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Showing posts with label holiday desserts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday desserts. Show all posts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ginger Molasses Cookies---Soft & Chew Goodness!

Ginger and Molasses just were meant to be together...they are a perfect couple. Being a texture kind of gal, I personally prefer a crunch ginger snap cookie but I couldn't help but fall in love with this recipe! Oh, the ooey gooey goodness of molasses and spices of ginger, clove and cinnamon....uhmmmm!  My spin on this recipe is that I used sorghum molasses that I bought at the Country View Mennonite store while home in TN during Thanksgiving. I can honestly say that I'm convinced the fresh sorghum made these cookies the divine little chewy gems that they are. So make a batch of these and hide a few for yourself to enjoy with a cup of coffee (or Tea my friend Kathy!) on the porch before everyone else wakes up. It will be a perfect start to your day! Enjoy :)

 Ultimate Ginger Molasses Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses (I used pure sorghum molasses)
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: I thought the dough was too soft to roll up by hand so I just dropped the dough by good spoonfuls onto the baking sheet and sprinkled the tops with some sugar before putting into the oven. Turned out great!

Soft Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies :) YUM
***The original recipe for this cookie is from:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chocolate Rum Balls---the Easy Way!

I am not sure that this falls under the category of Southern Food but it does contain rum and chocolate so it definitely should be included!! Somewhere, I have in a stack of cookbooks, my tried and true recipe for chocolate rum balls that is made by crushing vanilla wafers, melting chocolate, mixing in a bit of Karo syrup...etc. You get the picture! BUT...this year, I was in a hurry and well, I guess I got lazy. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit and I have to say, I may never bother to find that old recipe. This one is just too yummy and too easy!

Chocolate Fudge Rum Balls

1 box of your favorite 13 x 9 size brownie mix
Rum (my fav is coconut rum)

Make the brownies according to the directions except maybe cook them an extra minute or two. We need them to be dry! Once they are cool, cut in large squares and crumble into a mixing bowl. (Again, if they aren't crumbling, just run them through the toaster oven for a minute or two)

Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite rum over the crumbs and mix with your hands. This is going to be sticky. Chill for about 20 minutes then roll by spoonfuls into balls. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill again for about 20-30 minutes. (So you need a little patience for this but it is so worth it!)

While the chocolate rum balls are chilling in the frig, sift together 2 Tbsp good quality unsweetened cocoa with a cup of confectioner sugar. Pour into a zip lock baggie.

Remove the balls from the frig and drop into the zip lock with the sugar/cocoa mixture and shake a bit to coat. Place the balls back on the cookie sheet and let them set for a bit and then put into an airtight container. I let these "cure" in the frig for about 5 days before serving.

The only picture I don't have here is the empty container! They didn't last long and got rave reviews from my girls!

Golden Pecan Pie

I am just back this week from visiting TN for the Thanksgiving holidays and brrrr, it was much colder than here in South Florida!! BUT, the season continues and I am behind on baking and decorating so I had best get busy!

Today, I am gathering recipes for the weekend ahead of baking and came across this pecan pie recipe that I just made for Thanksgiving. It is by far our favorite and honestly, I only had a small sliver of that pie before it was devoured!! I believe fresh pecans, if you're so lucky to have them, make this pie the best!

Golden Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt (unless you used salted butter!...then omit this)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
1 9" pie crust

Mix all ingredients except pecans. Mix well. Add pecans. Bake in a 375 preheated oven for 12 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 325 and continue to bake for 30 minutes. If the crust looks like it's getting too brown, just lay a sheet of foil over the top for the last 10 minutes or so.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Almond Joy Cake

Barbara McKean, mother to one of my very closest and best friends, was one of 4 people who influenced me as a young woman learning to cook. This recipe is one of hers and although I don't think I ever made one that she had made, because it was hers, I knew it had to be good and I wasn't wrong. I've made this cake many times and shared the recipe almost as many. However, there is one time that I remember more vividly than the rest.

I made this cake for a Christmas gathering and as always, it turned out beautifully. I couldn't find sliced almonds at the grocery so I just bought whole almonds and sliced them myself. Then I placed each almond slice ever so carefully across the cake and stood back to admire it. Gorgeous! I covered the cake and proceeded to clean up the big mess I had made. As I began to wash dishes, I realized I had a nail missing. A nice, long, red nail (polished with OPI I'm Really Not A Waitress red). I remember details like that. Anyway...the nails was gone or at least the end of it was gone. How in the world......? Then it hit me...the realization of where that nail was! Somewhere in that beautiful white bed of sliced almonds was my nail....I just knew it!!  And I was right! I looked for a suspicious almond that might have a shadow of red under it and yep, it was there! In the process of slicing those almonds, I had just sliced so neatly through that acrylic nail. That was some kind of sharp knife!!

I called my nail tech who got such a kick out of the whole story, she didn't even charge me to repair it. Oh horror of horrors if someone had bitten into that nail!!

Almond Joy Cake

1 chocolate cake mix baked according to directions. I use Duncan Hines Devils Food and it's my preferred cake mix for this recipe.

Mix: 1 cup evaporated milk (Pet or Carnation); 1 cup of sugar

Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Add 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme. Blend well and then add 11 oz. bag of coconut.  Stir well. Pour over the warm cake-spreading evenly.

Heat: 1 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 cup Pet or Carnation milk

Bring to rolling boil. Remove from heat and add 1 stick of butter. Stir until melted. Add 1 1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is my favorite)

Stir until melted. Pour over the cake. Place slivered almonds on top.