Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stained Glass Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors


1- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

2- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.

3- Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days.

4- Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet to crush candies.

5- Place one disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough.

6- Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie.

7- If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking.

8- Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from
the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.

Makes 2 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

Thank to Shelley Munro!

Dani's Snappy Ginger Cookies


1.5 cups butter or margarine (not light)

2 cups white sugar

½ cup molasses

2 eggs

4.5 cups white flour

4 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 to 3 tsp ginger

1 to 1.5 tsp cloves


Preheat oven to 375. Whisk all the dry ingredients together, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs. Mix in the dry ingredients. Try forming some into a stiff ball ---you may need to add a little bit more flour.

Form into small balls and roll in white sugar. Do not flatten. Bake about 8 minutes or until done. (See if the bottoms are brown.)

Thanks to Dani Harper!

Nookie Cookie

My pal Ellie Marvel <http://elliemarvel. com/> gave me this recipe. She swears it's great and considering it involves things like Snickers or other fun bites of chocolate, I might actually try it myself. Or I would if I weren't on Weight Watchers. She calls them Nookie Cookies, but she
writes erotic romance, so it figures she would.

You will need:

1-2 tubes of chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie dough
1 bag of fun size Snickers or Milky Way bars

Shape spoonfuls of cookie dough around each candy bar, cutting candy bars into smaller pieces if necessary. Place lumps of future deliciousness on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-16
minutes. Nookie cookies will flatten as they bake--with a surprise inside!

Feel free to experiment with types of dough and cookie. Best eaten warm.
Still delicious when cool.

Thanks to Marie-Nicole!

Frosted Banana Cookies


¾ cup shortening
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla flavoring
½ tsp banana flavoring
2 ripe mashed bananas
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cup flour

6 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp cream (half and half)
4 tbsp butter
Powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla flavoring


1) In mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, banana flavoring and bananas and beat well. Sift and add dry ingredients.

2) Drop by tsps onto greased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes at 350.

Icing: On stove top in small saucepan bring to boil sugar, cream and butter. Remove from heat and add enough powdered sugar to make icing a nice consistency to drizzle over cookies. Stir in
½ tsp vanilla.

Thanks to Billie Jo!

Berry Chocolate Torte


1 package (18 ¼ oz) devil food cake mix
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
2 pints of fresh berries


1) Prepare and bake the cake according to package directions, using two 9-in round pans. Cool for 10 mins before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Split each cake into two horizontal layers. Place on bottom layer on a serving plate; top
with a fouth of the cream cheese mixture.

3) Arrange 1 cup berries over filling; repeat layers three times. Refrig until serving.

Thanks to Billie Jo!

Chewy Coconut Macaroons


2 2/3 cups flaked coconut
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 egg whites
¼ tsp almond extract


1) Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease and flour cookie sheet.

2) In medium bowl, combine coconut, sugar, flour and ¼ tspsalt. Stir in egg whites and almond extract. Drop egg white mixture by rounded tsps 2 in. apart onto sheet.

3) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden.

Thanks to Billie Jo!

Shrewsbury Cookies


4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
1 medium egg
8 oz of Flour
5 tsp. grated lemon rind


Cream the butter and sugar, and then add egg. Stir in flour and lemon rind to form a dough ball. Knead and roll out to ¼" thickness. Cut out cookies with a 2" cutter and place on a greased baking tray. Bake in the oven on center rack for 15-20 minutes at 350° F until very
lightly brown. Sprinkle with slivered almonds or leave plain. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Thanks to Maz!

Pork Loin With Pearl Onions and Grapes

A great wine to drink with the pork loin is the Cotes de Tablas by Tablas Creek Vineyard. It has a wonderful blend of 43% Grenache, 24% Mourved, 18% Syrah and 15% Counoise. It's similar to a French Rhone. It's not too fruity and has a nice peppery spice flavor on the palate.

Servings: Serves 4.


1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
10 fresh thyme sprigs plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp red pepper flake
¼ cup red wine
3 tablespoons warm clarified butter (recipe follows)
1 pound small pearl onions
3 pound boneless pork loin
1 pound red seedless grapes (about 3 cups)
For clarified butter
unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces


Prepare the pork loin by trimming off any excess fat except for about 1/8-inch layer on the outside. Salt and pepper pork on both sides. Combine vinegar, honey, garlic, red pepper and thyme in a small bowl.
Marinate pork in ingredients for 4 hours up to overnight.

Clarify butter:

In a heavy saucepan melt butter over low heat. Remove pan from heat and let butter stand 3 minutes. Skim froth and strain butter through a sieve lined with a double thickness of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth into a bowl, leaving milky solids in bottom of pan. Pour clarified butter into a jar or crock and chill, covered. Butter keeps, covered and chilled, indefinitely. When clarified, butter loses about one fourth its original volume.

When ready to cook pork drain marinade and add ¼ cup red wine into a small saucepan and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour glaze through a fine sieve into a small bowl, discarding thyme, and reserve. In another small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons reserved glaze and 2 tablespoons clarified butter. In a saucepan of boiling salted water blanch onions 3 minutes. Drain onions and peel.

Heat a flameproof roasting pan, 15 by 10 by 2 inches, in oven 10 minutes at 350. In heated pan toss onions with remaining tablespoon clarified butter, and salt and pepper to taste and roast
in upper third of oven, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Take onions out.

While onions are roasting, prepare pork loin. Brush pork loin with about one third glaze-butter mixture. Roast pork loin for 15 minutes at 350. Add grapes and onions to the roasting pan. Arrange pork loin, over onions and grapes and roast 15 minutes. Turn pork loin over and baste with about half of remaining glaze-butter mixture. Roast pork loin, basting with remaining glaze-
butter mixture, 10 minutes more.

Transfer to a platter. Arrange grapes and onions around pork loin. To pan add reserved glaze and on stovetop boil over high heat 5 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Season sauce with salt and pepper and drizzle over pork loin.

Thanks to Michele Scott!

Scottish Black Bun

Eaten at New Year, and guaranteed to blow your head off :) My mother made an amazing black bun!

Ingredients for filling:

225g of plain flour
50g of soft brown sugar
450g of currants
450g of raisins
450g of sultanas
175g of mixed peel
50g of chopped almonds
50g of ground almonds
3 eggs
1 egg with the yolk and white separated
Buttermilk to mix
60mls of whisky or brandy
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Half teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Half teaspoon of baking soda
Half teaspoon of cream of tartar

Ingredients for Pastry Case:

225g of plain flour
125g of margarine
Pinch of salt
Cold water to mix

For the Pastry:

1.Sieve the flour and the salt.

2. Rub in the butter and then mix in the water. The dough should start to become stiff.

3. On a pastry board roll out the mixture into a thin square.

Set aside and make the black bun filling.

For the Black Bun:

1.To make the filling for Black Bun you should first grease two 2lb loaf tins or a large tin.

2. Sieve the flour and mix in the sugar, ground almonds, mixed spice, cinnamon, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, baking soda and the cream of tartar.

3. Now stir in the dried fruits of currants, raisins, sultanas, candied peel and the chopped almonds.

4. Gently fold in the beaten eggs and the buttermilk until the mixture becomes soft and moist.

5. Add the alcohol.

6. Use about two thirds of the pastry to line the tins. If the pastry has to be joined then wet these so that a good seal is formed.

7. Put the black bun mixture into the tin, on top of the pastry. Make sure it is packed firmly and then level off.

8. Brush the top of the fruit mixture with the white of the egg.

Thanks to Marie Treanor!