Magi Sugar Cookies

“O Star of wonderStar of night, Star with royal beauty bright…Guide us to thy perfect light.”  How wondrous the Star that leads the Magi to the Infant Christ!  And as we continue to celebrate this season so filled with awe and beauty, it lends itself to more creativity as we prepare treats for the many Yuletide events—(or for any festive occasion!)

 

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Magi Sugar Cookies
SERVINGS
24-36cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cookies
COOK TIME
15minutes
PREP TIME
2 hours 15minutes
READY IN
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar in mixer bowl until light and fluffy; add egg and flavorings and beat until smooth.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low, and after sifting flour, baking powder and salt together, add slowly until just blended.
  3. Divide dough in half, forming 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm, or longer if need be. It will need to be pliable to be able to roll out.
  4. Using a sprinkling of flour, roll out dough to about an 1/8’ thickness. Cut out your desired shapes; place on baking sheet and bake for about 15” or until slightly golden. Let cool for a few minutes before glazing them.
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix by hand, the sifted confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, salt, and flavorings until smooth and well blended. Depending upon the colors you’re using, divide glaze into separate dishes, adding colors
  6. Holding the cookie, gently lay it on top of the glaze, so that surface is covered. Set aside for a few minutes and then decorate with colored sprinkles of your choice, before glaze sets too firmly.

No-bake Mini-Cheesecake Parfaits

Advent is truly a wondrous time—so full of beauty, expectancy and hope.  It’s also a time of expressing love and gratitude to those we work with all year long!  Here’s a wonderfully simple recipe to serve at any kind of Christmas gathering, with minimal preparation, and with a delicious and lovely result!

 

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No-bake Mini-Cheesecake Parfaits
SERVINGS
12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
10
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
40

Ingredients

Instructions

Filling
  1. In electric mixer, with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, heavy cream and sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla; continue beating until light and fluffy.
  2. Add a layer of graham cracker crumbs to the bottom of shooters. (For a richer “crust”, mix in 4 tablespoons melted butter first)
  3. Top the layer of cracker crumbs with cheesecake filling, spooning a slight indentation for strawberry topping
Strawberry Topping
  1. Combine chopped berries, cornstarch/warm water mixture, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to gentle boil and allow to simmer until thickened, about 5 Minutes, adding food coloring if desired.
  2. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes (or faster in refrigerator)
  3. Spoon topping onto parfaits and serve, or refrigerate if desired

Note: Best served in 2 1/2 oz glass shooters!

Recipe adapted from "Just a Taste". - See the original recipe at the justataste.com website

Cranberry Orange Gingersnap Pie

I’ve had my eye on this recipe for quite a while now and decided to whip it up for Thanksgiving. I added a bit of orange zest to the original recipe because I love the combination of those flavors. The pie is like a little jewel, bursting with flavor and color. Sweet and tart at the same time. The curd on its own would be wonderful in many other ways as well. I hope you enjoy it this Holiday season. Blessed Advent!*

*Recipe adapted from The View from Great Island. See the original recipe at: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/cranberry-pie-recipe

 

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Cranberry Orange Gingersnap Pie
SERVINGS
10
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
2hours, 40 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350 F
  2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs or place in a ziplock bag and crush with a meat hammer. (this should be a heaping cup) Add the pecans and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground (or finely chopped the pecans and add to the fine crumbs with the sugar.) Add the butter and combine.
  3. Pat the crust into a 9 inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they've popped and the mixture is quite thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth (I did this in a blender)
  5. Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. It can burn easily, so keep a good eye on the mixture and don’t keep your heat too high.
  6. Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
  7. Let the curd cool for a few minutes and add the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it. Add the mandarin zest.
  8. Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
  9. Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like. To make sugared cranberries, roll damp cranberries in granulated sugar and let dry.

*recipe adapted from The View from Great Island. See the original recipe at: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/cranberry-pie-recipe

MAMA’S FLUFFY MAPLE CAKE

It’s too easy to lose track of the origin of some of the many wonderful recipes that we all love–but have no idea where they came from!

One of our Sisters, known for her love for cooking and her creative culinary skills, has a great intro to one of her favorite recipes… that lives on to this day!

“My mother, who came to this country as a young girl, first obtained a job doing housework for a wealthy family on 5th Ave, N.Y.  The lady of the house had a special liking for a tall, moist, three-layered cake from a nearby bakery—with a creamy custard filling, generous swirls of maple-flavored frosting and lavishly sprinkled with finely chopped walnuts. My mother soon cultivated a taste for this culinary wonder also—and developed her own recipe for the cake by taste and instinct.”

And now, through the years, it’s been passed on to us, with modifications and adjustments, and continues to be the quintessential dessert for the right occasion.

 

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MAMA’S FLUFFY MAPLE CAKE
SERVINGS
8-10
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
1hour
PREP TIME
1hour
READY IN
2hours

Ingredients

Instructions

Cake
  1. Lightly grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Cream together butter and sugar; add vanilla
  4. Beat in egg yolks and add milk alternating with flour mixture; mix well
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into cake batter
  6. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until cakes tests done, using a toothpick
  7. Cool before filling and frosting
Filling
  1. Scald milk and let cool slightly
  2. Beat eggs and whisk into milk
  3. Place milk back on medium heat and whisk in sugar, flour, cornstarch mixture
  4. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla and banana flavoring
  5. Allow to cool and thicken before filling cake
Fluffy Maple Frosting
  1. Melt brown sugar in the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Gently continue boiling for about 15”, until it reaches the soft ball stage, about 240 degrees.. The thickness should be similar to maple syrup.
  3. Beat egg white until stiff. While continuing to beat, slowly pour in brown sugar mixture. Add in maple flavoring to taste; continue beating until cool, and it appears to be of a spreading consistency.
  4. Fill and frost cake; cover with chopped walnuts
  5. The cake holds well in refrigerator.

Lime-Macaroon Bars

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Lime-Macaroon Bars
Is it possible that summer could have come and gone so fast? In thinking back at the blessings we witnessed, large and small, I’m amazed at just how much the Holy Spirit loves to come alongside in every circumstance. Summertime at the Community of Jesus is an event filled season, which generally goes hand in hand with receptions! One especially stands out, looking back from a cook’s point of view: an organ concert, attended by an exceptionally large number of people. It’s always a blessing/challenge to come up with new ideas of what to serve at such an occasion—something fresh, original, visually attractive—and something really tasty. The kitchen team definitely “approved” of lime-macaroon bars, and so did our guests!
SERVINGS
24
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
40minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350. Using a 9x13 baking pan, spray lightly with baking spray; you may also prefer to line pan with foil, spraying it lightly.
  2. Zest and juice the limes; set aside
  3. For crust, with an electric mixer, beat butter for a few seconds, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and zest, mixing until combined.
  4. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until set and dry. Remove from oven.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the egg white, coconut, and condensed milk. Spoon coconut mixture evenly over hot crust. Bake about 20 minutes more or until topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars!

Summertime Blueberry Nectarine Crumble Pie

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Summertime Blueberry Nectarine Crumble Pie
This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to pick blueberries from a local farm with a good friend of mine. We arrived shortly after sunrise on a glorious Sunday morning. We talked little and just enjoyed circling the bushes from different angles to find the plump berries. Her husband had fashioned coffee cans into containers that dangled from our necks to collect the berries. We both used this time to pray and be thankful. It's amazing how close to God we both felt in nature. So much beauty and peace surrounded us. I hope you will taste God's goodness in this tasty summertime treat.
SERVINGS
1 pie(8 servings)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
(8 servings)
COOK TIME
1 hour, 30 minutes
PREP TIME
20 - 30minutes
READY IN
2hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pie crust with parchment and add pie weights or dried beans. Place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and bake the crust for about 20 min. Remove parchment and weights and return to the oven for 10 min. until slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the filling: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon zest. Put the blueberries in a mixing bowl and add the sliced nectarines, lemon juice, vanilla and the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Gently toss and let sit as the berries start releasing their juices.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble: In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and white sugar. Pulse until combined (this can also be done by hand). With your hands, press topping together to form clumps and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Assemble the pie: Pour the blueberry/nectarine mixture into your blind baked crust. Top with the crumble mixture - covering the top and spreading evenly.
  5. Bake until the filling bubbles and the pie is golden brown, about one hour. Allow to cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  6. Enjoy!