Cookies


I have been in a baking funk. I haven’t felt like doing ANY baking. Which is unusual for me. I LOVE to bake. Even when it’s hot. I bake. Until recently. Thank goodness for SRC because the blog assigned to me was so full of goodies to bake I just HAD to get back into the kitchen. In case you are wondering, SRC is the Secret Recipe Club. Each month we are assigned a blog to cook from and, in Group C, we REVEAL on the third Monday of the month. This month’s assignment was a good one because thanks to Jamie at Our Eating Habits I am out of my baking slump!

I usually pick two or three recipes to feature on the SRC post. Usually savory. But this time I went strickly for baking goodies.

We started out with Jamie’s

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    Blueberry Muffins

This is the first year our Blueberry bushes have yielded enough berries to actually use in something. So exciting to know I will have fresh berries in the freezer.

    3/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup Stevia
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Mix together the milk , oil, and egg. Reserve 1 tbl dry ingredient mix. Add remaining dry ingredients to liguid and stir until just combined. Toss berries with about 1 Tbl flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries.

2. Line muffin tin with paper liners (or grease) and scoop in batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 22 minutes. Original Recipe

I added a simple Lemon glaze. Perfect for Breakfast. Snack. Dessert. Blueberries!

Then we were completely out of cookies, so…..

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia
    3/4 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup Eggbeater
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugars and Stevia.
2. Add Eggbeaters and vanilla, beat together again.
3. Add flours, baking soda, and salt, mix until just comes together.
4. Beat in chocolate chips and oats.
5. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees, transfer to cooling rack. Original Recipe

The cookies didn’t last long. Between the Peanut Butter and the Oatmeal in the cookies they made for one perfect cookie.

The Man eats sandwiches most days for lunch so I bake bread every week. This week I used Jamie’s recipe for

    French Style Baguettes

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Jamie’s recipe made 2 large baguettes but I made 4 by cutting the dough into smaller pieces. I also subbed out some Whole Wheat for some of the flour. These were good and made great sandwiches. Just the right amount of ‘chew’ with the WWF. So much better than ANY store bought bread. You can find the recipe HERE!

So I am out of my Baking Funk. Spending the day with Jamie in the Kitchen was just the therepy I needed. Of course with all the other recipes I pinned there will be more days spent in the kitchen with Jamie.

Discovering new foodie blogs through SRC is always good for one’s baking psyche. Check out the other discoveries from the SRC members below.


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Why is it when I know I have a month to plan and cook/bake I wait til the last minute to actually do it? Could be because it has been a crazy month. In town. Out town. Even the weather has been crazy. Mid-June and we had Spring. Now it’s HOT! Summer. And of course summer means more time out side {Unless you live in the humid hot deep South} and more picnics and the chance to eat al fresco which happens to be this months LETS LUNCH theme. I didn’t even decide what to do until Thursday afternoon. Sheesh! So if it looks hurried…. But it was fun. And tasty!

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    Pudding and Cookie Jars

I have seen lots of ‘jarred’ desserts around the internet. Some with cake. Some with Cheesecake {YES PLEASE!} Some with fruit. Some ‘trifled’. I thought that would be a perfect easy to carry dish to bring to the Lets Lunch picnic.

In small pint jars layer your cookies, I used mini Oreos and NutterButters, with pudding. Flavor of your choice. I had some vanilla – NOT what I wanted but what I had – thanks to boxes. And I made some tofu Chocolate pudding from Ellie Krieger.

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Using the puddings layer them with cookies, or cookie crumbles in the jars. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cookie bits, mini chocolate chips. It’s all up to your imagination. Go WILD!! Put on the lid. Place in a cooler and everybody gets their own individual dessert. No big bowls. No big spoons. No bowls to mess with. Easy!!

Dark Chocolate Mousse
adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

    1 (12.3 ounce) package silken tofu, drained
    3 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 cup water

Puree the silken tofu in a food processor until completely smooth.
Combine the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, water, and brandy. Microwave on medium until chocolate starts to melt. Stir. Continue until all the chocolate is melted and ingredients are combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, until smooth.
Add the chocolate mixture to the tofu in the food processor and puree until well-combined and smooth. You may have to stop it a few times to scrape down the sides.
Pour the mousse into individual serving dishes, cover tightly, and refrigerator for at least one hour, up to three days, to set properly. {I let mine partially set and then spooned into the jars in layers.}

Want to enjoy the picnic? This month’s Lets Lunch is hosted by Annabelle at Glass of Fancy and she will have the complete list in case I miss someone here.

Enjoy the Picnic, Y’all!!

Follow us on Twitter: #LetsLunch

Annabelle’s Butterscotch Brownies
Betty Ann’s Adobong Mani or Peanuts in Garlic
Grace’s review of The Great Outdoors Cookbook
Karen’s Watermelon Mint Cocktails
Linda S.’s Spicy Nectarine and Tomato Salad
Lisa’s Spinach and Three-Cheese Coil Pastries
Anne Marie’s Peachy Picnic Sliders
Linda’s Spicy Nectarine and Tomato Salad
Cheryl’s Perfect Summer Pesto

It’s PotLuck week at ICHH. And since we can choose any chef/cook we want from previous months I went with Bittman again. This time, something simple – COOKIES.

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    1/2 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil, 8 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup granulated sugar Stevia
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup applesauce, or 2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
    1 cup (about 3 ounces) chopped dried apples, or other fruit
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Pinch salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup almond milk, rice milk, or oat milk, or cow’s milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Blend butter (or oil) with sugars. Add in the applesauce (or eggs) and mix until well blended.
Mix the dry ingredients. Alternating with the milk add to the sugar/oil/applesauce mix.
Stir in the vanilla.
Drop tablespoon sized mounds of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack. About 40 cookies. {Original Recipe}

These were pretty good. They are not very sweet but the pecans add a nice crunch and the apples add a little sweetness. They would also be good with dried cranberries. I think I would try and add a little PB next time for sweetness and fiber.

{Nutritional info: (each cookie) 106 calories, 7 g fat, Less than 1 g cholesterol, 11 carbs, less than 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein.}
The recipe is from Bittman’s Food Matters page 290.

Once a month I get to cook/bake with an awesome bunch of bloggers who live all around the world. Each month a theme is announced and then we all get busy and find something that goes with the current theme. Sometimes it is easy – PIE! Sometimes it is hard – literary meal! This month I thought would be difficult but it turned out, once I got my thoughts straight, to be quite simple. Come up with a dish using just 3 ingredients!!!

Now how on earth can you make any…… nevermind. Lots of things are possible

How about MAC AND CHEESE?

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    2 cups elbow macaroni
    1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Cook elbows in salted water until al dente and drain. Return to saucepan.
Add in 1/2 and 1/2 and grated cheese.
Stir until cheese melts and the mixture is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

OR how about Peanut Butter Cookies?

    1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
    1 egg
    1/2 to 1 cup sugar (and you can sub out about 1/2 of that for Splenda if you like.)

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Peheat oven to 325.
Mix the three ingredients together.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.
EAT!!

Okay I could go on but thought I better quit with two goodies. But that’s not all there is for lunch. Check with the other Let’s Lunchers by visiting Linda over at Free Range Cookies who is hosting our lunch this month.

What is it about the holiday season that practically ‘demands’ cookies be made. Lots of cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. The problem is never knowing what kind to make. And you cannot make just one. You have to make several kinds of cookies. So this week’s IHCC theme, “Fill the Tins”, really fit the bill because cookies were the first treat that came to mind.

And, as usual, there were lots of cookies to choose from I wanted something simple. Something not REAL sweet. These were perfect.

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Almond Crescents

    8 oz unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    150g blanched almonds, chopped
    2 cups plain flour
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    powered sugar to dust

    Preheat the oven to 350 C, and line two baking trays with parchment paper.

    Using a stand kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar for about 3-4 minutes, or until really light and fluffy. Add in the chopped almonds and beat thoroughly for another minute or two. Gently fold in the flour, and vanilla until combined and the dough comes together.
    Chill dough for about 5 minutes. {Although I found this made it rather dry}
    Quickly, but gently, roll 1 – 2 tablespoon amounts of the mixture into logs, then gently bend to make a crescent shape, placing onto your prepared trays. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill the dough if you really like to stop it from melting in your hands as you roll it, but this isn’t particularly necessary.
    Bake shortbreads in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar. {I didn’t dust but rather shook them gently in a large sealed container of sugar. Better coverage.} Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Simple. Not to sweet. Little bit of crunch. Good cookie. Perfect for sharing in Tins of Cookies. The recipe is in The New Cook on page 164.

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    And there are several more I want to make to include in the tins. But those are for another post!

    Check with the other IHCC members and see what is in their treat tins.

    IHCC

Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am always on a quest to find just the right recipe. And I have tried one or two or three. There was even a cookie with Espresso in it but I didn’t make those. Now that I am So Much More Sophistocated (Yeah, Right!) I have learned to use Espresso and like it. Especially in these!!

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    Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using Cadbury’s Dark Chocolate and regular Semi-Sweet chips I added just one 1 Tbl to half the recipe and ended up with 3 dozen cookies. I wish I had added just a tad more espresso. The chocolate seemed to drown out the taste and one was left with just a hint of a coffee aftertaste. But for me, that was okay because I really don’t care for coffee much. I made them more for the Hubs. I would make these again, however.

Peggy of Galettistais this week’s host and the recipe will be on her page.

And please visit the other members of Baking with Julia for their cookies. Maybe they will share!

Welcome to…

cookie exchange 2012.

It is a virtual exhcange. All we really exchange are the recipes. But it is fun to see what all the others are making for their Christmas Cookie Trays.

This year I made some of my standbys and added in a couple of new cookies. I am trying very hard NOT to eat all of them. Just a few of each.

There are a couple of cookies I make every year:

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These are the Graham Cracker Pralines which I made for Di’s First Exchange. They became so popular with friends and family I now have to make them every year.

And the Spritz cookies are always fun.

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My new ones this year included…

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Brown Sugar Toffee Rounds

    1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons milk
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 7 1/2-ounce package (1% cups) almond toffee pieces

BEAT butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat
till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and almond extract till combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in almond toffee pieces and remaining flour with a wooden spoon. SHAPE dough into two l Ovmch-long rolls. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper; chill in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours or till firm enough to slice. CUT rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 oven about 9 minutes or till edges are firm. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Makes about 36.

We really liked these. The little toffee pieces add a little crunch to the soft, moist cookies. The recipe came from BHG Christmas Cookies (2000).

AND

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Cranberry Cookies

    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
    3 tablespoons skim milk
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped cranberries, drained
    1/2 cup shredded coconut

Cream sugar, butter and coconut flavoring until fluffy. Add milk, mixing well. Sift
together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to sugar mixture. Fold cranberries into batter. Divide dough in half. Roll each half coconut. Chill 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice cookie logs thin. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 12 to 15 minutes.
Makes 4 1/2 dozen.

The sour cranberries worked really well with the sweet cookie. The only problem was that they were difficult to slice. Don’t slice them too thin or they will crumble. (Home Cooking Cookies, Brownies & Bars Fall 2005)

This is really the only time of the year I make cookies. They are entirely too easy to grab and go. Several times!!!

Di will have a round-up of all the cookies on her site – Di’s Kitchen Notebook real soon.

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