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do love that this basic recipe can be used for any Holiday or special occasion. This is my Mom's recipe and used for many, many years. I love make half using 'egg wash' for sprinkles and also half I save for frosting once cooled...I thin my frosting down so that its almost just a glaze/coating...but, you can make to the thickness you prefer...
Enjoy! ~ Diane
Mom's Christmas Butter Cut-out Cookies
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Cream butter and sugar until light. Blend in Lemon rind and 1 whole egg and egg yolk only from second egg (save that egg white for spreading on top of pre-cooked cookies so sprinkles stick) Sift flour and salt, and gradually work into butter mixture. As dough stiffens, work flour in with hands. Wrap dough in wax paper and chill for several hours. Roll dough out 1/4" thick - cut out - if using sprinkles, brush tops of cookies with egg wash from saved egg white and sprinkle. Bake 375 for 8 mins but, keep an eye on them - thinner cookies will cook faster and could burn easily. Frost when cold if wanted.
1/2 Cup Powdered sugar
3 tsp milk
3-4 drops food coloring of your choice - blend well.
Frost cookies and let sit to harden.
more milk - thinner frosting/glaze
more powdered sugar - thicker frosting.
Recipe by: Diane Baker's Mom
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Butter - for Canning
I love making this in the slow-cooker!!! and if you don't want to water-bath can, you can refrigerate the butter for 2-3 months, or freeze for up to a year. One of my most popular recipes and people love it. I use this fruit butter to top warm oatmeal and homemade ice cream, top off cakes and cobblers, blend into baked goods - like my Apple Galette dessert. A lot of folks comment that they love this so much, they eat it directly from the jar with a spoon. Any way you spoon it - this stuff is GOOD! ~Enjoy! Diane
Yield: About 6 half-pints or 3 pint jars.
6 pounds apples, cored and peeled, cut into quarters **
2 cups apple cider
4 cups water
1 cup sugar (you can use 1/2 white 1/2 brown sugar if preferred)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
**A word about Apples: keep in mind - the sweetness or tartness of the apples you choose, will flavor the finished product significantly. (see below)
Spiced "Sweet" Apple Butter
I prefer using "sweeter" apples such as Braeburn, Red Delicious, and Honeycrisp with Gala and Fuji. being the sweetest apples and my most requested combination.
Spiced "Tart" Apple Butter.
Use Granny Smiths and Cripps Pinks for a tart finish to your product.
Start on the stove top: Put the peeled, cored apples in a 6- or 8-quart heavy-bottomed pan. Add the cider and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat (Add in the cinnamon sticks and star anise, these will be removed after boiling) Keep mixture at a medium-high boil, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely broken down and the apples are soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
Into the slow cooker: Carefully remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise with a slotted spoon. Pour the softened apple mixture from your pot into a 6-quart slow cooker, and stir in the sugar and spices. Puree with immersion blender. Cook on the "Low" setting with the lid propped up or set askew to allow the liquid to evaporate for 9 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and dark.(Keep in mind different slow cookers cook at different temperatures.)
My motto is - "You know your apple butter is ready when you can stand a large spoon up in it without the spoon falling over - otherwise, you just have applesauce."
Onto canning: Place the slow cooker on high for 10-15 minutes, ladle hot apple butter into sterilized, hot canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head-space. Apply a new lid and tighten down with band, process for 10 minutes in a boiling water-bath canner (or according to your altitude) Carefully remove the jars from the canner to a draft free spot (I place mine on a towel lined cookie sheet on my counter top) and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 2-3 hours, check to see that the lids have sealed, and immediately refrigerate any jars that haven’t sealed. After 24 hours, remove bands, wash jars, label and store in pantry for up to 1 year.
Recipe & Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
I ran to the store yesterday and found beautiful large peaches and decided I just wanted a very small batch of Peach Butter. I bought 4 large peaches that weighed in at 2 1/2 lbs. (which made 3 half pints of peach butter) This is a great small batch for a beginner. Not too large of a process that it can overwhelm a 'newbie.' Once you try this - you'll be hooked AND you'll feel more confident to move onto larger batches! Enjoy - Diane
Small Batch Peach Butter
2 1/2 lbs fresh peaches
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup bottled lemon juice
Wash peaches in cold water to remove dirt and fuzz.
Cut an X mark on the stem end of each peach.
Blanch peaches in boiling water for about one minute.
Plunge peaches in ice water and let set for two minutes.
Peel away skins, slice and remove the pit.
**If your peaches are fully ripe - the skins will be easy to peel off using a paring knife - I sometimes luck out and can do this without blanching. To me, peaches are ripe when you can press the flesh with your thumb and leave a slight indentation into the peach. Once peeled, slice and pit your peaches.
Place sliced peaches, lemon juice, vanilla bean and water in a large sauce pot. Simmer over medium heat until peaches are soft (approx 5-10 mins) Remove vanilla bean. Lightly puree peaches with a food processor or immersion blender - being careful not to liquefy them.
Add the sugar into peach mixture.
Cook over medium heat until thick enough to round up on a spoon (approx 30-40 mins.) Stir mixture frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking. (you will be lightly stirring continually as mixture starts to thicken until you are ready to jar the butter)
Prior to jarring, I do the "plate test" by placing a small dish in the freezer for at least 10 mins. I place a spoonful of peach mixture onto plate and tip plate - mixture should not run at all. As well, the mixture should mound/round up easy onto a regular spoon and not run off back into pot.
Wash jars in warm soapy water, rinse and place in canning pot/water to warm up jars for canning.
Place lids and bands in warm (not boiling) water.
Setup your area to process the butter.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.
Remove any air bubbles.
Wipe rim of jar to remove any food particles.
Adjust two piece caps on jar and tighten finger tight.
Process in a water bath canning pot for 10 minutes (or according to regs in your area)
Remove and place on cloth towel in a draft free area.
Do not move jars for 24 hours to allow for proper seal.
Any jars that haven't sealed properly place in fridge for immediate use.
Date and Label your jars, Peach Butter will keep up to one year in storage.
Yield: 3 half pints.
Recipe & Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
#homemade #peach #canning
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