{Holiday Feature} Elf Cookies by The Bearfoot Baker

Merry Christmas everyone! My name is Lisa and I have a blog called The Bearfoot Baker. Anu was kind enough to let me hang out with you today so we could make some Christmas Cookies. As I looked through her selection of cookie cutters with a friend of mine, we came up with the idea of simple elf cookies made with an ice cream cutter.

(IMAGE1) Simple Elf Cookies  via thebearfootbaker.com
Want to make some simple elf cookies for yourself? Here is how.

Supplies for Simple Elf Cookies:

Ice Cream Cutter
Flesh Colored Icing
Green Icing
Red Icing
White Icing
Brown Icing
4mm Black Edible Pearls

Have you made decorated sugar cookies before? If you haven’t don’t worry. Here is a Beginners Guide to Cookie Decorating full of videos, tutorials and tips.  You will find cookie recipes, icing recipes with videos on how to make it.

(IMAGE 2) Elf Cookies by thebearfootbaker.com

Begin by baking some ice cream cone cookies and a batch of royal icing. If you want to make a half batch of royal icing, click here for the recipe.

  • Outline the face with the flesh colored icing.
  • Outline the hat with the green icing.
  • Flood every other section of hat with green and let it dry overnight. Humidity will cause the icing colors to run together. This is called bleeding. The longer you let the icing dry, the less chance for bleeding.
  • Flood the face with the flesh colored icing and add 2 drops of white icing while the flesh color is wet. Drop in a 4 mm edible bead in each eye.

 

(IMAGE 3) Elf Cookies via thebearfootbaker.com

  • Next, flood the red sections on the hat and let it dry for about an hour.
  • Add a dot for the nose and a smile with the flesh colored icing.
  • Make the dark green trim on the hat.
  • Add a white dot of icing on the top of the hat.
  • Let it dry overnight.

(IMAGE1) Simple Elf Cookies  via thebearfootbaker.com
I hope you enjoyed these little guys as much as I do. Let me know if you have any cookie questions. You can email me at lisa@thebearfootbaker.com.

Merry Christmas!

{Recipe Feature} Cherry Poke Cupcakes

With the 4th of July just a day a way, I was looking through my recipe box for a cake recipe I could make. I found a recipe I had cut out of a magazine a long time ago for a Holiday Poke Cake.

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I didn’t want to make it with the traditional white cake, so I looked a little further to find a recipe for a sponge cake.  I thought I could use this recipe for cupcakes and use the Jell-O in the same way as in the cake.   I wanted my cupcakes to follow the July 4th theme, so when I purchased the Jell-O I picked a red (cherry) and a blue (berry blue).  When I poked the holes in the baked cupcakes, I tried both and even mixed them, I decided the red looked best with blue polka dot baking cups and brought the whole red, white and blue theme together.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!

 Cupcake Ingredients
Scant 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
Scant 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 package (4 serving) Jell-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin
1 cup boiling water

Line cupcake tins with baking cups.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl and cream together until pale.  Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture while beating lightly.  Once all the egg has been added and combined with the butter mixture, sift in the flour a little at a time and fold through until the batter is just combined.

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Divide the batter between 24 cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

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The cupcakes are done when a tester is inserted in the middle and comes out clean.  Transfer baked cupcakes to a rack to cool.  While the cupcakes are cooling, in another bowl stir 1 cup of boiling water into the gelatin mix.  Stir Jell-O for two minutes or until completely dissolved.

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Using a large fork, poke a few holes in the top of each baked cupcake.

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Spoon 1 tablespoon of Jell-O over the top allowing the liquid to seep through holes.

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 Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
7 oz cream cheese
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
4 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Mix all ingredients and beat until smooth.
Frost each cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  Store cupcakes in refrigerator.

 

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Enjoy!

~ MissouriFarmChick @ My Kitchen Addictions

 

{Recipe Feature} Coconut Cupcakes

Anytime I go to a gourmet cupcake shop, I always select a coconut cupcake. I don’t know what it is, but I like the sweetness of coconut – its just plain perfect for me!

So when MissouriFarmChick told me that she recently made some coconut cupcakes in our polka dot baking cups, I begged her for the recipe. Ok, well maybe I didn’t exactly beg…I asked 🙂   I really like to try recipes that friends have tried and recommend. So here is the recipe, courtesy of MissouriFarmChick from MyKitchenAddictions.com

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 Ingredients
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
5 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp coconut extract
3½ oz Angel Flake sweetened, shredded coconut
FOR THE GLAZE:
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 – 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Instructions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with baking cups.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer (on medium speed) to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Stir in the milk, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Finally, add flour, baking powder and salt mixture, and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a cupcake, approximately 30-35 minutes.

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FOR THE GLAZE:   Whisk together coconut milk, coconut extract and confectioner’s sugar until smooth, adding more sugar as needed to thicken the glaze (or more milk if you want to thin it out).  Cool cupcakes in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing. Drizzle with glaze while cupcakes are still warm.  Sprinkle the top of each glazed cupcake with shredded coconut.

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Thanks MissouriFarmChick for sharing!

~Anu

 

{Recipe Feature} Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

I equate Easter with carrot cake.

I don’t think it is a traditional Easter dessert, but here’s my train of thought: Easter -> Easter bunny -> Who enjoys carrots -> carrot cake.

So, it felt a little weird to make these after Easter. Like eating cranberry sauce in July. But, trust me when I say that these beauties should be enjoyed anytime. I had planned on making a cream cheese glaze, but I liked them so much on their own, I left them naked! I’m scandalous like that. They are spicy, chewy, and delicious!

Carrot Cake Cookies

Makes 30-35 medium sized cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until well combined. Stir in the carrot, walnuts, and raisins.

3. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, drop balls of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10-13 minutes.

Gluten-Free Pies for the Holidays

For food sensitive people, gluten is a menace, especially during this season. All the good holiday foods we love are often filled with gluten. It’s possible, however, to enjoy great gluten-free desserts. Here are some to try:

apple pumpkin strudel

Photo Credit: Joana Hard

Apple Pumpkin Strudel — serves eight

Ingredients:

8 peeled and sliced large apples, Granny Smith or Pippin
1 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon — one tablespoon for topping
A pinch of all-spice
1 1/2 cup of gluten-free all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1/4 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract
2 large eggs

Directions:

After preheating oven to 350 degrees F, grease a baking pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle it with the sugar and rosemary. Add the apples and pumpkin purée. Spread out evenly.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the orange juice, extract and egg, combining ingredients into a grainy texture. Pour mixture over apples and pumpkin. Season with remaining cinnamon.

Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes.

Chocolate Cream Pie – serves 10

Pie crust:
1 cup gluten-free biscuit mix
5 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare 9-inch glass pie pan with non-stick spray. Pour gluten-free biscuit mix in medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine it with butter by using a fork until the mixture looks like crumbs. Add water. Press dough balls into the pan, bottom and sides. Bake until the dough has a light brown appearance. Cool completely.

For filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups whipped cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Reserve 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet chips for topping. In two-quart sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add in milk and continue stirring while cooking over medium heat. Pour in the chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until the chips are blended. Pour into a medium-sized bowl and cover with foil. Refrigerate until chilled.

In mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until peaks form. Set aside one cup for garnish. Beat the cooled chocolate mixture at high-speed for two minutes. Add in whipped cream. Spread chocolate cream across the cooled crust. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate chips.

Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake

Crust:
2 cups almonds
2 cups pitted dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup organic cocoa

Filling:
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, not canned
1 cup organic and unrefined coconut oil
3/4 cup raw organic agave
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Crust prep: In a food processor, blend together almonds, cocoa and chopped dates. Roll mixture into a ball. Spread coconut oil over a cake pan and press dough inside.

Filling prep: In a blender, place all the ingredients for the filling and blend until creamy. Add extra agave to taste, if you prefer. Pour the filling into the pan. Cover pan with foil and place in freezer for several hours.

Allow the cake to defrost before serving.

– Pearce @ MyProjectorLamps

{Recipe Feature} Santa Hat Brownies

Erin from Chocolate Wrapped shared a super cute idea for an xmas dessert with us – Santa Hat Brownies! I’m hoping to try this out for an upcoming holiday party.

Santa Hat Brownie Recipe

1 lot of your favourite brownies, cooled; You can use a box mix, brownie bites or make from scratch!

Use a round shape cutter/cookie cutter to cut out Brownie’s into Circles
14 strawberries, cleaned with top cut off
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream

Mascarpone Buttercream Recipe
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
dash of salt

Method:
Use a mixer to beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, (2.5 minutes)
Add vanilla extract and salt.
Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time
Beat until smooth
Add as much sugar as you feel tastes great

Steps to put it all together

Pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie
Cut off the top of your strawberry so it‘s flat
Put it upside down on each brownie
Pipe a small tip to the top  of each strawberry, making it look like a santa hat

 

Thanks Erin for sharing!

~Anu