Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts

Yesterday was one of those days where the baking gods were just not on my side.  I had these plans of making these adorable mini cakes, but no matter how much I greased and floured the pans I could not get them out in one piece.

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts

But luckily my mind is always churning about things I can make so I decided to make some sweet yeast dough last night for some homemade donuts this morning.  I knew that would make one happy husband.

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts
 These were so easy.  And how yummy and adorable would these be as a party dessert?

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts & Donut and Milk Shots

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts & Donut and Milk Shots

Served with a shot of milk… or a shot of coffee liquor.  Cute!

Chocolate Filled Donut Holes
Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts/Donut Holes

Chocolate Filled Mini Donuts/Donut Holes

Ingredients

  • 1 package yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • frying oil
  • chocolate chips
  • cinnamon
  • sugar

Instructions

  1. The night before, or at least 3 hours before frying, make the dough. Combine the yeast, water, salt, eggs, sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour in small increments and mix until all of the flour is incorporated. Allow to sit at room temperature covered with plastic wrap or a towel for 2 hours. Move to the refrigerator to chill. This dough can stay in the fridge for up to a week and can be frozen for up to a month.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the top of the chilled dough. Break of a piece and roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2 inch circles from the rolled out dough (I use the top of a wine glass because I don’t have round cookie cutters.) Put 4-5 chocolate chips in the center of each circle and bring the sides to the middle, pinching to seal. Let rest for 20 minutes before frying.
  3. Heat frying oil to 350 degrees. Carefully drop the donuts into the hot oil in small batches to not overcrowd. These fry up in about 30-45 seconds. Remove from the oil and roll in cinnamon sugar while still hot.
http://bakerbettie.com/chocolate-filled-mini-donuts/

Chocolate Filled Donut Holes

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Biscuits

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

Honestly, I don’t even know what a “tea biscuit” is or even if it is anything.  But I thought it sounded pretty and fancy so I went with it.

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

How pretty are these?  Can’t you just imagine ladies sipping their tea and eating these with their crumpets? And speaking of crumpets.  What the heck is a crumpet?! Maybe I need to figure that out and make those sometime.

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

Anyway, these would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower, or a luncheon, or even Valentine’s Day.

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

I call these a biscuit instead of a cookie because they really do have that sort of texture. Almost like a short bread.  Sort of crumbly and flaky and not too sweet.  Paired with the sweet and tart lemon curd it is a perfect combination.

Buttery Tea Cookies/Biscuits

Buttery Tea Cookies/Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until the butter is evenly distributed and the dough is coming together. (At this point I find it easier to use your hands.) If the dough is able to form a ball at this stage then you do not need to add any water. If the dough is still very dry and crumbly add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it forms into a ball.
  2. Knead dough a few times and form into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Meanwhile make the lemon curd.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (I used the top of a champagne flute) to stamp out cookies. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-16 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool before assembling.
http://bakerbettie.com/lemon-curd-and-raspberry-tea-biscuits/

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

How to Make Lemon Curd- Homemade Lemon Curd

Ingredients

  • 3 Lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Using a microplane, remove the zest from the lemons into a large bowl, making sure not to remove the white part. Add the sugar and butter and cream together. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate. Juice the lemons and beat into the mixture. Mix in the salt.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. This should take about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve to remove lumps and large pieces of zest. Cool in the refrigerator.
  3. To assemble: Place a dollop of lemon curd on each biscuit and top with a fresh raspberry. Dust with confectioners sugar. Store in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.
http://bakerbettie.com/lemon-curd-and-raspberry-tea-biscuits/

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Tea Cookies

Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Whoopie Pies

French Macarons… They are a baking hurdle that I have not yet accomplished. I have tried them 3 times, and failed miserably each time. I will master them someday, but until then I will stick to Whoopie Pies.

I think of whoopie pies as the poor man’s french macaron. They taste nothing alike, but they have a similar look. The french macaron is sophisticated and classy, while the whoopie pie is sloppy and fun. Both delicious, both adorable.

Whoopie!

 

Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Whoopie Pies adapted from Joy of Baking

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dark chocolate cocoa powder
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  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
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  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
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  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a small measuring cup mix the buttermilk and coffee. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons (preferably using a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Smooth the tops of the cookies with moistened fingers.
  6. Bake for 9 -10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies spring back when pressed.
  7. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
http://bakerbettie.com/410/

Peppermint Filling

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • peppermint candies, crushed

Instructions

  1. Beat the shortening and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts and slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. Continue to beat until the filling looks soft and fluffy.
  3. To Assemble:Take one cookie and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie. Sprinkle crushed peppermints around the filling.
  4. The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
  5. Makes about 15 sandwich cookies.
http://bakerbettie.com/410/

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Today I made a super easy and super adorable party dessert.  I made a double batch of these mini no bake cherry cheesecakes over my lunch hour today.  Half of them went to a party at work and the other half is being frozen for the party this weekend.

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Look at how cute they are!  And delicious I might add.  People always go crazy over anything that is a mini size of it’s original.  That also makes people feel less guilty about eating 2… or 10.

Enjoy!

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

No Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

No-Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Yield: Makes approximately 4 1/2 to 5 dozen.

No-Bake Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • mini cupcake foils (1 1/4 inch wide)
  • mini vanilla wafers
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 package unflavored gelatin
  • 16 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Cherry pie filling

Instructions

  1. Line up the cupcake foils on a half sheet pan.
  2. Put a mini vanilla wafer (flat side down) in each foil.
  3. Pour the gelatin over the lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated.
  5. Microwave the gelatin/lemon juice mixture for 30 seconds until the gelatin dissolves.
  6. Pour this gelatin/lemon juice mixture over the sour cream along with the vanilla and mix.
  7. Add the sour cream mixture into the large bowl of cream cheese and mix until well incorporated into the cream cheese.
  8. If serving that day: Fill each foil with approximately 1tbsp of the mixture. Refrigerate for 3 hours until set. Top with 1 tsp of cherry pie filling.
    If serving at a later date: Fill each foil with approximately 1tbsp of the mixture. Store in an airtight container and freeze. Move the refrigerator 4 hours before serving. Top with cherries right before serving.
http://bakerbettie.com/holiday-party-made-easy-part-3-no-bake-mini-cherry-cheesecakes/

Holiday Party Made Easy Part 2: Sparkling Wassail

Family holiday traditions.  They come in many different forms.  And there is something fascinating to me about hearing what traditions are important to other people.  But I didn’t always care about that.  I think when we are young it is hard to appreciate these traditions the way you do when you grow up.  I guess our perspective is skewed when we are young.  Our life just is, and it isn’t until we are older that we reflect on those meaningful things.

Sparkling Champagne Wassail

With my recent marriage, these things have been in my thoughts a lot lately.  There is something beautiful, but at times difficult, about blending two family’s traditions.  And with this, new traditions are born.  You have to come to terms with the reality that some traditions just won’t be the same anymore.  And as sad as this can seem, it is just life.  Families grow and change, and so will traditions.

Sparkling Champagne Wassail

But the memories are always there.  One of my favorite holiday traditions has happened ever since I can remember: our holiday parties.  Every year before Christmas our family would open up our house and have all of our family and friends over for food and drinks.  My mom always had our house looking amazing, so cozy and warm with all the lights and a fire in the fireplace.  And it wasn’t a Smith Christmas party without wassail.  It would simmer on the stove all evening filling the house with smells cinnamon and clove.  I get a little teary eyed thinking about this, but I also get excited to think that my husband and I will make memories like these together and someday with our kids.

Sparkling Champagne Wassail

In planning for our upcoming party I couldn’t plan the menu without thinking about wassail. So, I decided on a wassail with a kick.  The wassail part can be made up to a week ahead of time and stay chilled in the refrigerator until the day of the party.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Sparkling Champagne Wassail

Sparkling Wassail- Sparkling Apple Cider

Sparkling Wassail- Sparkling Apple Cider

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 orange
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup clove honey
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp allspice berries
  • 3 cups bourbon
  • champaign

Instructions

  1. In a large pot combine apple cider, pineapple juice, the zest of the orange and the lemons removed in strips with a peeler, the juice of the orange and the lemons, honey, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and allspice berries.
  2. Let simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
  3. Let cool before refrigerating.
  4. On the day of the party mix the wassail with the bourbon.
  5. Serve 3oz wassail mixed with 2 oz champaign.
http://bakerbettie.com/holiday-party-made-easy-part-2-sparkling-wassail/

Pepper Nuts/ Pfeffernüsse

I am co-hosting a holiday party next weekend.  Well really, it is a birthday party for my best friend who is coming home to Kansas from Rhode Island.  But it’s the holiday season so it seems fitting to make it holiday themed.

I LOVE to entertain.  And I am always trying to find ways to make entertaining stress free.  My solution: come up with a menu of simple appetizers where most components can easily be made before the day of the party.  That way you can focus on hosting, having a good time, and leave the stress behind.

I decided that Pepper Nuts would be perfect as one of the offerings.  They are very popular in this area and they are a great choice if you want to make things ahead of time.  In fact, it is suggested to make these at least a week and up to a month before they will be eaten.  This way the flavors can mellow and develop a bit.  But don’t get me wrong, they are delicious the same day too!

If you aren’t familiar with this nut sized spicy little cookie you should give it a try.  They are kind of addicting.  It’s also easy to make tons of these and split them up into smaller portions for gifts.

Pepper Nuts/ Pfeffernüsse

Yield: About 600 tiny cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup almonds, finely ground
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer. Add the egg and ground nuts.
  2. In another bowl, mix the 2 1/2 cups of the flour with the baking powder, soda, cardamom, cinnamon, white pepper, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
  3. Blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until a stiff dough forms. If the dough is too wet, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time until it forms a stiff dough that is easy to roll.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball. (I think it’s easier to roll out the dough if it is chilled. Put in the refrigerator for 1 hour or in the freezer for 15 minutes)
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Cut off a portion of the dough at a time and roll between your hands and a lightly floured work surface to make slim, ropes about 1/2-inch thick. Place 4 or 5 ropes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut ropes into 1/2-inch pieces using a sharp, small knife. Separate the pieces.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned and dry. Remove from the oven; cool on the baking sheet.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
http://bakerbettie.com/holiday-party-made-easy-part-1-pepper-nuts/

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