Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

An easy to make cookie that has levels of chocolate goodness in each bite. A nice cookie for sharing during the holidays. Pairs well with raspberry linzer cookies, spritz cookies, and pecan snowball cookies for after meal treat or tea time sweet.

Ingredients

6 T Unsweetened cocoa powder( I use Droste®)

2 T canola oil

8 T butter

8 T Crisco®¹

1 C sugar

2 egg yolks²

2 t vanillla

2 C all purpose flour

1/2 t salt

3 dozen minature marshmallows

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven 350º F Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper

Add cocoa powder to small bowl. Add canola oil and mix until incorporated. Set aside

On small bowl add flour and salt and mix. Set aside

In medium bowl or stand mixer add butter and Crisco® mix until creamy.

Add sugar until blended.

Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix.

If using stand mixer scrape down the bowl.

Add flour in thirds until mixed.

Using  1 inch cookie scoop roll dough into balls and place on baking sheet about and inch a part

Place in preheated oven and bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and quickly press thumb into top of each cookie

Return to oven and bake another 6-7 minutes

Remove from oven and stuff marshmallow into thumbprint

Remove cookies from baking sheet to wire racks to cool.

Place about half of chocolate chips into microwaveable bowl

Microwave 30 seconds. Remove and stir

Microwave again 25-30 seconds stir

Frost top of cookies.

Notes

1 I use half shortening and half butter to stop cookie spread. I tried using butter only and even with refrigeration my cookies, they spread too much to my liking.

2 My Mom used to save the egg whites and beat them until foamy. She chopped up pecans or walnuts. She would roll the balls into the egg white then the nuts then place on baking sheet. She would put a smear of chocolate in the thumprint then place a maraschino cherry on top. Pretty

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

A full flavored peanut butter cookie that melts in your mouth. Not a fussy cookie, so easy to make.

Ingredients

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

1/2 t baking powder

3/4 t soda

1/4 t salt

3/4 C peanut butter¹

1/2 C butter

1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 C white sugar

1 egg

1/4 C sugar or sprinkles set aside

Directions

Preheat oven 350º F   Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper

In small bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix. Set aside

In medium bowl add peanut butter, butter, and eggs and mix thoroughly.

Add flour mixture in thirds and combine to peanut butter mixture.

Use teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough from the bowl, roll into a ball and dip into sugar.

Place on cookie sheet and take fork and press criss cross on top of cookies.

Place sheet in oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes.

 

 

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Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool or eat.

Notes

1 I use chunky peanut butter

 

Pickled Jalapeños

Our friend had a big crop of jalapeños and shared with us. We had more than I could use immediately. I made my Grandsons favorite pickle, jalapeño pickles. So easy, so tasty.

Ingredients

1pound jalapeños

1 T salt

1 1/2 C white vinegar

1/2 C water

4 garlic cloves

1-2 T sugar¹

Directions

Sterilize two pint sealable jars and set aside.²

In medium nonreactive pan add water, vinegar, salt, sugar and bring to a boil.

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Put on gloves

Wash and dry  jalapeños

Slice jalapeños then place jalapeños and garlic cloves in jar leaving 1/2 inch at top.

Add boiled pickling liquid and let stand 10 minutes and cover.

Place in refrigerator and let stand  about 3 days.

Note

1  I added 2 T of sugar as these jalapenos had a lot of heat.

2  I boiled the Kerr® jars in water for 15 minutes and then transferred them to a clean cloth to cool down.

 

 

 

 

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

A versatile muffin batter that can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks. You can bake all of them at once or as few as desired. Muffins on demand! The muffins are moist and flavorful.

Ingredients

2 C all bran or bran buds

1 C boiling water

1 1/2 C sugar¹

1/2 C butter

2 eggs

2 1/2 C all purpose flour

2 1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1 C bran flakes²

2 C buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven 375º F  Line muffin pan with paper baking cups or use non stick spray

In medium bowl add flour, baking soda, salt, and bran flakes. Mix and set aside

In medium bowl pour boiling water over all bran then mix and let stand.

In large bowl cream sugar, butter, and eggs.

Add cooled bran mixture to creamed mixture and combine

Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes

Bake as needed, mixture will keep in refrigerator for two weeks.³

Notes

1 I have many times cut the sugar amount to 3/4 C

2 I use raisin bran flakes

3 My Mom would store the dough for 4-5 weeks. We never got sick!

Alternatives Available

Batter can be doubled. I make 24 muffins with the above recipe.

2 t cinnamon, dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots, or dates can be added for variety before baking

 

Turtle Cookies

A fun to make cookie that children and adults enjoy. Whats not to like, a mouthfull of chocolate, pecan and vanilla goodness.

Ingredients

1/2 C butter or margarine, softened

1/2 C brown sugar firmly packed

1/4 t vanilla

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1 C pecans sliced lengthwise

1 egg white beat until frothy

Frosting

2 ounces chocolate semi-sweet chocolate squares

1 T milk

1 T butter

3/4-1 C powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º

Add flour, baking soda, and salt to small mixing bowl and stir together. Set aside.

Add butter and brown sugar to medium bowl and cream. Add eggs,and vanilla and beat until fluffy. F Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Add flour mixture in thirds and combine.

Arrange cut pecans on baking sheets to form a  head and four legs. Three to four turtles per row.

Scoop teaspoonful of dough and form into a ball.

Brush or dip bottom of balls into beaten egg white and press into pecan groupings.

Bake about 10 minutes.

Transfer to wire racks and cool.

Frosting

Break chocolate squares into pieces and place in microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for about one minute until chocolate about melted. Remove and stir until completely melted. Cool for about 5 minutes.

Add butter and milk than stir until blended.

Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended to desired consistency.
Frost cooled cookies. Allow frosting to setup and serve

 

 

 

Lamb Chops in a Cumin Cardamom Marinade

Frenched rack of lamb or chops matinated in a Middle Eastern marinade that can be grilled, fried, or roasted and deliver a flavorful, juicy chop. It pairs well with roasted garlic seasoned fingerlings and asparagus or roasted carmelized carrots.

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves minced

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t cardamom

1/4 t red pepper flakes

3 T lime juice

2 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1 rack of Frenched lamb chops (8 chops) Rack can either be marinted whole or cut into individual chops.¹

Directions

If roasting, preheat oven 450º F Foil covered baking pan. Medium rare(145º F) is recommended temperature for lamb chops or roasts

Whisk together garlic, cumin, cardamom, pepper flakes, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper

Pour contents into Ziplock® sealable gallon bag and add rack or chops. Remove air from bag and marinate the lamb for 4 hours.

Remove lamb and grill, oven roast, or fry lamb.

If frying heat large fry pan with canola oil until very hot and cook the chops in batches. Medium rare is usually three minutes per side for chops.

For the rack of lamb, place rack fat side up and roast 15 minutes, rotate baking sheet and roast 10-15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145º F . Remove and rest for 5 minutes.

Grill over medium heat also delivers delicious results.

Notes

  1. You can foil cover each of the bones for prettier finish. I don’t.

Yellow Cake with Penuche Frosting

A delicate, moist yellow cake that pairs well with the butterscotch flavored frosting.

Ingredients

Cake

1/2 butter

1 1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

1 C buttermilk

1 1/2 t vanilla

2 1/4 C cake flour

1 t baking powder

1/2 t bakiing soda

1 t salt

Frosting

1/2 C butter

1 C brown sugar

1/4 C milk

1 3/4 – 2 C confectioners sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F  Grease and flour 13″by 9″ baking pan¹   Stand mixer

Cake

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside

Add butter and sugar and beat on high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat on high two minutes .

Add milk and dry ingredients alternately and blend on low speed until batter is smooth

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean

Remove from oven and cool prior to frosting

Frosting

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and bring to boil over low heat so as not to scorch. Add milk and bring to boil stirring occasionally for two minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and stir in confectioners sugar until spreadable frosting is achieved.

Note

1 Optionally can use two 8 inch cake pans

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

My mom made raisin cookies for my dad and brothers. They are a soft cookie that has a surprise ingredient of molasses that pairs well with the cinnamon and raisins.

Ingredients

1 1/4 old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 C all purpose flour

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

8 T butter or Crisco® softened¹

2 T molasses

1/2 C brown sugar

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1 C raisins²

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in medium sized bowl and set aside.

In large bowl add butter, sugar, and molasses and beat until fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated

Add dry ingredients in thirds.

Add raisins and combine

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours

Preheat oven to 350º F  Cover two cookie baking sheets with parchment paper

Drop dough by teaspoonful two inches apart and bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown

Remove to cooling rack.

Serve

Note

1 My mom would use Crisco® in place of butter. The cookies were more cake like with Crisco.

2 Chopped dates also go well with this dough

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

No nearby Cinnabon® location and we like the following cinnamon brown sugar laden rolls covered in thick cream cheese frosting as a replacement.

Ingredient

Yeast Mixture

1/3 C water at 110º F to 115º F

2 1/2t active dry yeast

2 t sugar

Dough

1/2 C sugar

1/3 C buttermilk

1/2 C milk

6 T butter melted

2 T canola oil

1 t vanilla

2 eggs beaten

1 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

4-4 1/2  C all purpose flour

Filling

8 T butter melted

1 C brown sugar

3 T cinnamon

Frosting

5 ounces cream cheese

1/4 C butter softened

2-4 T milk

1 t vanilla

1 1/2 C powder sugar

Directions

Yeast Mixture

In small mixing bowl mix water, sugar, and yeast together.

Let sit a few minutes until foamy.

Filling

In small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Dough

Pour yeast mixture into large bowl.

Add sugar, buttermilk, milk, butter,oil,vanilla, and eggs and and combine

Add salt and baking soda and mix in.

Gradually add flour until dough pulls away from the bowl. Dough will be very soft ball.

Let it rest in plastic coverd oiled bowl for about 50-60 minutes until puffy but not necessarily double in size.

Gently punch down dough to deflate.

Sprinkle flour on large cutting board and turn dough onto the board.

Shape the dough into an 18 inch by 10 inch rectangle.

Brush the dough with half the melted butter

Sprinkle on half of the cinnamon sugar mixture

Pour on remaining butter and add remaining sugar cinnamon mixture.

Starting at the long edge, roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 1 1/2 inch slices.

Space the rolls in the prepared greased baking pan.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise until the rolls touch each other.

Remove plastic and bake at 350º F  for about 20-25 minutes.

While rolls bake, stir together the frosting ingredients until smooth but thick in consistency.

Remove the rolls from the oven and spread with the frosting. It will gloriously melt on the rolls.

Serve

 

 

Smoked Chicken Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

A delicious summer salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes, smoked chicken breast on a bed of Little Gem lettuce and herbs.

Ingredients

4-6 heads of Little Gems or baby Romaines halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices

16 large basil leaves cut into 1/8 inch strips

1/2 -1 pound jicama julienned or cubed

2 C shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 C black beans rinsed and drained

1 C frozen corn microwaved

6 T chopped cilantro

1- 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes diced

Season with salt and pepper prior to serving

1 large smoked chicken breast cubedSmoked Chicken Using a Weber Smokey Mountain

1/3 C barbeque sauce¹

1/2 C sliced scallions

3 C fried tortilla stripsEasy to Make Crispy Tortilla Salad Strips

1/2-3/4 C herb ranch dressing

Directions

In large bowl mix lettuce, basil, jicama, cheese, beans, corn, and cilantro and dress with ranch dressing.

Plate to four salad bowls.

Divide tomatoes around the four salads

Toss chicken in barbeque sauce.

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Top salads with chicken and tortilla strips.

Serve

Notes

1 I use Williams Sonoma Ghost Chili Garlic Sauce to dress the chicken.