Cinnamon Sugar Stars

From December 7, 2004: We have been baking lots of cookies lately (my son is really into baking cookies).  These cinnamon sugar stars are nice and crunchy, but a bit time-consuming since you have to refrigerate, roll out dough, cut shape, reroll, etc….   My son enjoyed cutting out shapes in the cookie dough.   We made stars, mini stars, dog bones, and hearts. Honestly,I like my snickerdoodles better.  Make sure not to roll the cookies too thin or they will overcook.

Cinnamon Sugar Stars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

topping:
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg white, beaten

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture.  The dough will be somewhat crumbly.  Divide the dough into quarters, shape into disks, and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two large baking sheets.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough at a time 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 3 inch star-shaped cutter and place 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets.  The scraps of dough can be chilled and rerolled.  Lightly brush the tops of the cookies with the egg white and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe source: Mary Engelbreit’s Cookies Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1998).


Carrot Cinnamon Bread

This is a recipe from my friend Donna in California.  She is the queen of quick breads and cookies.  My son was hesitant to eat this (vegetables are the most terrifying things on Earth to him), but he really liked it.  I subbed 1 cup of whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe.  Next time I make this bread, I will use less sugar.  It’s a little too sweet for my tastes (and I’m a sugar addict).  I got 4 small loaves from this recipe and it took about 40 minutes for them to bake.

Carrot Cinnamon Bread

1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots
3 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
2 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour pans (pan sizes posted at end of recipe).

In a medium bowl combine dry ingrediets, mix to blend and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix well.  Add carrots and blend. Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.

*Pan sizes* This will make (2) 8X5 loaves plus (1) small 4X2 loaf or you can make (3) 7X5 loaves plus (1) 4X2 loaf.  Baking is about 35-38 minutes. Test with a toothpick after 35 mins.

Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.


Pumpkin Chai Bread

This is a nice twist on pumpkin bread.  It was a hit with my kids, especially the toddler.  I think he ate an entire mini loaf by himself. The spices are not overwhelming, so I might add a tad bit more of each spice the next time I make it.  I also like black pepper in my Chai tea, so I think I may add a little bit of black pepper next time too. This recipe is enough for 3 mini loaves.  They bake for 35 to 40 minutes (use a toothpick to check to see if they are done).

Pumpkin Chai Bread

Cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 eggs
½ cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin purée

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the inside of a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients (through cardamom) in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, milk, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spread batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the bread until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (60 to 65 minutes). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.


Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

monkey-bread-smThis is a perfect recipe for Christmas morning.  It is sometimes called Pull Aparts and tastes very much like cinnamon rolls.  I’m not a fan of canned biscuits because of all the preservatives and chemicals in the ingredients list, but Pillsbury now makes Simply Buttermilk Biscuits that doesn’t contain all the yucky stuff.

Monkey Bread

2 can refrigerated biscuits
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.  Separate biscuits, and cut each one into 4 pieces (a pair of kitchen shears works really well for this). Place a few biscuit pieces at a time in the cinnamon/sugar mixture, and toss to coat thoroughly.  Evenly distribute the coated biscuit pieces into a greased bundt pan.

1/3 cup sugar
1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Place these ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until butter is melted and all
ingredients are thoroughly combined (DO NOT BOIL).  Drizzle this mixture evenly over the biscuit pieces.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then immediately turn out onto serving plate.   Let cool a few minutes before eating.


Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles (428x345)

These are some of my all time favorite cookies.  I’ve made this recipe countless times.  I like my snickerdoodles crisp and crunchy so I bake them a little longer (9 – 10 minutes), but if you like a softer cookie, don’t bake them that long.  When I make these snickerdoodles, I roll the dough a bit smaller than the recipe describes in order to have more cookies (even though they are a bit smaller) in the end.  These snickerdoodles keep really well and withstand being shipped across the country.

Snickerdoodles

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the 1/4 cup sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. set aside.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar together until well blended and fluffy.  Add the eggs and continue beating until well blended and smooth.  Beat flour mixture into butter mixture until smoothly incorporated.

Pull off pieces of the dough and roll between the palms to form generous 1 1/4-inch balls.  Roll the mixture in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart.

Bake, 1 pan at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are light golden brown around the edges. Rotate cookie sheet halfway through baking for even browning.

Transfer sheets to wire racks and let stand until cookies firm up slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.  Then transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool thoroughly.  Cool cookie sheets between batches or cookies may spread too much.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Recipe source:  Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker (Scribner, 1996).