Crispy Goodness!

Ok – anyone who knows me knows I never liked baking. To me it’s monotonous and boring.  However, over the last year, I find myself ok with it.  It’ not a “chore”, per say, anymore.  I’ve cookie1 been trying to scratch cook and bake more, knowing preservatives and processed foods are not good for you.  So if the family wants cookies, I have chosen to make them.

I have to say that these are bakery quality and quite delicious.  I did not put the sea salt on top not having any.  However, I did use a couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips which were a perfect addition.  This is definitely and do-over and it was very quick to make.

Enjoy!

 

Thin and Crisp Oatmeal Cookies with Sea Salt (adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon saltcookie2
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • Flaked Sea Salt to sprinkle on top before baking (optional)
  • A couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or raisins, or nuts (optional)

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or use Silpat baking pads. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl.  Beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated and then add in your chocolate, nuts, raisins, etc. Give dough final stir with spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.  Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press ball to 3/4-inch thickness.  Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.

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Pompushky-Ukrainian Doughnuts

IMG_2371 IMG_2373Hi – I’m back!  I’ve been out helping my Mom recover from a hip replacement since this summer and continuing to do so this winter.  In fact, she and my father are living with us this winter.  This is giving me a great opportunity to learn more recipes from her and to try new and exciting dishes.  My father is Ukrainian and tonight we celebrate the Eastern Orthodox Christmas Eve.  The favorite treat of the holiday is Pompushky – a simple fried doughnut, but oh so yummy!  Here’s the recipe – enjoy and  Veseloho Rizdva!

Pompushky

2 cups milk, scalded

5 tbsp. margarine or butter flavored Crisco

2 pkg. of yeast

1 cup hot water

1 tsp. sugar

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

5 + cups flour

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Melt margarine/Crisco in scalded milk.  Let cool.  Add yeast and sugar to hot water, set aside to activate.  In large mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar together, add milk mixture and yeast mixture.  Slowly add flour in one cup at a time.  Knead until stiff and dough comes off hands.  Let the dough raise for one hour.  Punch down and rise again.  Turn out softball size pieces of dough on floured surface. Roll out to ¼ – ½ inch thick.  Cut out in 3 inch diameter circles (I use a drinking glass or canning jar lid).  Place on cookie sheets and cover to rise.  Heat oil to 350-365 degrees in a Dutch oven or large pot.  Drop 3-6 at a time depending on how big pot is.  Once brown, flip and brown other side. It doesn’t take long.  Drain on paper towels.  Shake with sugar and serve.  These freeze well and you can also microwave for 15-20 seconds, shake in sugar and they are just like fresh.

#TBT No Bake Cookies

nobake cookies1I literally have not made these cookies since Home Ec class in high school. And believe me, that was a very long time ago. Now my daughter is in high school and I’m passing the torch of culinary knowledge on to her. She was pleased to learn how easy these are to make and oh! how tasty they are – a guilty pleasure for sure. Enjoy!

 

No Bake Cookies

1 ¾ cups white sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

 

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Printed from Allrecipes.com 4/10/2014

I Have a Nice Pear…Bread Recipe

Falls a’comin and things are settling back down into a routine.  Kids are at school, summer work schedules are back to normal and the harvest is coming in.  I acquired a lovely bunch of pears from my friend Tootsie’s pear tree and remembered my mom used to make a pear bread.  It was absolutely delicious.   I hadn’t had this since I was a teen and let me tell you, it tastes just as delicious as if my own mother made it.  Wonderful by itself — I prefer a slathering of butter,  but my mom likes it with cream cheese.  Here’s the recipe – enjoy!!

_______________________________

    Pear Bread

2 – 3 pears peeled, cored and chopped to equal one cup

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups shifted all purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

(cinnamon and sugar mix to top loaf)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Blend vegetable oil and sugar together, mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla.  In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients then incorporate into wet.  Once mixed together, fold in pears and nuts.  Put batter into one greased loaf pan and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix on top.  Bake for one hour or until done.  Let rest for 15 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.