Saturday, December 27, 2008

Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

My rule for oatmeal cookies: they must be soft AND chewy. Iced oatmeal is literally icing on the top. I like raisins. I like apples. There you have it. Original recipe came from Martha Stewart's Cookie Magazine. I tweaked a little. It is still enough of hers to give her credit, but I always use dark brown sugar for extra richness and I have to add a little nutmeg if nutmeg is even in the same hemisphere as the other ingredients.

1/2 stick of butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup raisins

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix softened butter with sugars until blended. Add egg and applesauce until well mixed. Mix in everything else, except raisins. Add those once all the rest is blended well.

Drop dough in 1 1/2 inch balls on the baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Bake for 13-15 minutes, should be golden. Cool 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack over parchment paper.

Make icing by whisking the two ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cookies on rack (hence the parchment underneath.) Let set. Store in airtight container. Stores well for three days.

Monday, December 22, 2008


1/2 cup butter (no substitutions, ever, ever) softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Beat butter and add in sugar until blended. Mix in soda, cream of tartar then the egg and vanilla. Add flour and mix until dough is formed. Cover and chill for an hour. Roll in 30 balls. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place balls on baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Da Bomb Pea Soup

Now I know pea soup does not sound that appetizing to some. But if you like it, this is really, really good pea soup. If you have never tried it, this is the recipe to try. If you do not like it, you might like this. If you do not like this, give up on it completely. Not everyone has to like everything.

Leftover ham hock
2 quarts water

Put the ham hock in a large pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for an hour. Strain the ham and save both the ham and the stock.

Return the stock to the pot and add:

1 pound green split peas (usually one bag)
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, pressed

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Let cook for two hours covered. Every half hour take off lid and stir.

Ladle soup into a blender, no more than 2/3 full and stir until smooth. Repeat until all the soup is done. Note: you need to pour the soup into another container, blend, and then return the blended soup to the pot.You can now add the bits of ham from the reserved ham hock. You can also garnish with green onions, bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, or sour cream according to your preference. Or enjoy it plain.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake

This is a recipe originally from Paula Deen, passed onto us by Brenda Schulthuss. She tried it and thought we would like it. She was right. Since the kids are not nutty type girls, we skipped the pecans.3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 teaspoons ornage zest

Combine and set aside.

2 12-oz cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mellted butter

Separate the biscuits. Cut the cream cheese into 20 pieces. Place one piece in the center of each biscuit and fold in half, pressing the edfges to seal. Dip the biscuits in butter and then dredge in sugar mixture. Place the biscuits, curved side down, in a single layer in the hollows of a lightly greased 12 cup bundt pan (or use a baking dish.) Space evenly and do not stack. Drizzle any remaining butter oven the the biscuits and then sprinkle with any remaining sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree, preheated oven until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a serving platter.

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Combine to make a glaze. Drizzle over the warm rolls. Serve warm.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Peanut Butter Blossoms

A favorite on the Christmas Cookie Plate. McKayla's favorite cookie of all time. Whenever I see Hershey's Kisses on sale, McKayla can get lucky.

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar
Hershey Kisses

Cream the first three ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add the dry and mix until well blended. Roll into 60 balls, roll those in sugar and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. While cooking, unwrap the kisses. When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately press a kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.