Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Caramel Chai Cookies

So yesterday was my first official day of my Christmas baking.  I had an idea in my head for a Chai sugar cookie with a caramel kiss on top.  I got a little impatient and put the kisses on while they were too warm.  I used a butter knife to "frost" the cookies with the melted chocolate and caramel.  I drizzled melted frosting over the top for an added touch.

And with the help of the cutest four year old boy I know, I made a batch of  turtles. 

There are also cardamom stars in the works - a family tradition.  I will post those pictures after we frost them this weekend!

Caramel Chai Cookies
1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 packet of  powdered Chai tea drink mix
1 bag of Hersheys caramel kisses
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix softened cookie dough with dry tea mix until completely mixed together.  Roll into ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes. 
Place kiss on top and let it start to melt.  Using a butter knife, gently smooth it around the top of cookie. 
Drizzle with frosting or melted chocolate if desired.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Streusel Apple Cranberry Pie

Do you ever get a recipe or an idea for a recipe that you just cannot get out of your head until you make it?  That's what happened with this pie.  It is a recipe I tried about a year ago for a friend and for some reason I started thinking about it a few weeks ago - and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  When I mentioned this to my dad he kindly offered to be my taste-tester if I really felt I needed to make this pie.  What a guy! 

The recipe calls for a store bought crust, but I like to make my own.  This time I tried using half shortening and half butter and I really liked it!  It was easier to handle and roll out and I think it tasted better too! 

My parents joined us for dessert Sunday night and the pie was a hit!
Now it's off to the grocery store...I'm starting my cookie baking this week - yay!!!
Streusel Apple Cranberry Pie
(Pampered Chef, Delightful Desserts)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c.brown sugar
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (I used Pecans)
Crust and Filling:
1/2 package refrigerated pie crust
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. dried cranberries (I used craisens)
2 tsp. orange zest
7-8 red baking apples
Preheat oven to 350 F.  For struesel topping, combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in nuts.
For crust and filling, let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add cranberries and zest.  Mix well and set aside.
Peel and slice apples, toss apples with sugar mixture until evenly coated.  Set aside.
Gently unfold crust onto floured surface.  Roll crust to 11 1/2 inch circle.  Place in pie pan and roll up the sides.  Spoon apple mixture into crust.  Sprinkle evenly with struesel topping.  Bake 50-55 minutes.  Cool at least two hours before serving.  (Tastes delicious with ice cream!)