Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TWD—Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake and Christmas Stuff

The presents are all unwrapped and WELL played with (we were snowed-in from a blizzard since Christmas Eve.  Things got a little stir crazy around here.  Now there’s a lot of snow outside and it’s cold!  I’ve had a cold, too, so I haven’t felt the greatest, but YAY for Christmas!





The night the blizzard came, with lots of wind, a ton of snow blew right up to our front door.  It was about three feet right outside the door!



My poor little snowman was so cold out there! ;)

Because of the blizzard, this was the first Christmas in 7-8 years that our friend, Bob, was not able to join us Christmas morning as he always comes over before the boys wake up to join in the festivities.  People were getting stuck just trying to get on or off our street.  So we had Bob on the Web Cam while everyone opened their presents.  It was as if he were there.  The boys had fun opening a present, then going over to the computer to show it to Bob.DSCF1420-1

Oh, I could show you the many, many pictures I took of each presents that was opened, but that could get long and probably a little boring for you, so here’s one shot with all four boys and Kevin in it.  Christmas in a nutshell.


Okay, I can’t help myself, one more picture.  This is because I actually got a picture of Scottie smiling and happy about something and that just doesn’t seem to happen a lot.  Kevin got him a practice pad (drum) that he is really excited about.  Scott plays drums on anything and EVERYTHING just with his fingers.  He is taking some piano lessons so he can then start taking drum lessons and in school.  (The schools here won’t let the kids start drums until they’ve had some piano lessons.)  Anyway, I like this picture and then there’s Sam, showing Bob some candy that was in his stocking.  I switched the camera to video mode and was trying to get Scott to play a little on the drums, but he got embarrassed knowing he was on film and wouldn’t do it!


And on that note, I took down ALL the Christmas decorations and tree today (Monday).  That may be a record for me on how quickly I’ve taken down the holiday.  Why?  Because SAM has been driving me nuts ruining so many ornaments!  I was tired of it.  Any ornaments or decorations he could get his hands on, he’d secretly destroy.  Then I’d find it later, ruined.  Sigh!  So I put it all away.  Bye, Christmas, see you again before we know it!

Now why am I here?  OH, yes, Tuesday’s With Dorie!  Sorry, if I don’t take those little sidetracks, I can’t get everything I want blogged!  Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake—this last recipe of 2009 was chosen by The Tea Lady from Tea and Scones.  Get this—I followed the recipe exactly.  I know, I know, what is wrong with me?  Well, I’ve been sick, so sue me.  jk

Okay, not quite exactly.  I left the cinnamon out of the crust.   Oooh, rebel.   Then, I didn’t take very good pictures (even though I have a new camera!).  But here you go.


This was not my favorite cheesecake.  I didn’t think it was chocolaty enough.  The crust was very crumbly.  Kevin (yes, he actually ate some of this!) and I decided the cheesecake was almost too dense.  We must be light and fluffy kind of cheesecake people.


Kevin liked it more than I thought he did, but he didn’t tell me that until AFTER, I decided to play around with it a bit and I think he was a little disappointed that I didn’t save more of it for him.  I took scoops of the cheesecake and made them into balls.  Then I melted some caramels and some chocolate and dipped the balls in the caramel, then the chocolate, then sprinkled some with chopped pecans and some with toffee bits.


There.  That’s more chocolaty cheesecake!


Oh, now before you go thinking, “There you go again, Katrina, really kicking it up.”  Wait.  Let me tell you a few things.  Oh, yes, the cheesecake truffles are good.  All two of them that I made that turned out nicely.  You see, did you know that if you get even a drop of caramel or something else in melted Chocolate Almond Bark, it will seize up on you?  Yep, it will.  I learnt that doing these.  First a little dip in the caramel, then a little dip right in to the chocolate.  By the second one, the chocolate was hardening up!  So I nuked it again.  Didn’t help.  Stir, stir, stir, nuke, stir.  Nope.   Quick do something so you don’t waste all that chocolate (It was really only 2-3 ounces)!  So I stirred some more caramel into it, dumped in a bunch of toffee bits and pecans and made little chocolate candies.


So for the rest of the cheesecake truffles (I only made about 10 of them!), I melted some nice Ghiradelli chocolate and from then on out, I drizzled caramel over them, then chocolate and sprinkled on the crunch.  And I didn’t take any other pictures of them.  Lesson?  Almond Bark is great for dipping things, I prefer it for most things, like all the Pepperidge Farms Pretzel Fish, mini Nutter Butters, Oreos, animal crackers, Ritz crackers, Teddy Grahams, etc. that I dipped for the holidays, just don’t use it right after dipping another liquid.  Just sayin’.



So, thanks for the cheesecake pick, Tea Lady.  Kevin was a little bummed that I threw out the rest of the cheesecake.  I really thought he didn’t like it as much as he decided that he did!  So there you have it.  A long, long post just to tell you about a little cheesecake!  You can get the recipe for the cheesecake at Tea and Scones and check out all the other TWD blogs for their Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecakes!  Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cherry Almond Rolls Recipe and Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!  The boys are anxious as can be, especially after waking up to lots of presents that Kevin and I wrapped last night.  They have been asking all day when they get to open one, because we always open one on Christmas Eve.  Eve, guys, means night, like after all the gingerbread house making festivities! ;)  We open the gift from the names we draw out of a bowl.  I’ve never understood, we open the gift right before bed, then tell them they can’t play with whatever it is, it’s time for bed so Santa can come!   Nope, no new pj’s here.  Anyway, Cherry Almond Rolls recipe and photo, coming up!


This morning I woke up and decided to make cinnamon rolls (a simple, frequent task for me when I use my 30 Minute Rolls Recipe) for breakfast.  But then I also got the idea to try some rolls I’d seen almost a year ago on a delicious blog, Bunny's Warm Oven.  Bunny and Carol’s recipe looks and sounds divine.  They make a potato dough for the rolls, they make a really yummy cherry filling and a heavenly cream cheese frosting.  You’d think I’d have learned my lesson about how good a homemade cherry filling is when I made Anna's Thanksgiving Cherry-Berry Pie this year, but for these rolls, I just opened a can of cherry pie filling that was in the pantry.  Please check out Bunny and Carol’s recipe for the “real” Cherry Rolls.  Here is my more simple, but still delicious version of Cherry Almond Rolls!

30 Minute Rolls for Cherry Almond Rolls or Cinnamon Rolls, by Katrina Smith

Mix together and let rise 15 minutes:

1  3/4 cups warm water

3 tablespoons active dry yeast (one packet of yeast would work fine, which is 2  1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

6 tablespoons sugar

The yeast mixture should get foamy during the 15 minutes.  Stir then add:

1/2 tablespoon salt

1  1/2 large eggs, beaten (2 tablespoons of a beaten egg is about half an egg)

5-6 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup softened butter (for spreading on dough rolled for cherry or cinnamon rolls)

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Cherry Filling:

1/2 to 3/4 of a can of cherry pie filling

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I didn’t add this, but wish I would have!!!)

Mix well adding a cup or two of flour at a time, knead until no longer too sticky, then separate dough into two halves and roll out dough into rectangles about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread 1/2 cup softened butter over top. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil (or don’t) and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Pulse the cherry filling in the bowl of a food processor a few times, then add the extract and pulse to combine.  Spread the cherry mixture over the buttered dough.  Carefully roll the dough using the long side of the rectangle.  It gets a little messy, but it’s worth it.  If it seems like there is too much cherry filling, spoon a little off, but save it.  Cut the rolls into a good one inch size (use a piece of thread for the best cutting—wrap the thread around the end of the dough, bring the two ends together and pull them across one another—slices perfect every time, where knives tend to smash the roll.)  Lay the rolls in the pan.  At this point you can let the rolls rise anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but you don't have to--they don't really need to rise, but I do usually let them rise 15 minutes or so.  Bake for 12-15 minutes (check after 10 according to your own oven).

After rolls are removed from oven, cool in pan on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Spread the remaining cherry filling you probably scraped off the dough over the baked rolls.  Make the frosting with this delicious cream cheese frosting recipe that I did get from Bunny's Warm Oven!  I love the simplicity of this recipe and I’ll always remember it, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or you could try almond extract)

Beat in an electric mixer all ingredients 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy!  (I doubled this frosting as I had a pan of cherry almond rolls and a pan of cinnamon rolls!)  The roll recipe above will make that many, about 2 dozen.

Put the frosting in a plastic zip top bag and snip a corner off one end.  Drizzle frosting over rolls.  Sprinkle toasted almonds over the top.


And do you think the boys will even try the cherry rolls?  Of course not!  They all had cinnamon rolls.  I keep saying, someday, someday they’ll appreciate all my baking!  Kevin and I enjoyed some cherry rolls and guess what’s for breakfast tomorrow?  We’re getting iced, sleeted, suppose to turn to 4-8 inches of snowed in today!  It’s windy, cold and rather yucky out there.  It would be really fun for some nice snow to fall overnight, you know, so Santa’s sleigh can land smoothly on the roof.  Right now there’s about 1/2 inch of sleety, icy rainy, hailish stuff on the ground.  Merry Christmas All!


I tried to go outside and take some pictures with the natural light.  For one thing, there is no real natural light today and second, it’s stinkin’ cold and windy out there!


Yep, that’s an ornament and yep, it’s a banana!  Thanks, Monica (aka, Monkey!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TWD—Dorie’s Favorite Pecan Pie

Beth at Someone's in the Kitchen With Brina chose our recipe this week for Tuesday’s With Dorie.   She chose a pie that I’ve never made before.  (Shock!)  We made “Dorie’s” Favorite Pecan Pie.  I love pecans and I would say I probably love pecan pie, but I haven’t really had it much in my life.  I’m talking a bite or two.  Not sure why.  My mom loves pecan pie.  Do not set a whole pie in front of her.

Well, actually, I’d love to have shared one of these pies I made with her and I would have let her eat the whole thing.  I knew I would like the pie.  And I knew no one else here would.  So I only made 1/3 of the recipe (Why 1/3?  Because the list of ingredients were easy to cut into thirds.)  One third of the recipe made two cute little 4 inch pies and nine mini muffin tin size “pies”.  I made these and took them to my friends who enjoyed them, well, and then they didn’t eat them all, so I brought a few of them home and I nibbled on some over the last week.

For the crust, I used some leftover pate brisee’ from Thanksgiving that I’d had in the freezer.  I omitted the espresso powder and cinnamon from the filling.  But I certainly did not omit the chocolate!  I made the 4 inch pies in my cute little tart pans and cut little circles out of the pie crust to fit in the mini muffin tins.  The filling was super simple. 


I definitely don’t think I over baked these, but I’m not sure they should have baked a little less.  I baked the 4 inch tarts for 10 minutes at 425 degrees then 8 minutes at 350 degrees.


I baked the little minis for 5 minutes at 425 degrees and 7 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you like a little chocolate and a little nuttiness with some great, buttery crust, these are de-lish!


Like I said, I haven’t had pecan pie much before, but THIS


THIS is now “My” Favorite Pecan Pie, too.  And I can’t really say it’s Dorie’s, since I didn’t include all the things she did to make her favorite.  But I love how pecan nutty it was and you certainly can’t go wrong with chocolate!  Thanks for the fun pick this week, Beth!  You can get the recipe on her blog.

And check out all the other pecan pies over at Tuesday's With Dorie.


Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, or is it Super Mario? 


Did you know you can “buy” fake mustaches in those 25 Cent bubble gum machines now?  Yep.  You know, some have different, really cheap, annoying toys.  Well, you can also get mustaches.  And I’d never seen or heard of that before, but Parker was at the store with me a couple weeks ago and begged me for a quarter to get a bubble gum.  Next thing I know, he has on a mustache and no gum.  So apparently, Taylor thought it was pretty cool and had to get one, too, recently.  He did NOT want me to take his picture and is NOT happy that I got this one while he wasn’t paying enough attention.  Stinkin’ cute, I must say!  At one point, he had on a cowboy hat, too.  It’s really a good thing the boys don’t ever see what I post on the blog.  It’ll be fun to tease them with it all someday!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!


These are so fun!  I’ve made one with the boys, one with Kevin and I, our friend’s Bob and Tes and just today posted a lovely one of my parents on their Facebook page.  I’m sure they’re thrilled!   You can do one, too!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Ginger Cookies and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers

I need to hurry with this post, but I MUST tell you about a couple goodies I’ve made for Christmas. 

First up some Chocolate Ginger Cookies.  I LOVE these.  They have the perfect chewiness and flavor.  I want to make them again, and again.  I got the recipe for these from Nicole at Baking Bites.  (If you haven’t before, check out Nicole’s blog, she has some GREAT stuff on there and she has a new baking book out!)

I supposed you could say I every so slightly adapted this recipe.  Nicole added 1/3 cup crystallized ginger to her cookies and I cannot find crystallized ginger where I live, so I left it out and added a little more ground ginger.  Did I mention that I love these cookies?  They are the perfect holiday cookie.


I’ve decided not to repost the recipe since the only thing I did different was not add crystallized ginger.  Nicole suggested baking the cookies for 10-12 minutes and I only baked mine 8 minutes.  I wanted to make sure they were crunchy and I’ve learned that my oven seems to bake hot and fast.  Eight minutes was perfect.

You NEED to try these cookies.


These cookies were rolled in a coarse (turbinado) sugar, which adds just the crunch I want.  Oh, Nicole suggests pressing down on each cookie dough ball slightly before baking and I didn’t do that either.  But really, you have to try these.



Next I must share with you some super easy chocolate covered crackers that I made for a cookie swap.  You  might call it a cop out, since there was no baking involved.  I just call it that these are de-licious!  I found the idea for these at Taste of Home


At Taste of Home these are called Yummy Cracker Snacks.  That’s not the name I would give them.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers, adapted by Katrina from D. Weaver, Taste of Home

Ritz Crackers

Peanut Butter

Marshmallow Creme

Chocolate candy coating, chopped and melted

Place crackers on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Put peanut butter in a piping bag (or zip top plastic bag, with the corner snipped off).  Pipe some peanut butter on to every other cracker.  Put some marshmallow creme into another piping bag or plastic zip top bag with the corner snipped off.  Pipe marshmallow onto the remaining crackers.  Sandwich a peanut butter cracker with a marshmallow cracker. 

Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 20-30 seconds.  Dip each sandwich into the melted chocolate, lifting them out with a fork and tapping the excess chocolate off the cracker.  Set on waxed paper.  After 4-5 crackers have been dipped, sprinkle with candy decorations.  Let chocolate firm up in cold place (I set the sheets on the deep freeze out in the garage!)


Mmmm!  What other things can you think of to sandwich in between crackers and dip in chocolate?  I thought using graham crackers with marshmallow inside would be delicious S’mores!

I also got on a chocolate dipping roll and dipped Teddy Grahams (the chocolate chip ones!), Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish Preztel Crackers, Mini Oreo Cookies and Mini Nutter Butter Cookies.  All SO good!  I put a bunch of each in a pretty holiday glass and wrapped them up in plastic for the kid’s teacher gifts.

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TWD—Cafe Volcano Cookies

Our recipe this week as we bake our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours book was chosen by MacDuff of The Lonely Sidecar.  She chose a simple cookie—Cafe Volcano Cookies.

These should at least win for easiest Dorie recipe with the fewest ingredients.  Do not get me wrong, I like them.  But I wish I would have liked them more than I did.  They are REALLY crunchy and when you first take a bite, they crumble and fall apart. 

I used one cup of walnuts and one cup of pecans for these.  I also used a good heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder instead of the espresso powder.  But really, what a surprise that I didn’t change these up more than that!  (It’s been a busy, crazy week or else I might have played around more with these.)

I’m not sure I would see these and think volcano, but they did puff up a little and well, then they do harden like lava, so I suppose that works.


I toasted the nuts as instructed and I know for sure that I didn’t over toast them, but I felt like once the cookies were baked that the nuts are a little more toasty than I like.  If I ever make these again, I will just not toast the nuts at all. 


I also felt like the walnuts overpowered the pecans, so if I make them again, I will just have one kind of nut in them.


I DO like that these are gluten free and may make these for some neighbors who eat gluten free.  Thanks, MacDuff, for the very simple pick this week, it was great for the week I had!  You can find the recipe for these at The Lonely Sidecar or get the book!  Check out the other TWD baker’s volcanoes here.


Taylor and Sam built a fun track the other day with the Thomas the Tank Engine set we have and I thought it was pretty cool that the track even went under the table.


Check out this short video of Scott at one of his basketball games.  He often complains that he is the shortest kid in 6th grade and too short to play basketball (although he loves it).  But watch this awesome shot he makes!


Sam has been going around with a plastic hammer “fixin’” things (aka—banging the crud out of everything).  But he’s sure doggone cute as he really thinks he’s doing good!


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Can’t hardly stand the cuteness!

Parker is the biggest goofball of them all.

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Wait, Scott is just as big of a goofball as Parker!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Apple Cider Doughnuts Recipe


Every Monday night we have Family Night and everyone gets to take turns deciding what the treat will be that evening.  I shutter at saying that more often than I care to admit, the boys pick doughnuts.  Store bought, day old doughnuts.  I don’t eat doughnuts.  They are just one of those things I can live without.  Don’t take away "my” cookies, or ice cream, or brownies, or….well, you get the point.  But doughnuts.  Don’t need them.  So whenever the boys pick doughnuts, I don’t eat one.  (I certainly don’t NEED doughnuts!)

So this past Monday when one of the boys decided they wanted doughnuts, I tried with all my might to get them to change their mind.  Nope.  Doughnuts.  So usually Kevin or I will try sometime that day to go to a store and grab some of their lovely made-that-morning doughnuts.  But I decided instead, we’d MAKE doughnuts.  I’d seen quite a few blogs that were featuring Apple Cider Doughnuts and thought they looked and sounded really good (for fried food and doughnuts I don’t need.)  We also don’t fry food very often here!  I decided to make an exception for these.

I don’t know the the original source for these doughnuts, but I printed off the recipe I found at Laura’s blog, Real Mom Kitchen.  I made a few slight changes. 

Apple Cider Doughnuts, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup apple cider  (I actually used a packet of apple cider drink mix and boiled that down to 1/4 cup!  I know it’s not the same as fresh apple cider, but it seems to have worked!)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup of butter (softened)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour  (I added about an extra 1/2 cup flour until the dough seemed workable enough to roll out)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

oil for frying

1 cup cinnamon-sugar for coating fried doughnuts

Boil cider until it reduces to 1/4 cup, allow it to cool completely. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, and mix until blended. Add buttermilk and reduced cider, blend until incorporated. Add flour mixture gradually, until just incorporated. Turn dough out on a well floured board, knead it a few times to make sure ingredients are well-mixed. (I refrigerated the dough for an hour or two wrapped in plastic wrap before we were ready to fry the doughnuts.) 

Roll into a 1/2 inch thick circle on floured surface. Using a 3" round cutter (or doughnut cutter), cut as many circles as you can. Cut smaller hole in center. Set aside centers to make doughnut holes, or collect them along with dough around the larger circles, form a ball, flatten to 1/2 inch and repeat the cutting of doughnuts.  Heat about 3 inches of oil in a high-sided pan or dutch oven. When oil is hot (about 350 degrees), place as many doughnuts/holes as will fit into pan without crowding them. Allow the doughnuts to brown, then turn them over and brown the other side (total of about 2-4 minutes).

Remove them from the oil and set them on a paper towel. When all of the doughnuts are fried, coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve.  Makes over a dozen doughnuts and holes!


The boys really had fun cutting out the doughnuts and making some other fun shapes.  We had so many that we called our neighbors and invited them over to help us eat them.  Taylor did a perfect job of covering them all with the cinnamon and sugar.  These are the cake kind of doughnuts.  I prefer this kind to airy/yeasty ones.  I might have eaten 4 doughnut holes (she said under her breath).  The holes don’t count for calories, you know, since it’s a hole, there’s nothing there!  These are really good!


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thank You C & H Sugar!

I was recently one of the lucky ones to happily receive a $20 gift card from C&H Sugar to go towards purchasing all my sugar/baking needs for the holidays!  Believe me, it is going to great use and is very much appreciated!  Thanks, C&H!

You’ve got to check out their website and see all their neat ideas for holiday gifts and more!

One of the ideas they share is to make logs of cookie dough and wrap them up nicely to give as gifts.  That is actually what I did one year a few years back.  I think that is a great idea because your friends and family can just stick the dough (I’ve also done cookie dough balls) into the freezer and pull them out sometime after the holidays when all the goodies are gone and enjoy the treat later.  C&H has a recipe for an Egg Free Sugar Cookie Dough that would be wonderful and some cute printable instructions to go with it.

Their website is full of great recipes, a number of which I tried and think are really good!

Their Molasses Ginger Cookies are the closest I’ve found so far in my quest to find THAT particular ginger cookie someone gave me a few years back that I thought was the best.  Please pardon the horrible picture.  I had to use the “other” camera when mine broke.  Never fear!!!  My new camera arrived yesterday.  I’m so lucky (Thanks, Kev and Santa!) and spoiled and happy to have it!


I also quickly put together their Chocolate Chip Blondies.  They really are a great blondie!  I used 1 cup of mixed plain M&M’s and peanut M&M’s as well as 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, just to be festive.


And finally (but just for this post), I couldn’t pass up trying out C&H’s recipe for Caramelized Popcorn.  Perfect!  They suggest using their caramel popcorn as packing peanuts for sending some of your holiday packages.  Wrapped properly that’s a great idea!



Have some caramel!

C&H, I’ve been baking like crazy to prepare for some holiday festivities and thanks again for helping with the funding for that!  Oh so  much more to come!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

TWD—Lemon/Orange Sables and Chocolate Toffee Sables

Darn it all if this isn’t the cutest little guy you’ve ever seen!

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Snow’s a comin’!  (I write my TWD posts Monday night and as I write this, we’re supposed to get 6-9 inches of snow in the next day.  The kids are praying for a Snow Day Tuesday!  Sam is ready!)

Our Tuesday’s With Dorie recipe this week was chosen by Barbara of Bungalow Barbara and she chose Sables from Baking From My Home to Yours.  They are on pages 131-132.  Barbara will post the recipe, but I think if you don’t have the book, it should be on your holiday wish list!

I made half a batch of these and added the zest of one lemon to the sugar by rubbing it in with my fingers before making the dough.   (Who here LOVES doing that and that smell from the citrus zest, raise your hand!) I rolled the dough into a log as traditionally suggested by Dorie.  I’ve never been very good at getting cookie dough logs to be nice and round.  These turned out rather rustic because of this.  They are a nice, well, buttery cookie with just a hint of lemon (duh).  I thought the lemon could have been stronger.  I did not brush the cookies with egg yolk and roll them in sugar before baking.  Instead I baked them first, then while they were just slightly warm, I rolled them in some sugar that had orange zest in it.  That helped bump up the citrus flavor.  I still think I like traditional shortbread cookies better, but the sables are good.


The end.

Just kidding.  Oh, you say I didn’t tell you about the Chocolate Toffee Sables?  Well, okay.  You didn’t really think I wouldn’t throw some chocolate in there somewhere, did you? 

I made another half batch of the sables.  I took the one cup of flour and removed two tablespoons of flour from the cup, then added two (and about a half) tablespoons of Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder to it.  I also stirred 1/3 cup toffee bits and 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips into the dough.  Instead of forming the dough into a log, I flattened it to somewhere round about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick between some plastic wrap and chilled it.  When the dough was chilled, I took a small round cookie cutter and made circles—perfect circles, instead of my unround, rustic, cut-log cookies. 

After the cookies baked and then cooled slightly, I rolled them in some crushed toffee bits.  Oh yes, I did!



Have you had enough?  Good, there’s more.  There was some dough leftover, you know, after you’ve cut out some cookies—the scraps.  I took those chocolate scraps and pressed that dough into my little 4 inch tart pan.  I baked the lil’ tart.  After it came out of the oven, I generously sprinkled it with more toffee bits.  Once the tart was cool, I put in a layer of caramel (“put in”—that sounds like, “then we put in a patio out back.”)  Anyway, I just happen to have a little caramel in the fridge, so I heated it up so it was pourable and added than on top of the toffee.  Then, because it just wasn’t enough (eye roll), I melted about 1/4 cup milk chocolate with 1  1/2 tablespoons hot cream and poured that on top of the caramel.  And finally—sprinkled a few more toffee bits on top!

THIS—is a good sable!  It’s rich., in case you wondered.


Wanna see the inside?


Pardon this next very poorly lit photo.


My “I’m a spoiled brat” new camera will be here next week!  Thanks, Honey!

Oh, and last week I mentioned wanting to make spanakopita but without feta.  Thanks for all your suggestions.  I made a hasty decision to just whip something up with cream cheese and some grated manchego cheese.  I put some in some folded phyllo dough.  They were pretty good!  I realized that it tasted like spinach dip wrapped in phyllo.  So probably  not really spanakopita, but I used the phyllo and spinach I needed to use up!




Oh, I’ve been bakin’ up a Christmas storm, Friends.  I just haven’t had time to blog it and share it all with you.  I must get to a few more posts this week.  There’s been some yummy stuff going on here that I need to tell you all about!