December 24, 2012

Pecan Maple Scones with Maple Glaze

  • Very holiday tasting! These were easy to put together (15 min prep and 15 min bake) and make for a quick "what do you want for breakfast?" choice.
  • 1 c. oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned), processed in food processor until finely ground (took a few minutes in mine)
  • 1 c. all-p flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. half-and-half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. chopped pecans (I didn't toast them but the scones would have had a more nutty flavor had I done so. To toast, heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast nuts, turning them over by shaking the pan several times until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Do not let burn).
  • Icing: Mix in a bowl: 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and if needed, a little bit of milk or half-and-half. Keep it pretty thick (doesn't run off a spoon when lifted).
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, finely ground oats, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter with two butter knives or a pastry blender until butter is in very small chunks.
3. In another bowl, beat egg with half-and-half, vanilla, & maple syrup. Add to dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just mixed.
4. Add pecans and mix just to incorporate.
5. Place dough on a floured surface, knead a few times then pat into an 8 to 10-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges using a pizza cutter or dough/pastry scraper. Transfer to a baking sheet (I line mine with my silicone baking mats) and bake 10-15 min or until bottoms are just lightly browned (my tops did not brown at all when bottoms were lightly brown so watch carefully).
6. Remove scones to a wire rack and let cool 5 min before glazing. Mix the glaze ingredients and then spread over top of scones, topping with 1 pecan. Eat right away or let sit 15 min for glaze to set.

Cranberry Scones

  • These were delicious! They spread out a bit in the oven for me so I might add a bit more flour (1-2 tbsp) or reduce butter by 1 tbsp next time. I left the original recipe below.
  • Modified from Annie's Eats
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped fresh cranberries (chop by hand or pulse in your food processor)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • Additional sugar for sprinkling (I used a course raw sugar but regular white sugar would be fine)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. In a small bowl, toss chopped cranberries with remaining 3 tbsp sugar then stir into the flour-butter mixture.
4. In another small bowl, combine egg, egg yolk, and heavy cream; whisk to blend. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until dry ingredients are just moistened. Knead gently to be sure dough is evenly mixed, being careful not to overwork the dough.
5. To shape scones: either drop into heaping mounds onto a baking sheet, pat into a 8 to 10-inch circle on a floured surface and cut into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter or pastry/dough scraper, or scoop dough into a 2 1/2 or 3-inch biscuit cutter and pat down gently to form a 1-inch thick round.
6. Sprinkle with additional sugar and bake about 15 minutes or just until lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

December 16, 2012

Christmas Goodies

  • Working from the top around clockwise....

(click on link to get recipe)


  • Recipe modified from Celebrations at Home blog
  • My melted chocolate got a little thick so I googled how to thin melted chocolate and added a tsp or two of vegetable shortening which worked great.
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 c. unsweetened flaked/shredded coconut
  • 50ish almonds
  • 20 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Toast almonds over medium low heat in a dry skillet for about 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan every once in awhile until nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from heat to cool. Be careful not to burn them.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in the coconut, until combined (it will be thick). Freeze the mixture for about 30 minutes so it will be easier to work with.
3. Remove the coconut from freezer and with clean hands, shape about one tablespoon of coconut into tight little balls and place on a cookie sheet.. You may need to wash hands every so often as they will get sticky. Place 2 almonds on top of each ball, pressing them in lightly. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.
4. Find a heat-proof bowl that will sit nicely over a saucepan with the rim of the bowl sitting on the rim of the pan, bowl part sitting down into the saucepan a bit. Fill the saucepan with a few inches of water (should be about 1 inch below the bottom of the bowl) and bring to a simmer.
5. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl above the simmering water and stir every so often as they melt. Once melted, shut heat off but leave bowl over warm water.
6. Remove the candies from the fridge and place one coconut almond ball on a fork. Use a spoon to scoop a bit of the chocolate over the top and then lower the fork into chocolate and spoon over candy to coat. Lift fork and let the chocolate run off a bit. Place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with all candies. See my NOTES above if your chocolate gets too thick.
7. Let candy harden in fridge for 45 minutes or so then freeze and remove as desired or let store at room temp in a sealed container.


  • This is a modified recipe that Luke's grandma always made at Christmas. They are soo soo good. Cut into small squares as they are pretty rich.
  • 2 c. crushed graham cracker crumbs (put in a zip-lock and use a rolling pin)
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 c. chocolate chips (or use a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch chips)
  • 1 1/3 c. flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 c. chopped nuts of choice (walnuts, pecans, almonds)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper and spray lightly.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork or lightly sprayed hands/palms.
3. Bake 15-25 minutes or until just lightly browned. Let cool a few minutes on a cooling rack then loosen from sides of pan while still warm. Finish cooling pan on wire rack then remove entire pan of bars to cutting board when cool. Cut into bars.

(click on link to get recipe)


  • These cookies have a brownie-like texture and are best eaten when still warm out of the oven. They do freeze fine.
  • A favorite Christmas cookie of mine from childhood.
  • Recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog
  • 2 c. plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (see steps 4 & 5 from the Mini Almond Joys recipe above for how to melt chocolate on the stove)
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar 

1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
2. In another bowl beat butter and sugar well, and then add eggs beating until creamy and smooth.
3. Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Beat well.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just to blend.
5. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
6. Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.
7. Shape heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place at least 1 1/2" apart on baking sheets.
8. Bake at 350ยบ (360 for high altitude) for about 10 minutes (8-9 min for high altitude) or JUST until tops are puffed and cracked. Take out earlier than you think you would. Do not over bake!


  • Tried these the first time this Christmas. I was going to make peanut butter blossoms but wanted to try these instead. A very tasty little candy that freezes well!
  • Recipe from Land O Lakes
  • 1/2 c.sugar
  • 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30-40 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray miniature muffin pan with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed.
3. Add flour, baking soda and salt; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place each ball into prepared miniature muffin cup. Bake just 10-12 minutes or until just a little golden (they will continue to cook when you remove from oven so take out sooner than you think).
5. Remove from oven; press peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Cool 15 minutes or so. Remove from pan to cooling racks and cool completely.


  • This is an easy and delicious fudge that tastes like an Andes mint. Yum!
  • My top layer did not "swirl" nice into the green layer like in the original recipe modified from because my chocolate set too fast. I ended up spreading the dotted chocolate over the green layer and adding some mini chocolate chips on top to make it look prettier.
  • Freezes well.
  • 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces white chocolate (I used white baking chips)
  • 1 tbsp peppermint extract
  • few drops of green food coloring
  • mini choc chips for topping (optional, see NOTES above)

1. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
2. Prepare to do steps 2 & 3 at the same time. In a double boiler (or a make-shift double boiler - see steps 4 & 5 from the Mini Almond Joys recipe above), melt chocolate chips with 1 cup sweetened condensed milk; add vanilla.
3. At the same time, melt the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water with remaining sweetened condensed milk. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.
4. For this step, the faster you go the better because the fudge sets very quickly and you won’t be able to do the marble pattern otherwise) Reserve about 4 tablespoons of the dark chocolate mixture and spread the rest into the pan. Add the green peppermint mixture on top. Quickly dollop the remaining dark chocolate mixture over the green and then run a knife at the surface to create a marbled effect (see NOTES above if this is working for you).
5. Chill for 2 hours or until firm. Use the overhang to get the fudge out of the pan. Cut into small bite-size squares. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator or freeze them.

December 6, 2012

That Baking Frenzy...

I feel like a pregnant woman trying to prepare meals to freeze before the baby gets here....I can't help but keep a running list of all of the delicious holiday treats, cookies, candies, and chocolates I want to make this year! I'm limiting myself to 5 (maybe 6?) things to bake for holiday treat bags. I'll try and post as I bake.

For now, here's a few holiday-ish treats and baked goods (besides the 3 posts directly below this one) that I've posted in the past few years:

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Peppermint Bark

Ginger Cookies

Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

Sweet Potato Waffles with Sweet Nut Topping

Festive Cranberry Orange Bread

  • This is really really good and pretty too! Perfect for a holiday playdate, breakfast, brunch, etc. I'll be making this again soon. The first two iPhone pics above don't do it justice so I added the pic that I modified the recipe from (Taste of Home). I had pulled the recipe out of the magazine from the October/November 2009 issue and have never made it until now!
  • The original recipe calls for fresh or frozen cranberries along with golden raisins. I did not use the raisins because I didn't think it sounded good and I'm glad I didn't - it was great with just cranberries!

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c. cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. orange juice
  • If you like your bread really "orange-y", feel free to add 2 tsp. grated orange peel (I did not do this as my husband complains when there is citrus zest of any kind in a recipe!)
  • 1 1/4 c. chopped (use a food processor if you have one) cranberries
  • 1/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-p flour
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
Glaze (optional but good!):
  • 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tsp orange juice
1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients then cut in the butter until crumbly (if you don't have a pastry cutter, use two forks or two knives).
2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and orange juice then stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. 3. Fold in cranberries and transfer to a greased loaf pan (8 or 9-inch by 4 or 5-inch).
4. For streusel, combine brown sugar and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Don't let it overcook or burn so watch carefully starting at 40 minutes. For high altitude, I bake at a little higher (at 360 or 365) and for less time (around 40 minutes).
5. Remove to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife if necessary then remove from pan to wire rack. Let cool another 15 minutes and drizzle with glaze if desired.

Best Sugar Cookies

  • I should have posted these when I made them - for Halloween! But Christmas is nearly here and sugar cookies are something I can't go without (of course, I'll use the appropriate color scheme).
  • These are sooooooooooo good. The trick is to just barely baking them. Take them out before the edges start to even get a little golden and the bottoms are maybe just a tiny bit golden - they will still be white on top. Then let them cool just for a minute on the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Do not overcoook! Watch them closely.
  • Double or triple the recipe if you want extras or a few to give away.
  • Sugar cookie recipe modified from a Land o Lakes recipe and frosting is modified from a recipe found on
  • For those cooking at a high altitude like myself, I used 1 tbsp less butter and 1-2 tbsp less sugar. Found that this helps the cookies from spreading too much. Chilling for half hour or so before rolling out also helps.
  • These cookies freeze nicely, both frosted and unfrosted.
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c. all-p flour
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
(this recipe will make enough frosting for a double batch of the cookies above)
  • 4. c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. butter (or shortening as in the original recipe)
  • Little cream or milk (2-5 tbsp), add slowly
  • Food coloring of choice


1. Heat oven to 375°F (I cook at 385 for high altitude). Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour, cream of tartar and baking soda; beat at low speed until dough forms a ball.
2. Chill dough for 30 minutes to make it easier to roll out then roll out on a well-floured surface to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with desired cookie cutter and move (nudging a floured metal spatula underneath if necessary) and place on an ungreased cookie sheets. Bake around 5-8minutes (see my second bullet point above for directions on how to cook to perfection).

1. Frost cookies once they've cooled.
2. Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.
3 Gradually mix in vanilla and a tbsp of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached (aim for a thicker frosting - it should not fall off a spoon when turned upside down).
4. Mix until smooth and stiff, about 5 min. Add desired food coloring, a few drops at a time. Let cookies sit out in a single layer (cover lightly with foil or plastic wrap) for a few hours while the frosting hardens a bit. Then you can place them in a container, placing wax paper between layers.

Holiday Gingerbread Waffles

  • Got these from Annie's Eats but original recipe is from Martha Stewart. Didn't get a picture of these for some reason. See here for Annie's picture.
  • I modified several things in the recipe so I included original recipe ingredients in parenthesis behind my edits.
  • These taste like Christmas. Serve with some real whip cream (mix in a little cinnamon and a little sugar (3 tbsp per 1 c. cream) in with the cream while whipping it for a real treat). Also taste delish with maple syrup.
  • We always make extra pancakes or waffles and freeze. They make for another great breakfast or easy snacks. If eating them for breakfast and you are thinking about them the night before, set them in the fridge to thaw overnight then bake on a baking sheet at 350 for just 5 minutes. You can always defrost them a bit in the microwave directly from the freezer then toast or put in oven.
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp cooking oil (or 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled)
  • 1 3/4 c. buttermilk (or 1 cup milk & 1/2 c. sour cream)
  • 3 tbsp unsulfured molasses
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, and molasses and whisk to blend well. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to combine until all the dry ingredients are incorporated (it's ok if there are some lumps)2..
2. Preheat a waffle iron. Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook until golden but still a little soft. Serve immediately with desired toppings (see NOTES above).