SRC Cookie Carnival: Orange Spritz

Cute little crisp, buttery Spritz cookies are the perfect addition to your cookie plate this Christmas season! This version has an orange twist for a bit of freshness! 

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

It’s always more fun to make cookies at Christmastime, don’t you think? This year for the Secret Recipe Club we are celebrating all things COOKIES by having a fun little cookie carnival.

2014 SRC Cookie Carnival | thepajamachef.com

 

For this event I was asked to make one of Marsha’s recipes from her blog, The Harried Cook. Marsha is a mom of two girls who loves Jesus too! She lives in India with her family and from glancing at her Twitter, I learned that she teaches cooking classes. How fun! :)

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

Marsha’s girls love these Orange Spritz cookies–both the eating, and the making. I remember eating Spritz cookies every Christmas growing up… and truthfully, they weren’t my favorite cookies. But as an adult I have given them another chance. They’re so delicate and light, the perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee or even a richer cookie treat. I almost made Marsha’s Lime and Pepper Cookies because they sounded so interesting, so you might want to check that recipe out too!

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

But back to these cookies. This was my first time making Spritz cookies on my own and it was kinda fun, once I got the hang of my cookie press. By “me getting the hang of it” I clearly mean me desperately calling for Ben to come help because I could NOT figure out the instructions. It didn’t help that I have an Italian cookie press and the [oddly] translated instructions are spread out over several pages. Cookie press problems aside, the results were awesome. Thanks, Marsha for the great recipe! Merry Christmas!

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

four years ago: Cranberry Sauce Two Ways

Orange Spritz

  • Servings: about 2 dozen medium cookies
  • Time: 35 minutes
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from The Harried Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in salt and the egg yolk until just combined. Add vanilla and orange zest, then beat again. Stir in flour.

Fill your cookie press and press out according to the cookie press’ instructions, placing on baking sheets approximately 1 inch apart.

Bake for about 8-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. The original recipe said baking time might be about 6 minutes, but mine was definitely about 12.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Check out other cookie recipes here:

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SRC: Gingerbread Muffins

The warm, spicy flavor of gingerbread in a muffin, instead of fussy cookies. Perfect for breakfast, teatime, or anytime! 

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Jessie Weaver, written by Jessie. :) Jessie lives with her family in Tennessee too–in fact, she used to live in Nashville! How fun. Jessie has three little ones and still has time to blog on many subjects, from recipes to faith to family fun. Going to her blog is always a joy and I love seeing what she posts for Secret Recipe Club each month. While Jessie has a lot of great recipes on her blog, two that caught my eye were Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust and Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips. I let Ben pick and muffins it was! These muffins are SO seasonally appropriate, huh? :)

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

I always love a good muffin, and these were no exception. They come together in just a few minutes in one bowl for easy cleanup… and smell absolutely amazing as they bake! We put up our tree on Friday and let me tell you, I should have made them while we were decorating. These muffins can compete with a gingerbread candle for best smell ever. I actually have a gingerbread candle, so I should do a test run. Haha. But as for taste, I think muffins win over candles any day! They’re perfect to make on a cold afternoon during the holiday season. If you like, you can add white chocolate chips like Jessie did. I’m sure they’re great that way too. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Muffins | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares
two years ago: Caramel Apple Dip
three years ago: Honey Yeast Dinner Rolls
four years ago: Pumpkin Pancakes

Gingerbread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Jessie Weaver

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil [coconut or canola, or melted butter]
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, optional — I think cinnamon chips could also be yummy too

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, and sugar. In a measuring cup, whisk together oil, molasses, milk, and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just mixed. Fold in white chocolate chips, if using, then divide batter between muffin cups, about 2/3 way full.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

For more SRC recipes, check out the link below:

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

SRC: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

These sweet muffins swirled with cranberry compote and a delicious cream cheese center are the perfect afternoon snack!

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

Welcome to November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to Maxine’s blog, Why I Am Not Skinny. Maxine is a South African expat living in Brussels… two great places! I’ve been to South Africa for a few days when I was in Lesotho for part of a summer in college, and I would absolutely love to go back. On her blog, Maxine shares so many delicious recipes and restaurant recommendations. If/when I go to Brussels I will have to check out her blog again! Though I really wanted to make her Pea and Mint Risotto or Pumpkin Fritters, I settled on these Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins because I wanted a sweet treat. :)

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub

I also kind of wanted to make these as a sort of redemption for Maxine, because her muffins didn’t come out quite as well as BBC’s picture. And I am SO glad I did. They were tangy and creamy and all sorts of deliciousness. Though they weren’t quite as simple as most muffins are–you have to make the cranberry compote and the cream cheese filling, they are well worth it. Next time [and there WILL be a next time] I think I’ll skip mashing the cranberries so as to have bigger chunks in the muffins, and I might reduce the temperature for baking down to 325 or 350 so they don’t brown quite as quickly. Some of my unpictured muffins definitely got a little dark. Maxine, I hope my muffins live up to your expectations! Thanks for a great recipe! :)

one year ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
two years ago: Pollo alla Poggia Alloro
three years ago: Homemade Maple and Brown Sugar Almond Butter
four years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Why I Am Not Skinny

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams/3.5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 250 grams sugar/1 cup + 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 175 grams/6 ounces fresh cranberries [frozen can also be used, just add a splash of water or apple cider to help liquify]
  • 200 grams/26 tablespoons flour – UPDATED: I used this calculator to come up with this. When I made the recipe I used my kitchen scale and didn’t measure in tablespoons… I think the previous measurement I had here was wrong. So sorry about that!
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 ml canola oil [this is just between 1/4 and 1/3 cup]
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well with cooking spray.

Beat together cream cheese with 2 tablespoons sugar. Place in refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

In a small saucepan, combine another 2 tablespoons sugar with 6 ounces fresh cranberries. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop. Then mash gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Fold in wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in cranberries. Do not overmix or else the batter will bleed.

Scoop batter–it will be thick–into prepared pan, about 1/2 to 2/3 way full. Do not overfill. Use a spoon to scoop a ball of cream cheese mixture into batter, pressing down gently. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Notes:
Some of my muffins spilled over the top of the muffin cups because I filled them too full, so don’t make that mistake.

Also, you may want to skip mashing the cranberries so the batter bleeds less.

Do not overbake–cheese may still seem a bit soft. If muffins are browning too much, cover with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking or reduce heat to 325 degrees F.

Be sure to check out all the other fun recipes made this week for the Secret Recipe Club below!

 

SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole’s mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole’s first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
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from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

SRC: Corn Flakes Chivda, a Sweet + Spicy Snack Mix

This Indian snack mix is full of nuts, raisins, and corn flakes. It’s sweet, spicy, and oh so delicious!

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Normally I deliberate a bunch on my Secret Recipe Club recipe selection. Not this time! I was assigned to Trisha’s lovely blog, My Hobbie Lobbie. Trisha lives in Sydney, Australia but she moved there from Mumbai. Consequently, her blog is a huge treat of international cuisine! Mainly Indian food, of course, but she has traveled all over and has tons of fun recipes to share. When perusing her blog, one of the first things I was drawn to was this savory snack mix that used cornflakes! I love cereal and just thought it sounded delicious. I didn’t want to be too hasty, so I did consider other things like Homemade Mayonnaise, Samosas, and Crushed Black Pepper Crackers. But in the end, Corn Flakes Chivda drew me in, mainly because I was looking for an excuse to hit up one of the [many] international markets in Nashville.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

One of the best things about living in Nashville is the abundance of international groceries and markets. I always say I’m going to check them out, but you know how things go… when you’re busy, you just hit up the local Publix or Kroger. It’s just easier. So I make myself go to these places but picking recipes to make for blog events that REQUIRE a specialty store. Sometimes it stresses me out, but it’s always worth it! So Saturday, Ben and I headed to our favorite local Turkish restaurant [Istanbul Cafe, for local folks] for lunch and then headed to the Indian grocery down the road. It was so fun, and this snack mix is well worth the effort required to get any ingredients you may not regularly purchase.

Corn Flakes Chivda | thepajamachef.com

Ben and I are now totally addicted to this snack mix. In fact, I’m crunching on some right now. It’s sweet with a little bit of spice. It’s not spicy hot, but if you don’t want any heat I’d just leave out the cayenne powder. Trisha’s original recipe includes several types of chiles, but I only decided to use the cayenne. This snack mix is her husband’s favorite, and it’s a great recipe to change up based on your family’s preferences. I used cashews, peanuts, raisins, and chana dal as Trisha’s recipe stated, but you could use your imagination to choose whatever dried fruit or nuts you like. It was pretty cool to read this recipe at the Indian grocery and compare it to the selection of snack foods they sold. There was totally a cornflakes-based snack mix there, and I made my own at home! The one component of this recipe I had to change up was using curry powder instead of curry leaves. I wasn’t able to find any of those, but if you can, use ‘em! This came together in a flash, and I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!

Corn Flakes Chivda

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Print

from My Hobbie Lobbie

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted chana dal [dalia]
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar [or granulated sugar, pulsed in a food processor]

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let sputter for a minute or so. Add chana dal, cashews, and peanuts and saute for another minute or so.

Add raisins and cook for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle curry powder, turmeric powder, and cayenne powder on top and stir to combine. Slowly add in the cornflakes, tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes: amounts of nuts, raisins, and seasonings are totally flexible! Adjust to your liking and consult Trisha’s original recipe for more suggestions.

Be sure to check below for other recipes made by fellow SRC members this month!