10/26/11

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

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I love sugar cookies, and these sugar cookies are perfect. They are soft and buttery, and with the addition of frosting, they are amazing.  They are perfect for many occasions as the frosting can be dyed with food coloring and sprinkles added.  Give these a try.  You won't be disappointed.  

Soft Sugar Cookies 
Ingredients:
For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:
To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. 

Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball.  Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart.  Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set.  (Do not overbake!  The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if at all.)  Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To frost the cookies, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.  Tint with food coloring if desired.  Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies.  (If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to keep it workable.)  Top with sprinkles if desired.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Hostess with the Mostess

10/24/11

Oreo Truffles

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Do you like Oreos?  I'm not a huge fan. I'd pass on an Oreo for a chocolate chip cookie every time.  The only exception to my rule is when the Oreos are used to make these Oreo Truffles.  These are great for the holidays. 

Oreo Truffles
Ingredients:  
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 
1 pkg.  (16.6 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided 
2 pkg. (8 squares each) semi-sweet chocolate, melted  

Directions: 
Mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.  Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.  Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Source:  Kraft Recipes

10/4/11

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting

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I'm not going to give you an introduction to this cake.  I think the title and the photo paint a pretty clear picture that this cake is delicious.  Oh, I should mention that it also has a cream cheese filling.  Need I say more?

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting
Ingredients:
Cream cheese filling: 
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened  
1/4 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg  
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Apple Cake Batter: 
1 cup finely chopped pecans 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
3 large eggs, lightly beaten  
3/4 cup canola oil 
3/4 cup applesauce 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

Praline frosting: 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1/4 cup butter 
3 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions: 

Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

 
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