Tis the season! I did a LOT of baking this year… I never seem to get any complaints when I give my baking as gifts.
The recipes I am about to share below are the same ones I used for Friendsgiving – things just got crazy after that, and I haven’t had a chance to post them! Also, I tried something new this year. I have never made gingerbread men from scratch! So, I thought I’d give it a whirl. And apparently, they were a hit! My mom said she thinks they were possibly the best or close to the best gingerbread cookies she’s ever tasted. And I got great feedback from my church family on the goodies I shared with them. So, score! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite holiday recipies!
First on the list, an Apple Pecan Cake. I found this recipe several years ago, when I was bored with our usual desserts. We’ve loved it ever since, and it’s a pretty big hit with anyone who has ever tried it! My pastor loved the one I made for Friendsgiving, so I made him one for Christmas. Here’s the recipie!
APPLE PECAN CAKE
1 1/2 c. cooking oil
2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
3 c. self rising flour
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. chopped fresh apples
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cream oil and sugar. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put in greased and floured Bundt pan and bake st 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
*My notes: I use Fuji apples. And just FYI, I’ve found that 3 large apples is 3 cups when chopped. Also, you may have a different experience, but I tried using PAM in the Bundt pan once… And let’s just say the cake didn’t turn out too well. So, I prefer to use Crisco and flour. Also, as with any fruity cake, you might want to add just a few minutes of baking time. If it is even slightly undone, the cake will want to crumble from the moisture. This is usually another 5-10 minutes in my oven, but every oven cooks differently. (I know. We have 2 ovens, and they don’t cook the same!)*
Next up is my recipe for sugar cookies! I have been using this recipe for so lomg, I don’t even remember where I got it! I will also post the recipe for the gingerbread cookies I made this year!
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. self rising flour
In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour. Roll out dough on floured surface to desired thickness. Cut. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400°. Cool completely. Enjoy.
*My notes: I personally prefer a SOFT sugar cookie. A lot of people call them tea cakes. The time I cook them varies slightly due to thickness and which oven I’m using, but I usually set the timer for 4-5 minutes and then just watch them until the edges are JUST turning golden. Another thing that my dad likes me to do is to sprinkle a little bit of extra sugar (not a lot) on top of the cookies as soon as I take them out of the oven. It adds just the right touch of extra sweetness. These cookies are always a hit! Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*
3/4 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. molasses
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice or cloves – I used allspice
1 large egg
3 1/2 c. self rising flour
- In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
- Stir flour into the molasses mixture.
- Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it’s cold before continuing.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. (Lining the pan with parchment saves effort on cleanup.)
- Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick.
- Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
- Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
*My notes: Again, I like soft cookies. So, I baked these for 8 minutes, then took them out and let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes, then transferred them to the cooling rack. Prior to baking, I decorated them with mini chocolate chip morsels to create the eyes and mouth and buttons. Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*
Last on the list is the recipe for Brookies! These are a HUGE hit with my young adult group – especially one of the guys. (So, girls, if you want to build up some Brookie points with the special guy in your life…. Haha! Just teasing.) They are delicious!
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- 6 tbs. butter, softened
- ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
- ½ c. white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. self rising flour
- 1 c. chocolate chips
INGREDIENTS FOR BROWNIES
- 10 tbs. butter, melted
- ½ c. brown sugar
- ¾ c. white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¾ c. cocoa powder
- ¾ c. all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ c. chocolate chips
- Preheat oven 350 F.
- Line a 8 X 8 pan with grease parchment paper, set aside.
- To make the chocolate chip cookies dough, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
- Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- Stir in flour until well combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
- To make the brownie batter, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
- Stir in cocoa powder until combined.
- Stir in flour and salt until all flour is incorporated.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread brownie batter into prepared pan into an even layer.
- Drop the cookie dough by the spoonful over the batter until covered.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remember it will continue to cook as it cools so be careful not to overbake. Check it at the 30 minute mark.
- Remove from oven and place on a cooing rack to finish cooling.
- Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.
- Store in airtight container
*My notes: In MY oven, I have to bake these for 40 minutes, then cover them and cook them for another 10 minutes in order for them to be cooked properly. Adjust cooking time to your oven and personal preference.*
So there you have it! Some of my favorite go-to recipies! Now wow some people with your skills! Merry Christmas!
Love and prayers,