Salads and Side Dishes

All these recipes include step-by-step pictures…

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Tomato and Bean Salad

 
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Fruit Squares with Cream Cheese Filling

fruit squares with cream cheese filling recipe with step by step pictures

Let me tell you this.

This cake is amazing!

There it is.

I needed to get this off my chest.

Ugh, I feel so much better now.

 

I love this cake because it is fresh, delicious, it has different textures in it, it is satisfying and surprising, there are berries, there is cream cheese… and this is how you can make it…

 

fruit squares with cream cheese filling recipe with step by step pictures, ingredients

Here’s what we need.

 

fruit squares with cream cheese filling recipe with step by step pictures, preheat the oven to 350 F - 175 C, separate the eggs - the yolks into on large bowl, the whites into another large bowl

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Then separate the eggs – the yolks into one large bowl, the whites into another large bowl.

Bowtie Cookies

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

I am sending you warm greetings from my kitchen.

Because I luv ya!

And because the running oven makes it really, really warm in here.

 

The time before Christmas has a sweet and magical impact on me. I find myself in the kitchen even more often than usual.

Which actually means that instead of 14 hours a day I spend 20 hours here now.

Like yesterday, for example, I made 82 cookies and I don’t even know how that happened to me.

Strange.

 

Anyhow, these lovely Bowtie Cookies were one of those I made yesterday.

The dough has cream cheese in it. It remotely resembles puff pastry, but it is less layered and less fatty. And oh so delicious!

The dough is filled with jam. You wouldn’t believe how gorgeous that combination is.

Let me show you how I prepared them…

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, ingredients

Here’s what we need.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.

 

2. Then on low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. A crumbly mixture will form.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to from a dough ball

3. Using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to form a dough ball.

Oh, and the face – I had to. Again. It’s addictive. Sorry!

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, preaheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle, cut the dough into even square

4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5. Now, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.

 

6. Cut the dough into even 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6 x 6 cm) squares.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, cutting dough with pizza cutter

I’ve found out that my pizza cutter works best when it comes to cutting pastry.

It’s perfectly sharp.

And pink.

I’m in love with it!

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each square

7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Use a really thick jam. There are even jam brands out there that are meant for baking. Get one of those, preferably.

Also, when I was making the first batch of these cookies I was a little too generous and placed a little more than one teaspoon of the filling in the center. And I also spread it.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

I don’t recommend that.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

Although the cookies looked amazing before baking, if there’s too much jam, it has a tendency to leak while baking.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

In the second batch I was less generous.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures, bake

And the cookies leaked less, they almost didn’t leak at all.

7. Back to the instructions… pull 2 opposite corners of the square into the middle, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Pinch the edges well, don’t give them a chance to open back into the square shape while baking.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

8. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart.

 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

 

Christmas Bowtie Cookies recipe with step by step pictures

10. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

 

11. Dust the tops with sifted confectioner’s sugar while still warm, then let cool completely.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Epicurious.com and makes 40 cookies.)

Cream Cheese Straws

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

These straws are super easy to make.

And yummy!

 

Of course, they can be enjoyed as a nibble or finger food year-round, but I think they are especially welcome at Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Mmm. I can imagine them with drinks, salads or thick soups even.

Also, creating these savory treats makes a great project for you and your kids. Just try making them together. I am sure there will be loads and loads of fun.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

Here’s what we need.
Yes, this is one of those recipe where you only need very few ingredients.

I am a huge fan of such recipes.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Place the butter, cream cheese, flour, and salt into a bowl.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

3. Combine the ingredients by hand just until a nice ball forms.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

4. Place the dough onto a well floured surface.

 

5. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thickness.

If the dough gets too sticky during this process, just use more flour to make the work easier.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

6. Now cut the dough into even strips. My ones were 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) long.

 

If you want them to look super fancy, use a fluted pastry wheel cutter.

Oh, and it helps a lot if you dip the cutter in flour beforehand.

 

7. Re-roll any scraps and cut more strips.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

8. Lay the strips on the lined baking sheet. Brush them with a lightly beaten egg.

This will make them beautifully golden in color.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

9. Lastly, sprinkle each strip with some salt, sesame seeds and cumin.

I only had ground cumin seeds on hand when I was making these cuties. I think that the whole ones would look even better.

 

cream cheese straws recipe with step by step pictures

10. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe makes about 30 straws and takes 45 minutes to prepare.)