Showing posts with label Nutmeg Sugar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nutmeg Sugar. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2009

Avery Aames Apple Pie with Cheese Crust

Happy post holidays!!!!

Are you gearing up for New Year’s? Want something special to serve as dessert? I experimented over Christmas with a traditional favorite: apple pie. I didn’t include a top crust. Instead I used a fabulous cheese (surprise, surprise) that I’d diced into bits. It melted perfectly and the pie became the hit of the evening.

And to top it all off, it was a gluten-free pie but NO ONE KNEW IT until someone asked how I could be eating a bite of pie.

My secret: I use a great pre-made gluten-free crust from Whole Foods, but there are plenty others out there and there are mixes for gluten-free pie crusts by Bob’s Red Mill and Pamela’s. I was going for expediency and ease on Christmas.

No matter, it tasted like a normal pie and all my guests were contented!

Avery’s Apple Pie with Edam Cheese

7-8 Pippin apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup sweet rice flour (or regular rice flour)
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 lemon, juiced and seeds removed
1 gluten-free pie shell (Whole Foods* or other)
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, diced
4 ounces Edam cheese, diced or grated


Peel and slice apples. This will give you loosely 8 cups of apple slices (figure 1 cup per apple). Add sugars, rice flour, spices. Stir.
Squeeze the lemon juice over all and toss again.
Layer into the pie shell, making sure you get apples to the edges.

Dot with butter.
Sprinkle evenly with the diced/grated cheese.

Set in 450 degree oven on a tray that will catch any of the juice spilling over. Bake 35 minutes until cheese nicely browned.

Let sit 20 minutes before slicing.

May be served with another wedge of cheese or vanilla ice cream.

Warning: This is not diet. The diet starts AFTER the New Year, right? ENJOY!!

Don't forget to check back for Julie's special contest in January, and we're still open for suggestions for our February Iron Chef ingredient! Rumor has it the prize involves chocolate!

And a little tidbit about the CHEESE I used. Friends from Mississippi State University send us a sizeable piece of Edam every year. It's absolutely creamy, has a sharp yet smooth taste, and melts beautifully. A little history: in 1938, Edam cheese was introduced at Mississippi State University by the professor who served as head of the Dairy Science Department. It is a three-pound cannon ball and delicious. Here's a link to the MSU store.

and lastly, if you’d like, sign up for my next newsletter, where I share lots of tidbits about my new book as well as a history about particular cheeses, click on this link: Avery Aames Newsletter. I’ll be having my first contest via the newsletter in January. All who are signed up are eligible to win.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Eggnog Latte Cookies, 2 Ways

This blog post was named a "Foodbuzz Top 9" for Tuesday, December 15
Thank you, FoodBuzz!
~ Cleo Coyle

Eggnog is a holiday taste that my husband and I look forward to enjoying every year. While Marc drinks it straight from the fridge, I prefer mine in a comfortingly warm latte. So, I thought, why not put the flavor in a cookie?

Marc pulls no punches when it comes to telling me when a recipe is not working, but he completely flipped over these. The dough alone is redolent with that creamy-sweet, slightly spicy, eggnoggy fragrance (yes, I made up the word eggnoggy). As they bake, nutmeg and vanilla permeate the air with the quintessential aroma of your classic Bing Crosby-Danny Kaye Christmas. (BTW: If you’ve never seen the legendary holiday film that these gifted guys star in, it’s a real pleasure. Click the arrow in the window below to hear Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen sing "Snow," a 4-part harmony song from the movie White Christmas...)

This recipe can be made two ways: (A) For an easy refrigerator cookie, simply roll it into a thick, soft log, chill, slice, and bake.

(B) For a more elaborate holiday cookie tray, make a rolled and shaped cookie by chilling the dough in thick discs, then rolling it out, and using your favorite cookie cutters. I’ve kept the composition of this cookie dough very buttery so that a liberal addition of flour when rolling will not toughen the cookie on you.

You can serve these cookies plain or with the polished finish of my Eggnog Glaze (recipe below), which adds yet another layer of eggnog flavor. Finally, a dusting of my Nutmeg Sugar mimics the barista’s finish to an eggnog latte with a sprinkling of that classic holiday spice.

Cleo Coyle’s Eggnog
Latte Cookies

I was actually planning to publish this recipe in Holiday Grind, but at 80 pages and counting for the book’s bonus Recipe section, I plum ran out of room—or more like sugarplum ran out of room. Hey, no groaning! It’s the holiday season! You can go back to groaning on January 2nd. ~ Cleo

(If you would like to learn more about the culinary mystery series that I write for Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime imprint, click this link Cleo's books. Learn more about Holiday Grind by clicking here or on cover.) 

To get this recipe in a takeaway format, just CLICK HERE! The recipe will appear in a PDF document, which you can print out, save on your computer, or forward to friends or family.

YIELDS: About 4 dozen cookies of 2-inches in diameter; smaller size cookies will yield more; larger will yield less.

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter

3/4 c. sugar
½ cup eggnog
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2-1/2 c flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Eggnog Glaze (optional, see recipe below)
Nutmeg Sugar (optional, see recipe below)

(1) One bowl mixing method: First cream butter and sugar, and then measure in eggnog, egg, vanilla, nutmeg, sifted flour, and baking powder. Mix until a smooth dough forms, but do not over mix or you will create gluten in your dough which will make your cookies tough instead of tender.

(2) Chill it, baby: You have two options for this step:

OPTION (A) – Easy Refrigerator Cookies: For this version, simply roll the dough into a thick log. Chill it several hours, until somewhat firm (it will still be a bit soft because of the high butter content), then roll the log in granulated sugar and slice up.

Arrange cookie dough slices on a baking sheet that’s been lined, greased, or coated with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Using a spatula, flatten the cookie dough rounds into circles of about 2-inches in diameter. Because the dough is soft, the cookies will easily flatten into a nice, thin round.

To prevent sticking as you flatten, place a small square of parchment paper or wax paper between the cookie dough and your spatula. If you don’t plan on glazing these cookie slices, then sprinkle the tops with a bit of my Nutmeg Sugar, (recipe at end of post) and bake.

OPTION (B) – Rolled and Shaped Cookies (aka cookie-cutter cookies): For this second method of making my Eggnog Latte Cookies, form your freshly mixed dough into two thick discs. Wrap these separately in wax paper or plastic wrap, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or more. This helps flavors develop and hardens the butter in the dough, allowing you to roll it out without it sticking to everything. (Chilling overnight is fine, too.) Now move on to Step 3.

(3) Roll the dough: For shaped cookies, roll out the dough on a liberally floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch. I intentionally made this dough buttery and sticky so it will be able to take the extra flour that you use in the rolling process. If you skipped chilling the dough, however, you may have real trouble rolling it, even with flour, so chill it, baby! I would also advise you not to roll any thinner than 1/8 of an inch, otherwise your cookies may not hold their shapes. If you prefer a very thin cookie, then make the
refrigerator cookies (see Step 2).

(4) Cut the dough: Using a cookie cutter, cut the rolled out dough into any shape you like. Because these are eggnog “latte” inspired cookies, I like to use a cookie cutter in the shape of a cup. (FYI: I purchased mine at this fun site: ) Stars, teddy bears, snowmen, angels, or gingerbread men or woman shapes are nice ideas for this cookie, too.

(5) Bake: Preheat oven to 350° F. and bake on a cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Parchment paper and silicon sheets are a great help in preventing cookies from sticking. Allow to cool. For a polished finish, brush tops of cooled cookies with Eggnog Glaze and sprinkle on Nutmeg Sugar (both of my recipes are below).

CLEO'S EGGNOG GLAZE: In a saucepan warm ¼ cup eggnog and 2 tablespoon butter over low heat. Do not allow this mixture to boil! If it does, you may get a scorched taste in your glaze. When butter is just melted, stir in 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar. I like to add in 1/2 teaspoon rum extract. If you really like rum, you may want to increaste this amount; if you dislike rum, simply leave out the extract. Keep stirring until the sugar is melted and a smooth glaze forms. If you did not sift the sugar, you may need to wisk the glaze to smooth out any clumping.

Once glaze is smooth and well blended, use a pastry brush to glaze the cookies. Remember that the glaze is hot! Watch your fingers and do not allow young children to glaze or they may get burned. Sprinkle immediately with Nutmeg Sugar before the glaze has a chance to harden.

CLEO'S NUTMEG SUGAR: Whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Sprinkle lightly over freshly glazed eggnog latte cookies and...

Eat with Joy!

The Festival of Lights has begun!

Till next time,

~ Cleo Coyle
author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

To find out more about the books in my Coffeehouse Mystery series or enter my weekly Free Coffee Drawing, click this link to my virtual home at

National Bestseller
Now in paperback.

Recipe text and photos are copyright (c) 2009 by Alice Alfonsi
who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries as Cleo Coyle with her husband, Marc Cerasini