I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! These are the cookies that we shared with our family and friends this Christmas season.
My list of favorite cookies continues to grow- at some point I will have to edit myself. 😉 I tried a new glazed gingerbread cookie using snowflake cookie stamps. I also made spritz cookies with almonds and almond extract using my grandmother’s cookie press. Festive and fun.
Happy belated Thanksgiving and Happy Holiday Season! 🙂 We were so happy to be able to celebrate with extended family this year!
I love to post my Thanksgiving Menu to help me plan in the future. Hopefully some of my menu choices are helpful to others too. I will link the new menu items to posts as soon as I am able.
Highlights of our celebration this year included my son’s Chamber Orchestra Thanksgiving concert and the beautiful place cards that my daughter made for our table. My kids also helped cook! My son made the mashed potatoes (his favorite) and gravy. My daughter made the vegetables and dip, photo above, to bring to a Friendsgiving celebration. My 19-month old niece brought her fabulous artwork to contribute to the decor, photo below. 🙂
Our meal included many old favorites. I revisited an apple-pear pie which was absolutely wonderful. I also tried new stuffing, Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie recipes. Lovely!
Traditionally, I make one new holiday cookie to share with our neighbors and co-workers. This year, I made an assortment of old favorites. I just didn’t find a new cookie that caught my eye!
Of course, when it was “too late,” a friend gave us a gift of homemade butter brickle. It was beyond fabulous! I would love to add it next year, or something like it, like an English Toffee recipe that I found from the New York Times. But that’s next year. 😉
Happy Holidays to you all! Enjoy your time with family and friends. ❤ Best wishes for a wonderful 2018!
Is it okay to make a comfort food dish using leftovers from a comfort food meal? Hope so! 😉
This dish reminds me of a chicken dish that I used to make –longago– for my husband served over waffles. No wonder he loved this upgraded version! It was a wonderful way to use the rest of our leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It would also be fabulous with rotisserie chicken meat.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I doubled the recipe to accommodate all of my leftover turkey. We ate this creamy concoction with my favorite Sweet Potato Biscuits, but it would also be amazing served over waffles, as a crepe filling, or with noodles. My son ate some over toast. Great.
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2-3 T olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 1/2cups turkey or chicken stock, low-sodium if store-bought
1 pound sliced mushrooms, ideally wild (I used cremini mushrooms)
3cups shredded cooked turkey or rotisserie chicken
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
2 cups frozen peas
4 tablespoons dry sherry
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
finely chopped parsley, for garnish
Make a roux. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. When it begins to foam, sprinkle the flour over it, and whisk to combine, then continue whisking until it begins to turn the color of straw, approximately 7-10 minutes.
Slowly add 1 cup of the stock to this mixture, and stir to combine. Add more stock to thin the sauce. Keep warm.
Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil.
Add the mushrooms, and cook, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begun to get glossy and soft, approximately 7-10 minutes.
Add the turkey (or chicken), then the warm sauce and cream, and stir to combine.
Add the peas, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and has thickened slightly, approximately 7-10 minutes.
Stir in the sherry, adjust seasonings and serve over biscuits or toast, rice or buttered noodles, or as a crepe filling or waffle topping, garnished with the parsley.
I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t enjoy. Apple pie is delicious! 😉 But, I am still seeking a pie that I absolutely love- a pie that will end the search for the perfect pie.
This pie was lovely, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a combination of apples and sliced them in a food processor. The pie crust incorporated vodka to ensure a flaky result; my Mother-in-law always utilizes this trick. The filling, thickened with tapioca and apple butter, held together perfectly. I baked it the day before Thanksgiving and it kept well at room temperature.
I served it at the end of our Thanksgiving feast along with my favorite Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Pecan Pie Bars. Most of us eat small slices of whichever dessert strikes our fancy- topped with either whipped cream or served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
2 ½cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
½teaspoon/2.5 grams coarse salt
2 ½sticks/20 tablespoons/285 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
4tablespoons/60 ml vodka
¼ to ½cup ice water
For the Filling:
3pounds/1 1/3 kilograms apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (1/8-inch) (I used a combination of Sweet Tango, Envy, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples)
½cup/99 grams granulated sugar, more as needed
2tablespoons/30 grams dark brown sugar
2tablespoons/30 grams quick-cooking tapioca
1 ½teaspoons/3 grams ground cinnamon
1teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
¼teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 ½tablespoons/22 ml lemon juice
3tablespoons/45 grams apple butter
heavy cream or milk, as needed
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, as needed
vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
To Make the Crust:
In a food processor, pulse together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add butter and pulse until mixture forms 3/4-inch pieces.
Mix vodka with 4 tablespoons ice water (or use 1/2 cup ice water).
Add half the ice water mixture to dough, pulse a few times, then continue adding liquid a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together (you might not use all the liquid). Dough should be moist, but not wet, and hold together when pinched. If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
Between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, gather dough into a ball. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk.
Cover both tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
To Complete the Pie:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
While dough chills, heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Line chilled crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed. (You can bake the crust up to 24 hours in advance.)
Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Fold in apple butter. Transfer apples to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch round. Use a knife to cut strips 1 3/4 inches wide (or desired width). Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
Brush top of crust with heavy cream or milk. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 15 minutes more.
Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
These one-bowl cookies were quick to make and called for one of my favorite ingredients- dulce de leche. The crunchy roasted hazelnuts and chewy coconut provided nice contrasting textures as well.
This recipe was adapted from Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking by Jennifer McHenry, via Scott Suchman of The Washington Post. I roasted and peeled the hazelnuts and adjusted the cookie size and resulting baking time. I double the recipe below and included them in my Christmas cookie assortment.
Yield: about 36 cookies
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1 cup dulce de leche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside a third rimmed baking sheet, unlined, for the hazelnuts.
Spread hazelnuts on the unlined, rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the 350-degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until you see the skins crack.
Immediately transfer the nuts to a clean dish towel; wrap up and vigorously massage the mass of nuts (through the towel) until the skins have loosened and fallen away. Discard the skins.
When cool enough to handle, chop the hazelnuts.
Combine the coconut, chopped hazelnuts, dulce de leche, vanilla extract and salt in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop by spoonfuls (about 36) on the baking sheets, spacing the spoonfuls an inch apart.
Bake, on the middle rack, one sheet at a time for 7 to 12 minutes, or until just set.
Cool completely on the sheet; repeat with the remaining macaroons.
Make Ahead: The macaroons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
I love having at least one spice cookie in my Christmas cookie assortment. This year, I selected Lebkuchen because I know my mom is a fan of them. I only made one batch- what a mistake! I should have doubled it (at least)… Next time. 😉
This recipe is from Hannah of the beautiful blog Domestic Gothess. I glazed the finished cookies and omitted dipping them in chocolate. I weighed the dry ingredients and freshly ground the spices in the dough. They were wonderful!
For the Lebkuchen:
150 g (1/2 + 1/3 cup) dark brown soft sugar
150 g (5.3oz) runny honey
50 g (4 T, 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
finely grated zest of 1 naval orange
300 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
150 g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
1 T cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
For the Glaze:
150 g (1 1/2 cups) Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 T water
Put the sugar, honey, butter and orange zest in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In two or three additions, mix in the flour mixture until well combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least half an hour or (ideally) up to overnight.
To Bake: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 (on convection) and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop out portions of the dough using a large cookie scoop (1 1/2″ in diameter) or measuring spoon (about 1 1/2 tbsp at a time), and roll between slightly damp hands into smooth balls.
Place them well spaced apart on the baking sheets and flatten them slightly with your fingers.
Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until firm and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Transfer the Lebkuchen to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To Make the Glaze: Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and gradually mix in enough of the water to form a slightly runny icing – not too wet though or it will all run off. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
Dip the tops of the Lebkuchen in the glaze, allow the excess to drip off then place them right-side up on the wire rack to set.
Once set, store in an airtight container. The cookies improve over time. An apple placed in the container may keep them more fresh.