carrot cake cookies

19 Apr

2 C flour  •  1 1/2 tsp baking powder  •  1/2 tsp salt
1  egg  •  3/4 C butter, cubed  •  1/2 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar  •  1/3 C raisins or dried cranberries
1 1/2 C carrots, finely grated  •  1/3 C pecans, chopped
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract  •  1 tsp orange zest

carrot_cake_cookie_blog

Lightly crunchy on the outside but soft and flaky in the middle, these cookies are full of flavor and colorful fun. Topped with a lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting, these cookies are a must try for carrot cake and cookie lovers alike. What a great treat these cookies are to share with your family and friends during Easter!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Directions:  Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl; flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Using cold butter, dice up the butter into small cubes and beat for a minute. Then add both sugars and continue to beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and orange zest. Once combined add in the dry ingredients and stir together. Finally add in the raisins or dried cranberries, pecans and carrots. Using a scoop, drop balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or just until tops are golden. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, pipe cream cheese frosting on top and enjoy!

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 C butter
1 8oz package cream cheese
2 – 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:  I tend to like my frosting not quite as sweet as many of the recipes suggest. I use up-to 2 cups of powdered sugar for this frosting but you can add more if you would like it sweeter. Beat butter until softened, then add in cream cheese and continue to beat until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time and then add in the vanilla extract. Beat well until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Notes: For those of you who like some spice in their cookies, add about 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger.

… Hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend.

irish soda bread muffins

14 Mar

2 1/2 C flour  •  1/2 tsp baking powder  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt, course  •  3 T butter, cubed  •  1 1/4 C buttermilk
1 egg, beaten  •  3 T honey  •  1/3 C golden raisins
1/3 C dried cranberries  •  1/4 C sugar, course crystals

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner these Irish Soda Bread Muffins are a festive way to celebrate the day.  Easy to make, this quick-bread is fun to share with your family, friends and neighbors. I love baking quick-breads because they are less fuss, no yeast which means no rising or kneading required, just simple and delicious!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Directions:  Grease a muffin pan and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using cold butter, dice up the butter into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cut in butter until the flour mixture resembles course crumbles. In a small bowl mix together the buttermilk, honey and egg. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir or mix on low speed until combined. Batter should be thick and not runny. Finally, mix in the golden raisins and dried cranberries. Using a 1/4 measuring cup fill greased muffin pan with batter. Sprinkle batter tops with course sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. Check centers with a toothpick to make sure. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with your favorite buttery spread.

Makes 12 muffins

Notes: I made my own butter spread for these muffins, a orange honey butter. 3 tablespoons butter, zest of 1 medium orange and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix well and spread on muffins.

… Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

gluten free chewy ginger cookies

14 Feb

2 1/2 C gluten free flour  •  1/2 C light brown sugar, packed
1/2 C sugar  •  2 tsp baking soda  •  1/3 C molasses 
1 tsp cinnamon, ground  • 
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp ginger, ground   •  3/4 C butter, room temp  •  1 egg
raw sugar for dusting (I used Demerara sugar)

gingerbread cookie

A hint of spice and oh so chewy … these cookies are a sure win for your special Valentine this year! Instead of stopping at the store to pick up a treat, why not make these mouth-watering cookies? Your Valentine will LOVE that you did, and so will you.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prep cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gluten free flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar together, once fluffy beat in the egg and molasses. Finally, add in the gluten free flour mixture until combined, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for an hour or until the dough firms up. Once the dough is firm enough to separate without being sticky, using a tablespoon measure out mounds of dough and roll in the palm of your hand. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and partially flatten rolled dough onto parchment sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with course sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden and set.
Cool on a baking rack and enjoy or store in an air tight container for up-to a week.

Makes about 3 dozen

Notes: The dough will be slightly sticky when handling, if it is too sticky to handle then you can add a bit more flour before refrigerating. Refrigerate until you are  able to roll the dough into a ball in the palm of your hand. You can also serve these cookies as an ice cream sandwich with your favorite ice cream flavor.

… wishing you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day!

creamy potato soup

22 Jan

2 C mashed potatoes, leftover  •  2 C chicken stock
1 4oz can green chile, chopped or (3 freshly roasted and peeled)
1 T extra virgin olive oil  •  3 T half and half
2 garlic cloves, crushed  •
  1 onion, diced  •  salt, to taste
pepper, to taste  •  1/2 tsp chives, dried for garnish

The snow continues to fall outside as I blog about this warm bowl of potato soup. Now that we are living on the east coast we are getting a taste of what it really means to have a ‘snow day’. Rich, smooth and creamy, this is a perfect soup to make on a cold winter day. There are many soups that I enjoy but in my opinion none comfort me and warm me up like a hot bowl of this creamy potato soup. I often make this soup when I have mashed potato leftovers, it is not as labor intensive as having to make the mashed potatoes and then the soup – either way, you will find this soup is worth the effort and hits the spot.

Creamy Potato and Green Chile Soup by The Stocked Pantry

Use pre-made mashed potatoes for this recipe.

Directions:
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, saute extra virgin olive oil with the diced onions. Once the onions begin to soften add in the garlic and chopped green chile and continue to saute for another minute or so. Stir in the left over mashed potatoes and break them up by mashing them down with a wooden spoon in the pan. Add in 1 cup warmed chicken stock and begin to stir the ingredient together, the potatoes will begin to thin out and become more creamy. Raise the heat to medium high, add in the last cup of chicken stock and continue to stir occasionally. You may need to add more or less chicken stock as everyone’s desired consistency differs. Once you have the right consistency, lower the temperature to medium low and add in the half and half and the salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and garnish with fresh chopped or dried chive.

Serves 4

Notes: You can also add in diced potato and corn to make a more hearty soup.

hope everyone has a great Wednesday! For those of you stuck home from the snow – stay warm, cozy and enjoy the time with your family.

maple and flaxseed buttermilk pancakes

20 Jan

1 3/4 C flour  •  1 eggs  •  2 T sugar or agave nectar
1 T flax seed, ground  •  2 tsp baking powder •  1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure maple extract  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C buttermilk or sour milk*  •  3 T canola oil

buttermilk_pancakes_blog

As promised, this recipe post is for my dear Instagram followers. These pancakes are so good, one of my favorites. Loaded with maple flavor and a subtle tang, thick and fluffy, these are a must try! When making pancakes or waffles I would always suggest using buttermilk, sure you can use sour milk or milk but it isn’t the same. Buttermilk has lactic acid which acts as a rising and tendering agent, leaving your pancakes tender and stacking high. Buttermilk is basically fermented milk, milk with acid which gives a tartness to the milk. It used to be that the buttermilk was collected after churning heavy cream into butter but now the dairies add in cultures to milk in order to create the buttermilk. Yes, buttermilk has probiotics and the fat content is very low so it’s good for you all around!

Preheat your griddle to medium

Directions:
I like to double this recipe … but I left it broken down for those of you making a smaller batch. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together and set aside. In a small bowl beat the egg and then add in the buttermilk and oil. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened, batter will look lumpy. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup pour the batter onto the preheated greased griddle and allow to cook until bubbles start to form in the middle. Once the middle is bubbly and the edges seem more done flip the pancake over and allow it to cook for a minute or so. Please resist the temptation to flatten the pancake to speed up the cooking process, this will only make them thin and dry. Serve while hot with butter and your favorite warmed syrup or cool and freeze for later use.

Makes 12-15

Vanilla Bean Syrup
2/3 C maple syrup  •  1 T vanilla bean paste or 2 vanilla beans  • 2 T butter, melted

In a small saucepan on medium heat melt butter and add in maple syrup by swirling pan around, do not stir to get a thicker syrup. Once butter is completely melted add in the vanilla bean and continue to swirl pan around until combined. Only stir if necessary. Enjoy while hot over hot buttermilk pancakes.

DIY Buttermilk, sour milk*
1 C milk  •  1 T vinegar or lemon juice

In a small glass bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of milk and letting it sit until it curdles, about 7-10 minutes. In my experience, vinegar works better than the lemon juice but either will work. Use as a substitute for buttermilk in any recipe.

Notes: When making pancakes be patient. You should always cook them on a medium heat and never, ever, press them down with a spatula.

… hope you all have a great start to your week and a happy Monday!

whipping cream

28 Nov

1 C heavy cream  •  2 T confectioner’s sugar  
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Before you use the store bought can of whipping cream this holiday season, consider whipping up this delightful treat yourself. Making whipping can be something of an art, you really need to focus only on the whipping until you get the right consistency. The outcome we want is whipping cream, not butter. Let me simply share with you what I have found to work to make the perfect whipping cream.

Whipping Cream by The Stocked Pantry

Refrigerate your mixing bowl and beaters before beginning.

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl that has been refrigerated, along with the beaters, pour in the heavy cream and beat on a high speed, in one direction, until soft peaks begin to form. You will know that a soft peak has formed when the mixture begins to thicken, you pull your beater out and the mixture will rise to a peak and then fall. At this point you want to add in your powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract. Continue to beat whipping cream until a peak is formed, this time the peak will not fall. This indicates that your whipping cream is at the right consistency, do not continue to beat as the mixture will turn to butter. Your whipping cream is ready to be served, enjoy!

Serves 6

God bless you and your families on this wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Hugs and kisses to my family and friends that we cannot be with this year. We love you and miss you all.

simple cranberry sauce

27 Nov

1 12oz pkg cranberries, fresh  •  1 C sugar 
1 orange, medium size

For those of you who make their own cranberry sauce you probably have a recipe similar to this, but many don’t think to add in the orange rind. There are some of you however, that have always bought the can of cranberries, sliced them up and called it a day, am I right?  This year try something different and make my simple cranberry sauce passed down from my maternal grandmother. This is and has been my favorite recipe for cranberry sauce served with Thanksgiving dinner, my grandma makes it every year without fail. When I eat this sauce I am instantly taken back in time to a young girl who would sneak into the frig before dinner to savor the sweet and zesty flavors of this sauce.

Simple Cranberry Sauce from The Stocked Pantry

Wash storage container and set aside.

Directions:

Wash fresh cranberries and set aside. Wash, slice and seed orange then cut it up into about 1-inch squares, leaving the rind ON and set aside. In a blender or food processor pulse together on low the cranberries, diced orange and sugar until desired consistency is obtained. Pour mixture into a airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up-to one week. You can also store sauce in a freezer safe air tight container and freeze for later use.

Serves 8-10

Notes: Make this recipe a few days ahead of time and allow the flavors to marinade together.

thank you all so much for your continued support in following my blog and trying out my recipes. I hope they are enjoyable to you and your family as they have been for mine. Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.

roasted garlic green beans with almonds

26 Nov

1 1-1 1/2 lb pkg green beans, frozen or fresh  •  4 garlic cloves, crushed
2-4 T extra virgin olive oil  •  2 T himalayan pink salt
1/4 C almonds, sliced or slivered

Forget the usual green bean casserole, here is a little something different to add to your Thanksgiving Feast this year. Let’s cut the calories from the soup mixes and cheese and add a little garlic and almonds instead. I love the combination of the fragrant roasted garlic, the nutty almonds, the tender green beans and the hint of crunchy salt you get with each bite. The taste of the green bean really shines through beautifully when roasting it this way.

Roasted Green Beans by The Socked Pantry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Directions:
If you are using fresh green beans you will want to wash them and then snap, cut or trim the sides off each bean before beginning. If you are going the easy route, like me, you can just thaw the bag of pre-cut green beans on your counter for about 30 minutes before beginning. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside. Using a gallon side sealable plastic bag or a large mixing bowl add in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 4 cloves grushed garlic, about 1 teaspoon salt and the prepared green beans, either frozen or fresh. Mix ingredients well and dump mixture out onto the lined baking sheet and place in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir beans, add a little more olive oil as needed and add an additional tablespoon of salt at this time. Place green beans back into the oven and continue to roast for 15 more minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up stir green beans and add the sliced almonds to the mixture, coating with the olive oil already on the beans, along with the last teaspoon or two of salt and return to oven. Roast green beans another 10-15 minutes or until almonds begin to brown. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

hope everyone has all there Thanksgiving grocery shopping done, I went to the store today for some “last minute” items and waited and waited … It’s expected from here on out, I mean who forgets heavy cream on their Thanksgiving shopping list anyway? Ha. Have a great week enjoying your family and friends.

salted caramel sauce

25 Nov

1 C brown sugar, packed  •  1/2 C heavy cream  • 4 T butter, salted
1 tsp sea salt  •  1 tsp pure vanilla extract  •  1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Salted Caramel Sauce by The Stocked Pantry

The hint of salt in this delightfully sweet caramel sauce gives a perfect flavor combination to top your favorite desserts. In case you missed the recipe to this addicting sauce in my wheat free pumpkin cheesecake post I wanted to highlight it for you today. With the holidays right around the corner and Thanksgiving being this week I thought this sauce would be the perfect pairing to dazzle your traditional pumpkin, pecan or sweet potato pies and other holiday desserts. This recipe is both easy to make and pleasing to the taste buds, I hope you will share it with your family and friends this holiday season.

Prepare a canning jar and lid to store sauce in.

Directions:
In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir the mixture until it begins to boil, add in the vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste and the sea salt. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to come to bubble, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool, pour in a jar and refrigerate. Serve with your favorite ice creams, pies, cheesecakes, cakes, fruit and more. Store in the refrigerator for two weeks, reheat in the microwave to serve.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Notes: Substitute vanilla bean paste for one vanilla bean or add another 1/2 tsp vanilla extract for more flavor. For the sugar, you can use just light brown sugar or you can half it and do a combination for light and dark brown sugar, which is what I prefer to do.

… hope you have a great Thanksgiving week! Happy Monday.

pumpkin cookies with maple vanilla bean glaze

22 Nov

2 1/2 C flour  •  1/2 C butter, softened  •  1 C pumpkin puree
1 1/2 C sugar  •  1 egg •  1 tsp baking powder  •  1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon  •  1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze
Many of you know that I LOVE to blog about sweets, the funny thing is, I don’t eat them very often – at least I think I don’t. Anyway, during the holidays I tend to blog a little more about sweets than other foods I make and serve to my family. Especially the ones that make my house smell as good as these cookies do! This year I wanted to share with you a few yummy pumpkin desserts that are a real treat for everyone. I made these cookies for my kiddos preschool class Thanksgiving Feast and they were a hit. Hope you will share them with your family and friends this holiday season.

Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

Directions:
Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamed. Add eggs one at a time and beat on low speed until incorporated, once combined add in the pumpkin puree and pure vanilla extract. Add in dry ingredients a cup at a time into the pumpkin mixture until all ingredients are combined. Using a spring loaded scoop, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly before baking. Bake at 340 degrees F for 15 minutes or until tops are golden. Allow cookies to cool completely on a wire rack and then frost with suggested Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze, recipe below.

Makes about 3 dozen

Maple Vanilla Bean Glaze
2 C powdered sugar  •  1 T butter, melted  • 4 T milk  •  1 tsp maple extract  •  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract  •  1 tsp vanilla bean paste

In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, maple extract, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Mix well until smooth and creamy. Add additional milk to get a thinner consistency. Frost pumpkin cookies by drizzling glaze, using a knife, spoon or even pipping glaze on top, as seen above.

… I am thankful this week for beloved friends, a wonderful family, beautiful children and a loving husband. What grace and mercy I have been given, I am truly blessed. Please feel free to comment on things you are thankful for below. Hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend.

Diana Elizabeth

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