Tag Archives: Cookies

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

mocha chocolate chip down

Thank you to all of my readers who have sent emails, left comments, and have taken the time to share words of encouragement for my nephew, Richard.  In case you missed it you might want to read “You Really Aren’t Going To Believe This”.

I decided it is time I get back to some sweet blogging.  2016 seems to be running at Mach speed in my life and this weekend I intend to slow it down a notch! So, let’s make cookies!

TWD Cookie Tower
Last fall I wanted to take cookies to a friend who was under the weather.  I remembered a particularly delicious cookie recipe that comes from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking With Julia.

Alice Mocha Choclate Chip Cookies

I asked my sous-chef dishwashing mom if she would mind making the cookies.  She quickly said YES and away she went with the project.
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Family, Friends, & Heritage Food: Pecan Puffs, Peanut Clusters, Fudge, Scotch-a-roos

Crystal BSN web-15Last week I was given the gift of spending time with my niece Crystal and her family.  After 6 years of classes, while raising three children and still working part of that time, Crystal realized a life-long dream of becoming a registered nurse.  We attended her graduation and then the pinning ceremony later that day.  Soon she will take her NCLEX (National Council Licensing exam) and will officially become a RN-BSN.

Crystal's Pinning
Crystal’s Pinning

My sous-chef dish-washing mom participated in the pinning of her grand-daughter along with Crystal’s husband, Kevin, and her best friend and nurse-mate, Alicia.  This was an especially sweet moment for mom as she reflected on her own pinning, becoming a Registered Nurse some 63 years ago.

Family Forever For Always Plaque
At every turn throughout this weekend, I’m reminded of the importance of family and family history.  Crystal treasures her family heritage and includes that heritage in all aspects of her life. From decorating her home with family memorabilia to the recipes she uses in preparing food and treats for the weekend.

"The Grandmas" Treat Plate
“The Grandmas” Treat Plate

When we arrived her kitchen table was covered with “treats”. Crystal explained that she wanted to honor the “grandma’s in her life” by using their recipes for the weekend festivities.  I was so touched and intrigued that I want to share those recipes with you. But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Aunt Jamie’s Cookies from the Home of P. Allen Smith

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Recently my friend Charlene was traveling through Arkansas with girlfriends. I didn’t realize this, but the home of P. Allen Smith is located just 30 minutes outside of Little Rock.  The Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm sits on top of a ridge overlooking the Arkansas River AllenSummer2015_YoutubeValley.    Paul Allen Smith is a television host, designer, gardening and lifestyle expert. He is the host of two public television programs. Charlene and friends visited the home to have lunch in the tea room and tour the house.  While they were there P. Allen Smith came into the tea room spending time talking with guests!  It must have been a thrill for my friend Charlene because she is an avid gardener and accomplished cook!

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Sugar Cookies In A Fun Bouquet

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy sous chef dish-washing mom and I belong to a garden club. By the very nature of “garden” club one might think we are gardeners.  That would be wrong.  We like plants, we have both toyed with growing a flowering plant or two, but gardeners we are not.

little garden
We do have this little garden close by the house but the “real” gardening (and weeding) is done by the love of my life, our Chief Gardener!

Weeding The CornOnce a year it is “our turn” for mom and I to host the garden club members for a brunch/lunch meeting.  Typically members will decorate the center of each table with a floral arrangement.  Mom and I were talking about what we should do for our floral arrangements  and we got to thinking about doing what we know best — something from the kitchen!

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We decided on making sugar cookies in the shape of flowers (great idea) and then making them into a table arrangement (another great idea!)

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Our first practice round looked like these.  Cute, very tasty but not much like flowers.  That was when we knew we needed to call in reinforcements!

sugar cookie dowel
We wanted our flowers to be free-form and so we made the dough into a ball, squished it with the bottom of a glass and then carefully inserted baking dowels gently into the middle of the dough.

Abbey upclose decoarting
When our very-talented and darling neighbor Abby arrived, we had 80-some cookies frosted with a glossy colorful frosting, ready to be transformed into flowers. SONY DSC

Abby is a culinary arts major and decorating cookies is child’s play for her.  I suggested I could “help” since we had so many cookies to decorate.  After one attempt we both agreed that I would be the cookie foreman, keeping the frosting made, mom would do the dishes and Abby – well, she would create!

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I am including three recipes with this post.  My Gram’s sugar cookie recipe which you can see HERE as Christmas cookies.  Then there is the colorful glossy icing that dries hard and shiny and is perfect for frosting the cookies.

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Buttercream Decorator Frosting

And finally, the butter cream frosting Abby made to use as decorator icing.  All-in-all I wouldn’t do anything different.

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My neighbor Kathy can’t eat chocolate and so whenever we bake something that is “non-chocolate”  she gets some!  I am told she shared these with her granddaughter.

Happy Baking!
Blessings, Catherine

Sugar Cookies
 
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After making this sugar cookie recipe you won't want to use any other one. Crispy on the outside and moist and yummy on the inside. Just perfect every time.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter or Margarine,* softened
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Cups and 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Sugar, frosting, or sprinkles as desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream sugars and butter; add oil and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
  4. Mix flour, salt, soda, cream of tartar. Stir into the wet ingredients.
  5. Use medium cookie scoop, roll dough into balls. Using the bottom of a glass, press into sugar and then press cookie ball down on cookie sheet to flatten slightly. If you are making into flowers then gently insert a cookie stick into the middle of the dough, making sure it does not poke through the dough.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will be light colored but done at 10 minutes. If you want them crisp and brown add another minute or two. They will spread slightly when baking so be sure and allow plenty of space around the dough.
  7. Frost and decorate as desired.
Notes
* I use butter, not margarine, but the original recipe says either one works.

To place cookie flowers into floral arrangement, add floral oasis into a flower pot, making it as tight as possible. Gently stick each cookie into the oasis forming a bouquet. Cover top with decorator grass.

Glossy Sugar Cookie Frosting
 
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This frosting will "dry" hard and is a perfect frosting to use alone or in conjunction with decorator frosting on sugar cookies
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Frosts 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 Teaspoons Milk (or more for desired consistency)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract * Optional
  • Food Coloring as desired
Instructions
  1. Mix all together with small wire whip. Add milk for desired consistency.
  2. Add food coloring as desired.
  3. Frost cookies using small amount of frosting as this will spread slightly as you use it. Try not to put so much on the cookie that it runs off the sides.
  4. Enjoy!
Notes
After this frosting is dry, decorator frosting can be piped over this for a "stand up" look.

Buttercream Decorator Frosting
 
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Exceptional frosting and very easy to make. Use alone to frost cookies or cake, or place in piping bag to create a lovely decoration.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Softened Butter (2 sticks)
  • 32 Ounces Powdered Sugar (Approximately 8 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • Milk to desired consistency.
Instructions
  1. In a mixer combine butter, sugar and vanilla mixing slowly.
  2. Turn mixer to medium and begin to whip the frosting add milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
  3. Continue beating until the frosting is very light and fluffy. Keep adding milk 1 teaspoon at a time until frosting is desired consistency.
  4. Use as base frosting for cookies or cake or as piping for decorating.

 

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