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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Fall Foliage of 2015

As I'm writing this post in my kitchen, I have an amazing view of the trees around our home, most of which are changing color.  There's nothing like having the fall foliage of the east coast right outside your door, and as you can probably guess, this is definitely my favorite time of year.  If I'm lucky and have a free afternoon, I take a walk around the trails, field and areas near the house with my camera in order to capture what the landscape looks like.  Comparisons from year to year really are eye openers for us, because there are some years when it is quite disappointing to find the foliage unremarkable due to weather conditions in the weeks leading up to October. This particular season we have been very fortunate in having a superb display by mother nature.  Spring and summer give us splashes of color through the various shrubs and showy flowers, but when the fall season comes around, it's the deciduous trees which show us their natural beauty.  This s

The Best Way to Roll Out Cookie Dough

I've shown here on the blog the few ways to roll out sugar cookie doughs, and for years I have always been pleased with my tried & true method , but if I'm going to be honest, I've changed my technique and will never go back. Long gone are the days when I used to flour my rolling surface, rolling pin and the top of a disk of cookie dough.  Now that I've become more busy in my daily life, I want to make less of a production whenever I have to roll out cookie doughs, and not make too much of a mess in the kitchen. Quick, easy, and totally effortless, rolling out sugar cookie doughs and those with a similar texture, can become a task that only takes a few minutes, rather than a couple of hours waiting for the dough to sit and chill, then getting it rolled out from the refrigerator. With a few pieces of parchment paper, some dowels and a sturdy rolling pin, I begin to roll out my doughs as soon as they come off the mixer.  It's as easy as 1-2-3. A couple o

Spooky Halloween Cookies

Every single Halloween it is so much fun coming up with a different set of "spooky" cookies for my niece and nephews, because I like surprising the little ones.  This year I decided to make festive, hair-raising cookies iced in colors that conjure up the spirit of Halloween.  The base cookie is a tasty, spiced sugar cookie which has brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom.  It's a great cookie to eat on its own (one of my favorites), but it's even better if you decorate it with a good royal icing. Halloween Cookies The first order of business whenever I set out to make iced cookies is to go through my expanding collection of cookie cutters to see what I need.  This time around I selected some Halloween shapes that I hadn't used before and that I knew would make great, ghoulish treats.  All of these cookie cutters, with the exception of 3 small cutters, are high-quality, American-made, copper cookie cutters that are definitely going to be used for

Martha by Mail Pumpkin Cake Mold

The classic pumpkin cake mold from Martha by Mail makes a great cake for any occasion during the fall season.  Using warm spices and delicious pumpkin puree, the recipe given to us by the editors at Martha Stewart Living, is perfect for a Halloween party or for Thanksgiving.  You could also make one if someone is celebrating a birthday in the coming weeks or if you want to have a nibble for your pumpkin carving gathering.  With two halves "glued together" with a rich butter glaze, you can easily recreate the jack-o'-lantern cake found on the original recipe card, or you can leave a perfectly glazed cake, plain and simple, like the ones that graced a few of the past issues from the former catalog. If you're fortunate enough to have this mold or one similar to it, bake and ice a cake in the shape of a pumpkin sometime soon, because people are going to devour the spooky, fun cake in no time at all. ✹ "The tradition of molded cakes derives from the ancient Mid

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are very appropriate this time of year, because it’s nice to have the combination of flavors of pumpkin, spice and chocolate, all in one bite.  The cookies can be savored with a cup of coffee, a glass of cold milk or a warm cup of tea.  Don’t hesitate for one moment to try a batch of my cookies this season, because they are exceptionally good. Soft, cakey and irresistibly tasty, I have a feeling that you won’t be able to eat just one of these sweet morsels.  The spiciness of a rich pumpkin bread and the unmistakable flavor of a good chocolate chip cookie will have you making this recipe several times throughout the season.  The only problem that I can think of is that the tender cookies stick to one another when transferred into cookie jars, but a few pieces of parchment paper between cookies will keep them from fastening onto one another.   Whether you make your own pumpkin puree using those delicious sugar pumpkins from the farmers market