Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet Yeast Dough

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
5-5 1/2 c. unbleached flour

2 packages yeast
1 1/4 c. milk heated to 120

(1 c. raisins, optional)

Grease 3 large bowls & 3 pieces of plastic wrap.

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. In large mixer bowl, cream butter & sugar until light. Add eggs 1 at a time (keep mixer running). Add salt. Gradually add 2 1/2 c. flour and milk, alternating dry & liquid. By hand stir in remaining flour. On well floured surface, knead dough until elastic, adding more flour if necessary, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into thirds; place into greased bowls & cover with plastic wrap. Place in warm place & let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

At this point, you can use the dough to make cinnamon rolls, sweet rolls, breakfast loaves, etc.

(Recipe for Cinnamon Rolls to follow.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chocolate Butter Hearts

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg
2 TBS orange juice
1 TBS vanilla
2 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 package semi-sweet chips.

In large mixer bowl, cream sugar & butter until light & fluffy. Add egg, orange juice & vanilla. Blend well. Gradually add flour & baking powder. Beat at low speed, scraping down sides often, until well mixed. Form dough into ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap & chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400. Divide dough in half. On well floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated.) Cut with 1 1/2 - 2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter. Place hearts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in center of oven 4-8 minutes until edges are very light golden. Do not overbake. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool completely.

Spread sheet of wax paper on cleen baking pan. In micro-proof bowl, melt 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. Holding heart gently by edges, dip bottom of cookie in chocolate to coat evenly. Allow excess to drip off & place on wax paper. Allow to set completely; to speed setting, place sheets in refrigerator.

Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lemon Stars

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
3 TBS milk
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 egg
3 c. unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 c. powdered sugar
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. yellow decorating sugar

In large mixing bowl, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add milk, lemon peel & egg; blend well. Gradually add flour & baking powder; mix well. Form into a ball & wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours (at least).

Heat oven to 400. Divide dough ball into thirds. On lightly floured surface, roll out one third of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Keep remaining dough in refrigerator. Using 2 inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out star cookies. Place 1 inch aoart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 5-8 minutes until very light golden brown. Do not overbake. Remove to wire cooling rack immediately. Cool completely; repeat with remaining dough.

To assemble, stack pairs of star cookies with points alternating (to form double layer, 10 point cookies) on wire rack over wax paper.

To make glaze, combine powdered sugar & lemon juice; beat until smooth. Spoon small amount of glaze over each pair of stars, starting in center so it drips down the sides between the points. Allow excess to drip off. Let stand 3-5 minutes & sprinkle with decorator sugar. Allow to set completely before storing in tightly covered container.