Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Treats

We're getting closer and closer to Christmas! Instead of having a family dinner on Christmas Eve this year, we're just doing desserts with my dad's side of the family and then driving down to Coos Bay on Christmas Day and spend a few days there. I'm so excited that we're having people over for dessert! I love to bake and this will give me an excuse to do it in excess. We'll also take packages of baked goods down to Coos Bay. My mom asked me to compile a list of what we're making including a list of ingredients. Here's a rundown of everything we'll be whipping up next week! What are YOU going to be baking this year?

1. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
The recipe for the cake can be found through What Megan's Making and the frosting is brought to us by Ali at Gimme Some Oven.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350° (175°C). Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. Scoop the batter among the cupcake liners — you’re looking to get them 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and cinnamon, mixing well until it’s all incorporated.  Use immediately or refridgerate.  The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes. Either pipe out onto the cupcakes using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag (It works just as well!).

2. Oreo Truffles
Shelby's mom made these for her and her roommate, but I think I was the only one who got a hold of them. Needless to say, they didn't last long. This recipe is sooo so simple and I can't wait to make a batch of my own!

1 package Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended. Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

3. Pumpkin Rolls
We use this Libby's recipe every year to make these delicious pumpkin rolls. They are somewhat easy to make but can be sort of tricky. It's important to use powdered sugar on all surfaces when handling the sheet of pumpkin cake. 

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2/3 cups canned pumpkin

For the Filling: 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions for Roll:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. 
Filling and Assembling:
Mix filling ingredients and spread on cooled cake. Roll up cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Cut into one-inch slices with a sharp serrated knife or even a piece of fishing line by bringing it underneath the roll and pulling over the top. 

4. Chocolate and White Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle
Picture the cookies below with white chocolate drizzled on top. I make these almost every time in batches of at least four dozen. This is such a ridiculously easy recipe; I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up my method yet so publicly. Send me a message or leave a comment if you want my secret!

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