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Monday, November 26, 2012

Nutella Drop Cookies (November's Secret Recipe Club)

 For the month of November I had the honor of meeting Sally from Bewitching Kitchen through the Secret Recipe Club.  I have often seen her gorgeous food throughout my travels in food blogging and have admired her adventure and passion that she shares with her food and her stories on her blog.  She is originally from Brazil but has had the opportunity to live in Paris, France along with the U.S. in California so her exposure to delicious foods has a very wide range.  You can see this clearly in her recipes that she shares with all of her tasty Brazillian recipes to her gorgeous breads - many of which came inspired from her life in France. 

Unfortunately, my time was limited in the kitchen today.  If I had had more time I would have made Sally's gorgeous Cinnamon Wreath bread.  Instead I made her delicious and very simple Nutella Drop Cookies.
In a jiffy these cookies came to life with just a few ingredients.  And as my oldest daughter exclaimed so well, "my goodness those cookies look like scoops of ice cream!"  As they did!  They held their "ice cream" shape perfectly even after they were baked.
A batch of these cookies would go perfectly with a hot cup of tea on a cold Winter night.  Tender in texture and sweet on the tongue.  I know you will enjoy this recipe just as much as I did!
Nutella Drop Cookies  
(recipe from Bewitching Kitchen)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Nutella, at room temperature
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line cookie sheets with parchement paper and set aside.
2. Cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy - about 3-4 mintues.  Add in vanilla extract and mix to combine.
3. Gradually add in flour until combined and then the Nutella.
4. Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon or a small cookie scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookie edges start to flatten slightly. Cool cookies 5 minutes before removing from sheets.  Once cookies are completely cooled dust with powdered sugar if you wish.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Happy Nutella Drop Cookie Baking!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Glazed Apple Bundt Cake (Week #8 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

My love for bundt cakes will never die.  I the idea of the simplicity yet beauty of such a cake makes me happy.  In one pan a delicious cake can be created, decorated and then served to friends and family and get the same "ooh" and "ahh" factor that a layered cake would get.  As you can see from the above photo my bundt pan has produced many a cake.  Cakes such as the,  Sweet and Tart Rhubarb Cake, the Peachy Bundt Cake, along with the fabulous Root Beer Float Cake, and moist Blueberry Lemon Cake and of course the Hummingbird Cake have all come from my precious stoneware bundt pan. If you have yet to treat yourself to such a baking pan put it on your holiday wish list! It is the perfect gift for a baker!
 Speaking of holidays I want to share with you today a perfect cake that can be presented at a festive party or given in a pretty basket as a gift as it is delicious beyond words and beautiful to the eye.  Sweet apples and sugary chopped nuts are surrounded by a dense cake which are then covered in a brown sugar glaze.  The perfection of a bundt cake!  Thus I present to you on this 8th week of the 12 Weeks of Holiday Treats created by the lovely Brenda of Magical Meal Planning, a Glazed Apple Bundt Cake.
 Glazed Apple Bundt Cake
        (recipe discovered on A Recipe a Day)
Cake Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped nuts - I used walnuts, pecans are good too!
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3-4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Glaze Ingredients:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1. Grease bundt pan well and set aside. Mix together all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Beat together butter and sugar until light in color and consistency - about 4-5 minutes.  Add in eggs - one at a time.  Mixing between each until the yellow of the egg is completely incorporated to the batter.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  Add to butter mixture alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.   Beat on low speed after each addition until mixture is just blended.  Stir in vanilla extract.
4. In prepared bundt pan pour in half of the cake batter.  Layer with sliced apples and then all of the filling ingredients. Pour remaining batter over apples and nuts.  Bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  My cake took 1 hour and 10 minutes.  I covered the cake with tin foil for the last 10 minutes so that the top of the cake did not burn.
5. Cool cake on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan.  Once cake is completely cooled make the glaze.  Melt 2 Tbsp butter just until it starts to brown.  Remove from heat and then add in brown sugar, milk and vanilla extract.  Stir all together until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over your beautiful cake and serve (or give away).
Happy Glazed Apple Bundt Cake Baking!


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