Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Baking 2014

Because I'm just getting back into the kitchen after hand surgery, my usual cookie baking bonanza wasn't going to happen this year.    We have a gathering on Christmas Eve of about 15 people and I bring a tray to pass.   I figured the best way to get a good variety was to focus on recipes that I could bake in 13x9 pans. 

Here is the finished tray, minus the Mounds Brownies, which stayed in their own pan:


First up, Honeybun Cake:
I prefer Betty Crocker cake mixes, and those have now been reduced to 15.25 oz.   My friend Carol shared a cake mix upsizer and it worked perfectly in this recipe.   Thank you to Serve at Once for sharing the recipe!

       
            
* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Honeybun Cake

  1                box  Yellow Cake Mix --  Betty Crocker 15.25 + 3oz Cake mix upsizer
  4              whole  Eggs
  1                cup light Sour Cream
     3/4          cups  Vegetable Oil
  1                cup  Light Brown Sugar
  2          teaspoons  Cinnamon
  2               cups  Powdered Sugar
  6        Tablespoons  Milk
  1           teaspoon  Vanilla Extract

Heat the oven to 325.    In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, upsizer, eggs, sour cream and oil together.   In another bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.   Pour in half the cake batter, and sprinkle half the brown sugar mixture over the top.    Add the remaining cake batter and smooth until it's even.   Sprinkle the last half of the brown sugar mixture on top.    Swirl a knife through the batter.


Bake for 40 to 50 mins or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

For the glaze- combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla with a whisk.      Pour glaze over the cake when it comes out of the oven.    You can tilt the pan to get even distribution or use an offset spatula.     Glaze will set up in a few mins.   Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source "http://serveatonce.blogspot.com/2010/11/show-stealer-honeybun-cake.html"

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Next were Mounds Brownies.    Doesn't get much easier than this.  I used a Dark Chocolate Brownie mix and milk chocolate frosting, but would have preferred the dark chocolate.  Thank you Katerina!  I missed getting a photo of these, be sure to go check out the ones on her blog  :)



                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Mounds Brownies


 Family Size (9x13) box of Dark Chocolate brownies, plus the ingredients to make them.
  5 1/3           Cups  shredded coconut
  14oz                Can  sweetened condensed milk
  1 1/2           Cups  powdered sugar
  1                Can  chocolate frosting

Make brownies according to the package directions and cool completely.


Mix together the coconut, sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar until well combined. Spread over the brownies with an offset spatula.



Remove lid and foil topper from frosting.   Heat in the microwave in 5 second intervals until it is pouring consistency.  Pour over the brownies, spread to the edges and let set. 

Source "http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/2011/11/mounds-brownies.html"




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Chocolate Chip cookie are usually the big hit of the party, so I wanted to have some form of them this year.    Thank you Lori!





                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                    Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars


                        GOOEY CHOCOLATE FILLING:
  2               cups  semi-sweet chocolate chips
                        One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  2          teaspoons  vanilla extract
                        COOKIES:
2               sticks  butter, at room temperature
  1                cup  light brown sugar
     1/2           cup sugar
  1              large  egg
  1              large  egg yolk
  1         tablespoon  vanilla extract
  2               cups flour
  1                cup  quick-cooking oats
  1           teaspoon  baking powder
  1           teaspoon  baking soda
  1           teaspoon  kosher salt
  3               cups  semi-sweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350.      

For the filling-
Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over low heat in a small saucepan.   Stir until melted and thickened, about 3 to 5 mins.    Remove from heat, add vanilla, stir until smooth.   Let cool.


For the dough-
Cream together butter and sugars.   Add egg, yolk and vanilla.   Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.   Add slowly to creamed mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.   Stir in chocolate chips.



Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment and butter it.  Pour half the cookie dough into the pan, pressing to spread it evenly.    Pour the filling over the dough and spread evenly.     Add the remaining cookie dough over the top in small pieces.  I like to use my tiny cookie scoop for this.


Bake about 20 to 25 mins or until slightly browned.     Cool completely on a wire rack.


Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted slightly from the Cookies for Kids' Cancer Cookbook) "http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/09/29/gooey-chocolate-chip-sandwich-bars-cookies-for-kids-cancer-cookbook/"

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I have a problem, and I'm admitting it here- I have a cabinet full of Jell-o.  I don't make it nearly enough to support my buying habits, but I get to the store and I see new flavors, and into the cart it goes.    One of my New Year's resolutions is to try and use up the overstock I've got going, and this recipe gave me a headstart on it  :)   Thank you to Six Sisters Stuff!

                      
* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Jello Lemon Bars


  1            package  yellow cake mix- used Betty Crocker 15.25 oz + 3oz cake mix upsizer
  1                     dry package of lemon Jell-O gelatin -- (3 ounce)
  4                     eggs
     3/4           cup  water
     3/4           cup  vegetable oil
                        Icing:
  2               cups  powdered sugar
  2                     lemons -- juiced (about 6 tablespoons)- I used the zest too.
  2        tablespoons  melted butter

Heat oven to 350.  

In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, upsizer, Jello, eggs, water and oil.    Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray and batter.   Bake for 35 to 40 mins, or until a tester comes out clean.


For the icing, combine butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest.  

Remove cake from the oven and poke holes in it.   I used a wooden spoon, but next time I'd use a fork.   Pour icing over the hot cake.   Let cool slightly or completely.  Both ways it was delicious.

Source  "http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2014/04/jello-lemon-bars.html"

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I managed to acculumate several boxes of puff pastry.  I've been working my way through it, and this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest.   It's a little bit fussy, but there's a nice payoff.    I used lemon pie filling and seedless raspberry jam.  I only rolled my pastry out a bit and cut each sheet into 9 squares.    Thank you Jonna!

                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Puff Pastry Berry Pinwheels

  1            package  Puff Pastry Sheets -- (17.3 ounces) thawed
Lemon pie filling and seedless raspberry jam
1 egg, slightly beaten

For glaze-
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2T melted butter
Teaspoon vanilla
Milk as needed for drizzling consistency

Heat the oven to 350.   Line baking sheets with parchment paper.



Lightly flour your work surface.    Unfold the puff pastry gently.   Roll out slightly and cut into thirds, and then each into thirds (18 total for both sheets).



Place squares on baking sheet.   I used a 1T cookie scoop to add filling to the center.   Cut lines from the corner of the square to within 3/4" of the filling (Jonna has great pics on her blog of this).   

Brush the points with egg wash, and fold up every other one, pinching it together to seal.    Brush lightly with egg wash.   You can also sprinkle with raw sugar at this point, or glaze later.

Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.   Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Whisk together ingredients for the glaze.   I drizzled mine on using a fork because my plastic squeeze bottles have gone missing.   You could also add it to a ziptop bag and snip the corner off, or make a paper cone. 

Source "http://www.justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com/puff-pastry-berry-pinwheels/"


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I've seen Christmas Crack floating around the internet for years.   So simple, so good.  Both my guys are allergic to nuts, so I topped mine with some grated Nestle Holiday Swirled Morsels.   Is it still toffee if you don't add the nuts?   I don't know, but I do know that I couldn't stop breaking little pieces off and eating it.   Thank you Julie!


                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                               Easy Toffee


  1                     sleeve saltine crackers
     1/2             c  butter
  1                  c  brown sugar -- packed
  1                bag  miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
 Grated Holiday Morsels

Heat oven to 350.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.   Lay out the saltines with the edges touching.  

Combine butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring.    Bring it to a boil.   Pour over the saltines carefully and spread out with an offset spatula.   Pop into the oven for 5 mins.

Sprinkle the top with the mini chocolate chips.    Let sit for a minute or so, then spread the chocolate out with your spatula.  Top with grated morsels.



Cool completely and bust into pieces.

Source "http://julieblanner.com/easy-toffee/"




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This summer we spent a warm afternoon picking blueberries at a local farm.   I froze them on cookie sheets when I got home, then moved them to ziptop bags in varying amounts.    I knew I wanted to use some of them in this recipe, but went back and forth about defrosting vs. not.    In the end, they were probably half defrosted, and the resulting bars turned out delicious.    A taste of summer in December.   

This was my last item for the day, and I was a little loopy by then.  I zested my lemons into a bowl and then juiced them on top of it.    As a result, I didn't add any lemon to the crust, but I did add both zest and juice to the filling.  Thank you Audra!



                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Blueberry Lemon Crumb Bars

  1                cup  sugar
  1           teaspoon  baking powder
  3               cups  flour
  2 sticks cold butter
  1                     egg
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
for the filling-
                        Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  4               cups  fresh blueberries (I used frozen, partially thawed)
     1/2           cup  sugar
  4          teaspoons  cornstarch

Heat oven to 375.   

In a food processor, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.   Add in butter in chunks and 1 egg.   Pulse until crumbly.    

Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick spray.    Add half of the dough to the pan, pressing it lightly into place.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest.   Stir in blueberries.   Pour over the crust.   Top with remaining dough, crumbling and distributing it evenly.

Bake for 40 to 50 mins or until slightly browned on top.   Cool completely.

Source "http://www.the-baker-chick.com/2011/07/blueberry-lemon-crumb-barsgiveaway-winner-announced/"



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