Cookies are easy. Easy to make. Easy to store. Easy to eat (sometimes too easy!). These little cookies are no exception

These little cookies have a slight orange taste, due to the orange extract and orange zest. It is faint but there. I think next time I will add a little orange oil to bring the taste out more.

These are on page 295 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker

Visit the other Challenge Bakers for their ‘moments’.

Today may not have been the best day to bake meringues.

We had 5″ of rain last night and it IS still pretty damp outside.

Still….I wanted to use up some of the gazillion eggwhites in the freezer so I decided I wanted meringues.

Malgieri’s recipe was supposed to be Espresso Walnut Meringues but I was all out of walnuts. His variation was to use pecans and cinnamon. Good choice.

I THINK meringue cookies are supposed to be crispy. Mine were a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. That Wasn’t a Bad Thing!!

I did find the recipe on line at The Biscuit Pusher and she points out a mistake that I didn’t catch. While the ingredients call for 1 cup sugar the directions state,

    “Increase the speed to medium-high and whip in 1/2 cup of the sugar….”

And look though I did I never did find out what to do with the other 1/2 cup. Of course since I didn’t read the directions all the way through ayway I added a full cup of sugar!!

You can find this recipe on page 282 of the Modern Baker. And check with members of the Modern Baker Challenge to see their meringues.

This week, the Baking with Julia pick is an old Jewish treat – RUGELACH.

Made with a cream cheese based dough it is a rolled up ‘cookie’ which is rolled in a sugar cinnamon filled with nuts and fruit and Lekvár, a thick jam or fruit butter. I had never heard of Lekvár so I looked it up.

    “Lekvár is a very thick, sometimes coarse jam of pure ripe fruit. Lekvar is of Central and Eastern European origin.”

After reading that I KNEW I would never find that here in Podunk, LA., so I was thankful there was a recipe in the book to make it. Two recipes, actually, one for prune and one for apricot.

While these were sweet and tasty these would not be a go-to cookie for me. Not because of the dough (which can be tricky to work with) but because of the dried fruit. Not a fan. But The Hubs liked them (but he likes Fruitcake, too!) so I would make again for him.

It was really easy to make the apricot Lekvár: boil some dried apricots until soft, puree with brown sugar and amaretto liquer. THIS is where I went wrong. I used Creme de Almond instead and a little bit TOO much. The alcohol taste was a little overwhelming.
Ah, well! We learn from our mistakes. But they were pretty!!!

The recipe is from Contributing Baker Lauren Groveman and is on page 325 of Baking with Julia which is a compilation of recipes from the PBS show of the same name.

Our hosts this week were Jessica of My Baking Heart and Margaret of The Urban Hiker. You can find the recipe on their blogs {and some lovely pics of the rugelach}. And after visiting them you can stop by the Baking with Juliaweb page and see other lovely cookies.

And if you want to join in the fun, you can do that, too.

Cookies!! Fingerfood!! A little bite of sweet when you don’t need a BIG bite!!

    Honey Peanut Wafers

How about a little bite of sweet with honey roasted peanuts and honey. A simple little wafer cookie with plenty of honey flavor.


    1 cup flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup honey
    1 large egg
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 1/3 cups (about 6.5 ounces) honey-roasted peanuts, finely chopped (but not ground)

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

Combine the flour and baking soda on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.

Gently whisk together the sugar, honey and egg in a medium mixing bowl, trying not to create any foam or froth. Then whisk in the butter.

Add the flour mixture; use a large, flexible spatula to incorporate it. Then add the chopped peanuts and mix well to distribute the nuts evenly throughout the dough.

Drop tablespoon-size pieces of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 4 inches apart. Flatten each mound of dough with the tip of a water-moistened finger (to keep it from sticking). {I didn’t flatten one sheet and they came out the same as the flattened.}
Bake both sheets of cookies for about 5 minutes, then rotate them top to bottom and front to back. (If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, use a third baking sheet to insulate the cookies as they bake on the bottom rack.) Bake for 5 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are evenly golden.

Slide the silicone liners or parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. As soon as you can pry the cookies off the mats, rinse the mats and repeat the baking process. The cookies should be cooled completely before storing.

When the cookies were still warm, they were nice and chewy, but as they cooled they crisped. Equally good both ways. Theis one can be put together lickity split when you just have a few minutes to make cookies. Dangerous, I know!!

I am putting in the recipe because I found it already on the net HERE. The recipe is in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker on page 280.

Other MB members have made them:

    Abby and it was her pick so her post is on the MB Challenge site!

And if you want to join in to finish up cookies {and then Cakes beginning in June} just stop by the Modern Baker Challenge Home Page.

There is a in my Kitchen.

There has to be because these cookies just DISAPPEARED!!!

And no wonder because they are delicious. Chewy! Chocolatey! Sweet! Did I mention Chocolatey?

Not only do they have Bittersweet Chocolate in them…..

…they also have Milk Chocolate! I can totally go with that! This IS a chocolate chip cookie after all!!! And I wouldn’t change a thing about them. {Okay, I MIGHT add pecans sometime.}

These are on page 285 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker

Don’t you just love that name??

Shelby’s site is just as interesting as her blog’s title. Interesting because it has such a great mix of recipes. From Bread to Venison, from decadent to healthy (Weight Watchers), you can find it all on Shelby’s site. And so so many I wanted to try. Unfortunately life got in the way and I ended up with only time to try two. So I made the choices good ones.

“Keeping Grumpy Happy” was the title of the post containing Italian Bread using a Bread Machine. It is a free form loaf that starts in the bread machine. The machine does all the work, you get all the taste. Since we are allowed to modify recipes I decided to make…

    Asiago Italian Bread

    4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    1 1/3 cups warm water
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1 cup freshly shredded Asiago Cheese {this is all I added to the mix}
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon water
    2 tablespoons cornmeal

{BTW! I cut the recipe in 1/2 so the bread DID have a lot of cheesey flavor!!}

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press start.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves and place seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

I was afraid that a whole cup of cheese would be too much, but it turned out to be the perfect amount. I like to be able to actually taste the cheese in a cheese bread. Good plain, buttered, or toasted!!


Despite the fact I had several ‘meal’ recipes picked out I only got to dessert – Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies. According to Shelby,

    “The peanut butter cookie recipe comes from “Feeder’s Digest” which is a cookbook that was put together by locals in the Dekalb-Hermon Senior Citizens club back in 1974.”

Don’t you love the older local cookbooks put together by schools and churches, etc. I have several myself and can always find something to make from them.

These are definitely traditional but definitely tasty. They are traditionally flattened with a fork but I chose to just scoop some and let them flatten on their own.

    1 c. granulated sugar
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. crisco
    1 c. peanut butter
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2-1/2 c. flour

Mix together well. Roll in balls. Flatten with fork and bake at 375 for 8 – 10 minutes.

1/2 of the recipe gave me 26 cookies. I baked two sheets worth but had a little dough left over so I threw in a few chocolate chips. PB and Chocolate = TASTY!!

These cookies were made as part of a Baking Gals post. Shelby is one of hundreds of bakers who supply goodies to our troops overseas!! GO Shelby!!

NOW!! About those recipes I wanted to make – I will get to them….

And that’s just some of the deliciousness from Shelby. Y’all really need to visit with her!!!

BTW Shelby was my ‘assignment’ for February’s Secret Recipe Club. Once a month we are given a blog to bake/cook from and then blog about our cooking adventures. It is a wonderful way to find new blogs and wonderful recipes.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words I don’t need to say anything else!!!

What you see is one of Malgieri’s bar cookies in the cookie section of the Modern Baker.

The bars start off with a buttery shortbread crust….

….which is gently pressed into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

While the dough is baking you mix together your brown sugar, eggs, sugar, coconut, pecans, and chocolate pieces. {Malgieri calls for 12 ounces of cut chocolate, but I used chocolate chips.} This mix is spread over the baked but not cooled crust…

…and baked for about 20 – 25 minutes until the filling is set. {Have to say, mine never did ‘set’ until if chilled them.} The ‘slab’ is then cut into 2″ squares – which is all you need because they are SO rich, and devoured!!

I know several of the Modern Challenge Bakers have already made these so check them out and visit The Modern Baker Challenge – Cookies.

And if you want to join in the fun, contact us.

This recipe is on page 277 of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker.

If you like the flavor of Molasses, pecans, and raisins cranberries then you will really like these spicy bars from Nick’s the Modern Baker.

They are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and nicely spicy. Since I am NOT a raisin fan I used dried cranberries and liked the result.

Recipe says to bake 20 – 25 minutes, but mine took 40 minutes. Just sayin’….

This was another cookie I made with Kayte, Phyl, Abby, Renee that weekend before the Christmas holidays. They are one of 25 cookies found in the Cookies, Bars, & Biscotti section of…

Do I really need to go any further than the picture?

Okay, Fine…

Before Christmas Kayte, Phyl, Abby, Renee, and I were baking cookies and this was one we made.

    Caramel Crumb Bars

These cookies begin with a sweet crust pressed into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

While the crust is chilling you crumble the remaining dough for the topping and set aside.

The filling is made with butter, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix these really LOW calorie ingredients together, simmer, boil, thicken, and cool. When cooled the filling is poured into the chilled crust, covered with the crumble topping and baked at 350° until the filling is bubbling, a deep caramel color and the dout is baked through. About 30 minutes.

What you end up with is…..

.. whole lot of caramely deliciousness!!!

I may have over baked these a tad, the crust was a little brown, but the caramel was deep, dark, and delicious.

If you want to see the other’s Crumb Bars, visit The Modern Baker Challenge – Cookies.

And if you want to join in the fun, contact us.

Michelle of what was then Sugar and Spice celebrated her 100th blog post with Dorie’s Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies as the FIRST Tuesdays with Dorie selection. That was 4 years ago. Michelle is now The Brown Eyed Baker and still going strong. Her shortbread cookies are beautiful, mine are, well… eh. BROWN!!

I’m not sure if it was the dark brown sugar {recipe called for light brown}, the fact that I MAY have baked them a little too long {21 minutes rather than 18 – 20} and while a minute doesn’t seem like a lot {unless you are waiting for something REALLY important} it can be major for baking. Or my oven just doesn’t like me!! Whatever, they are sooo brown. And they baked together, AND the little holes in the cookies disappeared. But they were really good. Next time (?) bake less time, light brown sugar, bigger holes, and buy a new oven (well, maybe not THAT one!!)

The recipe is in Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours (pg 127) and on Michelle’s blog.

{And yes I do know these were supposed to be last week, but I cannot read!!} So visit Nancy and Leslie and I know others are going back to make the ones they missed. If I find them, I’ll link to them.

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