Friday, December 19, 2014

Coffee-Toffee Thumbprint Cookies

I had been given some caramel fudge and thought I would try to find a recipe to use it. This is what I found.  O.K. I probably won't make them again, but they were certainly worth making.

Coffee-Toffee Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup toffee bits (also known as Heath or Skor bits)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Caramel Filling:
18 soft caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Make the cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. In a second mixing bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and toffee bits. Add to the wet mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
4. Roll the dough into 1-inch round ball, and arrange on prepared baking sheets. Using your thumb, press a deep indent into the middle of each ball.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown. Let cool on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Fill the Cookies:
1. While the cookies are cooling, place the caramels and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on High for 30 seconds, or until melted and smooth. If necessary, continue to microwave in 10-second increments until the caramels are melted, stirring between bursts.
2. Spoon a small amount of caramel into the center of each cookie. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the caramels to set.

Overnight Pumpkin-Pecan Waffles

I found this recipe on pinterest and knew I needed to try it.  I love waffles and pumpkin is right at the top of my favorite flavors. I thought the texture was not as good as my mom's recipe.  You can find that recipe here

1/2 cup warm water
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Maple syrup
1. Combine warm water and yeast in a large bowl, let stand until slightly foamy, about 15 minutes.
2. Heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pumpkin puree.
3. Add pumpkin mixture to bowl with yeast, then whisk in the flour until combined. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature. Batter may be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days
4. Preheat waffle iron. Whisk eggs into risen batter then fold in the pecans. Make waffle according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve with syrup. 
* On the first waffle (pictured), I forgot to put in the pecans so I just added them after the waffle was cooked.  The rest I added a few to each waffle as I cooked them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ritz Cracker Delights

Stacy learned to make these while she was in college and we have been making them every Christmas since that time.  Don't know why we only seem to make them at Christmas. They are awesome and would be good any time of the year.  You can also use white chocolate bark instead of the dark chocolate. You decide. I like them both. This is worth the calories and the trouble.  Jud doesn't mind dipping the ritz filled crackers, so I let him. He is so good at it.

chocolate bark
ritz crackers
peanut butter
Place the dark or white chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  You can also melt using your microwave.
Make sandwiches using two ritz crackers with a thin layer of peanut butter in the middle.  After you have made several dozen of these sandwiches your chocolate should be melted and you can start dipping.  Judson does this part because he is just better than me at this part.  I'm o.k. with that. Set them on wax paper to harden, if you can wait that long.  Then you can store them in a container to enjoy whenever one calls your name.  Be careful, though, because more than one may call your name.