Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Cookies

Here is a recipe I experimented with and now I will share with you. If you like the chewy fudgy type of cookie this ones for you...

Triple Chocolate Cherry Christmas Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (you substitute semisweet chocolate chips for both)
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or Egg Nog
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's or Scharffen Berger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 11 oz (1 bag) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries. optional
  • 1 cup Grand Marnier

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a small sauce pan warm the Grand Marnier and soak the cherries drain when ready to add to mixture.

Put the butter and the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 75 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir and heat again until melted, up to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)

Stir the light brown and granulated sugars and vanilla into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat vigorously until thick and glossy.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chips and grand marnier soaked cherries, if using.

Drop the batter in heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets--a small ice cream scoop is ideal for this. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart. Bake until the cookies set but are soft and fudgy on the inside, 12 to 15 minutes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ok I know everyone loves cookies and most of us made them or saw them being made as kids around this time of year. Here are some great recipes that hopefully you will share with your family and maybe make a tradition.
White Chocolate and Cherries or Cranberries

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts or even Pecans
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries or dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries or cranberries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. On a greased baking sheet drop the cookies using a truffle scoop or a spoon into 1" rounds about 2" apart and bake for 10 - 14 minutes.

Italian Wedding Cookies - (one of my Faves)

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.

Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the orange peel and dark corn syrup. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt, mixing until well combined. Chill dough overnight.

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Decorate to your liking.

I will add some more tomorrow so be on the lookout. I hope you like these and let me know what you think. ENJOY and INDULGE.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pork Chops

So are you tired of chicken or all turkeyed out? Well lets try a meat that is usually not eaten a lot. First pick up some nice boneless pork chops and brine them in apple cider, 1/3 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar. Leave in the fridge for about an hour up to over night.

Now it is time to prepare them take them out and dab dry with a paper towel. Get a skillet or frying pan nice and hot you want to sear the meat and get that lovely caramelizing started.

Now that you have browned both sides reduce the heat to medium. Add 4 tbsp of good maple syrup 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard and 4 tbsp of apple cider. You can just add this to the pan with the pork chops and then stir it around.

Once the chops are cooked it should take about 20 minutes max they will be firm to touch or you can cut them open check for a white color. Now turn the chops a couple times to ensure they are covered in the maple syrup glaze and serve with your favorite sides or a quick home made apple sauce.