Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve Shortcut Buns

I thought I would try this recipe this year. Who wants regular breakfast food for Christmas morning? The night before you prepare the recipe and let it rise overnight. Then when the presents are being opened you bake the rolls. The aroma was incredible! Just a little warning...it is so tempting to put more rolls in the bundt pan than what the recipe calls for...don't. It really looks sparse, but by morning the pan is filled to the brim with the risen dough.More rolls would have made it over flow and you can imagine the mess. This is definitely a keeper and new tradition in my home :)

Edited 1/21/08 Due to bad links, therefore I'll post the recipe here:

Christmas Eve Shortcut Buns
by Leanne Ely

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes or Bridgeport are brands I have used)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan.

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aunt Louise's Butterscotch Cookies

This is an old family recipe. The recipe came from my father's Aunt Louise. Sliced very thin, they are so addictive...like potato chips...you can't have just one!

Here my recipe:
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. baking powder
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and portion into 4 logs, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night. Next day slice with a sharp knife very thin. Bake 350 degrees, 7 min on a greased cookie sheet. Remove from pans quickly and move to rack to cool.

Enjoy :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All time favorite. Recipe found here.

Gingerbread Cookies

Another family favorite, done my short cut way of not rolling, but pressing out the cookies with a plastic cup (tupperware) with a bulls eye on the bottom.

Here's my recipe:
1 cup oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp.ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets. In a large bowl, beat together oil, brown sugar,molasses, and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, baking soda,spices. beating until blended. Portion into two and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to be used next day. Roll into 1 " balls and flatted with a cup dipped into sugar. Decorate with nonpareils or colored sugar. Bake 8 -12 minutes, until firm but not dark. Cool on racks.

Enjoy :)

Springerle Cookies

Springerle is my favorite of all the Christmas cookie I make. Springerle is a German anise flavored cookie. They should be chewy on the inside. With age they do get hard, but I still love them with a cup of tea. I don't do them the traditional way of rolling them out and using the special carved rolling pin. I know it's a poor excuse that I'm so lazy. I do have the special rolling pin that belonged to my great-grandmother. She immigrated here from Germany.
This is what the cookie should look like:
I use a cookie press with a duck impression on it instead of rolling out the dough. I portion the dough into 1 " balls and then use the cookie press to flatten them out.

Here's my recipe:
4 large eggs
1 lb. powdered sugar (confectioner's)
1 1/2 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. butter softened
1 1/2 tbsp. anise extract
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking powder
flour to make a stiff dough, about 4- 4 1/2 cups

Mix all ingredients together. Roll out on a floured surface. Use an equal amount of flour and confectioner's sugar to keep the dough from sticking. Use molded rolling pin and cut into squares or roll into balls and flatten with a cup or cookie press dipped into the flour/confectioner's sugar mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to dry overnight covered with towel. Bake next day in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.


Ginger Snaps

This is one of my family's favorite cookies. It's similar to the spiced up ginger cookies I have made before.

Here's my recipe:
1 1/3 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
6 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs, beating well. Stir in molasses, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. Shape into 1" ball. I use a small cookie (ice cream scoop about 1" in diameter) scoop and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten, they will flatten aft they cool. Bake 10 minutes. They will start to crack, but are puffed up. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on a rack.

To make these cookies special for Christmas I usually roll them in sugar before baking.

Enjoy :)

Sugar Cookies

This recipe is for cookie-cutter sugar cookies. I'm lazy and instead of rolling out the dough and using my cookie cutters, I developed an easy way to make them. I use one of those small (about an inch in diameter) ice cream scoops to portion out the dough and then I use a small plastic (tupperware) cup that has the bulls eye on the bottom to flatten out the cookies. No rolling necessary.

Here's my recipe:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 1/2 cups flour
5 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine both mixtures and stir thoroughly. Divide into two portions, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Roll out on floured board. (I used the cookie scoop, tumbler dipped in sugar to flatten...no extra flour) . I decorate the cookies with colored sugar and m&m's before baking. (If desired you can frost the cookies after baking.) Bake on a lightly grease cookie sheet at 350 degrees until slightly golden about 10 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Yesterday I made the first of many different types of Christmas cookies for our family's Christmas...a double batch of pizzelles. A little package of pizelles makes wonderful gift. My recipe comes from my Villaware Pizzelle iron instruction book, but I found a website that has the same recipe. The only thing I do differently is that I use 2 tsp. of anise extract. If you don't like anise, you can just use vanilla. We love the anise flavored cookies and I must say it certainly makes my house smell good. Next on the docket is chocolate chip cookies and gingersnaps, which I have written about previously on my blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lasagna Soup

Last night I tried the Lasagna Soup recipe from Janice's blog. It's definitely a keeper in my house! Everyone enjoyed it and I know I'll be making it again and again. I altered the recipe a tad. In the store I couldn't find the mafalda pasta. I used Pastene's mafaldine 5 instead. I also couldn't find a 10 3/4 can of tomato sauce so I used the same sized can as the stewed tomatoes. Then we used shredded mozzarella. I also added about a can's worth of extra water. The soup is really delicious! This is definitely a soup you can serve to company. Enjoy :)

P.S. Janice always has great recipes on her blog. She also has a blog dedicated to her recipes. Her chicken and gravy recipe has become a staple in my house. We have had it with or without green beans. We like it best served over rice. I have made it so many times now that I can't even tell you. It's great with leftover cooked chicken or even turkey. I make it with leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken, as well as chicken cooked in my crockpot. When I use the crockpot chicken I use the broth that forms in the cooking process. How do I cook my chicken in the crockpot you ask? Well I buy a big roasting chicken (I have a large crockpot). Wash and dry the chicken well and put into a dry crockpot. I season the chicken with salt (Kosher), garlic powder, and onion powder and some butter or margarine. Cook on high for 1 hour then turn to low and cook all day until the chicken falls apart. Refrigerate the broth that forms and remove the fat after it gels. This is the best chicken to use in recipes calling for cooked chicken like chicken pie, chicken in gravy, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken soup etc.