Classic Gingerbread Cookies



3 cups Swany White Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup unsulfured molasses

1 large egg

Royal Icing

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons dried egg-white powder

6 tablespoons water


  1. Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute using a hand mixer on high.
  4. Add the brown sugar to the butter mixture and beat until it is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes.
  5. Next, beat in the molasses and egg until mixed throughly.
  6. With a spoon, mix in the flour mixture gradually until a stiff dough forms.
  7. Divide the dough into two thick disks,  wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  8. Remove the one disk of dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature, about 10 minutes,  Dough should be warm enough to roll out without cracking.
  9. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. **For a softer cookie, roll out slightly thicker.**
  10. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.
  11. You can knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies, repeat until dough is gone and then start on the next disk.
  12. Bake, being sure to switch the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
  13. Cool  for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely.
  14. Decorate with Royal Icing. 

Royal Icing

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg-white powder and water using a hand-held electric mixer at low speed until combined.
  2. Increase the speed to high and beat  3 to 5 minutes or until very stiff, shiny and thick enough to pipe.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl while beating.


  1. The cookies can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, stored in airtight containers at room temperature.
  2. The icing can prepared up to 2 days ahead, stored in an airtight container  and refrigerated.
  3. This icing hardens into shiny white lines, and is used for piping decorations on cookies
  4. Traditional royal icing uses raw egg whites, you can substitute 3 large egg whites for the powder and water.

Bulgarian Maslenki, a Traditional Holiday Treat

Chances are, you have seen these traditional Bulgarian cookies.   Known as maslenki, they are a popular traditional Christmas staple. In Bulgaria they are traditionally made with lard, but you can substitute butter.  The lard will however make the dough very soft and keep them from spreading while baking.  If you want to knock the socks off of some of your friends this Christmas these are a cookie you must try!


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lard or butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups Swany White Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 jar tart jam (like rosehip, plum, raspberry or apricot)
  • Garnish: confectioner’s sugar


  1. Prepare all ingredients and preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs really well and sugar slowly until light and foamy.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Melt the lard or butter and, once it cooled to room temperature, add it slowly to the egg-sugar mixture with the vanilla, mixing constantly.
  4. Mix together flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, and then slowly add it to the egg mixture to create a firm dough.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick on parchment-lined baking pans and cut with a round cutter.
  6. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out a decorative hole in the center of half of the cookies.
  7. Bake about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  8. Sprinkle the cookies with holes with confectioner’s sugar and spread jam on the cookies without holes. Then sandwich the two cookies together.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

A Christmas Classic…Cutouts

Nothing says Christmas like fresh baked Christmas cutout cookies.  These delicious holiday favorites are a tradition for so many and most of us remember making them and decorating them as kids.  Try this recipe for a soft style cookie that will melt in your mouth.



  • 3 cups Swany White Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear for white icing)
  • 3-3.5 tablespoons milk use more or less as needed
  • Food coloring



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat), set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together shortening and sugar until well combined.
  4. Then, mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the dough in half and roll out each half on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick.
  7. Proceed to cut rolled dough with your favorite 2 to 3-inch cookie cutters.
  8. Re-roll any scrap pieces of sugar cookie dough and cut out more cookies until remaining dough is used.
  9. Place the cookies 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  10. Bake in separate batches at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set and very lightly browned.
  11. Cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and slowly add milk until well combined. Icing will be ready when you lift the whisk from the mixing bowl and still see the ribbons of icing that fall back into the bowl for a few seconds. *Add more milk to thin out the icing or powdered sugar to make it thicker.
  2. Separate the icing into mixing bowls and add desired food coloring as needed.
  3. Decorate and enjoy!

Perfect Pecan Pie with a Twist


1/2 of the classic crust recipe found HERE

1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Trim the dough and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in the cranberries and chopped pecans.
  5. Pour into the prepared crust.
  6. Bake on the lower oven rack for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the filling is almost set.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Pizza Fridays

Friday nights were meant for pizza and this crust recipe will be a winner for everyone at your table!



    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
    1. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Mix until smooth and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
    1. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.
    1. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or stone dusted with cornmeal.
    1. Add desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  1. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Classic Cupcake

The next time you have a celebration, try this classic vanilla cupcake recipe.  Just bake and decorate!


1 1/2 cups Swany White flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

Your favorite frosting and decorations, for topping



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Line one 12-cup muffin tin or two 24-cup mini-muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
  5. As you are beating, gradually pour in the melted butter and then the vanilla.
  6. Continue mixing slowly, add half of the flour mixture. Next add all the milk, and follow with the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin tin.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, rotating the tin about halfway through baking time, 18 to 20 minutes for standard cupcakes or 10 to 12 minutes for minis.
  9. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on the rack completely.
  10. Frost and decorate as desired.

Game Day Goodness

The leaves are falling and that means it is football season.  This season, bring the tastes of the stadium home with this classic pretzel recipe.  You can pair it with your favorite dipping sauce and game watching beverage!


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups Swany White Flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt


  1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit until the mixture begins to foam, usually about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Then switch to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Take the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then use the vegetable oil to oil the bowl.
  4. Add the dough to back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.   Dough should double in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper,  lightly brushing with vegetable oil.
  6. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
  7. While waiting for water to boil, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
  8. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
  9. Place finished pretzel onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  10. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.
  11. Once removed from the water, return to the half sheet pan.
  12. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, then sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
  13. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  15. Serve with melted cheese, mustard, or your favorite dipping sauce, and maybe a cold beverage.

These Muffins Are “Sweet”

This time of year kitchens are full of the smells of pumpkin , cinnamon, nutmeg, and the many spices of the season.  pumpkin can be delicious in breads and cakes, but we think that the sweet potato can also make a “sweet treat”.  This sweet potato muffin is just one example, try these muffins, or try switching the pumpkin in your recipes with sweet potato, and you may be “sweetly” surprised.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners (or prepare with butter or other cooking fat), set aside.
  3. Puree sweet potatoes by processing them in a food processor and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
  5. In a larger bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, then add the sweet potato puree.
  7. Fill each cup in prepared pan three-quarters full of batter.
  8. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (toothpick or cake tester should come out clean).
  9. Let cool and enjoy!

Lots a Pasta!!


The idea of making your own pasta, my seem daunting with the many complicated recipes full of specialized ingredients, we have found that making pasta can be easy with this recipe.  You can make this plain or spice it up with some fresh herbs or garlic.



  • 2 cups Swany White Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs


  1. On a flat surface, combine the flour and salt, make a well in the center of the flour and slat mixture, and add the eggs.
  2. Gently mix the eggs, gradually drawing in flour with each stroke, stiff dough will form,  Knead for 8-10 minutes.
    •  Note: If the dough is too dry and won’t stick together, add a 1/2 teaspoon of water. If it is too sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour. Remember that this dough is not bread dough and it will be much stiffer. The longer you work it, the smoother and more pliable it will become.
  3. Once you reach that nice silky texture, cover dough tightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for around 45 minutes.
  4. Once dough has rested, divide the dough into four portions and roll into a small, flat circle.

Now it is time to ROLL.

If you have a pasta machine, or a stand mixer attachement:

  • This will require passes, throughout each thickness setting for the best results. Begin with the highest setting and run it through once or twice there. Continue to adjust the settings to be thinner and thinner until you have a nice thin sheet of pasta.
  • To help in squaring up the edges and keeping things even, fold dough strip into thirds between each pass.
  • When you have desired thickness,  simply roll it through the cutting side of the machine to slice into spaghetti or fettuccine.

If you don’t have a pasta machine, that is ok, you can use a rolling pin and knife:

  • Roll each portion of dough out on a well-flour surface, keeping in mind you will need to roll it out as thin as you possibly can, as it will plump during the cooking process.
  • Cut into thin strips.
    • Note that if at any point, your pasta is sticking to the surface of the the machine, or your rolling pin, add more flour. 

Once your pasta is cut, you can either cook your pasta right away (3-4 minutes in boiling water) or dry it for later.