For many of us, a happy holiday starts with great food.
This is the time of year to bust out every top notch ingredient, pull your best kitchen tricks out of your sleeve and get the good dishes dirty. It’s also about baking the very best you can, with the spirit of the season in your heart, and sharing with those you love. That’s why holiday food gifts are tippy top on my short list of things I love to give (and receive!) Continue reading →
When it comes to things that could greet you in the morning on a cold winter day, you could definitely do worse than this: a warm sweet potato biscuit, full of flaky layers and studded with dried cranberries and pineapple.
I know, I know. Gestational diabetes. Don’t worry – it’s still top of mind, but since my doctors have been telling me my numbers are being well controlled, I decided on a little splurge. It is Christmas, after all, and I wanted to make sure I had a truly special recipe lined up for our Christmas breakfast. This one had my boys written all over it (and I’m not telling anyone but you how truly easy it is.)
After a few baking fails this season (flat vegan chocolate chip cookies, burnt gingerbread men, the list goes on…) I was feeling a little discouraged. But this one seems fail-proof. It takes no time at all to put together in the mixer, and I only had to take one look at the rich, beautiful dough to know that I’d be making these again.
Once I cut the biscuits, they were so pretty I almost didn’t want to bake them!
So, as the sunlight peeked through the blinds on a beautiful Sunday before Christmas Eve, I took a moment to spoil ME. The low-carb plan went right back into effect, and my moment of weakness was worth every bite!
Now, anyone care to help me finish up the rest of the batch?
Time-saving Tip: Make extra sweet potatoes for Christmas dinner, then make these on the 26th!
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice powder, to taste (Note: I did not use this ingredient)
1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, milk or water
1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour,allspice and dried fruits. Dice the cold butter into small cubes and work into the flour mixture until it resembles chunky granola, with some larger bits of butter still remaining.
3) Mix in the sweet potato and milk until you have a moist, cohesive dough. If the dough is on the drier side, add more milk until it is moist and slightly sticky.
4) Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and pat out to a 10″ x 14″ rectangle. Transfer the rectangle to one of your parchment-lined baking sheets and brush the dough with half of the softened butter.
5) Place the butter-topped dough into the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. The cold layer of butter will help give flakiness to the final biscuits.
6) Repeat steps 4 and 5 once more. After you remove the dough from the freeze and fold, roll or pat the dough out to a rectangle once more and cut the dough into 8 bars, approximately 2″ x 4″. You can also cut traditional round or square biscuits if desired.
7) Place the cut biscuits onto the two baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly.
8) While the biscuits cool slightly, mix the glaze ingredients to a spreadable consistency. Brush over the warm biscuits and serve immediately. For a less sticky treat, you can cool the biscuits to room temperature before serving.
9) Yield: 8 biscuit bars (Not sure how, but I got 12 and they were plenty big!)
Before I became a writer by trade, I spent nearly 20 years as a cake decorator. I spent a lot of time with multicolored hands. Once, I even found icing in my ear while I was out shopping at Kohl’s.
Each year, when the holidays rolled around, I turned into a veritable hurricane, making 15 or so different kinds of cookies. My cookie trays were beautiful. Perfection was my goal, and I came pretty darn close.
Since becoming a mom, things always seem a little hurried. And harried. And kitchen successes are fewer these days. I just don’t have the time, or the energy, or the luxury of undivided concentration that I used to have.
But you know what I do have? A happy little helper that gets so excited over mixing sprinkles, which I try not to get bent out of shape about…
and shaping dough balls…
and having cookies of his very own that he can share with everyone.
It’s a new kind of perfection, and it’s definitely an improvement (and now he’s usually the one with icing in his ear!)
Luckily, I also have baking supplies from King Arthur Flour this season! From their time-saving self-rising flour that just makes recipes easier to their lovely sparkling sugar, snowflake sprinkles and chocolate “jimmies” that let us create a winter wonderland of fun, fancy cookies without the use of any artificial dyes, King Arthur Flour is our go-to for quality baking supplies.
Here’s the recipe we used for our first cookies of the season, and it couldn’t be easier or more perfect for baking with kids. The mellow protein level of King Arthur Flour’s new self-rising flour makes them light and crunchy, but you can achieve a softer cookies with just a slightly shorter baking time (bake for a scant 8 minutes.) The sprinkles we used were perfect not only because they didn’t contain yucky dyes, but because they didn’t melt in the oven during baking.
Isn’t it amazing how just a few ingredients and a few minutes can add up to so many wonderful holiday memories?
1/2 cup vegetable shortening or 1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar, to garnish
1) Beat together the vegetable shortening or butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
2) Mix in the egg, then the flour. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix again, until thoroughly combined.
3) Chill the dough for 30 minutes or longer, to make it less sticky and easier to work with.
4) Near the end of the chilling period, preheat the oven to 375°F.
5) Grease or line with parchment two baking sheets.
6) Place 1/4 cup granulated or coarse white sparkling sugar in a bowl.
7) Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to make 1″ to 1 1/2″ balls. Drop them into the sugar, then place the balls sugar side up onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2″ between cookies; they?ll spread as they bake.
8) Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. The cookies will puff up and look soft, but they?ll fall and become crisp/crunchy as they cool.
9) Remove the cookies from the oven. Let them rest on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Store well-wrapped cookies at room temperature for a week or so; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 4 dozen cookies.
Courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Click recipe title for link to original.
The holidays will be before you know it, so to make things a little easier on you and your wallet, my blogger friends and I decided to give you an opportunity to WIN your gifts this year! After you enter on this page, make sure you hop around to the rest of the participating blogs for more chances to win!
Please note: Along with each blog’s prizes, there are TONS of awesome Grand Prizes for everyone on your list, including baby, kids (boys and girls), teens, and adults. You can win a Babyhome Emotion Stroller, Little Tikes Classic Castle, Pillow Pets Dream Lites, Pillow Racers, Furby, $50 The Children’s Place Gift Card, Nokia Lumia 900, and a Keurig Elite Brewing System!
Disclaimer: Please note that the Happy Holidays Giveaway Hop hosts and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prize. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner. While we are not responsible, we will make every effort to assist the winner in obtaining their prize. ABCs and Garden Peas received no compensation for this post.
Sure, I want my son to have more than I had growing up. More opportunities, more experiences, more everything. But that’s not to say that what I had wasn’t good enough. Quite the opposite, really. In fact, as spring settles in and a sense of renewal hits the new land we now call home, I find my mind flooded with my own childhood memories of spring.
Funny how the season seemed so long as a child, isn’t it?
Not so much any more. The days are flying by. As I watch my son change from a baby into a little boy before my eyes, I realize more each day that I have to make the most of this. It won’t be long until he has no time for dear old Mom, so this spring I plan to share with him all the wonderful spring things that made such an impression on me as a child. Gardening, cooking with my mom, exploring the outdoors. Now that he’s two years old, he can really get down and dirty with us…and let me assure you, he is.
Spring has always been my favorite season. I recall so vividly the days spent helping my parents ready the garden so we could grow all my favorite things…