Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Growing up, my mom always made turtles around Christmas. I've never been the biggest fan of pecans, so my mom would make my some turtles without pecans. Just caramel dipped in chocolate, but so delicious. She's the best like that. : ) 

Anyway, my sister is having some surgery, so I decided to send her a package. Since one of our best friends also happens to live in the same city as my sister, I made them a care package. Hope they love it! I packed it full of baked goodies. My sister typically tries to avoid sugar and flour (basically two of my main food groups), so I also made her some gluten free, sugar free almond joy bars. 

For Lian, the food connoisseur, I made these turtle thumbprint cookies. Fun fact: she has a Pinterest board specifically for pinning foods she wants me to make for her. Actually, I have 3 friends who have boards specifically for foods they want me to make for them. I guess that's what happens when you're the "Baker Friend."  

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Yields: 30 small cookies


1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated yolk and white
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp finely chopped pecans AND/OR shredded coconut 

Caramel Filling

15 soft caramel candies (I used Werther's Original)
1-2 tbsp cream

Chocolate Drizzle

1/4 cup chocolate chips 
1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients. 

2. Put the dough, covered, in the fridge for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 

3. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the cookie dough. Roll it into a ball and dip into the egg white, then roll in the pecans (or coconut). 

4. Place them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Press the center slightly down with a teaspoon. Bake for 8-12 minutes. 

5. Let the cookies cool. Melt the caramel and cream together for about 45 seconds. Stir and put into a sandwich bag. Cut off a small bit of the corner and squeeze a little bit on each cookie.

6. Melt the chocolate and oil together. Put it into a sandwich bag and cut off a small bit of the corner and drizzle on the cookies. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eggnog Pound Cake

Eggnog Pound Cake

Yields: 1 loaf

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup eggnog
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp (or more for desired consistency) eggnog

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes with a mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time.

3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.

4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the eggnog to the creamed butter/sugar combo. Add vanilla, then mix until just combined.

5. Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove. Let it cool completely before adding the glaze.