‘Tis the season…to put on a few extra pounds!!  After all, you need them to keep warm, right?  We thought we would help the cause with these wonderful recipes:

 

Peppermint Meltaways

Ingredients

·         Cookie

·         1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

·         ½ cup powdered sugar

·         ½ teaspoon peppermint extract

·         1¼ cups all-purpose flour

·         ½ cup Argo® Cornstarch

·         Glaze

·         1½ cups powdered sugar

·         2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

·         1 to 2 tablespoons milk

·         ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

·         2 to 3 drops red food color, if desired

·         Candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed

Instructions

·         1

Combine butter, powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour and cornstarch; beat at low speed until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes).

·         2

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

·         3

Meanwhile, combine 1½ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Stir in food color, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.

Maple Butter Tarts

Author: Julia Frey of Vikalinka

Recipe type: Dessert

Cuisine: Canadian

Serves: 24

 

The recipe makes 24 tarts. You can either make them at the same time if you have 2 muffin tins and your oven is big enough to bake both. Alternatively, you can bake them one after another.

Ingredients

·         Pie Crust, pre-made-500 gr

·         Brown Sugar, packed- ¾ cup

·         Maple syrup- ½ cup

·         Butter, melted- ⅓ cup

·         Eggs- 2

·         Cider Vinegar- 1 tbsp.

·         Salt- ½ tsp.

·         Raisins- ½ cup

·         Walnuts (optional)- ½ cup

Instructions

1.     Preheat your oven to 350F/180C.

2.     In a medium bowl combine melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, vinegar and salt and whisk until combined.

3.     Add raisins and chopped walnuts.

4.     Roll out the pastry to a ⅛” thickness and cut out rounds with a 4″ pastry cutter or use a glass. (My glass was 3.5″ in diameter)

5.     Line muffin tin cups with pastry rounds.

6.     Fill the muffin cups with the maple/nut mixture until ⅔ full.

7.     Bake for 20-25 minutes until the custard is set and the pastry is golden.

8.     Run a knife around the edges of the tarts as soon as you remove them from the oven to release them from the tin.

 

Candy Cane Buttercream Cookies

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE COOKIES

·         1 cup + 1 Tablespoon (133g) all-purpose flour

·         1/4 cup (32g) unsweetened cocoa powder

·         1 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I use 1 package Baker's Semi Sweet chocolate)

·         2 large eggs

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         5 Tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

·         3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar

·         1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

·         1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips

CANDY CANE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

·         3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

·         2.5 - 3 cups (300-360g) confectioners sugar, sifted

·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·         1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream or milk

·         1/2 cup candy cane dust, sifted (about 8-10 candy canes pulverized in a food processor)

·         crushed candy canes for rolling, optional

Directions:

Begin with the cookies. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir. Continue to melt in 30 second increments until fully melted and smooth. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Set aside. With an electric or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Beat in the sugars, scraping down the sides every 10 seconds or so. The mixture will be granular.

Mix in the beaten egg/vanilla until incorporated. Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients on slow speed. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Do not overmix at any point in this process.

Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop about 1 Tablespoon of dough and roll into a slightly flattened ball. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have just begun to set with the centers still appearing very soft. They will firm up as they cool.

As the cookies cool, make the buttercream. Beat the butter for 1 minute with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 2.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar and slowly mix on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 1 Tablespoon of cream/milk. Beat for about 1 minute. Manually stir in candy cane dust. If your buttercream needs to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk/cream. If frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt.

Frost the bottom end of a cooled cookie and top with another to make a sandwich. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

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