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Friday, November 7

A Marshmallow World (Bing Crosby)

Who's ready to kick-off the holiday baking season?!?  Let's see if we can lighten it up just a bit this year....  All of the recipes are kid-tested for both ease of baking and delicious-ness!

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Cookies
  • 1 1/2 c wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 oz softened butter
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extra
Icing
  • 2 c confectioner's sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
Prepare
  • For cookies, whisk together first four ingredients in medium bowl.
  • Beat sugars and butter in separate bowl, add egg white and extract.  Stir until combined.
  • Add flour mixture, and stir until incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 325.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Dust a work surface with flour. Turn out chilled dough directly onto work surface. Roll dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes in dough, and gently transfer them to baking sheets. (You can reroll the scraps, just be sure to chill in between.
  • Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until set but not browned. Remove cookies from oven, and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the icing, whisk together all the icing ingredients in a large bowl until completely smooth. Mixture should have consistency of a glaze. (If it's too thin, add a bit more sugar. If it's too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice.
  • Transfer icing to a pastry bag (or a zip-top plastic bag with a small hole in one of the bottom corners). First, outline the cookie or desired design, then fill it in. Let icing harden before serving. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Molasses Crinkles

Ingredients
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c + 1/3 c sugar (keep divided)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 c finely chopped ginger
Prepare
  • Beat butter and 1 c sugar in large bowl until creamy.  Mix in egg and molasses.
  • Whisk flour, soda, spices, salt, and ginger in another bowl. 
  • Blend mixtures together well.  Chill dough in refrigerator up to one hour (until firm).
  • Preheat oven to 375.  Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
  • Place remaining sugar in bowl.  Roll dough into 1" balls and then roll in sugar bowl.
  • Place 1 1/2" apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, until they crackle.
 

Gingerbread Men

Cookies:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup molasses
Decorations
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk 
  • 1/4 cup colored sugar sprinkles
Prepare
  • To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through cloves) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and well blended. Add molasses and egg; beat until well blended. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until well blended. Divide dough in half; shape each dough portion into a flat disk. Wrap dough portions separately in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove 1 dough portion from refrigerator; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut with a 3-inch boy or girl cookie cutter. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  • To prepare decorations, combine powdered sugar and milk, stirring until smooth. Spoon mixture into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe onto cookies. Decorate as desired with sugar sprinkles.

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Cake
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • Cooking spray
Frosting
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-ounce low fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • To prepare the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.
 

Sugared Cranberries

  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
Preparation
  • Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
  • Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake batter:
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 8 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Brownie batter:
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To prepare cheesecake batter, place cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat well. Add 1 tablespoon flour; beat mixture just until blended.
  • To prepare brownie batter, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter. Pour remaining batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top; spread evenly to edges. Dot cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter. Swirl top two layers of batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 26 minutes or until top is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Note: You can tint the cheesecake batter with two or three drops of red food coloring to give it a pink tinge, if you like. When swirling the cheesecake and brownie batters in step 4, don't disturb the bottom brownie layer. Cool these bars completely before serving.
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