Shortbread Cookies

shortbread cookies
Recipe and Photo: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/shortbread-cookies-recipe-1945855

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

Advertisements

Martha Stewart’s Gingerbread Cheesecake

LD102960cake25.tif
Photo & Recipe Credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/317381/gingerbread-cheesecake#Gingerbread%20Recipes%7C/274868/gingerbread-recipes/@center/276958/holiday-entertaining%7C317381

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 recipe of the dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  2. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  5. Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, and carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, and let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  6. Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, and remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward and arms touching, alternating light and dark).

Curtis Stone’s Cheesy Biscuit Recipe

03-073-A-Cheesy-Biscuits

Recipe & Photo credit: http://www.curtisstone.com/recipe/cheesy-biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

4 ounces cold goat cheese, coarsely broken into chunks

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk

4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Make-Ahead: These biscuits are really best when eaten warm from the oven. However, they can be made up to 1 day ahead, stored airtight at room temperature. To rewarm, wrap them in foil and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan in the oven to preheat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cheddar cheese, half of the goat cheese, and 4 tablespoons of cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter resembles small pea-size pieces.
3. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk into the well. Stir just until the mixture is moistened but still lumpy. Fold in the remaining goat cheese.
4. Remove the cast-iron pan from the oven and melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan. Drop 6 mounds of dough into the hot pan, spacing evenly apart. Brush the tops of the biscuits generously with some of the melted butter.
5. Bake 10 minutes. Brush with some of the remaining butter and continue to bake until golden brown on the top and the bottom, about 10 minutes longer.
6. Remove the pan from the oven then brush the biscuits with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cool slightly.

Candy Cane Pancakes

Recipe for Living shows us how to make Candy Cane Pancakes!

Serving Size / Yield

10

Ingredients

  • 2 C krusteaz pancake mix
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 mini candy cane, crushed
  • 1/2 C milk (adjust based on desired thickness)

Directions

1) Preheat griddle to 400°F

2) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl

3) Whisk until smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes

4) Let cook until done on one side, then flip.

5) Cook until done on other side

6) Serve plain or with your favorite syrup

Eggnog

eggnog

Martha Stewart shares her perfect recipe for Eggnog!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • Grated nutmeg, (optional)

Directions

  1. In medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour hot mixture into yolks in a slow and steady stream.
  2. Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 20 to 25 minutes; do not let simmer. Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in bourbon, if desired, and cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired.

Winter Wines

lapiazzadario.blogspot.colapiazzadario.blogspot.com

lapiazzadario.blogspot.colapiazzadario.blogspot.com

We help you choose the best wines for the chilly winter months!

Red and heavy white wines served at room temperature are sure to keep you toasty during the long winter months. Winter wines have a more rich taste and tend to be more complex than wines we would enjoy during the summer months. Below are some great choices for any winter get together!

Syrah

Merlot

Cabernet Sauvignon

Petite Sirah

Mexican Hot Chocolate with Dulce de Leche Cream

babble.com

babble.com

Try this holiday drink recipe by Brooke McLay.
Creamy Mexican Hot Chocolate

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

4 cups milk

2 cups vanilla bean ice cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water (add 1/2 cup more for a thinner cup of hot chocolate)

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 teaspoons pure vanilla (use Mexican vanilla, if you have it)

Grate the chocolate with a fine-edged grater. In a large saucepan, heat the milk, ice cream and sugar on low, just as the mixture begins to steam (but don’t let it boil!) then whisk in the grated chocolate. Whisk in the cinnamon, vanilla and water. Heat mixture just until steaming. Serve with spicy Dulce de Leche whipped cream.

Spicy Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, crushed

In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the brown sugar until cream becomes light and fluffy (if you don’t have access to fresh, very soft brown sugar, just use regular white sugar to keep the cream from becoming grainy). Mix in the cinnamon and cayenne. Pipe on top of hot cocoa. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and crushed chocolate to garnish.