Saturday, October 14, 2017

Heirloom Pumpkin Cookies

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Heirloom Pumpkins


Heirloom Pumpkins
At this time of year pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors are everywhere you turn. I love the bumpy ones and wanted to make Heirloom Pumpkins this season. I made some back in 2015 (see here) but tried to make them look different in color and texture this time. Also, the recipe is different and adapted from Bake at 350° (link below). The dough is Pumpkin Pie Spice and I increased the amount in each of the spices, reduced the baking powder, and added a little salt. The spices add the perfect balance and taste, and the cookies are soft and chewy. See recipe below.

Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies (Depending on cutter size)


Do the center outline and then each side outline and fill after 1/2 hour

Ingredients
3 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Vanilla Sugar

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Filling the cookie

Directions
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugars in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 10 seconds.

Add egg, and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated; about 1 minute.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Filled in the second and fourth section; time to dry
With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Cut in half and roll dough into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight. I chilled for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Cut out pumpkin shapes.

Place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 20 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 9-13 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes. Oven temps vary so check the cookies at the 9 minute mark.

Make sure cookie sheets cool in between baking. I place them in the freezer for a few minutes and then place cut-out dough on cold cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 20 minutes. This is important. Do not use hot cookie sheets or the cookies will spread and lose their shape.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies with cookie spatula to cooling racks to complete cooling, about 1 hour.

Decorate once the cookies are cool to the touch.

I used Gold Sanding Sugar for the stems.

Cookies getting iced

Royal Icing
Ingredients
4 Egg Whites

4 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

6 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract

1-3 teaspoons Water

Cookies iced, need to do stems with the ivory color

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add powdered sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. I used a flood icing consistency for this recipe.

Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

Pumpkins cooling
Separate the icing in plastic containers with lids according to how many colors you need.

I use AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Orange, Ivory and mixed Blue Sky, Lemon Yellow, and Orange to get the Olive Green color. 

Dip a toothpick in the gel and then into the icing and combine with a small spatula. Repeat until you reach the color desired.

Use a clean toothpick each time you dip so have plenty handy.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

Transfer the icing immediately into squeeze bottles.

Pumpkin cutter and a pumpkin cookie
If the royal icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spitz a little bit of water, and shake well holding the tip with your finger.

Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie. Be careful doing this since you do not want to make the icing to end up watery and break up.

I did the outlines in sections (see pics) waiting 1/2 hour before filling/flooding each one to get the outline effect on the Heirloom Pumpkins.

Use a paint brush or cookie stick to reach edges and use the tip of a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

Let dry for 5-6 hours or overnight. This is essential so the icing does not stick together when you stack them or place in cookie tins or gift bags.

If you are baking and it is humid, allow more time for the cookies to dry.

For the Brown Sugar and Spice Cut-Out Cookies visit Bake at 350:
http://www.bakeat350.net/2009/11/brown-sugar-and-spice-cut-out-cookies.html

For the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial, visit Joy of Baking:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, October 13, 2017

Autumn Leaves Cookies

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Autumn Leaves Cookies

Leaves with feathering technique
If you saw my previous post, Apple Cider Sugar Cookies you read I made various leaf cookies with the apple shaped cookies. I love Fall and leaves of all shapes, sizes and colors are all around this time of year. To honor the beauty of the season, I made Autumn Leaves Cookies. See the link above for the recipe ingredients and directions.

Autumn Leaves Cookies
The colors used for the Royal Icing are AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Super Red, Golden Yellow, Orange, and Chocolate Brown.

Autumn Leaves Cookies
Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the color desired.

Pretty leaves
I used Sanding Sugars in Yellow, Orange, Red, and Brown.

I made the center tree with autumn leaves as dots in various colors
To make the Maroon color, I used Super Red and Chocolate Brown.

Leaves and Tree with Leaves Cookies
I used the feathering technique to make some of the cookies. I first did a border around the cookie and waited 1/2 hour and filled completely in three different colors until filled. Use Wilton Scribe tool or toothpick and gently drag across the wet icing to make a pretty design.


Tree and Various Leaf Cutters


-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Apple Cider Sugar Cookies

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Apple Cider Sugar Cookies
I came across a recipe for Spiced Apple Cut-Out Cookies from the blog, Semi Sweet Designs (link below) and really wanted to give it a try. I recently bought Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Mix and purchased Apple Butter to complete the ingredients for this recipe. The only ingredient I added was a little salt. I feel salt is essential to offset the sweet taste of sugar cookies in general, and bring out the flavor. I made the cookies using an apple and various leaf cutters (see here). The results were great! The cookies are soft and chewy, and have a warm Apple Cider flavor. These cookies are the perfect balance of sweet and tangy all in one cookie. It goes splendidly with a cup of coffee or your favorite tea. I really recommend you try it. See recipe and directions below.

Apple Cider Sugar Cookies

Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies (Depending on cutter size)

Ingredients
3 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

½ tsp Baking Powder

3 packets Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Mix

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

½ cup Light Brown Sugar

½ cup Granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 tablespoons Apple Butter

2 essential ingredients Alpine Spiced Apple Cider and Apple Butter

Directions
Whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugars in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 10 seconds.

Add egg, vanilla extract, baking powder, apple cider packets, and apple butter and mix until incorporated; about 1 minute.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate.

The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Cut in half and roll dough into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight. I chilled my dough for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Cut out shapes.

Apple Cider Sugar Cookies just taken out of the oven
Place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 20 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 7-12 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 11 minutes. Oven temps vary so check the cookies at the 7 minute mark.

Make sure cookie sheets cool in between baking. I place them in the freezer for a few minutes and then place cut-out dough on cold cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 20 minutes. This is important. Do not use hot cookie sheets or the cookies will spread and lose their shape.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies with cookie spatula to cooling racks to complete cooling; about 1 hour.

Decorate once the cookies are cool to the touch.

I used Red, Green and Brown sanding sugars on half of the apple cookies for variation.

Royal Icing
Ingredients
4 Egg Whites

4 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

6 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract

1-3 teaspoons Water

Apple cutter and an Apple cookie

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.
Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. I used a flood icing consistency for this recipe.

Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

Separate the icing in plastic containers with lids.

I use AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color Super Red, Green, and Chocolate Brown. Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the color desired.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

Transfer the icing immediately into squeeze bottles.

If the royal icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spitz a little bit of water, and shake well holding the tip with your finger.

Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie. Be careful doing this since you do not want to make the icing to end up watery and break up.

Outline and then fill each one by sections. I did the apple body first and then waited 1/2 hour and did the leaf and then the stem.

Use a cookie stick or paintbrush to reach the edges, and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the icing.

Let cookies dry overnight. This is essential so the icing does not stick together when you stack them or place in cookie tins or gift bags.

If you are baking and it is humid, allow more time for the cookies to dry.

For the Spiced Apple Cut-Out Cookies visit Semi Sweet Designs:
https://semisweetdesigns.com/2017/07/11/spiced-apple-cut-cookies/

For the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial, visit Joy of Baking:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Pumpkin Spice Chips

Pin It Dark Chocolate Brownies with Pumpkin Spice Chips


Dark Chocolate Brownies with Pumpkin Spice Chips

Yummy corner piece

I love this brownies recipe from I Am Baker (link below). I changed it up this time by using Dark Cocoa Powder and to go with the Fall season, added Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Spice Flavored Morsels. I doubled this recipe since I used a square 9 x 2 pan. The brownies are moist, dense and have a rich chocolate flavor profile. They are decadent so give this recipe a try. See below.

Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Spice Flavored Morsels and my baking pan

Brownie batter in pan; ready to bake!

Ingredients
1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/3 cup Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 cup Nestle Toll House Pumpkin Spice Flavored Morsels

2 Large Eggs

1/2 cup, 1 stick Butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Decadent, brownie perfection!

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, dark cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder; set aside.

In a small pan on low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and cool for about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and vanilla extract.

I love these brownies

Pour egg mixture into dark cocoa powder mixture and stir with spatula.

Pour in melted butter into brownie mixture and incorporate with spatula until combined.

Using a spatula gently fold in the pumpkin spice chips.

Butter (or use Baking Spray, I use Wilton Bake Easy Non-Stick Spray) a 8-inch square baking pan (or 9 x 2-inch if you want to double the recipe) and spread batter evenly using offset spatula or knife.

Cut the brownies in smaller pieces if you have more peeps to share them with

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

If you double the recipe, you will need 5-7 minutes more of baking time.

Let brownies rest on cooling rack for about 1 hour.

For the Homemade Brownie Mix recipe, visit I Am Baker:
http://iambaker.net/homemade-brownie-mix/

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pin It Pumpkin Pie Spice


Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cloves

You do not need to buy Pumpkin Pie Spice when you can make your own. If you bake a lot like I do, you most likely have all the spices that make up Pumpkin Pie Spice: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. I love the aroma from all of these spices and how fantastic they taste in baked goods. This recipe fills up a standard size spice jar as shown in my photo. If you need more just double the recipe. Happy Fall Baking! See the recipe below.

Here is the Pumpkin Spice ready to transfer to my spice jar

Ingredients
1/3 cup Ground Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Ground Ginger

1 tablespoon Ground Nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Allspice

1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cloves

Yay, Pumpkin Spice ready for lots of yummy baking this season!

Directions
In a medium size bowl, measure all the spices and with a spatula combine until well incorporated.

Transfer to a spice jar.

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Autumn Swirl Cookies

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Autumn Swirl Cookies

Autumn Swirl Cookies
I came across these darling Halloween Swirl Cookies from Make Bake Celebrate (recipe link below) on Pinterest and wanted to make them with the colors of Autumn. I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Super Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow and Wilton Kelly Green Gel Paste. The dark chocolate dough was the brown color and represents a tree and red, orange, yellow and green are for the colors of leaves. As summer says bye-bye and autumn arrives (yay!), green leaves morph into these beautiful colors. I had vanilla sugar cookie and dark chocolate sugar cookie dough in my freezer from previous cookie projects, so I made Autumn Swirl Cookies. The cookies have a little bite and the combination of vanilla and dark chocolate swirled together makes this a divine cookie. Use whatever sugar cookie recipe you prefer or find the links below for the vanilla and dark chocolate sugar cookie recipes. Instructions follow. Happy Fall!

Autumn Swirl Cookies

Pretty Autumn Swirl Cookies

Autumn Swirl Cookies
For the sprinkles, I used Wilton Chocolate Jimmies, Wilton Autumn Mix and picked out Yellow Jimmies from a Wilton Spring Mix and combined them in a bowl; set aside.

Autumn Sprinkles Mix

Wilton Chocolate Jimmies

Wilton Autumn Mix Sprinkles
Once your dough has chilled, place over wax paper and roll out into a log. Cut the log into however many colors you will use. 

Take the sections of dough and form each one into a ball. Insert your finger in the center of each one to make a well and add your color gel paste. 

Added Gel Paste Colors to each dough well
Use disposable rubber gloves for each color and knead until the color is reached.

All the dough is colored
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and make small round dough balls for each color.

Small dough ball on baking sheet
I had five colors, so I took one of each dough ball and put them together. I alternated colors to make different designs. Repeat this step until you are done.

Put 1 of each dough ball together in any color combination you like

If the dough gets to room temperature it will be difficult to work with so if this happens, place in freezer for 5 minutes.

Roll each into one ball and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until you have all the colors rolled together in a ball. 

Roll each dough ball together like this
When I had all the dough balls done, I placed them in the freezer for 5 minutes. 

Take each dough ball and roll out into a long rope trying to keep it as even as possible. 

Roll out each ball like this
Take one edge and start rolling into a swirl and then dip the edge rolling it in the sprinkles, and gently press a leaf decoration in the center. 

Dip each one into the sprinkles
Place cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Repeat this step until all the cookies are swirled and sprinkled. 

Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

If you use the sugar cookies linked below, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. My cookies baked perfectly in 14 minutes. 

Autumn Swirl Sprinkles on wire racks cooling. 
Oven temps vary so check the cookies at the 12 minute mark and adjust baking time accordingly.

If you use your own cookie recipe follow those directions.

Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Halloween Swirl Cookies recipe and instructions, visit Make Bake Celebrate:
http://makebakecelebrate.com/swirly-halloween-cookies/

For the Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe, visit my Firetruck  Cookies post:
https://twofrys.blogspot.com/2017/08/firetruck-cookies.html

For the Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe, visit my Eclipse Galaxy Cookies post:
https://twofrys.blogspot.com/2017/08/eclipse-galaxy-cookies.html

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, September 29, 2017

Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce

Pin It Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce

Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce close-up
For the second year in a row, New Jersey based Born to Hula made their seasonal Harvest sauce. This seasonal sauce is a great addition to your holiday meals. It is not an extreme heat hot sauce, yet is has a creeping kick from the Caribbean Red Habanero Peppers in the recipe. The Harvest sauce smells like a fresh piece of pumpkin pie and has a welcome pumpkin spice aroma. If you ever dreamed of a spicy slice of pumpkin pie that is almost exactly what you'll get when enjoying this pumpkin based seasonal sauce. Harvest captures all the essential flavors of the autumn season.

Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce

The ingredients of Harvest are a unique blend of Pumpkin, Apple Juice, Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Caribbean Red Habanero Peppers (nice heat), Lemon Juice, Cinnamon, Salt, Ginger, and Nutmeg. The ingredients are well balanced and are a treat to your taste buds. I have tried and cooked with several seasonal hot sauces from different companies, and Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce is now one of my top favorite seasonal sauces. Harvest is great both as a condiment as well as an addition to your recipes.

Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce
We used Harvest on Butternut Squash and the flavors melded extremely well. Sophia and I are both big time Born to Hula fans, and Harvest brings another favorite flavor to add to the Born to Hula Two Frys recommended list. Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce recipe below.

Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce; so yummy and tender

Ingredients
1 Butternut Squash

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (California Olive Ranch)

Coarse Salt to taste

Cracked Black Pepper to taste

1/2 cup of Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce

Butternut Squash with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce ready for the oven and Allen's half is larger

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut Butternut Squash in half.

Using a spoon, gently remove the seeds.

Lightly brush the butternut squash with olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Brush butternut squash liberally with Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce.

Place with flesh side up in baking sheet.

Place in center rack of oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Insert fork to check for tenderness at the 45 minutes mark.

Our butternut squash was done in 50 minutes.

Let butternut squash rest for 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite meat or fish, etc...

To order Born to Hula Harvest Hot Sauce and other fine products, visit:
http://www.borntohula.com/

"Like" Born to Hula Hot Sauce on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BTH52/

-Allen/Two Frys