Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let The Baking Begin!!



Usually by now I have just about every kind of cookie imaginable made and in my freezer. I just have not been in the mood to bake this year …I don’t know why.  But Thursday morning I got the bug…the baking bug! I saw the recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies and I thought I have to make theses and that led to the day of baking!


Mexican Wedding Cookies!



You can make these cookies with wild black walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, hickory or butternuts -- all will work fine.

  • 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound butter (at room temperature)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar, to coat (about 1 cup)

1 Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare a large cookie sheet.

2 Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, walnuts, salt, sugar) in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Add the butter in little pieces, and combine everything together with your (clean!) hands until the mixture looks like a coarse meal with nut bits in it. Form the dough into small balls no larger than a walnut and place on the cookie sheet, spaced at least an inch apart from each other.

3 Bake for 35 minutes. When they are still warm, but cool enough to touch, roll the cookies in some powdered sugar.

This recipe doubles or triples very well and you can freeze them after they have been rolled in sugar.

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Set aside on a rack to cool completely. When cool, dust again in powdered sugar.

Makes about 20 cookies.

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These are crispy and light and yummy!!

If you leave these out for Santa (wink, wink) He will be most happy! But everyone will know if you sneak a cookie, because of the powdered sugar!!! So wipe your mouth!  :)


Last year I made Apple Braids and they were a big hit. I thought I would change it up a bit this time. Everyone has left over cranberries sauce from Thanksgiving, right? …Or in my case I forgot to serve it!!! Oh well….Now I can add it to the BRAIDS and change it up a bit.


Cranberry Apple Braid

  • 6 1/2 - 7 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
Apple Filling
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled, finely chopped apple
  • 1 cup Cranberry Relish (See prior post for recipe)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (opt.)
  1. In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast.
  2. In 4 cup glass measuring cup, microwave milk and butter until milk is warm and butter has begun to melt. (or warm it in a saucepan on the stove)
  3. Add warm milk to mixing bowl and mix on low
  4. Add slightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until well moistened.
  5. Mix for 3 minutes.
  6. Change to dough hook and then add remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
  7. Continue to mix or knead by hand for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  9. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size. (I usually do this in the oven which I have warmed to 170 degrees and then turned off.)
  10. Line 2 cookie sheets (with edges) with parchment paper.
  11. Prepare Apple Cranberry: In saucepan, combine all filling ingredients except pecans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently or until it thickens somewhat. Cool
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  13. Punch down dough and divide in half. (or into 3 sections) I have also made 6 small braids, they freeze well after baking. Just thaw and warm in oven @250 covered in foil and then put on glaze.
  14. Roll each section into a rectangle and place on cookie sheet.
  15. Spread centre third of each rectangle with Raisin Apple Filling (see picture below).
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  17. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough diagonally at 1 inch intervals on both sides of filling.
  18. Fold opposite strips of dough over filling, crossing in centre. (see picture below)
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  20. Seal ends of each braid.
  21. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size.
  22. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  23. Remove to racks and cool.
  24. Ice and decorate as desired.
  25. Picture 011
  26. You could fill these with just about any fruit filling. I have put sweetened cream cheese and then topped with different jams. They are great this way! Cheese Danish!

Enjoy with coffee for breakfast or and afternoon delight!


I made sweet rolls next! These are to die for, ooey, gooey, goodness!


Sweet Rolls

This recipe will make 40 to 50 rolls, I halved the recipe and had no problems.

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar ( you can use brown sugar as well)
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • (optional: nuts, raisins)
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point).

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Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape.


Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.cinnamonswirltutorial3

Make sure you get the cinnamon and sugar all the way to the edge,not like I have done here.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

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Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

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Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.

(At this point you can cover with foil and put in freezer. When ready to bake set out in refrigerator the day before to thaw.In the morning set on counter and let rise for 3o minutes, then follow baking instructions. )

Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

(You can let cool and freeze them and set out and heat at @250 till warm.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees.

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Theses are the best rolls I have ever made!

Maybe I can have another day of baking and I’ll share it with you.

What treat do you like to have for Christmas that you can’t do with out? Leave a comment and let me know!



Nana Nita!

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