Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpkin cookies

Well, I have refrained from putting a plethora of  pumpkin recipes on here as of late.  But, I couldn't resist one more before we all start looking forward to everyone posting about their favorite Christmas cookie recipes and all things candy cane!  Don't get me wrong, I too am already scouring Pinterest, magazines, and my favorite blogs to begin putting together "THE LIST".  Last year I loaded up on all things chocolate for Christmas....I will probably do that again, because....I love chocolate....

But this beautiful recipe keeps things in perspective....It's not December yet people!!!  Alas we have already had a huge dump of snow...(and I have already begun to listen to Christmas music - don't tell David!!!) is a lovely fall recipe to take me back to the lovely days where the air was crisp, with a hint of smokiness from fireplaces, colored leaves falling gracefully to the ground, and the promise of comfort with hot teas, warm scones, and heart warming stews, chilis, and soups....OK, its gonna be a loooooooong winter up here.

These are a beautifully soft pumpkin cookie with a lovely sweetness of white chocolate.  My husband loved them.  So as  you carve up your pumpkins this week for Trick or Treat day,  remember this recipe and make it for your families.  The kids and hubbies will love opening their lunch boxes to these sweet and spicy treats!!!

Pumpkin Cookies

What you need:
2-¼ cups All-purpose Flour 
1 teaspoon Baking Powder 
1 teaspoon Baking Soda 
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice 
½ teaspoons Salt 
½ cups Butter, Softened 
1 cup Granulated Sugar 
½ cups Brown Sugar 
1 cup Pumpkin Puree 
1 whole Egg 
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 
1 cup White Chocolate Chips 

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Homemade Chocolate syrup!


There are some essentials in life...Kraft Dinner, Heinz ketchup, taco know, the really important stuff.  In our house my two boys have some essentials too...Dino Eggs Oatmeal, Fruit to Go, and Chocolate Milk....SO IMPORTANT!  If we are out of syrup life is just not the same! Milk just isn't supposed to be white PEOPLE - Didn't you know!!!  (something about the cows being brown....)Chocolate...yep, I understand my boys reasoning all the way!

Problem though: I only buy syrup when its on sale because it really is a rip off - economically speaking.  So there are days when the boys have the white stuff.  Not their favorite variety, but whaddya do?  I refuse to pay full price!  Of course, I didn't even really think about making my own!  Then I saw some recipes on Pinterest and I played around a bit and I created my own.

This is really good, easy to make, and CHEAP!  So let's make the world a sweeter place...along with my pocketbook..... Make this gem of a syrup!

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan, add sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Whisk together gently.  Add water.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and cook 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

For chocolate milk, add 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to 8 oz. of milk.  Heat for hot chocolate.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

glazed chai muffins!

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I hope that you all had a most wonderful time with family and friends, being thankful for your blessings, and eating some good food!  I enjoyed the company of my husband's hunting friends (mine too - we just call them that. Love ya M and J), as well as my husband's family.  There is always a big to-do an Grandma's house and we all bring potluck items and enjoy a huge turkey.  Then of course is the extra yummy pumpkin pies and desserts that I of course tried both, and topped off with a generous helping of whipped cream.  I AM THAT THANKFUL!!!

I love the smells of Thanksgiving and fall cooking, the comfort of spices, pumpkin, apples, etc.  I am really enjoying cinnamon right now and I am using it in ALL my baking.  I recently made these lovely muffins that are inspired by chai tea. (another fall favorite of mine!)  I have never used cardamon before so this was a lovely introduction to this unique spice.  It is what gives the muffins its "chai-ness" I couldn't find the spice anywhere until I went to my local Farmer's Market, and there it was!!!  So I rushed home and made these muffins.  I love the glaze that they are dipped into as well.  Really finishes off the perfection of this muffin.

So continue to revel in the wonder of thankfulness and autumn beauty, finding comfort in a great chai tea and these lovely little muffins!

Glazed Chai Muffins 

adapted from:  My Baking Addiction

What you need:

For the Muffins

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

For the Glaze

3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup icing sugar;
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

What you do:
 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.
  2. Cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth, add the eggs one at a time, beating to combine.

3. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, black pepper, salt and vanilla. Mix well to fully incorporate.

4. Add the flour into the butter mixture with the milk, stir to combine.

5. Distribute the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the wells nearly full.

6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Prepare the glaze.

For the Glaze

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, icing sugar, spices, vanilla and milk. Whisk until smooth.

2. When muffins have cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.

3.  Enjoy with a hot beverage. Store muffins in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sweet Cinnamon Apple Dip

Apples....not really my most favorite fruit, BUT I do seem to enjoy them a lot more in the fall time.  Maybe its because I have filled up on strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and raspberries all summer and are pretty much sick of them...Maybe its the promise of cooler evenings and the scent of apple crisp baking with sweet and spicy cinnamon.  Ahhh, I LOVE apples and cinnamon together.  They are a marriage made in baking heaven....and also in a dip!

This sweet little ditty blends brown sugar, cream cheese, and cinnamon to make a lovely accompaniment to some sweet-tart apples.  Gala are my favorite!  So if you can't whip up a pie or crisp and are craving the sweet flavors of apple and cinnamon this dip is the way to go!!!  Enjoy!!!

Sweet Cinnamon Apple Dip

adapted: Kraft Canada.

What you Need:

250 g (1 pkg.)  brick cream cheese, softened
  2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg 
 4 Tbsp. milk
4 apples, each cut into slices

What you Do:

 Here is my way cool apple corer and peeler.  LOVE IT!!!

A little artistic work with the peelings...Yep I have THAT much time on my hands apparently. :)

 1. With a hand blender beat first 4 ingredients until smooth.
2.  Serve with apples and graham crackers for dipping.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

cinnamon biscotti

It is time to make some biscotti!!!

I has been awhile.  I find this slightly humorous as my blog's name has biscotti in it.  You would think I would be providing you with a plethora of recipes in a burgeoning file labeled "biscotti". But alas, I have been negligent in my biscotti duties.

I believe I have fulfilled the daily requirement for large words.....:)


I do enjoy a lovely biscotti and I have been looking forward to making this variation since I came upon it earlier in the year.  It sounds like it would be the most lovely accompaniment to a chai tea, or a pumpkin spice latte, and a good Jane Austen inspired book :)  Sweet cinnamon cookies to dunk in a steaming hot mug of goodness. :)

Here she be.  I hope to have some ladies over to enjoy these babies soon!!

Cinnamon Biscotti

Source: Joy the Baker

What you Need:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

 1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For Topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg (for brushing biscotti before baking)

What you Do:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. 

3.  Whisk together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and set aside.

4.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; beat another minute.   

5.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter all at once.  With a spoon or spatula, stir ingredients into a ball of dough.

6.  Divide the dough in two.  Shape each half of dough into a 9-inch long and 2-inch wide log.

7.  Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle very liberally with the cinnamon sugar.

8.  Bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.

9.  Remove from the oven but keep the oven on.  Let biscotti cool until able to handle.  Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch wide slices.  Place biscotti cut side down on baking sheet and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.

10.  Bake again until pale golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Cool completely.

11.  Dunk into sweet tea, chai tea, lattes, WHATEVER....and enjoy!

12.  Store in an airtight container for up to one week.