The Friday Poem: Clean, Hot, Cotton

The Sunday Recipe: Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

This is a recipe from my great, great-grandmother via my mother, with a couple changes of hers, then a couple of mine. This is actually one quarter of the original recipe and makes a nice dozen cookies. I use the same recipe every year to roll out for ginger bread men as well.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons ginger
  • 1 ½ cups flour (wheat or gluten free)

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the molasses.
  3. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Measure in the flour and baking soda then stir.
  5. Dump out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  6. Form into a log and roll up then twist the ends.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can refrigerate overnight, or even freeze for a month or so before using.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350.
  9. Prepare a pan with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Slice roll of cookie dough into 12 equal portions and lay out on a prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
  12. Cool and enjoy. (Note: the gluten free flour may make them a little drier but they will soften up overnight in a container.)

The Friday Poem: Post Storm

The Sunday Recipe: Buchta Loaves (Polish Nut Roll)

Buchta is a traditional Christmas breakfast in our house, along with oranges or apples and homemade eggnog. We usually make it in one large spiral, this recipe will make two, but I turned the batch of dough into four loaves this year — easier to share that way. Either one works, rising times and baking times are the same. It’s also very easy to halve the dough recipe, make one filling, and get two loaves. Each filling will fill one large round buchta or two loaves. I always make the fillings first.

Ingredients for dough

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter.
  • 2 cups of flour plus 4 cups of flour and some for kneading.
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Heat the milk for about a minute and 45 seconds in the microwave to scald. You can also do this on the stove top. You know it’s ready when steaming and a skin forms on the top.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and melt in the hot milk. (Best if the butter is straight from the fridge. If it isn’t, you may want to let the milk set for five minutes after putting butter in before adding to yeast or it could kill the yeast.)
  3. In a large bowl, sift 2 cups of flour with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  4. Stir in the yeast.
  5. Add the brown sugar and stir in milk/butter mixture using a whisk.
  6. Set aside until bubbles form, about ten minutes.
  7. Beat in 2 eggs and 4 cups of flour.
  8. Mix well then knead for 10 minutes, or about 5 minutes using a dough hook in a stand mixer.
  9. Cover dough and let rise in a warm, draft free location for 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Prepare two cookie sheets or 4 loaf pans with grease/shortening or cooking spray and parchment paper.
  11. Divide into 2 or 4 and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  12. Spread with filling and roll up, Try to pinch dough together at seams and end. (It can be hard to do and a little leakage during baking is not abnormal.)
  13. If making large round ones, wrap the roll around one end, like a snail shell.
  14. Rise another 1 1/2 hours.
  15. Bake at 325 for 60 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Pecan Filling

  • 1/2 pound pecans, picked over for shells and ground or processed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Just mix to combine and chill to stiffen before spreading on dough.

Cranberry Orange Filling

  • 1/2 cup dried craisins (I used 50% reduced sugar ones.)
  • Orange juice to cover, about 1/2 cup.

Directions: Combine and microwave for one minute. Stir and let sit for 2 hours. Process in blender or food processer until fairly smooth.

The Friday Poem: Strange Dreams That Never (Could) Happen

The Sunday Recipe: Eggnog Bread

Eggnog Bread

If you’ve never made an eggnog bread, I highly recommend you give this a try before the eggnog is gone. It’s a great holiday treat. Don’t be intimidated by the 2 teaspoons of rum extract. You’ll miss it if it isn’t there. This is adapted from a recipe at The Recipe Critic –  https://therecipecritic.com/eggnog-quickbread-eggnog-glaze/  If you want a recipe that uses regular flour and sugar, follow the link.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg white
  • ¾ cups maple syrup
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups of Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking mix, or 2 cups white rice flour with 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional glaze: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar well mixed with 3 tablespoons eggnog

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan, or spray with cooking spray and create a parchment sling.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoons and melt in a microwave proof mug or bowl on 50% power, approximately 1 minute. (If there are chunks, stir so they dissolve instead of microwaving more to keep the butter at lower temp.)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.
  5. Whisk in the maple syrup, eggnog, rum extract, and vanilla.
  6. Add the melted butter in a thin stream, whisking continuously.
  7. Stir in the baking mix, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon just until combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool ten minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Cool completely before glazing, if using glaze.

This bread is best served cut into thin slices to get the full effect of the flavors. I cut the slices in half so they can be easily picked up, particularly when serving with other Christmas cookies.

*This year I had made vanilla buttercream frosting for molasses cookies so I just heated a half cup in the microwave for 45 seconds and poured it over the top of the second half of the loaf on Christmas Day. It worked great.

May the notes of longing in your heart be sweet this season.

Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating!

Holiday Traditions on the Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest

Hi Folks – Check out my post on the “Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest” about one of my favorite family holiday traditions and comment for a chance to win a prize! Winners will be notified by email after January 2nd. http://www.longandshortreviews.com/guest-blogs/winter-blogfest-melora-johnson/ 

Simple Sliced Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Simple Sliced Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Okay, I admit it, these are based on Betty Crocker’s Russian Teacakes that my mom always makes for Christmas. Main differences are — one, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking flour, two, I rolled and sliced, and three, I dusted with powdered sugar instead of rolling in it. Christmas simplified. I’ll be making more on Christmas Eve.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free flour blend
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Add the vanilla and salt
  3. Mix in the chopped pecans
  4. Stir in the flour
  5. Shape into a 1 ½ to 2-inch diameter log.
  6. Wrap log in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  7. Heat oven to 400
  8. Slice the log into 12 equal pieces by slicing in the center first, then slicing the two halves in half, then slicing each section into 3 slices. (This doesn’t have to be perfect.)
  9. Place on a prepared baking tin. (I like to use parchment paper these days, makes clean up WAY easier.)
  10. Bake for 12 minutes.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar and cool.
  12. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: All The Pain We Do Not Feel

« Older entries