Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Baking

It’s official, fall has come to North Carolina! I love fall! I love the leaves changing color, wearing jackets, and making comfort foods. So to kick off the new season I spent Friday in the kitchen baking! I got a chance to use my new KitchenAid mixer, which I’m obsessed with! I made a new recipe and a tried and true one, both of which were a hit. The Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies are a bit of a mouth full to say but are really good and worth the assembly process. The Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Scones are pretty easy to make and are perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or after dinner.

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider CookiesVia Scrambled Henfruit via Pinterest
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment! This is my first time baking with it and it won’t be the last. You don’t have to use non-stick spray and clean up is a breeze.)

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
With your mixer (Yay!) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined. Be ready for this to be a little messy, or at least mine was. ;)

Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)

When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a tablespoon measuring spoon.) Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart. I sat and watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress and this process went really quickly.
Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling on a rack. Apparently if you forget about them and they cool too much they will stick to the parchment, but I didn’t have any problems with this. If this happens just put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.I thought I would break up these recipes with a shot of my cute apron. I think it needs a monogram, how about you?

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Scones
Via Taste of Home
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup cold butter, cold
1 egg, separated
1-1/2 cups refrigerated hazelnut nondairy creamer or half-and-half cream
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Additional sugar

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. This is where I wish I was at my mom’s house because she has a dough blender. But if you are like me and don’t have one just use your fingers to squish the flour mixture and butter together. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and creamer; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips and a few shakes of cinnamon.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Divide dough in half. Pat each portion into a 7-in. circle; cut into eight wedges. You may need to pat some flour on the knife so the dough doesn’t stick to it.
Separate wedges and place on greased baking sheets. Beat egg white; brush over dough. Mix some sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over each scone. Bake at 425° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
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