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

 

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

 

Simple Bread Dough Recipe

An easy to make bread recipe that is delcious right out of the oven. It also make good mini grilled cheese sandwiches or French toast. This recipe makes two loaves but the first was immediately eaten. I made french toast and garlic toast with this recipe and it is delicious.

Ingredients

2 1/2 t active dry yeast

2 C water 100-110º F

1 T sugar

1 T Salt

5 1/2 C  bread flour plus 1/2 C for kneading

Directions

Preheat oven to 425º F. Line two French loaf pans with parchment paper.

In medium sized bowl add water, salt, and sugar and mix. Add yeast and let sit for a 2-3 minutes. Add flour and combine until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead and rotate dough in 90º turns for two minutes adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Return dough to oiled bowl and turn so dough is oiled top and bottom. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rest until dough doubles in size. Ususally in about 1 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough and cut in half.¹ Shape into two French style loaves and place in prepared pans. Cover with cloth or parchment paper and let rise until puffy, about 35-45 minutes.

Slash tops of loaves three times diagonally¹ and place in middle of preheated oven. Add pan of water to lower shelf.

Bake until crust is golden brown about 30 minutes. To get extra crusty loaf, let stand in oven that is turned off. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Note

1 I oil my knife prior to cutting the dough in half and before diagonally slashing the loaves. The knife blade doesn’t pull or tear the dough.

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry season is here and they are available in markets or at u-pick farms. The starwberry flavor is so refreshing to the pallet and you just want more.

Ingredients

2 C sugar

2 C water

2 pounds of  fresh strawberries

Directions

Cuisinart Yogurt/Ice Cream Machine and Cuisinart 7 or 12 cup food processor. Place Yogurt bowl in freezer 24 hours before making sorbet.

Simple Syrup

In small pan add water and sugar. Do not stir. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. This maybe made ahead of time and refrigerated.

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Making Sorbet

Wash, destem, and halve the strawberries.

Add the strawberries to the food processor and puree until smooth.

Add 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup and  pulse until combined. Pour into large covered bowl and place into freezer for two to three hours.

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Assemble yogurt/ice cream maker and pour strawberry mixture into machine and churn for 15-20 minutes or until stiff.

Remove from maker and serve or place in covered container and freeze until further use.

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NOTE:

We use fresh organic strawberries. I have not made sorbet with frozen fruit.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s better than a chocolate chocolate chip cookie!  So good with a glass of milk and greater made into an ice cream sandwich.

Ingredients

1/2 C butter softened

1/2 C white sugar

1/3 C brown sugar

1 C plus 2 T flour

1 T Ghirardelli® cocoa mix

2 t espresso

1/2 t salt

1/4 t baking powder

1 t baking powder

1 egg

2 T milk

1 t vanilla

1 ounce semi sweet chocolate grated¹

2 C Guittard® milk or premium chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven 375º F   Parchment line baking sheets

In small bowl combine dry ingredients, mix then set aside.

In medium bowl mix butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add egg, milk, and vanilla and combine.

Stir in dry ingredients, chocolate chips, and grated chocolate.

Refrigerate for an hour. Drop by teaspoonful about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 – 12 minutes. Remove and cool on baking rack.

Note:

¹We use a microplane for grating the chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bing Cherry Sorbet

Cherry season is here and never lasts long enough. Enjoy a sorbet made with fresh cherries. It is so tasty alone or with a dollop of whipped cream or better yet drizzled with choclate syrup. Yummy

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

1 C water

! C sugar

Cherry Sorbet

6 C cherries depitted and halved

2 T lemon juice

1/8 t almond extract

1 1/2 C simple syrup

Directions

Cuisinart Yogurt/Ice Cream Machine and 7 or 12 cup food processor

Simple Syrup

In small pan add water and sugar. Do not stir. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. This maybe made ahead of time and refrigerated.

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Making Sorbet

Place Cuisinart Yogurt bowl in freezer 24 hours before making sorbet.

Depit the cherries by using a chop stick to push pits though or a pastry piping tip or use a cherry pitter. Slice cherries in half.

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Add the cherries and simple syrup to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add lemon juice and almond extract and pulse until combined. Pour into large covered bowl and place into freezer for two to three hours.

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Assemble yogurt/ice cream maker and pour cherry mixture into machine and churn for 15-20 minutes or until stiff.

Remove from maker and serve or place in covered container and freeze until further use.

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Note:

I do not strain cherry mixture prior to pouring into yogurt maker.

 

 

Moist Pumpkin Bread

 

A moist pumkin bread flavored with holiday spices. It is good for breakfast, snacking, or desserts plain or with cream cheese.

Ingredients

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2 C flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

2 t cinnamon

2 t ginger

1/2 t nutmeg

1/4 t cloves

1/4 t allspice

1 t salt

1/2 butter softened

3/4 brown sugar

2 eggs

1 can(15 ounces) pumpkin*

1/3 C sour cream

1 t vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven 350º F  Butter and lightly flour or spray Pam Baking  9 x 5 x 3 inch pan.

Tools needed

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In small bowl add dry ingredients then mix and set aside.

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In stand mixer with flat beater attachment add butter and sugar until mixed. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add in sour cream, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix.

Add flour mixture and mix on slow speed until combined.  Pour into prepared pan.

 

Bake about 60-70  minutes. Bread is done when inserted cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to baking rack to cool.

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Note:

I prefer Libby’s® pumpkin when making this bread. I get more consistent results batch after batch. It seems to me that the pumpkin contains more solids and less moisture?

 

 

 

 

 

Hint of Almond Butter Cookies

A delicate butter drop cookie that is crisp with a hint of almond.  Vanilla or other flavorings can be substituted. 

Ingredients

2 1/4 C flour

1 t salt

1 C butter, softened

3/4 C sugar

1 egg

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 t almond extract

* Food coloring

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375º F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

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Combine flour and salt in small bowl and set aside.

Place softened butter in stand mixer bowl using the flat beater attachment. Beat until fluffy., and then add sugar and repeat process. Hard butter bands around in the mixed and does not whip properly.  Softened butter is room temperature and creamy.  If using the microwave to soften butter, make sure not to melt the butter into a liquid.

Add egg and flavorings. Beat  until ingredients are combined and fluffy. Add flour and mix until incorporated.

Remove beater attachment and bowl from stand mixer. Using spatula remove dough from beater. Scrape remaining flour from sides of bowl and stir vigorously until all incorporated.

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Ready to bake or color.

We had an Italian meal planned and wanted a fun dessert.  We divided dough into 3 bowls for plain, red, and green dough. The colors of the Italian flag. We added food coloring until we achieved desired depth of color.

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We hand formed the flags and balloons; the remaining dough was made into drop cookies. Bake the cookies 6-8 minutes and remove to baking rack.

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Note:

The dough is delicate. When making a spritz cookie, I use more flour for a firmer dough.

The baked cookies are crisp with a hint of almond. We serve them with ice cream and sorbets. They are a year around favorite but more importantly an easy drop cookie to make.

 

Lime Sorbet

 

An easy to make refreshing frozen dessert that is tart yet sweet. It pairs well with fresh fruit.The younger set love crisp cookie sorbet sandwiches.

Ingredients

2 C water

2 C sugar

16-20  limes

1 T lime zest

Directions

Products and Tools needed

Sugar,water,limes, a juicer, microplane, and ice cream/yogurt maker*

Simple Sugar

In small pan add 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water. Do not stir. Bring water to boil. Then simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. This maybe made days ahead of time and refrigerated.

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Making Sorbet

Place Cuianart Yogurt bowl in freezer 24 hours before making sorbet.

Zest limes using microplane. After zesting, juice limes and add juice and zest to the simple sugar. Mix and then place in freezer 2-3 hours.

 

Place yogurt/ice cream bowl onto  ice cream maker and add sorbet mixture. Place paddle into bowl and add lid and turn on. Churn for 20 – 30 minutes.*

Remove frozen sorbet from maker and serve or place in covered container in freezer for further snacking.

Serve with favorite fruit or perhaps an ice cream sandwich. We served on Cinco de Mayo spritz cookies.

Happy eating!

Notes

*Sorbets can be made without a ice cream maker. Place sorbet in shallow container. Freeze then remove and fork smash. Continue this step until desired consistency is achieved,

*Length of time on machine depends on how cold the sorbet/sherbert mixture is before placing in freezer bowl. I have had sorbets that were done in 7 minutes and some that took 40 minutes.