Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze

It’s time for the next installment of What’s Baking?. This time around the theme is pumpkin or squash (appropo, no?).

I love these sugar cookies!! They’re pillowy soft and so chewy and delicious. A hint of pumpkin, a hint of spice and sugar all rolled together with a thin layer of spiced glaze.

They were very easy to make and have stayed perfect in an airtight container for a few days. I froze half of the dough so that I can make them again soon.

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for topping
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tbsp almond coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare cookie shee(s) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl put the butter, oil, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk well to combine and break up any lumps.
  5. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix to combine, scraping down any on the sides of the bowl. Repeat until everything’s combined.
  6. Spoon large 1 tbsp mounds of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  7. Place the additional 1/2 cup sugar on a deep plate.
  8. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar, flatten each cookie round to 1/2 inch, dipping the glass into the sugar before each cookie.
  9. Bake for 8-10  minutes. They will not brown.
  10. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes then transfer to cooling racks with waxed paper or foil underneath.
  11. Mix the glaze. Spoon about 1 tsp over each cookie.
  12. Allow glaze to harden.

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Adapted from wishesndishes.com

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What’s Baking July/August Round-up!

I was excited to be the host of this edition of What’s Baking? for July/August. I enjoy this great group of ladies and always look forward to see the amazing dishes that they bake. This time was no exception!

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I chose the theme “Bake your Heritage”.  The idea was to bake someting-sweet or savory-which is common to the/or a country in your heritage. The dishes did not disappoint!!

Joanna from Kosher Kitchen made some incredible looking Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels!

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Eva from Eva Bakes made Taiwanese Pineapple Tarts which sounds like a beautifully unique fruity pastry.

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Liz from Books-n-cooks contributed an amazing looking Chocolate-Flecked Babka.

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Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise baked a Dutch Apple Pie using her Great Grandmother’s recipe! Just in time for apple season!

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Nichole from Cookaholic Wife created a delectable Irish Trifle which has quite a background story-you have to read the post.

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Nicole from Cookies on Friday also submitted an English recipe as a nod to her husband’s nationality. Banbury Cakes-YUM!! her source was BBC Good Food Magazine which I love.

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Jenni from Dough See Dough put together some amazing Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) .  I have had these at a small diner at Elizabeth and Bayard Streets in Chinatown years ago and was SO excited to see a version that I can make at home.

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Stephanie from Brownies and Blondies baked some Cassatedde to represent her Italian heritage-and her pastries look just like something you’d find in a bakery in Rome maybe, and enjoy with an espresso.

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Jaida from Sweet Beginnings looked to the Irish part of her heritage and submitted Beef and Guinness Pie which I’ve already noted to make in the fall.  Husband thanks you, Jaida!!

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Nicole from Seven Ate Nine went another direction and used the Midwest and the Southeast as her heritage and made a picnic and potluck pleasing Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

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Catherine from Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness submitted her spin on her Aunt’s banana bread recipeBanana Walnut Ginger Muffins which look really delicious.
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And last, but not least, I made this delicious Caramel Croissant Pudding for the English part of my heriatge.

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Thanks everyone for sharing amazing recipes with interesting backgrounds!!

Strawberry Treat

Strawberries are delicious this year!  I love to have them in the evening for a snack but get bored of just sliced plain ones. I came across this recipe and it sounded so so so good!! And it’s delicious. The combination of sour cream and brown sugar may sound strange but it’s addictive and perfect with the berries. It stays well in a container in the fridge too.

Note: you don’t have to eat all of the strawberries at once for this.  Wash only the ones you plan to eat immediately. Once you wash a strawberry it goes bad fast.

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Strawberry Treat

Ingredients:

  • 16 ozs fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut into 1/4s
  • 4oz fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pile some strawberries in a pretty dish.
  2. Combine the sour cream and brown sugar and drizzle over the berries.

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I generally am really not so good at making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They’re either too dark on the bottom, too soft in the inside etc….it’s pretty sad really. I’ve baked those ones from the mix or the tube a few times, and they’re great, but I feel like it’s a real cop-out.

But these–these were perfect.  Perfect I tell you.  And so easy to make! It took me less than 20 minutes from start to getting them out of the oven to cool.

I found the recipe that I adapted to make these cookies on a container of Crisco that I had bought-probably during the holidays intending on baking tons of goodie-but never did.

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Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/4 firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark-your choice)
  • 3/4 stick Crisco butter flavor all-veggie shortening
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1&3/4 AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the first 4 ingredients and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl when needed.
  3. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir with a wisk to evenly combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl of the mixer on low speed and mix until just blended.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  7. Place rounded tbsp of dough 2.5 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes for chewy insides and crispy outsides, a bit less for all chewy.
  8. Remove from the oven, let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully slide the parchment with the cookies off of the sheet to cool.

The full recipe makes about 36 cookies. I baked half and froze the other half in a ziplock bag with the instructions written on the bag.

The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts

My Mom always hosts Thanksgiving so I bring some pickies to have before dinner.  This year, among others,  I made these nuts that I found in Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Bites.   They are so good! They’re warm and crunchy and a bit spicy and a bit sweet and a touch salty. And they’re addictive! We loved them.

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The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts

Ingredients

  • 2-2&1/4 cups mixed nuts-unsalted
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place nuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully. Nuts go from golden and perfect to burned in a flash.
  3. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Add the nuts to the butter and spice mixture and stir to evenly coat.
  5. Serve warm.

Slightly adapted from the cookbook recipe.

Dijon, Honey and Greek Cream Cheese Sauce

I made this sauce to go with my Baked Chicken Bites.  You don’t get a more classic dipping sauce than Honey Mustard. But I made it special. I used Dijon which I prefer for a honey mustard sauce and mille fleur honey that I bought while in Sicily.  I also mixed it with my new favorite Greek Cream Cheese.

This is a delicious, silky, sweet, tangy sauce that would be perfect for french fries, pretzels etc… you name it! Give it a try!

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Dijon, Honey & Greek Cream Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3-4 tsp Greek Cream Cheese

Instructions:

  1. mix it all together. Taste and add a bit more of any ingredient if you’d like.

Pistachio Pesto & Greek Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce

I made this sauce to go with my Baked Chicken Bites and it was so delicious! Because the greek yogurt cream cheese is whipped it was so light but so flavorful.  It just enhanced the flavors of the pesto. I think that this sauce would also be very tasty on a sandwich.

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Pistachio Pesto & Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsbp Pistachio Pesto (here’s the recipe)
  • 1.5 tbsp whipped greek yogurt cream cheese

Instructions:

  1. Mix the 2 ingredients together, put it in a cute bowl and enjoy 🙂

If you haven’t yet tried the Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese you’re missing out. I discovered it a few months ago and LOVE it. PS: this is my own opinion. The company has no idea who I am. It’s delicious!!

Crispy Sriracha Chicken Bites

I really do like Sriracha and have used it for quite a few years. I came across this recipe over a year ago and it has sat, untouched, buried deep in my folder of ‘to make’ recipes——which is pretty thick.

As luck would have it Husband bought 2 large family packs of chicken breasts recently (on sale woot!! woot!!) so I’ve been looking for a few recipes to use them up and I came across this one.  I wish I would have made these sooner-they’re delicious! The chicken is juicy and perfectly cooked, the coating is hot and crunchy and really tasty and there’s really nothing to them-just great flavor.

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Crispy Sriracha Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ground ginger powder)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into equal strips (mine were about 1 inch wide) or about 1/2-3/4 lb
  • 1&1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. In a large ziplock bag put the ingredients starting with Sriracha through and including the chicken.  Squish the chicken around to evenly coat and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and then place a cooling rack on top of the foil. Set aside.
  3. When the 30 minutes is up use tongs or gloves (I love my surgical gloves for things like this) to roll each marinated piece of chicken in the Panko and set it on the baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken strips. Be sure the pieces aren’t touching each other on the rack.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes  (if you cut your strips larger or smaller it may take more or less time) or until they’re cooked thoroughly.
  5. Serve with assorted dipping sauces if desired.

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 Adapted from http://sotastysoyummy.blogspot.com/2012/04/sriracha-chicken-strips.html

Strawberry Delight Muffins

These muffins are lovely and light and oh so tasty–perfect muffins to go with slices of delicate strawberries for the summer.  

There’s not really all that  much else to write except for the recipe…..

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Strawberry Delight Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 ozs Greek Yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 2 ozs fat-free Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1&1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1&1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped small

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Place liners in muffin tin and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the yogurt, sour cream, butter and sugar. Then add the Egg Beaters, milk, vanilla and strawberry extract.  Stir until  combined-being careful to not over-mix. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  5. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Continue adding the dry ingredients in increments and mixing. Do not over mix.   Gently fold in the fresh strawberries.
  6. Fill the liners in the muffin tin to about 3/4 of the way full and bake for about 23-28 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes then remove the muffins from the tin and place onto a cooling rack.

Yield: about 18-20 muffins.  I made 12 muffins and froze the remainder of the batter to use another time.

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Greatly adapted from the Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins from http://www.bos-bowl.com

Apricot & Rum Dipping Sauce

Wow!! What a flavor this sauce has. Sweet and tart from the apricot and just slightly rummy-just enough to taste.   It’s delicious!  I wish I had made this earlier in the week when I made the baked sweet potato fries-it would have been delicious on them.

 I made this recipe for the a recipe swap that I’m involved in with some other great blogger friends which is hosted by Sarah from http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com. This swap’s theme was ‘cooking with alcohol’.  The recipe below is from Jen at www.becomingpigzilla.com (what a cute name!!), originally from Food Network.

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Apricot & Rum Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp dark rum

Instructions:

  1. Put both ingredients into a small sauce pan.  Cook for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Serve

I cooked this down longer than the original recipe instructed as I wanted it to be a little thinner-more of a glaze consistency as you can see below.  I heated up some spring rolls that I had in the freezer but you could put this on anything-grilled chicken, shrimp etc…

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Check out the rest of the swap recipes here:

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