Monday, November 24, 2008

Is It A Cookie or A Biscuit?

It's been a few days since I have added a new post here. I had a very busy weekend. I spent the day Saturday with my friend Shelby. On Sunday I went to a birthday party for my nephew who turned two. I was hoping to have some pictures to put up of the party but I forgot my camera at home. From now whenever I leave the house I am going to remember to put my camera in my purse before heading out the door.

I was going to make sugar cookies last week but as most of you will remember from an earlier post Randy wanted a cookie that had some flavor so I made a different cookie instead. Well this morning I decided to make the sugar cookies. I was going to use the turkey cookie cutter but I decided not too and instead just dropped the dough in spoonfuls and what I ended up with was cookies that resemble the drop biscuits that I like to make. After they were done cooling I had to try one and I was very impressed. You think you are biting into a biscuit but you get the surprise when you realize that it is a sugar cookie instead.

The recipe that I used is from my own recipe book and it is one that my mom has used over the years. I will be making Christmas cookies this year and will be using this recipe again but I will be using the cookie cutters.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter softened (1 1/2 sticks)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream sugar, butter. Beat in egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder, stir into creamed ingredients. Instead of rolling out the dough I dropped the dough on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. I went alittle longer than the 12 minutes so I know the cookies would be cooked through.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes & Butter Cream Frosting
The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup shortening (I used Butter Flavor Crisco)

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the muffin pan cups. The next time I make these I will use the cupcake papers.

Into a large bowl, measure all ingredients; with mixer on low speed, beat until well blended. Increase speed to high; beat 2 minutes. Spoon batter into cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on racks for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling completely on racks.

Butter Cream Frosting

1 16 ounce package of confectioners' sugar

6 tablespoons butter or margarine (3/4 stick) softened (I prefer to use butter)

3 tablespoons milk or half-and-half

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed (or with spoon), beat all ingredients until smooth, adding more milk if necessary until frosting is smooth with an easy spreading consistency.

As I was decorating these cupcakes, I thought of the frosting as snow and the leaves to be falling to the snowy covered ground below.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Peanut Crisps

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I was going to make some sugar cookies using a turkey cookie cutter. As I was starting to get prepared to the make the cookies, Randy came home. I told him I was going to make sugar cookies in the shape of turkey's. Randy said "You should make some cookies with some flavor in them." Well since Randy eats most of the things I make without commenting often, I handed him the Martha Stewart cookie book and said find something you would like and I will make that instead. Randy found about ten or so different ones and said pick from them. He made it pretty easy for me since I picked the one that I thought I would enjoy just as well, Peanut Crisps. The picture of me is compliments of Randy, who said I should have a picture of myself making the cookies. I usually don't have anyone around when I am baking or I probably would have more pictures of myself preparing the recipes.
Peanut Crisps from Martha Stewart Cookies (page 54)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup salted whole peanuts (I used dry roasted peanuts instead)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl.
2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. I chose to just mix this by hand, I would like to get a Kitchen Aid. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until combined. Stir in peanuts.
3. Drop 2 teaspoons of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 3 inches apart. Lightly flatten to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are just golden, about 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen (I made the cookies big, ended up with 22)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pizza Pork Chops

I am not sure if many people are aware of this but I work the evening shift and Randy works the day shift. I spend five days a week having dinner with other people besides Randy. It is not very often that I make something for him during the day before I go to work. Randy doesn't mind that I don't cook something for him though, he is pretty handy in the kitchen himself at whipping up something. I was looking through my recipe book this morning and I decided I would surprise Randy and have something already made for his dinner when he gets home tonight. I changed the recipe up alittle bit to what ingredients I had in the house. I didn't try it yet but I will let you all know if Randy enjoyed it.

Pizza Pork Chops (I got this recipe from the Better Homes and Garden magazine)

4 pork chops, cut 1/2 inch thick (I had a package of 2 so that's what I used)

4 slices mozzarella cheese (I used shredded cheese, pizza blend)

1/4 cup pizza sauce

4 ounce can of mushroom stem and pieces drained

Place chops on a rack in an unheated broiler pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil chops, 3 to 4 inches from heat until well done, turning once (allow about 20 minutes total time). If using slices of cheese halve it diagonally. Brush chops with pizza sauce and top with some mushrooms. Place cheese on top. Broil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more or until the cheese melts. You can also serve this atop slices of garlic bread. Randy is not a big fan of bread so I will pass on doing that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


With the weather forecast calling for snow again, my thoughts are bringing me back to when the weather was nice and the flowers were in bloom. I really don't mind the snow unless it makes for the roads to be bad to travel in. These pictures are from around our yard. Hope everyone enjoys them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Peter Pumpkin Squares

I was reading through my mail on Saturday and I came across this recipe in Focus on Health that is put out by an area hospital. I read through the ingredients and I knew that I had everything the recipe called for. I recommend anyone that likes pumpkin to try this recipe out. You won't be disappointed.

1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

3/4 cup cooking oil

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

Margarine or butter to grease the pan

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and oil. Mix well.

3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.

4. Add the pumpkin mix to the flour. Stir well.

5. Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with butter or margarine.

6. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan.

7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pizza For Two

I spent the afternoon doing some housework and rearranging some furniture. As I was cleaning I was thinking of something that would be simple and quick to make for dinner. I decided to make Randy and I our own personal pizza. Since I wanted this to be quick, I did cheat with the crust and used a mix. I will have a post at a later date of my own pizza crust from scratch.

Homemade Pizza

Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix (follow directions on the package for making the crust)

all natural pizza sauce (Price Chopper brand)

shredded cheese pizza blend (Price Chopper brand)

eight slices of pepperoni (four for each pizza)

small can of mushrooms

I assembled the pizza's on a cookie sheet that was sprayed with cooking spray and I cooked them for appoximately 17 minutes.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm In The Mood For Cookies

I do love cookies. I love to make cookies. I love to eat cookies. I also love to share cookies with everyone else. I work in a health care facility and I have a few coworkers so I always try to bring in any treat that I make. We are ordering out for dinner tonight from the local grange hall and since I was in the baking mood I would bring in some cookies. I decided upon the Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Martha Stewart Cookies. Before I started to make the cookies I had to make sure I had all the ingredients. I did, which I was glad of because as the title of this post reads I am in the mood for cookies.

Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies from Martha Stewart Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips, or a combination of both (I used mini chocolate chips, only 1 cup instead of 2)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a bowl.

2. Put butter and both sugars on the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until centers are set and edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. I let the cookies about 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Surprise Cookies

I bought the Martha Stewart cookie book a couple months ago. I am very impressed with all the interesting cookie recipes the book has to offer. I have only made one recipe from the book but I do have a list inside the front cover of more of the cookies that I would like to make. With the holiday seasons upon us, I know I will be do a lotof baking and this recipe book will come in quite handy for that. These cookies turned out very delicious and they hold a surprise inside when you take a bite. I enjoyed two cookies with a tall glass of milk.

For the cookies:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup whole milk (I had only fat free)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

About 15 marshmallows, halved crosswise

For the frosting:

3 cups confectioners' sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk (I used fat free)

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat theoven to 375 degrees. Make cookies: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.

2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. I had to use my hand held mixer. I do not have a stand mixer but I am hoping to get one soon. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined.

3. Using a 1 3/4 inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately press marshmallow half on top of each cookie. Bake until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

4. Make frosting: Put confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Melt butter with the cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add butter mixture to the confectioners' sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cookie to cover marshmallow. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Blueberry Buckle

I went grocery shopping yesterday and knew that I would be getting some blueberries but I hadn't decided what I was going to make until this morning. I have made this recipe before and I know why I like it so much. It reminds me so much of a blueberry muffin.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft shortening
1 egg
1/2 milk
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries

Crumb mixture
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Thoroughly mix together the first three ingredients. Stir in the milk. Stir together the next three ingredients and blend well. Carefully blend in the blueberries. Spread batter in a greased and floured 9" square pan. Sprinkle with crumb mixture topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-
50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

I like to serve this warm fresh from the oven.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Broccoli Pizza and Trick or Treating

My sister Darcy slicing the pizza

Yesterday was Halloween and it was also my day off. I spent the day with
my sister and my nephew.
Darcy said for dinner that we would be having broccoli pizza. Sounded good
to me because I really love pizza.

The pizza crust was from Betty Crocker where you add water. Darcy adds her
own seasonings to the crust once she has it placed on the pizza stone. The pizza
crust is placed in the oven for 2 minutes before the toppings are put on. I think
this helps in the cooking process. After the 2 minutes the crust is removed from
the oven. Darcy decided to use ricotta cheese and spread this evenly on the crust.
I did gave a hand in making the pizzas by cutting up the broccoli and placing that
on the crust. Mozzarella cheese was then put on and into the oven for 15 minutes.
As you can see the finished product is above and the pizza turned out nicely.

Darcy ended up getting quite a few trick or treaters at her house.

Justin and I before heading out to trick or treat