Friday, December 16, 2016

Swirly Sugar Cookies

These slice and bake cookies are so much fun!  I wanted to be sure I shared the recipe with you at Christmas-time because the color combinations are endless.  I made them in blue and gold for my daughter's hockey team - but you could do red and white, green and red, etc etc.  It is a basic sugar cookie-type dough and you can use any kind of extract to flavor them.  Our kids love almond flavor - so I used almond extract.  Plus, you can mix them up a day in advance . . .and then wrap them up and let rest in the fridge until the next day before slicing and baking.  Love that!!!!  They were a huge hit . . .I am glad I made a double batch!!

Swirly Sugar Cookies

4 adn 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (plus extra for rolling out)
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 and 1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs, Beaten
2 Teaspoons Almond Extract (or extract of your choice!)
Food Coloring as needed

Note:  because these cookies have brown sugar in them, the natural dough color is a little darker than a regular sugar cookie.  This may cause you to need a little extra food dye depending what color you are trying to achieve!

Step 1:  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a mixing bowl, add the butter, brown sugar and white sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Add in the eggs and vanilla.  Beat again until all is well incorporated.

Step 3:  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture until evenly blended.

Step 4:  Gather the dough into a ball and divide into two equal parts.  Place one half in a second bowl.  Add desired food coloring to the first bowl with dough (I used blue) and blend until well incorporated.  I used my hands and wore gloves.  Do the same with the second bowl (I used yellow dye).  Or, you don't have to dye the second one at all!

Step 5:  On a floured surface, roll out one ball of dough to a 1/4 inch thickness into a rectangular form.  Do the same with the second ball of dough and try to keep the size consistent.  I like to roll them out on wax paper (easy clean up and helps with the next step).

Step 6:  Stack the two rolled out doughs one on top of the other.  I had blue on the bottom, yellow on top for my first batch.  Beginning on the long edge of stacked doughs, roll the doughs to make a log so the two colors sprial inside each other.  Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 6-8 hours.  Overnight works well.

Step 7:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease baking sheets.

Step 8:  Unwrap the dough log, place on a clean, lightly floured surface.  Slice the log into 1/8 inch slices and place on the prepared cookie sheets.  

Step 9:  Bake in preheated oven for 5-6 minutes, until set. 


Friday, December 9, 2016

Tuna Hot Dish

Here is my spin on a Midwest favorite:  Tuna Hot Dish.  Egg Noodles, tuna, creamy sauce spiked with Parmesan cheese and peas.  This is a classic comfort food for most!

Tuna Hot Dish
Serves 6-8

1/2 LB Egg Noodles
1 Small Onion, Diced Fine
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Milk
3 Cans Tuna, Drained
1 LB Frozen Peas, Thawed
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 LB Potato Chips, Crushed

Step 1:  Prepare the egg noodles according the package.  Once cooked, drain.

Step 2:  While the noodles are cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease or butter a 9x13 baking pan or casserole dish.  Set aside.

Step 3:  In a large bowl, mix together the onion, the cream of mushroom soup, milk, tuna, peas, pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Add the cooked and drained noodles to the bowl and stir together.

Step 4:  Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared pan.  Top with crushed potato chips.  Place in oven (uncovered) and bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated through.  Serve hot.