Tag Archives: holiday baking

Turtledove Meringues

By now you’ve figured out that I love love love holiday baking. I really love sharing my baked goods too! But 2011 was really about getting healthy for me, so back in October I was convinced that I wasn’t going to do much holiday baking. That totally went out the window 🙂

For the most parts, I made classic favorites – Peanut Butter Balls, Oreo Balls, Peanut Butter Cup cookies. As my mom and I were finishing up our baking day, I decided I wanted to try these cute meringues, Turtledove Meringues to be exact. The picture was just too cute!

So I measure out my ingredients. I had never beat egg whites before, so I was totally surprised when they went from being regular egg whites to being foam. It was so cool!

And here’s my final beauties:

Turtledove Meringues

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until small peaks form.
Keep beating, and slowly add sugar, one tbs at a time, until more peaks form.
Shape your turtledoves using the meringue in a frosting or Ziplock bag, doing this on parchment paper works great, but don’t plan on using the paper a second time.
Bake at 300 for 15 minutes, then turn oven off and leave in oven for 30 minutes.

Here are my turtledoves compared to the ones in the book. I think they turned out really well.

Then I got this not-so genius idea to make Ghosty Meringues. They didn’t turn out quite as awesome, I should have added more sugar or substituted the food coloring for the flavoring or something. They just weren’t as puffy, but they were just as delicious.

Merry Christmas!

Hello, my name is Ginny and I suck at updating this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I’m not even going to try and justify why I haven’t updated in like three months. Lets pick up where we left off.

Holiday baking. Wow. We baked a lot of stuff this year. A lot of it was pretty generic, and you can find your own sugar cookie recipes. But I ventured out and made the most delicious tarts for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

The recipe hails from a 1985 Better Homes and Garden cookbook called “Cookies for Christmas”. I cannot stress enough how 1985 had all the best Christmas dessert recipes.

Tiny Holiday Tarts

Choose from multiple different fillings! I made Pumpkin-Sour Cream, Pecan Pie and Brownie-Nut. You will need a mini-muffin pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 3 oz package of cream cheese (I seem to only find 8oz containers, so I just use half. It works fine) [softened]
  • 1 cup flour


  • In small mixer bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour
  • Cover and chill about 1 hour or till easy to handle (The first time I made it I chilled it, it was too hard and I had to wait for it to warm back up. The second time I just used the dough right after mixing. It was perfect.)
  • Shape into 1 inch balls
  • Press onto bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin cups. Make sure to reach the top of the cup.
  • Fill each with 1 rounded teaspoon filling. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
  • Makes 24. 
  • If you are making multiple flavors, you will need a batch of dough for each flavor.

Filling Ingredients

Pumpkin-Sour Cream Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cupcanned pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbs milk, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Top with whipped cream for serving. 

Pecan Pie Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine and 1 tps vanilla. Stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans. [Note: the first time I made this I doubled the pecans. Don’t do that. It resorted in the batter over flowing the top of the crust – so the sticky caramelized sugar stuck to the pan, burning some edges and sticking to the pan]

Brownie-Nut Filling: In a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 2 tbs butter or margarine over low heat till melted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, and 1 tps vanilla. Add one whole peanut in each tart if desired. 

Other fillings I haven’t tried yet

Cranberry Nut Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries and 3 tbs chopped walnuts

Lemon Coconut Filling: Beat together 2 eggs, 1/2 c sugar, 2 tb melted butter or margarine, 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and 1 tbs lemon juice, stir in 1/4 cup flaked coconut. 

Almond Raspberry Filling: Divide 1/4 cup red raspberry preserves among pastries (about 1/2 tsp each). Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 c almond paste, crumbled. Spoon 1 level teaspoon of the almond mixture over preserves. Sprinkle coarsely chopped sliced almonds. If desired, drizzle cooled baked tarts with additional red raspberry preserves.

Spiced Fruit Filling: In a small saucepan, combine a 3/4 cup chopped mixed dried fruit and 3/4 cup water and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes or til fruit is very tender. Drain. Stir in 2 tbs orange marmalade, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cloves. 

Here’s Ken at Thanksgiving (6 months), being super cute and entertaining at the dinner table.

Marathon Holiday Baking

Happy Holidays! The holiday baking has begun! I tried out 6 new recipes on Sunday, needed to get a head start for all the holiday parties and gatherings coming up later in the month. 

I’ve also been working on Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews, photos to come.

The Cookies

The Cookies


Michelle and I had a marathon baking day on Sunday! We made all the cookies on the cute tray above – Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Molasses, Butter, Strawberry Cream, Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans, Oreo Candy Cane Bark, and Peppermint Melt-aways. I made three others when I got home. It was a long day 🙂

At Thanksgiving my sister-in-law let me browse a cook book she bought at the checkout at the grocery store. Sometimes I glance at them, but generally ignore because the internet gives me free recipes. There’s only a handful of recipes in here I don’t want to try, only because I already have a great sugar cookie recipe! Regardless, this one is a must have! It’s the Taste of Home Holiday: Christmas Cookies & Candies – I cannot find a picture of the cover – but I’ve seen it at every grocery store. I also noticed that some of the recipes are online, but go purchase the book anyways, then you have them in one place, right in front of you 🙂

My favorite from the morning was Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans! Recipe is below, other recipes to follow.

Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans



  • 1 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring (or more 🙂
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (optional, this was my addition)
  • 4 1/2 tsp chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp shortening


  1. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with waxed paper (or tinfoil), set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into thirds (use your best judgement, it’s OK to be a little off!). Add almond extract and red food coloring to one portion, spread evenly ito prepared pan. Add coconut and coconut extract, spread evenly over first layer. Add chocolate syrup to third portion – we added too much, and it is delicious, but it was a bitch to cut later, use the recommended amount, or try substituting cocoa powder – do they make chocolate extract?; anyways spread over second layer. Cover with foil; freeze for four hours or overnight. 
  3. Unwrap loaf and cut in half length wise – I recommend doing this three times – so you cut it in half, then cut each of those halves again – so you have four long rectangles of dough. Cut each of portion widthwise into 1/4 in slices. Bake 2 inches apart on baking sheet, 350 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. In microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening, stir until smooth (Start at 1 minute, then heat for increments of 20 seconds – don’t burn your chips!). Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate, place on waxed paper or tinfoil (I prefer the latter), and let stand until they set. I like to sit them outside, because it’s Iowa and it’s cold!