Lime & cherry shortbread cookies

I’m not the most experience baker in the world and the Mr. isn’t really a sweets kind of guy; I didn’t even make him a cake for his birthday this year.  In the spirit of the holidays I wanted to try some recipes and make some homemade goodies to send to those I won’t be able to spend the holidays with this year.  Besides, I  never said I don’t like sweets;)

Ingredients: 1 C butter, softened//3/4 C confectioners’ sugar//1 Tbs grated lime peel//2 tsp. vanilla extract//1/2 tsp almond extract//2 C all purpose flour//1/4 tsp baking powder//1/8 tsp salt//1/2 C dried cherries
cherry shortbreads

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Beat in lime peel and extracts. In another bowl mix up the flour, baking powder and salt and gradually beat it into the creamed mixture. Stir in cherries.DSC_0035
2. Divide your dough in half and shape it into a 7 inch long roll. Wrap it up in plastic and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm.limecherrycookies

3. Unwrap and cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices or rounds. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake a 350 for 10 minutes. Remove and let them cool on a wire rack.   These are really quite good. I love that they’re not too sweet and the lime and cherries give it a nice tartness.  DSC_0026
The hazards of cooking with animals around. Oh, sigh smile and laugh it off.  What have you been baking lately, any holiday goodies?

Pecan Pie

This holiday my husband requested pecan pie. I’ve never made one! They always seemed so intimidating to me but it in fact was the easiest pie I’ve ever made.  For real.  Plus it was a really sweet reminder of our wedding week when I had asked a coworker to make us her mini pecan pies to give as gifts to our rehearsal dinner guests.  (I still have to make HER recipe sometime!) They were the best, and I even ate one for breakfast the morning of our wedding:)  So today I’ll share my first effort at this pie.

Here’s what ingredients I used (adapted from Rachel Ray): 3 eggs, 1/2 agave nectar (you can use 1 C light corn syrup but I decided to sub in the agave), 1/4 C maple syrup, 3 tbs unsalted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 C pecans, 1 graham cracker crust.

1. Heat oven to 400.  Whisk eggs, agave, maple, butter and vanilla in a large bowl.  Fold in the pecans.  2. Pour the filling into the pie crust and place in oven.  3. Lower heat to 350 and bake for 50 minutes. (I baked this one for 60 and it got a little dark but I baked a second for 50 minutes-it was perfect-and gave it to my friend).  4. Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Optional* pour 2 tbs bourbon over the ice cream and freeze for a bit before serving. It tastes perfect with the pie!

Pumpkin bread

I finally made something with pumpkin this year!  After a month of pouring over many mouth watering recipes using pumpkin (pumpkin chili too!) I made this bread and it is gooooood!  Here’s what’s in it:

1 can pumpkin, 2/3 C water, 1 C oil, 4 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tbs baking soda, 2 tsp salt, 3.5 C flour (I used a whole grain, I love the texture), 2.5 C sugar, 1 C dark choco chips, 2 tbs pumpkin pie spice.  I mixed the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another large bowl then poured the dry into the wet bowl and mixed by hand.  You could use a handy mixer if you’d like but I don’t have one yet so it’s pure muscle for me!  I then poured half the batter each into 2 loaf pans and baked 65 minutes at 350 degrees.  It came out so moist and tasty; I think pumpkin is so perfect in this and can’t wait to make a soup next:)