Have you been naughty or nice? Regardless of the answer, a good sugary cookie will do wonders for past transgressions. That said, having a brain freeze isn't an option. It's critical to choose the perfect cookie. Santa's jelly-belly depends on it.
When considering this life-altering cookie conundrum, think about cookies you enjoy. The wedding snowballs are an excellent idea. They have all the hallmarks of holiday cookies and they're bite-size. Whether you want Santa to ingest a handful of bite-size treats or plate one or two, it's important to discuss amongst the family before turning in for the evening.
Why cookies for Santa?
It's a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Our family placed two to three cookies on a Christmas dessert dish with a side of ice-cold milk. It was amazing to wake up Christmas morning and see Santa had eaten his cookies. It was pure magic.
This cookie recipe is quick, easy, and accessible. Most of the ingredients should be in your cupboard.
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups copped walnuts
Cream butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour and then chopped nuts. Shape into 1" balls. Bake on ungreased cook sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool. In a plastic bag, put in one pound of confectioners sugar and shake until coated. Another Christmas cookie baked in minutes for Santa. Yum.
If you want to make your snowballs mixed with a little dirt....make the dark chocolate. Here's the additional ingredients needed.
6 tbs. dark unsweetened cocoa powder (divided)
1 tbs. cinnamon (divided)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
Cream the butter and sugar as above. Before adding the flour...add to it 4 tbs. cocoa powder, 1/2 tbs. cinnamon, salt, nuts, finely chopped chocolate and mix until combined. Roll into balls, bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. After cookies cool, (about 10 minutes), mix together a cup of powdered sugar, 2 tbs. cocoa powder, and 1/2 tbs. cinnamon then roll cookies in the mixture.
"Dear friends, here you have a super delicious pizza typical in our countries."
Chef Laura Arredondo
Fugazza is a typical dish made in South America. After baking, the crust is very light and airy, much like focaccia. While in the oven, the dough soaks up all the olive oil from the sautéed onions. Typically, it doesn't have sauce or cheese, just the sweet sautéed onions and oregano. If you use a thicker crust by doubling the number of dough layers and add melted cheese it's called fugazetta.
For today's pizza it will be the thinner crust or Fugazza pizza with the sautéed sweet onion, oregano, and one or two kinds of cheese. Other possible toppings include: artichokes, pimento, olives, or prosciutto. It's like a baked Charcuterie.
For a store bought crust, I found the most wonderful ball of dough at Midtown Market called Tiseo's pizza dough. It has a wonderful flavor and isn't expensive. On Tiseo's website it says the dough can be found at Kroger, Meijer, IGA, Save-a-lot, high-end gourmet markets and some independent markets.
Fugazza Pizza: An Argentinean Style Onion Pizza
Pizza dough (store-bought or make your own)
Two yellow onions
1/4 cup Olive oil
Salt an pepper to taste
16 ounces of mozzarella cheese (helps onions stick to the pizza crust)
1/2 tsp. oregano
Make a pizza dough or buy the one you like pre-made. Cut yellow onions into thin slices. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover the pizza with shredded mozzarella cheese (so the onions stick to the pizza). Add the onion and finish with more mozzarella , black pepper and oregano.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the pizza for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If you have other cheeses that melt, use them to enjoy the delicious fugazza. Since many WKY Community Living readers enjoy blue cheese, chef Laura said it would be wonderful on the fugazza.
Salsa Criolla is made with colorful peppers, seasonings, and a light oil to compliment your favorite meats.
'Baby it's cold outside...but the evening has been...so very nice.' As our neck of the woods is expecting flurries tonight and more to come this winter, a charcoal grilled meal may be out of consideration. However, if you're looking for smokiness, there's no better way to achieve that flavor than grilling over an open flame.
A number of years ago when Martin Fierro was in downtown Paducah, meat was cooked on an open flame inside the restaurant. The skewered meats, bountiful salad bar, and all those wonderful Spanish sauces were part of the elegant dining experience.
When you're ready to grill...
Prepare the meat: pork, chicken, beef, sausage(no need to marinade), shrimp, or lobster by seasoning with a light marinade such as olive oil, lemon zest, chopped garlic, oregano, salt/pepper or a more traditional Spanish blend of olive oil, paprika, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Pour the marinade into a zip lock bag, add the meat, and refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours. After taking the meat out of the refrigerator, let it rest. Dab excess marinade before grilling.
Recipe by Laura Arredondo
Directions for the Salad Criolla
Dice all vegetables. Add salt and pepper. You may add red pepper flake or a jalapeno pepper for more heat. Cover the Criolla with a light vegetable oil and two splashes of white vinegar. Store in a glass jar or container. The salsa will keep for a long time in the refrigerator.
Margie Davis Fields putting the special touches on the 35 year young sugar cookie recipe.
Recipes that are passed down from generation to generation are truly special. Margie Davis Fields is a home cook that really embraces nostalgia, family, and simpler times. Don't be fooled, she has a very sophisticated palate and can create some of the most delicious bites.
Fields' love of cooking/baking came from her mom, Roxie Davis who was a 'true' home cook in every sense of the word. Ms. Roxie could whip together some of the most flavorful food in her little country kitchen with the red and white checkered floor and the antique black and white stove. The aroma and the savory bites could make a 'top chef' take notice. Much of Fields' skills and techniques came from holiday cooking with her mom in that little country kitchen. Some of her recipes are original recipes from Ms. Roxie, others are enhanced versions, and some are Fields' original recipes.
The torch passed from Ms. Roxie to Fields, and now to her granddaughter Gracie is incredibly special. It's the joy of cooking that any grandmother would love to share with their grandkids. I really appreciate Marge sharing this recipe with me and the readers of WKY Community Living.
Fields said, "Best sugar cookies ever! I promise".
Sugar Cookie dough
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups All-purpose flour
Two kinds of frosting:
1/2 cup soft butter
3 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 - 4 Tbs. heavy cream
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbs. meringue powder
1/4 almond abstract
5 Tbs. water
Directions for the Sugar Cookie:
Cream the unsalted butter and the sugar. Add the vanilla, almond abstract and egg. In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, salt and flour. Next, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture (small amounts at a time). The dough will get stiff. Wet your hands a bit to divide dough into batches on floured surface. Roll out and cut cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 6-8 mins until edges are barely golden. Cool before moving to decorate!
Directions for the Buttercream frosting:
To the soft butter, add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. After all the sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and heavy cream. Consistency is important here. The idea is to be able to spread onto the sugar cookie (not too stiff but not too soft). You may need to adjust your portions, possibly less milk or more powdered sugar. Color can be added to the buttercream. After applying the frosting add sprinkles.
Directions for Royal Icing:
Mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, almond, and water. More water may be added if it needs thinning out. Use this frosting to outline the cookies, spread over the entire cookie, it's very flexible. Add your sprinkles and let sit to harden.
Four generations of sweetness straight from Great Great Grandmother's kitchen compliments of Katie Henson Scott
Jiffy Puddin' Cake is an ole family recipe passed down four generations...and there's a story there.
One of our high school's superlatives 'most witty' recipients found out the family secret behind her Great Great Grandmother's dessert recipe from her favorite Aunt. For starters, Scott shared her story with another recipe blog a number of years ago. She passed this story on to me and thought it would be a 'good share' with WKY Community Living readers, especially those that enjoyed a sweet treat. So, of course I jumped at the chance to retell this class clowns special recipe story (though, I'll never tell it as good as Scott).
Life began for Great Great Grandmother in Memphis, Mississippi as a true southern lady. It wasn't until later in life, she moved up north to Paducah, Kentucky. According to Scott, she was a wonderful woman. She raised a number of children and was as close to a saint as they come. Being from the south, most southern woman know how to make the sweetest treats from scratch.
The original recipe crafted by Scott's Great Great Grandmother was called Jiffy Pudding Cake with Hot Vanilla Sauce and was a favorite of all the grandkids. As mentioned, GG Grandmother is from the south and spoke with quite a southern drawl and when she spoke fast, some of her words came out a little funny. As one might imagine, the dessert known as Jiffy Pudding Cake with Hot Vanilla Sauce came out of Mammy's mouth as 'G Puddin and Hoss A$$'. To the children, hearing GG Grandmother use the word 'A$$' was very much out of character and quite funny. So, whether you call the recipe by its intended name or by GG Grandmother fast talking, southern drawl nickname, the result is the same...a spoonful of lick-lipping goodness.
Jiffy brand single layer devil's food cake mix (any brand will work). Bake according to packaging. Set aside to cool.
Hot Vanilla Sauce
In a small to medium sauce pan, mix 1/3 cup of sugar with 1 Tbs. of flour and whisk.
Slowly add 1 beaten egg yolk at room temperature and a pat of real butter (2/3 tsp) and a cup of milk.
Whisk on medium until it begins to boil. Stir continuously until the boil rolls. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. You may return it to the burner briefly to keep warm but watch it or it will scald. It should have the consistency of a thin custard/pudding.
Cut cake in 2-3" squares and serve in small dessert bowls and pour 1 ladle full of sauce over it and serve warm.
Sweet potato gnocchi with fresh sage, pancetta, and parmesan cheese for an incredibly tasty dish that gives back times ten.
The potato gnocchi originated from Northern Italy and can be made with different types of grains and various potatoes. In this particular recipe from riverboat chef Jeff Fleming, he uses flour for the dough and sweet potatoes. When chef ran the kitchen at B. Russell's, I got to experience several of his sweet potato dishes. B. Russell's was very elegant with the most beautiful 'New York' style bar area. It's been closed awhile now. Only recently, Strickland's Seafood opened in that space. Support local.
Fleming's dishes are always a treat and this one will not disappoint. Thanks for being so generous with your time and talent. Enjoy!
1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes
2 c all purpose flour
1 large egg beaten
4 oz. pancetta (any good bacon will sub or simply omit)
4 tbs. UNSALTED butter
8-10 large sage leaves (fresh is really the only option here)
Fresh shaved or grated good quality Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Poke holes all over each sweet potato with a fork, then rub with oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender (when pierced with a fork) about 40 minutes. Set aside to cool then simply peel the skins off .
Quarter each sweet potato and pass thru a ricer. If you don’t have one, use the large side of a box grater(you really don’t want a food processor involved. It creates heat and that’s BAD). Discard any stringy bits. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to mix.
Bring a large wide pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk to combine the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center. Add the riced/grated sweet potatoes and egg. Gently fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. DO NOT OVERWORK DOUGH nobody likes tough gnocchi's.
Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Bring the dough together with your hands, adding up to 1/4 cup flour, until the dough is just slightly sticky and can be patted into a disk. Let rest on the work surface, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal wedges. Working with one wedge at a time, roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick log on a lightly floured surface. Cut each log into about thirty pieces. (The gnocchi will be slightly sticky in the center). Transfer to a baking sheet and cover with a dish towel.
Remember you can leave this part out, however, much more savory. Cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, in a medium skillet over medium heat until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Remove the skillet from the heat and reserve the skillet with the fat in it.
Generously season the boiling water with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and carefully drop a batch of gnocchi into the water and cook until they begin to float; remove to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
This next step is a tricky but not a difficult step. Go low and slow until you’re used to it. Try to have everything ready to go like sage chopped & parmesan grated.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the UNSALTED butter (the reason for unsalted is not only control of sodium but salted butter burns butter faster). Cook, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula, until brown flecks appear, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sage and gently fry in the brown butter until just crispy, about 1 minute (the sage will stop the browning process).
Pour the melted butter on the cooked gnocchi. Top with the sage leaves and crispy pancetta pieces. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy while warm.
This may sound difficult but it’s really a very simple recipe. It’s a true fall/winter dish that will make your home smell like a fine dining restaurant. Try this other ways but really with the sweet potatoes you don’t want to overpower their flavor.
Thank a farmer for taking the extra time and effort to grow organic food. The organic sweet potato is the 'star' of this non-inflammatory snack cake recipe.
For those battling an autoimmune disease, eating the right kinds of food can make a world of difference in your day. Sharrie Thompson is an RN and person that 'fights the good fight' everyday battling CFS and fibromyalgia. If you haven't read her story on the WKY Community Living website, click the article: Local RN shares her journey and offers hope to those suffering from pain, fatigue, and autoimmune disease
Sharrie's husband, Lennis really enjoys these snack cakes and having the stamp of approval from your family when cooking healthy is a big deal. Those who suffer, do what they can to keep their symptoms in check. The belief for many is that food is medicine. Making the right choices regarding food-intake can make the difference between a good day and a bad one.
1 small organic sweet potato
1 organic egg
3/4 cup organic coconut milk
2 TBSP organic olive oil
1/2 cup organic maple syrup
1 cup organic brown rice flour
1/4 cup organic coconut flour
1 TBSP aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 TBSP organic ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
First, roast one small organic sweet potato at 400 degrees until soft (approx. 45 minutes). Cut in half to cool. Grease casserole dish with organic coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Use a separate large bowl to mix the remaining ingredients. Add the sweet potato and dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour batter evenly into the oiled 9x13 pan and cook until toothpick comes out clean. Usually about 30 minutes but start checking at 20. Best to store in the refrigerator since there are no preservatives.