Monday, November 26, 2007

Bad Daring Baker!

It's only my third challenge since becoming a Daring Baker, and I already had to bow out! I feel so ashamed! This month completely flew by, with Thanksgiving and my husband's birthday all rolled into one, I just got so caught up. I know I cooked this month, obviously, since I'm not starving to death over here, but seriously...where has the time gone?! I only posted once this month, that's insane! I promise, I'll try a lot harder in December. If you want to check out what the other faithful Daring Bakers were up to this November, head on over to the Daring Bakers blogroll (yes, there are A LOT of us now!) and see how well their tender potato bread turned out. Here's the link:


Monday, November 12, 2007

Baking Buddies

For the past five years, my sister and her family have lived in Texas (which is about 2,000 miles from us and everyone else in our family) due to her husband being in the Air Force. Every year or so, my brother in-law would get sent overseas (Iraq, mostly), and rather than waiting around in Texas for him, especially during the holidays, we'd have my sister and the kids come stay with us in our spare room. We love having them stay with us, and it's so awesome watching them grow up. My husband and I got really close with her kids, and it almost feels like they're our kids every now and then.
Well, in October, my brother in-law got transfered to a base about 45 minutes from our house. We were so stoked to have them living nearby, that we immediately volunteered to babysit as much as possible (we understand how important it is to remain close in a marriage, so we try to give them as many opportunities as they can to go out on a date). Recently, while we were babysitting, I was preparing some goodies for a bake auction we had at work to raise money for our annual Holiday party in December, so I decided to enlist the aid of my two little helpers in this mission. They absolutely loved getting to help me in the kitchen (which is the one room in the house I can most often be found), and they especially loved the end result (getting to eat them). I decided to make Iced Pumpkin Cookies, because I knew that with it being November, these would sell like hotcakes (and they did!!).
I have never made these before, but will definitely be making them again and again this holiday season. They're small, so you don't feel terribly guilty for eating one (or two... or three...) and they are packed with pumpkin-spicey goodness. Here's the recipe:
Iced Pumpkin Cookies (courtesy
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

I'll be sure to post lots more photos of treats the kiddos help me with in the future. I have a feeling there will be a lot of them!