Pumpkin Rolls

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin bread, and of course, pumpkin rolls! Growing up, my family would always buy a few pumpkin rolls from the same baker. The moist, spongy cake was delicious, but I would always eat in a spiral until I reached the center where I found a generous amount of the sweet cream cheese filling, by far the best part.

Last year was the first time I made these rolls. I was convinced that they would be difficult, that I would crack the cake when I rolled it or the thin cake would get dry too easily. They are actually quite easy to make. I’ve made a few adjustments, including adding allspice to the filling. It adds some complexity and helps keep the filling from being too sweet. You can omit it if you want, but I strongly suggest you give it a try.

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These rolls are perfect for fall occasions, like thanksgiving, when pumpkin puree is on every supermarket endcap. But they’re also perfect for Christmas, New Years, or anytime. Continue reading Pumpkin Rolls

Merry Christmas! Stained Glass Cookies and Gingerbread Houses

Merry Christmas!

We tend to have our more elaborate Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve. We go to church, gather with the extended family for dinner and conversation (and the traditional white elephant exchange), then open presents with the immediate family. Usually the festivities wrap up after 2:00 AM, so on Christmas Day we sleep in and relax.

Throughout all these festivities there are always plates of cookies set out for nibbling. We have the obligatory frosted sugar cookies, of course. But next to these cookies, are unassuming gingerbread cookies. Unassuming that is, until you hold them up to the light.

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These beautiful cookies serve just as well as a decoration as food. But don’t let that fool you… the cookie is a delicious gingersnap, with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. The sweetness of the hard candy that forms the stained glass center provides a compelling contrast.

These cookies take a little bit of time, but are well-worth adding to your christmas repertoire.

As a bonus, the dough can double as the walls of a gingerbread house!

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Continue reading Merry Christmas! Stained Glass Cookies and Gingerbread Houses

Oreo Truffles

Every year, my cousin hosts a holiday party that is “deck the halls” themed. For this party, all of the food is shaped like balls. There are matzo ball soup and ornament-themed napkins.

We guests are also asked to bring ball-shaped foods. This year, I decided to make two types of truffles: cookie dough (recipe to come soon!) and Oreo.

The truffles passed the party test (rapid consumption despite the snow keeping many invitees at home), have only three ingredients, and are easy to make as long as you keep a few tricks in mind.

One thing that I would like to have changed with the recipe would be to use white baking chocolate squares rather than chocolate chips, but my local grocery store only had white chocolate in chip form. Baking squares are meant to be melted and reformed or mixed into doughs, while chocolate chips are formulated to maintain their shape in things like chocolate chip cookies. What this means for this recipe is that the chocolate chips are a bit more difficult to work with when coating the truffles than baking chocolate would have been. If you can find baking squares, use those.

Continue reading Oreo Truffles

First Post: Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

I put a lot of thought into what I should do for my first post. I have a lot of standard recipes that I frequently make, so I considered posting one of those. We’re heading into the holidays, so I considered something red and green. It’s snowing outside, so I considered something warm.

And then I remembered that my family was coming home from vacation and could use something bright and sunny to make the return to the snow and cold a little easier. So I decided to make lemon shortbread cookies with lemon filling. There’s just something about lemon that makes everything seem sunny and fun.

So I decided to make lemon shortbread cookies. Soft, buttery shortbread cookies with a tart/sweet lemony filling. Each delicious on its own, but when combined, they are melt-in-your-mouth-lemony-bliss.

Lemony Shortbread

Oh, and I made them in the shape of a character that they had to leave behind.

The verdict? My family loved these. They said they were some of the best cookies they had ever had–and we like cookies in my family! Please try them out for yourself and let me know if you think the same.

Continue reading First Post: Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies