Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies With Lemon Icing

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies With Lemon Icing

Bright and cheerful, these holiday Strawberry Jam Thumbprint cookies are topped with a tangy lemon icing. Easy to make – simply roll, press, fill, and bake. They make a perfect addition to any cookies plate.


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the egg yolk and combine the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Let the dough soften slightly, then roll level tablespoons into balls and arrange them about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each ball, being careful not to crack the dough. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam and bake the cookies in batches in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, transfer them to racks, and let them cool completely.

Combine the confections sugar with the lemon juice to make a thick icing. Use a small piping bag to ice the cookie or drizzle with a fork. Makes 36 cookies.

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are as delicious as they are festive! A quick and easy recipe, these make a great addition to your holiday cookie plate. Our simple, sweet base is topped with strawberry jam then a  crunchy streusel topping that browns lightly in the oven. The recipe makes 16-servings but you can cut them small for 2-bite servings.

½ cup butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup flour
1 cup strawberry jam, homemade or high quality

For the streusel topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly butter and flour an 8 x8” pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and mix thoroughly until smooth batter forms. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture in three amounts to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Then top with the strawberry jam, spreading evenly over the batter.

Make the streusel:
In the bowl, use your hands to combine the butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla until your crumbs have a coarse and clumpy texture – about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using your hands sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the jam.

Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set and the streusel is lightly brown. Allow cooling on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

Cranberry Cider Cake

Cranberry Cider Cake

Save some extra cranberry relish for this Thanksgiving Leftover Makeover moist tender cake. Full of warm winter spices, this delicious cider cake recipe converts leftover cranberry relish to an easy, tasty dessert.

For the cake:
  cup granulated sugar
  packed cup dark brown sugar
½  cup grapeseed or canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground clove
¾  teaspoon kosher salt
  cup boiled cider or apple cider
1 cup homemade or high-quality cranberry sauce or relish (we used Williams Sonoma New England Style Cranberry Relish)
1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons whole milk, more if needed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and up two sides with some overhang. Butter and flour the pan and parchment paper, tapping out any extra flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars and oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir one-third of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, and add one-half of the cider. Repeat with the remaining flour and cider, ending with the flour, and stir until the batter is smooth.

Whisk the cranberry relish with the maple syrup. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan, then evenly drop in teaspoons the cranberry mixture into the batter. Place the cake in the oven bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean in the center. Let the cake cool on a rack for about 15 minutes. Using the parchment overhang, remove from the pan. Remove the parchment then cool completely.

Make the glaze:
Stir together sugar and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together butter, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla. Add the sugar and stir until a mixture forms into smooth paste adding more milk if needed. Drizzle over the cake.

Crispy Ginger Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

Crispy Ginger Cookies with Pumpkin Dip

Crispy, thin ginger cookies compliment this whipped pumpkin dip. Perfect as a dessert for your Halloween party, the simple-to-make dip is filled with pumpkin and spices then whipping cream beaten to a light and airy texture. If you don’t have time to bake cookies, store purchased thin and crispy ginger cookies will do the “trick.”

Ginger Cookies
¾  cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
¼  cup molasses
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼  teaspoon cardamom
½  teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a stand or hand mixer, in a large bowl on medium speed cream the butter and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved into the butter and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add a large egg and mix until combined. Add the molasses and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture a little at a time until a dough forms. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8” thick and cut out cookies with cookie cutters. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheets, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 36 cookies.

Pumpkin Dip
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½  teaspoon ginger
½  teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon allspice
  teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
½  teaspoon vanilla
¾  cup heavy cream
  teaspoon xathan gum (optional)

In a food processor combine the pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, cream cheese, ginger, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; process until very smooth. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and xanthan and continue to process until very thick. Transfer to a dip bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve with the ginger cookies.

Apple Slab Pie

Apple Slab Pie

Celebrate National Apple Month with a delicious Apple Slab Pie. Perfect for a crowd, this easy treat is baked on a sheet tray instead of in a pie pan.  Roll out the dough and fill with apples and cinnamon, add a top crust, bake, and finish it with a drizzle of vanilla glaze. We like to serve it with a side of cinnamon swirl gelato.

For the pie crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour, we recommend White Lily
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
6-8 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:
4 pounds Granny Smith, and Honey crisp apples
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup cornstarch
3 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt

1 tablespoon milk
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Gelato or ice cream for serving

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour, and the butter is the size of peas. Run the machine while adding the ice water, then pulse until the dough gathers together. Scrape all the dough onto a floured work surface and gather it into a large ball with your hands. Cut it in half and pat each half into a thick rectangle shape. Sprinkle each rectangle with a little flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

Peel and core the apples; cut them into 16 thin slices per apple. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

When ready to bake:  Roll out one of the rectangles of dough into a thin rectangle about 12×18”. Gently transfer the dough to a parchment lined sheet tray. Spread the apples evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 2” edge. Discard any remaining liquid in the bowl.

Remove the remaining rectangle of dough from the fridge and roll it into a large rectangle roughly the size of the other crust. Place over the other crust and crimp the edges.

Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Brush the top of the pie with the milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center of the pie is bubbling. Remove and cool the pie completely before glazing, about one hour. 

To Make the Glaze:

Add to the confections sugar two tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add only enough additional milk until you get a thick glaze. Drizzle over the cooled pie. Let the glaze set, then cut and serve warm with vanilla gelato or ice cream. Makes 12 servings.

Root Beer Float Brownies

Root Beer Float Brownies

Revive those sweet memories of summer with this root beer float layered treat. Root beer flavored dark chocolate brownies are topped with a rich cream cheese vanilla “ice cream” layer that is topped with chocolate ganache. It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to summer.

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 ounces chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon root beer extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Cream cheese filling
8 ounces cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons flour
Pinch salt
¼ cup cream
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 large egg

Chocolate ganache topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9-inch square metal pan with foil and butter the foil. Using a double boiler, melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and chocolate together until the mixture is melted and smooth.

Add the granulated sugar to the melted chocolate mixture and combine; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar with the eggs then whisk in the root beer extract. Slowly temper the chocolate gradually into the egg mixture until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until smooth and well combined. The batter should be glossy and shiny. Scrape the brownie batter into the pan and smooth the top. Set aside while you make the cream cheese filling.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, flour, salt, and cream together for 5 minutes. Make sure the mixture is very smooth and fluffy with no lumps. Add the sugar and continue beating until very smooth. Add the extract and beat until well combined. Add the egg and mix until the egg is fully incorporated. Top the brownie layer with the vanilla cream cheese mixture and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake on center rack for 40-45 minutes or until the cream cheese is lightly brown around the edges and a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool the brownies to room temperature, then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

To make the ganache topping:
Heat the cream in a saucepan until the mixture begins to steam. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Spread evenly over the brownies and refrigerate until set.