FOOD

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

There are an infinite number of shortbread recipes out there in ever flavor imaginable. It is a great cookie to try to put your own stamp on. Several year ago i came across a Red Velvet Shortbread Cookie recipe, but had yet to make these delicious sounding cookies. So, I thought this year was the year.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

I love shortbread for its smooth and not overly sweet flavor and with these, the addition of the cocoa makes them even more delicious. I chose to dip them in some white chocolate and add holiday colored sprinkles just to be festive but you can choose to leave it off, dip them in something else or find another unique way to make them special!

Enjoy!

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Red Velvet Short Bread Cookies
Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325*
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and cocoa.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter. About halfway through, add the food coloring and blend until the mixture looks like fine crumbles.
  4. Form into a ball and knead until smooth.
  5. On a floured or cornstarch surface, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a floured or cornstarch cookie cutter, cut out. (I used a round 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter)
  6. Place cookies on an uncreased cookie sheet no less than 1 inch apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I set the timer for 15 minutes and check every few minutes until the centers are set.
  7. Melt chocolate over a double boiler until completely melted. Dip or roll in chocolate and cover with sprinkles.
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Never Fail Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow)

This recipe is so easy NO ONE can mess it up! But I do have a few tricks to make it easier and a tiny bit more delicious 😉

Muddy Buddies Recipe

This is so easy you will memorize the recipe and keep some on hand all the time (for emergencies only, of course). I use plain ole rice chex, but I am sure you could us any kind you prefer. The nicest thing about this recipe also is you can customize it any way you want! Add, change out, use what you have on hand, whatever you want, the options are endless!

Oh, yea, and I forgot… we DO NOT call them Muddy Buddies – it is Puppy Chow all the way!

Enjoy!

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Puppy Chow Recipe (Muddy Buddies)
Most people call them Muddy Buddies, but we prefer Puppy Chow! A standard recipe with a few pointers to make it easier and fool proof.
Muddy Buddies Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Muddy Buddies Recipe
Instructions
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter and vanilla Microwave on 50% power until all melted and smooth. (note: heating on full power may scotch the chocolate. Also, heating too much/hot will scotch the chocolate, once the bowl is too hot to handle and chocolate is soft but still lumpy, remove from microwave and stir with a spatula until chocolate is fully melted)
  2. In an over-sized bowl, put chex mix and pour melted chocolate over it.
  3. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until all cereal is coated with chocolate.
  4. In a gallon bag, pour 1 cup of powdered sugar. Then add the chocolate coated. Then add the remaining cup of powdered sugar. Shake bag until completely coated. Keep in freezer or refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
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The BEST Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post is sponsored by NESTLE® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The BEST Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I know it’s cliché but Fall is truly my favorite and I am not afraid to say it. The crisp air and Fall colors and, of course, the spice pallet. I can’t get enough of the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves…  The second I can break out my Cinnamon brooms I get all giddy and excited. And of course, my most favoritest part of Fall – it contains my most favorite holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving! Christmas is magical, I agree, but here is why Thanksgiving is better: there is none of the pressure of gifts for everyone and ALL of the gathering around a really good meal!

I know you’ve probably been to the grocery store about nine times this week already and we are barely into Monday night. Lists have been made, forgotten, made again, second trips and the last-minute additions. So, who wants to think about the day-before-thanksgiving dinner???

Surely not you. But here is an easy and delicious tradition you can start THIS YEAR without adding anymore stress to your holiday planning.

Ok ok ok … being from Chicago, I am particular about my pizza. BUT, I am also realistic about my ability to get things done easily some times. I also like to keep in mind that my toddler like to eat his pizza from the crust back, so he is particular about the stuffed crust frozen pizzas.

So, for an easy and delicious day-before-Thanksgiving dinner, we do pizza night paired with the most delicious, kid-friendly, and EASY! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

best day-before-thanksgiving dinnerTo make things even easier on my stress level AND my pocketbook, I will pop into Dollar General  to pick up Libby’s Canned Pumpkin and my toddler’s favorite DiGornio frozen pizza.

Libby’s is my go-to canned pumpkin choice, again, because for us in Chicago, it is a local company and I love to support local businesses. And I always use the gold standard Toll House chips in my cookie recipes.

I just toss the toddler in the car and run down that day and grab the few things I need, and a few things the toddler needs (sure, you can have the Lisa Frank-style coloring book, because we totally need it). ON TOP of that, Dollar General has some pretty kick-ass coupons available for you right now. You can get $1 off your DiGornio’s Pizza and $1.50 off your Chocolate chips!

Drew at Dollar General

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies

So in one quick and cheap trip, dinner for the night before Thanksgiving is taken care of. And don’t worry, I’ve got you covered for a show-stopping Thanksgiving Day breakfast, too.

 

 

This recipe is so crazy easy, DB literally did almost all of it himself. Plus, you don’t need a mixer and it all goes in ONE BOWL!
Drew baking cookiesThis recipe calls for you to melt the butter instead of cream it. Because you want these to be super dense, you only need the yolk to help hold them together.

Drew baking cookies

Drew Baking Cookies Always use high quality Vanilla extract. I find imitation has a tinny after taste.

Drew baking cookies.Plopping the pumpkin into the bowl is always good for a giggle.


 

 

 

 

Licking the spoon is always allowed in our house!Drew baking cookies

Drew Baking cookies

Keeping little fingers out of the bowl was nearly impossible!

 

 

 

 

The best part about this whole set up is that, because the dough has to chill for an hour, you can cook the pizza while it’s chilling and then eat your pizza while the cookies are baking! It is literally genius. To bake up a batch of these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and relax, Thanksgiving will work it’s self out 😉

 

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The BEST Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
A delicious twist on classic chocolate chip cookies that will be sure to please your holiday guests!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Instructions
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, place cubes butter and microwave until completely melted.
  2. Whisk in white and brown sugar until fully incorporated. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  3. Once cool, add egg yolk. Whisk to incorporate.
  4. Add vanilla and pumpkin and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Add salt and all spices. Whisk to incorporate.
  6. Whisk together flour and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and incorporate with a wooden spoon. The dough should be slightly dry and pull away from the side. You should be able to form it into a ball. If the dough is too dry, add small amounts of flour until you reach the correct consistency.
  7. Mix in chocolate chips and refrigerate for 1 hour until chilled.
  8. Roll into 1"-2" balls and place on parchment paper on a baking seat. If the dough has softened due to handling, re-chill. Preheat oven to 350* Bake dough balls for 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to darken. The cookies will be puffed up and should defeat after you take them out, the centers should still be soft and the edges slightly crispy.
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German Pancakes: An Impressive and Delicious Holiday Breakfast

German Pancake Recipe

Looking to impress your family over the holidays with an out of this world delicious and seriously easy recipe? Give German Pancakes a try. I promise you that regardless of what you’ve heard, this is a foolproof recipe. Clean up is a breeze, making it is simple and the results are an impressive and delicious treat your friends and family will ask for again and again.

With the holidays right around the corner it is nice to have easy yet impressive recipes up your sleeve and this one is no exception, how much easier can you get when you make it in the blender!

AND I’ve got a pro-tip for you to help make clean up even easier! Toss some dish soap in your blender with a few cups of hot water, turn it on and done! You might have a little wiping down left to do, but the majority of the dirty work has been done, especially down in the tiny parts that are hard to clean.

So, this recipe is so easy, but there are a few things I do a little differently than some other recipes. I like mine a little thicker than most, which is why my recipe calls for 9 eggs instead of what most do, which is 6. I also put a bit of cinnamon sugar on the top of mine, while some recipes call for powdered sugar. Either of these are great or a bit of syrup, it is very eggy and fluffy and depending on your taste.

And if you are looking for a delicious and easy idea for dinner the night before Thanksgiving, check out this post with an amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and some other great tips!

So, you preheat the oven to 425* and put the butter in your pan, in the oven to melt.

German Pancakes German Pancakes

Then you simply take the flour, milk, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a blender and blend until smooth!

German Pancakes German Pancakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then after 20-25 short minutes of agony waiting for this delicious Dutch Baby to rise, it will be fluffy and ready to eat! Your only problem will be if your family want seconds and you don’t have enough eggs!

German Pancakes img_6061

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German Pancakes (Dutch Baby)
German Pancakes (or a Dutch Baby) Delicious, unbelievably easy to make, clean up is a breeze and your family and guests will be impressed! Fluffy and eggy!
German Pancakes
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
German Pancakes
Instructions
  1. Combine Cinnamon and Sugar in a small bowl, set aside
  2. Preheat Oven to 425*
  3. Place Eggs, Flour, Milk, Salt, and Vanilla in blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Place Butter in 9' x 13' pan and place in oven.
  5. Once preheated and butter is melted, pour batter into pan. Dust with cinnamon and sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until center is set and pancake is raised around the edges.
Recipe Notes

This is deliciously simple and very eggy. You can choose to leave off the cinnamon sugar and dust with powdered sugar, top with a little bit of syrup or simply enjoy with out any topping at all!

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Homemade Limoncello

With all of the insanity going on around us, I thought we might need a good homemade hootch recipe to savor. So, here it is, my Homemade Limoncello recipe and all the tips I use when making my highly sought after Limoncello.

Years ago, before I figured out sitting in a cubicle in an office after a hellacious commute wasn’t for me, I worked for a liquor distributor. It was fun, too! Aside from the terrible boss, we got tons of booze (like tons… I had a closet full of wine and liquor and gave boxes and boxes of it away when I moved out of that apartment). So the perks were pretty good even if the job was pretty crappy.

It was during this time I became really interested in infusing my own booze. Homemade hootch and infused booze became a passion of mine that still carried on to this day.

Limoncello is one of my favorites, it is also one of my specialities. I make a few batches each year and always have people asking me when it will be ready.

homemade limoncello

Well, living in the Midwest now, I left lots of people all over the country Limoncello-less, so I thought I would be generous 😉 and share my recipe and my secrets to a delicious, prefect digestive.

So let’s start with a few pointers before we dive into the nuts and bolts of making your ‘cello.

First of all I want to say that it is important to always take what you find and make it yours. Document what you did and what the outcome was so that next time you make it you can tweak, change, add, subtract until you have what YOU consider the perfect Limoncello. It will also help you create your own drinks (orangecello anyone?).

Now, it is important to realize that this is a subtle drink, mean to be consumed after dinner in shot glass or espresso sizes portions. Sipped and savored, not shot and pounded.

It is also meant to taste like… shocker, LEMONS! Not sweet like candy or even syrupy like pop.

You can use any lemons you can find, but for the best flavor, nothing beats the slightly orangey essence and subtle flavor of Meyer Lemons. If you can find organic, all the better but if not, scrub them pretty well before you zest them as you are literally using only the part that was sprayed to death with pesticides and that’s just gross.

meyer lemons

 

The liquor you use matters mostly in relation to the amount of time you are going to allow it to sit.

For example, if you want to use it more quickly (say only a few weeks or a month) after making it, use a more mild vodka. But if you are going to let it age (the way you should) nothing beats a high proof grain alcohol. I always use Everclear, but with it, you have to give it enough time to mellow out. I do no less than two months and upwards of four.

A note on the proof, though, anything less than 100 proof will most likely freeze, so make sure it’s the high proof vodka, not matter what you use.

homemade limoncello

My last tip is, that when zesting, make sure you get as little of the pith (the white part) as possible, it will make your limoncello bitter. I use either a plane grater or a simply handheld zester. Some people shave slices of the peel off, but I think that doesn’t release enough of the oil that you need to make your limoncello really really lemon-y.

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Homemade Limoncello
An exhaustively tested, delicious homemade limoncello recipe to wow your guests or give as gifts.
Homemade limoncello
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
Ingredients
Homemade limoncello
Instructions
  1. Wash the lemons well with a brush to remove any potential wax or residue.
  2. Using a zester or plane grater, zest the lemons making sure you only get the outer yellow portion and none of the white pith. Reserve the lemons for fresh juice, if desired.
  3. Put the lemons in a large mason jar and add Everclear or vodka. Place in a dark cool place like a cabinet for about two weeks, undisturbed.
  4. After two weeks, give the jar a swirl and shake to mix up the lemon peels. At this point you should see they are bleaching out and the liquid is beginning to turn a pretty bright yellow color. Wait until it seems the peels are all bleached, a few more days if not on the 14th day before moving on to the next step.
  5. Once you feel the lemon peels are tapped out, make the simple syrup, by combining the sugar and the water on a stove top and cooking until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely before using.
  6. Strain off the lemon peel out of the vodka and discard. Use a fine mesh strainer if it there is still sediment in the liquid, or a colander with a coffee filter or cheese cloth will work in a pinch.
  7. Add the simple syrup, once cool, to your vodka in mason jar and stir to combine (or just place lid on tightly and give it a shake)
  8. Allow to mellow in the back of your freezer for no less than 2 weeks or up to a month and a half. The longer you allow it to mellow the smoother and more delicious it will be.
  9. If you are giving as gifts, find pretty jars to put it in, but make sure they have tight-fitting secure lids. Serve Ice Cold.
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The Best Thanksgiving Mac N Cheese

It is starting to get chilly outside, and with Halloween in our rearview mirror, it’s time to start thinking about our Thanksgiving meals! I am usually a baking and sweets kind of gal, but planning the perfect Thanksgiving meal is a think of beauty and a joy for even the most avid baker.

Thanksgiving is all about decadence. You take whatever might be your everyday, and bump it up just a notch, all in an effort to show a little bit more love and appreciation for those around you. You take your standard family dinner, and make it something special. Sharing in your community and traditions. So, it goes without saying that you should have a killer Mac and Cheese recipe in your back pocket to knock your guests off their feet. If you have a homemade Mac and Cheese go-to, put it away and replace it with THIS White Cheddar mac and cheese. A cross between Panera Bread’s and something that fell from heaven and hit every branch on the delicious tree on it’s way down, you will have your family scrambling for the last spoonful.

It’s creamy, with a subtle hint of pepper and spice from the mustard and paprika. If you want a bit of smokey-ness you can always used a smoked paprika to create an even deeper flavor.

Best Thanksgiving mac and Cheese

[image source]

You can opt to use other kinds of pasta, I just prefer to use shells because then they get filled with that deliciously creamy white gold cheese sauce. I like to make homemade mac and cheese a lot, but I save this recipe to make on special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You can also choose different types of cheddar, I just prefer to have the tangy bite that this particular brand offers. To me, the sharper the better when it comes to cheddar!

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Best Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, on medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until smooth. Reduce heat and add milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper, paprika, and dry mustard. Continually whisk until smooth and bubbled begin to appear around outside of pot. It is important that you don't leave it unattended. You don't want milk to cook down too much.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add cheese. Stir until melted.
  4. Add cooked pasta, stirring until pasta is completely coated. Allow to sit to thicken and melt. Top with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Devour.
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Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffles

The Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffles

So, be prepared, because these waffles are not only delicious but they are addicting and you might need to double the batch from snacking while you cook them! The recipe calls for quite a bit of butter and buttermilk, making them super decadent, you don’t even need toppings! Although who can resist butter and syrup on waffles!?

Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffle Recipe

When my husband decided he wanted to purchase a waffled maker, I was, at first, hesitant because… we have a MILLION kitchen gadgets and I honestly didn’t think we needed another one (Can’t I just make pancakes!?)…

Well, when we had to return a few Christmas gifts and had a gift card we decided to use that to buy a nice waffle maker. I brought the big box home begrudgingly and opened it up. But of course, I immediately set out to figure out the PREFECT waffle recipe.

I look in my cookbooks and online, gleaned the general recipe and went to work. Needless to say, we had waffles for dinner that night.

The first batch was not all that great. A little dry and too crispy for us. Needed work.

A few tweaks, and it hit. They were Ahhhhh-maaaaazing. Seriously, my toddler ate two full waffles WITHOUT syrup.

Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffle Recipe

While these guys look a little over-cooked, I assure you they are not. It is important to learn how your waffle maker cook to get the just perfect crisp on them, without over cooking or burning them. Most suggest you wait until after it stops steaming, but for mine, that was waaaaaay too long.

I only cooked mine barely 2 minutes, but it will be a little different with each machine.

Like all recipes, you mix the dry ingredients together, then the wet, then combine, but there are a few crucial steps to making this batter juuuuust right that you don’t want to skip over.

So here it is: The Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fresh baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk (okay to use white milk curdled with lemon juice method)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  • Preheat waffle Iron
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine, set aside.
  • Place egg white in a small bowl, whisk vigorously (or use a hand mixer) until stiff peaks form
  • Combine buttermilk, milk, melted butter, vanilla and egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients
  • Mix, by hand, until just combined.
  • Fold in beaten egg white until just combined.
  • scoop 1/2 – 1 cup depending on size of iron onto prepared waffle iron (I always spray mine with non-stick spray even though you don’t necessarily need to), cook until golden brown. (note: cook time will vary depending on brand of waffle iron)

Best Homemade Buttermilk Waffle Recipe

As I mentioned in the recipe, it is ok if you don’t have buttermilk to make buttermilk waffles (weird, right?), you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and pour enough milk to make 1 cup and let it sit for a few minutes to turn and it will work just fine, although, like heavy cream, buttermilk will keep for basically forever so I like to keep a small pint on hand for just such occasions as I feel like making Buttermilk Waffled for dinner one day. 🙂

I hope that this recipe is as delicious for you as it is for me. I like to make homemade syrup, too. I experimented with a few. Vanilla syrup was particularly good (tasted like caramel too me, but the husband said it didn’t). I will have to post a few of those recipes later. In the mean time, let the know how your homemade buttermilk waffles work out for you!

 

 

 

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Whiskey Caramel Sauce
You think you know whiskey? You don’t know Jack.
 As a proud Scot, a Highland Games athlete and a lover of just about all types of booze from homemade hooch to top shelf single barrels, I have a keen fondness for whiskey (of all spellings and homelands – I’ve even have a Japanese Whiskey, and it was delicious!)
Now I am by no means a connoisseur but I do love to find new and exciting ways to use it in the kitchen. And I always have a few bottles of Jack Daniels on hand in my liquor cabinet.
So when I was looking to kick up my caramel sauce recipe I headed straight for that delicious Tennessee JD.
I used this particular batch in some Whiskey Bacon Caramel Bark, but I just happened to make a double batch to drizzle over ice cream… or just dip an errant spoon into, NBD.
Now caramel can be tricky but as long as you are paying just a little bit of attention you can handle it, I promise. Once you master it you can tweak it to fulfill your perfect caramel dreams, too. Like it more buttery? Or burned sugary or browned buttery? Add different extracts, experiment with thickness and consistency. It really is much more versatile than you think. And ALWAYS delicious.
There is always a jar of homemade caramel of some sort in my frig or pantry.
I’ll post my recipe for 6 minute caramel sauce soon, too, so you can see a different type of caramel that you can whip up on a whim.
Whiskey Caramel Sauce
Here is the recipe for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Caramel Sauce:
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup whiskey (I used Jack Daniels)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine the sugar, water, whiskey, and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and starts to turn color.
  2. Increase the heat to thigh and boil until the syrup turns a deep amber color, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly.
  4. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream and salt.
  5. Use a long-handled wooden spoon to carefully stir in the cream, as caramel has a tendency to hiss and splash as the cold cream hits it.
  6. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel thickens, 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. The mixture should be the consistency of very thick cream. Let boiling sauce cool until it is just warm before serving.
  8. To store, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  9. To reheat the sauce, microwave, uncovered, for 30 second increments until desired consistency. Stir until smooth.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Well I went to the store one day a week or so ago… hungry. Which you all know is a big mistake. And passed by some delicious looking apple cider. Being hungry, I couldn’t pass it up. Fast forward I need to use it up before it goes bad. The leaves are turning here, the weather getting more and more crisp each day: it’s almost full on Fall. One of my favorite things to get while apple picking is some fresh-made apple cider donuts so munch on while out in the orchard or on the ride home. It’s probably one of the best parts of one of my favorite Fall activities.

So I had this cider I needed to use up and began searching for a recipe I thought looked good. I modified one to meet my needs, paid a little closer attention to the actual baking process (my ancient oven has wreaked havoc on my last few baking sessions). This recipe is deeeeelicious, You won’t want to change a thing about it. And as a side note, I’m NEVER baking anything NOT in a water bath ever again. Cooked perfectly, no tough, over-cooked bottoms and raw middles. Ah.. glorious.

I wanted to make some pop-able mini-donuts/donut holes so I grabbed both my donut pan and a mini-cupcake pan. I purchased wilton’s cupcake scoops a while back, totally worth purchase. They make filling the tiny spaces much easier (you can put them in a ziplock bag and pipe them in but I’m lazy and the smallest scoop works perfectly). But these are BOTH ones you are going to want to make sure you DO NOT over-fill. You want to make the donut holes still pop-able and look as much like donut holes as possible and not mini-muffins.  And if you fill your donut pan more than 2/3 of the way you’ll lose your hole… (I know, I laughed at that, too).

These baby’s cook up fast so don’t go away and set a timer because you don’t want them to be tough, you want them just cooked through. I coated mine in cinnamon-sugar, because really who doesn’t love just about everything covered in cinnamon-sugar. But you can leave that off if you choose but they are seriously better with. I give the tops a little, quick dunk in some melted butter to help hold on the coating to the tops that have baked more firmly but the bottom portion should be moist enough that you only need to dunk (very quickly) the tops.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Apple Cider DonutsBaked Apple Cider Donuts Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash Salt
1 large egg, room temperature
2 Tablespoons butter melted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure/homemade vanilla

 

Directions:

  1. Simmer apple cider over low-medium heat in a small saucepan on the stove for 15-25 minutes. You may add cinnamon sticks, spices, orange slices for flavor if desired. In this step you are reducing the apple cider for a stronger flavor. You will ultimately want end up with 1/2 cup. Allow to cool in refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.

  2. 2. Pre heat over to 325 degree. Lightly spray done or mini-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg*, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. * You can substitute pumpkin pie spice if you desire for the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Use amount equal to the total of each of the previous ingredients.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar together until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk*, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of apple cider concentrate. Mix with whisk until incorporated. *If you do not have buttermilk, you can create your own using a tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of regular milk, allow to sit for 10 minutes so milk can curdle. Mix often.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Very gently and with your whisk fold wet into the dry ingredients. Be as gentle as you are able in this step. You do not want to active the gluten, which will make your donuts have a touch texture and using a whisk keeps them airy. Whisk until *just combined.* A few small lumps may remain.

  6. Fill mini-muffin or donut pan until 3/4 of the way full. If you have an inconsistent oven, use a large jelly roll pan or large deep cookie sheet and place in oven, fill halfway with water. Place donut/mini-muffin pan in the center of jelly roll pan. Bake 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  7. Make the topping by mixing granulated sugar and cinnamon to your desired taste, generally around 1/4 sugar and a few teaspoons of sugar. Dip the top of the donut/mini-muffin in the melted butter then dunk them all the way into the cinnamon-sugar, using your hands to generously coat the entire thing. Repeat with all the donuts.

  8. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days but they are best day of preparation.

Enjoy! Let me know how they work for you in the comments!

Bailey’s Fudge

Bailey’s Fudge

Last weekend was an annual event that I love and cherish. Throwing For A Cure is the first Highland Games I attended here in the mid-west and where I met the people I now consider close and wonderful friends. I am ever grateful and thankful for this event, not only for what it is doing to raise money to help research putting and end to breast cancer but for the people it bring together.

Each year the Clevengers put on this shindig and not only are their awesome people chucking heavy shite around but there is a raffle, silent auction, and a bake sale. And me being the baker I am had to come up with something scrumptious and irresistible. So of course I headed straight for the liquor cabinet.

Well, actually the fridge but that’s only because my bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream had already been opened and it needed to stay chilled. But I digress. I headed over to Pinterest, naturally, for inspiration, ideas and recipes for a fudge recipe that was heavy on the richness and even heavier on the booze. And behold: Bailey’s Irish Cream Fudge was found.

Now, this recipe makes a TON of fudge (like 5 pounds of it… yes 5!) so you can halve it… but I don’t recommend it because it is so delicious it will disappear almost as quickly as it makes up.

You’ll need:

36 oz. chocolate chips (depending your taste, you can choose any combo on milk, semi sweet, dark, etc you prefer)

14 oz. marshmallow cream

2 tsp pure bourbon vanilla extract

2/3 c Bailey’s Irish Cream (or Irish Cream of your choice – and I am liberal with my pour so really closer to a full cup)

4 1/2 c granulated sugar

12 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1/2 lbs. butter

Directions:

In a very large bowl (or even a pot if you don’t have a bowl large enough) combine chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, and Irish Cream. Set aside.

Line a 10×5 baking pan with foil or wax paper. Grease. You can use cooking spray or butter, which ever is your go-to method.

In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook slowly, stirring constantly. This will take about 10 minutes. You want to make sure the sugar is melted down. If you don’t cook down the sugar your fudge will be grainy.

Pour hot mixture into the bowl/pot with chocolate and Irish Cream. Slowly stir by hand to combine. Important: DO NOT stir with a mixer, stir by hand. ONLY stir until completely combined.

Pour fudge into the greased pan and chill overnight or until set.

Cut into one inch cubes.

Devour.

You will be AMAZED at how much Bailey’s flavor is in there. And I personally like my chocolate on the darker side so i tend to use semi-sweet and dark chocolate combinations and it is to DIE for. It will disappear fast so make sure to squirrel yourself away some for later after you guests have left or so your family doesn’t eat it all before you get some.

Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge