Tag Archives: cinnamon

Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cinnamon Bun Pin Wheels

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Christmas is just three days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Warm cinnamon buns bursting with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans are the perfect morning treat. But who says these flavors have to be saved for breakfast? Not King Arthur Flour; these cinnamon bun inspired cookies are the ultimate holiday indulgence. They are the perfect compliment to your holiday baking and they taste pretty darn good when served slightly warm.

I’ve even been known to keep a roll of the dough in the freezer so I can bake up a fresh batch when the mood strikes. And why not? It is the holiday season after all!

CINNAMON BUN PIN WHEELS

VANILLA DOUGH

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

CINNAMON DOUGH

¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

 

To make the vanilla dough:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. 
  • Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To make the cinnamon dough:

  • In a saucepan combine the sugar, honey, salt, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon.
  • Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly. 
  • Transfer the cinnamon mixture and the toasted pecans to a food processor, and process until smooth.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pecan mixture and flour to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To shape the cookies:

  • Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour.
  • Lay the vanilla dough on the parchment and roll it into an 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Set it aside.
  • Using more parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the cinnamon dough slightly smaller than the first, into a 17 ½” x 11 ½” rectangle.
  • Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece of dough, using the parchment to transport.
  • Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps.
  • Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to cut. 
  • Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into ¼” slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • When cool, store airtight, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
  • Yield: 4 dozen cookies.
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Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Spiced Molasses Cookies

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Christmas is just ten days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

No other flavor profile says winter to me more than the warm and fragrant combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. And when you add in molasses you are just adding rich complexity to an already delicious and comforting flavor combination. There is just something about this spice blend that invokes images of snowy days spent around a crackling fire. So what could be better than combining all of these flavors into a single cookie?

This recipe is from Williams Sonoma and brings together everything a cookie should be. The flavors are reminiscent of a rich gingerbread while the cookies are crisp on the outside and chewier than a traditional gingerbread cookie. And because the dough is rolled into balls rather than cut out with cookie cutters, they come together in a snap.They really couldn’t be easier. I love to eat these warm and I’m sure you will too.

SPICED MOLASSES COOKIES

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup molasses

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and the molasses.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the sugar on a shallow plate.
  • Using your hands, roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls then roll the balls in the sugar.
  • Place the dough balls on the baking sheet, setting them 2 inches apart.
  • Using the tines of a fork, press the fork into each cookie, pushing down to create a decorative top.
  • Bake until just set and lightly browned, 9-11 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets.

Yields: 45 cookies

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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Christmas is eleven days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

The fragrant spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are hallmarks of the holiday season and can be found in everything from sweet treats and drinks to savory treats. When you introduce the perennial favorite of chocolate into the flavor mix you have a sure winner. And this is definitely the case with these soft and chewy cookies from King Arthur Flour. These cookies are full of flavor and pack a punch but because of their dark color they hide the fact they are also filled with bits of chocolate. One bite will have you addicted and coming back for more. And best of all, these cookies are so easy to make. So why don’t you go ahead and bake some up today. While your at it double the recipe so you have plenty to share.

CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

5 tablespoons sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, spices, salt in cocoa in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and creamy. 
  • Add the molasses and beat until combined.
  • Beat in the dry ingredients, then stir in the chips. 
  • Scoop the dough a tablespoon at a time. Roll the top portion of each dough ball in the sugar.
  • Place the unbaked cookies 1 1/2″ apart, sugar side up, onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until their surface begins to crack. Remove from the oven, cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 24-28  cookies.

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Snickerdoodles

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Christmas is fourteen days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodles are simple cookies with a funny sounding name.  There is really nothing fancy or exotic about this dessert but whether I make them for bake sales, cookie swaps, or dessert tables, they are snapped up in just a few minutes.  Snickerdoodles are a New England staple and I can always spot the New Englader in the crowd since they are the first ones to pounce on the cookie tray.  This recipe is courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen (another New England tradition) and comes together almost as fast as the cookies get eaten.

SNICKERDOODLES

1 3/4 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 eggs

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  • Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and all of the cinnamon in a small shallow dish.  (A pie plate works well).  Combine with a whisk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.
  • Place the remaining sugar in a separate large bowl.  Add the butter and vegetable shortening.
  • Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the ingredients together until they are combined and the entire mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour.  Beat until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
  • Place two tablespoons (use 1 for smaller, bite sized cookies) dough in your hands and roll into a small ball.
  • Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture then place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (8-10 for smaller cookies).  The cookies will be soft and puffy when done.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow the cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cookies and allowing to cool completely.

 

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Biscotti

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Christmas is twenty-four days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

I love, love, love these biscotti from the Smitten Kitchen. First of all, what is there not to love about biscotti? These crisp cookies are perfect alongside a cup of coffee or tea. And because they are meant to be crisp, they only get better with age which makes them the perfect cookie to make for your holiday cookie trays. (Imagine what it would be like if all of your cookies needed to be eaten within a couple of days of being baked!). And biscotti are versatile. While almond biscotti are a classic nothing says holiday season like gingerbread. So why not make a biscotti that tastes like gingerbread? I like the addition of dark chocolate chips, because everything really is better with chocolate, but these are also good without the addition.

CHOCOLATE CHIP GINGERBREAD BISCOTTI

For the cookies:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups  dark chocolate chips
1 large egg white

For the topping:

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and pepper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars,  melted butter, the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add wet ingredients along with any optional additions (nuts or chocolate) to dry mixture and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. It’s going to seem a bit soft and sticky; it’s a-okay.
  • Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, transfer first half to the prepared baking sheet and form it into a slightly flatted log about 11 inches by 2 1/2 inches. Repeat with second half of dough.
  • Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until a little foamy and loose. Brush over top and sides of each log.
  • Bake logs until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer tray to cooling rack; let cool about 25 minutes, until lukewarm.
  • Gently transfer each log to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife and gently sawing motion, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch wide slices.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl then dip both sides of the cut cookies into the mixture.
  • Arrange slices, a cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, until golden underneath.
  • Turn each biscotti over and bake for a final 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly bronzed all over. Let cool on the rack.

The biscotti can be kept in an airtight container for several weeks.

Yields: 30-35 cookies

 

Moroccan Beef Tagine

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I feel like we are in the calm lull between back to school craziness and the madness of the holiday season. The cooler weather has been inspiring my cooking and has me wanting to spend more time in the kitchen putting together satisfying and comforting dishes. And because some of the best dishes are those that take time to make, this is the season to make them.  While the dishes take time to prepare much of the time is spent on the cooking rather than the preparations. And as these dishes cook their aroma fills the house with wonderful scents that give you a hint of the meal that is to come.

I’ve adapted this dish from a Jamie Oliver recipe and like so many of his recipes, it doesn’t disappoint. It is rich, flavorful and thoroughly satisfying. If you don’t have a tagine, or have one but also have a very small European sized oven that can’t accommodate a tagine, make this dish is a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven. The slow cooked results will be the same. And if you want to make a fancy presentation like I do for company, I transfer the cooked stew into my tangine and serve it at the table.

MOROCCAN BEEF TAGINE

For the spice rub:

 

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

 

1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix

 

1 tablespoon ground cumin

 

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

 

1 tablespoon ground ginger

 

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

For the tagine:

1 pound stew beer

  • To make the spice mix, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Place the beef into a large bowl, sprinkle with the spice mix and use your hands to massage it into the meat.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the meat and cook, tossing to ensure it is seared on all sides for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and coriander stalks to the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and stock to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the squash, prunes and additional stock if the mixture looks too dry. Cover the pot and continue to cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours until the meat is fork tender.

Adjust the seasonings and serve alongside couscous and topped with the slivered almonds.

Serves 4

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake w/ Buttermilk Glaze

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October is pumpkin season. Actually, I’m a fan of pumpkin treats year around but once fall hits, my cooking with pumpkin goes into overdrive. I simply can’t get enough of it. Fresh cooked pumpkin puree is the best but when the season isn’t right or you don’t have the time, canned puree will do. I always have a stash in my pantry since you never know when the inspiration to cook with pumpkin will hit.

My favorite way to use pumpkin is in baked treats and this this delicious cake adapted from Cooking Light magazine has quickly become a new fall favorite in my house. The cake is moist and dense and filled with spicy goodness. And as if that isn’t enough, it is flecked with chocolate chips. As an added bonus, the cake comes together quickly so it the perfect last minute dessert to add to your dinner table.

PUMPKING CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE w/ BUTTERMILK GLAZE

FOR THE CAKE:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
2 cups miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
FOR THE GLAZE:
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 10 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray then set aside.
  • Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar and the butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until well blended.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  • Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and the salt in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips making sure that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
  • To prepare glaze, combine the buttermilk, sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
  • Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
  • Drizzle cake with glaze.

Serves 12

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