Vanilla Venetians #12WksXmasTreats

Vanilla Venetians | Bakewell Junction

Vanilla Venetians | Bakewell Junction

It’s time for the sixth week of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop.  It’s hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  The blog hop goes live every Wednesday until Christmas.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

I’ve been looking for a Venetians recipe that I could make for my sister-in-law.  Although she hasn’t tasted the almond flavored ones I’ve made (which can be found here), she always says she doesn’t like them.  I looked for a Venetians recipe that didn’t have the almond paste.  This was no easy task because they sometimes go by Rainbow Cookies, Tri Color Cookies or Seven Layer Cookies and most of them have almond paste.  I found this one that looked good.  My husband and his friend said they were fantastic.  I like them but I may need to try some more recipes so don’t be surprised if you see some more.

Vanilla Venetians

Yield:  36 cookies                  Cook Time:  10 minutes

Batter:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 4 to 6 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 8 to 10 drops red food coloring
  • 8 to 10 drops green food coloring

Filling and Icing:

  • 8 to 10 ounces apricot or seedless raspberry preserves
  • 6 ounces special dark chocolate bar (I used Hershey’s)

Directions:

Step 1:  Prepare 3 11 by 7 inch pans.  I used the half tray disposable aluminum pans for this.  Spray the pans with cooking spray, line with wax paper and then spray the wax paper with cooking spray too.  You can make these in a pan that’s just been sprayed with cooking spray but they are very thin and you will have difficulty taking them out without breaking them.

Step 2:  With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar for about five minutes.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined.  Mix in the flour in small batches.

Step 3:  In a medium bowl beat the egg whites on high for about 10 minutes until stiff.  Fold into the batter until incorporated.

Step 4:  Take 1/3 of the batter (about 1 cup) and add 8 drops green food coloring.  Mix the food coloring using a folding motion to mix the food coloring throughout the 1/3 portion of the batter.  Add additional drops as necessary to get the color you want.  Spread the batter as evenly as possible in a prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  This works best if the rack is in the middle of the oven.

Step 5:  Take 1/3 of the batter (about 1 cup) and add 8 drops red food coloring.  Mix the food coloring using a folding motion to mix the food coloring throughout the 1/3 portion of the batter.  Add additional drops as necessary to get the color you want.  Spread the batter as evenly as possible in a prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  This works best if the rack is in the middle of the oven.

Step 6:  Take the remaining batter (about 1 cup) and spread the batter as evenly as possible in a prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  This works best if the rack is in the middle of the oven.   Cool all three cakes completely.

Step 7:  Warm the apricot preserves in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals while stirring between intervals.  Heat for a maximum of 1 1/2 minutes.  Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and then the invert the green layer onto it (be sure to invert the green layer if you’re using a pan with ridges on bottom).  Spread 1/2 the apricot preserves on the green layer.  Place the untinted layer on top of the green layer.  Spread the remaining apricot preserves on the untinted layer.  Place the red layer on top of the untinted layer right side up and cover with wax paper.  Place another cookie sheet on top of the layers and place weight on top.  Chill everything overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 8:  Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and remove the weight.  Cut the edges of the layers so there are clean edges.  The cut pieces are great for snacking.  Carefully melt 1/2 the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.  Spread the chocolate on the top and sides of the cookies.  Let the chocolate dry.  Turn the cookies over, melt the remaining chocolate and spread on the bottom also.  Let the chocolate dry.  Turn the cookies over and cut into 6 by 6 pieces.

Storing:  Store cookies in a sealed plastic container.

Tips:

  • When the apricot preserves are heated, you can remove any large apricot chunks before spreading.  Heating the apricot preserves allows the preserves to soak into the layers and helps the layers cling together better.
  • To cut the layers into pieces, carefully use a sharp serrated knife.  Have the layers placed with the long edge closest to you. Run the knife under hot water and dry it.  Cut the layers in six slices along the long edge of the layers.  To minimize cracking in the chocolate, start cutting in a sawing motion with the warm knife until you break through the chocolate; then press down until the knife cuts through to the bottom of the layers and chocolate.  You will likely need to repeat running the knife under hot water after four slices.  Turn the pieces that look like long narrow logs sideways.  Repeat running the knife under hot water.  Using the same sawing motion to get through the top layer of chocolate and then pressing down to cut through to the bottom of the layers and chocolate, cut each log into 6 pieces.  You will likely need to repeat running the knife under hot water for each log you cut.  Plus if some of the chocolate cracks, then you have a great snack.
  • Making these a few days ahead of time allows the flavors to meld and they taste even better.

Recipe adapted from My Italian Grandmother.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 6, October 30, 2013

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Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles #12WksXmasTreats #Chocolate Party

Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles | Bakewell Junction

Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles | Bakewell Junction

It’s time for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop again.  It’s hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  The blog hop goes live every Wednesday until Christmas.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

This is the fifth week of Christmas Treats and I’m combining #ChocolateParty and #12WksXmasTreats.  Since the theme for Chocolate Party for October is candy bars, I decided to make these Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles.  This recipe is a variation of the dough I used for my Deep Fried Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  I liked it best when it was frozen.  My hubby wanted baked cookies, so I did bake some at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  They turned out sort of flat but he thought they were great.

Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Yield:  40 – 45 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pasteurized eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed Butterfingers (about 8 or 9 fun size candies)
  • 1 cup holiday sprinkles

Directions:

Step 1:  For the dough:  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars for about five minutes.  Add the eggs in two additions; mixing to combine after each addition.  Mix in vanilla and then flour in small batches.  Stir in chocolate chips and crushed Butterfingers.

Step 2:  Chill dough for 1 to several hours to make the dough easier to form.  Form cookie dough balls (about 2 teaspoons), roll in holiday sprinkles, pressing them into the dough so they adhere, and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  When all dough balls are formed, chill in the freezer at least 1 hour.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Food Network, courtesy of George Duran.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 5, October 23, 2013

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Our #ChocolateParty October theme is candy bars and chocolate.  If you’d like to join in, please follow these rules:

1.)  Blog about your chocolate treat.  Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose.  It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake; the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.
2.)  Include a link back to the Chocolate party page.  Optionally, add the Chocolate Party logo in your blog post or on your sidebar.
3.)  Your recipe must be published during the current month.  Please do not link old recipes, they will be deleted.

I hope you’ll join our party and bake along with us. Also, if you’d like to know what are we up to and what ingredients we pick for the next parties, join our Facebook group. All submitted posts will be pinned to the Chocolate party Pinterest board and will be promoted on other social media platforms using the #chocolateparty hashtag.

Add your link to the Chocolate Candy Party.

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Gingerbread #12WksXmasTreats #TwelveLoaves

Gingerbread Loaf | Bakewell Junction

Gingerbread Loaf | Bakewell Junction

It’s time for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop again.  It’s hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  The blog hop goes live every Wednesday until Christmas.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

This is the fourth week of Christmas Treats and I wanted to make something that would work for the #TwelveLoaves and #12WksXmasTreats.  Since the theme for Twelve Loaves October is root vegetable and I wanted to make something different than everyone else, I looked for a Gingerbread recipe.  I found this recipe online and it’s made in a loaf pan.  As with quick bread recipes, it’s easy to make.  I wasn’t sure I would post this recipe because I generally like a sweeter gingerbread and it fell in the middle when I checked it too soon.  Adding a heavy sprinkling of powdered sugar before serving helps with the sweetness I look for and it has a strong gingery flavor – just what you want in gingerbread.

Gingerbread

Yield:  1 loaf                 Cook Time:  60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons crystalized ginger, 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

Step 1:  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking soda and set aside.  Blend egg, butter, molasses and brown sugar with an electric mixer to combine.  Beat in the flour mixture.  Stir in water until just combined.

Step 2:  Prepare an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan (9 by 5 inch pan but I believe it was too big) by spraying with cooking spray.  Transfer the batter to the pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to sixty minutes.

Step 3:  Let gingerbread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Depan and let cool completely.  Serve with sprinkled with powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

Recipe from The Fresh Loaf.12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 3, October 9, 2013

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Our #TwelveLoaves October theme is Root Vegetables.  September was about baking with our finds from the Farmers Markets.  We are continuing exploring what is in season and our October baking mission is about Root Vegetables.  Share your October Root Vegetable Bread (yeast or quick bread).  Let’s get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts.  Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog.  It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this October, 2013, and posted on your blog by October 31, 2013.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and Renee from Magnolia Days.

Here are the amazing creations posted by the cohosts:

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Anise Biscotti with Almonds #12WksXmasTreats

Anise Biscotti with Almonds | Bakewell Junction

Anise Biscotti with Almonds | Bakewell Junction

I’ve joined the blog hop 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats again this year.  It’s hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  The blog hop goes live every Wednesday until Christmas.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

I missed the first two weeks but I made it for the third week.  Many of my Christmas recipes were submitted in last year’s blog hop but I still have some more to share and may find some new ones too.  This recipe is slightly adapted from my Mom’s distant cousin’s recipe.  It’s easy to make, not too sweet and loved by all.

Anise Biscotti with Almonds

Yield:  18 – 24 biscotti                 Cook Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched slivered or sliced almonds (coarsely chopped)

Directions:

Step 1:  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.  Blend eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for three minutes on a medium to high speed.  The mixture should have a custard-like/creamy consistency.  Add butter and extract to the egg mixture and beat about 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 2:  Add 1/2 the flour and mix in at low speed.  Mix in the remaining flour, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate completely.  On low speed, mix in 1 to 1 1/4 cups of the almonds in small increments to evenly distribute them.

Step 3:  Divide dough in half.  The dough will be sticky, so wet you hands with water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.  On a parchment lined cookie sheet, shape the dough into a 2 inch by 13 inch log.  If using a large baking sheet, leave room for the second log.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Step 4:  With wet hands, smooth the logs.  Remove any excess water on the cookie sheet with paper towels.  Spread the remaining nuts evenly on top of the logs.  Press the nuts lightly into the dough.  If the logs become a bit misshapen, reshape them a little.

Step 5:  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 23 to 24 minutes.  Remove cookies from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees.  Let logs cool for 10 minutes.  Cut logs on a slant into equal 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 17 to 18 minutes.

Recipe adapted from my Mom’s cousin.12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 3, October 9, 2013

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