Old-Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

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I’ve been wanting to bake these cookies for a while now, but I couldn’t because….they require a food processor. Well Santa came through and this was one of the first things I wanted to try! Iced Oatmeal Cookies are a sort of nostalgic cookie, but mostly I’ve only had them packaged and store-bought, never homemade. So I gave these a whirl and am happy to report they turned out pretty tasty!
For the Cookies:
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (I was running low on light brown sugar and actually used a combo of light and dark and found they were super flavorful!)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Icing: 

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  2. Add the rolled oats to a food processor and pulse around  10 times. You don’t want to over process because you want a variety of textures not just a ground oat flour.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk or stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium-high about 30 seconds. Add the brown and granulated sugars and mix on medium-high until the batter lightens and becomes fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears into the batter. Lightly beat in the vanilla. Add about ⅓ of the oat and flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture, mixing on a low speed just until blended. Continue adding the flour mixture until it is fully incorporated.
  6. Using a 2 tablespoon size ice cream or cookie scoop (not heaping – leveled straight across the top of the scoop), roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. I was able to fit 6 cookies at a time on each pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms just being to brown. Do not over bake.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
  8. To prepare the icing combine the confectioners’ sugar with the milk or cream and water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the icing is somewhat thick. Place the icing in a shallow dish or container, about 4×4 inches.*note my first few I actually dipped and found it was too much icing, I’d actually recommend a drop and let sink for 2-3 seconds and lift it out. This gives it the more classic iced appearance.*  Set the dipped cookie on the rack until the icing has set.

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This recipe has been adapted from: SavingDessert

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Halloween – Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

What she did have were Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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While Harry first encounters Pumpkin Pasties on the Hogwarts Express, in my mind I always imagined them being eaten at the Halloween Feast in the Great Hall. So when I found this recipe for Harry Potter inspired Pumpkin Pasties I couldn’t pass it up: two of my loves combined, HP and pumpkin!

While there are a lot of steps to this recipe’s assembly process it was overall pretty easy. The dough does have to chill, so I had to take that into account. I also just used a glass for a circle cutter and a fork to crimp my edges.

For the dough
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 cups flour
For the filling 
  • 2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For the cinnamon sugar topping
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

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Make the dough by combining the ingredients from top to bottom as listed. You can use a mixer or a food processor for everything before the flour. Once I got to the flour, I mixed by hand after 2 cups. (By that I mean using your hands to squish it all together.) Cover the dough and let it chill for at least one hour (up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough and cut it into whatever shape you want your cookies to be.  Place the cut out cookie dough on a greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper.)

In a small to medium bowl, whisk the filling ingredients together. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each cookie cut out. I did not spread mine out because I was worried about my homemade seal leaking, but next time I would maybe spread out the filling more.

Cut out more cookies in the same shape. Cover the filled cookies and use a fork (or use a cut-n-seal) to seal the cookies. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the cookies with milk. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top.

Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

Recipe from: diybudgetgirl

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Apple Galette – Rustic French Tart

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Seeing as I am in Love with all things fall, I decided to take a little hiatus from pumpkin, because my family has been visiting a few apple orchards and I’ve been accumulating a plethora of baking/tart apples. I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to make as I tend to get frustrated with lattice and other types of pie crust covers; so I was verrrry excited when I stumbled upon a recipe for an open top French Apple Galette. A galette is a rustic French tart with fancy sounding name, but essentially it is just a pie without a pan. The goal is for the crust to be tender and flaky and just barely strong enough to hold up to the apples. It adds to the rustic beauty if some of the juices escape, which is why it’s important to bake on a sided baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Apple Galette:

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices (I used golden delicious and honeycrisp – tart and sweet)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 recipe pie dough (link to pie dough I made)
  • Egg wash (egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • sugar for dusting top of crust

To make the pie:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled pie dough. It should be pretty thin, about 1/8-inch thick circle. Dust off any extra flour and lay it on the parchment.

Make the filling:

Toss together the cut apples, sugar, salt, cinnamon and zest in a bowl.

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Pile the apples in the middle of the dough. Fold the dough up, so it covers at least 2 inches of the filling, more is ok. Brush the edge with egg wash (I used 1 egg and a TB of heavy cream myself) and dust generously with sugar.

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Loosely tent the top of the galette with foil. (Most apple pies have a top crust that traps the steam and helps to cook the apples. Since a galette is an open top, you need to create that closed environment with the foil.)

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 more minutes.IMG_0971IMG_0970

Serve hot or at room temperature.

***added note: because of the inevitable seepage of some juices, I found that it was very helpful to remove it to a cooling tray pretty soon after taking it out of the oven, otherwise the juices will harden and cement your galette to the parchment paper.***

Recipe from: ZoeBakes

Pumpkin Scones

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On this beautiful Sunday morning I tested out new pumpkin recipe #5. I was pretty excited to try this because I don’t usually bake scones, but I love to pick them up from Eli’s, so I decided that a pumpkin, iced, variety would be fun to try!
Overall, this was a pretty easy recipe and I didn’t have many problems. I would suggest allowing time for your butter to get to room temperature so that it mixes easily. My pumpkin glaze also wasn’t quite as thick as I might like it, so in the future I will be adding more powered sugar to give it more substance.
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Pumpkin Scones 
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 scones
Ingredients
Scone
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree, chilled (don’t chill in can)
    • 3 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp half and half
Glaze
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 Tbsp half and half, then more as needed
Pumpkin Icing
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp half and half

Directions

For the scones:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor pulse together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well blended (if you don’t have a food processor, like me, you can whisk by hand in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry cutter). Add butter and pulse mixture several times to cut butter into mixture (large pieces of butter should no longer be visible). Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and create a well in center.

In a bowl whisk together chilled pumpkin puree, buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and honey. Pour mixture into well in flour/butter mixture. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then knead in bowl (or on work surface) by hand several times to bring mixture together. Dust a work surface with flour then invert dough onto surface. Pat and shape dough into an even 8-inch round. Using a large knife, slice into 8 equal wedges (dust knife with flour as needed while cutting, it will be fairly sticky).

Transfer scones to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 Tbsp half and half then bake in preheated oven 13 – 15 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes (no longer) before spreading with glaze.

For the glaze:

In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and half and half, adding more half and half as needed to reach desired consistency (it should be fairly thick not runny). Spoon and spread mixture scones to evenly coat tops (use all of it). Let glaze set at room temperature.

For the pumpkin glaze:

In a mixing bowl (I just used the one from the glaze above without cleaning out) whisk together powdered sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and half and half. Transfer mixture to a small Ziploc bag, seal bag, cut a small tip from corner and drizzle mixture over tops of scones. Allow icing to set. Best served day prepared.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

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Where I Come From and Why I Bake

I am a 3rd generation baker. I was raised in a family that baked, as was my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandfather; who owned a bakery on the north side of Chicago for over 30 years. Baking is in my very genetic make-up.

Growing up, I thought that everyone had a dessert at every lunch and dinner. When I arrived to college and learned that not only did some people have dessert just once a week, but that fruit wasjuliachild sometimes considered a dessert I was shocked! I come from a family that has a cake at every get-together, I grew up with the necessity for baked goods planted in my being from birth.

I didn’t really start consistently baking or discover my true love of baking until the fall of 2014. You could say that baking brought me back to life. Baking brought joy and purpose to my life when I was in a dark place and adrift.

I only bake for pleasure now as I work full-time in a bookstore. My family, friends, and coworkers get to test out my endeavors, though no one seems to complain about this.  😉

I’m currently three recipes in, during my two-month foray in to a google calendar of 8 new pumpkin recipes. I’ll recap the first three recipes in the next post and then start up with blogging the rest as I go.  I plan on posting the recipes I used, any changes or adjustments I make; and the results, thoughts, and pictures along the way!