Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

The official name of this popcorn is white chocolate peppermint, but I refer to it as Christmas crack! Salty/sweet is my idea of the perfect combo in a treat. When I first saw this recipe I knew the white chocolate and popcorn would make a tasty match but wondered how the peppermint candies would be in the mix. Oh. My. To die for! The peppermint makes this not only an incredibly munch-able treat but what's more Christmas-y than candy canes?? So go snatch those candy canes off your tree, pop some popcorn and dig in!

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

16 oz. white chocolate chips or candy melts
1/2 -3/4 cup finely ground peppermint candies
4 quarts of popped popcorn (about 1/2 popcorn or two bags of microwave popcorn, with no butter)
1 1/2  teaspoon kosher salt, if popcorn is unsalted


Place candy canes or peppermint pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted. Process until the candy is very well ground up.

Melt white chocolate in microwave, at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Place popped popcorn in large bowl. Mix half of the ground peppermint candies into the melted white chocolate. Pour the white chocolate peppermint mixture onto the popcorn. Stir well.
Sprinkle on the remaining half of the crushed peppermint and mix it into the popcorn.
Pour onto wax paper lined baking sheet or silicon mat.

Allow the white chocolate to set up. When hardened, break apart.
Store in airtight container.

Packaged in baggies tied with ribbon, this popcorn makes a great Christmas food gift...if you can give it away before you eat it all yourself!

This blog post is linked to these link parties:
Tidy Mom: I'm loving it Friday's
Simply Designing 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

German Chocolate Cookies

This time of the year is crazy for everyone. I don't have time for a long post but I wanted to get these cookies posted before Christmas. They are a basic sugar cookies filled with German chocolate frosting. If you are looking for a new cookie to add to your Christmas cookie tray, these cookies will not disappoint!
German chocolaty goodness!

German Chocolate Cookies

No-Chill Sugar Cookies
Yield: about 2 dozen 2-in. sandwich cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract 
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls.
On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 in. diameter x 1/8 in. thick. Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8-11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

German Chocolate Filling
source: Taste of the South Dec 2012

4 oz semi- sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Place chocolate, nuts, and coconut in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small sauce pan butter and cream. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate mixture. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Put about 1 teaspoon chocolate coconut filling on the flat side of one cookie, and top with another cookie to make a sandwich. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with confectioners sugar. Can be stored up to one week in an airtight container.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pepper Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

If you're not from the South, you may not be too familiar with pepper jelly. Pepper jelly is usually made with spicy peppers, such as jalapeno or habanero's. The jelly is the perfect marriage of spicy and sweet. Here in the South we love our pepper jellies. It frequently shows up at parties, poured over cream cheese, served with crackers. I love it. However, I was a little skeptical about this recipe the first time I saw it. I mean I love thumbprint cookies and pepper jelly but I NEVER would have considered putting the two together. Hubs, who puts hot sauce on nearly everything he eats even draws the line at dessert! As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I just had to make these cookies. It sounded like such an unlikely combo that I just couldn't wait to try them. Believe it or not these cookies are really really good. They are a little sweet and buttery with just a just a slight hit of heat at the end. It all just works. It's delicious, I promise! Now I guess hubs can even have spicy for dessert. Okay, that kind of scares me!
Made with green and red pepper jelly these cookies look so festive for the Christmas season. They will make a great addition to your Christmas cookie baking. Trust me they will be a hit at your cookie swap!

Pepper Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
yields: about 6 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup red and/or green jalapeno jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Mix in cornmeal. Mix in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press  your thumb into the center of each ball of dough. Fill each center with about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of the jelly.
Bake in the preheated oven about 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.