Cookie Palooza: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I kicked off Cookie Palooza on Monday with a chai spiced inspired snickerdoodle and here I am a few days later bringing you another snickerdoodle variation, a pumpkin one. I figured snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for the season since they are rolled in sanding sugar (along with other spices) prior to baking giving them a nice glisten to go with the season so why not share two. And with this pumpkin version you can keep those pumpkin lovers happy and not let them go overboard with the traditional flavor of the season… peppermint.

I began by making the dough for the cookies. In one bowl I whisked together all of the dry ingredients and in another bowl I mixed together the wet ingredients and then I added the dry to the wet to make the dough. I then set the dough aside for a few minutes and combined sanding sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a small bowl to roll the cookie dough in. Using a cookie scoop I scooped the dough and then rolled it in the sugar mixture and then placed it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Per the directions I placed the cookies about 3 inches apart on the sheet. Truthfully you could get away with 2 inches. While the cookie dough looks small the cookies will rise and spread a little while baking.

Next, I flattened the cookies with a spatula (use could also use the bottom of a glass cup) to about 1/2 inch thickness. I then baked them in a 375 preheated oven for 10 minutes.

After letting the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes I then transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Final verdict… I must say these are probably one of the best cookies I have ever made. They are firm on the outside but have a nice cakey center that isn’t dry. That is thanks to the addition of pumpkin puree. And while pumpkin often results in baked desserts that are super moist, the ingredients are so well balanced that that is not the case here. No one wants to eat a pumpkin cookie that is reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup fine sanding sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and nutmeg.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer beat together the butter and pumpkin until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue beating until combined.

In a small bowl mix together the sanding sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and then roll it in the sugar mixture and then place it on the prepared cookie sheet 3-inches apart. Flatten the cookies with a spatula to about 1/2-inch thick and then bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Pumpkin Biscotti

I’m not really sure why I haven’t tried making biscotti before. I have read some other bloggers failed attempts at baking them. Leaving them with a love/hate relationship for the crispy cookie. My love/hate relationship is the fact that while they are delicious they are sometimes too crunchy. And yes, I know biscotti is meant to be enjoyed by dipping it into a nice hot beverage to combat that issue, but, I am just not a fan of a possible mushy cookie. I was planning making biscotti for the first time as part of this year’s Cookie Palooza after coming across a recipe for a pistachio cranberry one during my magazine cleanout I mentioned a few posts back – and I very well may still do so – but, I am thinking Almond Biscotti now. So, how did I deviate from my original biscotti plan? I came across a pumpkin version on Instagram and around the same time I was looking for pumpkin treats to bake for a friend’s birthday. She loves pumpkin and biscotti so it was a win win situation all around to try out the recipe.

To make the dough, I began by beating softened butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder together. Per the recipe the mixture was supposed to get creamy. It didn’t happen though. Not sure if it was because I was using my hand mixer vs. my stand mixer, but, the ingredients did combine just never into a creamy consistency. Next I added in an egg and pumpkin puree. At this point my mixture did become creamy. And finally I added in flour at low speed. The resulting dough was very sticky.

I transferred the dough to a baking sheet I lined with parchment paper. And yes, I had used that parchment paper before. I was baking chocolate chip cookies prior to making the biscotti. I simply flipped the parchment paper over and used the other side for the biscotti. And in case you are wondering or weren’t aware, it’s perfectly safe to use parchment paper more than once. Just make sure if you are gifting the cookies to anyone they don’t have any allergies that could be affected by a different batch of cookies you made. Since the dough was sticky I did my best to form it into two rectangles. The recipe said 10 x 2 1/2, I ended up with 9 x 2 1/2. I did my best to get it to 10 inches, but, it wasn’t happening.

Next, I smoothed both rectangles with a small offset spatula that I dipped in water. I then sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar and lightly pressed the cinnamon sugar into the dough.

Then it was time for the first bake. I baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for 25 minutes. I then removed the pan from the oven, lowered the temperature of the oven to 325 F and waited 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes I transferred one of the logs to a cutting board and using a large serrated knife sliced it into 1/2 inch sliced. I measured the first one and eyeballed the remaining ones.

I repeated this with the second long and then placed all of the cut biscotti on edge back on the baking sheet and returned it to the oven for about 40 minutes. At the end of the bake time I checked on the biscotti and they were beginning to brown around the edges and were just a tad soft in the center, as per the recipe they should be. So, I turned the oven off and opened the oven door a few inches so they could cool inside the oven.

And once cool I had a delicious batch of Pumpkin Biscotti. And I must mention that my house smelled delicious while baking these. That’s enough of a reason to bake up a batch.

 

Pumpkin Biscotti

  • Servings: approximately 30 pieces
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Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt on medium speed until the mixture is combined. Add in the egg and pumpkin puree and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. On low speed add in the flour and continue mixing until smooth. The dough will be sticky.

Transfer the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet and divide in half. Shape it into two 10” x 2 1/2” rectangles. Using a wet offset spatula smooth the top and sides of the rectangles.

Sprinkle the top of both with cinnamon sugar and lightly press it into the dough.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Wait 5 minutes then transfer one of the logs to a cutting board and using a large serrated knife slice the log crosswise into 1/2” slices. Be sure to cut the biscotti straight up and down so that they are cut evenly. If you cut unevenly the biscotti may topple over during the second bake. Do the same with the second log.

Place the biscotti on edge back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven for an additional 40 to 45 minutes. Until the biscotti begins to brown around the edges and still a bit soft in the middle. Turn the oven off, open the door a few inches and let the biscotti cool completely in the oven.

Once cool, remove and store in an airtight container.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

For today’s Holiday Cake Week treat I am bringing you Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. Snickerdoodles are a simple cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar and are a traditional Christmas cookie. People sometimes confuse them with sugar cookies, but, there is a distinct difference between the two of them, besides the cinnamon sugar topping, Snickerdoodles are chewy while sugar cookies traditionally have a more crisp bite to them. These cupcakes have a cinnamon sugar topping similar to the cookie and are the perfect texture. The original recipe called for a Brown Sugar Buttercream frosting that I opted to omit, I truly feel the cupcake is enough on its own. If you’re interested in the frosting, follow the link after the recipe below. And, if you are looking for a yummy Snickerdoodle recipe, check out the one I post a few years ago. I still use it to this day.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

  • Servings: 18 cupcakes
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Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 egg whites

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Then whisk in the sugar, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter until combined.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full – about 1/4 cup batter in each one.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle a generous 1/2 teaspoons on top of each cupcake.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs.

Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire tack to cool completed.

Recipe from The Cake Blog

Apple Cider Fritters

I love Apple Cider Donuts! I first had them years ago when I went apple picking in upstate NY and now you can find them anywhere and everywhere. The best one’s I’ve had are from Wilklow Orchards in upstate NY and from Wooside Orchards out on the North Fork- their hard cider is good as well. I’ve also had some bad ones, but, we won’t get into that.  I did try to recreate them at home last year, but, it was a fail. I tried again this year, but, instead of donuts I made fritters and they were DELISH! The only problem… It’s easier to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of fritters than it is donuts.

Apple Cider Fritters

  • Servings: 24 Fritters
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Ingredients:

Fritters:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*

1/8 teaspoon cardamom*

1/8 teaspoon all spice*

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*Instead of all 4 spices, you could sub 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice for them

**Can use salted or unsalted, I used unsalted

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and all spice in a large bowl. In another bowl stir together the apple cider, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add the apple cider mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a shallow bowl.

Pour the oil in a Dutch oven or another heavy bottom deep pot and heat over medium heat to 360 to 370 F. Using a cookie scoop, drop the batter in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

While still warm roll the fritters in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

If you have seen this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine you know they are getting their readers ready for the Holidays with a slew of cookie recipes. While they all sound amazing one of them stood out from the rest for me… Cocoa Snickerdoodles. What is there not to love about a cookie made with cocoa and then rolled in cinnamon sugar?

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I began by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar (which I just recently learned is the key ingredient that makes a Snickerdoodle and Sugar Cookie different. The addition of the cream of tartar prevents the cookie from having the crunch of a Sugar Cookie and instead a soft and cakey inside.)

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Next I beat room temperature butter along with granulated and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy.

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I then added in an egg and vanilla extract.

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And finally I beat in the flour mixture until the two mixtures were just combined.

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Before placing the cookies on the baking sheet I rolled them in a mixture of sanding sugar and cinnamon.

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Since I knew these cookies would spread while baking I was sure to give them ample space on a parchment lined baking sheet prior to baking them in a 375 F oven for 9 minutes; rotating the pan after the first 5 minutes.

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My first batch right out of the oven… I let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once cooled I couldn’t wait to try one… Here’s a close-up of the soft cakey texture I mentioned.

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And while these cookies were delicious once cooled they were even better the next day once the cinnamon sugar mixture had more time to seep into them. The only bad thing about this recipe… It only yields 18 cookies!

 

Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sanding sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla; reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

2. Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with damp hands; toss in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Arrange about 3 inches apart on 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edge, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Cinco De Mayo Treats – Cupcakes & Churros

Happy Cinco de Mayo! While many will celebrate this day with tacos, burritos, margaritas and/or maybe some sangria (I had some yesterday,) I opted to bake some sweet treats… Tres Leches Cupcakes and Churros. The cupcakes were a piece of cake to make but the Churros; well I had my concerns prior to making them. I am not big on frying things – not because of the healthy/unhealthy debate, but, because I am fearful of hot oil splattering on me. Thankfully nothing of the sort happened and the Churros were a success.

Up first the cupcakes… I started off by assembling and prepping (separating the eggs, sifting the flour and melting the butter) all of my ingredients.

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I began making the batter by whisking together the egg whites with salt and baking soda until soft peaks formed. Following that I added in the eggs yolks and sugar.

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I then folded in the butter…

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And then the flour.

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After a little more folding the batter was ready.

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Per the directions, I used paper-lined foil liners which would hold up better while the cupcakes soaked up the Tres Leches.

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While the cupcakes were baking I made the Tres Leches mixture by whipping together condensed & evaporated milk and heavy cream.

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As soon as the cupcakes were done baking, approximately 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, I poked holes in them with a skewer and brushed the milk mixture over the cupcakes until I was just about out of the mixture.

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I then let the cupcakes sit for a bit so the milk mixture could be absorbed by the cupcakes and so they could finish cooling.

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On to the Churros… I began by making the dough for the Churros. I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t look all that appetizing.

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I then filled a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the dough.

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Now the part that concerned me… Piping the dough into hot oil. As I said though, it went off without a hitch.

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And after a frying up a few batches and letting them drain on paper towels I shook them up with a cinnamon sugar mixture and they were ready for munching.

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And to finish off the cupcakes… I topped them with a whipped cream frosting and then sprinkled them with some cinnamon. Delicioso!

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Tres Leches Cupcakes

From Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

For Cupcakes:

6 large eggs, separated, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

For Whipped Cream Frosting:

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper-lined foil liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar; whisk until completely combined. Fold in melted butter with a flexible spatula. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each half-way. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately pokes holes in tops of cupcakes with a skewer.

Whisk together evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. With cupcakes still in tin, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving.)

For whipped cream – whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk until combined.

To finish, dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes, and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

 

Mexican Crullers (Churros)

Courtesy: Daisy Martinez

1 cup water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 to 5 eggs

Canola oil, for frying

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the crullers: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water, the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt over medium-high heat until the edges of the liquid start to bubble. Add the flour all at once and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until well mixed and no lumps of flour remain.

Remove from the heat. Add 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each. The dough should look soft and glossy and keep a “hook” shape when the spoon is pulled from the dough. If not, beat in the last egg.

Scrape the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pour enough canola oil into a deep heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) to fill 1-inch. Heat over medium heat until the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon gives off a slow steady stream of tiny bubbles. Carefully pipe the dough into the oil, forming 6-inch crullers. Pipe only as many crullers into the oil as fit comfortably. Overcrowding the pan will result in soggy crullers. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Put the sugar and the cinnamon in a paper bag. Crimp the top and shake well to mix. Drop a few crullers at a time into the bag and shake until coated. Best served as soon as possible.

Snickerdoodles

I always thought that Snickerdoodles were a cookie with toffee or something of the sort. I remember having a cookie like that back when I was in college and for some reason I thought that was it. But, not too long ago I had the real thing and was instantly hooked. For those of who are in the dark like I was, Snickerdoodles are essentially sugar cookies that are rolled in cinnamon sugar prior to baking. Recently I picked up Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook and one of the first recipes I came across was for Snickerdoodles so of course I had to try it out.

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To begin I sifted the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into one bowl and mixed together my wet ingredients (sugar, butter and eggs) in another bowl.

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I then gradually mixed the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and as simple as that the dough came together.

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Using a small cookie scoop I shaped the dough into balls and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar and placed them on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

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After baking for 13 minutes (I rotated the sheet at 6 minutes) in a 350 degrees preheated oven my Snickerdoodles were done.

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I let them cool on the cookie sheets on wire racks and once they were cool enough I tried one and they were great! A favorite to be baked over and over again!

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Snickerdoodles

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2 large eggs

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in the flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into twenty 1 3/4- inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.