Recent Recipes

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Comments (0) | Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I try to experiment sometimes, making different recipes, changing them to my liking. But Joe frequently asks why I don't often go back to the ones that won him over. I try. I like to throw those back in there every once in awhile. But I realized it had been a LONG while since he was able to indulge in one of his all time favorites... my double chocolate mint chip cookies. So I made him a batch and he was in heaven :) The things we do for the men we love...

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

3 cups chocolate chips, divided
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (softened) or butter flavored crisco shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a microwave safe glass bowl, heat 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips on high 1 minute. Stir and repeat until smooth. Mix in 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract. Cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl beat butter or crisco, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add melted chocolate and eggs; beat well. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonsful (or use cookie scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes. Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

*Recipe courtesy of Gooseberry Patch "Country Cookies"*

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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I don't know how often I can say this but... having company is always an opportunity (in my mind) to make food. Food that I otherwise might not make on an ordinary day. After all, how can I justify making a pan of 12 cinnamon rolls when there are only 4 of us in this house? So when my in-laws decided to make a visit, I pulled out my cookbooks and started browsing.

IN-CREDIBLE!! My first thought was that I will, no doubt, be selling these at my "in my dreams" bakery :) They will be a seasonal item that will have people lining up out the door, waiting, mouths watering for the moment they make their yearly debut. A woman can dream can't she? :) Yup, they really were that good.

*A little trick my mama taught me... if you want to mostly prepare them the night before (so as not to have to get up hours early) you can prepare them through placing the rolls in the pan for the second rising. Cover with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator over night. They will rise slower in the fridge but will still continue to rise. Pull them out in the morning and let sit in a warm place for 25-30 minutes then bake as instructed. Voila!

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Cranberry Orange Bagels

Comments (0) | Saturday, September 17, 2011

I've made my mama proud. There was a time when she thought I'd never be a breadmaker. How could I knead bread when I couldn't stand to touch the flour? You see, I always loved being in the kitchen, loved everything about baking... except for the flour. Some people hate the sound of fingernails on a chalk board... for me it was the feel of flour. My mom? breaking open a head of lettuce. My sister? chewing on wood (i.e popsicle sticks) It's different for everyone but for me it was flour. But in my mind I didn't need to overcome it, I just needed to get around it. So while I was in college my mom got me a bread machine. I was thrilled. I used it for years. But it never really came close to producing the type of results I knew I could have with the real homemade thing. So I dove in with trepid hesitation and learned to suck it up. I still don't like the feel, but I sure as heck love the results. And hey, what better way to relieve some pent up frustration than some good old fashioned kneading? Yes, this picture is mine... those are MY bagels and I'm proud :)

Cranberry Orange Bagels

1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. warm water (70-80 degrees) divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour... it's what I had on hand)
1 pkg. (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water (110-115 degrees). Add cranberries, brown sugar, orange peel, salt and cloves; mix well. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into 7-8 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-inch hole; stretch and shape into an even ring. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Fill a dutch oven 2/3 full with water; add sugar and bring to a boil. Drop bagels 2-3 at a time into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Whisk egg white and remaining 2 Tbsp. water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Toast lightly and serve with my very own honey orange cream cheese (mix 1/4 cup cream cheese with 1 Tbsp. honey and 1 tsp grated orange peel and spread 1 Tbsp. mixture over warm bagel.)

*Bagel recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking**Bread machine instructions can be provided upon request!*

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Honey Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

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I'm the kind of person who gets giddy with excitement when faced with an opportunity to make a new dessert. You want me to come over to watch a TV show with you and you're inviting some other neighborhood friends? Well, hey, I'll bring dessert!

Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream... this cobbler was absolutely fantastic and will live in my recipe file forever.

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Overnight French Toast

Comments (0) | Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nothing incredibly extraordinary but very delicious and a great idea for having company for breakfast. I would definitely make it again though... the kids devoured it and the effort was minimal.

Overnight French Toast
4 eggs
1 cup egg substitute
3 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
16 slices french bread (1 in. thick)

Berry Sauce:
1 1/2 lbs. frozen unsweetened mixed berries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar

In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg substitute, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Place bread slices in two ungreased 9x13-inch baking dishes; pour egg mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Carefully transfer bread to prepared sheets. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn slices over and bake 15 minutes longer until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine berries with sugar. Serve over french toast.

*recipe can easily be cut in half for a smaller version*

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