Cranberry Kolaches

1:17 PM

A few years ago I took my mom and children to an itty bitty town called Taylor in Texas. It is her hometown and while there visiting, I went to a local bakery for breakfast and had kolaches. They were so good. Light doughy balls of goodness with rich topping. Oh yes.

Being in Mississippi, I know of not one place where I can get these soooooo after all these years (and feeling a bit better about my bread making capabilities, I gave these a shot.

Recipe adapted from A Taste Of Home Bohemian Kolaches Recipe

Cranberry Filling
1 Cup of Cranberries
1 cup water
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Sugar

1 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks

In pot, add in cranberries, vanilla, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until all cranberries have popped. Turn off heat and allow the cranberry sauce to cool.

In a bowl, add 1cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast. Mix and allow it to sit until foamy for about 10-15 minutes.

(The original recipe called for more water, but I did not need any more water or milk added once I added in the yeast mixture.)

Add in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, yolks, salt, butter. I have a mixer, but I mixed by hand with a rubber spatula. Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time. The original recipe called for more milk, but I did not have to add more water or liquid. I added in the flour until a sticky ball of dough formed.

Once dough was formed,  turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes and then place in  a bowl  greased with olive oil. Cover and let rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Once it has doubled, remove dough so it falls back down and place back in bowl for another hour, covered.

After that turn once again on floured surface and flatten out the dough until it is about an inch or half an inch high. Cut out your circles and place on your baking sheet.  Allow them to rise once more and then pressing in center, create a indention. I used a shot glass covered in olive oil to make the indention. Fill with your cranberry filling and bake for about 15 minutes until golden at 350 degrees.

I added a simple glaze of 2 cups of powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 tsp of water.


Holiday Treat Decorating Party Idea

7:26 PM

Every year this time, I plan a 'decorating' party for my children and friends. We would do gingerbread houses but we would use graham crackers instead. One year, we used the house base as rice krispy treats. This year we are going completely traditional and decorating gingerbread people.

Why not skip the gingerbread house kits and make your favorite cookies or use different types of items. Spread it all out on a table alongside and let everyone go at it.

Everyone gets their own icing bags, cookies, and the candy is in bowls for everyone to choose from.

At the end of the night, guests are given treat bags to fill up with candy to take home.

This is always a fun thing to do and I can't wait to shop for candy and icing tomorrow!


Christmas Spirit

12:10 AM

Tomorrow will begin our countdown to Christmas. I think.....THINK.....that I have our baking/activities all sorted. We are forgoing decorating gingerbread houses this year and instead decorating gingerbread children. This should be fun.

I also have a head start on wrapping gifts and I am elated.  I aint no Martha, but I love wrapping gifts. Don't judge me.

More to come! Here's to the cranberry cream cheese danishes I am making next week. I can already taste them!

Holiday Sugar Cookies

8:02 PM

This time of year when I was growing up, you would have found my mom in the kitchen making batch after batch of her famous sugar cookies. She made them every single year and only for Christmas. Everyone we knew wanted to be on her gifting list and she sent them out to the major businesses in town. They were melt in your mouth gooood.

Find this recipe from my mom over at Living Locurto. We can't wait to make these with my mom this year. The countdown has begun. She said next week we start baking! Yes!

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