Christmas Cookies

I am so sorry for not posting in 10,000 years.  Forgive me.  Things happen.

You know who is a genius? Deb of Smitten Kitchen.
Seriously, I made her recipe for brownie roll out cookies. Delish! And they came out perfectly.

You can find the cookie recipe on her blog and I made buttercream frosting with:
-1 stick butter
-1/3 lb. confectioners sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla

Just whip it up in your mixer until smooth and spread on cooled cookies.  Don't forget the sprinkles!


Anytime Snack: Chocolate Chip Scones

I think people don't realize how easy it is to make scones.  Really, you can do it.  You don't even need a mixer other than a pastry cutter.

Adapted from: Macaroni and Cheesecake

You'll Need:
-2 + 1/2 cups flour
-1/4 cup oatmeal
-1/3 cup sugar
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1 stick cold butter, cut in pieces
-8 ounces chocolate chips or chunks
-2 eggs
-1 + 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
-1/3 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup milk
-baking sheet
-pastry cutter
-parchment paper or silpat
-2 bowls
-surface to form dough on


In a large bowl, mix up all of the dry ingredients with a whisk. Then, cut in the butter until it is in small pieces with the pastry cutter.


Toss the chocolate into the flour mixture.  Mix up wet ingredients in another bowl.


Make a slight well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Fold together with a spatula.


As the dough just comes together, sprinkle a surface with flour and dump the dough out to form it into 2 rectangles, about 4x12 and 1 inch thick.  Cut each rectangle into 3 equal-ish squares and cut each square diagonally. (I like to use a bench/pastry scraper for this.)


Arrange the triangles on the parchment lined backing sheet and pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 425 degrees (F).


Once the oven is preheated, (to 425 degrees F) pop 'em in and bake for about 7 minutes, then turn the baking sheet around and cook until slightly browned, about 9 minutes. Let them cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes.  Eat 'em up!

Fact of the Matter: I am so happy there is finally cool weather.


Fall Treat: Apple Butter

Apple picking almost always leads to the making of apple butter, as well as way too many apples.

You'll Need: (makes about 7 cups)
-16 cups chopped Stayman apples (do not peel, also, you could use a different variety if you want)
-1 cup apple juice
-2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon allspice
-a huge pot
-a potato ricer or food mill
-containers for freezing


Chop all of the apples and dump them in a huge pot on the stove.


Pour the apple juice over the apples and crank up the burner to medium-low heat.  Cook the apples down with the lid on for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until they are mushy enough to put through the ricer.


Spoon the cooked down apples into the ricer/food mill over a large bowl.  Remove skins as you go.


Return mushed apples to pot and add sugar and spices.  Cook for about 30 minutes.  Then it's done! Try it on some freshly baked bread or if you're from up north, a slice of scrapple! I tried it with bacon bits--delicious!

Fact of the Matter: It is crucial to make apple butter every year.


Inspiration from Jacques Pepin: Apple Galette

Apple picking leads to the best desserts.  I chose to make an apple galette, thanks to Chef Pepin.

You'll Need:
For the Dough...
- 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- waxed paper
- food processor (it is possible to do this with a pastry cutter, not recommended)
For the filling...
- about 4 apples, any variety ( I used York)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- just a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- a sheet pan with a sprinkling of cornmeal on it

Get out your food processor, fitted with blade and add the dry ingredients, give it a whirl.


Add the butter and pulse for about 10 seconds, until the mixture is in small clumpy pieces.


Add the water while you run the processor, and mix until combined, don't over mix, just until larger crumbs form.


Dump the mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and form into a disc, wrap it up in the waxed paper.  Then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use, it can be kept over night.


Start cutting the apples.  About half of them should be slices, 1/4 inch thick, the rest chopped in small pieces. All should be peeled.  Also, preheat the oven to 400(F).


Mix together the cinnamon and sugar with the sprinkling of fresh nutmeg.


Grab the dough from the fridge, roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness on the sheet pan and spread the chopped apples within about an inch of the edge.  Drizzle honey over the chopped apples.


Now, spread the thinly sliced pieces how ever you like over the chopped apples, covering them with the cinnamon sugar as you go. Then, fold up the sides and add that last bit of butter around the top.  The cinnamon sugar can also go on the pastry.


Bake for about 1 hour until pastry is browned and apples are tender.

Enjoy!  Great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Fact of the Matter: Fresh ingredients are the best.