Fruit Cookies

My sister Tracy brought these cookies to Christmas, and they were delicious! She didn’t use nuts or raisins but followed the rest of the recipe. Enjoy!

2 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1 c. each of following dried fruit:  Raisins, cranberries, blueberries, and cherries
2 c. oats
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  In large bowl, melt butter, add sugar, beaten eggs, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, fruit and walnuts.  Roll and flatten cookie dough (not all the way!) onto parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until done. Yum!!!

Kristin Cookies

My great friend Kristin is one of my all-time favorite cooks, and last night, she went with me to see another one of my all-time favorite cooks, Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen blog. When I need a recipe, you’ll often find me searching Smitten Kitchen, so when Deb released a new cookbook, I rushed over to Book People to hear her speak.

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Continue reading “Kristin Cookies”

Frankenstein Bars

I saw the cutest recipe for Frankenstein Bars this weekend. We were on the way home from Six Flags (side note: you could not PAY me to go to their nighttime Fright Fest, where they pump in fog everywhere so their scary employees can jump out and get ya. No Thank You.).

But I digress.

I was reading the news  (People magazine) and thought just maybe I could pull off these cute bars.
Continue reading “Frankenstein Bars”

Lemon ‘Swig’ Sugar Cookies

When my friend Molly shows up to a youth baseball practice with cookies in a cellophane bag,  tied with a ribbon…I knew it was going to be good!  

These cookies are a perfect mix of sugar, lemon, and goodness.  The texture is buttery and smooth.  The frosting compliments the cookie better than most.  Can you say hello Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting?    

Thank you Molly,  for sharing your mad baking skills and friendship with me!  To our lemon loving friends,  it’s not too late to bake these for a special teacher or friend.  Follow the directions closely, leaving thicker than normal and also baking a short amount of time.

LEMONCOOKIES300

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup sugar (plus ¼ cup reserved)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t cream of tarter
  • 1 t salt
  • 5½ cups flour
  • Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
  • softened
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 t lemon zest
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Get ready to enjoy these scrumptious cookies!
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar (1¼ C), powdered sugar, and water. Add in lemon juice and lemon zest.. Add in eggs.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a non stick cookie sheet.
  5. To give the cookies their signature rough edge, dip the bottom of a glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie. You still want the cookie to be thicker so don’t press them to thin.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly brown. The cookies stay soft so do not over bake.

To make the lemon cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy.

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

cookiesThis recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a blog I love so much I bought her cookbook. Some people say Ina Garten’s recipes are fail proof; I guess you could say Deb Perlman is my Ina. I made these cookies for the first time for my cookie party, which is a commitment. But they worked great, and I frosted them the exact same way as my sugar cookies, and they were a nice change of pace! 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Eclair Dessert

Seriously delicious.  At a recent get together,  MJ knocked it out of the ballpark with a sinful dessert.  Anything that remotely resembles an eclair….I’m in. I feel confident that it was made with full strength fat and sugar, although a low-calorie version might be worth a try.  Layered desserts can be fun.  It involves no baking and relatively simple.  This would be a great recipe to make with your children.  Close your eyes and dream about a Parisian bakery without the travel.  Enjoy.

Crust
8-10 whole graham crackers

Cream
2-4 oz packages of French vanilla instant pudding (I used one regular vanilla and one French)
3 cups milk
9 oz Cool Whip

Frosting
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
3 T. margarine
5 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 ½ cup powdered sugar

Line 9×13″ pan with graham crackers until completely covered with one layer of crackers.

Combine pudding and milk.  Beat on low-speed for 3 minutes. Fold Cool Whip into pudding mixture.

Spread ½ of the creamy mixture over the graham crackers. Place as second layer of graham crackers over the cream. Use the rest of the cream over this layer of graham crackers. Place a third layer of graham crackers over cream.

Make frosting: Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Gently add milk and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar, whisking until well  blended and smooth.   Cool for 5 minutes. Pour frosting over 3rd layer of graham crackers.

Cool 8 hours.

Chocolate Fudge Marshmallow Goodness

The weather must warm up!  Spring is around the corner and I need to get out of the kitchen soon.  The downside is my backside,  The upside is that I have tested some of the best recipes that are now some of my favorites.  I have been blessed to share them with friends going through tough times.  Good weather is coming and so are better times for so many.  My heart is full, tummies are full, and love has been shown.  I stumbled upon this recipe and had every ingredient except the marshmallows.  We have enjoyed the leftover marshmallows in hot cocoa.  🙂  Is there such a thing as too much chocolate?

chocolate
3/4 cup flour
1 cup of regular sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder,sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
2 handfuls of mini marshmallows or enough to almost cover the top

For the frosting:
2 ounces butter, melted (1/4 cup)
1 ounce cocoa powder, sifted (1/4 cup)
2 ounces evaporated milk (1/4 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (8 ounces)

Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9 x 9 square baking pan and line with parchment paper (sprayed with Pam). Parchment paper is my new best friend.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat together the butter, eggs and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the toasted nuts. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake on a middle shelf of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Mine cooked in about 20 minutes.  Immediately sprinkle the marshmallows on top and return to the oven for a few minutes (3-4) to melt the marshmallows. Remove from the oven and carefully spread the chocolate frosting over top.

To make the chocolate frosting mix all ingredients together in a bowl, beating with an electric whisk until smooth and thick. Spread on the hot marshmallows. Let cool completely. Cut into wedges to serve after removing from spring form pan.

Note:  One shortcut is to use Milk Chocolate canned frosting. (gasp)   I heated it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and poured half the can on top of the marshmallows.  I then used a knife to “swirl” the chocolate and marshmallows together.  I put in the the fridge for 30 minutes, cut,  and  stored in Tupperware at room temperature.

Strawberry Brownies

Cooking for friends this week, I searched for something outside of my box.  I love desserts that stand alone and also good with a good cup of morning joe. This is a different version of Strawberry Cake.  First, it’s dense.  Second, it’s easy with minimal ingredients. There are two ways you can make this.  I made both and like both.  The brownies with the glaze can be frozen.  The cream cheese frosted ones are rich and yummy!

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)pic cake
  • 
2 eggs
  • 
1/3 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 8″ square baking pan with parchment (and spray with Pam).  Mix strawberry cake mix, eggs, and oil with hand mixer until well combined.  Spread batter evenly into pan.  Batter will be thicker than normal cake batter and may need to be pressed in.   Bake for 15 minutes or until just set; be careful not to overcook.  Allow brownies to cool for 10 minutes.  Lift carefully from pan using ends of parchment to lift.

Choose between a glaze or cream cheese frosting.

Glaze

1 cup of powdered sugar  (I sift mine)

2 T of milk

Mix powdered sugar and water until smooth.

Pour glaze over brownies, spreading to edges so that glaze will drip down sides.

Allow brownies to cool and glaze to set before cutting into squares. Use a plastic knife to cut brownies.  These freeze well.

OR

Cream Cheese Frosting

1(8- oz) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter (softened)

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese & butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar & vanilla.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Spread over cooled brownies.

If icing  these brownies rather than glazing them, you’ll want to wait until brownies cool~at least half an hour .  The easiest way to ice the brownies is prior to cutting into squares.  Use plastic knife when cutting.  (great little tip)

Kentucky Highway Pie (sometimes known as Kentucky Derby)

pieWho am I to turn down a piece of pie? Dione had a bake off during the NFL playoffs and shared. Oh how I love when you announce you MIGHT start a diet and how really good food comes your way.
Happy 2015. I said I wouldn’t share with the hubs, but I lied. He took one look and said, I love chocolate pie….how could I resist? This comes from Dione’s mama, perfectly handwritten like the good ole days. Enjoy!

Unbaked store bought or your favorite homemade crust, your choice
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 cup pecans, chopped
6 oz of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly blend eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Then add sugar, butter, vanilla, and cornstarch one by one until well mixed. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into an unbaked pie crust.
Cook at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until set. Cover edges of crust with foil if they start getting a little dark. The chef also mentioned that it is wonderful the day after!

Peanut Butter Balls

My friend Jen brought these to my cookie party, and it originally came from my friend Allison. Love a recipe that is good enough to get passed around! They were a hit at my cookie party and with my husband! I think the Rice Krispies are the secret ingredient that takes them over the top! 

1 stick butter (slightly melted)
1 box powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
2 packages semi sweet or milk chocolate chips ( I use ghiradelli or guittard)

Mix butter,powdered sugar, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies together to form 1″ balls. Melt chocolate chips on low heat in double broiler. (I refrigerate the balls about 30 min. because it makes them easier to dip.) Dip and cool on wax paper. Place in individual mini muffin cups for display. They will stay in the fridge a up to 2 weeks.