Eggnog Cookies

These soft, nutmeg and eggnog cookies with creamy eggnog filling are the perfect cookie for the eggnog lover in your life!

Eggnog Cookies - Eggnog flavored cutout cookies filled with an eggnog frosting | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve had a pint of eggnog in my refrigerator for about 10 days now.  I don’t even drink eggnog.  But… I have baked with it in the past.  Last year I made cinnamon eggnog & bourbon cupcakes that I rave reviews about.  This year, I wanted to try something a little different.

I had seen eggnog drop cookies that were iced all over Pinterest.  I’m sure they were all delicious, but I wanted a cookie that looked a little more polished  and finished.  So, I set out to come up with a recipe that I could roll out and cut with a cookie cutter!

Eggnog Cookies - Eggnog flavored cutout cookies filled with an eggnog frosting | JavaCupcake.com

I started with a basic sugar cookie recipe.  To compensate for the eggnog I wanted to add to the batter, I needed to reduce some of the other wet ingredients.  I figured the fat and the egg would be the best… since there was both of those in the eggnog itself.

The batter – well it was delicious on it’s own.  I took one lick off the beater and I was like WOAH this is so much better than I thought it would be! I mean, I expected the eggnog flavor to be there… but I didn’t think it’d be that strong!  I was so excited to get them baked!

Although the cookies looked neater, being a cutout cookie – they were still a little plain.  So, I decided to put two of them together and fill them with an eggnog frosting.  This frosting is essentially a buttercream, but it’s not a thick as what I’d use to frost a cupcake.   To get the rich, eggnog flavor – I didn’t use any milk or cream… all eggnog.  And of course, I whipped the heck out of it to get it fluffy and smooth!

Eggnog Cookies - Eggnog flavored cutout cookies filled with an eggnog frosting | JavaCupcake.com

Serious amounts of eggnog flavor in these cookies.   Serious amounts of yum.  So, if you’re looking for something a little different this holiday season and you absolutely love eggnog… try these eggnog cookies! They won’t disappoint!

Enjoy!

Eggnog Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 6 dozen cutout cookies or 3 dozen sandwich cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup eggnog
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2" cutter (I used a snowflake shape)
Filling
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 Tbsp eggnog
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • sugar crystals in various colors (I used red/green and blue)
Instructions
Cookies
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth and fluffy - about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the eggnog and mix until completely smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again to ensure everything has been incorporated.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg.
  4. Add the flour to the wet mixture and mix on medium-high until the dough comes together.
  5. Bring the dough together in a loose ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm. (NOTE - If you have time, you can chill in your fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight instead.)
  6. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Remove about ⅓ of the dough and place the remaining back in the freezer.
  8. On a generously floured surface, knead the reserved dough 5-8 times or until it's not sticky anymore.
  9. Reflour your surface and roll the dough to ⅛" thickness.
  10. Cut out the same shape using your 2" cutter and place the dough on the prepared cookie sheets.
  11. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until the top is firm and the edges have barely begun to brown. Do not over bake! Mine took exactly 5 minutes to bake.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for about 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Filling
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and nutmeg then mix on high until incorporated.
  3. Add 4-5 Tbsp eggnog and vanilla then mix until smooth. If you'd like a thinner filling, add more eggnog.
  4. Mix on high for 2 minutes.
Assembly
  1. Using a piping bag fitting with a small round tip - pipe the filling onto the bottom side of one cookie. Place another cookie, bottom down on the frosting, on top. Don't press the top down too hard - you don't want the filling oozing out the sides.
  2. Roll the sides of each cookie in the sugar crystals.
  3. Let the cookie set out for a few hours to allow the frosting to set up.
Storage
  1. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  2. If the filling is still soft, place them in the freezer to firm for an hour. Then store them in the refrigerator. Remove 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
While you're not working with the dough or while the cutout dough is waiting to bake... keep the dough chilled. If you want to cut out all the dough at once, prep a few cookie sheets with parchment paper and keep the cutout dough chilling on the cookie sheets in the freezer while they wait their turn to bake.

12 Days of Cookies – Day 4: Russian Tea Cakes

These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Russian Tea Cakes cookies can be prepared many ways… but they’re always made with nuts and rolled twice in powdered sugar and are extremely delicious!

I’ve never actually eaten a Russian Tea Cake before.  I have seen them on cookie platters since my childhood, but I always stayed far, far away from them because they are full of nuts…. which I am highly allergic to.

Russian Tea Cakes | JavaCupcake.com

But, this year when I put a call out to my friends, family and readers on Facebook for them to tell me their favorite Christmas cookie my childhood best friend, Jennie, told me hers was the Russian Tea Cake.   Of course, I had to ask Jennie for the recipe, but she didn’t have it!  It was her Mom’s recipe!

jennie-and-vicki

I love Jennie’s mom, Vicki!  That’s Jennie & Vicki about 15 years ago, in the picture above! Vicki is sweet and kind and has always been there for me… just like Jennie.  Jennie and Vicki have been in my life since I was little… for as long as I can remember really.   Growing up, Jennie and I only went to middle school together but we lived only 3-4 miles away from each other.  We saw each other on weekends and vacations and were best friends… as good of friends can be.   Growing up with Jennie as my friend was like having a second family.  Vicki and Phil, her parents and her brothers Andy and Scott… they were my family too.   As we got older and went off to college we tried to keep in touch… but the time between visits got further and further.  But, there was no denying that Jennie knew me better than anyone else.   Jennie was my best friend.

I have fond memories of spending days at a time at Jennie’s house, sleepovers and lots of giggling.  The picture below is us in high school… Jennie came over to do my hair and make up for the Homecoming Dance!

During the holiday’s, her house was filled with the smells of cookies!  Vicki baked and baked and baked so many cookies that her entire dining room table would be packed full of plates and containers full of cookies.  Russian Tea Cakes included! It’s Vicki’s cookies that I always think back to when I’m making my own Christmas cookies today.  I can almost still smell (and taste) the deliciousness that was on Vicki’s table.

PS… Don’t tell her, but I always used to sneak in there and snack on a few peanut butter blossoms!! hehe

betsy-and-jennie-high-school

Unfortunately, we had a falling out in our 20’s.   It was really quite devastating when our lives didn’t mesh together anymore… when our world and life views couldn’t quite find a way to be in harmony.  We both had young children and we just couldn’t see eye to eye on parenting, life choices and so many other things.   We both said very hurtful things to each other and stopped keeping in touch.

Until my Mom died.  My mom passed away in May 2009 and Jennie and Vicki came to the funeral.  I remember the day so clearly… the moment when I got my friend back.  My Mom’s death brought so much healing to my life and this moment was no exception.   As I was standing in the foyer of the church waiting for the funeral to begin and greeting guests, I see out of the corner of my eye the door open and my childhood best friend and second mother walk in.   Jennie and Vicki were here.  Immediately, I broke in to tears and I just reached out my arms to hug Jennie.  We embraced and didn’t let go… we cried and cried.   The tears were not only for the loss of my Mom, but for everything between us being put aside and the love we have for each other, for our lives, for our families coming back into the picture.  Because really… that love was all that was important in that moment.

That embrace changed everything.

I don’t know if I ever told Jennie how important is was to me that she and her mom were there that day and how much it meant for them to be there… to love me.  I needed her love more than ever… and she was there to give it to me.

Our friendship has never gotten back to where it was when we were kids… but it is different.  Almost better.   We have grown up, put aside our differences and realized that we have a special bond that not everyone has the luxury of being afforded.  We have a history… a childhood of love and laughter shared.  No one can ever take that away from us and now we see the importance of family and friends.  We work on keeping in touch and always know that we hold a special place in our hearts for one another.

It may not be spoken… but there is love between us.  Lots of love.

Russian Tea Cakes | JavaCupcake.com

So, for Day 4 of 12 Days of Cookies, I bring you Russian Tea Cakes.  These are Jennie’s favorite Christmas cookie and Vicki’s recipe.

I hope these cookies can bring you and your loved ones closer together this holiday season.

Enjoy!

Russian Tea Cakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ heaping cup toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar, for rolling
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract for about 2 minutes.
  2. While the butter/sugar is creaming, toast the chopped almonds in a frying pan over med-high eat until slightly golden. Remove from the pan to cool.
  3. Add the flour and salt to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined.
  4. Mix in the toasted almonds.
  5. Cover the dough and chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll 1" balls in your hand then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm.
  9. Immediately roll in 1-2 cups powdered sugar and set on wax paper to cool completely.
  10. Once completely cool, roll again in powdered sugar.
  11. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Want more cookies?

Check out the main page for the 12 Days of Cookies and you’ll find the links to all the recipes! Next cookie will be posted Monday!

12 Days of Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

12 Days of Cookies – Day 1: Frosted Sugar Cookies

Traditional sugar cookies frosted with buttercream and dressed up for the holiday make these Frosted Sugar Cookies the perfect Christmas treat!

Holiday Frosted Sugar Cookies #12DaysOfCookies | JavaCupcake.com

Every Christmas I make dozens of cookies.  Dozens upon dozens upon dozens.  I make everything from peanut butter blossoms to chocolate crinkles to thumbprints and of course, sugar cookies.

If you’ve been reading JavaCupcake for a while, you’ll know I’ve posted the recipe for these sugar cookies many times and for many different occasions or holidays.  This recipe is the perfect sugar cookie recipe and it comes out beautifully every time I make it.  It also comes from the cookbook my mother and I used to bake from when I was kid.

So this recipe has sentimental value.  A lot of it.  These sugar cookies are one of the first things I can remember baking with my Mom as a kid.  She made making these every Christmas a tradition… one that I’ve carried on to my family.

And some day, I’ll pass on the cookbook to my daughter so that she can teach her daughter to bake sugar cookies.

Holiday Frosted Sugar Cookies #12DaysOfCookies | JavaCupcake.com

Since I wanted to make these frosted sugar cookies special for Christmas, I used a basic round cookie cutter to shape the dough.  When we’re making these cookies for Santa, was use different shapes of cookie cutters… like trees, snowflakes, stars, etc… but I wanted these to be the same in size and shape to show you how easy they’d be to make for your holiday party.

Aren’t they just beautiful in red and green?  Simple, yet perfect for a Christmas party or cookie exchange.  Honestly, I think they look a lot like I bought them in a bakery shaped this way.

Enjoy!

Frosted Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Buttercream Frosting
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • up to ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • Red & Green gel food coloring
  • Red, green & white sugar pearls
Instructions
Cookies
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Mix on high for 1 minute until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or over night.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a floured counter, knead the dough 2-3 times until smooth. Roll out cookie dough to about ⅛" thick. Cut out 3" circles with a cutter and place on the cookie sheet 1" apart. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  10. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are SLIGHTLY brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
  11. Allow to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add up to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it thicker, add less cream. If you want it thinner, add more cream.
  5. Whip on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Separate frosting into two bowls. Color one with red and another with green gel coloring.
Assembly & Storage
  1. Frost half the cookies with red and the other half with green.
  2. Sprinkle sugar pears on top of the frosting.
  3. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Want more cookies?

Check out the main page for the 12 Days of Cookies and you’ll find the links to all the recipes! Next cookie will be posted on Black Friday!

12 Days of Cookies - Day 1 | JavaCupcake.com

 

 

Witch’s Cauldron Cupcakes

These spooky black chocolate cupcake cauldrons topped with gooey bright green vanilla buttercream bubbling adorned with witch’s hats, broomsticks, black cats and scary signs make the perfect Halloween treat!

Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

With Halloween just around the corner, my friend Kathy of Tiny Kitchen Cakes and I decided to make some super scary yet incredibly cute cupcakes!

Kathy made the fondant toppers, I made the cake and frosting and together we assembled!  They were really not too difficult to make either.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

How to make Witch’s Cauldron Cupcakes:

  • Prepare the chocolate cupcakes as directed.   Add enough black food coloring to the batter to make it as dark as possible.
  • Prepare the buttercream and tint it lime green.  If you want to make some with orange swirls, reserve some white to tint orange.
  • Color most of your fondant black and shape witch’s hats, black cats, broom sticks and poles for the signs.
  • Color some of the fondant green and cut out squares for the signs and small circles for the cat eyes.
  • Color more of the fondant purple and yellow and cut out shapes to complete the witch’s hat.
  • Finally color fondant brown and make the bristles for the broom.
  • Attach all the pieces together and set out to dry overnight.
  • Make a small dollop of green frosting in the center of the cupcake.  Spread a small amount of frosting down one edge of the cupcake.
  • Cover the frosting in green sugar pearls making sure not to press them too deep into the frosting.
  • Top each cupcake with a dried fondant topper.
  • Optionally – pipe swirls of orange frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with orange and black jimmies.

A few things to know…

  • The sugar pearls like to fall off these cupcakes, so make sure you have LOTS so you can pop more on when you need them.
  • Reinforce the sign poles with a toothpick inside, this will help add stability.
  • For 50 cupcakes, it took about 4 hours to make enough toppers, 3 hours to bake the cupcakes & make frosting and about 2 hours to assemble them.

Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes | JavaCupcake.com

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake

Three layers of rich pumpkin and espresso cake filled with espresso cream cheese frosting and topped with cinnamon nutmeg whipped cream make this decadent Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake the perfect Fall cake!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake | JavaCupcake.com

Finally, Starbucks has brought the Pumpkin Spice Latte to Deutschland!  After years and years of success in the USA… the coffee company finally came to their senses and is not serving the super popular Fall drink in stores around the world now!

I’ve lived in Germany for almost three years now and each Fall season, I’ve been so sad to have to go with out my PSL.  BUT… not this year!  YAY!  Rachel and I made a special trip to Nurnberg just to get a PSL (and so some shopping).  It was soooo worth the hours drive!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake | JavaCupcake.com

This cake is my dedication to the Starbucks drink I love so much… layer upon layer of pumpkin spice latte cake filled with espresso cream then topped with a mound of fresh whipped cream garnished with ground cinnamon and nutmeg and fresh cinnamon sticks!

I brought this cake to a potluck where it was the star on the dessert table.  When it was time for dessert, everyone was a buzz about wanting a piece of my cake.  After slicing into it, the aroma of the spices, pumpkin and coffee wafted over me.  My first bite was a piece of cake and espresso cream…

Oh. My. Goodness.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake | JavaCupcake.com

I could not believe how incredibly moist the cake was and how well the espresso cream paired with the flavors of the cake.  Not one over-powered the other and they worked in perfect harmony with one another.  Next was a bite of the whipped cream on top with cake and espresso cream.  The slightly sweet whipped cream was perfect… seriously perfect.

One person told me it tasted like eating your favorite pumpkin pie while drinking a chai tea latte.  Spices, pumpkin and coffee.  Pure perfection.  This cake is definitely on my MUST BAKE LIST for every Fall season… and maybe again this year!

Each bite of this cake was a delicious reminder of why I love Fall… and why I love Starbucks! YUM!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake
 
Cook time
 
Inspired by the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks this cake is three layers of pumpkin spice latte cake filled with espresso cream and topped with fresh whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg! Delish!
Serves: 1 3 layer 8-inch cake
Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Spice flavored brewed coffee, HOT
Espresso Cream Filling
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 8oz cream cheese, cold but soft
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, for garnish
  • nutmeg, for garnish
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Instructions
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 3 8-inch round pans then line them with parchment paper and grease again. Flour the pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the sugars until no more clumps remain.
  4. Pour in the oil and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each addition, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl also.
  6. Mix in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extra until smooth.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts mixing until just combined before adding more. Turn the mixer off when almost all of the flour has been incorporated.
  8. Add the hot coffee and mix with a spatula just until the batter is smooth. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  9. Pour 2½ cups of batter into each prepared pan and place on the center rack in the oven.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. TIP: Rotate pans in the oven after 27 minutes to ensure even baking. (Bring the ones it the back to the front and vice versa.)
  11. Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Espresso Cream Filling
  1. In a small sauce pan, whisk together the heavy cream and espresso powder over medium-low heat until all the espresso has dissolved and the mixture is warm. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
  2. Once the cream is cold, in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Scrape the bowl to ensure all the sugar has been mixed in.
  4. Pour in the cold cream and whip for about 20 seconds. Scrape the bowl and whip again for about 1 minute or until the mixture thickens. DO NOT OVER MIX or it will turn to soup.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use. Store any leftovers for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Whipped Cream Topping
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on high.
  2. Slowly add the granulated sugar in 8-10 small portions. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Assembly
  1. Place one layer of cake on your serving stand/tray/plate. Spread a ¼-1/2 inch layer of espresso cream over the top of the cake.
  2. Place the second layer of cake on top of the espresso cream. Spread another ¼-1/2 inch layer of espresso cream on top of the second layer.
  3. Place the last layer of cake on top. Dollop the fresh whipped cream across the top of the cake in an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and garnish with two cinnamon sticks.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms

For the second year, I’m participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Last year I was paired with two other bloggers both stationed in Europe but this year I’ve got a fabulous new group of food bloggers to send to!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms by JavaCupcake.com

You must check out these ladies & their blogs!  The things they come up with are AH-MAY-ZING!

Sara Croft @ Solid Gold Eats

I didn’t even realize it, but Sara has made a cookie similar to the ones I’ve made for the cookie swap! Check out her Chocolate and Peppermint Blossoms!  She also has a ton of other great dinner and side dishes ideas.  I think I need to bookmark her blog for next week’s meal planning!

Audra Fullerton @ The Baker Chick

Audra is a baker after my own heart.  Seriously, everything she posts on her blog… I want to bake.  Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cranberry Meringue Pie.  I mean, WOAH.  Cranberry pie!!  I think I need to make this… ASAP!

TammyJo Eckhart @ The Chocolate Cult

A blog all about chocolate?  Have I died and gone to heaven? I think so!  TammyJo shares so many mouth watering ideas for ways to use chocolate that I never even dreamed of… including these Chocolate Waffles!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012The cookies I made for this Cookie Swap are a spin on my favorite Christmas cookie, the Chocolate Crinkle.   I took Betty Crocker’s recipe from my 1963 Cooky Book and added some peppermint then topped them with a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss chocolate!  These Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms are the perfect combination of chocolate and peppermint for the holidays!

I can’t wait to see what TammyJo, Sara and Audra come up with! :)

Enjoy!

Candy Cane Crinkle Blossoms
 
Ingredients
  • 4oz unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Candy Cane Hershey Kiss candies
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, oil and melted chocolate.
  2. One at a time, add the eggs. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  5. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth and combined.
  6. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Unwrap 5 dozen Candy Cane Kiss candies.
  9. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough in your hand. Toss them in powdered sugar until they are coated.
  10. Arrange them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake 8-9 minutes.
  12. Immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow cookie to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I’ve never been a fan of canned cranberries… I guess maybe because I’m a purist.  If I can make it myself with fresh ingredients, I’ll do it!  Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is no exception.

I know, I know… the canned, jellied stuff is a time honored tradition in many homes, but really… once you’ve made this sauce you’ll never go back to the canned stuff!

This sauce is very simple in the ingredients.  If you don’t have cranberry with lime juice, you could use apple or orange juice.  You could even use the zest of lemon or lime!  Really, the possibilities are endless!

ENJOY!

Recipe inspired by: The Pioneer Woman

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Sweet, tart, fresh cranberry sauce perfect for Thanksgiving and turkey!
Serves: Approx. 3½ cups
Ingredients
  • 500g (about 17.5oz) of fresh cranberries
  • 1⅓ cup cranberry with lime juice
  • 12oz maple syrup (not pancake syrup, the real stuff!)
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
Instructions
  1. Rinse the cranberries and remove any that are bruised or damaged.
  2. In a large pot, combine the berries, cranberry juice, syrup, orange zest & juice, and the salt.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently.
  4. Once it boils, reduce to medium and simmer until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn starch and gently stir in. NOTE: Do not over stir, you want the cranberries to break down on their own and some remain whole... over stirring will break the berries down into mush.
  5. Allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 

Spooktacular Treats Workshop

Today was my first workshop here in Germany!  Although it was a small class due to some last minute cancellations, the two wonderful ladies who attended had a blast and made some super cute Halloween cupcakes!

Before they arrived, I made three dozen cupcakes, a quadruple batch of buttercream and a big bowl of meringue frosting.   Now, I had a lot of all the frostings left over… but I wanted to make sure the ladies had enough to work with!

Spooooooooooooooky Ghost

So… on to the cupcakes!  I taught them how to make three different cupcakes.  First, was the ghost cupcake.  I was inspired by the cake that Lemon Sugar made with the most adorable ghosts on top and thought they’d make the cutest cupcakes!

I showed them how to use a piping bag and large round tip to create these ghosts and then added black decorating gel for the eyes. Chasity got super creative and added a scary “ooooooooooooooooo” mouth to her ghost! (above)

Next, it was on to the Spiderweb Cupcakes.  I’ve made these in the past and they are one of the easiest cupcakes to make!  In the picture below you can see the ladies frosting their cupcakes with the spatulas… another technique they learned at the class.

Making spiderweb cupcakes

Finally, we made my favorite… the Monster Cupcakes!  As soon as I saw these little cuties on the Sweetology blog, I knew I had to make them myself and decided they’d be another great addition to this workshop.

Emily got super creative with a couple of her monster cupcakes… added lots of eyes, eye lashes and combining the colors!  But, I think my favorite came from Sue.  She made a monster with three eyes!  SOOO CUTE! I mean SPOOKY! hehe (below)

Bug-eyed Monster Cupcake!

I had about a dozen extra cupcakes, so I let the ladies decorate them anyway they wanted.  We ended up with a table full of some pretty spectacular cupcakes!

Some of the Spooktacular Treats made at today’s workshop!

Chasity, Sue & Emily with their creations!

 A big GIANT THANK YOU goes out to Sue and Chasity for coming to my first Workshop here in Germany!  I had a ton of fun preparing for this class and even more fun teaching you how to make these Spooktacular Treats!!

If you’re interested in coming to a JavaCupcake Workshop… I’ve got two more this year.  Visit my blog for all the details!

Spooktacular Treats Workshop – October 2012

Take a peek at all the pictures from today’s workshop!