Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

First time making these.  They are as tasty as they are pretty.  I looked at many recipes before deciding what I wanted to do.  I noticed that some recipes called for an egg, some didn’t.  Some said refrigerate the dough, some said don’t bother.  Some recipes have you fill with jam before baking, some after.  Some recipes have the cookie coated in nuts, or glazed, or plain, or sprinkled with powdered sugar, etc.  I went with a recipe that called for an egg in the cookie dough.  I figured it couldn’t hurt.  I read many reviews that complained the cookies were too flat, so instead of using one cup of butter, I used a half cup butter and a half cup margarine. I have found when using only butter in a cookie recipe, the cookies will be flatter.  I refrigerated the dough for two hours before baking.  I also chose to fill the cookies with jam after baking. That way if the well for the jam puffed up while baking, I could fix it a bit before filling (and no burnt jam on my cookies sheets).

RASPBERRY THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (or butter/margarine combo), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (actually, next time I will used 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar
  • raspberry jam

Directions

  1. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg and almond extract.  On low speed, add flour and salt.  Refrigerate dough for an hour or two.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Shape dough into small balls, placing one inch apart on cookie sheet.  Press thumb (or bottom of a wooden spoon, which is what I used) into the center of each cookie (but not all the way through).
  3. Bake about ten minutes.  Remake indentations, if necessary, while warm.  Cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and fill with about 1/4 teaspoon favorite jam.  (I use freezer jam, which tastes as fresh as homemade.)

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Carbanara

I grew up with this recipe for carbanara.  In fact, I often requested it for my birthday dinner.  With a little leftover ham from Thanksgiving, I thought this was a great way to use it up.  (If you are squeamish about an egg based sauce which is barely cooked by the residual heat from the pasta, this is not the recipe for you.)

CARBANARA 

  • 1/4 lb. bacon
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups ham, julienned strips
  • small can sliced olives
  • 8 oz. spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup cream or half & half (optional)

1. Brown bacon in skillet; drain on towel and crumble.  Set aside.  Remove fat from skillet.

2. Add butter and olive oil to skillet, heat on medium.  Sauté onion, garlic, ham and olives for three to five minutes.

3. Add cooked spaghetti, bacon, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Remove from heat.

***  The original recipe just calls for three beaten eggs.  However, I like my carbanara a little creamier, so I beat the three eggs with 1/3 cup cream or half & half.

4.  Add eggs, or eggs & cream mixture and toss.  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and serve at once.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Oh boy, am I going to have fun baking for this holiday season.  My older daughter is no longer on her gluten-free, casein-free diet and I now have complete freedom in the kitchen to create without limitations.  Hooray!  I also have the energy this year, as last year the baby was not consistently sleeping through the nights yet and I was still pretty tired.  The next several weeks are going to be full of holiday treats for everyone.  I found this particular recipe at All Recipes.  These cookies are delicious, fudgy, little bites and oh so pretty.

CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (I sprayed mine with Pam and called it good). Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Little Holly enjoying a chocolate crinkle!

Panini #7: Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey, Avocado & Swiss

This panini was a fun way to use up some of the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  It was good and I enjoyed, but I have to be honest…  I made another panini for a different meal with leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy and that panini was simply awesome.  But this one was good.  I found the recipe at Happy Panini.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey, Avocado & Swiss Panini

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes (in olive oil), drained and chopped
Ciabatta, halved lengthwise
Prosciutto
Roast turkey breast, sliced
Avocado, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat panini grill to medium-high heat (375 degrees).

Finely chop sundried tomatoes and blend with mayonnaise.

Spread a thin layer of the sundried tomato mayonnaise inside the bottom half of the ciabatta.  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around a generous slice of turkey breast and place it onto the sandwich.  Add avocado and Swiss cheese and close the sandwich with the top half of the ciabatta.

Grill 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pan-Fried Scallops with Mustard Glaze

This is an anemic looking picture.  Sorry.  I only had time for a quick, non-artistic shot before putting it on the table.  Also, my scallops had been previously frozen, so there was a lot of extra liquid when cooking; they were taking forever to brown and I finally gave up.  However, this was a lovely tasting dish.  It was very rich.  Between the richness of the sea scallops and the creamy mustard sauce, my husband and I didn’t need much before we were satisfied.  The original recipe called for bay scallops, but I had sea scallops on hand and used those.  I think I might have preferred the smaller bay scallops, but the sea scallops were quite nice.

PAN-FRIED SCALLOPS WITH MUSTARD GLAZE

2 TBS unsalted butter

1.5 lbs. fresh scallops

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 TBS Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add scallops and sauté until opaque (turning halfway through cook time if using sea scallops).  Remove with slotted spoon and place on warm plate.

2. Add vinegar to skillet and cook over high heat until reduced to about 2 TBS.  Add cream and any scallop juices from the plate.  Cook over medium heat until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat the back of spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Swirl in mustard and season with salt and pepper.

3. Return scallops to skillet and stir to coat.  Serve at once.

Easy Cheesy Hashbrown & Sausage Soup

I made this soup in the crockpot.  It couldn’t be easier; five ingredients.  My husband and sixteen-month-old really enjoyed it.  (My six-year-old does not eat soup.  Strange child.)  I found the amount of Kielbasa sausage perfect, but my husband would have enjoyed more.  We also discussed how we would like this soup with ham in place of the sausage as well.  This is a keeper for chilly autumn/winter nights.

Easy Cheesy Hashbrown & Sausage Soup

1 (30 oz.) bag of frozen hashbrowns
1 box (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 yellow onion, chopped
14 oz. Kielbasa sausage (or more) cut to bite sized pieces
1 to 2 cups cheddar, Colby Jack, or your favorite cheese, shredded

Place first four ingredients in crockpot.  Cook on low five to six hours.  Fifteen minutes before serving, add cheese.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll Cake

This was the dessert I made for dinner guests who had to cancel.  It was very good and wasn’t too hard to make.  I think the most challenging moment for me was once the cake was baked flat, I needed to transfer it onto a different flat surface to roll.  That was tough because what can you really do but dump a cake the size of a cookie sheet over and hope like crazy that it doesn’t break.  Yikes.  If anyone knows of a better way to make the transfer, please let me know.  My cake did not break, but I think that was just luck.  I will make this yummy fall treat again.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll Cake

* 3 eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 3/4 cup flour

Filling

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 4 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Beat in remaining cake ingredients.

2. Grease a 10″x15″ jelly roll pan. Line pan with waxed paper, then grease and lightly flour (I used powdered sugar) the waxed paper.

3. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. *Cake cooks fast so watch carefully to avoid burning the edges.

4. While cake is baking, sprinkle powdered sugar heavily over a kitchen towel using a sieve or sifter.

5. Turn hot cake onto the towel.  (Yeah, right.)

6. Remove waxed paper. Trim off burnt or crusty edges.

7. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the hot cake and quickly roll up with towel inside. Let cake cool completely, about 30 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, prepare filling by beating together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

9. Unroll cooled cake and spread with the filling mixture. Roll up cake with filling on the inside. Wrap in waxed paper and then foil.

10. Refrigerate or freeze. To serve, slice cake about 1/3 inch thick and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Slice and enjoy!

* NOTE: I used a second piece of wax paper (sprinkling it with powdered sugar) instead of a towel to roll the cake in.  I’d read that is a tad easier and it worked well for me.