Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Now is the time for layers - sweaters & other baggy garments that allow me to eat lots of cookies without feeling guilty because guess why - you can't see me! It's chipmunk season, people! Time to start indulging! Fat = warmth. Bears know whats up! Leave the guilt in your rear-view and don't swing around to pick it up until it's January and your need to feel accomplished by having "resolutions" starts to nag at you.


Sugar cookies are pure fall perfection. They are sweet, savory, salty, pretty, and basic...all of the familiar things you love about the fall.  And I'm warning you now - don't taste the batter because by the end of it you'll be cursing me for claiming that this recipe makes three dozen, when unknowingly you ate about a half dozen yourself.

Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life's recipe for Drop Cracked Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 C. sugar
1 C. butter
3 egg yolks
1 1/3 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
Colored Sugar Crystals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, beat sugar & butter until creamy.  Next, add in the egg yolks, one yolk at a time.  Add in almond extract.

Next add in baking soda, cream of tartar, salt. Mix. Now add flour in a 1/2 C. at a time until all flour is mixed in and a dough is formed.

Roll (or scoop) dough into 3/4" balls. Roll 3/4 of the cookie in the granulated sugar of your choice.  Place the bottom of the cookie (1/4 not covered in sugar) on a silpat on a cookie sheet (or a greased cookie sheet. If you don't have silpat, parchment paper works best). Leave about 2" between each dough ball as cookies will grow in the oven.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are just golden.  If cookies come out dome shaped, pat down top of cookies with a spatula or pie server to flatten.

Yields about three dozen cookies.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

As I prepared to glue myself to a sofa from the hours of 8-10 pm to shamelessly indulge in part one of the televised Kim Kardashian wedding event, I felt the need for something sweet...and incredibly quick to make.  It was already 7 pm and I needed time to make something, decompress, get comfortable and flick to E! within sixty minutes.

I  knew that even going near the oven would result in minute-hogging cleaning and too much time spent preheating, baking, cooling and all the rest of it. It had to be *gasp* no-bake or it was going to be nothing at all.

Then I remembered this wonderful little twenty minute dessert....peanut butter balls. And almost as quickly as I decided on making them, they were done.  Here's the recipe. They are quick, easy, delicious and although simple, quite fancy looking.

Peanut Butter Balls

3 tsp. room temperature butter
1/2 C. Peanut Butter
1 1/4 C. Confectioners Sugar
3 1/2 tsp. milk

1 C. Chocolate chips or chocolate melting wafers

In a bowl, mix butter & peanut butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add in confectioners sugar - about a half cup at a time until all is mixed well. Add in milk to moisten mixture and mix thoroughly until dough forms.

Roll mixture into 1" balls and place on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for ten minutes.

Pour chocolate chips (or chocolate melting wafers) into a microwave safe bowl  and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue to melt at thirty second increments until chocolate is smooth and completely melted.

Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate and cover completely with spoon. Place on a piece of wax paper to dry. Add sprinkles right away if you desire.

Store in an airtight container either on the counter or in the fridge.  Makes about 1.5 dozen peanut butter balls.

Enjoy...and Congrats Kim & Kris!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apple Bourdelot en Croute

Nothing gets you in the mood for fall like the fresh, crisp taste of an apple. Whether it be Macintosh, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, apples emulate all that is fall. They're refreshing, bright, comforting. They match the same soothing colors that are starting to pop up on the trees all around us and when you bite into them it sounds like the crunch of leaves under your favorite pair of boots.

Fall in New England is not a season known for its longevity, but luckily there is no shortage of apple-related recipes to make the warm, fuzzy feeling of the season linger on and on. 

Apple Bourdelot en Croute (which in English translates to Baked Apple in Pastry Crust) is an amazing dessert that allows everyone to have their own piece of fall...and the best part is, you don't have to share! Each apple is cored, stuffed with butter, brown sugar, dried cranberries and maple syrup resulting in the apple pie equivalent of a molten lava cake. And then to top it all off, it gets wrapped up in its own individual pie crust and decorated to resemble the very fruit that the dessert celebrates.

I learned how to make this last year in an Adult Ed Decadent Desserts class and I was enamored. How delicious. How fancy. How....simple. 

Trying to impress someone this fall? Try this one out.....Oh heck, make it for yourself. It's delicious & you'll thank me later.

The quality of the photos aren't that great. Obviously, I was just eager to eat this thing.

Recipe after the break....