Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Krinklair

This recipe is actually a tradition I started with my family and each year our daughters and sons-in-law look forward to munching on this with their coffee while opening presents. This year is a little different. I still baked, but most of our family isn't here. So, here is the recipe for the Krinklair for you to start a tradition with your family. 

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees. 

In the food processor pulse:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour

Once mixed, add 1 - 2T cold water and pulse again until the dough comes together.  Place dough in pieces in two strips approx. 12 x 3-inches.  Then, press with your fingers to form base.

To make the cream-puff center:

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter to a low boil.   When the butter has melted, quickly stir in 1 cup all-purpose flour.  Mix until the flour has been "cooked" and incorporated.

Place this mixture into the food processor and add 1/4 tsp. almond flavoring.

While the processing is running, add 3 eggs, one at a time, making sure it's incorporated thoroughly before adding the next egg.

Divide dollops of this mixture between the two base crusts and smooth with an off-set spatula.  Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool before spreading with the icing. 

Frosting: In a mixing bowl, add 3-ounces of cream cheese, 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature) and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar. Whip until very smooth. Add 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or use your favorite flavor...coconut, eggnog, etc.)
Spread frosting over cooled pastry. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, pecans, crushed candy canes, or chocolate sprinkles.

I've updated this recipe to share with everyone.  It's still a tradition and I'll be making this up tomorrow morning to have while opening presents.  Our grandson is here with his dad and it will be a quiet morning, full of memories past.  I hope you all have a joyous holiday with your families, XOXO

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Amish Thimble Cookies

I'M BACK!!! It's been awhile since I've really know with real butter, eggs, and flour. I returned to find six new baking books I'd ordered. This recipe for Thimble Cookies is from The Amish Cook's Baking Book by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams. The book is not only filled with wonderful baked goods, but with stories of the Amish. Chapter Three on Cookies starts off with "A house should have a cookie jar for when it is half past 3. Children hurry home from school as hungry as can be. There is nothing quite as splendid in filling children up as spicy fluffy ginger cakes and sweet milk in a cup. A house should have a mother waiting with a hug. No matter what a boy brings home a puppy or a bug. For children only loiter when the bell rings to dismiss. If no one is home to greet them with a cookie and a kiss." ~Author unknown. My mother believed that and many days we'd hurry down the path from my grandmother's house to see what Mom had been baking; peanut butter, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, etc.

The cookies are unique, but there's also chapters on pies, breads, rolls, cakes, bars and brownies. I can see this book becoming a fast favorite. Enjoy!
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