Colorful Cookie Cutter and Sandwich Cookies

Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!

Each December my grandmother would bake oodles and oodles of cookies to give to her neighbors and to take to parties.  And each year I would get to help her.  One of her most crowd pleasing varieties and one the I remember as being my favorite was her recipe for cookie cutter cookies.  They have a wonderful texture and a bright lemony flavor.  This year to change things up a little bit I decided to make them into sandwich cookies with our jams.  I’m sure if grandma was still with us she would approve!

Cookie Cutter Cookie Recipe - "The Good Ones"

Ingredients

6 cups flour (or less)
1 tsp baking powder
1 lb butter softened
2 egg yolks
juice & rind of ½ lemon
2 cups sugar

Serendipity Jam
Powdered sugar

Sift flour and measure, add baking powder and sift again (a second sift really does make a difference).  Cream butter, add sugar, and mix thoroughly.  Beat egg yolks slightly and add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Add lemon rind and juice.  Gradually add enough flour to make dough easy to handle.  Chill for several hours.

Preheat oven to 325°.  Divide dough into quarters.  Place dough on to a floured sheet of parchment paper and using a floured rolling pin roll out a quarter of the dough to ¼” and cut bottoms and tops with linzer cookie cutters.

Cutting the dough

Remove excess dough from cut shape and place parchment on to a cookie sheet.

Ready for baking

Bake for about 10 minutes.  While cookies are baking, roll and cut out another quarter of dough.

Cookies cooking

After baking transfer cookies to a cooling rack and place the next batch in the oven.  Continue above steps until all the dough has been baked.  When cookies have cooled spread your favorite Serendipity jam on to the bottom layer.  For this batch I used apricot and cranberry.

Bottom cookies getting their jam

Place window cookie on top of bottom cookie and dust with powdered sugar.

Sandwich cookies dusted with powdered sugar

Et voila!  The most wonderful cookie cutter cookies and they aren’t like any I’ve had before.

Seasons greetings and happy baking!

Serendipitously,

Kristen

A Hint of Mint

Peppermint is one my favorite winter flavors.  I love peppermint in tea, as a garnish for desserts, in brownies, and in my coffee.  This year we added Peppermint Syrup to the Serendipity line up and with the addition of a new syrup comes recipes for Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Mocha, and my new favorite Peppermint Whipped Cream.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Hint of Mint Whipped Cream

1/2 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
Serendipity Peppermint Syrup to taste (approx 2 tbsp)

Add cream & syrup to a mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer beat whipping cream until fluffy.  If desired add more syrup to taste.

Try this version of whipped cream with pound or chocolate cake, as garnish for peppermint hot chocolate, coffee, minty espresso con panna, and with fruit.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
4 tsp organic unsweetened cocoa
4 tsp Serendipity Peppermint Syrup

In a small sauce pan, sift cocoa into milk to help keep the cocoa from clumping, add peppermint syrup, and whisk to combine.  Bring to a simmer and serve with Hint of Mint Whipped Cream.

*Serves two.  Recipe can be halved for a single serving or doubled to serve 4.

Peppermint Mocha

1-2 shots of espresso
1/2 cup peppermint hot chocolate (from above)
Extra Serendipity Peppermint Syrup to taste

Brew espresso into a cup and top with peppermint hot chocolate.

Garnish options: Hint of Mint Whipped Cream and chopped candy canes.

Pumpkin Soup

It seams that during the winter months we love eating soup and all kind of soups and this year we’re obsessed with pumpkins.  Since Thanksgiving we’ve made this soup three times!  It’s beautifully rich and creamy without the use of cream and perfect for cold winter evenings.

Sugar Pie Pumpkins & Winter Squash

Ingredients

1 medium or 2 small Sugar Pie Pumpkins

1 medium yellow onion

2 stalks of celery

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 bay leaf

3-4 leaves of fresh sage (optional)

3-4 sprigs fresh/1 tbsp dried thyme

Salt & Pepper to taste

Pumpkins Ready for Baking

Preheat over to 350°.  Wash pumpkin(s), cut in half, and using a spoon or ice cream scooper remove seeds.  Oil skin, place in a casserole or baking dish, and add 1-2 cups of water.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool long enough to hand.  Separate pumpkin from skin and set aside.

Aromatics

Heat olive oil and/or butter in a large stock pot.  Coarsely chop onions & celery  and add to pot with thyme leaves, sage, and bay leaf.  Cook on medium to low heat until soft.  Then add pumpkin, brown sugar, and chicken stock to pot.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy or let cool slightly and blend in a regular blender.  Salt to taste and serve.

Pumpkin Soup

Optional garnishes include pumpkin oil with toasted pumpkin seeds, thyme leaves, or creme fraiche.

We hope you’ll have a chance to make this great pumpkin soup before the pumpkins have disappeared from the markets completely.  Until next time.

Serendipitously,

Kristen & Lynette

Lightfoot Update

For the past few weeks we’ve been working in the kitchen with a group of amazing high school students that are apart of the Lightfoot Industries pilot program.  In the kitchen we’ve been making chutneys and syrups and then they’re used in the weekly Lightfoot Supper Club dinners.  Below is an update from Carmen, the founder of Lightfoot, of what the students have been up to in the last few weeks.

Carmen with a few of the Lightfoot students

Hello Lightfoot Family!

As you know our team of student apprentices have been working each Supper Club Dinner as well as various caterings. We started the season off with a lunch buffet for 150 guests at Freelance Camp Santa Cruz, held at the Museum of Art History.  Our next and largest catering thus far was for Santa Cruz Waldorf School this past November; where we served roughly 200 people family style, as well as harvested product for the event with Waldorf students in their biodynamic garden.  Rock Romano of The Go Big Project put together a great video of the harvest/reciprocal learning days (you can view it on Vimeo or on our FaceBook page).  Aside from learning how to work as a team and provide great customer service, our students have also been in classes four (4) days a week as guinea pigs for our Lightfoot Academy. The curriculum is pretty rich so far, as are the businesses and individuals who have been making it possible; have a look at our weekly Lightfoot Academy schedule and see for yourself.

Food What? at UC Santa Cruz

Monday: Students work with Rich Harris, Seagate Social Media Strategist, to research develop and implement our social media strategy.  Aside from learning about having a responsible on-line presence, students are learning about cross-marketing, twitter, tags, as well as writing our blogs and managing content.  This class is also launching  a student-led, On-Line Profile Project – make sure to join our FaceBook page to follow the upcoming stories about each of our pilot program participants.

Tuesday & Thursday:  Village Yoga of Santa Cruz has opened up their studio for our students making the Wellness component of our framework possible.  After we practice Bikram Yoga together students spend time either journaling, or talking about nutrition and mediation and how it can affect one’s behavior and performance.

Wednesday:  Students work with Lynette and Kristen of Serendipity Saucy Spreads to make our signature chutney’s, sauces and syrups.  Along with cooking, students are also learning about recipe development and regional sourcing.  We use the products made in this class on our menu and will be offering them for sale at our Supper Clubs and coming soon to our website.

Lots of Jam

Friday:  Students work with Carmen Kubas in two (2) classes – Food Service and Sustainable Professional Development.  In Food Service students learn about restaurant and food service, while in the Professional Development class students work on defining and planning for their ‘soulcraft’ through the lens of sustainability.  In the Spring after students have compiled work samples from all areas of the program, a resume, references etc they will present their work and plan to a panel of community stakeholders.

Food Service Class

Next I’d like to thank and acknowledge the organizations that have been helping Lightfoot along during it’s first year.  These groups have either provided funding, pro bono work, space for our students to meet or other professional services.  Without these organizations, we would not be in existence.  Village Yoga, Entreprelaw, Bread for the Journey, Chocolate & Backstage Lounge, Communication 4 Good, Food What?, Delta High School, NextSpace-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Waldorf School.

Lastly, peruse through the links below to see some of the recent press and media we’ve been generating.   Our teen apprentices are very proud of their work accomplishments and have enjoyed seeing Lightfoot in local papers and blogs highlighting their efforts.

http://lightfootind.eventbrite.com/

http://www.iheartfarms.com/small_farms/2010/12/the-table-awaits.html

http://lightfootind.squarespace.com/blog/2010/12/2/supper-club-1-student-blog-grace-weighs-in-on-the-first-nigh.html?SSScrollPosition=0

http://wwwcom/santa-cruz-restaurant-reviews/1910-tread-lightly-and-carry-a-big-appetite.html

http://www.growing-up.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187&Itemid=0

In closing, thank you all for your continued support through our development and pilot phase.  Make sure to ‘like’ us on our Lightfoot Industries FaceBook page, as this is the main outlet for all our blog posts, photographs and event information.  If you get a chance, come join us for dinner at the last two Supper Clubs of 2010, December 11th and 17.  If you can’t make the December dinners don’t worry – we’ll be back at it come February 2011 and we will look forward to seeing you then!

Supper Club

Much love and appreciation to you all,

Carmen and the Lightfoot Team

Coming soon to the Serendipity Diary – Pumpkin Soup, Peppermint Mochas, and Grandma Smith’s Cookie Cutter cookies.

Until next time.

Serendipitously,

Kristen & Lynette