Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great time ringing in the New Year! For our friends and family back home who think we live a glamorous life in NYC, no, we did not go to Times Square. We didn't even get together with friends! We ordered Japanese food and chocolate (midnight) milkshakes and watched a Law & Order marathon on tv. :) Sounds lame, I know, but it was actually quite lovely.

The chocolate milkshakes were our last hurrah because Jared and I are slimming down in 2008! We have had a nasty habit in recent months of ordering chocolate milkshakes at midnight. But two milkshakes doesn't meet the minimum order, so then we had to get something else like waffle fries or baklava. We'll miss you Big Nick's!

Here's a look back on a delicious December:

At the beginning of the month I attended a cookie swap at church and brought Lime Meltaways (recipe from Martha Stewart) and Almond Linzer cookies (recipe from The Joy of Cooking).

For my bookclub party, I made a little snowy brownie village (idea from the December issue of Martha Stewart Living, and online here). I was running short on time, so I didn't make the gingerbread cake the instructions called for, but luckily, brownies from the box worked as well (just don't tell Martha!).

They were especially cute packaged up individually.

For Christmas morning, I made cinnamon rolls using my Aunt Nancy's delicious roll recipe. Instead of balling the dough up for dinner rolls, roll it out into a large rectangle, spread with butter and a cinnamon-sugar mixture, and then roll. The easiest way to cut cinnamon rolls is with a piece of dental floss. Loop it around the rolled up dough and pull the floss through the middle for a perfect slice.

The last delicious treat of 2007 was Jared's special Christmas treat, Candy Cane Bread. Jared's mom makes this every year for their Christmas Eve party, so we called her for the recipe. It is a tasty bread filled with cream cheese and cherries and topped with icing. Mmmmm. Each batch makes 3 candy canes, and it was eaten faster than I care to admit. I think this recipe would be great with other fillings (blueberry, boysenberry) and in fun new shapes (a circle would be pretty for any occasion, and a heart would be cute for Valentines Day). I posted the recipe below (and am crossing my fingers that it is not a family secret!). Happy 2008!

Candy Cane Bread

(makes three cakes)

2 cups dairy sour cream
2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (105 - 115
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened 1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
About 6 cups all –purpose flour
½ can cherry pie filing for each coffeecake
one package cream cheese - add powdered sugar to sweeten (to taste)

Heat sour cream over low heat just until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sour cream, ¼ cup butter, the sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375° (I cooked mine at 350°). Punch down dough; divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into rectangle, 15x6”; place on greased baking sheet. With scissors (a pizza cutter also works well), make 2-inch cuts at ½ inch intervals on long sides of rectangles.

Spread the cream cheese mixture down the center of each rectangle. Spread cherries over the cream cheese mixture (do not over-fill). Crisscross strips over filling. Stretch dough to 22 inches. Curve to form cane.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. While warm, brush with butter and drizzle canes with Thin Icing. If desired, decorate with cherry halves or pieces.

Thin Icing

Blend 2 cups confectioners’ sugar with about 2 tablespoons water. If icing is too stiff, stir in few drops water. (my mom suggested using milk, a bit of melted butter, and we also added vanilla - it was yummy)

1 comment:

BC said...

I needed that tip for cutting cinnamon rolls a little while ago!