5/30/13

Cucumber Margarita's



I first posted this recipe back in 2009.   It sounds... interesting, but to date, I still haven't made these.  Originally I got the recipe and put it in my files back in 2005 when I saw it in Coastal Living but even though I really, really like cucumbers, I just can't get myself to drink them.  Silly, I know.

I am wondering if any of my readers have made these?  If so, please let me know what you think!!








Cucumber Margarita
Makes 4 servings

12 slices fresh cucumber
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Cointreau
6 ounces (3/4 cup) tequila reposado
6 cups ice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Lime slices

Combine cucumber and next 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top each serving with a tablespoon of Grand Marnier, and garnish with lime.




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Sauteed Cauliflower and Bacon (with a twist; a cabbage twist!)

Cauliflower and Bacon with cheese and onions... so good!


Since last year, this is one of my favorite ways to eat cooked cauliflower.  Originally I got the original idea for this one from Dana Carpender's book but she also used rice, and Vege-Sal so I started to tweak it and ended up with a dish that became a favorite.  It's very quick and easy and the flavors work together quite well.  I still continue to 'tweak' it.

Two weeks ago I made this using cabbage instead of cauliflower.  Very good!  I made it twice this way.  The first time was to use up a partial bag of shredded cabbage mix I had bought to make cole slaw.  I just poured in what was left in the bag and cooked it as usual.  Very, very good!  So good in fact, later that week I used a head of fresh cabbage, chopped it up and made a small version of this recipe for my lunch.

Last night I made this dish again - this time using raw cauliflower pieces - but it was not ran through the processor.  It was just cut in bite sized pieces, and I added about a cup of shredded cabbage for a cauliflower/cabbage mixture.  Again... a hit.  So use cauliflower, cabbage, or a mixture of both.  So good!

Feel free to halve this recipe or just estimate the amounts you wish to use based on your preference for the amount of bacon and onion. 

Cauliflower and Bacon

1 small onion, chopped
1 stick butter
4 cups of raw cauliflower or cabbage (see my explanation above)
6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and then crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Cook the onion in the butter until it's soft and translucent.  Add the rice and cook until the onion starts to get golden and the cauliflower just gets tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients and warm through.  Season to taste. 



Cooking the cauliflower and onions (this was the recipe above halved)

Add the rest of the ingredients and warm through while stirring

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5/29/13

Vegetable Ranch Squares (a cold vegetable pizza appetizer)



I've been making this recipe since the summer before I was a Sophomore in High School - over two decades now. I've made these in a jelly roll pan the last few times I've made them. I don't think the pan really matters a bit.


Vegetable Pizza Squares (Vegetable Pizza - an Appetizer)


2 - 8oz. cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese (*I don't care for the taste of fat free, but you can use it. I love the 1/3 fat though as it tastes great.)
1 c mayonnaise
1 (1 ounce) package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Assorted Vegetables: about 1 cup chopped; broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (shredded) green and red bell peppers... whatever you like/have on hand.


Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet. Seal the edges with your fingers to form the crust. Bake crust for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove and let cool.

In a bowl, mix with electric mixer until smooth; cream cheese, mayonnaise and dry Ranch dressing mix. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust.

Sprinkle broccoli,green and red bell pepper, cauliflower, shredded carrots, and other veggies over the cream cheese layer. Chill, slice with a pizza cutter, and serve.
 
 
 
 
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5/22/13

Milk Chocolate Cake - Similar but not quite Red Velvet Cake (low carb and sugar free)




This is the recipe I said on Twitter I wanted to 'get around' to posting but life was getting in the way!  This morning I have my coffee in hand and am determined to get it typed out.

This is an interesting recipe to me.  Mainly, because it's basically like most low carb and sugar free cakes that are loosely based on the traditional Red Velvet, however this one had no butter in it.  Instead, it uses 1/3 c oil and 1/2 cup sour cream.   I pondered that for awhile when I was mixing it.  I even debated putting in a 1/2 cup butter instead of using oil; because frankly, I have never made a Red Velvet Cake in 30 years that I didn't use butter as the main source of fat and I have never seen a true Red Velvet Cake that used oil.  In the end, I went with the oil and didn't improvise that - although I did improvise a few other things.  I always do.  I hope you do too - play with your food.  Make it your own.

My opinion of this recipe is that it makes a very, very delicious cake.  It does not have the traditional Red Velvet flavor that it should - but I think that is because bakeries, Sam's Club, Costco and companies like Pillsbury and Duncan Hines have ruined the name Red Velvet by releasing products that are little more than chocolate cake with a lot of red food color in them.  The flavor of those products are not Red Velvet Cake.  But I digress.  This is a very good cake that is just a smidgen under what I would call "milk chocolate" flavored.  But good none-the-less and worth making again.

Milk Chocolate Almost Red Velvet Cake
(low carb and sugar free)

1 c  Oat Flour
1/2 c vital wheat gluten flour
1 c Almond Flour
1/3 c cocoa powder
1 T baking powder
1 c Splenda
1/2 c Erythritol
1/2 t salt
8 eggs, separated into 8 whites and 4 of the yolks
1/2 t cream of tartar
1/4 c cold water
1 T vinegar
1 t baking soda
1/2 c sour cream
1/3 c oil of choice
2 bottles (1 oz ea.) red food color
2 t vanilla
1 t liquid sugar substitute of your choice

Grease 2 round cake pans.  Flour with almond flour or oat flour.  Preheat your oven to 325.  In a large bowl whisk or stir the dry ingredients;  oat flour, vital wheat gluten flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, splenda and Erythritol and salt.  Set this aside.

In another bowl whip the 8 egg whites to soft peak.  Sprinkle in cream of tartar and continue whipping on high until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

In another bowl mix the cold water with the 4 egg yolks.  Add oil, vanilla and liquid sweetener.

In a small cup or bowl, mix the sour cream with 1 T vinegar and 1 t baking soda.  Add the food color to this and stir well.  Mix this sour cream mixture into the egg yolks.

Mix the sour cream/egg mixture into your dry ingredients and beat.  Add 1/2 of the whipped egg whites to the bowl and beat about 1 minute.  Add the last half of the egg whites but fold in by hand, with an 'over' motion to incorporate the egg whites but not break them down.   Divide batter into 2 cake pans.  Bake 20-30 minutes until they are done in the center.  Let them cool 10 minutes before removing from pans and cooling complete.

Use your favorite sugar free frosting to fill the center and frost the tops.

This recipe freezes well.


*Note*
I chose a frosting that used egg yolks in it in order to use up 2 of the leftover 4 yolks from the cake ingredients.  If you wish you can use this one too.


2 egg yolks
2/3 c Splenda
1/3 c Erythritol
5-10 drops liquid sweetener
1/4 c cream, heavy
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c (1 stick) butter

In a microwave safe bowl beat the egg yolks and Erythritol.
In a small cup or bowl mix the cream with the splenda.  Slowly pour this into your egg yolk mixture, whisking well by hand.  Microwave this mixture 1 - 1 1/2  minutes, removing every 30 seconds to whisk well.  When it's very hot and small bubbles are formed in the mixture, stop cooking.  (Do not overcook!  Also, do not cook the entire 1 1/2 minutes without stirring or you are liable to get scrambled eggs.)  Whisk smooth again and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth.  Slowly drizzle in the liquid mixture down the side of the bowl into the butter while continuing to beat.  Add vanilla and liquid sweetener to taste. 

Frost your cooled or chilled cake.  This freezes well. 










You might also be interested in the products;
         




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5/20/13

Revisiting the healthy, sugar free, wheat free, chocolate chip cookie!


Have I posted this one before?  You bet I have.  Who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?  Even if you can't have wheat or sugar?  I thank Dana Carpender for the inspiration behind this one. I knew my husband would love some chocolate chip cookies but I also knew he was serious about wanting to do 4 weeks of no-sugar and low carbs. Thumbing through my copy of 500 Low-Carb Recipes, I spied this one and even though I didn't have all the ingredients it called for, I knew I could improvise. (Ok readers, what do I always say? Play with your food! Improvise! Use recipes as a guide and then make them your own!)

Sugar free, Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c butter
1 1/2 c Splenda
1 1/2 t black strap molasses (yes it's molasses but it's it's the lowest sugar/carb and it helps for flavor)
2 eggs
1 c ground almonds or almond flour
1 c vanilla flavored why protein powder
1/4 c wheat bran (or oat bran)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1 small package sugar free chocolate bars or sugar free chocolate chips
(I banged the mini candy bars with my rolling pin to break them up into pieces and crumbled them into the dough in place of chocolate chips)


Preheat your oven to 375. Beat the Splenda with the butter and molasses until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. In another bowl stir the ground almonds, whey powder, wheat or oat bran, baking soda and salt. Add this to the butter/Splenda mixture about 1/2 cup at a time to incorporate.

Stir in the nuts and chocolate chunks. Drop by tablespoons onto a sprayed/greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Form into nicely shaped rounds and flatten a bit with your hand. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to a rack or counter to cool. The original recipe said each cookie yields about 3 carbs.







The dry mix; almonds, whey powder, oat bran, etc.


















Forming into rounds (a bit sticky)

















Great with coffee... My husband dunks his in half & half.




You might be interested in some of the products I use from Amazon as well;

                                  
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5/13/13

My Very Best Cole Slaw Recipe





Since my recipe blog has been around since 2006, I've posted this before, but I decided to re-post because I truly think this recipe tops all of the restaurant cole slaws I've had.  I had a chance to compare again, as I had a couple bites of a very good cole slaw last night with dinner when we ate 'out' for Mother's Day.  Since I'm not doing sugary foods right now and cole slaw traditionally has sugar in it, I only opted for 3 bites; enough to compare the restaurant version to the one I make at home.  My homemade version won.   Any time I need to prepare a side dish for a bbq, event or summer dinner and want to make cole slaw, this is the recipe I turn to time and time again. Since the mid 1990's this is my all time favorite way to prepare cole slaw.  It's very similar to the taste of KFC's or Long John Silver's versions and just so good with everything from BBQ to Burgers, from Fried Chicken to Fish...  well, anything!

You can use a sugar substitute of your choice instead of sugar and if you do not have buttermilk, you can sour 1/4 cup milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar and let it set until the chemicals react and you see it get thick. Also, if you want to skip chopping the cabbage, you can buy the cabbage/carrot mixture pre-packaged at the store to equal about 6-7 cups of shredded or finely chopped cabbage.  It will be dry at first mixing but after it chills for 2 hours it will have formed its own juice.  Stir well and serve cold.


The Best Cole Slaw

1 head finely chopped cabbage
1 medium carrot, grated
1/3 cup granulated sugar (optional: sugar substitute equivalent)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1½ T white vinegar
2½ tablespoons lemon juice


Combine everything but the cabbage and carrot and whisk until smooth. Add the cabbage and carrot. Chill 2 hours and serve.




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5/10/13

Green Beans with Almonds


This is one of those sidedishes you don't really use a recipe for, but just throw together when you need something quick and easy to go with the meal.  The other night we had crab stuffed salmon and I love green beans, broccoli or peas when we have seafood.  The thought of caramelized butter with fresh garlic and green beans just sounded perfect so that is what we had.

Like most foods of this sort I will tell you to "play with your food".   It doesn't matter if you want to use whole almonds, sliced almonds or blanched almonds.  Use what you have on hand.  Also, the amount of salt and pepper and the amount of garlic you use is completely up to you.  A little bit of garlic for those that aren't sure and a lot of yummy garlic for those of that are!


Green Beans with Almonds

Green beans, fresh or frozen
Olive Oil
Butter, real
Garlic, fresh peeled and minced or in a jar
salt and pepper
almonds
optional: a dash of brown sugar or brown sugar substitute

In a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat, place your green beans with a bit of water.  Cover and steam or simmer until just tender and still bright in color.  Drain if there is any extra water.  Add a bit of olive oil and a pat of butter to the pan and stir fry style the beans.  Add your garlic.  Start with a small amount if you aren't a big garlic lover; perhaps 1/2 teaspoon or 1 small clove.  This will give barely a hint of garlic flavor to about 2-3 cups of fresh beans.  I would suggest about 2 or 3 teaspoons.  If you wish, add a dash or sprinkle of brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper.  The brown sugar will give it a caramelized hint in flavor and is delicious but not necessary.  Keeping the heat at about medium, stir every minute or so until the beans start to show a little golden brown.  Do not over cook or your beans will be whimpy and your garlic can turn bitter if burned.  Now you can toss in the almonds as is - or - remove the green beans to a serving dish.  Add the almonds to the pan and toast them over medium heat until just starting to turn golden and then serve over the beans.   Serve hot.






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5/8/13

Homemade Sugar Free Salted Nut Rolls



Even though we are doing low-carb and no sugar right now, it's always good to have something to snack on, especially a 'sweet' treat.  I decided to make a 'candy bar' of sorts as I knew my husband would appreciate having a snack like this on hand for when those cravings hit.  (Regular readers might remember a favorite candy of our family is the Salted Nut Roll, which I posted here.)   

PLAY with this recipe.  Low carb and sugar free recipes work completely different for people based on the exact brands used, temperature outside, humidity level, etc.  This recipe started out to be a Twix recipe - but the caramel I wanted to make didn't work so I switched it up and ended up with this instead (more on that below).  I used Xylitol and Erythritol because I was trying to make caramel initially but you can certainly use all of one and not the other if you wish.  If it's just a little too dry add a little splash of heavy cream. Too moist?  Isn't a problem unless it won't hold shape, in that case, add some confectionery texture sugar substitute or a little more vanilla whey powder.   Again... play with it a little if you need to.

In the full sugar version of my Salted Nut Rolls, you use powdered sugar, marshmallow creme and bagged caramels.  
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 - 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t almond
  • 1 - 14 oz. bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 T water
  • 3 c salted peanuts and/or cashews, chopped
For a sugar free version I tried to make a sugar free caramel from a recipe using Xylitol - which I was pretty sure wouldn't work - and it didn't.  I know Xylitol has no crystallizing properties so getting a nice warm, brown, thick, caramel from it was going to be tough, but I was willing to try.  It didn't work but I was relentless in my quest so I tried again.  No.  Xylitol will not make caramel and I admitted defeat.

I ended up flipping through recipe files until I fell upon a homemade Snickers candy bar and then adapted the filling to that, played with it a bit and ended up with a Salted Nut Roll!  Individually the ingredients weren't that special but together?  Tastes almost exactly like the store bought Salted Nut Roll candy bars.  YUM!!!


Salted Nut Rolls

1 jar Smucker's  Sugar Free Caramel Topping (you'll only use about 1/3 - 1/2 of it)
1 small can 'party peanuts' which are the salted kind, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 - 1/3 c butter (a little more than 1/4 but less than 1/3, LOL)
1/2 c xylitol
1/4 c erythritol
1/2 c vanilla whey powder (I use Nature's Best Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla)
1 c cream cheese
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
10-20 drops liquid sweetener

In  a saucepan melt the butter and add the xylitol, stir until disolved and clear.  Add the erythritol, stir until dissolved then add whey protein.  Cook for about 2 minutes, remove from heat and beat in cream cheese and flavorings.  Let cool.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.  It should be like playdoh - so you can work it into a shape with your hands. 

Divide the dough evenly to about 16 pieces.  You can roll them into circles, small 2 inch long logs or shape into squares.  Place them on wax paper or parchment, refrigerate again while you prepare the caramel and nuts.  In one bowl, place about 1/2 of the jar of caramel topping.  I use the topping in the glass jar sold by the ice cream toppings and not the syrup sold in a bottle by the chocolate syrups because the ice cream topping version is thicker.  If you use the syrup it's going to be thinner, more runny, more messy and you won't have a layer of caramel - but they will still taste really good anyway.  Place the nuts into a baggy and hit gently with the edge of a rolling pin to barely crush/chop the nuts.  You can use a processor, but be sure to barely pulse as you don't want them 'fine'.  Place these into a 2nd bowl.

Remove the white center dough from the refrigerator and using your fingers (messy) or a fork, dip and roll in caramel, then roll in nuts and then place on wax or parchment.  When you are done with all the pieces you can either serve as is, or individually roll them in bits of plastic wrap to store.  Keep these in the refrigerator or freezer. They don't freeze solid in the freezer so that is where we keep them.

I individually wrapped ours for ease of 'grab-and-go' or packing them in a lunch
I use;

Smucker's  Sugar Free Caramel Topping
Nature's Best Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla
Erythritol Natural Sweetener
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5/7/13

Amaretto Almond Cake - And the Sugar Free Amaretto Almond Cake Version!




There must be something about the month of May that makes me crave this cake.  I knew I had posted this recipe once before and sure enough, I found it in May of 2010!  This is a cake everyone who tastes it, seems to love.  As a matter of fact, one of my daughter's friends loved it so much she took half the cake home once!

This time around my craving was in vain, as we are currently doing no sugar and lower carbs.  But a craving can be given into if you find a way... right?  Well, I did.  Perhaps not the greatest way, but a huge improvement as I adapted it by making it sugar free and 'lower' carbs - although still not officially a true low carb dessert.  It could be - if I ever tweak a low carb yellow cake recipe enough to use, but so far I don't love love love any of the yellow cake recipes enough to try it on this one.  So I opted for the store bought Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix which still has 34 carbs per serving but at least it's sugar free.  I left out the amaretto liqueur due to the sugar content and instead, doubled the water and almond flavoring.  The pudding was sugar free of course and in the glaze, I used granular Erythritol instead of sugar.  (Erythriol, sugar free cake mix and bundt pan links to purchase from Amazon below the recipe if you are interested).


Amaretto Almond Cake

1 cup chopped almonds
1 box yellow cake mix (optional:  sugar free)
1 box (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix  (optional; sugar free)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur (optional use water instead)
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional: double if using water and not Amaretto)

1/2 cup sugar (optional: Erythritol or Xylitol with a bit of liquid sweetener drops)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup amaretto (optional to leave out and use water)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (double if you are not using Amaretto)


Heat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10" tube or Bundt pan; sprinkle chopped almonds over the bottom and set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, amaretto and almond extract. Beat on low speed with electric mixer about 30 seconds until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat 4 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until done - approximately 1 & 1/2 hour for bunt/angel food style pan. Cool cake 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely and place on cake plate.

For glaze, in small saucepan, combine sugar, water and butter and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Stir in amaretto and almond extract. Punch holes in cake from top to bottom with wooden pick or skewer. Slowly spoon glaze over cake until entirely absorbed. *I opted to boil the amaretto with the sugar syrup to boil off the alcohol and lessen the strength of the amaretto flavor so all family members and the kids friends could enjoy the cake without a strong amaretto alcohol flavor.





You might also be interested in;

Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix, 16 oz, 2 pk
Wilton Recipe Right Fluted Tube Pan


        







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5/5/13

13 Dip or Appetizer Recipes just to Get you Started!



Cinco De Mayo!  Got last minute guests coming for a drink and/or appetizer?

Since 2006 I've posted about a hundred appetizer or dip recipes that you could use.  I grabbed a random few dip recipes to post here to make it easy to glance through the list and see if there is something that looks good to you. 

If you want to dig a little deeper, feel free to use the labels for 'appetizers' on the right hand sidebar.  At the end of the page just hit "older posts" for the next page. 


Layered Taco Dip
Last Minute Bean and Salsa Dip
Homemade Guacamole
Hot Shrimp Dip
Fresh Vegetable Squares (like Pizza but fresh and raw with a Ranch Dressing layer)
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Gouda Stout Cheese Dip (Try with Guinness!)
Jalapeno Poppers in WonTon skins
Banana Pepper Cheese Ball or Dip
Hot Sausage and Cheese Dip (can be served in a bread bowl)
Fresh Vegetable Dip with BeauMonde Seasoning (a classic)
Cream Cheese WonTons
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Easy and Quick Layered Taco Dip for Tortillas


Here is a dish that is ever-so-popular at almost any get together... and there is a good reason for that. It tastes good. People like it. It's SO fast and easy to throw together - it's good to keep a can of refried beans on hand 'just in case'.

I have made this numerous times and of course - use what you have on hand and improvise if you know your family or friends don't like something.  

Layered Taco Dip

1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 16 oz container of sour cream
1 c chopped lettuce
1/3 c chopped onions - your choice
1/2 to 1 jar of salsa
1 package of three cheese blend
chopped tomato
black and green olives

Spread the beans on a serving platter or covered pizza round and top with rinsed and drained black beans. You can bake at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes now - and top with the rest as a cold topping OR finish layering the ingredients (sour cream, onions, lettuce, salsa, cheese, tomato and olives) and heat it all. Serve with sturdy tortilla chips.
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5/3/13

Pinata Cookies for Cinco De Mayo (or any time)


Last year at this time I wanted to share with everyone this recipe that was ALL over the internet, but I found it and linked from the SheKnows site ( Pinata Cookies).  I wanted to share it again this year because I just happen to think it is the coolest Pinata Cookie ever



If you by chance haven't seen the M&M stuffed cookies, they are a multi-colored sugar cookie with a second for the back side and sandwiched in between them is a third cookie with the ears and feet cut off and used to hide the goodies inside.

Photo from the link above at SheKnows

Cinco De Mayo or Pinata Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mini M&M candies
1/2 cup powdered sugar (frosting)
2 teaspoons milk (frosting)


Cream sugars with butter. Beat in eggs. Add oil. Combine dry ingredients together, and then gradually add them to the mixture. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.

Split dough into five, even-sized balls and one smaller ball (this will be the black one). Add food coloring to each of the dough balls until desired color is achieved. Gel food coloring gives you more intense colors than liquid.

Use a container the same approximate width of your donkey/burro piñata cookie cutter, and line it with plastic food wrap. Split all of your colored dough balls in half (except the black) and begin layering the dough in the container, starting with the black dough on the bottom. Alternate the colors so that you end up with two layers of each color by the time you're done.

Cover the layered dough and freeze for four hours or overnight. 

Remove the dough from the container and unwrap from the plastic. Cut slices, approximately 1/4-inch wide. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.
 
Immediately after you take them out of the oven, use your burro piñata cookie cutter to cut the cookie shapes. Working in sets of three, be sure to cut two burro piñata cookies in one direction and one burro piñata cookie in the opposite direction. (Just flip your cookie cutter over.) That way, when you go to assemble them, the finished cookie will look "pretty" on both sides -- because the baked, bottom sides will be hidden.

Create the hidden pocket.  For the middle cookies in each set, cut off the ears and legs, and cut out the center where the M&M's will go. I used a small square cutter, and made three cuts to get a narrow rectangle. Try to work quickly, because as the cookies cool, they are more likely to crumble or break. Let them cool on the baking sheet before you move them and remove the excess, outer cookie.

To assemble, take the first piñata cookie and lay it upside down so that the baked bottom is facing up. Outline the center of the piñata body with a "frosting glue" mixture of milk and powdered sugar. (I used 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and two teaspoons of milk. If you put it inside a Ziploc bag and cut off a tiny tip of the bag's corner, you can pipe it onto the cookie easily.)

Put the middle cookie on top of the frosting glue and add the M&Ms to the open center. Put another outline of frosting glue on the middle cookie and place the opposite-cut piñata cookie on top (so that the pretty side is facing out). Let these sit and harden for at least 30 minutes before you stand them upright. This recipe will make six to eight piñata cookies.





You might also be interested in these products;


           


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