Monday, December 13

Christmas Cooking!

Ham and Dijon Pastry Cups
1 (17.3 oz) package puff pastry, 2 Sheets, thawed (not filo)
1 chive and onion or plain cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
5 slices ham chopped
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
2 table spoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425. Roll out each pastry sheet to 12x9 in on a lightly floured surface. Cut each into twelve 3 in squares. Lightly brush with egg wash. Place one pastry square with corners in each 24 medium muffin cups. Mix remaining ingredients until blended. Spoon 1 tblspoon mixture into each pastry cup. Bake 15-18 minutes or until middle is heated through and pastry is golden brown.

Caramelized Apple Pecan Coffee Cake
3/4 c chopped pecans
Cinnamon Streusel
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Apple Filling and topping
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out (I just used vanilla extract)
Coffee Cake Batter
1 c self rising flour
1/4 t ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1/3 plain whole yogurt
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x 1 1/2 in round baking pan and set aside. (I just used a loaf pan.)
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine the light brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the butter until well combined and mix in half the pecans. Set aside.
Make the Apple Filling and topping: In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook sugar over moderately low heat. Without stirring, shake the pan to melt sugar evenly, until melted and dark golden. Remove saucepan from heat and carefully add apples and vanilla (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook mixture over moderate heat, shaking pan and stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved, liquid has evaporated and apples are tender but still hold their shape, about 10-15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean pod. Spread the apples on a sheet pan to cool.
Make the Coffee Cake Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, finger and cloves. In another medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, applesauce, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and butter until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and with a large spatula, mix until well combined. Fold in the cooled apple filling and the remaining pecans and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes (Longer if you're using the loaf pan). Let cool 20 minutes then cut and serve.

Bacon Roll ups
1/4 c butter
1/2 c water
1 1/2 c packaged herb stuffing
1 egg slightly beaten
1/4 lb pork sausage
1/2 to 1 lb sliced bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in water in saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir into stuffing, and then add egg and sausage. Blend thoroughly. Chill for about 1 hour for easier handling, then shape into small oblongs about the size of pecans. Cut bacon into thirds. Wrap one piece around dressing oblongs and fasten with wooden toothpick. Place on rack in shallow pan and bake 35 minutes or until brown and crisp, turning at halfway point in cooking. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Artichoke Dip
1 (8.5oz) can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1 c mayonnaise
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash artichokes then add remaining ingredients and stir. Bake in greased dish for 25-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cappuccino Muffins
Espresso Spread
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c miniature semisweet choc chips
2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 c milk
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 c miniature semisweet choc chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or blender, combine the spread ingredients; cover and process until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Add butter, egg and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in Choc chips. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 17-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve with espresso spread. 


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