Speculaas are a variety of biscuit originated in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France. They are thin and crunchy and typically have an image or design stamped in the center of them. The dough ingredients include a variety of spices including ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. One teaspoon of grated orange zest is also required, and I doubled the amount which I think allowed for an extra hint of orange flavor to come through with each bite. Unfortunately for me, I did not have the appropriate stamping tool for these cookies but still wanted to make them fun, so I used a Hello Kitty cookie cutter and drew the face on before baking instead. I also had a sort of cutter with a pineapple on it, so I tried to imprint the shape into the dough. The design didn't come out as clear as I wanted, but it was worth a shot! I love anything Hello Kitty so all of the Hello Kitty faced cookies made me happy at least! I enjoyed the gingerbread like taste of these cookies and also the slight crunch. I think these would be the perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee too! The spices in the cookie made me wish I could do a rewind and make it holiday time again, so next year I think I will be making these for Christmas! This week for Club: Baked, we joined forces with another group, Baked Sunday Mornings so please be sure to check out their blog page as they are hosting the recipe! Also be sure to check out all of the members from both groups to see their take on this one! Enjoy!!!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Everything you love about pecan pie packed into a few small bites! I took my basic pie crust recipe, rolled it out and cut 1/2" circles from the dough. I then put each circle into an ungreased mini muffin pan, spreading the dough up the sides as much as possible. For the filling I also used a basic recipe, just your regular old pecan pie filling recipe and filled each little pie crust with 2 tablespoons. They baked in the oven for about 25 mins until the tops were slightly golden brown. I let them cool for a few minutes in the pan then removed them with a spoon and placed each one into a mini muffin paper for easy serving. I chose to make mini pecan pies rather than a larger traditional pie because I was shipping them to my family in New York. I needed to make desserts that were easily transported and these were a perfect idea! The result was very much like your normal pecan pie; a crunchy, nutty exterior with a gooey, sweet interior. Simply delicious! I like to call these "dessert hor dourves" because they are easily passed out to guests and consumed without the use of utensils. They are a perfect dinner party dessert and easy as pie to make! Enjoy!
1 Pie Crust- store bought or homemade
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
6 tbsps butter, softened
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine sugar, egg, vanilla, salt, corn syrup and softened butter.
- Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside while rolling out the pie crust dough.
- Roll out pie crust to about 1/4" thickness.
- Using a 1/2" round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Continue to re-roll out dough and cut out rounds until you have used all of the dough.
- Place rounds into an ungreased muffin tin and push dough up the sides as much as possible.
- Take 2 tbsps of your pecan filling mixture and place on top of the dough.
- Bake for about 25 mins or until the tops of the pies are light golden brown.
- Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.
- Place into mini muffin papers (optional) and serve!
- Top with whipped cream if desired!
Sunday, January 8, 2012
This is a super simple recipe for garlic knots that includes only a few ingredients. They can be made with store bought or homemade pizza dough and are a perfect addition to any pizza night! Enjoy!!
1 pizza dough
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped oregano
1 tbsp pecorino romano cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
(You can heat your oven to 350 and bake slightly longer. I used a 400 degree oven because I was also baking pizza at the same time which requires a higher degree of temperature.)
- Cut dough into 18 equal sized portions
- Roll each portion between your palms to create a 6" rope
- Twist each rope into a knot and tuck pieces underneath. Place on a greased cookie sheet or silpat.
- Melt butter in microwave then stir in oil, chopped garlic and garlic powder. Brush the tops of each knot with the butter mixture.
- Bake in oven for about 15 mins or until slightly golden. Remove and sprinkle with parsley, oregano and cheese.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The name of this dessert explains it all. The cake is a devilishly rich, very dark chocolate complemented by an angelic light, airy whipped topping. I can't remember the last time I made cupcakes, so this time for Club: Baked, I decided to go in a different direction from the recipe in the Baked: Explorations cookbook. I had a little more fun making these as cupcakes and played around with different sprinkles too. I enjoyed the taste of the frosting so much that I even put some of it into the middle of the cupcakes! This is a dessert that will surely satisfy even the biggest chocolate craving. Since Valentine's day is practically right around the corner, I think this would be the perfect dessert for that special someone! Who needs store bought chocolates when you can have a decadent homemade treat baked with love!? Thanks to Natalie for hosting this time around! Please visit her blog, Just About Food, for the recipe and the Club: Baked blog page for all of the member's interpretations of this recipe! Enjoy!