baking · Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

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When you learn that a young man who just had a birthday loves Peanut Butter Cookies, and when your grandsons are coming over who also love Peanut Butter Cookies, you thumb through your cookbooks and find your best recipe so you can whip up a batch! I have an old cookbook that never disappoints, and this cookie recipe joined the ranks of recipes like my Beef Enchiladas that also come from its covers.

This recipe has simple ingredients and instructions.
The longest part of the process is chilling the dough a bit before baking.
The quickest part is devouring them when them come out of the oven with their signature crisscross patterns stamped on their little round tops!

If you have a Peanut Butter Cookie lover in your life, these will win their hearts!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 Cup Crisco
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Chocolate chips (optional)

Cream butter, shortening, peanut butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add beaten egg and mix well.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Chill dough.  Roll into 1-inch balls and arrange on cookie sheet. Dip fork in sugar and flatten each with a crisscross pattern.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or lightly browned.  (Adding the chocolate chips makes this traditional cookie a bit more interesting.)

Sing with me….Peanut, peanut butter – COOKIE!
Enjoy!

denise a

 

Cookies · snack

Biscotti Making!

My morning coffee needs nothing to make it delicious, but if I have a cup in the afternoon, I enjoy having some kind of cookie that will make the perfect plunge into the dark liquid and come out even tastier than it was before!

The perfect solution is Biscotti!  It’s normally a very crispy cookie or biscuit-like treat that is a tad hard to eat, UNLESS it’s dipped in a liquid, and coffee is the perfect choice!

I found a recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook that has a little tartness with dried fruit and a little sweetness with the addition of chocolate chips.  This recipe has a cup of wheat flour, making it a little healthier!  Am I saying, healthy cookie?  Well, pretty much! They’re only 81 calories and taste fantastic!

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Don’t be intimidated about making these. If you can bake a roll of slice and bake cookies, you can make these!  It’s just a simple double-baking process!  First, you roll the dough into logs and bake them, then after they cool ten minutes, you slice them into strips, lay them on the baking sheet and bake them one more time.  That’s it!  Here;’s the recipe from Cooking Light ~

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries – I used Craisins
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Step 3

Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beating until well-blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Step 4

Divide dough in half; turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion into a 10-inch-long roll, and flatten to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from the baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Step 5

Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

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I love having these on hand (they freeze great!) for when a friend stops in for coffee or when my afternoon cup of java needs a little something sweet!

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Enjoy!

denise a

baking · Cookies · dessert · freezer · Uncategorized

For the Love of the Best Cookie

How could you even have a bad day on an afternoon when you bite into a Snickerdoodle? The name alone makes me smile!  In case you’re somehow not sure what a Snickerdoodle is, it’s not a type of dog, rather it is a cookie drenched in a cinnamon/sugar bath and baked to a soft, sweet perfection!

I introduce you to The Snickerdoodle…

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It amazes me to find that some of my favorite recipes of all times have escaped being posted here on my blog!  I went to search for this family-favorite cookie recipe here in my recipe index and was amazed that it was absent!  In order to fix that, I baked up a batch of cookies, snapped away at pictures, and ate a couple cookies in the process, then froze the rest for upcoming company!  They’re safer in the freezer!

I love this recipe because it’s very quick to whip up, but the cookie isn’t like some mediocre recipe.  This is a Ten!  No kidding.  It makes 3.5 dozen normal size cookies and good luck at eating only one.  You might want to double the batch – which work just fine!  They do freeze well, if you don’t trust yourself with a whole pile of cinnamon/sugar heaven sitting under your nose!

Here’s the simple and wonderful recipe:

Snickerdoodles
Ingredients
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon

Directions
Cream together shortening, sugar, and eggs.  Sift together and stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt.  Shape dough into balls the size of walnuts.  Roll each in mixture of the sugar and cinnamon.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 7-9 minutes at 375 degrees or until LIGHTLY browned.

I bake mine for exactly 7 minutes and then let them sit in the pan a few minutes to cool before putting them on the cooking rack.  They may seem a little underdone, but I think they’re best when they’re soft in the middle.

Do someone a sweet favor and bake up a batch to share!

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Just curious, what’s your favorite cookie?  

With love from my country kitchen,

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baking · dessert · entertaining

(L)Oven Monday – Super-Fast Drop Sugar Cookies

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Not all sugar cookies are created equal.  Many recipes call for an hour of refrigeration before you can roll out the dough.  But what if you need a dessert in a hurry and decide that sugar cookies would be the perfect ending for your  meal for guests that’s just 45 minutes away?!

That’s exactly the predicament I was in a week ago!  I decided last minute to add cookies to the menu.  So what did I do? I made Drop Sugar Cookies!  This soft dough is whipped up in the mixer, then spooned onto baking sheets for a quick bake.  These make a delicious dessert!  Because I was in a real hurry, I only baked up one sheet (a dozen), which was all I needed, then after my guests left, I baked the remaining dough and froze the extras.  Yay for cookies in the freezer!!  This recipe was found on Pinterest and is a family recipe from The Mom Who.

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Drop Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • ¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • 1 Egg
  • 2½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Sugar Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and Crisco.
  5. Then add the egg to your mixture.
  6. Next add the milk and vanilla extract to your wet mixture.
  7. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture that’s in the large bowl. Mix until incorporated. Don’t over mix!
  8. Scoop dough into 2 tablespoon sized scoops and drop them on your sheet.
  9. Bake for 6- 7 minutes and then carefully add sprinkles to the tops of the cookies. Continue baking for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
  11. Enjoy!
  12. *Note- You can add the sprinkles to the cookies before baking, but the sprinkles sink down into the cookies. You decide on when to place the sprinkles- Before, During, or After baking.

Is there a recipe you pull up if you need a fast dessert?  I’d love to hear what it is!

Happy Baking!

Denise Signature 150 px

baking · Christmas

(L)Oven Monday – Hungarian Nut Rolls

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It’s the week of Christmas, Y’all!  Most of our ovens will probably be producing all kinds of yummy treats this week.  I still have a bit of baking to finish up, but let me show you what I made this weekend!  Years ago I made a cookie similar to the one pictured above. You know how it goes – the recipe gets misplaced and then forgotten.  Recently a sweet neighbor brought us a plate of Christmas goodies, and on the plate was this cookie!  We remembered how delicious they were by her kind deed!

So, my husband requested these to be added to my Christmas baking list.  They are a little time consuming, but hey, it’s Christmas!  Also, they’re totally worth it!  They’re a cute little cookie full of a flaky dough, nuts, and sugar granules that give that extra special crispy crunch.  Yum!

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Hungarian Nut Rolls

Ingredients

For the Pastry:
    • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup granulated sugar for rolling
For the Walnut Filling:
  • ½ pound freshly ground walnuts (finely)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup of boiled milk
  • 1/8 cup melted butter

Instructions

To make the Walnut Filling:
    1. Mix filling in a medium bowl using only ¼ cup of the boiled milk. The mixture should be thick.
    2. If the filling is not spreadable, use the rest of the milk.
    3. Note: You can make the filling ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to use it. Just thaw at room temperature when you are ready to use. – I found that I had about half of the filling left over.  It’s in the freezer for another batch!
For the Pastry Dough:  Taking my own advice, I made the dough one day and assembled and baked the cookies another day.
    1. Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
    2. Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).
    3. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. I used 5 additions and completely mixed in the flour each time. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
    4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and flatten each to ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.
Assembling the Walnut Rolls:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Move the oven rack one setting higher than the center.
  2. Take one of the disks of dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour both sides. Spread granulated sugar on your pastry board or work surface. Place the dough on top and roll out pastry to 1/16” thick or as thin as possible. Thinner is better. If you roll them too thick, the bottom will burn before the inside has a chance to fully cook and puff up. They still taste good but they taste so much better when properly rolled. I halved the disk, and rolled it into a 6″ square, then divided it into 9 2″ squares (see photo above).
  3. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, trim the dough into a square and then cut the square into 16 smaller squares. My dough never rolled out into a perfect circle so I would just cut as many 1 1/2 “ squares a possible, saving the scraps for later.
  4. Place a dollop of filling in one corner of each square. I used ½ teaspoon.
  5. Starting in the corner with the filling, roll the dough around the filling from corner to corner, gently pressing down as you roll. Grab the roll on both sides and pinch as you bend the roll to create a crescent shape. Gently move it to a parchment covered baking sheet, placing the Rolls no closer than 1” apart.
  6. Repeat with all remaining squares.
  7. Sprinkle the middles of the Rolls with just a touch of granulated sugar.
  8. Bake 12-14 minutes (I baked mine for 11 minutes) or until the bottom edges are a golden and you can smell them. They should puff up slightly in the middle. Let cool slightly on the pan on a wire rack and then move them gently to a wire rack to cool completely.

nut-rolls

These are so delicious!  I’m so happy to have discovered the recipe for these little gems!

What have you baked (or getting ready to bake) in your oven this week?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Christmas · dessert · home · refreshment at home

Simplifying Christmas Prep in the Kitchen

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The kitchen is a busy place in most homes during Christmas. In order to keep it fun and not a drudgery, I’ve come up with six ways to simplify your work, so you can still be (L)oven your kitchen by the time December 25th arrives!

  1. Get dinner in the crock pot first thing in the morning  on a day when you know you’re going to be doing a marathon baking event.   That way you won’t have to stop your progress to fix a meal.  It will also keep your oven free for those cookies!
  2. Get any cookie dough that has to be refrigerated into the fridge on one day, and then bake the cookies the next day.  If you do all the mixing on one day and the rolling and baking on the next you won’t be as worn out!
  3. When you have a few extra minutes, fill a Ziploc bag with the dry ingredients for the cookies, sweet breads, or muffins you’re going to bake in the near future.   Label the bag.  Then on the day when you mix up the dough, you’ll simply have to pour and stir!  You’ve created your own baking mix!!
  4. Keep hot, soapy water in the kitchen sink.  As you work, put your baking utensils in the water.  Wash them up when the dough is complete, or the cookies are in the oven.  The kitchen will be clean when you’re finished and you can turn off the light and go take a hot bath!
  5. Enlist in help!  If you have children, let them put the sprinkles on, crush the candy canes, or chop the nuts (with a hand chopper).
    You could also invite some friends (or your grown daughters/daughters-in-law) over and have each one bring the ingredients for a cookie recipe.  Work together on one recipe at a time.  You won’t believe how fast the work goes!  Divide the spoil between each of you when you’re finished.
  6. Make some treats that require NO BAKING – (like these Chocolate Peanut butter stacks that we LOOOOVE.  Recipe below)
    There are many other No-Bake options –

    1. Peppermint Bark Oreos
    2. Graham Cracker Houses
    3. Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites

If you haven’t had these and you’re a chocolate and peanut butter fan, trust me when I say that you need these in your life!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks

Ingredients:
Ritz crackers
Peanut butter
Chocolate bark

Instructions:
Spread crackers with peanut butter, top with another cracker.  Dip crackers into melted chocolate bark.I melt my chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.  Set cookies on waxed paper until chocolate hardens.

By simplifying things in the kitchen, you’re also staying refreshed during a busy time of the year!

Happy baking,

Denise Signature 150 px