Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips

Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips

No snickering here, just some real cookie love with these Snickerdoodles. A perfect holiday cookie, they will ignite your home with the smell of the holidays. We added some easy-to-make homemade cinnamon chips to kick the flavor up a notch.

To make the cinnamon chips:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200˚F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, shortening, light corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough. Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten into a rough square about 1/4 inch or so thick. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely, blot off any excess oil with paper towels, and then cut into small pieces. Makes approximately 2 cups.

To make the cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup of Cinnamon Chips

For rolling:
½ cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at high speed until light and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of the bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add egg and vanilla, beating until well combined

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in 1 cup cinnamon chips until evenly distributed

Add the remaining granulated sugar to a bowl. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, scoop the dough, and roll into balls. Roll balls in the sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and puffed up, 14 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pans then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Southern-style Chicken and Dumplings

Southern-style Chicken and Dumplings

Baby, it’s cold outside! Keep warm with a bowl of delicious southern-style Chicken and Dumplings made with light, fluffy dumplings in a rich broth loaded with chicken, vegetables, and fresh herbs. It’s pure southern comfort in a bowl.

6 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, small dice
6 medium carrots, peeled, cut crosswise into thin rounds
2 ribs of celery cut into small dice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, divided
2 ¼ cups flour, divided
2 boxes sodium free chicken stock
Kosher salt and
freshly ground pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
1 cup whole milk

In a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat butter over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, constantly stirring; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken and parsley in pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

To make the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 cup flours, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the shortening into the flour until the flour is just mealy. Gradually stir in the remaining thyme and milk until the dough just holds together to form a moist and soft batter.

Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons in the simmering liquid, keeping them spaced apart. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm 10 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Pumpkin Risotto with Fried Sage & Toasted Parmesan

Pumpkin Risotto with Fried Sage & Toasted Parmesan

To create a deliciously creamy and luscious fall risotto, we finish the dish with pumpkin, butter, and parmesan cheese. Then we topped it with contrasting crunchy parmesan crumbs and fried baby sage leaves.

Toasted Parmesan
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bread crumbs, toss, and cook until the crumbs are toasted. Add the parmesan, remove from the heat and set aside.

Fried Sage
12-18 small sage leaves
Olive oil

Wash and dry the sage leaves thoroughly. In a sauté pan, add 1/4” olive oil, and heat until simmering. Add the sage leaves and cook for about 1-2 minutes until just starting to turn brown. Remove and set on paper towels until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Risotto
4 cups no-salt-added chicken stock
2 teaspoon olive oil
½ large onion finely chopped
2 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin puree
½ cup coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoon butter
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the stock in a large saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer, and continue lightly simmering while you make the risotto.

In another large saucepan over medium heat, add oil onion and garlic. Cook until onion begins to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in rice and sauté for about a minute longer. Add wine, and cook until wine has evaporated.

Add 2 cups of the stock to the rice and stir until almost absorbed. Repeat with another cup of stock, and continue stirring and adding stock until the rice is almost tender but still has some bite to it, about 20 minutes. When you have reached this stage, add the pumpkin and stir until the pumpkin is absorbed and the liquid has evaporated slightly. Stir in the cheese, butter, nutmeg, and add the salt and pepper to taste.

Add the risotto to six bowls and top with the Parmesan crumbs and fried sage.

Oven Roasted Pumpkin With Herb Butter, Grilled Steaks, and Apple Cider Creme

Oven Roasted Pumpkin With Herb Butter, Grilled Steaks, and Apple Cider Creme

Fresh pumpkins are more than jack-o-lanterns. Using thin sliced sweet pie pumpkins, the wedges are roasted, then topped with a tasty herb butter, Parmesan cheese, and a cider sour cream sauce. We added a delicious grilled steak, also topped with the same herb butter and more sauce for dipping. 

To make the pumpkin:
½ cup of butter or ghee
1 teaspoon of fresh sage
2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium pie or sweet pumpkin cut into 16 wedges
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

Heat oven to 375˚F. In a small saucepan melt 1/4 cup the butter or ghee, then add the sage, rosemary, parsley, and garlic cloves. Cook until the herbs and garlic start to sizzle. Remove from heat and set the herb butter aside.

Melt the remaining butter or ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slice the pumpkin into wedges, place the wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down. Brush the cut side with the butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven and roast 20 minutes, turn and brush the other side with butter or ghee. Roast 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, while still hot, brush with 1/2 of the herb butter and immediately top with grated parmesan. Reserve the remaining oil for the steaks. 

To prepare the steaks:
2 rib eye steaks, about 12 ounces each
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

About 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator, cover, and let sit at room temperature.

Heat the grill to high, then brush the steaks, on both sides with oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F) or 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140 degrees F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150 degrees F).

When finished cooking to your desired consistency, transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter and brush with the warm herb oil. Tent loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

To make the Apple Cider Creme
½  cup boiled cider*
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh cream
Pinch of kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until well combined, serve with steaks and pumpkin.

*To make boiled cider, place 1/2 gallon of unfiltered cider in a saucepan and cook over medium-high until reduced to 2 cups. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Rustic Stuffed Acorn Squash

Rustic Stuffed Acorn Squash

Loaded with vitamins, Acorn Squash has more potassium, calcium, magnesium, and folate than any other variety of squash. After baking the squash, we pile the center high with a flavorful stuffing including applewood smoked bacon, toasted walnuts, apples, gruyere cheese, and fresh fall herbs. Then sprinkled with more cheese, it’s bake until golden brown on top.

1 tablespoon butter, melted
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 large or 3 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh sage, divided
2 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cut into thin strips to make lardons
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 apples, Fuji, Honey Crisp, or other firm apple, cored and cubed
2 cups breadcrumbs1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
¼ cup boiled cider
¼ cup shredded gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and 2 teaspoons sage; brush over cut sides and cavity of squash. Place in a large roasting pan, cut side up, and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the squash is tender but still holds its shape.

While the squash bakes, sauté the bacon lardons over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Remove the cooked bacon lardons, drain on paper towels and set aside. Leaving the fat remaining in the pan, place the sauté pan back on the heat and add the onion and celery with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the vegetables are starting just to soften. Add the apples and sauté until the apple are soft and a small knife can pass through one of the apples.

Add the croutons and walnuts to a large bowl. Pour the warm vegetables over the croutons and walnuts. Add the boiled cider, cooked bacon lardons, the rest of the sage, ⅔ of the gruyere cheese, the parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Add evenly to the squash cavities and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings, serve immediately.


Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Cast Iron Pan Pizza

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Cast Iron Pan Pizza

Loaded with oven roasted Brussels sprout leaves, applewood smoked bacon, and Parmesan cheese over an onion jam base – it’s the perfect fall Friday night pizza or the perfect food to warm up on the cooler nights.

6 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon, we prefer Neiman Ranch
2 tablespoons Maple Sugar or Cane Sugar
3 cups Brussels sprouts
Olive oil
Kosher Salt
½ pound Pizza Dough, store bought, at room temperature
3 tablespoons Onion Jam, high-quality store-bought or homemade
½ cup finely shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese
¼ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

To prepare the bacon, preheat the oven 450˚ F. Place the bacon on a cooling rack set over a foil-lined sheet tray. Sprinkle with the sugar, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and then cut each strip into 10 pieces. Leave the oven on.

While the bacon cooks, using a small paring knife, continue slicing off small pieces of the stem of a Brussels sprout to remove all the leaves from the sprout; cut the remaining small center in half. Add to a bowl until you have 3 cups. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine and set aside.

Set the oven temperature up to 525˚ F. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12” circle.

On the stovetop, heat a 12” cast iron pan over medium-high to just hot. Remove from the heat and add 1½ tablespoon of olive oil. Using a pastry brush, spread to cover the pan bottom then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Carefully add the dough to the hot pan and press to cover the bottom and slightly up the side. Lightly brush the dough, especially the edges where the crust will form, with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Top with the onion jam, spreading evenly in the center leaving a 1” border. Add the mozzarella cheese, then the Brussels sprout leaves, followed by the bacon. Top the pizza with the Parmesan cheese, place in the oven, and bake for 10 -12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately remove from the cast iron pan. Rest 5 minutes before cutting into 8 servings.