. Inevitably though I always have leftovers and way too much of them. This year I decided to turn some of those leftovers into a delicious Ham & Potato Soup.

The soup starts with a mirepoix cooked in butter. And then the potatoes and ham are added and next minced garlic. To help thicken the soup flour is then stirred in and cooked for a few minutes before adding chicken stock and finally milk.

This soup is delicious… One of the best homemade soups I have made.

Ham & Potato Soup

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 cup diced celery

3 cups peeled and diced potatoes*

2 cups cooked ham, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup flour

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups whole milk

Salt and fresh cracked pepper, if needed

*I like to leave my potatoes on the larger side when cutting so they don’t break up too much while cooking

Directions:

In a large pot heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until beginning to soften (4 – 5 minutes)

Add the ham and potatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Mix in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, mixing all the ingredients together. Increase the heat and cover the pot and bring the contents to a boil. Boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the milk. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken.

Taste, if needed, season with salt and pepper.

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

I was recently nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award… Thanks Julie for the nomination. Julie is a fellow blogger, check out her blog at Another Day with Julie . She has a great blog covering all different types of topics: cooking, crafts, movie reviews, etc… Thanks again Julie!

Here are the answers to the 11 questions asked of me. I hope they offer a little more insight about who I am.

1) What is your favorite movie of all time? I don’t think I can say there is one move that is my all-time favorite. I do have a few though that when I catch on television while searching for something to watch I will stop and watch them regardless of how many times I have seen them and they are: Shawshank Redemption, Dirty Dancing, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Benny & Joon, Any Fast & Furious movie (well, except for 2 Fast 2 Furious & Tokyo Drift), & The Wedding Date.

2) What do you enjoy about blogging? There’s a lot of things I enjoy about it. I have always enjoyed writing and having a blog gives me the ability to write more than I normally would be able to and it pushes me to try different things to blog about. Be it a new craft, jewelry technique or the latest baking craze.

3) How many languages do you speak and what are they? I speak two languages, English & Spanish.

4) Where is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Keuka Lake. It’s in upstate New York. Almost ten years ago some good friends and I rented a house on the lake up there and we spent the week visiting wineries and exploring the small towns surrounding the lake. I was supposed to go to Europe this past year and take a cruise that included stops in a few different countries but unfortunately it has been indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic.

5) If you could invite 2 famous people to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be? I honestly don’t have an answer to this one.

6) Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? No, I do not make resolutions. All I hope for is that when the new year comes to an end and we are about to start another one that life is just as good or better than what it was when it started. Everyday is an opportunity to start something new or make a change, you don’t need January 1st to do that.

7) What is your favorite blog post? It’s actually one that had nothing to do with baking or crafting. It was about the new sofa I had purchased for my living room – The Sofa – and a close second is my blog post about the remodel I did in my living room last year – Living Room Remodel

8) What book are you currently reading? Unfortunately nothing right now. But, I do have one on my bookshelf waiting for me – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. It’s a few years old but I picked it up on one of my visits to Barnes & Noble and just haven’t gotten to it. I used to read a book a week and would visit Barnes & Noble weekly to keep my bookshelf stocked.

9) What is your favorite recipe? Anything that I can recall from memory that my parents used to make. And if it tastes just like their’s that’s even better.

10) Do you prefer cats or dogs? I am a dog person all the way!

11) Any words of wisdom for the New Year? With everything going on in the world find one thing every day to be grateful for and/or to make you smile/laugh. It goes a long way… trust me. Oh, and wear a mask!

 

Baked Challah French Toast

This year for Christmas and New Year’s Eve I decided to play it safe and stay home. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t treat myself to the same goodies I would have had had I followed my usual plans. I made cinnamon rolls from scratch for Christmas morning and I made myself a Molten Lava Cake and a mini charcuterie plate for New Year’s Eve. And for my first meal of the new year, since I always eat breakfast, I enjoyed Challah French Toast.

I prepped it the night before by cutting up a loaf of challah bread and arranging it in a 9×13 baking dish that I lightly greased. I then poured a mixture of eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar and spices over it and covered and refrigerated it overnight. The following morning, I removed it from the refrigerator and while I preheated the oven drizzled it with melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture. I baked it for about 40 minutes, until it was puffy and golden brown.

Once done, I let it sit for about 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying a piece along with some fresh strawberries and a few slices of bacon. Not a bad first meal for the new year.

Baked Challah French Toast

Ingredients:

1 1-pound challah loaf, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 large eggs

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

syrup, confectioners’ sugar and/or fresh berries, for serving

 

Directions:

Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish wish either softened butter or cooking spray and layer the challah pieces into the dish in a single layer.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. Pour over the bread and cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.

Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F. Remove dish from the refrigerator and uncover. In a small bowl combine the sugar and the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter over the bread and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffed and a deep golden brown.

Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe from Food52

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! While there are some years we would like to hold on to, 2020 is one year where we can all agree we are happy to see come to a close. Granted, it’s not like midnight will hit and all the problems that we have faced this year will fade away, but, turning the page and starting anew with a new year gives people greater hope as opposed to a new month rolling in.

What I think most of us have found this year is inner strength, renewed appreciation for family and friends, who the real heroes are and who we really should admire and look up to, and just how fragile life is. That last one is one that I learned quite some time ago and because of it I do my best to appreciate every day and to find humor in things even in the worst of times. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

And speaking of humor, there are some light-hearted things we have learned this year that are just as important… That your pets make great coworkers (I’m looking at you “Bob the Bird”), that you finally learned where mute is on Zoom, how to position a camera properly so you look amazing on video calls (and no one sees your pajama bottoms), and that you have hidden talents like making sourdough or is it sourdough starter. Sorry, I didn’t jump on that trend. The only trend I tried was Dalgona Coffee and I actually made a chocolate version instead.

I wonder what the trends of 2021 will be. Will we still be making Hot Cocoa Bombs? I hope so. I was late to that one, so I have yet to try it. I’m also hoping to learn Macrame. But we’ll see, that seems to be an expensive hobby.

I leave you with the lyrics to the song “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls. It was originally released in 2005 and once again this year on their Christmas Album. I think the message is perfect for this holiday season and as we go into 2021… Hopefully we all will find better days.

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we’re alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there’s ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

Gingerbread Cake

While peppermint gets all the glory as the flavor of the holiday season there is another flavor that is just as popular… Gingerbread. And while you may only think of houses and cookies when it comes to gingerbread, it’s also a great flavor for a holiday themed cake.

So, what exactly is gingerbread flavor? Well, it’s a combination of spices – ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon – and usually sweetened with molasses. I honestly think it’s the molasses that gives gingerbread it’s distinct flavor more so than the spices.

To make things a little easy I used a spice cake mix as the base for my cake and then added in some additional spices, molasses and other ingredients to doctor it up. I got the recipe from fellow blogger Baking with Blondie. She made cupcakes with her recipe whereas I opted to use the recipe to make 2 6-inch cake layers. Once they were cooled, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight before frosting. Frosting cold cakes is a lot easier than frosting cooled, but still room temperature ones.

I left the cakes in the refrigerator overnight and before removing them I made a Spiced Almond Cream Cheese Frosting. This frosting is so good I could eat spoonful’s as dessert!

Once the frosting was ready I torte the cakes and filled and frosted them with the frosting.

And finally, I decorated the cake with gingerbread men (you could bake them or, do as I did and use store-bought ones), fresh rosemary and sugared cranberries.

Gingerbread Cake with Spiced Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup sour cream

2/3 cup buttermilk*

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 box spiced cake mix

For the Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 8oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Gingerbread Men, Fresh Rosemary Sprigs, Sugared Cranberries for decoration

*I made my own by combining 2/3 cup whole milk with 3 teaspoons of white vinegar. Stir together and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. It will begin to curdle when ready.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 6-inch pans with baking spray and set aside.

To make the cake: In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the cake, except the spiced cake mix, and stir together until well combined. Sift the cake mix into the mixture and stir all the ingredients together until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and heavy cream. Continue mixing and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly combined.

Torte the cooled cakes and then frost about a cup of the frosting on one of the cakes. Stack the other cake on top and crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes and then use the remaining frosting to finish frosting the cake. Decorate with gingerbread men, sugared cranberries and fresh rosemary.

Recipe from Baking with Blondie

Sugared Cranberries

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

12oz. bag fresh cranberries

Directions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cranberries until well coated. You will want to work fast as the cranberries may begin to burst.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to a parchment lined wire rack to dry for at least an hour.

Pour the remaining sugar into a bowl. Once the cranberries are dry work in batches to coat the cranberries in the sugar. Transfer to a clean piece of parchment paper and let the cranberries dry for at least an hour.

Christmas Tree Brownies

Are you still looking for an easy and quick Christmas themed dessert to make? These Christmas Tree Brownies may just be the thing. You can make these completely homemade, semi-homemade, or just by using store bought items only. I went with semi-homemade. Using a boxed brownie mix and homemade frosting. And since they only make 8 brownies, they may be the perfect amount for your smaller get togethers this year.

 

I prepped the brownie batter per the instructions on the box and then poured it into an 8-inch round cake pan that I lined with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray. Using a round cake pan is the key behind cutting even triangles without any waste. And while I don’t normally line my pan with parchment paper when making brownies, I did so this time to ensure the brownies wouldn’t stick to the pan.

After baking, I let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled I easily removed them from the pan…

And sliced them into 8 even triangles.

I had leftover frosting from decorating a cake a few days prior, so I let it sit out at room temperature, since it had been refrigerated, for a few hours before tinting it green. If you don’t want to make your own frosting you can use store bought. At this time of the year you may even be able to find green frosting.

Next I made small slits with a paring knife into the base of the brownie triangles…

I did this so it would be easier to insert paper straws into the brownies to resemble a tree trunk.

While I used paper straws that I picked up at my local party store cut in half, you could also use peppermint candy canes. You’ll just need to trim off the curved part and depending on the length of your candy canes cut them in half. Regardless of whether you are using straws or candy canes, you will want to insert them first into the brownies before decorating them. If you don’t, you may end up smudging the decorated brownie.

Once the straws were inserted it was time to decorate. I filled a piping bag fitted with a small star tip (I used a Wilton 16) with the green frosting and piped it onto the brownies to resemble a Christmas tree.

Finally, I sprinkled Christmas themed nonpareils onto the frosting and topped each with a gold star sprinkle.

And just as easy as that I had made Christmas Tree Brownies!

 

Supply List:

8 Triangle Shaped Brownies (Use a box mix or your favorite recipe baked in an 8-inch round cake pan)

Green Frosting (Use your favorite vanilla frosting recipe tinted green or buy vanilla frosting and tint it green or even easier, if you can find it, buy green frosting) – About 1/2 cup

Paper straws or candy canes

Christmas Themed Nonpareils

Gold Star Sprinkles

Cookie Palooza: Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookies

I normally end Cookie Palooza with a no-bake option for those individuals who just don’t have the time to bake or for those who baking is just not their thing. Unfortunately, not this year though. Although, I am bringing you a cookie that’s pretty fool-proof and will have people asking you if you made them yourself. A Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookie.

 

I began by making the dough. In a large bowl I creamed together butter and confectioners’ sugar and then added in vanilla extract and finally flour. I covered the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerated the dough for an hour.

After an hour I removed the dough from the refrigerator and used a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then formed it into small logs that I placed about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Yes, they are closer than that in this picture, but it was only for the picture.

Next, I pressed about three-fourths of the cookie with a fork to flatten it. To prevent the fork from sticking to the dough, since it was starting to get a bit sticky from being handled, I dipped the fork in flour every few cookies. I’ll admit that they did look a little wonky before going into the oven and I was having doubts that they would look good after baking…

But, after baking them in a 350 F preheated for about 15 minutes, they didn’t look all that bad. Especially after dipping the unflatten part of the cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkling it with holiday sprinkles. And while I used holiday sprinkles, you could totally do chopped nuts instead or your favorite color of sprinkles.

Final verdict… These were a hit! Sometimes butter cookies can be on the dry side and/or lacking flavor, but these were neither. I was actually asked if I had made them myself, they were so good! This is definitely a nice cookie you can gift to anyone on your list this year. But, if you are still doubting you could whip these up, check out the no-bake option I ended last year’s Cookie Palooza with… A Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie. Which is eerily similar to how I ended this year.

I hope you have enjoyed this year’s Cookie Palooza. As the year winds down and we look forward to 2021, that will hopefully be better than this year, stay safe and be healthy!

 

Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

For Cookies:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

 

For Dipping:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon shortening

Holiday sprinkles

 

Directions:

In a large bowl cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar using a handheld mixer on medium speed. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well. Gradually add in the flour until combined. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F. Shape tablespoonfuls of the dough into 2 1/2-in x 1/2-in logs and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. With a fork, flatten three-fourths of each log lengthwise. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 – 16 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Cool on the baking sheets.

Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. Dip the round end of the cookie into the chocolate and then place on a piece of wax paper. Before the chocolate sets sprinkle with the sprinkles. Let chocolate firm. To speed up the process you can place the cookie in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Cookie Palooza: Brown Butter Crinkles

Crinkles are great holiday cookies. You can make them in numerous flavors or stick with a simple recipe and tint the batter red and/or green for Christmas or blue for Hanukkah. In fact, I have been sharing a crinkle cookie recipe for the past couple of years during my Cookie Palooza. Believe it or not there is a science behind crinkle cookies. The cookies get their look and name because the surface of the cookie dries out before the cookie is done spreading and rising while baking. This causes the cookie to harden, crack and pull apart, hence the name crinkles. This is all thanks to rolling the dough in granulated sugar and then confectioners’ sugar prior to baking. I’ve shared quite a few crinkle recipes here on my blog and today I am sharing my favorite thus far, a Brown Butter Crinkle.

To start, you need to make brown butter. To do so I melted a stick of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once it started to boil, I reduced the heat to medium and let the melted butter simmer until foamy. I stirred it occasionally and scraped the bottom of the pan until the foam subsided and the butter turned a golden brown and had a nutty aroma. I then transferred the melted butter and the brown specks that formed to a large heatproof bowl and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

While the butter cooled I combined the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Once the butter cooled, I mixed in granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and finally the flour mixture until the dough formed. I then transferred it to a piece of plastic wrap and shaped it into a disk and refrigerated it for an hour. The dough needs to be refrigerated because it is extremely soft. Thanks to the brown butter, the dough (and ultimately the cookie itself) had a nice mocha color.

After an hour I removed the dough from the refrigerator and while the dough did firm up some, it was still soft enough to scoop with a cookie scoop. I scooped the dough and rolled it into a ball…

And then coated each with granulated sugar and then confectioners’ sugar.

And baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 15 minutes. After letting them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes I then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

So, why are these my favorite crinkle cookies now? Well, it’s because of the brown butter. Brown butter added a nice nutty flavor to the cookie.

Looking for more crinkle flavors, check out these recipes:

Key Lime Crinkles

PeanutButterCrinkles

Chocolate Walnut Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles

Red Velvet Blossom

 

Brown Butter Crinkles

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups unbleached flour

3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

 

Directions:

Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to boil reduce the heat to medium and simmer until foamy. Continue cooking the butter, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan, until foam subsides, and the butter has turned a golden brown with a nutty aroma and milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to the bottom of the pan, 2 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large heatproof bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt – and set aside.

Once the butter has cooled, stir in 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the dark brown sugar into the brown butter until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla and finally the flour mixture until the dough forms. Transfer the dough to piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and then wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in another small bowl. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough and roll into a bowl. Roll the dough in the granulated sugar and then in the confectioners’ sugar. Place on the prepared on the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes. The cookies will be done when they spread slightly, crackle and are set at the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection

Cookie Palooza: Spicy Chocolate Cookies

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate. I am partial to peppermint hot chocolate myself. Today’s Cookie Palooza cookie, Spicy Chocolate Cookies, has all the decadence of hot chocolate in one bite, but, with the addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper they are reminiscent of a Mexican Hot Chocolate. Don’t fear though, the cayenne doesn’t make these super spicy or anything. It’s actually a nice complement to the chocolate. And the chocolate chunks added to the cookies melt perfectly while baking to create a nice smooth texture within them. To top them off, they are rolled in turbinado sugar before baking… Yum!

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper and baking soda.

In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and dark brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then roll into a ball and gently roll in the turbinado sugar and then place on the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies begin to crack slightly. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection