Thanksgiving Day Parade of New Recipes

My brother and I have started a nice Thanksgiving Day tradition filled with cooking, baking, pajamas, and video games. This Thanksgiving I not only mastered 4 new recipes, but I am quite skilled at playing the drums on Wii Rockband.

Here is our Menu/Itinerary for the day:

-Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
-Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones  I was so excited to finally find cinnamon chips, I just had to use them and these were SO delicious and came together very quickly!

Early Afternoon:
-Mario Kart
-Wii Fit
-Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread (made the dough so we could have it with our dinner)
-It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a few episodes)


-Vegetarian Tortilla Soup  minus the tortilla part since we had bread. This was so easy and tasty I will definitely be making this soup again and again.
-Focaccia Bread
-Wii Rock Band
-Truffle Brownies YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM!

We had Thanksgiving with our Dad's side of the family and whipped up these delicious sandwich cookies. Totally worth the time grating the carrots. Everything else is easy, especially eating them!
Bookmark and Share


Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

In the spirit of fall I have been on quite the pumpkin kick and just about everything pumpkin sounds appealing to me. I am never opposed to cream cheese, so when I came across this cream cheese pumpkin bread I was very excited to try it. The recipe makes two loaves of bread so I decided to make one loaf to bring to a party and use the remaining batter for muffins. They both turned out fantastic! I also made a honey butter to go along with them which was just delicious.

Pumpkin Bread (adapted from Joy of Baking ):
1 Cup Pecans- choppped and toasted
3-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 Eggs
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Butter- unsalted, melted and cooled
1- 15oz can Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 Cup Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese- softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

Preheat Oven to 350°, grease and flour bread and/or muffin pans
1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Stir in the flour until smooth and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In another large bowl whisk the eggs. Stir in sugar and butter until blended. Stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract, and pecans until blended.
4. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Do not over stir or the bread will be tough.
5. Place a quarter of the batter in the bottom of a greased and floured bread pan and another quarter in a greased a floured muffin pan or another bread pan. Place a layer of the cream cheese filling into each. Top each off with the remaining batter.
6. Bake the bread 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. For muffins bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Honey Butter:
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter- room temperature
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

Stir all ingredients together until blended.
Bookmark and Share


1st is the worst, 2nd is the best....

In the past seven days my baked goodies have been in two different competitions. The first was an apple pie bake-off at my office. I think I have only baked one apple pie prior to this so I was pretty nervous. So nervous in fact that I did a trial run earlier in the week just to make sure my skills were up to par. The verdict of the bake-off, 2nd place, losing by 1 measly vote! However, I'm calling it a tie. Later in the day my office manager spilled the beans that she voted for my pie, but then decided not to count her vote. It was also declared that my crust was the best, yay! I think next time around all I would need to do is amp up my filling a bit with some more spices or a surprise.....the winning pie had craisins mixed it, admittedly, it was very tasty.
The second bake-off was a cookie bake-off at Bethaney's clinic. We decided to make S'mores cookies and they were awesome! A little graham cracker added to a simple chocolate chip cookie dough and some marshmallows on top, yum! They were very easy to make, but transporting them from cookie sheet to parchment paper proved to be extremely tricky. The dough really spreads thin and they fall apart if you take them off too quickly, but are really tough to get off the cookie sheet if you wait to long. Something about these cookies being thin and chewy makes them really delicious though. So, this was another 2nd place treat, the winner being some sort of brownie cookie. In my eyes a brownie beats a cookie most of the time so I can't complain, but perhaps I could question whether or not it was cookie enough to be in the competition.

Ah well, I'm a novice at baking and competing in bake-offs so I will take my 2nd places with pride and hope for the best with future entries. Here are a couple of solid delicious recipes:

Apple Pie (adapted from The Elegant Farmer):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces
1/3 cup ice water (I ended up using a couple more tablespoons than this)

2 Granny Smith apples/3 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored, and thickly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1.Make the Crust: combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until pea-sized pieces appear. Add the water and continue to cut in a few more times—it will still look crumbly. Transfer the crumbs to 2 pieces of parchment paper or foil and form into 2 disks. Wrap the discs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2.On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out 1 disk to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Keep rolling until the circle is at least 2 inches larger than your 9" pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, letting the edge hang over a bit. Roll the second disk, place it on a sheet pan and chill it until you're ready to build your pie.
3.Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
4.Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together. Transfer to the pie shell and dot with the remaining butter. Brush the overhanging edges of the dough with water. Carefully cover with the rolled-out top crust and pinch the edges together, turning them under all around to make a thick edge. To decorate the rim, press it all around with the back of a fork, or just pinch it to seal. With a scissors, cut a few V-vents in the center.
5. Slide the pie into the brown paper bag and fold the top down. Staple bag shut and place it on a sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour.
6.Remove the pie from the oven and cut a large circle in top of the bag. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Let the pie cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

S'mores Cookies (recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod) makes 4 dozen:
1-1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 Hershey bars, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, & salt.
3. In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture, about 3 additions, until smooth.
5. Drop small tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 8 minutes, remove and push 3-4 marshmallows and 3-4 pieces of chocolate onto each cookie. Place back into oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool on parchment paper.
Bookmark and Share


Pumpkin Pie Truffles

Perhaps part of the reason I love fall so much is all the fall season inspired treats. I have been buying a can of pumpkin just about every time I go to the grocery store and just started putting them to use. I have never made truffles before and since I am intending to make A LOT of holiday candy, including truffles, I figured I better get my feet wet sooner rather than later. I came across these tastey little morsels on Cake Batter and Bowl  and thought they looked like a delicious way to start. They didn't come together quickly and mine didn't turn out very pretty, but they weren't as complicated as I thought they were going to be. However, it really is important to cook the pumpkin in order to remove a lot of the moisture. I also had to refrigerate the filling for closer to an hour. They are really delicious, like little bite sized pumpkin pies. I think they look really cute even the mishapen ones, like real pumpkins.
Bookmark and Share