Cookies, Dessert

Molasses Cookies

This recipe brings back many childhood memories. My mom would make these Molasses cookies a couple times a year. I remember coming home from school and finding these on the counter fresh from the oven.

So this morning I found her recipe in my collection. Now when you look at this you can see how special having family recipes and memories passed down. She wrote this down on medical notepaper she had in the drawer. Lol!

When you find something like this, cherish it. Mom is soon going to be 92 years old. She still cooks now and then. Macaroni and cheese is a staple and loved by her Grandchildren. She does love her sweets. Last week I took over the apple pie. When I asked her how it was She said it was delicious and was quickly gone, but next time she would like pumpkin.

So this morning our kids were planning a visit so I decided to make some of mom’s Molasses cookies. As you can see from the recipe, not much detail. But they go together pretty quickly.

As soon as I started to put together the wet ingredients I was in love with the flavor. Just opening up the Molasses jar and smelling brought back memories. Adding the cinnamon and the ginger pushed it over the edge.

Now to push these over the edge you have to try them with butter. Just spread a little on the bottom and savor the flavor.

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup strong cold brewed coffee
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Next add Molasses and coffee.

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once combined drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet at bake at 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the as I suggested….with a little butter!

Cookies

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

Do you ever get a hankering to bake cookies? Well I did this morning. I looked through the dessert binder and found our recipe for While Chocolate and Cranberry cookies and then checked the pantry. I was in luck. We had all the ingredients.

So my baking process began. I took a stick of butter out of the refrigerator to soften, grabbed a couple of eggs and then got the mixer out. After a couple of hours I was ready to go.

Measuring out the flour

I thought with this recipe I would get some shots of the process. Here you can see the recipe on the counter. When we find a recipe online we print it out. After preparing it we make notes on how it tasted, anything we would tweak and sometimes we will not if it is.ffodie friends worthy. This recipe had some note to turn the cookies into something similar to Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss bars. But not today… the process continued.

My helper is always close by.

The next step is adding the baking powder, salt and baking soda. These are stored in our lazy Susan in the corner of the kitchen. Generally this.is my favorite stop to mix things up. It is also Mr. Magoo’s favorite stop to sit and watch. He is always looking to see what will fall down in his area.

A baking essential

Any good cook will have a great mixer. Ours is our kitchen aid. Hubby got it as a work Anniversary gift years ago. You know, one of those catalogs you get and have to pick out a gift. At the time he didn’t need the company watch or general jewelry gifts. The mixer seemed to be the best gift as we were really picking up our baking and kitchen aids are so expensive.

This one worked out great with this recipe for mixing up the softened butter and then adding the sugar and the 2 eggs.

Next up was blending in the flour mixture and adding the white chips and cranberries. Everything came together so quickly.

Time for the flour
Ready to go

Another great kitchen baking help is a cookie scoop. Ours is a Pampered Chef small scoop that I got years ago when I hosted a party. Pampered Chef has some great products especially for baking. My favorites are the chopper for nuts, the cookie press for Christmas cookies and the scraper for clearing the baking surface. A little flour fell out on the counter and with the scraper it was quickly back in the bowl.

Ready for the oven

Every thing came together quickly and using the parchment paper was great for clean up. But one thing did happen….my assistant fell asleep on the job.

So, here is the final outcome from my hankering for some cookies.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels

1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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Gray Family Christmas Dessert – Red Velvet Cake

Tonight is Gray Family Christmas and each family is bringing a dessert  and an appetizer. When we all get together there is now 33 of us!  Holidays are made for families!
 Hubby and our lovely daughter took on the dessert selection and just finished baking it.  I posted this about 4 years ago when it was her birthday cake request.    What does’t say Merry Christmas better than a beautiful Red Velvet Cake on a red platter.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  

Red Velvet Cake (Sunny Anderson – Food Network)

Ingredients

For the cake batter:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Butter, for pan

For the Frosting:

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Special Equipment: 12 by 17-inch jelly roll pan, parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a paste out of the red food coloring, cocoa and salt. Remove bowl from stand mixer and mix in paste by hand to the creamed butter. In a measuring cup, stir eggs with buttermilk and add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla, and then add flour and baking soda. Mix until combined but do not over mix.

Butter a sheet pan. Lay parchment on top. Butter the parchment. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top to even the batter out, using an offset spatula. Bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Heat all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before using.

Invert cake onto a cutting board and slice into quarters from the longer side. To assemble cake, spread 1 of the quarters with some of the frosting to cover. Sprinkle with a quarter of the pecans. Add another layer of cake and repeat. Continue until last layer is added. Frost the top of that and sprinkle with remaining pecans.

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It is cookie time! Heath Bar Cookies

It is that time of year when cookie recipes flood the internet.  Everyone has their version of the 12 Days of Cookies or something similar with the Christmas Season upon us.  I made thee last week when I was home on vacation for our Thanksgiving Holiday. 
 
 

 

These are the easiest cookies to make.  A refrigerator, slice and bake cookie that taste like a Heath Bar.  The dough can be made ahead and after it’s required refrigeration, quickly sliced up and baked as needed.  You could even make these and freeze the dough for baking at a much later time. I know that there will be other cookie recipes to follow in the next few weeks, these will definitely be the easiest to make.

Heath Bar Cookies 

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Heath toffee bits

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar together. Add in the egg and extract and mix until well combined.
Stir in flour, mixing until fully incorporated. Fold in Heath toffee bits.
 
 
Divide dough in half and place on top of a sheet of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a log about 6 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap each log with the plastic wrap and refrigerate dough rolls for 1-2 hours or until nice and firm.
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and cut into ¼ inch slices.Place slices about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. allow to cool on minute on pan and remove to wire rack to complete cooling.
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Christmas time is the best time!

Christmas is a very special time of year in our house.  First and foremost is the celebration of the birth of  the baby Jesus.   The music and the readings at Mass at this time of year are beautiful.   I love Christmas Day  when the trumpet joins in with the choir.  Such a blessed and joyous time of the year!
 
 
It also the time to gather with friends and family. We have plans for dinners with our peeps, cocktails with friend’s, post Christmas party with family to keep the spirit of the holiday the whole season through.   Our first gathering of the season was my niece’s  2nd annual cookie exchange last night. While it was a small gathering with two of my niece’s,  my daughter, my two sisters,  one of my sister in laws, my neighbor “Giada from across the street”, my great niece, great nephew and a friend of my niece (the host), all cookie types were well represented.
I remembered that last year there were an over abundance of butter balls so I dug back deep in the recipe file for some classic  pecan tassies.  This was a recipe I received when I had a Pampered Chef party and purchased the mini muffin tin.  I learned a very important lesson preparing for this exchange –  don’t try to save time and double the batches.  If you need more than the recipe calls for take the time and make separate batches.
 
We found these great boxes at a local kitchen store and packed each one with 8 cookies.  My recipe only makes 24 cookies so the 3 batches gave me 9 sets, 6 for exchanges and the rest for eating! 
 
It was a great party and the cookies are going fast.  The boys got into them as soon as they got home. 
 
 

Pecan Tassies

Ingredients

 
 
Tart Shells
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
Filling
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1   egg
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
 Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. For tart shells, beat butter and cream cheese in bowl until well blended. Add flour; mix until a soft dough forms.

Using Small Scoop, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls of dough into ungreased cups of Mini-Muffin Pan. Dip Mini-Tart Shaper in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of pan.

For filling, place butter in Small Batter Bowl; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Finely chop pecans using Food Chopper; add to batter bowl and mix well.

Using Small Scoop, fill each tart shell with level scoop of filling (do not overfill). Bake 17-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 3 minutes. Remove from pan to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Yield: 24 servings of 1 tart