Cookie 16 – Apple Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Yes, this recipe is almost identical to Cookie #15 – Pumpkin Spice Cookies. When you’re making fifty-two different cookies, there are bound to be some similarities from time to time. That, and I had a 3-pack of varying fruit butters from Louisburg Cider Mill I needed to work through. Plus, it’s winter and all I can think about is the spices used in apple pie and pumpkin treats.

Apple Spice Cookies

Rating: 31

20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

30 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

Apple Spice Cookies

Use apple butter and honey in this Apple Spice Cookies Recipe. An easy fall or winter cookie recipe for fans of apple butter and apple pie spices.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 8.5-ounce jar of apple butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the unsalted butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add apple butter and honey.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture in two parts.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or spoons to drop into rounded balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from cookie sheet with spatula and cool on drying rack.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies

5 minutes

Yield: 1-2 cups frosting

You don\\\\\\\\

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies

Quick and easy whipped cream cheese frosting that's great on cookies. This recipe for cream cheese cookie frosting does not harden.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Recipe Directions

  1. Whip the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together just until blended.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time and whip like crazy.
  3. Whip it. Whip it good.

 

 

Cookie 15 – Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Mmm… pumpkin butter cookies. Mmm… topped with cream cheese icing. Mmm… with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top. It almost makes winter bearable doesn’t it? This pumpkin butter is the second in a line of three assorted fruit butters I got in a set from Louisburg Cider Mill. The honey is local, from Busy Bee Acres in Odessa, Missouri. And of course the spices came from my favorite place – Penzey’s Spices. I didn’t have any ground cloves on hand so I had to use my little spice grinder, but boy did it smell great!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Rating: 41

20 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Use pumpkin butter and honey in this Pumpkin Spice Cookies Recipe. An easy fall or winter cookie recipe for fans of pumpkin butter and pumpkin spices.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 8.5-ounce jar of pumpkin butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the unsalted butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add pumpkin butter and honey.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture in two parts.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or spoons to drop into rounded balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Remove from cookie sheet with spatula and cool on drying rack.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies

5 minutes

Yield: 1-2 cups frosting

You don\\\\\\\\

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies

Quick and easy whipped cream cheese frosting that's great on cookies. This recipe for cream cheese cookie frosting does not harden.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Recipe Directions

  1. Whip the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together just until blended.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a bit at a time and whip like crazy.
  3. Whip it. Whip it good.

Stir the gooey stuff together until blended then start adding the powdered sugar gradually. Whip it. Whip it good.

Ice the completely cooled pumpkin butter cookies with the whipped cream cheese frosting, and top with a very light dusting of pumpkin pie spices to finish it off!

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

I love Penzey’s Spices and spending too much money there to stock my cabinets with herbs, spices, extracts, seasonings and what-have-you. But last time I was there I spent $20 on 8 ounces of high quality vanilla extract. I know how to make vanilla extract at home, so why do I continue to pay so much for vanilla extract when I can make my own?

I used vanilla bean grains to make this “Perfect Pound Cake” from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. Mine wasn’t quite perfect (a little overbaked) but you get the idea. It would be a shame to throw away these potent little vanilla bean pods that you can use to make vanilla sugar or vanilla extract with. So if you’re asking, “How do you make your own vanilla extract at home?” I’ve got the step-by-step instructions and photos here for you!

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe Ingredients & Supplies

  • 3 vanilla beans per
  • 1 cup vodka
  • Glass jar with tight fitting lid

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe Directions

  1. Once you’ve already used your vanilla beans for a cake recipe (tutorial on how to use vanilla beans), place the vanilla beans in a glass mason jar or other bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Cover completely with 1 cup of vodka per 3 vanilla beans.
  3. Store for two or more months in a dark, cool place – away from the stove and oven which emit lots of heat.
  4. Occasionally give the bottle a good shake.

Congratulations – you’ve made your own homemade vanilla extract. As my husband likes to say, “Too easy.” You can top this off with vodka once in a while, just make sure to shake it up. I only used two vanilla beans in my last recipe, but I plan to use another two tonight, so I’ll add those into the jar to keep that homemade vanilla extract process going. This jar of vanilla extract can last you for years! I bet it would make good Christmas gifts, too…

Cake 25: Cardamom Coffee Cake

I know my friend Vidhya is looking forward to this recipe because of the cardamom. She is quite the baker and cook herself, and she never ceases to impress. Vidhya, I hope you can veganize this one! I also hope it lives up to your caliber of baking and cooking. 🙂 Also, the cardamom cake recipe means I’ve baked a cake with each of the challenge ingredients you all voted on so far except for persimmon – but rest assured, I’ll make that, too.

A little baking tip for you fellow bakers out there. One of the biggest rules I learned from The Cake Bible that my sister-in-law got me for my birthday is not to overbeat the cake batters. I use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk attachment in the KitchenAid, and I only beat as much as it takes to incorporate the ingredients. Also, the book suggests to sift all the dry ingredients together – even if the recipe doesn’t say so. So I use the flour sifter I got from mom-in-law a while back to incorporate my flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, etc. these days. I have really changed my ways and started planning ahead so I can pay better attention and get my timing right. These two changes have helped lead to lighter, fluffier, softer, tastier cakes!

This one turned out so neat. I love a good coffee cake, but the cardamom adds such an interesting and unique twist.

Cardamom Coffee Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, and an additional 4 tablespoons or so of brown sugar (flexible)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 0.75 teaspoon cardamom (I used Guatemala ground cardamom from Penzey’s)
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (I used China Tung Hing Cinnamon from Penzey’s)
  • 0.25 cup chopped walnuts

Cardamom Coffee Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a round bundt pan or tube pan. I line the bottom with parchment paper and use non-stick cooking spray to prepare my pans lately, but cutting out an o-shaped piece of parchment paper seemed like a pain, so I just sprayed generously. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the brown sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and then the eggs one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients mixture and the sour cream a bit at a time, alternating. You should start and finish with the dry ingredients mixture. Set your cake batter aside, and in another bowl mix together the cinnamon, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and the chopped walnuts to create your nut mixture. Pour about half of your cardamom coffee cake batter into the pan, layer on about 2/3 of the nut mixture, then the last half of the batter, then the last half of the nut mixture (I kind of mushed the last part of the nut mixture into the batter with my spatula, don’t know why – but it turned out great). This can bake for about 1 hour in your 350-degree oven, but it wouldn’t hurt to check starting at about 45 minutes. You should have a lovely brown color on top, the cake should spring back when lightly pressed, and your skewer tester should come out dry when inserted in the middle. Cool for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tube pan and remove from pan to finish cooling completely.

Cake 24: Lemon Lavender Cake

After 24 weeks of baking cake recipes, I am just about tired of looking at cake, not gonna lie. I’m mostly just tired of the rich, creamy, chocolatey, gooey ones at this point in the exercise. I needed something lighter, fluffier and fruitier. Also, I needed to incorporate one of the ingredients you all recommended when I let you vote on the next ingredient – so I chose lavender because it’s a beautiful herb and  goes dandily with lemon, right?

Luckily Penzey’s had lavender from France in stock today. They keep it behind the counter, I noticed. When I asked the nice lady why (I could see saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, to be hidden behind the counter – but not lavender) she said it’s because it’s a “by request only” herb, that they don’t carry in their catalog and sometimes don’t even have in stock.

Also, please notice the extra-awesome plate I got from Urban Outfitters and say nice things about it. Kthx. This is easily one of my top three favorite cakes I’ve made so far – it turned out absolutely perfect, moist, sour from the lemon but delicate and sweet with lavender and powdered sugar – phenomenal cake. I present to you, lavender lemon cake!

Lavender Lemon Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 large lemons (yields 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, 0.25-cup lemon juice)
  • 1.75 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5-cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lavender
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3-cup milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon extract
  • 2/3-cup ground almonds

Lavender Lemon Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare a springform pan. I lined the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and sprayed it with non-stick spray tonight. Zest the lemons until you have about 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to work with. Then juice the lemons to get about a half cup of fresh lemon juice for your glaze and set aside. Grind almonds in a food processor. (I’m not sure that nuts are its intended purpose, but I used the new Food network spice grinder my mom got me and it worked amazingly.) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then whisk together gently just until mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the softened 0.5-cup of butter, lavender and sugar and beat (I used the KitchenAid with the paddle attachment) just until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time on a low speed, just until blended – don’t overbeat. Add the dry ingredients mixture in about three parts, alternating with the milk. Mix in the lemon extract, lemon zest and ground almonds at the end. Always beat just until mixed – do not over-beat. Bake in your 325-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until your cake tester (toothpick, skewer, knife, whatever) comes out clean. I used a smaller springform pan than I usually do, so it was thicker and I had to bake it about 10 minutes longer for it to set properly. You should get sort of a golden brown top that springs back when you press gently on it.

Lemon Glaze Recipe Ingredients

  • 0.25-cup lemon juice
  • 0.25-cup sugar

Lemon Glaze Recipe Directions

Heat the lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. (I used the extra lemon juice in my water for the rest of the night. I do love lemon water!) Gently poke some small holes in the top of the cake. Lightly brush the lemon glaze over the lavender lemon cake in the pan. Cool the cake in the pan for about 20 minutes. Carefully run a clean, sharp knife around the edge of the pan and release the outer ring. Let the cake finish cooling completely. When it is completely cooled, just prior to serving, dust with sifted powdered sugar, and garnish with a few lemon peel curls and fresh lavender in the center, if you like.

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