Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Classic Spritz Cookies


I made these spritz cookies a little while ago but never posted the recipe or pictures. I had bought a cookie press on ebay and I used it righ away. In the box there was instructions and there was also a few recipes. They came out great, even if you don't have a cookie press these would make a good sugar cookie if you add icing and decorations for holidays.....Here's the one I used:
Adapted from http://www.wilton.com/



Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (double this if you don't have almond extract)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract ( didn't use this because I didn't have it so I used double vanilla)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Steps:
  • Preheat oven to  375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add egg, milk, and vanilla: beat well
  • Stir together flour and baking powder: gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing until a smooth dough.
  • Do not chill. Place the dough in a cookie press. Grease cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove cookies from sheet and place on cooling rack
    *You can fill some cookies with orange marmalade, jams, colored sugar etc. to make them pretty. Or dipp them in chocolate...*
I got my cookie press from http://www.wilton.com/ but purchased it on ebay.

Calvin

Here's a video of Calvin...I plan on taking him for a walk everyday. He loves exploring his surroundings...and barking at them =P
video

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Soft Pretzels

 

Here's a great recipe for making soft pretzels. Of course it took me 3 tries.... :) The website calls for making a sauce, but I skipped that.
I didn't have pretzel salt so I used coarse sea salt (that was what we had in the cabinet, and it worked fine) I also tried to immitate Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar soft pretzels (You know the one in the mall?)

 

For the Pretzels:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
STEPS:
  • Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast.
  • Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon.
  • Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.)
  • Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch.
  • Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
  • Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
  • Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.
It seems like a lot of steps but it's quite easy. And really worth it, because they are yummy!