Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Five Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Read the full story at

blog 11_2013

Yes, friends, those are GIGANTIC chocolate chip cookies...bigger than my FACE...layered with homemade buttercream. Too good to be true? Almost.

11_15_2013 Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake - 1

Five Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
recipe adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen

4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

for the frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
7 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 to 3 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat. Drop one level cup of cookie dough in the baking sheet and bake about 12 minutes, or until golden brown and the center is almost set. Repeat with the remaining 4 layers. * OR * I would like to try pouring the 1 cup of cookie dough into a 9 inch cake pan and baking that way. Perhaps this would result in perfectly round layers, assuming they would bake correctly.

Allow layers to cool completely before beginning the frosting.

In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine powdered sugar and butter on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk. Beat until thoroughly creamed, adding additional milk by the Tablespoon if it's not spreadable. Continue beating until it becomes a whipped texture.

Now place the first cookie on your cake plate and frost generously. Top with the 2nd cookie, frost. Repeat with the 3rd and 4th cookie, using the remaining frosting on the 4th layer. Top off with the 5th cookie and you're done!

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a tall glass of milk!

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Buttery CinnaDoodles


I love Snickerdoodles as much as the next guy, but today I decided an experiment was necessary. What if I left out that weird tasting cream of tartar? added cinnamon? added vanilla? added butter? What would THAT cookie taste like?

Answer?? Buttery-Cinnamon-Deliciousness. Friends, these aren't your average Snickerdoodles (because they're not Snickerdoodles at all), but they are glorious. You simply MUST try them.

Buttery CinnaDoodles
recipe by
Makes 2-1/2 dozen cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, unsalted
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
for topping
2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, shortening, brown and white sugar until creamed. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir until combined.

In a separate, small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar topping.

Use a cookie scoop to create dough balls that are evenly shaped. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and arrange 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Bake for 9-10 minutes, until tops are crackled and edges are just golden brown. Let cool on a baking sheet 2-5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One Hour Breakfast Bread


There is something truly gratifying about starting a loaf of bread at 5am and getting to indulge in the freshest slice by 7:30 breakfast. It's an incredible experience. And no, I'm not exaggerating. This time table isn't possible for most bread recipes because of the first, second, and maybe even third rises necessary to activate the yeast. The recipe I chose to use was originally for One Hour Rolls. My hope was to create a quick rising loaf of bread that was dense, sweet, and perfectly moist. This loaf hit the nail on the head!

If you love everything about those moist, slightly sweet dinner rolls, you will LOVE this bread!

One Hour Breakfast Bread
recipe adapted from
Makes 1 loaf - 16 slices

1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 1/3 cups flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes until yeast mixture is bubbly.

Stir in salt and beaten egg to yeast mixture. Continue stirring while adding in one cup of flour at a time. Dough will be sticky, but manageable.

Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and transfer dough to the pan. Spread to evenly distribute dough. Let rise at least 30 minutes.

Baked at 375 degrees for 26-30 minutes or until top is golden brown and loaf sounds dense, yet hollow when tapped. Transfer immediately to a cooling rack and let cool for one hour (if you can stand it!) before slicing (or just tearing into it as my husband likes to do!)

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe

just one piece was left after 4 of us shared it. :)

What to do with all those freshly picked blueberries taking up precious realty in your refrigerator? (sacrasm. I love blueberries in my fridge.) Make this Blueberry Coffee Cake and have friends over on a Saturday morning to enjoy it with you! I loved the addition of whole wheat flour the batter; it adds a nice texture and nuttiness that plain ol' white flour just

Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake
recipe adapted from Simply in Season
Serves 8-9

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups blueberries
1 tsp grated lemon peel, optional

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil

for topping
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup almonds or walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp cold butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together first 6 dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries and lemon peel.

In a separate small bowl, beat together egg, milk and oil. Use a large spoon/spatula to gently fold in liquid ingredients into the blueberry/flour mixture.

Pour into a greased deep dish pie plate or 8x8 inch pan.

In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, ww flour, nuts, butter and cinnamon (cutting in butter until mixture is small crumbs. Pour evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature. Try it warm with milk poured on top!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fresh Raspberry Peach Cobbler Recipe


There are serious perks to working at a Berry Patch during fruit season! With the bounty of peaches and raspberries in the fridge and a pantry shelf full of jams, I decided it was finally time to use those fruits for something delicious and DESSERT. This cobbler was the first I've ever made and I will certainly be revisiting this simple, yet irresistible dish.

For years I've avoided cobbler, mostly because I have only experienced poorly made cobbler (mostly mass-produced), which is just a travesty. I didn't like that "raw" dough on the top, too similar to dumplings. But baked correctly, there was not rubbery batter. In fact, this reminded me of upside down shortcake!

You simply MUST try it!

Fresh Raspberry Peach Cobbler
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Serves 6

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, firm/cold
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sliced fresh peaches
2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Be sure to wash and slice fruit prior to beginning.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in milk. Set aside.

In a 2 quart stock pot, stir together sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Fold in peaches and raspberries and cook on medium heat, stirring continually. The mixture should thicken. Once the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, boil for one full minute and pour into an ungreased 9x9 inch (2 quart) baking dish. Using a large spoon and/or spatula, scoop 6 tablespoons of dough evenly across the top of the hot fruit mixture.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Let cool for 15 or 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Irish Brown Bread Recipe


A friend of mine recently took a trip to Ireland and mentioned wanting to find a recipe for Irish Brown Bread. I was very excited to find a recipe in my new favorite garage sale find - Bread Winners by Mel London. It's a cookbook filled with over 200 bread recipes that was compiled in 1979. I haven't found a recipe I didn't love!

This Irish Brown Bread is no exception. It's easy to make because there's no rising involved, which means no "scary" kneading or yeast necessary, and no need to plan your day around the first or second long rise of your bread. Just take about 30 minutes to put the dough together, bake and enjoy!


Irish Brown Bread Recipe
recipe adapted from Mel London's Bread Winners
Makes 1 loaf

3-1/2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup caraway seeds (I omitted)
1/2 Tbsp honey
2 cups buttermilk*, room temperature

*make your own buttermilk by adding 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the milk to equal 2 cups. Let set to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add in raisins and toss to coat. Stir in caraway seeds.

Add in honey and then stir while adding in buttermilk, slowly. Dough should be sticky, but able to be handled. If it's too sticky, add a little more flour and stir, repeating until sticky, but dough has come together.

Shape dough into an oval or a round and transfer to a baking sheet covered with silicone baking mat OR grease and flour a cookie sheet. Cut deeply into the top of the loaf in the shape of a cross and dust lightly with additional flour.

Bake for 45 minutes. Dough should sound hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

English Muffins Recipe


I can't believe I waited so long to make homemade English Muffins. These are BY FAR the easiest yeast bread to make! There is only one rise and no need for cranking on the hot oven in the middle of warm summer months. The dough comes together in under 5 minutes, you wait an hour for the muffins to rise and they bake them on a hot skillet or griddle! 

These English Muffins are great toasted and spread with butter and jam, drizzled with honey, or covered in peanut butter. We love to use the moist, dense, perfectly sized muffins as a substitute for hamburger buns or sandwich bread or as a delicious snack.  

English Muffins Recipe
Recipe adapted from Bread Winners by Mel London
Makes 10-12 English Muffins

2-1/2 tsp dry yeast (1 package)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached white flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Measure the oil in a liquid measuring cup and add to the yeast mixture. Using that now-oiled measuring cup, measure 2 Tbsp (1/8 cup) honey. The honey will now pour easily into the yeast mixture! Stir in salt. Then add in flour and stir until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the edges. 

Flour a clean surface (I use a large wooden cutting board) and flour your hands before transferring the dough to the floured surface. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter (or any round shape, such as a drinking glass) to cut the muffins. 

Sprinkle cornmeal generously onto a cookie sheet and arrange the muffins an inch or two apart. Sprinkle additional cornmeal on top of the muffins and cover with a light towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. 

Heat a large skillet (or a pancake griddle works great!) to medium-high. Muffins can be cooked closely together. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until bottoms are medium to dark brown. Turn and cook an additional 5 minutes. The sides of the muffins should be set, not at all doughy, and both sides dark golden brown. 

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red Raspberry Pie Recipe


One of the biggest, most beautiful benefits of working at a Berry Patch is getting to pick as many berries as I desire. A.MAZING. I picked a quart of Red Raspberries to bring home to my dad, and when i mentioned this to him, he quickly requested a Raspberry Pie. "I don't have enough berries for that, Dad, sorry," I said.

But then I decided it wouldn't hurt to see how many cups of raspberries were in a quart. There was just under 6 cups - perfect (maybe a few too few ;)) for a pie.

I LOVE baking pies, so this was a perfect 4th of July afternoon activity for me.

Red Raspberry Pie Recipe
recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 9 inch pie (8 servings)

2 crusts (1/2 recipe) Never Fail Pie Crust
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
6 cups red raspberries
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make Never Fail Pie Crust. Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate with 1 pie crust.

In large bowl stir together sugar and flour. Pour over raspberries and stir gently so as to keep berries in tact.

Pour berry mixture into bottom crust. Dot with butter. Cut slits in the 2nd crust and place on top of berries. Seal edges.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown and juices begin to bubble through the slits in the crust.

Allow to cool at least 2 hours on a wire rack.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe


How do I manage to forget how EASY scones are to make and how IMPRESSIVE they serve? 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of baking and VOILA, a beautiful, elegant addition to your brunch, breakfast or tea time.

Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe
Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 8 scones

1-3/4 flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter, cold/firm
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 to 6 Tbsp whipping cream*
1/2 cup chocolate chips

I used Half & Half. Milk would also do the job, just not quite as richly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter using pastry blender (or the beater blade of your Kitchen Aid stand mixer. :)), until mixture looks like fine crumbs.

Stir in egg, vanilla and 4 Tbsp of the cream, adding extra cream only if necessary to allow dough to leave the side of the bowl cleanly.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 10 times. Roll or pat the dough into a 10 inch flat circle.

Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet (or lined with silicone baking mat). Score the dough into 8 wedges (marking the slices with a knife or pizza cutter, but not cutting all the way through). Brush with additional cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Cut or carefully separate the wedges. Serve warm.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cranberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe


What to do when you have lots of rhubarb leftover but not quite enough to fill a second Rhubarb Pie? Why, you find what fruit you have in the freezer and you use that. Cranberries it is!  I was a bit hesitant to use a second tart fruit in this pie, thinking it might be overpowering. But, friends, believe you me...this pie is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Perfectly sweet, perfectly tart, perfectly set (no juices flowing all over the pie plate.)

Cranberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe
recipe by
makes 1 pie, serves 8

1/2 batch Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe, to make top and bottom crusts
3 cups Rhubarb, chopped
2 cups frozen Cranberries
1-1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in pie plate. Stir together cranberries and rhubarb, then pour evenly over the flour-sugar mixture in the crust. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Dot with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust. Flute edges to seal.

Place pie on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oatmeal Waffles Recipe


I am a fan of most any breakfast food, but for Kevin waffles are near the top. On one of his days off, I decided to find a new recipe for waffles. I came across this hearty sounding oatmeal waffle recipe in a collection of Taste of Home recipes I found at a garage sale years ago. (Someone had categorized hundreds of TOH recipe cards clipped from the magazine. A steal for a dollar!)

These waffles turned out perfectly and were so easy make! Plus, you will likely have all of the ingredients on hand! That's always a win when you're in the mood for a good breakfast! 


Oatmeal Waffles Recipe
recipe adapted from Taste of Home 
Makes 12 waffles

1-1/2 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1-1/2 cups milk
6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a second, smaller bowl, stir together eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Pour batter into a preheated waffle iron, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Butter, syrup, and enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anadama Bread Recipe (Bread Machine)


Anadama Bread was a new term for me, but when I saw the recipe in an old bread machine book I had, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Molasses was listed in the ingredients and though it's not normally an ingredient I would think of adding to bread, I was almost certain Kevin and I would enjoy eating this fresh made loaf. 

Sure enough! The slices are moist and chock full of the characteristic molasses flavor. I love toasting my piece, spreading thick with butter and sprinkling (*generously*) with cinnamon-sugar. 

Anadama Bread
recipe adapted from Bread Machine Bounty (BHG)
Makes 1 (1-1/2 pound) loaf

1-1/4 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsp shortening or margarine
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

Combine ingredients in bread machine bowl in the order listed. Use the dough cycle (or white bread bake cycle.) When cycle is complete turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, roughly 9 inches wide, and begin rolling into a loaf, pinching together after each turn. Place in a greased 9x5 inch pan and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until risen 1 inch above the edge of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes (or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped). Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. 

Serve with butter, or honey, or jam. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rustic Beef Stew Recipe


Lately our weather has been refusing to reach a temperature above the single digits, and often in the negative with the wind chill. Yes, brrrrr. On one particularly blustery day, I decided beef stew was the best solution to warm me inside and out.  

Normally I would brown the beef and the the rest in a crockpot for the day, but I thought would only serve the "rustic" quality of my beef stew vision if it were braised on the stovetop and simmering all day long. What a great idea it was. :)

Rustic Beef Stew Recipe
Makes 5-6 servings

1 pound stew meat
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic or your favorite wine
3 potatoes, cut into large chunks
3 or 4 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 quart beef or vegetable stock 
2 bay leaves

Heat a 6 quart heavy bottom pot over medium heat and drizzle lightly with oil. Once preheated, add the chunks of stew meat and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Let brown on one side before turning to the second (third and fourth) sides. Pour in 2 to 3 Tbsp vinegar to de-glaze the pan, scraping up bits of meat as you stir. Add in potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cover the pot, allowing the moisture level to build, cooking the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Stir occasionally. Allow to cook 5 to 10 minutes before adding in the beef stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, and then simmer for up to 3 hours. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Apple Bars Recipe


At a fun evening with friends, Kevin and I were able to enjoy a piece (or two or three) of this amazing, partially good-for-you apple bars. Molly and her husband are pretty health conscious, but I knew they enjoy delicious foods, which told me I would totally love this dessert. She told me they were full of oats, made with applesauce rather than oil, and speckled with apples. (She added white chocolate chips to hers--very, very good decision!) There is still a good amount of sugar in these, but for a dessert, I'd say it's a tasty win!

The only thing that would make these apple bars even better? A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! (but then that throws the 99 calories per bar out the window! *wink*) 

Apple Bars Recipe
recipe adapted from my friend Molly Lopez-Cepero 
Makes 24 bars

1-1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup (1 medium) chopped apple
1 cup white chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats.

In a separate large bowl, beat together applesauce, brown sugar and white sugar for 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and then stir in vanilla.

Add dry mixture into the liquid ingredients and stir gently until combined. Fold in chopped apples (and optional white chocolate chips).

Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Iced Oatmeal Cookies Recipe


My Grandma always kept her snack cupboard stocked with sweet, crunchy store-bought cookies like biscotti, windmills, gingersnaps and iced oatmeal cookies. They were perfect for dunking in her mid morning cup of tea or enjoying just before bed. Though most kids probably wouldn't choose these type of cookies as their favorites, I have to say I love them.

I was so excited to find this recipe on Pinterest this Saturday, while I was on the hunt for cookie recipes that didn't include chocolate or peanut butter (because it appeared my "baker of sweets" board was overrun with my favorite ingredients. I needed variety.)

This recipe is simple and the results are just like I was hoping! Crunchy, sweet, and full of molasses/cinnamon spice.


Iced Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
recipe adapted from Novice Chef
Makes 18 large or 40 small cookies

for the cookies:
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter two cookie sheets (yes, butter them. My cookies didn't spread as much as they should have because I ignored this advice). Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse oats until partly ground into a coarse meal. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the dry mixture into the creamed ingredients and stir until evenly combined. 

Scoop dough balls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating halfway through, until browned. Let cookies rest on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are completely cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. The best way I found to frost the cookies was to dip the top of the cookie into the icing, scrape off the excess and move to a cool baking sheet. Allow icing to harden before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


These may be my new favorite cookie of all time. I can't tell you how delicious the combination of sweet chocolate chips cookies is with that perfect sprinkle of salt on top. *dreamy* Additionally, the addition of only brown sugar (no white) and the melted butter makes these chewy and irresistible. Thank you, Gaby, for changing my view of Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
Makes 40 small cookies 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
Sea salt for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Cut the butter into small pieces and place them into a small pot over medium heat. Stir the butter as it melts. Once melted, stir, and watch closely for the moment the butter turns from a yellow to a golden hue. Remove from heat and transfer the butter to another bowl to cool.

In a large mixer, beat together the melted browned butter and brown sugar with a paddle attachment. Stir for 2 minutes. Add in one egg at a time and then vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, sea salt and baking powder and slowly combine, making sure not to over-mix the batter. Add the oats and chocolate chips and combine. Refrigeration is recommend, but I scooped them immediately

Scoop cookies onto a lined baking sheet. and sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. Bake for 8-11 minutes until the cookies just slightly turn a golden brown color on the edges but are still soft and chewy in the middle. Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack. Repeat process for remaining dough.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Loaf Recipe

originally posted March 19, 2009

Ever since I made this loaf of bread (nearly 4 years ago!) my husband has been occasionally asking me to make it again. I give him my sincerest apologies (and I don't know what I was thinking waiting this long. This bread is AMAZING. So moist, but also light. And the flavor is perfect. Not too intense, but you can't resist it.)



This recipe is from one of my Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks called Bread Machine Bounty. That title should tip you off right way. This recipe only has the ingredients listed and assumes you will allow the bread machine to do all the work. If you'd like to prepare it by hand, I can improvise those instructions for you by request.

The loaf turned out fairly small and mis-shapen which is exactly how Kevin likes it! (*note it turned out very different the second time. Not sure why, but round 2 was much better. moist, light, and high rising.)


Jalapeno, Cheddar, and Cornbread Loaf
For a 1-1/2 Pound Loaf:

1-1/4 cup Buttermilk (this can be created by adding just under one tablespoon of vinegar to milk.)
2 tsp shortening
3 cups bread flour (all purpose worked fine for me.)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese with jalapeno peppers or Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers. (I shredded colby cheese and just finely chopped up 4 of 5 jalapeno rings.)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Add ingredients to machine according to manufacturer's directions.(Always add liquid ingredients first, then dry ingredients (should be floating on top of liquids), then make a small well in the dry ingredients and add yeast LAST--being sure the yeast never comes in contact with the liquids or it will be activated too soon.) Select desired cycle and bake. (If you're like me, select the dough cycle and roll out the dough. Let rise in a loaf pan until 1 inch above the edge. Bake 350 degrees for 22 minutes.)  Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Saltine Crackers Recipe


Kevin and I have been making a conscious effort to eliminate over-processed foods from our cupboards. This is mostly an issue for me, as I am somewhat of a pretzel fiend and must keep crackers of all kinds around "just in case." Maybe you can related. In an case, we opted to try to make our own homemade crackers. With just a few basic ingredients, I know have a 7-cup-container filled with soda crackers that taste EXACTLY like the storebought saltines. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to make the dough, roll, and get into the oven--much less time than going to the store! And no artificial preservatives that make the crackers last for 2 years. (weird, right?)

I am loving the More-With-Less Cookbook
That's where this recipe is found! 

Saltine Crackers Recipe
aka Soda Crackers
Makes 7 cups of crackers
recipe adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp margarine
2/3 cup soured milk or buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Cut in margarine until evenly distributed. Stir in the soured milk. 

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed gently into a ball. Separate into 3 sections. Work with the first section and roll as thinly as possible (adding flour to keep dough from sticking). Transfer to a baking sheet (ungreased). 

Sprinkle with addition salt. Prick with a fork across the surface of the dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 1-1/2 inch squares (it's totally ok if some pieces aren't square. That's the beauty of homemade). 

Repeat the process with the remaining 2 sections of dough. 

Bake each tray separately for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. (At this point you can let the crackers cool on the baking sheets or place them back in a 250 degree oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp up. This may be necessary if you didn't roll it out as thin as it needed to be. I speak from experience.) 

Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Perfect Granola


originally posted May 4, 2011

I'll always love the Peanut Butter Banana Granola and the Crunchy Almond Granola, but I have to say this is really the *perfect* granola recipe. It goes together SO quickly with so few ingredients--all of which you're likely to have on hand (you can easily swap for other nuts or mix-ins.) It has NO oil, butter, syrup, honey or peanut butter. The small amount of brown sugar mixed with the water becomes the binding syrup, leaving you with an ultra-low-sugar and low-fat granola recipe.

Plus, the low baking temperature means you don't have to keep on a hawk-eye on the granola while it bakes, and stirring is totally optional. The granola comes out beautifully crisped--not burnt, not soggy. It's amazing. 

It's *perfect.* 

Perfect Granola 
recipe from Tasty Kitchen
Makes 8+ servings (6 cups total. 138 calories per 1/4 cup)

4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl toss together oats,
 nuts, and cinnamon.

In a glass measuring cup measure the water. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has become a syrup.

Pour liquids over the oat/nut mixture and toss, toss, toss, stir, stir, stir until  and the oats and nuts are evenly coated. Pour granola onto the baking sheet and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes, stir gently. Bake another 15 minutes until granola is crispy and golden.

Cool completely and stir an an airtight container.