How I Brine A Turkey!

Look At That Brine

So I brine a turkey every year because it makes me happy. What is Brining?   Brining involves soaking a turkey in a very salty solution for a certain length of time, long enough for the salt to get into the turkey and actually make the meat so yummy. It doesn’t turn it into a salty mess, either. It just results in a juicy, fantastic turkey. You will Sing & Dance

You can buy pre-made brining solutions. The one that I have trusted comes from The Pioneer Woman.  It works every time and nothing needs to be changed in my opinion.  

Let’s Brine!

3 c. apple juice or apple cider

2 gallons cold water

4 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 c. kosher salt

2 c. brown sugar

3 tbsp. peppercorns

5 whole bay leaves

Peel of three large oranges

Brine Bag or Tub to submerge the turkey

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Turn off heat, cover and allow the brine to cool completely. 

Place the uncooked turkey in a large brining bag or pot, pour in the brine solution to cover the turkey, and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours. 

Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine (discard the brine) and submerge the turkey in a pot or sink filled with fresh, cold water for 15 minutes. This removes excess salt from the outside. 

Remove the turkey from the water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

Frosted Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cookies

It’s officially FALL!!  Time to stock up on all things pumpkin.  I have been waiting patiently to share this recipe with you.  It has easily stolen the hearts of my boys.  There is something about the soft pumpkin cookie and cream cheese frosting on top that makes FALL MAGIC.  Your house will smell amazing while you are baking.  If you play “Autumn in New York” by Billie Holiday while baking your kitchen will become a dance floor.  I promise this will become a Fall favorite.

Keep Singing and Dancing,
Amanda  

Frosted Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 T pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 t Kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin 
1 egg
1 t Mexican vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (1 brick)cream cheese, room temperature
3 T butter, room temperature
1 t Mexican vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined.  Set aside.

With a mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy.  Add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat on medium-speed until just combined.  Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Using a cookie dough scoop, make a heaping tablespoon of dough.  Drop scoop on prepared cookie sheet by heaping tablespoonfuls.  

Bake for 15 or until the cookies are cooked through and bounce back slightly if you touch them.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool until they reach room temperature.  Then frost with cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with an extra pinch of pumpkin pie spice.  

Please read: Cookies are ready to serve.  Otherwise, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.  In my family’s opinion, the cookies don’t taste the best right out of the refrigerator.  So plan ahead before your event.  Take cookies out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before your event.  

To Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar until it is all combined and the frosting is smooth.  If frosting is too thick, add in a tablespoon or two of milk until it reaches your desired consistency.  If your frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.

You know I LOVE Trader Joe’s. I used Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin and Pumpkin Pie Spice.