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Discussion Starter #1
Since we are discussing the upcoming holidays and gifts in a few threads, I thought it might be a good idea to start the 2011 Holiday Eating/Goodies/Cooking thread! This is the place to post favorite holiday recipes, favorite edible homemade gifts or anything food related.

As soon as I can type it up I'll post a Sweet Potato Pound Cake Recipe I baked and liked. I made it a second time substituting over ripe bananas and it was very good as well. I'm thinking about baking them in mini loaf pans, wrapping in decorative cellophane and giving to neighbors.

I'm always interested in good cookie recipes as well as great veggie side dishes for the big holiday dinner. If you have one you are willing to share, please post!
 

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If anyone is looking for a cake that can be made a day or two before (frost the morning of and then pop it in the fridge) you should consider an Italian Love Cake. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/italian-love-cake/

Its super easy to make and tastes like you put a lot more effort into it. Use a darker chocolate boxed cake mix like devil's food for extra flavor. I recently made this for my sister's b-day and got lots of raves. I also added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the ricotta portion before cooking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sweet Potato Pound Cake

This is from the Nov 2011 issue of Southern Living (with my adaptations added). Trust me, you want to use more spice than the recipe calls for. I cut the sugar just because I don't like things too sugary sweet and I knew I was going to add a glaze to the top of it that would make it sweeter. I also substituted mashed banana once for the sweet potatoes and it was good. I might try to mix banana and zucchini to see how that goes. For the glaze I combined powdered sugar, cream, butter and vanilla extract, but can't find the recipe I found online. I made cuts in the top of the cake and then put the glaze on, letting it seep inside the holes. It was very good! If you use regular loaf pans it makes two. I've got one in the freezer and will defrost it next week sometime to see if freezing works.


Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Ingredients
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar (I used 1 3/4 cup brown sugar and it turned out great)
4 large eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
2 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional) --go with the spice--it's great--but add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to your taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (eyeball it and then a little extra)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Add sweet potatoes, and beat well.
2. Stir together flour, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, cinnamon in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.
3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Sweet Potato Pound Cake Loaves: Prepare batter as directed; pour into 2 greased and floured 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loafpans. Bake and cool as directed.
Southern Living
NOVEMBER 2011
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If anyone is looking for a cake that can be made a day or two before (frost the morning of and then pop it in the fridge) you should consider an Italian Love Cake. Italian Love Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com

Its super easy to make and tastes like you put a lot more effort into it. Use a darker chocolate boxed cake mix like devil's food for extra flavor. I recently made this for my sister's b-day and got lots of raves. I also added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the ricotta portion before cooking.
That photo made me hungry--this looks like an all year keeper!
 

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I don't have the magazine myself, but my daughter said there was a recipe for a pumpkin pecan cheesecake in this month's Southern Living. She is going to come the day before and make it for Thanksgiving dinner. It sounded wonderful.
 

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Ok here is the recipe for sweet corn cakes...this is so good! I'm going to add this to our Christmas dinner menu.

Sweet Corn Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com
And this is how I tweaked the recipe after making it several times; First double this recipe, instead of masa harIna I use all purpose flour, I do not use any water but add a whole can of creamed corn ( i do not double the creamed corn) I put the frozen whole corn though the blender, this really makes a difference. I do NOT double the sugar, the first time I made it, it was too sweet. And I use skim milk (because that's all we use) in place of the heavy whipping cream. I mix it all together and put it in a 1.5 qt casserole dish uncovered for 50 minutes. This reminds me if the sweet corn cakes at the cheesecake factory.
 

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This looks so good! Will have to try this.

If anyone is looking for a cake that can be made a day or two before (frost the morning of and then pop it in the fridge) you should consider an Italian Love Cake. Italian Love Cake Recipe - Allrecipes.com

Its super easy to make and tastes like you put a lot more effort into it. Use a darker chocolate boxed cake mix like devil's food for extra flavor. I recently made this for my sister's b-day and got lots of raves. I also added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the ricotta portion before cooking.
 

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I make a stellar cheesecake -- my neices dh is the manager in a fancy restaurant and he says mine is better than his chef's

For the cookie tray I usually make

chewy chocolate chip cookies
rainbow cookies
thumbprint cookies
oreo truffles
snickerdoodles
chocolate cookies
oatmeal cookies with craisins and white chocolate cihps

The only candy I do is dark chocolate covered orange peels (sounds weird but they are so yummy)

I'll also make candied pecans
 

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Wow, that's impressive. Sounds like you bake often?

I make a stellar cheesecake -- my neices dh is the manager in a fancy restaurant and he says mine is better than his chef's

For the cookie tray I usually make

chewy chocolate chip cookies
rainbow cookies
thumbprint cookies
oreo truffles
snickerdoodles
chocolate cookies
oatmeal cookies with craisins and white chocolate cihps

The only candy I do is dark chocolate covered orange peels (sounds weird but they are so yummy)

I'll also make candied pecans
 

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Okay I have a few so I will make a separate post for each one as I type them out.

This one is called "Lemon Lovers Cookies". I use this one every year and I get it out of my little recipe book.

3/4 Butter Softened (can also use margarine instead)
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Lemon Frosting
1/4 cup of butter (or margarine)
1 cup of confectioners sugar (also known as Icing sugar)
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel

For the frosting you may have to add a bit more lemon juice to margarine to make to more spreadable.

Garnish (optional) is more grated lemon peel

1. In small bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon juice. Combine the flour, cornstarch and lemon peel.

2. Shape into a 1 1/2 inch roll, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheets.

3. bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Take out and put on wire rack to cool.

4. In a small bowl make the frosting. When cookies are cool add the frosting.

I love these...I will eat a whole batch to myself. I find I dont need to use the garnish because its already sweet and lemony enough without it lol
 

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Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup butter softened (or margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups of flour all purpose
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and mix well.

2. Mix 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar

3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture then place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and place on wire racks to cool
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I make a stellar cheesecake -- my neices dh is the manager in a fancy restaurant and he says mine is better than his chef's

For the cookie tray I usually make

chewy chocolate chip cookies
rainbow cookies
thumbprint cookies
oreo truffles
snickerdoodles
chocolate cookies
oatmeal cookies with craisins and white chocolate cihps

The only candy I do is dark chocolate covered orange peels (sounds weird but they are so yummy)

I'll also make candied pecans
Will you share any/all of the recipes? :)
 

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sure just let me know which ones you're interested in ;)
Could you share the orange peel one? I'm half scared to try but curious about what it would taste like. Too bad you don't live closer so I could try before putting it on my Christmas baking list. :)

Lemme see...

Thanksgiving:
I think I'm only going to make Libby's Pumpkin Pie (yep, right out of the can).

I did want to make cheese biscuits for supper. I'm looking for a recipe though.

Christmas:

Snickerdoodles I use extra cinnamon/sugar. That's about all I do different from the basic recipe.

White Chocolate and Lemon Drops (it's like white chocolate chip lemon cookies with white chocolate and lemon zest drizzled over the top). <- I made this a couple years ago and LOST the recipe. My sister has been nagging me to make them again, so I'm probably going to be hunting for the next couple months and/or winging it. :eek:

Toffee Chip cookies. So buttery yum. They dry up SO FAST darnit. But I love these cookies. I usually bake them on parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the pan.

Kolacky - Using my great-grandma's recipe. Think cream cheese based powder sugar coated cookies. Rolled out and cut into squares to fold the jam in. Raspberry jam (with seeds) is a favorite here.

Walnut Crescents - These are num. The cookie itself is ground walnuts, flour, and lots of butter. You roll the dough into little moon shapes. The smaller the cookie, the harder they are. The bigger, more likely they are to break in half. The cookies are only supposed to have a slight brownish tint when you take them out and roll them in powdered sugar.

Rugelach - It's basically the Kolacky recipe, but rolled up with the jam + nuts.

Shortbread - I'm the "straight man" as far as shortbread is concerned. One of my sisters makes mint and candied shortbread. I don't. :bowl: To me it needs to be plain and only taste like butter, thank you very much.


^^^^ Those are the usual cookies I make. Sometimes we make more, but eek. We aren't really cookie people in my family, or not to the extent that we are going to eat all that. Especially since two of my sisters ALSO bake their favorite cookies (my oldest sister has pistaccio creames that are TO DIE for, and she has her famous white chocolate rasperry thumbprint cookies that she has no choice but to make for me every single year). And we also make baklava for Christmas and New Years. So I've been trying to stay conservative. I absolutely love baking cookies though.

Oh and I try making fudge every year. Out of the 10 years I've been trying, I've only had one recipe (year) come out perfect. And promptly LOST that recipe. o_O

Other than that, my oldest sister and I have our cheesecake competition. We both make a mystery cheesecake and try to outdo each other. My sister is more gourmet... I'm more traditional cheesecake + I cheat most cases.

Like last year I made a carrot cake cheesecake which had both my parents in heaven. And it beat my sister's caramel marscapone cheesecake. :D

This year I'm thinking about peaches and cream. So possibly using a white chocolate cheesecake recipe base, finding a peach sauce recipe to stir in with the batter and then to drizzle over the top. This isn't my style, but I'd even pipe whipped cream on the top. I think. :smooch:
 

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I wish I could send you some before Christmas! People usually think ewl orange peel, but it comes out almost jelled, they always fly off the cookie tray.

Out of everything this one takes up the most time to do -- it's a really simple process though


Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Peels

4-6 orange peels cut in 1/4" pieces (best way I've found to do this is to wash the orange then cut each orange into quarters and remove the orange from the skin and slice the skin into strips)
2 cups white sugar
1 cup of water
1 lb dark chocolate for dipping (if you can use the best dark chocolate you can find, they won't taste "bad" if you use the merckens from AC Moore, but they'll taste better if you use say the dark melting chocolate from wholefoods)
&/or superfine sugar

Place the orange peel in a saucepan and cover with water, boil over high heat for 20 minutes <<--- repeat this 3-4 times with fresh water for nice soft peels. Then set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches the thread stage (230 degrees on a candy thermometer or when you take a small amount and put it in a glass of water threads of sugar form and it doesn't all sink to the bottom)

Stir in peel, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Drain.

Let them dry for a few hours (I put them on wire cookie racks for a few hours even overnight) and either roll in superfine sugar or dip in melted dark chocolate -- I usually do a little of both!
 
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