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.