This month the recipe is Snickerdoodles from good ole' Martha Stewart. Now, I've never made Snickerdoodles from scratch before because.... shortening grosses me out big time. I have no problem eating a cookie made with shortening, but actually scooping the stuff out of a container and into a measuring cup... nasty! Last month I purchased shortening to make my MIL's Coconut Coookies, but I just couldn't bring myself to use it, so I used butter instead (and I wonder why they didn't turn out as good as hers.) I have no issues using 2 sticks of butter in a recipe or 4 cups of sugar, but for some reason shortening just skeeves me out.
Last week when I made Triple Threat Blondies, I made a small step toward overcoming my fear of shortening and used a 1/4 tsp in the topping. :0) Well this week I grew by leaps and bounds and used a 1/2 cup. The good news is, I wasn't tempted to eat the batter! I followed the recipe almost exactly. I used a little more cinnamon than called for and didn't follow the baking directions exactly. (see the red italics below)
Overall these cookies were fab... shortening and all!
Makes: 4 Dozen
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
* 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
* 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
* 2 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
3. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. (Any time I try the rotating baking sheets method, my cookies always end up burnt. My 30 year old oven sucks and will burn anything that is lower the second rack in the oven. I just baked these one sheet at a time on the top rack. My baking time was only about 6 min)
Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
The rules: Each participant answers questions about himself. At the end of the post the participant tags 5 people. Their names are posted letting them know they’ve been tagged. They then have to read the participant’s blog. The tagged lets the tagger know when he’s posted his answers. Annnd, let’s go!
What was I doing ten years ago?
10 years ago I had just finished up my sophomore year of high school and had been 16 for about 2 weeks. I was in no rush to get my license, because all of my friends already had theirs. If it was a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, my friend Carrie would come pick me up in the morning, and we’d go up to school to lift and run. (And check out the football and baseball players we had crushes on!) If it was a weekend, my friends and I were probably getting a Pepsi-Mountain Dew Slushie from Convenient (yep, we were pretty darn cool) and just hanging out somewhere. Here's a picture of me from when I was 16, it was taken after some dance. Don't hate, you know you want the bangs!
What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
1. Run with the hubster in the morning (check)
2. Appt with a trainer at the gym for a new exercise plan (check)
3. Lunch with my friend Anne
5. Go to class
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off debt, quit my job, keep going back to school because I like it, flip our house, and buy a new one with a fabulous kitchen, pool, and hot tub, have a summer home, have a homes in KC and STL, get a good savings plan going, volunteer, donate money, and travel, travel, travel! (A girl can dream, right?)
5 Snacks I enjoy:
1. Any sort of chocolate – dark, milk, semisweet, bittersweet, white, expensive, inexpensive – I’ll take them all.
2. Fuji Apples and Peanut Butter (Yep, my apples must be Fuji’s!)
3. Ice Cream
4. Laughing Cow Cheese and Veggies on Triscuits
5. Chips and Dip
Places I have lived:
Growing Up: St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo
College: Atchison, KS
Post College: KC,MO Lenexa and Overland Park, KS
Sarah at Chomping Down the Big Apple
Julie at Julies Foodie
Nemmie at Cast Sugar
Danielle at Runs with Spatulas
Julia at Two Novice Chefs, One Tiny Kitchen
So, at 8:30 last night I got bit by the baking bug. I decided to go to The Cookie Bible, open it, and bake whatever recipe I opened to. The lucky winner was: Three Great Tastes Blond Brownies (let’s call ‘em Triple Threat Blondies).
The recipe is simple to make, but for some reason I didn’t need to bake them nearly as long as suggested, I baked mine maybe 19 min and they are darker than I would have liked. What a bummer, my oven temp has to be off. It’s been like that since we bought the house, but has definitely gotten worse lately. The suggested bake time is 25 – 30 min. I always pull everything out a little early, but I guess I should have kept a better eye on them. Oh well.
There was one corner that had 2 burnt blondies and some of the edge pieces were almost burnt, but the other 40-something turned out just fine. Matt rated them an 8, I give them a 7.5. Very good, but there is always room for improvement!
Triple Threat Blondies
Source: The Cookie Bible, you can also find them here.
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips
CHOCOLATE CHIP DRIZZLE(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan.
2. Stir together brown sugar and butter in large bowl; beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt, beating just until blended; stir in chocolate, peanut butter and white chips. Spread batter in prepared pan.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely; cut into bars. With tines of fork, drizzle CHOCOLATE CHIP DRIZZLE randomly over bars. About 6 dozen bars. – (Mine made about 4 dozen)
CHOCOLATE CHIP DRIZZLE:
Place 1/4 HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and 1/4 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. (My drizzle looks more like chocolate explosion– next time I might put the chocolate in a ziplock bag, cut the corner, and pipe it out. It works for icing, I wonder if it will work for this?)
I put these in the oven, ate dinner, and forgot about them. They turned out a bit more brown than I would have liked, not burned or anything, just not as soft as I would have liked. Don’t worry though, that didn’t stop me from eating 2 of them for dessert. =)
A Taste of Heaven Cookbook
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Sliced Strawberries (I chopped mine)
Stir together flour, sugar, baking power, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl beat eggs and then blend in oil, vanilla and milk. Add contents of small bowl to contents of large bowl. Mix until moistened. Fold in strawberries. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.
So for the last 9 years I’ve wondered what was so awesome about Hello Dollies (the non-pot type!). I finally found out this weekend. While looking at a cook book from my hubs home town, I spied Hello Dollies and decided to give them a whirl. They are super easy and super tasty! I so could have made these 9 years ago and not messed them up!
From: A Taste of Heaven
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs ( next time I'll increase this to 1 1/2 or 2 Cups)
1/2 Cup Butter (I suppose I'll have to increase this if I increase the GC Crumbs)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Butterscotch Chips
1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Chopped Pecans (or nuts of your choice)
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Melt Butter in a 9X13 inch Pan at 350 degrees
Add graham cracker crumbs and mix. Press down lightly
Sprinkle on chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and nuts.
Cover with sweetened condensed milk, do not mix.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.
Well, I forgot I suck at making any sort of fudge or candy. Please see this example. Maybe my mixture wasn’t at the soft-ball stage or maybe it was too humid out. Whatever the reason, I didn’t end up with peanut butter fudge. My fudge never set and I ended up with Peanut Butter Fudge Balls/Drops/Spoonfuls/Forkfuls. I even tried to freeze it so I could maybe get a picture of a square that looked like fudge is supposed to. No Luck.
It still tastes mighty yummy, I'm just disappointed it didn't set.
Peanut Butter Fudge (Drops)
From: A Taste of Heaven
My life is so busy right now (hence not posting since the 22nd of May). It was the husbanator's idea for this shindig, so he did lots of the prep for it. Besides the cleaning he did....
Here he is making the jello shots. (I wanted to pretend I was back in college for the evening)
Here he is chopping the green pepper for Corn and Black Bean Salsa. I make this frequently and always forget to take a picture. It's always so pretty too!
He made beer dip (and forgot to add the ranch until he was done... doh! It still turned out delicious though), we also had veggies and various dips, and my friend Erin made my favorite artichoke dip.
At the last minute I decide to make a Bruschetta recipe my aunt made at Christmas. It is so, so good. I wish I would have thought about it earlier, because it only got to sit in the fridge for about 3 hours before our friends arrived. It's best to make it the night before or the morning of. The flavors really combine and are just excellent. These can be served on crostinis, bagel chips, or pita chips. I didn't take my pictures until the next day and I only had Triscuits left - still delicious!
Basil and Tomato Feta Bruschetta
Recipe: my aunt (not sure where it's originally from)
6-8 Roma Tomatoes - chopped
1 red onion - chopped
Fresh Basil to taste - use lots, it's yummy!
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
4 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2/3 Package of Cream Cheese
1 Package (4oz) Basil & Tomato Feta
Fresh Basil to taste
Olives to taste (I omitted this)
1) Combine chopped tomato and onion, basil, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2) Mix Cream Cheese and Feta, add fresh basil and olives to taste.
I served the Bruschetta and Cheese separate and let our guests build their own little tasty appetizer.