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Grandma’s Apricot and Nut Rolls….

24 Dec

I spent Tuesday learning how to make my Grandma’s Apricot and Nut Rolls.  I enjoy eating them every Christmas but never helped with making them.  They took a lot more work than I had anticipated.  But they are well worth the work put into them!  I can’t imagine a holiday at Grandma’s house without them.

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The recipe is in our church cook book under French Pastry.  Of course Grandma goes by the recipe but she has many tips along the way.

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You start out by making your dough.  Cut the Crisco into the dry ingredients.

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Beat eggs with a little bit of the milk.  Just enough to thin out the eggs.  Add to the dough and mix with your hands.

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Add all BUT the last 1/3 cup of milk.  Refrigerate dough until ready to use.

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Make your nut filling using the remaining milk, a jar of nut filling, and diced walnuts.

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Once you have your dough and filling made, clean off a table and get everything ready to make your rolls.

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Prep you surface with sugar, not flour!

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Roll out a small portion of the dough.

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Cut into 3-4 inch wide sections.

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Spread your filling using the back of a spoon.  Leave a 1/2 inch empty on the longest side.

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Roll up the dough starting on the shorter side.  Use a butter knife to help pick up the dough from the table.  Be careful, the dough is fragile!  Seal the edge of the dough to the roll.

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Once rolled, cut into 1-2 inch slices.

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Place the rolls seam side down on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Sprinkle with powder sugar and let cool.

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Enjoy!

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Grandma’s Apricot & Nut Rolls

  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 lb. Crisco
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • Powdered Sugar
  1. Mix flour, salt & baking powder with Crisco.  Cut the Crisco into the flour until it resembles small crumbles.
  2. Beat eggs with 1/4 cup of evaporated milk.  Put 1/3 cup of milk to the side.
  3. Slowly add egg mixture to dough.  Continue to add the remaining milk to the dough and mix with your hands.  You will have a nice firm dough when finished.  Refrigerate until ready.
  4. Roll out in sugar.  Roll as thin as possible.  The dough will be thin enough that you will be able to see through it.
  5. Cut into 3-4 inch wide strips.
  6. Cover with filling.  Leave 1/2 inch uncovered on long seam side.
  7. Roll up gently.
  8. Cut into 1-2 inch rolls.
  9. Place seam side down on cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 375 degF for 10-12 minutes or until slightly hard to the touch.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let cool.

Nut Filling

  • 3 Cups Ground Walnuts
  • 10 oz. Nut Filling Mixture
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk.
  1. Mix all ingredients together.  If mixture seems too thick you can add additional milk to thin it.
  2. Spread thin layer on dough.

The apricot filling that we used was premade from the grocery store.

What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

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Christmas Sugar Cookies…

22 Dec

Everyone needs cookies to set out for Santa even if you are in your mid-twenties.  Monday night, Mom and I made her famous sugar cookies.  She has been making this recipe since I was in Kindergarten.  The cookies don’t need icing, just some festive sprinkles!

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Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Mix your wet ingredients.

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Add the dry ingredients and mix again.

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Flour your surface.

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Roll out and cut out different Christmas shapes.

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Put cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles.

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Be creative with the sprinkles!  The more sprinkles, the better!

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Let cool on a wire rack or fiber free towel.

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Take your mom’s finest Christmas china outside and take pictures of the cookies in the snow!

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Don’t leave them on the ground too long or your dog will steal one!

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Mom’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degF.
  2. Mix butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to wet mixture.  Mix until uniform.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness.
  6. Cut out cookies using Christmas cookie cutters.
  7. Decorate with your favorite sprinkles.  Gently press the sprinkles into the cookies so that they will not roll off.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.  Cookies will not be brown but will be firm.
  9. Cool.
  10. Store in air-tight container.
  11. Enjoy!

What type of cookies do you leave out for Santa?

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods….

13 Dec

Finally the tutorial that I promised last week:  How to make my famous Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods.  2 weeks ago I made 160 of these, they aren’t very difficult.  It took a while but I have plenty to use for gifts and Christmas parties.

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Christmas Pretzel Rods

Melt your chocolate chips.

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Set up your station.

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Prep your colored chips.

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Coat the pretzels with chocolate.  Use a spatula to spread the chocolate while spinning the pretzel with your other hand.

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Place your pretzel on cookie sheet and drizzle on red and green topping.

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Sprinkle your favorite toppings: Sprinkles, Crushed M&Ms, Mints, Candy Canes, Etc.

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Let pretzels harden in freezer then enjoy!

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Christmas Pretzel Rods

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Red and Green Melts
  • Sprinkles and Candy for Toppings
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  2. Coat the pretzel with chocolate leaving a small part exposed to use as a handle.
  3. Lay on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
  4. Melt red & green chips in a squeeze bottle per the directions on the bag and pour over pretzels.
  5. Decorate with sprinkles.
  6. Freeze until hard.
  7. Store in closed containers, in a cold area (garage, freezer etc.) until ready to share.
  8. Enjoy!

These can be adapted for any holiday but for some reason I only make them at Christmas.

Check back tomorrow for a perfect winter soup recipe!

My Favorite Tailgating Recipes…

9 Dec

This post has been a work in progress for a few days.  Things have been pretty busy and I haven’t had time to share it with you.  I have been cooking up a storm tonight in preparation for our Annual Shony Christmas Party that Tony and I are hosting for our friends tomorrow night.  I have so many recipes to share.  They will be posted throughout the next few days, but first I need to give you a recap of last Saturday and two of my favorite tailgating recipes.

Tony & I spent last Saturday with our friends Kirsten and Eric at the ACC Championship in Charlotte.  Kirsten and I met our junior year in college and have been great friends since.  We left Greenville around lunch.  It was chilly out but the weather was good.  By the time we got to Charlotte it was 37 degrees out and raining, not your ideal tailgating weather.  We set up our tent and tried our best to stay dry!

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Thanks to Kirsten we had a fantastic set up!  Her tent was the perfect size for the 4 of us, especially when it was raining, sleeting or hailing out!  tailgate.jpg

There definitely wasn’t a shortage of food.  From snacks to dinner to beer there was plenty for all!  Along with Eric’s delicious brats that he grilled, I made pasta salad, pepperoni rolls and a VT cookie cake!

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After eating way too much and freezing all day, we headed to the game.  It rained for the first quarter but thankfully it stopped and we were able to enjoy the game while staying dry.  We took 9 different coats for the two of us and wore all of them at some point during the day.

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The game ended with a Hokie victory and 4 frozen friends.

Back to the food, pepperoni rolls were something that my mom always made growing up. Most people have never had them.  I grew up in Southwest Pennsylvania and they are local to that area.  They are a simple snack to make and are perfect to take to a tailgate.

Mom’s Pepperoni Rolls

Gather your ingredients:

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Stretch the dough out.

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Roll up the pepperoni and cheese.

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Wrap the dough around the pepperoni and cheese roll and pinch to seal the edges.

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Repeat 24 times and then let rise.

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Bake and then cool on a paper towel.

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Enjoy!

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Mom’s Pepperoni Rolls

  • 1 lb. Sandwich Pepperoni Sliced Thin
  • 16 slices PepperJack Cheese
  • 1 bag (25 rolls) Frozen Rolls

I had a hard time finding the frozen rolls in South Carolina.  I eventually found a red bag of Parkerhouse Frozen Rolls and they work perfect!

  1. Thaw out the dough by placing the rolls on a greased plate and defrost in microwave until soft.
  2. Take 1 roll and stretch out in your hand.
  3. Take 2 slices of pepperoni and half of a slice of cheese and roll up.
  4. Wrap dough around pepperoni and cheese roll and seal.
  5. Place seam side down on cookie sheet.
  6. Let rise for an hour or 2.
  7. Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes or until just barely brown.
  8. Cool on a paper towel lined counter.
  9. Store in ziploc bags or plastic containers.
  10. Enjoy!

I got my cookie cake recipe from a friend in college.  It has never failed me.  I have made it many times and always turns out perfect.

Colossal Cookie Cake

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter or Margarine, Softened
  • 3/4 Cup Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Mini Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Container Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large mixer bowl at medium speed, beat butter or margarine, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  At low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended.  Stir in Chocolate Chips.  Place dough in refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours or in freezer for 45 minutes until well chilled but not hard (chilling makes the dough less sticky and helps prevent excessive spreading during baking).
  3. Grease a 12-inch round foil baking pan.  Place dough in center of pan.  Press evenly to within 1 1/2 inches of edge of pan.  For easier handling, place foil pan on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in center of a preheated 325 degF over for 25-30 minutes or until edges are firm and no indentation remains in center of cookie when lightly touched.  For a softer cookie, bake the minimum time.  Place foil baking pan on a wire rack and cool cookie completely.
  5. When cool, you can ice the cookie with the frosting of your choice.

Because we were traveling with the cake, I made mine in a 9×13 metal pan and it worked perfect.  Don’t forget to decorate your cake with your team colors.

Here are a few snapshots of the preparation of the cake.

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I hope you get the chance to make these perfect tailgating recipes.  I will be posting on Friday or Saturday the recipe for my Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods that I donated for Tina’s Bake Sale.

Time to get to bed.  Good Night!

Holiday Bake Sale

6 Dec

Tina at Carrots ‘N’ Cake is having an online bake sale today to raise money for Team in Training which will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I have donated 2 dozen of my wonderful Holiday Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods.  You can find these along with many other delicious treats on her blog post.

All of the rules and logistics are explained on her site.  I hope you get a chance to bid on a delicious treat and help raise money for such a great cause.  Good Luck and Happy Bidding.

Holiday Bake Sale:

http://carrotsncake.com/2010/12/holiday-bake-sale.html

I will be posting a recipe tutorial later this week!

Pumpkin Spice Scones

20 Nov

Amanzi Tea Just Add Tea Recipe Contest

I recieved an email a week or so ago inviting me to enter a recipe contest with a local tea store.  Amanzi Tea is based out of Greenville, SC.  They are hosting a Facebook contest where participants submit a photo of a recipe that uses one of their tea products.  I created this recipe using their Pumpkin Spice Black Loose Leaf Tea.  You can vote for my recipe by “liking” my photo on the Amanzi Tea Facebook page.

The scones are perfect for a fall morning.  They have a delicious sweet pumpkin pie flavor but are light enough to enjoy with a cup of tea.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and don’t forget to vote for my photo on Facebook!

Pumpkin Spice Scones with Maple Pumpkin Glaze

Inspired by The Pioneer Woman

Scones:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs Pumpkin Spice Black Amanzi Tea

Glaze:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add the tea and milk to a tea maker.  Let the milk steep for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  If you don’t have a tea maker for loose leaf tea, make sure you can strain the tea out of the milk when ready to add to the flour mixture.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
  4. Cut up the cold butter into small cubes.  Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until you have a dry crumbly mixture.
  5. Remove the tea from the milk and add it with the egg and pumpkin in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine the liquid mixture with the flour.  Stir gently with a fork until the mixture comes together.
  7. Working on a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle that is approximately 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.
  8. Trim the dough so that you have a perfect rectangle.
  9. Cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangles.  Cut each rectangle into 2 triangles.
  10. Place the scones on a lined cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 18 minutes and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes of the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack.
  12. Cool scones completely before glazing.
  13. Using the same technique as before, add the tea to the milk for the glaze and store in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  14. Add the milk, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup to a bowl and whisk until completely smooth.
  15. Dip the whole scone in the glaze so that both sides are covered.
  16. Let scones dry on a baking rack.
  17. Enjoy!

This recipe will serve as my entry in the Amanzi Tea Just Add Tea Contest.

Mini pumpkin whoopie pies…

18 Nov

Thank you all for reading my first post.  I had great feedback and hope to continue to provide you with delicious recipes that you can share with your friends and families. Once I figure out this blogging thing, I am going to try and post once a day.  Hopefully that time will come soon.  We have lots of exciting times in the next few weeks and I have lots to share with you!  Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, I have another pumpkin dessert for you to try.

Last night’s baking adventure didn’t get started until late so I ran out of time to write this post. We had a potluck Thanksgiving Feast at work today and I wanted to take in a delicious pumpkin dessert.  I made my other pumpkin cookies for our Thanksgiving Feast last year.

I made these cookies in September and have been wanting to make them again. They are a little more time consuming than my other pumpkin cookies but they are fantastic!

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Gather your ingredients.

Prepare your dry ingredients.   Mix the wet ingredients in your mixer bowl.

Combine the two and mix well.

Spoon the batter onto a cookie sheet.

Make your frosting.  Watch out when adding the powdered sugar.  I had a kitchen covered in it!

Fill the cookies and enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

Inspired by doughmesstic

  • 3 cups plus 2 Tbsps flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesuace (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Add the sugars, applesauce and butter to your mixer bowl and combine.  Add the pumpkin next and mix throughly.  Next add the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Pour the flour mixture into your mixer bowl and combine.
  4. Once the batter is made, preheat your oven to 350F.  Chill your batter in the refrigerator while the oven is heating.
  5. Spoon or pipe the batter into 1-inch circles onto baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes.  The cookies will not brown but will be firm.
  6. Once the cookies have cooled, fill with frosting.
  7. Store cookies in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (you may need to add more)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

  1. Using a mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, spices, salt and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually (not all at once like I did) add the sugar until fully combined.  Refrigerate icing until ready to use.
  2. Fill cookies and enjoy!

Check back soon for more fall dishes!

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