Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gone Apple Pickin'

So along with all of us lover's of fall, I went apple picking yesterday with my dear friend Elizabeth. There is a charming little orchard that is right outside of my hometown that we always go to. I have such fond memories of riding in the back of my mom's station wagon with the door open driving through the orchard.

My usual plan of attack when I have a bunch of apples on hand is to make an apple pie, which I love, but I've been trying to expand my horizon.

These cookies are just great! I found the recipe in an old cookbook of my mother's that is seldom given the time of day. They are spicy and have a tender cake-like feel the them that just makes you want another one.

Glazed Fresh Apple Cookies
from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 vegetable shortening
1 1/3 brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup raisins (I left these out)
1/4 cup apple juice of milk
Vanilla Glaze

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift flour and baking soda. Mix shortening, brown sugar, spices and egg until well blended. Stir in half the flour mixture, then add the nuts, apple and if using, the raisins. Blend in apple juice or milk then add the remaining flour mixture. Onto greased cookie sheets, drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart. Bake 11 to 14 minutes. While cookies are still hot, spread thinly with Vanilla Glaze.

Vanilla Glaze

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
a dash of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons milk or apple juice

Combine all ingredients together and spread on cookies.

I really liked this recipe, they are delicate and delicious. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cooking in Style

No recipes or adventures in the kitchen today, but I just had to share with you all my awesome new apron my wonderful friend Elizabeth made for my birthday...isn't it awesome?!?!

I have this thing for aprons, and I have quite a few that I wear whenever I'm in the kitchen, it's my own little fashion statement...for the dog to enjoy. This one is my new favorite!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Feeling the season's change

In celebration of the seasons changing, I decided to make some wonderful spice cookies and decorate them all festive and autumn like. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love making cut-out cookies. I love how perfect they look when they're finished. I was so excited to see how these turned out, I don't know if you could get more "fallish."

Don't they look just like a pile of leaves?!?
I found this recipe a last year and have used it a few times with very good results. They're not quite as spicy as a gingerbread cookie, but the subtle spice flavor is just enough.

Light Spice Cookies
Courtesy of The Spice Life blog

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons molasses
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream the butter and shortening with the spices and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and molasses and combine. Mix in about half of the flour into the butter mixture, when well combined, add the cornstarch and remaining flour.

Divide the dough in half, wrap well and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Roll out to about 1/4 inch (I like my cookies a little thicker) and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Simple, easy Icing

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together. The icing should be thin, like glue. Color as desired and pour into a shallow bowl wide enough to place the cookie in. Then simply dip the cookies in the icing, allow a little excess to drip off and then there you go!

Perfect little drops of autumn
The icing recipe that I used is great because once it has set, it's safe to stack and more easily store them. Enjoy!!