#Cookielicious Exchange Party

It’s that time of year

When the world falls in love

Every song you hear

Seems to say….

bake some cookies!

The opening lyrics are to The Christmas Waltz, a not as popular holiday song that was my first ever solo in middle school and a song that I hold dear.

But seriously, it’s that time of year for holiday parties and cookie exchanges and who better to have a cookie exchange than a wonderful group of food bloggers?! Today’s particular cookie exchange is with the Sunday Supper Movement. Be sure to scroll past my recipe for an incredible selection of cookie recipes to brighten your holiday season.

After the birth of my baby boy my mom was here for a couple weeks helping me adjust to life with two children. It was then that we decided to bake cookies, one of the culinary tasks my mom enjoys doing. We picked something of Polish origin – kolaczki. Mom remembers having these jam filled cookies as a kid. While the majority of the recipes online show a “rolled” cookie, Mom remembers having them as more of the typical “thumbprint” cookie. We decided to try the rolled cookie form – only 5 held their shape, so we made small circles from the remaining dough.

This recipe makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Kolaczki

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 C flour
  • jam for filling
  • powdered sugar for rolling
  • sugar for rolling

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate dough at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
  3. Combine equal parts powdered sugar and sugar for rolling the cookie dough.
  4. For rolled form: Roll dough out to 1/6″ thickness, cut into 2×2″ squares, place jam diagonally down the center, fold two opposing corners over the filling. For thumbprint form: Make small balls from the dough and roll in the sugar mixture. Press flat and create a well for the jam.
  5. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Barbara at http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishdesserts/r/kolaczki.htm*

Kolaczki for #Cookielicious Exchange Party from Sew You Think You Can Cook #SundaySupper

Plus, 20 Cookie Baking Tips and Holiday Cookie recipes from Sunday Supper

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin the #SundaySupper #Cookielicious Exhange Party conversation on twitter on Tuesday December 1st! Our chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

#handcraftededibles: Delicious Jams & Jellies

#handcraftedediblesIn an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes for all your homemade holiday gifts. Hope you’ll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule here.

Today’s theme is jams and jellies. Homemade jam or jelly makes for a great gift that lasts the whole year – except odds are it won’t.

I am re-sharing the recipe for Concord Grape Jelly that my mom and I made last year. This jelly was the best jelly I’ve ever had! It definitely didn’t last a year – it only last a couple of months. And this year there weren’t grapes to be plucked from the vine. Are grapes an every-other-year type of crop?

I promise you, if you give someone a jar of homemade jelly they’ll say a big “thank you” every morning.

This recipe made 12 4oz Jars and 4 8oz jars.

Grape Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb concord grapes
  • 7 C sugar, divided use
  • 1 pkt pectin(or 8 tbsp)

Equipment:

  • blender or juicer
  • cheesecloth
  • jelly jars with lids and rings
  • jar funnel
  • jar grabber
  • magnetic lid grabber
  • large stock pot(s)

Steps:

  1. Sanitize your jelly jars. I did this by running my dishwasher on a very hot cycle. Keep jars warm until ready to fill to prevent the glass cracking. If you do this in a dishwasher, simply don’t open the door until you’re ready to fill the jars. If you sanitize jars by washing with soapy water and boiling in water for 10 minutes,keep the jars in warm water until you’re ready to fill them.
  2. Place jar lids in a shallow skillet over low heat (do not boil) to get the seal gummy, remove lids from water.
  3. Place grapes in a blender (this will need to be done in batches) and pulse until juiced. Pour and press the juice through a cheesecloth lined strainer and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract all the juice. Do this until you have 5 C of juice. (Any extra juice is a delicious tart treat for you to enjoy!)
  4. In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 C of the sugar.
  5. Warm the juice, but do not boil (yet). Stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
  6. Add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  7. Fill jars with jelly, cover with lids and rings. Seal by placing the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in a dry place over night. (I did this in my oven.)

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm#.VELDzfl4ofg*

Homemade Grape Jelly

To give homemade jelly as a gift, place it in a nice basket with a loaf of fresh bread.

Here are some other jam and jelly treats:

Next week, check back for our recipes for pickles. Or check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#SundaySupper: Back to School

Most schools are starting this coming week and some have even already been in class for a week or more! If you’re part of the lucky ones who wait until Labor Day to start the school year, enjoy the rest of your summer.

Today’s Sunday Sunday Supper menu will help you get ready for the school year, with plenty of ideas to get breakfast or dinner on the table quickly, lunches to make your kids happy, and snacks to keep you going. A big thank you to DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts and Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this event and helping us stay organized this school year!

When I think “Back to School” I think of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. I don’t exactly need to give you a recipe for PB&J – unless it’s my grilled one! Instead I decided to make muffins! These PB&J muffins are a perfect busy weekday breakfast or after school snack.

PB&J Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C jam (I use all fruit grape spread)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with liners (makes 18-20).
  2.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl stir peanut butter and buttermilk together until smooth. Add in the vanilla, oil, and eggs.
  4. Add peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined – it’s thick! Fold in the jam.
  5. Fill prepared muffin tins. Bake 15 – 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

*This recipe is adapted from Renee at http://www.reneeskitchenadventures.com/2014/05/peanut-butter-and-jelly-muffins.html*

PB&J Muffins for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Getting Started On School Days

Ideas for the Lunchbox

After School Snacks and Beverages

School Night Suppers

Sweets to End the Day

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Grape Jelly

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but here’s another cooking adventure I’d always been afraid to try. Making jelly and canning. This adventure wasn’t even on my culinary bucket list – it was too scary. There’s the whole bit with the pectin and the part of sterilizing jars and sealing jars. It just seemed like way too much time and effort to be worth it.

Boy was I wrong!

Homemade jelly is FANTASTIC.

Maybe it’s the grapes.

These grapes came from my parents’ lake house in Lake Geneva, WI. This house used to be my grandparents’ summer home and I spent many of my childhood summers making memories there.

By the road there’s a fence that has grapes growing on it. Grapes which I always thought were green grapes. Nope. They’re beautiful, purple concord grapes! They were just never ripe when I was visiting.

This year, the grapes were ready a little early and Mom called me up asking if I wanted to try making jelly with her. She had over ten pounds of harvested grapes! She stopped by on her way back to Florida for the winter for a few days and we tried our hand at jelly making. A first for both of us!

There are a good number of steps to jelly making. And there’s a good mess to be made. But it’s not difficult. And with the right canning suppliesit’s even fun. This recipe made 12 4oz Jarsand 4 8oz jars.

Making Homemade Jelly 1 Making Homemade Jelly 2 Making Homemade Jelly 3 Making Homemade Jelly 4

Grape Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb concord grapes
  • 7 C sugar, divided use
  • 1 pkt pectin(or 8 tbsp)

Equipment:

  • blender or juicer
  • cheesecloth
  • jelly jars with lids and rings
  • jar funnel
  • jar grabber
  • magnetic lid grabber
  • large stock pot(s)

Steps:

  1. Sanitize your jelly jars. I did this by running my dishwasher on a very hot cycle. Keep jars warm until ready to fill to prevent the glass cracking. If you do this in a dishwasher, simply don’t open the door until you’re ready to fill the jars. If you sanitize jars by washing with soapy water and boiling in water for 10 minutes,keep the jars in warm water until you’re ready to fill them.
  2. Place jar lids in a shallow skillet over low heat (do not boil) to get the seal gummy, remove lids from water.
  3. Place grapes in a blender (this will need to be done in batches) and pulse until juiced. Pour and press the juice through a cheesecloth lined strainer and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze cheesecloth to extract all the juice. Do this until you have 5 C of juice. (Any extra juice is a delicious tart treat for you to enjoy!)
  4. In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 C of the sugar.
  5. Warm the juice, but do not boil (yet). Stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
  6. Add the rest of the sugar and return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  7. Fill jars with jelly, cover with lids and rings. Seal by placing the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in a dry place over night. (I did this in my oven.)

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.pickyourown.org/grapejelly.htm#.VELDzfl4ofg*

Homemade Grape Jelly

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.