Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Being completely honest, I have never actually helped make a thanksgiving dinner before. It seems that I am always either going to someone else’s house who already has the dinner ready, eating out or staying at a relative’s house who wants to make the dinner themselves. But this year, I travelled to my grandmother’s home Arizona for Thanksgiving and insisted on making a few dishes. I ultimately decided on making cranberry sauce, stuffing from scratch, gravy and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I couldn’t have been prouder of the dishes that I made (except for the gravy which was a total disaster hahaha) and all three dishes were the first to go!

I have never really been a fan of cranberry sauce and decided to make it simply due to holiday tradition. Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than I ever imagined and only after eating it did I realized that the reason why I never liked cranberry sauce was because it was always from a jar or can. This recipe is the traditional, simple cranberry sauce, but ended up tasting so smooth flavorful and fruity. The lemon definitely adds a different aspect of flavor that the cranberry sauce lacks.

In advance, this recipe is very sweet and tastes more like a fruit-based, dessert-like side than a savory dish. If you want to tone the sweetness down a little, simply add less sugar.

ENJOY!

 

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Ingredients

1 cup sugar

12 oz bag fresh cranberry

1 tsp of lemon zest

2 tbsp water

Directions
1. Empty the cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup of them to a seperate small bowl.

2. Add sugar, lemon zest and water to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries become soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the 1/2 cup of reserved cranberries. Add more sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.

Love,

Ally

Gluten Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

YAYYAYAY!! It’s fall, which is unquestionably the best season of the year! These next three months are home to combat boots, rain (my fave!), scarves, cute sweaters, hot tea, coffee, pumpkin flavored foods and drinks, Halloween (my favorite holiday), my birthday (obviously the most important holiday), and Thanksgiving. My love for baking and cooking definitely peaks in the fall and I have been waiting to buy pumpkin puree for the last 8 months. Before having my first afternoon without massive amounts of homework (thanks junior year), I ran to the store and grabbed a can of pumpkin and some nutmeg. I got home, decided to make gluten-free pumpkin snickerdoodles, which, although similar to my fall pumpkin cookies, are something I have never made before.
I made one regular gluten free snickerdoodle batch, and then a batch where I added the nutmeg and pumpkin. The Pumpkin ones definitely overshadowed the regular cookies (according to my mom and I). Enjoy!

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Gluten-Free all-purpose flour

1 large egg
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and butter in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed.
  3. Combine all cinnamon sugar ingredients in bowl; mix well.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

 

 Love Ally!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filling and Vanilla Frosting

 I made these for my volleyball team on a day off from school. I wanted to keep the recipe simple, because it’s always better to play it safe when serving 18 teenagers that have completely different palets. I unfortunately had to leave early before I had a chance to hand out the cupcakes after a volleyball game and I wasn’t able to take pictures of everyone eating them as planned. I had someone hand them out for me instead and they apparently were very widely enjoyed.

ENJOY!

Ingredients

 

Chocolate Cupcake

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vinegar

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1-1/2 Cups Semisweet chocolate chips

1 Cup Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter Melted

Vanilla Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

4 – 5 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients well with a mixer or wooden spoon first then add in all your liquid ingredients. It should be brown and smooth, free of lumps.
  2. Fill paper baking cups 2/3 full.
  3. Bake at 350 F for 15-19 minutes if you are baking cupcakes for a cake I’d say 17-25 minutes.
  4. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
  5. Heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until simmering.
  6. Pour the heated cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until combined.
  7. Beat in the melted butter for two minutes.
  8. Use a corer or make a hole in the middle of the chocolate cupcake and fill with the ganache.
  9. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes.
  10. Add 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
  11. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  12. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.

Love,

Ally

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Snickerdoodle Buttercream Frosting

Similarly to the previously posted “Fall Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting”, I made these for my cousin’s engagement party (hence the rings on top). I personally believe that Snickerdoodle is a very autumn-like flavor and couldn’t wait to embrace my love for the season. The dessert was gone within 4 minutes of serving and I received raving compliments all night. The recently engaged couple couldn’t have been any more excited about a dessert. Make sure that all the measurements are accurate, especially the flour.

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Ingredients

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*

3/4 cup (180ml) milk*

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

The Snickerdoodle Buttercream frosting

1 cup salted or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3-4 cups  confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup  heavy cream or half-and-half*

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

salt, to taste

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave.
  3. Whisk in 1 cup of sugar – mixture will be gritty. Stir in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together.  Set aside.  Spoon 2 scant Tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner.  
  5. Top with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top with 1 heaping Tablespoon of cupcake batter, until the cupcake tins are about 3/4 full. Some of the cinnamon-sugar filling from the center layer may peek through the top layer of batter. See photo above for a visual.  Top each cupcake with 1 teaspoon more of the cinnamon-sugar.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3-5 full minutes. The longer the better.  
  8. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if the frosting is too thick. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the frosting if it is too sweet.
  9. Remove half of the frosting from the mixing bowl and transfer to a smaller mixing bowl.  Add 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and beat until combined.
  10. To swirl the frosting, spoon half cinnamon frosting into the piping bag and half vanilla frosting into the piping bag and frost with your choice of tip. If you do not have a piping bag and tip, frost the cupcakes with both the vanilla and cinnamon frostings. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
  11. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 5.

Love

Ally

Fall Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

I made this recipe for my cousin’s engagement party at my house last week. The theme was fall, so of course I had to make something with pumpkin. I decided that cookies were the best choice. It was my first time making pumpkin cookies and I was a little worried, but they turned out amazing! If there is one recipe on my site that I think you should try so far, this is definitely the winner. I didn’t have time to take any pictures of the cookies with the gorgeous frosting, but they looked even more delicious with it on. ENJOY!

 

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Ingredients

2 cups butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

4 cups all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup butter, slightly softened

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 lb powdered sugar (about 3¾ cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla

ground cinnamon sprinkled on top

 

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined.
  3. Beat in pumpkin. Add the flour slowly until combined. Dough will be very wet.
  4. Drop dough by the tablespoon or cookie scoop onto parchment lined sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Let sit on baking sheet for no more than 2 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  5. For the frosting: Beat all of the ingredients until soft and fluffy. Frost a layer over cooled cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. I froze these for a week without the frosting on top, and they tasted just a delicious after defrosting.

Love,

Ally