Sunday, October 20, 2019

Heirloom Pumpkin Cookies

Pin It Heirloom Pumpkin Cookies


I love making bumpy looking heirloom pumpkin cookies. When I go to my local Stop & Shop I see so many different colors, shapes, and sizes of pumpkins, squash, and gourds. For this post, I saved half of the dough from Pumpkin Maple Fall Theme Cookies. I like to use different sizes and shapes of pumpkin cookie cutters for variation, and last year bought a gourd cutter to add to my collection. This year, I got a triple stack pumpkin cutter and 2 different truck cutters.

Heirloom Pumpkins and Trucks

Heirloom Pumpkins and Trucks

Heirloom Pumpkins and Gourds

Heirloom Pumpkins
For the truck cookies, I dabbed a little royal icing on the back of the pumpkins from Wilton Icing Decorations and pressed onto each truck cookie a day after the icing fully dried.

Heirloom Pumpkins

Trucks and Heirloom Pumpkins

Trucks with Pumpkins

Heirloom Pumpkins and Gourds 

For details on making the heirloom pumpkins check out my post from last year, Pumpkin Spice Cookies: Heirloom Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds.

Royal Icing colors I made

Step 1 of icing Heirloom Pumpkins by sections 

Step 2 of icing the Heirloom Pumpkins

Heirloom Pumpkins

I took these pics last fall season:

Pumpkins and Squash
Gourds and pumpkins

Gourds and pumpkin I bought last year at Apple Ridge Orchards

Recipe adapted from Sweetopia:
https://sweetopia.net/2016/08/recipe-pumpkin-spice-cut-out-cookies/

Enjoy

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pumpkin Maple Fall Theme Cookies

Pin It Pumpkin Maple Fall Theme Cookies


As I mentioned in my previous post Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies, I am thrilled it is pumpkin pie spice season. I have a jar full of pumpkin pie spice and am baking with the spices of fall. Nothing is better than the smell of pumpkin pie spice coming from the oven. I add a good amount of pumpkin pie spice to my baking as I want it to be prominent and not just a hint of spice. You can reduce the amount if you desire. This is a Pumpkin Maple Sugar Cookie recipe and a new favorite. I made various leaf shapes, acorns, apples, sunflowers, and wafer paper fall designs. Also, a few owls with some chocolate sugar cookie dough I saved from a previous recipe. Click here for my Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe. See recipe and instructions below.

Pumpkin Maple Fall Theme Cookies

Pumpkin Maple Fall Theme Cookies
Yield: 3 1/2-4 Dozen Cookies (Depending on cutter size and thickness of cookie)

Ingredients
5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

2 cups Domino Golden Sugar (or Granulated or Light Brown Sugar)

3 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Maple Extract

Wafer Paper Fall Designs

Sunflowers and Apples, messed up stencil (used too much icing)

Directions
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar 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 5 more seconds.

Add pumpkin puree, eggs, and maple extract, and mix until incorporated; about 1 minute.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Fall Theme Cookies

Fall Theme Cookies
Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Cover the mixer with kitchen towel, and turn on low speed and incorporate.

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

Form dough into a disk shape and cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-3 hours or overnight. I chilled the dough for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Fall Theme Cookies

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

Cut out 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 8-13 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.

Fall Theme Cookies

Owl Cookies
Make sure cookie sheets cool in between baking. I place them in the freezer for 5 minutes, and repeat until you use up all the dough.

Do not use hot cookie sheets or the cookies will spread and lose their shape.

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies with cookie spatula to wire racks to complete cooling; about 1 hour.

Decorate once the cookies are cool to the touch.

Ingredients

Domino Golden Sugar

Large Batch Royal Icing
Ingredients
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract


Yummy Pumpkin

Use kitchen towel after you add the flour; prevents a mess!

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

Separate the yolks and add the egg whites in a bowl.

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

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

Add the vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

Pumpkin Maple Sugar Cookie Dough

Lemon Juice and Egg Whites combined and going into mixer
With the mixer off add the sifted powdered sugar, cover the mixer with a kitchen towel, and turn the mixer to low speed and beat until smooth.

The consistency using this recipe is thick and great for borders and detail work.

If you need a both a border and flood-like consistency keep reading below.

If you only need flood consistency icing, add 1/2 teaspoon of water and mix for 5-10 seconds, and repeat until you reach the right consistency. Be careful that your icing does not become too runny or you may have to start over.

I found the best way to make royal icing is to first separate the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors I need. I save the containers when I order a pint of soup from Chinese takeout. These containers are great for icing. You can also use Tupperware or Pyrex.

Keep the containers or Tupperware/Pyrex covered until you are ready to color. Royal Icing hardens fast.

Royal Icing in bottles and tipless bags

Cookies on wire racks to cool

I use Soft Gel Paste Food Color in various colors.

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

Once you have the colors completely mixed in each container, take the amount you need of the border icing consistency and transfer into icing bottles or tipless bags.

Then with the remainder of the icing, use a spritz bottle with water to make flood consistency icing.

Just spritz one or two times in the container and stir together with a small spatula or spoon. A little water goes a long way. This works for me and I get the flood consistency I need. This part takes some practice and patience. Lastly, transfer the flood icing into icing bottles or tipless bags.

I find doing it this way is easiest as you end up with the same color for both the border and flood consistency.

Some tools I used when decorating cookies

Leaves changing colors

Decorate your cookies.

Do a border and then fill it immediately. If you are adding layers let the first layer dry completely.

I use a cookie stick to reach edges, and the tip to pop any air bubbles.

I let the cookies dry overnight.

Please keep in mind if you are baking and it is humid, you may need more time for the cookies to dry.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Friday, October 18, 2019

Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies

Pin It Pumpkin Maple Crinkle Cookies

I am so happy it is pumpkin pie spice season AKA fall. My new favorite thing for the fall season is baking with maple extract and pumpkin as this flavor combination is divine. These cookies taste so great and have a cake-like texture. They are soft and fluffy and the pumpkin spice, pumpkin and maple extract result in a cookie that is the essence of the season. Your kitchen will smell amazing while they are baking. Instead of granulated sugar, I tried the new Golden Sugar from Domino and love the results. I plan to use this sugar in many recipes. Golden Sugar is less-processed sugar and works cup-for-cup just like white granulated sugar and dissolves just the same. It also has a hint of molasses flavor. No mixer is required for this recipe and it is super easy to make. One thing to note is the dough is super sticky so I chilled it for 1 hour. If you use unsalted butter instead of salted, add 1 teaspoon of coarse salt. Click here for my pumpkin pie spice recipe. Enjoy Pumpkin Maple Crinkle Cookies with a cup of milk, tea or coffee. It is a perfect choice for a cool, crisp day when you are home relaxing. When I showed my hubby Allen our cookie jar filled with these cookies he said, "There is nothing better than a full cookie jar." I couldn't agree more so go ahead and make some. See recipe and instructions below. Have a wonderful season.

Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies

Close-up of Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies

Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 1/2 cups Domino Golden Sugar (or Granulated Sugar)

4 tablespoons Salted Butter

1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon Maple Extract

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar for rolling

Allen was happy to see a full cookie jar again!

Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies

Directions
Heat oven to 325°F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, add powdered sugar; set aside.

Melt butter and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree and maple extract.

Fluffy cakey cookies

Cookies cooling on wire racks

Fold in the flour mixture using a spatula until combined.

Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour in the fridge.

Using a cookie scoop form dough into balls about the size of 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Roll each dough ball in the powdered sugar, shake off excess and place on lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake for 11 to 14 minutes.

Let the cookies set in baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pin It Pumpkin Pie Spice


I like to make my own pumpkin pie spice as it is so easy. This recipe fills a standard spice jar. Since I start fall baking this upcoming week, I like to have a jar ready to use. Pumpkin pie spice is not just for pie. Use it in cake, cookies, brownies, bars, cheesecake, etc. The 5 spices you need are: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Just mixing the spices warmed up the kitchen and really made me feel like it was fall. We have had temperatures in the 90s and only this past week has it started cooling down. The aroma from pumpkin pie spice is sublime and I love to use it in my baked goods. If you need more just double the recipe. Happy Fall Baking!

Top left: ginger, right nutmeg; Center: cinnamon; bottom left: cloves, right allspice 
Smells so good!

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

Spices mixed up

Pumpkin Pie Spice in the jar!

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

Use a funnel to transfer to a spice jar.

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ravioli

Pin It Ravioli


Allen asked me to make ravioli earlier this week so I got the ingredients I needed to make a quick and hearty dinner. This seriously took less than thirty minutes with jarred sauce and frozen ravioli filled with ricotta and pecorino romano cheese. These shortcuts helped me save time without cutting back on flavor. I bought organic ground turkey but you may substitute with ground chicken, ground sausage, ground pork or ground beef, or use a combo of ground meats. Your preference. You can use your favorite spices, but I seasoned the ground turkey with 2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend (link below), which is a company we love for many years now and use their spices all the time. I added Italian seasoning to the pasta sauce (I used Prego Fresh Mushroom) and one bay leaf from Allen's parents backyard. See ingredients and directions below.

Ravioli

Ingredients
1 bag (25 oz.) Cheese Ravioli (Frozen)

1 jar (24 oz.) Pasta Sauce

1 lb. Organic Ground Turkey

1/2 Medium Spanish Onion, chopped

4 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Bay Leaf

2 tablespoons 2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend (or your favorite spice blend)


2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend

2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Tomato Paste

1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Coarse Salt

Bunch of Parsley, chopped

Yummy ravioli

Directions
Heat skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Season both sides of the ground turkey with 1 teaspoon of coarse salt and 2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend (or your favorite spice blend) and add to skillet.

Add the onions.

While cooking, heat a large pot filled with water on medium-high heat and boil.

Add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Cook the ground turkey until browned and use a spatula to break up the meat until it is in small pieces.


Ravioli done!

Add the pasta sauce, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning and mix together.

Turn heat to low and simmer while you cook the ravioli.

Add the ravioli to the large pot once the water is boiling.

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Cook the ravioli according to package directions. My ravioli took 8 minutes to cook.

Adding more shredded Parmesan cheese
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Drain and return to pot.

Turn off ground turkey pasta sauce ragu.

Add it to the large pot with the ravioli.

Add reserved pasta water and mix together with a spatula.

Add grated parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and combine.

Add parsley and combine.

Sprinkle a little extra parmesan just before serving.

Serve with Italian bread or a salad if desired.

To order 2 Gringo's Chupacabra Special Blend or other products, visit:
https://2gringoschupacabra.com/

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys