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Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies

Growing up in Chicagoland I used to love to look at the paper on Wednesdays.  That’s the day the Continue reading

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Cranberry Gems

My grandmother loved to bake and always used “real butter”.  Knowing that I loved the taste of “real butter” and it was something we only had on holidays at our house, at her house she would sneak me a small pat near the fridge and we giggled as we let it melt in our mouth.  One of the things she was famous for was her Gems, in this recipe I put my twist on it using a cranberry filling and a streusel topping.  If you find yourself with leftover cranberry relish around the holidays, you can use it up here.  I hope you give them a try!

Cranberry Gems

 

Crust

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups flour

Place all crust ingredients into a bowl and combine using a pastry blender, or a fork.  Press the ingredients together until combined and you can form a ball.  Place the dough in the refrigerator until chilled.

Filling

12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp. orange zest

1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients into a sauté pan and cook until thickened.  Use the back of a spoon to smash the cranberries.  Cook for about 25-30 minutes.  Remove cinnamon stick and set aside until ready.

Streusel Topping

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup quick rolled oats

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and press together using a pastry blender or fork.  Do not over mix, it should be crumbly.

Vanilla Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 Tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix the glaze ingredients in a mug until smooth, you can adjust the thickness by adding more milk to thin it or more sugar to thicken it to your liking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them in the cups of a mini muffin tin.  Press the dough out in the tin to create a pie crust in each tin.  Fill the crusts with the filling and top with the streusel.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.  Cool and then drizzle with the glaze.  Yield – 48 gems.

Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches

Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches

Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches

My friend Jen gave me an AWESOME cookbook for my birthday last year.  It’s called The Art of the Cookie by Shelly Kaldunski.

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I thought it only fitting that on her birthday I would try out one of the recipes in the book and surprise her with the results.  So I set out to make the Vanilla Spritz Sandwiches on page 96.  They were so pretty that you would think they were hard to make, but they aren’t.  In fact I inspired Jen to make them too!  I’m looking forward to trying a few of the others too, like the Neopolitans, Lemon Window Panes and the Dried Cherry Shortbread.  Check out this book, it’s a good one to have on the shelf!

These make a great gift!

Surprise someone with a delicious gift!

 

Granny’s Sugar Cookies

My son Andrew loves his Granny’s Sugar Cookies.  Just made them recently for an event at school.  They are always a big hit!

Granny's Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream the ingredients above.

Mix in just until combined:

5 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tarter

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°, on ungreased cookie sheet (I like to line mine with super parchment) placed 1.5″ dough balls spaced 2 inches apart.  Moisten the bottom of a glass and dip into sugar, press to flatten the cookie dough.

Bake for 10 minutes until edges just start to brown.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Enjoy!