Monthly Archives: December 2020

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone,

I want to take this time to say thank you to all my DishingwithDiane Family Members for all your love and support during this very unique year.

I always wish you the best life has to offer and want to tell you how much each of you mean to me.

You have brought me so much joy and cheered me up when I had rough medical days and your inspiration gave me strength to continue.

I love sharing my recipes and stories and tablescapes and I have some special ideas in the works for the New Year so plan on some fun filled posts.

I am blessed to have made so many wonderful friends while doing the blog and I treasure each and every one of you.

Be safe, be well and we are off to a good year on DishingwithDiane.com.

So, spread the word and invite your family and friends to join.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone,

Bob and I are feeling much better after our Covid 19 diagnosis and recovery- just moving in slow motion, still tired. Thank you for all the private messages wishing us well- deeply appreciated.

I finally finished a tray of Christmas Cookies this morning on Christmas Eve. I don’t think that I have ever been this late baking for Christmas.

I hope some of you had the opportunity to try some of the cookie recipes I posted last week and added them to your holiday trays this year.

Here is my cookie tray for 2020

(click photo to enlarge)

I did receive some feedback and it seems that the Chocolate Crinkle & the Tri-color Cream Cheese cookies were a big hit this year- Enjoy every bite.

I have a few new cookies I baked this year that I will have to add to the blog- Peanut Butter Crinkles and Ginger Snaps

Our son is not able to come home this year for Christmas due to safety reasons for Covid 19, so Bob and I are celebrating just the two of us.

We will have our traditional Italian, Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner tonight. (there are posts and pictures on the blog from previous years); and tomorrow a zoom Christmas with our son.

I wanted to wish all my DishingwithDiane family a very

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

It has been a rough year for many of us and I hope the new year brings you and your families good health, happiness and many blessings for 2021!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Rainbow Cookies

Hi Everyone,

This is the 12th Day of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature the Rainbow Cookie or 7-Layer Cookie

This cookie is one of my all time favorite all year long,   It’s a time consuming cookie to make but so worth it once you take your first bite.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Rainbow Cookies

Equipment needed – three quarter sheet pans (9 X 13).

Nonstick cooking spray

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

One 8-ounce can almond paste (NOT marzipan)

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and divided

4 eggs separated

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

½ tsp kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon red food coloring (gel or paste preferred) 

1 teaspoon green food coloring (gel or paste preferred) 

One 15 oz jar smooth (not chunky) apricot jam

One 15 oz jar smooth seedless raspberry jam

1 ½ lbs. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

 Preheat the oven to 350° and grease three 9-by-13-inch quarter sheet pans with cooking spray and flour, then line each with parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, almond paste and 1 stick of the butter.

Mix until smooth and lump free, being sure to break down the almond paste as best you can. Add the remaining 2 sticks of butter and continue to mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Gradually add the egg yolks, followed by the milk and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add the flour and slowly mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the flour is combined, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff, fluffy peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture to form a smooth batter.

Then divide the batter equally between 3 bowls (approx. 1 ½ cups of batter in each).

Stir the red food coloring into the first bowl of batter until evenly pink colored, then stir the green color into the second bowl of batter until evenly green colored, leaving the third bowl untouched. Keeping the batters separate, evenly spread them into the greased and parchment-lined quarter sheet pans (9 X 13), and bake, rotating halfway through, until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, let the cakes cool completely on wire racks, then remove from the pans.

Once cooled, trim each of the layers to even out the thickness of the cakes. Put the green cake layer, cut side up, into one of the lined pans. Spread 1 jar of raspberry jam over the cake, almost all the way to the edges. Place the undyed layer, making sure the parchment is discarded, directly on top, sandwiching the jam. Repeat this step by spreading the remaining apricot jam on top of the undyed layer and placing the pink layer directly on top of it, discarding the parchment.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and top with another sheet pan. Weigh down the layers with heavy plates or cans, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler

Remove the weights and plastic wrap, and place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread half of the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate until set, 30 minutes. Once solid, flip the cake onto a cutting board, discarding the bottom layer of parchment, and spread the remaining melted chocolate in an even layer over the surface. Return to the refrigerator and chill until set, 30 minutes.

Once set, trim the cake into a 7½-by-10½-inch rectangle. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1½-inch squares, then serve.

(If while cutting through chocolate. And if it’s too hard. Dip knife in hot water and then cut. Wipe off any water before cutting, this will help knife cut through chocolate enabling you to have nice clean cutting lines)

Cook’s note: add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to chocolate to make it more pliable to cut.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Pistachio Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 11 of Christmas Cookies …

Today we feature Pistachio Cookies.

 I received this cookie recipe from my dear friend Michael Gottuso, he is an all around fabulous chef & baker.

As soon as my son tasted these cookies he told me that he wants this cookie every year. So this is our new tradition on the cookie tray.

I love pistachio anything so this cookie was made for me and I add some chopped roasted pistachios to the batter.

The flavored glaze takes it over the top. Some years I use white glaze and gold sprinkles or white glaze with red & green sprinkles but this time I went for an all red glaze.

No matter what color glaze, or sprinkles or flavoring you choose, these cookies are simply delicious and have become very popular (and easy).

(click on photo to enlarge)

PISTACHIO COOKIES 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 large package instant pistachio pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour

Cooks Note: I add chopped roasted pistachios to the batter.

Directions:
Roll the dough in balls. Bake 350 degrees. 13 – 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crystals.

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp. milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

Step 1

In a medium bowl, stir milk into sugar. Add vanilla. Drizzle on your favorite dessert.

Step 2

May be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk or other flavored liquids.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Cannoli Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 10 of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature Cannoli Cookies

This is my NEW ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie, Cannoli Cookies. OMG! Made with ricotta, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and orange zest.

 If you like cannoli pastries then you will absolutely love this recipe. I copied it from Pinterest.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Cannoli Cookies, easy Italian Christmas cookies and fun twist on the Italian pastry! These one bowl cookies are full of flavor with ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and pistachios and have a soft almost cake like texture!

Course Dessert

Cuisine American, Italian

Prep Time 15 minutes- Cook Time 11 minutes- Total Time 26 minutes

Yield 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 10-ounce bag mini chocolate chips divided
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs then ricotta cheese until well combined then mix in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and fresh orange zest.
  2. Next, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and the pistachios. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  4. Using a medium cookie scoopor spoon, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  5. Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for about 8-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool slightly then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Microwave remaining chocolate chips on high in a small microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small resealable bag, clip one corner slightly, then drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let cool for chocolate to set.

Recipe Notes

SNAPPY TIPS: Some brands of chocolate chips melt better than others for drizzling. A semisweet (or dark) chocolate bar will also work well instead of chips for melting and drizzling. (These cookies do not need to be refrigerated after being baked. Store in an airtight bag or container like other cookies.)

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Use your favorite baking chips and nuts instead of the mini chocolate chips and pistachios if you’d like.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS OR CHANGES TO THE RECIPE AND/OR INGREDIENTS CAN CHANGE THE RESULTS OF THE COOKIE.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Rum Balls

Hi Everyone,

Day # 9 of Christmas Cookies

Today we are featuring Rum Balls.

A great cookie tray addition.

I received this recipe from my friend, Eleanor Travis years ago and I make them faithfully every Christmas.

This is my go to recipe whenever I have to attend a “Cookie Swap” party for Christmas. It is a nice change from cookies and looks nice on cookie trays. There should be a warning label for children (it is very strong) and it makes your entire house smell like rum as soon as you lift the cover of the air tight container when you are ready to serve. 

Rum Balls

Best to make a few weeks in advance to “marinate” .

Ingredients:

5 Cups Nilla Wafers crushed (bread crumb consistency)

2 Cups finely chopped walnuts
2 Cups Chocolate chips, melted
1 Cup rum
6 Tbsp. light corn syrup
sugar for rolling

Directions:

Finely chop wafers & nuts, add to bowl.
In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the chips (stirring occasionally).  You can also use a double boiler.

Add corn syrup & rum. Mix well & add to the dry mix.

Roll into balls & roll in sugar. Let sit on parchment before packing in air tight container. Don’t let them sit out too long or the alcohol will evaporate.

Makes about 6 dozen, depending on size of balls.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Saltine Chocolate Brittle aka Christmas Crack

Hi Everyone,

Day # 8 of Christmas Cookies.

Today we feature Bob’s favorite addition to the Christmas Cookie Tray – Saltine Chocolate Brittle

Saltine Chocolate Brittle –  A recipe I found on Pinterest. Some people have written to me and said another name for this is Christmas Crack.

 It is so good. My husband became more than just the taste tester with this one and I finally had to make a second batch so I would have enough for all the trays.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Saltine Chocolate Brittle

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1- 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. Sprinkles…mini m and m’s or chopped candy canes…or anything -your choose.

Directions:

Line jelly roll pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray
lay crackers out to fit flat in tray.
Melt sugar and butter till foamy about 3 minutes
Pour over crackers and spread evenly to cover all crackers
Bake 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with chocolate chips and then let it soften and then spread to cover completely, while chocolate is still soft sprinkle nuts or candy canes or sprinkles of choice on top.
Let Cool… then refrigerate and when it gets hard -break in pieces and enjoy!!!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Pizzelle Cookies

HI Everyone,

Day # 7 of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature, The Pizzelle Cookie

I received a pizzelle maker as a gift for Christmas a few years ago and never used it, so I decided to try it. This is the easiest cookie to make. Now I am sorry I never tried it sooner.

I used the recipe that came with the instruction booklet and it was smooth sailing- although you might ruin a few in the beginning until you get the timing right. 

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Pizzelle Cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled

½ tsp anise seed (optional)

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Melt butter and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add melted butter and vanilla. Beat until blended.  Sift together the ingredients, fold until just blended, add remaining flour and fold again until just incorporated.

Heat pizzella iron, place about 1 tbsp. of batter on grid just behind the center of the pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.

CHOCOLATE PIZZELLE –

Using the basic recipe, omit the vanilla and anise flavors: add 3 tbsp. cocoa and 3 tbsp. sugar. Bake the same way with the iron.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Chocolate Nut Roll Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 6 of Christmas Cookies

Today I am featuring Chocolate Nut Roll Cookies

 Once again from my dear friend, Elise Feiner. She does it all. These are so good, trust me.

A combination of chewy and chocolate with walnuts added, just delicious. It tastes like a rolled up brownie.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Chocolate Nut Roll cookies

 Be careful not to over bake Dough

Ingredients:

2 sticks soft margarine or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Heat the chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk until melted, add chopped walnuts and remove from heat and cool. 
Mix the butter, cream cheese, flour and salt together. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Roll into large rectangle (approximately 10 x 14-inch). Spread half of filling and roll lengthwise into a jellyroll. Repeat. Place on a parchment lines baking sheet. Bake 350° for 20 minutes. Cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and slice. 

These can be frozen.

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I hope the past few days with all the cookie recipes are giving you some new cookie ideas to add to your Holiday Cookie Trays … send photos in the comments. I would love to see your cookie trays.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Peppermint Fudge

Hi Everyone,

Day # 5 of Christmas Cookies

Today I am not featuring a cookie but a great addition to the cookie tray- Peppermint Fudge ….

This is always a requested addition to the Holiday cookie tray and this recipe was given to me by my dear friend, Elise Feiner who is an excellent chef and baker.

What can I say, there is no such thing as too much chocolate and you always need something peppermint for Christmas.

PS- Big “thank you” to my Cousin Frank DeVito for his handcrafted Christmas Tree board- he is so talented and I will treasure this gift always…

(click photo to enlarge)

Peppermint Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 ½ cups
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy cane crunch
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and marshmallows in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir frequently as the chocolate melts. Add the candy cane crunch and vanilla. Stir to combine
  • Remove from the heat
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch square pan or line with parchment.
  • Pour the fudge into the pan and spread with a spatula.
  • (optional- I decorated with additional candy cane pieces)
  • Chill in the refrigerator until firm
  • Slice into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Cook’s Note: This fudge can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to serve.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.