Friday, December 2, 2011

Smith family recipes

So, if we haven't noticed it is already December second and in my household that means our Christmas baking is beginning TOMORROW!  Wow I am excited, good thing I have been hitting the gym extra hard these past few weeks;) Here are some of my families favorite Christmas baking recipes!
Enjoy :)

Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 8 large candycanes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
  • 2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add egg, then yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).
  2. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined bakingsheets. Roll and cut scraps once. Freeze your cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk.
  3. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks, and let cool. (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.)
  4. Sift crushed candy, and separate larger pieces from dust, reserving both. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Using a fork, turn to coat, let excess drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of either candy pieces or dust on top. Repeat, sprinkling half the cookies with pieces and the rest with dust. Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours. Decorated cookies are best served the same day.

Lemon Bars

For the crust:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • For the filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. 
  2. In a food processor, put the dry ingredients in the bowl and pulse.  Add the butter and pulse until it turns into the size of peas. 
  3. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  5. Let the crust cool a bit and start on the filling.
  6. Put all of the filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth.  Right before you are ready to pour it over the crust, add the baking powder.  Give it one more whirl and you can pour it in. 
  7. Pour it gently on top of the crust or the crust can break.
  8. Bake the lemon bars for another 25 minutes or until the lemon filling is set.
  9. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Coconut-Chocolate Patties

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 drops pure almond extract
  • 3 3/4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread coconut in a single layer on parchment.
  2. Place in oven until golden and toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to color evenly.
  3. Remove from oven; let cool completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine toasted coconut, almond extract, and melted chocolate. Stir gently until combined.
  5. Press about 1 tablespoon coconut mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until cookies are set, about 20 minutes. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cranberry Squares

  •  1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cup fresh cranberries or blueberries or other berries
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted cashew nuts (optional)
  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the pan you are using.
  2. In a large bowl,  beat the sugar and eggsuntil creamy and smooth. Whisk in the melted butter and almond extract. Add flour and fold until incorporated. Fold in cranberries and nuts (if using) carefully so as not to break the fruit and color the whole batter red.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Transfer to a rack to cool completely (takes about an hour really!)
  6. Cut squares and serve.

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