Category Archives: Cookies

Drop Sugar Cookies

Drop Sugar cookies

This is the easiest sugar cookies recipe I have ever made. It is a winner from Betty Crocker. I will have to admit that when I read through the recipe I was very skeptical about its outcome, but now after 28 times making them, it’s a beauty! I knew immediately that I could get these cookies in the oven and my students out the door in a 45 minute class. Now just think what you could do with this recipe. In a pinch you could make them before breakfast, have them packed and ready to head out the door with you to celebrate a birthday at lunch! It does not get better than that.

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Pink and Chocolate Heart Cookies from Martha

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I know that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but I just had to post these gorgeous cookies!  In preparation for Valentine’s Day I spent a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen making these beautiful heart sandwich cookies which caught my eye sitting there on the front cover of Martha Stewart’s  Living Magazine. I have made a couple of Martha’s recipes. One of them was a great success in my classroom two years ago at Christmas. Even though it took us four days to make them it was worth it. What I am leading up to is the fact that the cookie recipes of Martha’s seem to be so time-consuming! I know that she has lots of helpers in her kitchen, but there is just one of me. The  active time given for  completing this recipe was 3 hours and 25 minutes. I spent five hours. If you have ever spent five hours doing one recipe you know that  when you are finished you don’t even want to eat what you have prepared or it just doesn’t live up to all that time spent in the kitchen. In other words, I could not be the judge of these cookies. I took them to school and let 60 of my students judge them.
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Oatmeal Cookies with White or Semi-sweet Chocolate and Pecans

Oatmeal cookies

Last week my students made oatmeal cookies and I will have to say they were fantastic!  If you have ever made cookies from scratch you know it is so easy to mess them up!  It makes it doubly hard to keep everything straight when there are five  to six students working on the same recipe.  As the instructor, I step back and watch.  I’m not the type to get in the kitchen with them.  Mistakes are great tools for learning!  Questions like these will be floating through the classroom as they are busy in their kitchens:

  • Did you measure the soda?
  • How much sugar do we add?
  • Do we use all purpose flour or self rising?
  • Hey, I don’t think you packed the brown sugar!
  • Do we cook these at 325?

Of course they all have a recipe in front of them and a planning sheet that should have  their specific jobs listed.  Plus two days before I have shown them how to make the cookies and use all of the equipment.  How did they do?  Out of 24 kitchens only 2 groups made some kind of mistake with their recipe which resulted in very flat cookies and another group  had pale clumps that did not spread at all.  For me, that is a very good baking day!

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Basic Spritz Cookies

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This recipe is really a throwback to my college days when I was a flunky for the head of the Home Economic’s Department.  I probably  made a million of these Spritz Cookies and became quite a natural with a cookie press.   These little cookies are quick to make,  but I am hesitant about using the word easy.  The dough is quite easy to prepare as long as you can operate a mixer, but the kicker for some could be the use of a cookie press.   Following the directions  in the Use and Care Manual will be a great help .  I found  the diagrams  are very easy to follow.   Now it may take a couple of tries to get the feel of how long to press the trigger, but you can just throw the dough back in the press and start over.  If you don’t have a cookie press I encourage you to run out an get one especially if you have children.  They love this gadget!  You and your family can make some great  holiday memories!  Check out the little puppies we made at the insistence of one of my angels!

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Pistachio and cherry Mexican Wedding Cookies

They melt in your mouth!

This recipe has been sitting in my cook this next notebook for six years.  What a slacker I am!  Well, I finally have made these wonderful balls of pure delight and I can truthfully tell you that I waited six years too long.  They are just perfect for the holidays, but really you can eat them all year long just because they will make you very happy.  They’ll just melt in your mouth and you will have to have another and another.  Have lots of company when they come out of the oven is all I have to say.  You will love them because they are so good and there is really no way to mess these up unless you cook them too long.

Here's the holiday color red and green

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Praline-Topped Blondies

I am in love with Real Simple recipes.  I have not made one that was not just over the top. Here is another winner just in time for the holidays.  You are going to love it especially if you a lover of pralines.   They are so easy to make, too!  I was a little skeptical when I was reading the recipe and I saw 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, but with the really sweet topping the balance is perfect.  The recipe calls for an 8 inch square pan, but I used a 9 inch pan with no problem.  I did feel the need to double the topping recipe.  Great idea!  If you don’t want to make a thick topping just make one recipe for the praline topping.  I even put a second recipe on after the first one cooled and it worked fine.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner if you are like me you are frantically making out your menu and shopping list so  you can get started.  My family will be at my house on Sunday.   This year I am not cooking the traditional turkey and dressing that I usually make because we are traveling to a very special wedding in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday.  My menu so far is Artichoke Dip that I will be posting next week, baked ham, roasted turkey breast, deviled eggs, Tami’s everything Salad, fresh peas and butterbeans from my freezer, hashbrown casserole, the old green bean casserole, buttermilk biscuits,  pumpkin cheesecake, and a new pecan pie from Marilyn.   I am looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying our family.   What are your plans?
Here is a step-by-step:
  • Line pan with parchment paper
  • Measure salt, baking powder and flour
  • Melt 1 stick of butter and add 1 cup brown sugar
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add 2 eggs one at a time
  • Add dry ingredients
  • Pour in pan
For the topping:
  • Cook over medium heat 3 tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter until it bubbles
  • Remove from heat.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water.  Stir.
  • Spread over cooled blondies.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Praline-Topped Blondies   from Real Simple  
Yield: 16 blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Topping:  I doubled the topping recipe for a 9 inch pan
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.  I used a 9 inch pan.
  2. Line the pan with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar and vanilla.
  6. One at a time, mix in the eggs; mix in the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 minutes in a 9 in pan, but longer 25 minutes for an 8 inch pan. Cool completely in the pan.  I put mine in the freezer for quick cooling.
  8. Make the praline topping: In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, 1 tablespoon of water, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  10. Spread over the cooled blondies and sprinkle with the pecans.
  11. Let the topping set, 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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Caramel-Pecan Brownies

Brownies are the easiest cookie to make, but they are also the easiest to wreck.  It is very hard to judge doneness so many cooks including myself *ahem* will overcook them.  Most of the recipes will be done when they start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  This recipe has a gooey caramel center so it is harder to judge doneness.  Just watch carefully and be ready to pull these out.  When I read the recipe and saw that you cooked one layer for 25 minutes, added caramel and more brownie mix and cooked for an additional 30 minutes I said no way!  The recipe fooled me.  It is a fantastic moist and chocolatey brownie.  One of the best I have ever had.  Try these and you will never make brownies from a box again and you may even throw your old recipe away.  They won the taste test with about 42 of my best tasters!

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Dream Bars

One of my best childhood memories is my hometown bakery.  My sister and I would stop by on our way home from school almost everyday.  I had quite a few favorites such as huge butter cookies, cream horns dusted with powdered sugar, and date nut bars.  All of the above were enjoyed with a Tab or a big cup of coffee depending on the season and the weather.  I have been searching for the recipe to make the perfect date nut bars and this one is pretty close.  The bottom layer is similar to a shortbread cookie and the top layer is a mixture of dates, coconut,  and nuts.   Delicious!    Sorry, but I’ve got to run.  I brought home school work which is calling my name.  I have about 400 papers that are graded, but have not been put into the gradebook.    So I am off to do my real job!

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Martha’s Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough 30 ways

This is a quick way to make your house smell like the holidays in the blink of an eye. Well, almost. You do have to do a little work up front, but then you can float the rest of the way. I saved this recipe last December from Martha Stewart Living. It is one versatile cookie dough. The dough can be flavored vanilla, spice, chocolate, and citrus. The dough can then morph into thumbprint, spritz, slice and bake, or rolled cookies. To add even more variations there’s a ton of mix- ins. In other words one cookie done at least 30 ways!

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Double-Chocolate Brownie Bites

I have subscriptions to five food magazines.  I love to read them, but I get so distracted with all the great recipes that it sometimes drives me to a complete halt.  I mean I can’t make a decision about what to cook for the coming weeks.  I must have some kind of ADHD.  I do the same thing if I am shopping for clothes in a very large department store.  I can’t make a decision.  So I have resisted subscribing to more food magazines to decrease the confusion in my life.  A few months ago I received a copy of Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.  Knowing that I had not ordered it I checked the label and this is what I read, “Wanda The Food Blogger Lupo.”  It made me laugh.  My good friend Neil gave me a subscription to this beautiful magazine for me to enjoy.  Now everytime I receive it in the mail I smile!

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