Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies
Martha Stewart

Prep: 15 minutes Total: 30 minutes, plus cooling

Rich, buttery, and filled with chopped pecans, sandies are closely related to shortbread. Despite their name, the well-loved cookies are hardy enough to ship (their crumbly and sandy character is revealed only when you take your first bite).


Makes 18.

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Fold in pecans.
2. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place on two baking sheets, 2 inches apart. With the dampened bottom of a glass, lightly flatten each ball.
3. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 5 days.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Papaya Chutney

Papaya Chutney
Papaya Chutney
Martha Stewart

Try this all-purpose condiment with a cheese plate, as a spread on a sandwich with roast meat, or on top of lamb, grilled chicken, or sauteed pork chops.

From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).


Makes 3 cups.

* 3 medium papayas, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 2 cups)
* 1 chayote, peeled, pitted, and diced, or 1 peeled and diced cucumber
* 1/2 green or red bell pepper, or a combination, finely chopped
* 1/4 whole lime, diced
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger or minced peeled fresh ginger
* 3 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1 cup white vinegar
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup water


1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook gently over low heat for 2 hours, stirring periodically.
2. Remove from the heat and allow the chutney to cool. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Spicy Popcorn

Spicy Popcorn
Martha Stewart

Don't worry if you don't have a popcorn maker -- you can achieve the same results in a 4-quart pot.


* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup popping corn kernels
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon garam masala
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Heat a 4-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid on the stove top. Add the oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pot. Get it hot enough to sizzle when the kernel hits the oil. Pour the corn in all at once, cover, and shake. Swirl the pot over the top of the burner once or twice until you hear the first few kernels pop. Once the corn is popping, swirl the pot continuously until the popping stops. Or, use a popcorn maker if you want to. Dump the popcorn in a large bowl.
2. Pour the melted butter over the corn and toss well to fully coat the kernels. Sprinkle the spices over the popcorn and toss until everything is well combined.

Sweet and Savory Nuts

Sweet and Savory Nuts
Martha Stewart

These nuts get an extra kick from a sprinkle of ancho chili powder.


* 1 large egg white
* 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 cups nuts (pecans, walnuts and almonds)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly beat egg white in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except nuts, mixing until slightly frothy. Fold in nuts.
3. Spray or lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet. Pour mixture onto sheet, spreading nuts out in a single layer. Bake until crispy, 40 to 45 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Honey-Gingerbread Cookies

Honey-Gingerbread Cookies
Martha Stewart

These gingerbread cookies include a generous amount of honey, which gives them a pale golden color and a mildly sweet flavor. For the how-to to create different shapes, see Shaped Gingerbread Cookies.

To prepare gingerbread men shaped cookie ornaments as seen on "Mad Hungry" TV, add a small hole at the top of the cookies before baking. The gingerbread men can be turned into hanging ornaments by threading string through the hole.


Makes about 2 dozen town houses, 4 dozen deer or trees, or 6 dozen men.

* 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 4 teaspoons ground ginger
* 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup honey
* 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
* Royal Icing


1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in honey and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet, and freeze for 15 minutes.
4. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
5. Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
6. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1). Pipe designs on cookies. Let cookies stand at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Use this sweet buttercream recipe, adapted from "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook," in our Chocolate-Peppermint Cake.


Makes 12 cups.

* 12 large egg whites
* 3 3/4 cups sugar
* 4 1/2 cups (9 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
2. Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

Chocolate-Peppermint Cake

Martha Stewart
Chocolate-Peppermint Cake

Peppermint and chocolate are a classic Christmas combination -- serve this decadent cake for a memorable finale to your holiday dinner.


Makes one 9-inch layer cake.

* Nonstick cooking spray
* 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
* 3/4 cup hot water
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* Swiss Meringue Buttercream
* 30 to 40 hard peppermint candies, finely crushed


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray six 9-by-2-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line each cake pan with parchment paper and spray parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa with hot water until smooth. Whisk in sour cream; let cool. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each; scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined.
4. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes and let cool completely, top sides up.
5. Meanwhile, fit a pastry bag with a large plain round tip; fill pastry bag with one-third of the buttercream and set aside.
6. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a cake plate or lazy Susan. Transfer one layer to cake plate and pipe buttercream around the perimeter of the cake. Using about 1 cup remaining buttercream, fill between the buttercream perimeter to create an even layer of filling; sprinkle with some of the crushed peppermint candies. Top with another layer of cake, top side down. Repeat process, filling the cake, piping the buttercream perimeter, creating an even layer with remaining frosting, and sprinkling with peppermint candies, until all the cake layers have been stacked. Spread remaining frosting all over tops and sides of cake; sprinkle top with peppermint candies. Garnish sides of cake plate with any remaining candies; serve.

First published December 2010

Copyright 2010 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Molasses Sugar Cookies

Molasses Sugar Cookies

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Karin Christian
Photo By: Jen S.
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Ready In: 3 Hours 40 Minutes
Servings: 72
"These are a wonderful chewy spice cookie. They are drop cookies that keep very well. I make them at the beginning of the holiday season and they keep all the way to New Year's!"
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1. Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
2. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
4. Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Rachel
Photo By: hannah
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Minutes

Ready In: 40 Minutes
Servings: 24
"Vegan, no-bake, chocolate, peanut butter oatmeal cookies!"
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the maple syrup, oil, cocoa and cinnamon. Boil for three minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, rolled oats and vanilla until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto waxed paper and chill to set, about 30 minutes.

Eggless Ginger Cookies

Eggless Ginger Cookies

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Annette Dye
Photo By: Moe
Servings: 12
"A great eggless recipe."

1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup dark molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the baking soda, ginger,cinnamon and 3 3/4 cups of the flour; blend into the molasses mixture. Add more flour if necessary to make dough stiff enough to roll out. Use remaining flour to dust rolling surface. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven. remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Rachelle Mathia

2 Cups all purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 Cup sugar

1 Stick frozen butter

1 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Orange zest

Dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 425.

In a mixing bowl, combine and sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Take a cheese grater and grate the frozen butter on top of the mixture. Combine gently (should be very easy and resemble sand).

Add zest and cranberries and stir. Mix in cream just enough to combine it all (dont want to overmix it).

Bring the mixture into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured board. Break apart the ball into 2 balls and flatten slightly so you have a mound. Cut into triangles and transfer onto an ungreased baking sheet and lightly brush cream on top. Sprinkle coarse sugar on the creamed scones and then put in oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the blueberry version, I use lemon zest. If you have frozen berries, then wait until the end and add them to the top of the creamed and sugared scones, press them in slightly so they stay. I bake for 16 minutes, it's just long enough to get a deep crispy edge, mmm!