Friday, December 30, 2011

Kissy Cookies

In my family these gems are known as Kissy Cookies, but to many people these are also known as Peanut Blossoms. No Christmas cookie platter is to be without these classics. I made these twice during the week of Christmas and New Year's because they are so delicious and always a crowd pleaser!

Kissy Cookies
Adapted from Hershey's
Makes 2 dozen

4 Tbsp shortening
6 Tbsp peanut butter (Jif is my baking PB of choice)
2 Tbsp granulated white sugar (plus some for rolling)
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 egg white
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
24 Hershey's Kisses (unwrapped)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare two baking sheets.
  2. Beat together the shortening and peanut butter in a stand mixer until combined.
  3. Add in the sugars and beat until fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg, honey, milk, and vanilla until well incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and combine.
  7. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them around in granulated sugar before placing on the baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Immediately press one unwrapped Hershey's Kiss into eat cookie and allow to cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Monday, December 19, 2011

5 Generations of Pumpkin Pie

This is an epic blog post people. EPIC. Are you ready????

Who doesn't need a killer Pumpkin Pie recipe in their back pocket? Well, I just happened to be sent the recipe for my Great Great Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie by my mother just before Thanksgiving this year. I knew I had to try it...when I emailed my Aunt to double-check a few things (always a good idea when receiving a recipe that's been passed around...and one that does not involve certain crucial measurements, like you know, how much pumpkin to use...Love you Mom!) I got back so much more than I was expecting (although I should have known since my aunt is the keeper of all the family heritage items, that I would get more than I asked for -- in a good way!)

Check it out!

This is a picture of my Great Great Grandparents, Anna (Nettie) and Edward and the second is a group shot of four generations of my maternal grandmother's side (coincidentally the very same grandmother that taught me to bake a pie in the first place! My first pie was a cherry pie that I baked for my parent's anniversary...I cut out hearts in the crust because I'm forever a romantic. Yup. That happened.)

How cool to have all this to go along with the recipe!

I've only made slight adaptations to the recipe that has been in my family for generations (five for me which is six generations for my daughter someday if she ever decides to bake this pie!) and tested it out on two of the three best pumpkin pie critics I know (Subject Three will someday taste the deliciousness I'm sure!)

My Test Testers!!

My Great Great Grandma Nettie's Pumpkin Pie
Makes 1 pie

15 oz canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
1 pie crust
  1. Prepare a pie pan with a crust (prepared, home-made, whatever you prefer, but I suggest using a deep dish pie pan, not one of those little short ones, got nothing against shorties (obviously, look at me...) but trust me on this one!)
  2. Mix together the first eight ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg) plus the egg yolks.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and using a whisk, gently combine into the pumpkin mixture (I threw mine in my KitchenAid and let do the work for me while I pulled together the other ingredients).
  4. Poor into prepared pie shell (it'll look pretty fluffy!)
  5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 40-50-60 minutes (yes I realize this is a wide-range, but after mid-bake phone calls I learned that pumpkin pie done-ness is more of an art than a science, so you'll have to just watch it and learn your pie pan and your oven!)
Merry Christmas!!