Pomegranate Thumbprints

I made these last week and they were delicious.  I took half to work and they were a hit!  I love pine nuts, and would gladly make these again.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs water
  • 2 cups pine nuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar (for the filling)
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl; set aside.  Cream butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl with the mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla; beat on low until well blended.  Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture; beat on low speed until combined.  Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. For the filling: Heat pomegranate juice and 2/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring often until sugar is dissolved.  Whisk cornstarch with 2 tbs hot pomegranate mixture in a small bowl, then whisk into boiling mixture.  Stir in lemon juice, cook until mixture is very thick and syrupy, 6-8 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.  Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk egg whites and water in a small bowl until frothy.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in nuts.  Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet.  Indent each cookie with a teaspoon measure.  Bake cookies 12-14 minutes or until edges are golden.  Transfer to a cooling rack, indent cookies again if needed.  Spoon filling into indentations and cool completely.

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

I never put up food posts, mostly baking ones.  So I thought I would share Aimee and my first time at making home-made pasta and how successful it was, mostly.  I have the Kitchen-Aid pasta attachment and it’s so awesome!

For the dough

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-5 tablespoons of water

With the hook attachment on your mixer, on medium speed, mix together flour and eggs.  Add in tablespoons of water if you think it’s too dry.  Once a ball of dough forms, mix (on medium-low speed) for another 5 minutes.  Knead dough on floured surface a few times, wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the filling

  • 2 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmasen cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

For Sage Brown Butter

  • 1 stick of un-salted butter
  • 10-15 sage leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 425 °. Cut your butternut squash into cubes, and remove seeds and skin.  Place on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for about 25 minutes, until squash is tender.
  2. Once tender, place squash in a bowl and mash, with a fork or masher.  Add cheese, maple syrup, nutmeg, and more salt and pepper if needed.  Let it cool while you make pasta!
  3. Remove dough from the fridge, and cut into 6 pieces.  Begin to roll it out with your pasta maker, starting off large and lowering the setting each time.  You want it thin.  Make sure to use lots of flour so it doesn’t stick.  We found having two people was good, I rolled the dough and Aimee make the raviolis.  I found out the hard way that if you leave the sheets of pasta too long, they dry out and stick…  so move quickly!
  4. Place the filling on the dough, fold over and dab water along sides to seal it together.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  6. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt stick of butter.  Once melted, add sage leaves and cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes, until butter starts to brown.  Remove from heat.
  7. Add ravioli to boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until they float.  Drain and add to sauce immediately.

Thanks for coming over Aimee! I look forward to our next pasta adventure!

Aimee’s Instagram picture

Homemade Candy Corn

Procedure

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sifted confectioners sugar and powdered milk.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and butter.  Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat to medium and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from heat.
  3. Add the confectioners sugar and powdered milk mixture to the wet ingredients; stir well until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
  4. Let the dough cool until it is firm to handle, about 30 minutes to an hour (leave in saucepan)
  5. Divide the dough into three equal parts(I did four, I added black) and set  into separate bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl as necessary. Leave one dish uncolored.  Knead the dough until color is mixed, refrigerate if it starts feeling too soft or sticky.
  6. On top of a sheet of waxed paper or parchment, use your hands to roll out each color of dough into a long, slender rope. You can roll it out to your desired thickness; for larger candies, make the rope thicker.
  7. Line the three ropes of dough together.  To ensure they will stick together, lay a piece of waxed aper on top and give them a very gentle rolling with a rolling pin.  You just want to adhere them, not flatten them.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into triangles.  Let the finished kernels sit for hours, days even to firm up.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

These are so tasty and I like the small portions.

  • 42 oreos, 30 whole and 12 chopped
  • 2 pounds of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Line muffin tins and place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually add sugar, beat until combined.  Beat in Vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time.  Beat in sour cream and salt.  Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cups, almost to the top.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks to cool, refrigerate in tins for at least 4 hours.

*Recipe also from Martha Stewarts Cupcakes

Saturday afternoon baking

Pistachio-Raspberry Tea Cakes

  • nonstick-cooking spray
  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 containers of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered or chopped pistachios, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper, coat with cooking spray.  In a food processor, grind pistachios with the sugar and salt.  Add butter, vanilla, and eggs; process until smooth.  Add flour; pulse until just moistened and combined.

2. Divide batter evenly into lined cups, filling each three quarters full.  Drop 4-6 raspberries into batter and sprinkle with pistachios.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown, about 28 minutes.   Transfer to wire racks to cool.

*recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

Frosted Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of milk

Frosting

  • 400 grams cream cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 cups of icing sugar

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Place muffin papers in muffin tin.

2. Put the butter, sugar and peanut butter in a bowl and beat together until well mixed.  Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla extract.

3.  Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then use a metal spoon to fold in, alternating with the milk.

4.  Spoon mixture into the paper cases and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

5.  For the frosting, put the cream cheese and butter into a mixer and beat until smooth.  Sift in the icing sugar, beat until well mixed.

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpouse flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1.  Put butter, brow sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, one at a time, followed by molasses and oil.

2. Reduce speed to low ; gradually mix in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt.  Cover dough with plastic wrap ; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.

3.  Preheat oven to 325 F.  Put remaining 1/4 cup sugar n a bowl.  Using an ice cream scoop, form balls of dough.  Roll bolls in sugar to coat, and space three inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are flat and centers are set, about 17 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.

(This recipe is from Martha Stewart)

Classic Shortbread

This is a simple one, even I can’t mess it up.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1. Sift together flour and salt into a bowl. Put butter into  bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes, scraping down down sides of bowl. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar ; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture  all at once ; mix until just combined.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F, with rack on upper third.

3. Lay baking tray with parchment paper. Roll dough out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, place them on tray and put in the fridge for 10 minutes. Add sprinkles if you like.

4. Bake until golden brown, usually 8-10 minutes. Place on cooling rack for 20 minutes before eating.