Tag Archives: Topsfield Fair

Going to the Fair

I love the Topsfield Fair, the animals are so great, the food, the smells and of course the people watching.

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Local bands at Topsfield Fair this week

You may not cross the bridge often, but local musicians have to if they want to make a living.  We love seeing locals in venues outside of Gloucester.  It’s kind of like going to an  away game.  You get to root for the home team, except musicians never lose.

This week is the perfect chance to show your Gloucester Love for musicians at the Topsfield fair starting tomorrow 10/4 with Full Circle 7-9pm on the Kiddie Land Stage.  Then on Saturday 10/6, it’s the distinctively Gloucester sound of  The Bandit Kings on the Trianon Stage at 6pm and 7pm and the GHS Docksiders on the Trianon Stage at 8:30 and 9pm.  You could wear your GMG T-Shirt so everybody knows you’re from G-Town.

Just to get you in the mood, here’s a fun video of the Docksiders Spring Break Fundraiser at GHS featuring a drum-off with special guest Dennis Monagle of the Bandit Kings

You know how we’re committed to starting the weekend on Thursday.  Well, have you noticed that Wednesday is now the new Thursday?  Nine live music choices tonight!  Check out all the live music in Gloucester & Cape Ann here.

Two Killer Deals To Take Advantage Of Ithaki $25 for $50, Gloucester Daily Times Topsfield Fair Discount

We have 5 favorite restaurants on the North Shore for dinner- Duckworth’s Bistrot, Ithaki, Passports, Nordstrom’s Bistro and The Blue Ox.

Today there’s a deal for Ithaki  $25 for $50 worth of food.  Ithaki NEVER disappoints just like out other favorites.  We bought one.  You can too, here

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From Gloucester Daily Times Twitter Feed-

#TopsfieldFair: Buy your tickets, $9 each, at the GDT office and$ave. Tix at fair are $11 weekdays; $15 weekends. (Cash only please)

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The GDT is also selling discount ride tickets: 11 for $22. Not sure of the savings, but you won’t have to wait in line at the fair.

Here’s a blue ribbon winner from the Fair….Sweet Sesame Crusted Shrimp with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce

You know I love the Fair.  Lil and I spend a ton of time there during the 11 days volunteering, seeing friends, eating and having fun competing in the food contests in Coolidge Hall.  We both were very lucky this year and did well in the competitions and are so grateful for our good fortune!

If you think that the competition is not tough at the Fair you are mistaken.  There are women and a few men who compete in the food competitions in Coolidge Hall that have enough ribbons to make a giant blanket and probably paper one wall of their house–my friends Jannine Fisk, Donna Marie Ryan, Susan Laurence, Deb Stewart, Sheryl James are included in that group and so many more.  I didn’t even know these ladies a few years ago but they accepted me in to their circle of “Fair Weather Friends” and my life, and Lily’s,  has been enriched by them in so many ways since I joined their ranks in 2007.  Going to the Fair, seeing our friends and lots of friendly competition make us look forward to the first week in October every year.

There are competitions every weeknight and weekend days throughout the Fair.  The week started off this year with Fleishmann’s Yeast “Bake for the Cure” which I was thrilled to place third (http://laurielufkin.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/me-bake-a-yeast-bread/).  On Tuesday, Pillsbury Pie Crust Championship came an went without any ribbons for me but my friend Susan Laurence brought home the blue ribbon and I was thrilled–her pie was a lovely creation loaded with strawberries and just gorgeous, topped with chocolate curls–maybe I can pry the recipe out of her?

Wednesday rolled around and it was time for one of my favorite contests, Make it With Malto-O-Meal Cereal Contest.  As you know, I love to both cook and bake and this is my chance to give up the rolling pin for the night and cook.  Malt O Meal is a low cost cereal sold at some grocery stores and discount chains and the varieties offered mimic some of the most popular brand name cereal in the aisles today.  They have their own version of frosted flakes and that is what I chose for my creation.  I decided to do a crusted shrimp but I knew that the sweetness of the cereal needed to be tamed.   I added some panko breadcrumbs and toasted sesame seeds and created a delicious appetizer that the judges liked enough to award me the blue ribbon!

Here’s the recipe and a few pictures—the ribbon comes with a nice little cash prize as well and I am still very excited to have won!

Sweet Sesame Crusted Shrimp with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons honey
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoon chopped scallions for garnish

Whisk together ginger root, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar honey and garlic in a bowl.  Set aside for 30 minutes.  Strain sauce through a fine sieve and serve with shrimp.

2 cup Malt O Meal Frosted Flakes
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds
12 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 egg white
1/4 cup canola oil

In the bowl of a food processor, process Malt-O-Meal cereal, panko crumbs and salt.  Add sesame seeds, pulse once to combine and pour prepared mixture in to a shallow dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together shrimp and egg white. Crust shrimp, four to six at a time, in crumbs and press crumbs on to shrimp to adhere if necessary. Set aside when coated and repeat procedure with remaining shrimp.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimp, six at a time in a single layer in pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove shrimp from oil and drain on a flattened brown paper bag. Repeat with remaining shrimp and serve with Asian Ginger Garlic Sauce.  Garnish with chopped scallions.

Me? Bake A Yeast Bread?

I have always been one of those people who thought that baking a yeast bread was very difficult–yeast was some sort of mysterious creature and that terrible things would happen if I didn’t do everything just exactly right.

Well, that really isn’t true and the only way to figure that out is to just start making bread.  So I did.  Last Winter I made endless loaves of olive bread, lots of pizza crust (yes, that counts) and a few others and had fun in the process–and lots of nice bread to go with dinner and toasted for breakfast the next day.  There really is nothing better for dinner than a big salad, nice bread and a piece of grilled fish or some lobster and steamers in my opinion.

But as usual, I am getting off track.  Last week at the Topsfield Fair I entered the Fleishmann’s Yeast Bread contest.  When I say that the competition was fierce, I am not kidding.  There is so much talent there–some of these ladies have been baking bread their whole lives.  I knew that I probably wouldn’t have a chance if I chose something too complicated since I am still a novice but I was inspired by an idea I saw on the King Arthur Flour website for a twisted stuffed bread.  I also had to be realistic–I could not spend all day waiting for dough to rise, punching it for a second rise and then bake it—a girl has to work–so my friend Caroline Craig suggested that I tinker with her overnight dinner roll recipe so I did.  My final bread dough and filling recipe is completely different than the original that I found in the King Arthur email but I followed the procedure for making the figure 8 shape with good results.  So, gathered up my courage and just went for it–and I am so happy I did!

This recipe makes two loaves.  I submitted one to the Fair and made one for home that we enjoyed with soup and salad for dinner.  I added some finely chopped preserved lemon–preserved by yet another talented friend Beth–to the loaf I kept for myself and that little bit of salty citrus really added something to the mix.    Try it–feel free to use whatever filling ingredients you like–and let me know how you made out.  You don’t  have to do this one overnight.. You can do this early in the day and then bake it for dinner but I actually refrigerated it and baked it off in the morning before I went to work.  YUM!

Overnight Fennel & Cheese Brunch Twist

For the dough:

2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus additional for oiling the bowl
4 1/2 teaspoons Fleishmann’s Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
6 1/2 to 7 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
3/4 cup drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, olive oil, Fleishmann’s Yeast, warm water and sugar. Beat once to combine and allow to rest until foamy.

Beat in the eggs and then slowly incorporate 6 cups of the flour on medium speed until dough forms, adding as much of the remaining one cup flour as necessary to form a cohesive dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth.

Oil the mixing bowl and let dough rise overnight covered with plastic wrap.

In the meantime, saute sliced fennel with one tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

When ready assemble twist, punch down dough and divide in half and roll out to about 8” x 22” on a well floured surface. Sprinkle on granulated garlic, half of the herbs, half of the fennel, olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese. Roll the dough the long way to form a log, pinch the seam closed and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

With kitchen scissors, lengthwise down the center of the log about 1” deep most of the way down the log, leaving about 1” on each end uncut. Twist one end to the right and one end to the left, tucking the ends underneath the log to form and “S” shape. Cover the bread with buttered plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise again for an hour. In the meantime, repeat process with remaining dough and filling and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake twists, one at a time, in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20+ minutes to prevent over browning. Allow to cool before cutting and enjoy!

And how did I do in the competition you ask?  Well, even if you didn’t I am going to tell you–I came in third!  I was thrilled with the win and for me, placing in a bread competition is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to learning the art of bread baking.

And my friend Deb Stewart came in second with an amazing pizza—she is quite an accomplished cook and another one of my “Fair Weather Friends” who has enough ribbons to make a quilt, and perhaps wall paper her living room with them.  I was in very very good company.

Topsfield Fair!

You can eat healthy (well, relatively) at the Fairgrounds! We had a butternut squash cranberry bisque that was heavenly and this local entrepreneur mac shack serving up gourmet mac-n-cheese with vermont cheddar was awesome. Roasted nuts and hot apple cider donuts! YUM! :)

Slideshow including my awesome 8-year-old cellphone shots of the Ewok bunny, a big beautiful bull, baby cow, baby piggildy-wiggildies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police saying sayonara, sand-sculpture, bees and beeswax candle-making (a deal for a $1) by the Essex County Beekeepers Association, miniature trains including a mini Topsfield Fair, miniature farm town, and an elephant.

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So Far at the Fair…..with pictures & recipes!

I could not be more proud!  Not only has my girl Lil been on national TV (The Nate Berkus Show) and featured in a national magazine (Kiwi Magazine) but now she is bringing home the ribbons at the Topsfield Fair!

Over the weekend, Lil won two blue ribbons and one red second place ribbon for her desserts–and she is giving out her recipes.  Her third ribbon, a red second place, was for a version of her rice pudding that she made on the Nate Berkus show last week.  I am so proud of my girl!

Happy Apple Streusel Muffins–Recipe by Lily for the Topsfield Fair Muffin Contest

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter

Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup diced apple
1/4 cup cinnamon chips

Heat the oven to 400°F with the oven rack in middle. Put cupcake papers in 12 standard muffin cups

First, make the streusel topping:

Combine the flour brown and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.

Combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.

Combine the milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir only until the flour is moistened. Gently stir in apples and cinnamon chips.

Divide the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of streusel over each muffin.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a couple of muffins comes out dry. Cool slightly.

Makes 12 -14 muffins

Three C’s Cookies–recipe by Lily for Topsfield Fair

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cashews

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put silicone baking mats on three cookies sheets.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, kosher salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat together shortening, butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and milk until light and fluffy.

Turn mixer to low speed and beat in dry ingredients.  When mixed, add chocolate chips, cranberries and cashews and mix until combined.

Using a medium ice cream scoop, dish out cookie dough on to prepared pan, 12 to a sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned.  Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

North Shore Weekend Picks From Your Boy Joey

Here’s My Top Picks As Part of the North Shore Blogger Consortium Weekly Cultural Things To Do

Thursday October 7

Cape Ann Farmer’s Market

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Niki Bogin Writes-

Hi Joey,

Could you let your folks know that this is the last week of the Farmers
Market and we still need the communities support! Plus it is a great time to stock
up on maple syrup, honey, baked goods and produce for the fall and get some early
Christmas shopping done!

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Topsfield Fair- do I really need to explain this one?  Just a gentle reminder that it’s out there as an option.

Here’s a link to their schedules of events-

Topsfield Fair Website Click Here

Saturday October 9th

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The Cape Ann Film Festival

Cape Ann, Massachusetts * October 1-17, 2010 * Multiple Venues

Cape Ann Community Cinema Film Festival

Saturday, Oct. 9 features a trio of special filmmaker events: the free screening of the the documentary about Gloucester poet Charles Olson, “Polis Is This” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 3:00pm, CACC). The screening part of the Charles Olson Centennial celebration taking place all over Gloucester for two weeks in October, and film director Henry Ferrini will host; the fishing industry is on the menu in “Truth: Fishing Crisis Or Government Mismanagement?” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 5:00pm) when director Brian Loftes is joined by representatives from the local fishing industry in what is sure to be a spirited discussion; “Handsome Harry” (Sat. Oct. 9 @ 7:30pm) director Bette Gordon will discuss her psychological thriller and her storied career in filmmaking.

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2010 CAPE ANN ARTISANS OPEN STUDIO TOUR DATES

The Cape Ann Artisans welcome you to our 27th season. Come visit the 16 artisans who make up the 2010 Open Studio Tour. Look for our magenta banners as you travel around the beautiful coastline of Gloucester and Rockport. Visit us by appointment through the year, or during our Open Studio Tours.

Fall Tour: October 9 – 11
10 am – 5 pm

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Annisquam Arts and Crafts show will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday October 9th and Sunday October 10th 

from 10AM to 5PM at the Annisquam Village Hall, 34 Leonard Street, in the center of the quaint village.

Sunday October 10th

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Common Crow’s Tenth Anniversary Crow Ball
Sunday October 10 2010 5 to 9 pm
at Legion Hall, corner of Middle and Washington Street
admission Free!

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The Cape Ann Film Festival

Cape Ann, Massachusetts * October 1-17, 2010 * Multiple Venues

“Orgasm, Inc.” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 2:00pm, CACC) features director Liz Canner live, talking about making her documentary about Big Pharma’s relentless quest for a “Viagra for women.”

“Hibakusha” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 4:30pm, CACC) is the haunting retelling of stories of the Japanese, Korean and American survivors of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Director David Rothauser will present.

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* “The Stranger” (Sun. Oct. 10 @ 5:00pm, RMC) – Orson Welles’s 1946 spy drama about a Nazi-in-hiding has been fully digitally restored by Rockport’s own Phil Hopkins of Film Chest, who will present a brief before-and-after demonstration.

Going to the Fair?

If you’re heading out to the Topsfield Fair this week, be sure check out my photography the Coolidge Building. I have 2 hanging pieces in the main hall and several smaller photos and note cards in the bin room. Many of the images have been seen on GMG, so here’s your chance to see the real thing, and maybe take one home!

This one, “Niles Pond Rd.”, is hanging in the main hall.

Thanks for your support!   —–Sharon

Weekend Picks From Your Boy Joey Starting September 30th

Thursday Sept 30th

Cape Ann Farmer’s Market

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Cape Ann Film Festival Preview Night

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Info from Jo-Ann Castano-

MULTI-DAY, MULTI-VENUE FILM FESTIVAL TO LAND IN GLOUCESTER AND ROCKPORT THIS OCTOBER

The Cape Ann Community Cinema at 21 Main Street in Gloucester will celebrate its 2nd full year in

business with 17 straight days of films from around the state, around the country and around the world.

The Cape Ann Film Festival will run from October 1-17, and will feature 43 films and events, many of them

with filmmakers in attendance.

The Festival’s preview night is on Thursday, September 30 starting at 7:00pm, and will feature trailers from

each of the 17 nights of films, plus a special musical set from the quirky instrumental rock band,

The Weisstronauts.  Admission to this special event is $10.00, with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer and

wine for all guests.

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2010 marks the first year that the Cinema has invited another venue to participate in one of its festivals.

The Shalin Liu Performance Center at 37 Main Street in Rockport, which just this week starts its

year-round film programming under the name “The Rockport Music Cinema,” will host several of the Festival’s

films in its 330-seat state-of-the-art amphitheater.

“We’re hoping that a lot of folks who have heard about us but haven’t made it down yet will come and celebrate

with us during this very huge month,” said Robert Newton, managing director of the Cape Ann Community Cinema.

“The Festival is going to be a great time for all, and I’m very much looking forward to making a whole lot of new

friends in October.”

The Cape Ann Film Festival will feature 43 films of all genres: “180° South,” “1981,” “Asparagus: A Stalkumentary,” “Barbarella,” “Best Worst Movie,” “The Blue Bird,” “BoyBand,” “Breathless,” “Cairo Time,” “Canvasman: The Robbie Ellis Story,” “The Cartel,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “The Clamdigger’s Daughter,” “Cropsey,” “Do It Again,” “The Eagle: America’s Tall Ship,” “For Once In My Life,” “Gasland,” “The Gloucester 18,” “The Green Room,” “Handsome Harry,” “Hibakusha,” “Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child,” “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground,” “Lovely, Still,” “Metropolis,” “My Tale Of Two Cities,” “Night Of The Living Dead: Re-Animated,” “Orgasm, Inc.,” “Orlando,” “Polis Is This,” “Racing Dreams,” “Ran,” “Science Fiction Double Feature: 2081/I’m Here,” “The Secret Of Kells,” “The Secret Of NIMH,” “Soul Kitchen,” “Speedy Delivery,” “Stonewall Uprising,” “The Stranger,” “Ten9Eight” and “Truth: Fishing Crisis Or Government Mismanagement?”

Additionally, the dozen short films in this year’s “Media That Matters” touring show will be interspersed, paired appropriately throughout the Festival.

Synopses, trailers and full Festival schedule are listed on the Festival’s website at www.CapeAnnFilmFest.com.

Friday October 1

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Listing the Topsfield Fair is kinda obvious, no?  Well at least if you click on the picture above it will bring you to the website (I know how people hate to look things up for themselves)  Makes it so much easier when someone puts that nice fat juicy link right in front of them to click right through.

so here you go-

Topsfield Fair Website Click Here

GHS Football vs Beverly Under The Lights!

Friday Night 7PM

Click picture to go to GHS Football Site For More Info

Saturday October 2

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Pick Your Own Apples at Russell’s Orchard

On Saturday there will be music

October 2
Fall Music Series Laurie, Ellen & the Boys 12:30 PM-3:30 PM at Russell Orchards

Saturday October 2&3 The Gran Prix Of Gloucester

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Paul Boudreau, race founder gives us some insights on why YOU should check out this international event happening right here in Gloucester!

For more information check out the website-

Gran Prix of Gloucester Link Here
The Best of Rocky Neck
Rocky Neck Art Colony Member’s Exhibition, October 2 to 16
Reception, SAT, Oct 2, 5 to 8pm

Members Exhibition

Pictured above are some of the images that will be displayed in the Best of Rocky Neck Members Exhibition.

Look for The Kids GMG Homie Pumpkin Display At Topsfield Fair!

Featuring the creative stylings of Sista Felicia, friend of the family Sara Francis,neice Amandacakes, nephew BJ, The Bean and Snoop Maddie Mad.

Also look to see if Sista Felicia garnered a Blue Ribbon for her Rosa Rugosa Rose Hip Jelly or the Rose Petal Jelly.

The GMG pumpkin display is in the Fruits and Vegetables Building, center aisle half way down on the left hand sign.   If you see it send in a not!

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Sister Felicia Taping Rosa Rugosa Hip Jelly Segment For Gloucester Times Taste Of The Times

Felicia made her rosa rugosa rose petal and rose hip jelly for entry in Topsfield Fair.  With a phone call explaining how timely the segment would be with the rose hips being ripe and the Fair coming up to buddy Joe Langhan,  a couple days later they were shooting the piece.  Look for it soon on the Gloucester Daily Times website

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Sister Felicia Rosa Rugosa Rose Petal Jelly Entry For The Topsfield Fair

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Rosa Rugosa Rose Petal Jelly

After capturing the life cycle of the rosa rugosa and documenting it throughout the year in the early stages of GMG I thought it would be cool to film a segment of how the Rosa Rugosa Rose Hips are made into rose hip jelly.  Having neither the time this time of year to tape her or the cooking skills on any level to do it myself who else would I turn to but my sister Felicia?

What I didn’t know is that people not only made jelly from the rose hips (the round fruit that is left after the petals drop), but also the rosa rugosa petals.  She made both for entry into the Topsfield Fair.  When you enter a canning product you have to include a recipe sheet and the instructions are very specific for what they want and how you put them into certain classes.  We added a 25 picture collage of the Rosa Rugosa Life Cycle on the recipe sheet to give our entry a little extra punch.

Felicia is going to tape a segment on how to make it with Gianni Gallo and Joe Langhan for The Gloucester Times Recipe On Demand.  So look for that soon.

2 cups water
3 cups unsprayed pink rose petals, thicker tissue at base of petals removed
2 1/2 cups rosa rugosa petal infused sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces liquid pectin
1 tablespoon rose water

So Lily and I didn’t win the Parent-Child Cookie Contest at the Topsfield Fair…………but these are darn good!

We really did try!  Here is the cookie recipe that I gave you a couple of weeks ago but with a filling added to make it a sandwich cookie!  They are so good but didn’t bring home a ribbon.  Oh well….Like I tell Lily, you win some, you lose more but you will never win if you don’t try!  I hope you enjoy these and please let me know what you think.

This was our presentation plate for the judges:

Fruity Fall Flavors Cinnamon Sandwich Cookies

For the filling:

4 tablespoons cinnamon chips
½ teaspoon vegetable shortening
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons dulce de leche*

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine chips and shortening.  Microwave on high power for one minute and stir until smooth.  In a medium bowl beat together cream cheese and dulce de leche until blended.  Beat in melted cinnamon chips until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cookies:

1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
7 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
7 tablespoons butter flavored shortening (you can use all butter but the cookies will be flatter and that’s 0k)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
½ cup dried apples, diced
2/3 cup cinnamon chips**
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract until well combined.  With mixer running on low speed, slowly incorporate flour mixture.  Mix in cranberries, apples, cinnamon chips and oats and beat again until just combined.

Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls (use a tiny ice cream scoop if you have one so they call come out round and the same size and cook at the same time) on to prepared baking sheet, 12 to a sheet. Bake for 9 minutes cookies are slightly browned on the bottom.   Remove from oven and allow to cool on parchment.

To assemble, spread two teaspoons prepared filling on the bottom side of one cookie.  Top with another cookie, bottom side down.  Repeat with remaining cookies and enjoy!

*this can be found in a small can in the international food section with the other milk products, it is made by Nestle and is called “La Lechera.”  Look at the photo below.  The cans on the left side are sweetened condensed milk, the cans on the right side are what you want.  It is a very thick brown caramel in a can about the size of sweetened condensed milk.  I found it in the new Market Basket in Gloucester in the section with the Goya foods.   This is what it looks like:

**They still don’t have these in at the new Market Basket–ask the manager to get them next time you are there–if we all keep asking, I bet they will stock them.  In a pinch, you can use butterscotch chips and add some cinnamon, about a teaspoon, to the dry ingredients

Another Blue Ribbon Recipe-Harvest Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Pistachio Streusel Topping

Here’s a great holiday morning recipe!  This recipe was a blue ribbon winner last year.  Enjoy!

Harvest Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Pistachio Streusel Topping

Streusel Topping:
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter
½ cup chopped pistachios

Muffins:

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground powdered ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and brown sugar.  With fingers, mix in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in nuts and set aside.

Prepare pans with non-stick cooking spray or cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric hand mixer, beat pumpkin, eggs, canola oil, water and vanilla extract until well combined.

Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, soda and salt to combine.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat until just combined.  Stir in dried cranberries.

Using a medium scoop, fill prepared muffins tins ¾ full.   Top each muffing with 2 tablespoons streusel topping.

Bake for 23-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from baking pan.

Makes 24 muffins

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